Transformation Objectives – The Art & Science of Organizational Transformation


By Harold Schroeder

Harold Schroeder

Harold Schroeder

GLOBE-Net, July 30, 2014 – In today’s rapidly changing business environment, organizations of all types need to undergo frequent transformation in order to remain competitive and meet the needs of their clients or customers.

Toronto based consulting house Schroeder & Schroeder Inc. has published a white paper series on the Art and Science of Transformation. The latest paper in this series entitled “Transformation Objectives” discusses the importance of defining and measuring progress towards the objectives of the transformation, and the role of organizational purpose and core values in this process.

In contrast to more modest change initiatives, transformation typically affects all areas of the organization as well external stakeholders, and involves a major development in the way the organization operates, either internally, or in its interactions with the outside world.

The need for transformation usually arises from what might be referred to as “life changing” developments in the external environment, such as a major shift in consumer preferences, the growth of fierce competition, or revolutionary developments in information and communications technology.

Though these may sound dramatic, they are the kinds of ongoing developments that now characterize our world and the business environments that most organizations operate in.

However, many organizations have not yet developed the ability to undergo successful transformation as a proactive strategy for business success, and instead implement more limited changes as a “firefighting” response to immediate challenges.

As a business strategy, this can do more harm than good, since short-term projects that are not aligned with longer-term business needs can result in considerable unanticipated costs, have negative effects on productivity and staff morale and fail to deliver the intended results.

Even when organizations embark on more extensive transformation initiatives, the  risk of failure is high: according to research, only around 30% of transformation initiatives usually succeed completely, and 30% typically fail completely.

This paper is one of a series that explains why transformation projects often fail, and discusses a recommended “Art and Science of Transformation” framework that can help promote successful change that delivers the intended outcomes.

This approach is designed to address and overcome the three main reasons why transformation projects typically fail:

1. An inadequate focus on the “art” of transformation compared with the “science”

2. The lack of a sufficiently holistic approach to transformation

3. A lack of understanding about what must change and what must stay the same when transforming an organization.

The paper discusses the importance of defining and measuring progress towards the objectives of the transformation, and the role of organizational purpose and core values in this process.

It also examines the role of various organizational stakeholders in setting transformation objectives, and discusses the importance of performance measurement and of securing stakeholder engagement in helping to ensure the transformation objectives can be met.

A key factor addresses in the paper and crucial to the success of transformational initiatives is the role of leadership. The report notes firms likely to be most successful are those in which employees at all levels are empowered with responsibility and decision-making authority within their own roles and areas of accountability.

Click here to view the White Paper

Harold Schroeder, MBA, FCMC, PMP, CHRP, CHE is the President, Schroeder & Schroeder Inc. GLOBE-Net readers who found this article and the White Paper material interesting can contact Schroeder & Schroeder Inc directly by email at or phone at 647-262-3360. 

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