Seventy percent of all corporate transformations fail to meet their stated objectives.
I’ve been involved with a few of those failed transformations. I’ve also worked with several companies implementing changes to their work.
In both cases, many companies have continued using their new approaches. (Note: often, transformation efforts succeed in changing how they work but fall short of achieving the stated objectives and benefits.)
So what happened?
Why do transformation fail when companies invest a significant time and money into making it work?
Before we go there, let’s start by examining the difference between transformation and change.
The distinction is that change requires you to *do* something differently, while a transformation requires you *think and behave* differently.
If you make a change, you can succeed without changing your core values, beliefs, or ways of thinking. I’ve seen where teams derive benefit from simply learning a new process.
In my career, I’ve helped dozens of organizations change how they work by helping them learn a different process.
Almost all teams succeed in learning the new process and changing the way they work as a result.
To transform, you must examine and update the core values, behaviours, and mindsets prevalent in the corporate culture, including new ways to lead.
So, why do transformations fail?
I’ve seen too many cases where it’s fashionable to transform your business (i.e. everyone’s doing it). And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want the benefits they keep hearing about?
The company then spends significant time and effort planning the transformation, often hiring external help.
When it’s time to execute, they only want to focus on the teams.
The problem with this is that those teams still have to interface with all the external (to them) ways of working and thinking. This constraint only leads to frustrations, workarounds, and eventually deciding that this new thing “doesn’t work here.”
The problem wasn’t changing how they worked; it was changing how they think and behave.
Transformations will only succeed when you start at the top. Otherwise, with every good intention, the organization’s leadership will continue to do what they know and believe.
The same is true in your life.
If you want to transform your life, you must change your thinking (i.e., your mindset.)
I know this to be true, because I didn’t start transforming my life until I started to change my mindset.
For example, I changed “I should lose weight” to “I want to be healthier.”
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change your life or work without transforming.
However, if you want to transform, be sure to go deep enough to allow a transformation to stick.
You’ve got this.