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Book synthesis

The 5 steps to a successful organizational transformation

Organizational change – of a company’s structure, people and / or processes – tends to raise high hopes only to end in disappointment. McKinsey’s Stephen Heidari-Robinson and Suzanne Heywood argue that change methods are often too conceptual and delivery too confused.

What do Netflix, Microsoft and Apple have in common? All three companies owe their success to a series of strategic shifts, rooted in profound organizational transformations. Unfortunately, only one “reorg” in six actually fulfils its aims in the allotted time, according to a survey by McKinsey.1 Moreover, 70% of attempted transformations result in outcomes that are mixed, incomplete and behind schedule – worse still, 9% are positively harmful. Why do certain companies succeed where so many others fail? How can you execute a reorg that creates value rather than deadlock and demotivation? Heidari-Robinson and Heywood provide an answer in the shape of a 5-step roadmap to delivering a successful reorg in under a year.

1.Source: McKinsey Quarterly 2010: «Taking organizational redesigns from plan to practice: McKinsey Global Survey results» – a survey of 1,800 managers whose companies (across all continents and sectors) carried out a reorganization in the previous five years.

Excerpt from Business Digest N°283, February 2018

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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.