Why Transformations Fail?


Organizational Resilience is a journey of transformations!


• A Risk Managing, Learning, and Continually Improving organization is a Resilient Organization!

• Resilient People make Resilient Organizations!

• The chain moves on to communities, societies, and the planet.

• Every organization has some bit of Resilience!

• No organization can ever be 100% Resilient!

• Nothing comes free in this world – so companies will have to invest time, money, and effort on Organizational Resilience!


Based on McKinsey article 'Losing from day one: Why even successful transformations fall short', “the more transformation actions a company takes, the greater its chances for success. Yet success remains the exception, not the rule. While we’ve known for years that a comprehensive approach to transformation is more conducive to lasting change, the average success rate has remained persistently low. Less than one-third of respondents - all of whom had been part of a transformation in the past five years - say their companies’ transformations have been successful at both improving organizational performance and sustaining those improvements over time.”


Hence this transformation journey to Organizational Resilience needs to be planned appropriately.


Three improvements are suggested in the McKinsey paper, for effective transformations:


• embedding transformation disciplines into business-as-usual structures,

• processes, and

• systems


The McKinsey paper goes on to suggest the following ‘Three positive indicators of value capture’:


1. Completing a comprehensive, fact-based assessment of the business to identify opportunities for improvement.

2. Adapting goals for employees at all levels.

3. Allocating high performers to the highest-value Initiatives


Let us spend some more time on point 2 above. Setting goals is not enough (despite the fact that various organizations have spent millions is developing SMART goals).


The fact check required is ‘do people understand their goals?’ Do they understand the value that they bring in? Has their big Why / What is in it for me been answered? If not, then do not expect them to contribute to the transformation program.


Communication is very important in a transformation program. Communication cycle shown in the following picture will help in improving communication and hence enhancing effectiveness of the transformation program:





To have effective communication, you will need to identify all interested parties relevant to your business. The following interested parties cycle will be helpful:


Organizational Resilience is also a Change Program. One big change is required in the culture – culture of collaboration, innovation, asking and listening, empowerment etc.


The McKinsey paper ends with “In a period of such prolonged and dramatic change in business, the economy, and the world at large, the newest results suggest that it’s time for companies to treat transformations as more than just a side project or discrete event and use them as opportunities to fundamentally change how their business runs. When a company frees up its bandwidth from other initiatives and focuses its resources and energy solely on a transformation, then it’s possible to take the truly holistic approach that success requires.”


The way forward is recommended to be:


So, a stepped approach is recommended:




A ‘never give up attitude’ will be helpful. Though the success is not guaranteed, the likelihood will be very high!


To understand more, please click on this link to join our Certification Course on CERTIFIED ORGANIZATIONAL RESILIENCE SPECIALIST & IMPLEMENTER - ISO 22316:2017.


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