How CEOs think about transformation
Embarking on a transformation is one of the most critical decisions a CEO will ever make. So what makes a transformation successful?
Three areas: committing to transform, leading the transformation from the front, and sustaining a new way of working.
Commit to transform
- Affirm your conviction that the business needs to change.
- Frame transformation as a higher level of performance—not a project.
- Set an uncomfortable but inspirational ambition for your leadership team.
Lead the transformation from the front
- Show true ownership by mandating involvement and getting into the detail.
- Involve all levels in the transformation, not just senior leaders.
- Build execution discipline from the start by focusing on the immediate activity.
- Develop one voice as a leadership team on the transformation.
Sustain a new way of working
- Invest in people and culture from the start.
- Make engagement personal, so people in the company know why it is transforming.
- Flex your new execution discipline to help weather future challenges.
Personally go ‘all in’
- Go “all-in”: not only in setting the scope of a transformation but also in the time and willingness to be at the centre of the effort.
Based in London and with over 24 years’ global experience, Karen Thomas-Bland is often cited as one of the top business transformation and M&A integration consultants and coaches in the world. She is a trusted advisor to boards, executive teams and investors, having led complex, enterprise-wide turnarounds and integrations to $105bn turnover. She writes for many publications including The Times, FT, Association of MBAs and Management Today.