Why do Transformations Fail?

We are experiencing an exponential rate of change in today’s business world.  Globalization, digitization, and the explosion of data are disrupting the economy and changing the competitive landscape.  Traditional enterprises and operating models are being overtaken by more agile, born-on-the-web companies where their business model is based upon on disruption and change.  As a management consultant, I made a good living helping companies with transformation programs.  Transformation has become imperative and ubiquitous.

The unfortunate reality is that most transform initiatives fail to achieve their targets.  It’s tragic that something so vital to the survival and success of companies is so elusive. What make transformation so difficult?  Research tells us there are two determinant factors: culture and leadership.  For organizations to become more successful in transformation, they must shift their values and principles from ones that resist or simply tolerate change to ones that embrace and even thirst for change.  Leaders must then exemplify and infuse these values and principles to steer their employees and teams through the transformation process.

The good news is that an organization’s culture can be transformed.  An organization’s culture represents the collective character, values, thoughts emotions, beliefs and behaviors of your leaders and individual contributors.  Company history and leadership style are factors.  To transform the overall culture of an organization, leaders need to focus on building out the five cultures of culture.

  • Capability Culture – Your organization equips leaders and individual contributors with the skills required for individual and organizational effectiveness now and into the future.  Leaders create a “Can Do” culture, in which people genuinely believe they have the skills and capabilities required to be successful and help the organization be successful.
  • Commitment Culture – Your organization’s vision, mission, and purpose excite and motivate your leaders and employees.  Leaders create a “Will Do” culture, in which people genuinely believe they can impact the business in a positive way, are motivated and passionate, and take reasonable risks and make decisions.
  • Alignment Culture – You create a clear vision and strategy for the organization and ensuring that vision is shared at all parts and at all levels within your organization.  You validate leaders and employees are connected and aligned with the vision so that they feel they must execute at a high-level.
  • Individual Performance Culture – You create a culture of individual excellence and execution.  You ensure everyone operates with strong character and values.  You encourage leaders and employee seek and incorporate feedback to improve performance.
  • Team Performance Culture – Your organization is collaborative and has team approach to getting things done.  Everyone shares a common objective, and leaders and individual contributors across the organization cooperate unselfishly to get work done.  Leaders and employee work for a win/win outcome.

Leaders have a crucial role in building the five cultures of culture and helping their organizations transform.

In my upcoming webinar “Building a Culture that Drives Results”, I will share the six critical steps you as a leader must take to transform your culture.  Please tune in and be the leader you must be for your organization!


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