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Change and transformation are two completely different actions that impact organizational success.

Using a building analogy, change can be described as replacing wallpaper in a room, whereas transformation is like building a brand-new house. One takes time, and the other can be a monumental effort.

Timothy J. Tobin states, “Transformation happens when you move from ideas to actions in a deliberate way.” Similar to a vision or strategy, it’s about planning to be successful by always following up and through.

Most have heard the misleading statistic that says “half of all efforts to transform organizational performance end up failing,” While I agree that many transformations fail, I’m more interested in the question of “why they fail.”

Two reasons are consistently cited for this;

1) Leaders don’t act as role models for change during the transformational process, and
2) Too many people in the organization, during transformation, continue to defend the status quo.” McKinsey (2017).

These sobering statistics call out leaders who own the responsibility for transforming the business and still continue to “run the business” for reasons unknown versus doing what is necessary to get the needed results.

The $55 billion in annual (US$ 2018) spending companies commit to consultants, change management programs, and other continuous improvement methods supports the theory that most leaders don’t want transformation, only a quick fix or two.

Determining where your business should go in the future is not an easy decision, and there are many paths to take, each with its own risk. Getting too aggressive can cost a leader their job and open them to public criticism.

Setting a strategy is also a challenging and complex process requiring more than the efforts of the team’s leadership to implement and do well. It’s truly hard work that takes time. It must also be aligned each year with the longer-term vision for the organization.

Determining what can be accomplished can test any leader and result in chasing targets versus remaining focused on the organization’s strategy.

Strategy execution requires time and resources that many leaders believe they don’t have. When progress is altered or made indecisive, it sends a negative message to the team that “transforming the business is not that important.”

Teams naturally averse to change (or ones without enough information and reasons to support it) happily comply with that thinking.

And it goes much deeper.

The ability to transform a business requires adherence to cultural beliefs that place trust and confidence in an organization’s ability to collaborate, innovate, and find creative solutions.

As a leader, you must ask yourself, “What am I willing to do?”

Executing transformation takes courageous and committed leaders.

Are you one of these?

If its time to talk transformative change. DM to set up a conversation.

#ceos #leadership #transformation #execution

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