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Friday, March 14, 2014

The 5 Pillars of Corporate Transformation


Corporate transformation is a fundamental organization process of renewal that facilitates the long-term survival, sustainability and success of a business by focusing on fulfilling the needs of the changing customer. Successful corporate transformation requires the cooperation and participation of all members of the organization. The five pillars of corporate strategy enables an organization to stimulate transformation in its key institutions systematically, synergistically and where practical simultaneously.
The purpose of every corporate organization is to serve its customer. The moment an organization fails to meet its customer needs, it ceases to exist. Every business has only one focus for survival, sustainability and success. That focus is the customer.  Small businesses and bureaucratic institutions alike must have the same focus if they want to thrive. Unfortunately, when organizations lose focus on the customer they erode the confidence of the customer in the business. Unknown to business centered on its own success, is the fact that customers evolve. Successful businesses create strategies to sustain customer confidence. A business seeking to succeed in corporate transformation may install all the latest technology, but will only succeed if it pays specific attention to the customer.

An organization is like an engine of a car or a production line in a plant. At best, you can get an engine to run very efficiently within the limitations of its design. And you can improve performance by making modest adjustments to the engine or production line, but to get a completely new level of performance you must change the engine and install a new production process. Organization structures and systems behave like engine blocks or fixed production lines. You can improve production by making slight changes, but to transform that organization you may need to re-format the business altogether.

Leadership is, “to transform a group of people, in an environment, from where they are to where they need to be using vision, strategy and prudent use of resources”. Organizations employ leaders and entrust them with the responsibility to realize corporate goals. It is not hard to imagine that poor leadership cannot deliver corporate goals. An organization hoping to succeed in corporate transformation needs to develop its leadership to deliver the desired results.

A few people in top leadership can share grand ideas and plan great plans, but if there is no team to operationalize the plan, the plans  are as good as if they had never been discussed. Corporate organizations employ people to implement plans. These plans must be known to them and owned by them.  However, teams are built around goals. Each time an organization has a fresh idea it must rebuild the team to realign the operating team to the new goal. An organization cannot say, “ we did team building two years ago, we think we are still good to go”. Each year’s plans need a NEW team. The team that existed two years ago dealt with the challenges of two years ago. This year and every year needs a custom built new team. Organizations that succeed in corporate transformation constantly examine the corporate culture and align it too support goal achievement by developing and building new teams to address new challenges.  
 It is not enough to have a good business strategy. The strategy itself must be transformative in order to trigger the desired transformation of the business. For example, a business that develops a business plan to improve profitability by 20% may be stretching the business (a little) over the previous years’ goals but certainly not transforming it. Transformational strategy sets out goals that change the organization and install the capacity for further change.  With reference to the “new engine” discussed earlier. A goal to double or triple a business operations will not only stretch the business, but will also require the installation of new capacity to achieve that goal. Such a strategy is no longer an improvement plan but a transformative strategy.

Allan Bukusi, Author of How to lead corporate transformation

Also see
What is Corporate Transformation
The Seven Qualities of a Transformation Team

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