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Keeping transformations on target

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Only 30 percent of transformations deliver their intended benefits…

Any transformation worth the name starts with ambitious goals. Setting them is hard enough, especially for organisations long used to the risk-averse pattern of under-promising and over-delivering. But the real work starts once the organisation sets out to turn the leaders’ targets into initiatives that everyone else designs and implements from the bottom up.

Keeping hundreds or thousands of initiatives on track is a monumental task, one that too few organisations around the world do well. Recent research reconfirms earlier findings that only 30 percent of transformations deliver their intended benefits and meet the targets committed to during the program-planning stage.

These odds are simply unacceptable, especially when the stakes are high. McKinsey therefore reviewed 18 transformations at 13 organisations that were in the most critical circumstances. While some were facing significant financial and operational challenges, including rapidly deteriorating performance or liquidity concerns, others were simply seeking a substantial step up in their performance.

Their detailed analysis of these materials resulted in three main insights that can serve as potential guiding principles when structuring a large-scale transformation program.

  • Be relentless
  • Focus your resources
  • Plan and Adapt

Read the all the findings and tips to improve the success of your tranformations in the full McKinsey article.


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