Business transformations are notoriously risky — 10 questions I use to reduce this

by | 9 Feb 2023 | Business transformation

Business transformations are notoriously risky. There are 10 questions I use when talking to anyone who is about to embark on one.

  • Where is the value flowing, and is there an understanding of the profit pools and trends?
  • Are they putting their money where their strategy is and moving resources aligned to opportunities?
  • Are they ready to cannibalise the existing business over the long term?
  • What will it take for the organisation to take seriously, build conviction and get people on board? Where will resistance likely come from?
  • Is the aspiration to achieve the business’ full potential — is it inspiring, uncomfortable and do they feel nervous about the challenge?
  • Are they and their team up for the challenge? And have the energy to sustain over the long term?
  • Where does the transformation feature on their personal priority list?
  • Is there a reliable execution engine to deliver change into the business?
  • Are they ready to move quickly? And iterate?
  • How can people be freed up to ensure there is enough capacity to drive through the change?

The answers to these questions indicate transformation ambition, readiness and types of support likely needed.

Based in London and with over 24 years’ global experience, Karen Thomas-Bland is often cited as one of the top business transformation consultants and coaches in the world. She is a trusted advisor to boards, executive teams and investors, creating sustainable, long-term value for FTSE/Fortune businesses and PE funds. She writes for many publications including The Times, FT, Association of MBAs and Management Today.