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Book synthesis

5 things that could doom your transformation initiative

You already know the statistic: 70% of transformation projects are more than likely to end in failure. But the reasons behind this failure are simple: failures in transformation have nothing to do with a lack of collective motivation and everything to do with at least one of these five key points.

Lack of motivation, resistance to new ideas, passivity of the troops. The excuses for explaining why transformation fails lack imagination. Furthermore, these standard pretexts point to an inability to assume responsibility for a transformation initiative and to evaluate our own role in defining priorities and leading the project. They also testify to the persistence of the false belief that change lives or dies by the good will of all interested parties. This is a mistake: change relies, first and foremost, on how perceptive you are when it comes to the following five situations, which can damage your transformation and result in failure.

#arrogant: You settle for sharing a vision and leave its execution to others

It was so beautiful, your vision of a more agile, high-performing, sustainable company. The plan for strategic transformation was carefully prepared and defined; nothing was neglected when it came to creating this shared ambition, including training and motivating the managers and setting up leadership structures and follow-up. But you didn’t follow through when it came time for execution.

A 2015 survey of 400 leaders of large companies revealed that the execution of their strategy was their primary concern among a list of 80 topics. We see here a very common trap: believing that the conception of a project happens on one side and the implementation on another, as if the two processes were completely distinct. But coming up with a strategy behind closed doors doesn’t sufficiently take into account how an organization brings a strategy to life.

Excerpt from Business Digest N°294, March 2019

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.