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Successful Transformations: Just How Good are you at Extracting Full Value?

Metamorphosis: Natural Transformational Change

A Mckinsey research review(1) of transformational change work done in large companies internationally summarised a number of features that separated the most successful business transformations from the rest. There were 3 overall points:

1. Practice improves performance – as in most walks of life

2. Real success remains exceptional – as seen over many years’ activity

3. Single-minded purpose is required all the way through the process implementation and beyond

Like a lot in life, these findings are not a major shock and they reinforce the adage that life (and in this case business life) is a marathon, not a sprint.

For the survey, a successful transformation assessment was based upon:

1. Improved organisational performance, and

2. Sustaining results over time

The survey findings were analysed and found to show 3 guiding principles that separated success and failure:

1. The main differentiator was the number of actions taken through the transformation life cycle.

There was a 59% success rate reported by companies who initiated 24 discreet programme actions, rising to 78% for completed transformations with that number of actions implemented.

2. A more rapid transformation process led to better returns

3. 20% of value loss occurs post-implementation phase completion

Responses showed that <33% of executives said that their company transformation had been successful. These successful transformations reported delivering only 67% of the anticipated financial value with the rest reporting <37%.

So where is the value lost through the transformation life cycle and what can be done to avoid or recover this?

3 core actions were found to be most predictive of value capture:

1. Complete a comprehensive fact-based business improvement opportunities assessment, finishing with setting an overall financial target that sets the tone.

2. Align all workforce goals/KPIs, requiring understanding of the transformation implications for everyone (this is a lot of work including plenty of face to face input to secure understanding, involvement and commitment to the cause

3. Allocate high performers to the highest value initiatives, keeping them focussed on the most important elements without over-burdening them

The 7C, 6-Step Framework© brings focus to each identified element from the Mckinsey research that predicates a successful implementation. This framework is applicable for organisations of all shapes and sizes and is not solely of use to larger corporates.

Our framework(2) helps you:

1. Identify your organisation’s full potential

2. To plan effectively, engaging your whole workforce to gain real motivated commitment

3. To use the process to develop in-house talent

4. Measure performance against fact-based aspirational goals

5. To implement across a broad base of identified actions to completion

6. Embed new ways of working into ‘business as usual’ and use this as a springboard for the next business change cycle.


1. Bucy M, Schaninger B, VanAkin A and Weddle B: Losing from day one: Why Even Successful Transformations Fall Short

Kleiser J, Smith P W, Peucheret J and Evans T:


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