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What successful transformations share

From a McKinsey Quarterly survey (You need to be a McKinsey premium member)

Strong majorities of extremely successful companies define the targets, role, and structure of the transformation clearly... this survey allows us to identify some approaches for creating a change plan that are closely tied to success: assessing a company’s present situation rigorously, identifying the current state of corporate capabilities as well as problems, and explicitly identifying the underlying mind-sets that must change for the transformation to succeed (Exhibit 1). In addition, nearly three-quarters of companies that were extremely successful in meeting their transformational goals broke down the process of the transformation into specific, clearly defined initiatives. Other structural approaches, such as a robust risk-management process or a project-management office, are less often correlated with successful transformations...

Notably, employee engagement as early as the planning process emerges as a key success factor. Indeed, in successful transformations, executives say that identifying underlying mind-sets that would need to change was the approach used most often... Collaboration and cocreation also are important: nearly a quarter of the extremely successful transformations were planned by groups
of 50 or more, compared with just 6 percent of unsuccessful transformations.

when leaders ensure that frontline staff members feel a sense of ownership, the results show a 70 percent success rate for transformations. When frontline employees take the initiative to drive change, transformations have a 71 percent success rate. When both principles are used, the success rate rises to 79 percent.

Among all of the structural and executional approaches to change we asked about, five of the eight used in strong majorities of successful transformations relate to ensuring that employees are
engaged, often by leadership initiatives. Furthermore, among the respondents whose companies used small-scale initiatives to roll out their change programs, 60 percent of the extremely successful ones focused some initiatives entirely or mostly on changing mind-sets, compared with only 12 percent of the unsuccessful transformations.

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