The Power of People in Strategic Transformations


Organizational transformation can be a challenge, but in order to evolve and adapt with the moving business landscape we must be prepared to face these challenges head on. C-Suite leaders are responsible for these types of transformation: they are responsible to improve efficiency, embrace innovation, and make changes work.

However, there are obstacles to overcome when putting these changes into action, and often these obstacles are neglected, resulting in a poor outcome. A problem we see often at StrategyBlocks is the disconnect in communication between the C-Suite, the managers and the frontline employees.

The C-Suite alone is not enough to make changes successful. In a recent McKinsey survey of companies undergoing transformational change, those who chose not to engage line managers and frontline employees reported only a 3% success rate. Compare that to the success rates of companies who did engage these groups of people, and those numbers jump to 26 and 28%, respectively. While CEOs and other executives have a vital part to play in company-wide transformation, without engagement and involvement from managers and frontline employees they will struggle to make successful change.

In another McKinsey survey,How to beat the transformation odds,” the largest share of respondents said that if their organizations pursued a transformation again, they would spend more time communicating a change story about the effort. Communicating with the entire organization when transitioning change is crucial in order to be strategically aligned. Using creative, digital tools to communicate the strategic plan is much more engaging and digestible, and will ensure that the idea, plan and overall vision is fully absorbed and understood. This allows for a more seamless ability to pass information on, delegate and monitor.

Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each individual through quality talent management is also important in the process. Managers should set out to identify employee’s strengths by shifting people around and encouraging one-to-one meetings. Employees’ unique strengths can then be incorporated into their duties, improving the performance of those individuals. KPIs can be established, and progress should be monitored, but as employees are those who execute strategic plans, it is helpful for them to be aware of how their individual contributions play a part. Not only will this encourage enthusiasm by giving tasks that excite them and that they feel confident in, but it will also contribute to overall morale and company culture.

The results of the recent survey suggest that when everyone in the organization plays their own unique roles, the odds of success are much greater. Creatively communicating a strategic plan when embarking on a transformation venture, and also showing progress throughout, will result in further success. Having a company shift to find the best use of talent will improve performance and effectiveness. Engaging employees in new creative, digital approaches will transform the way a company makes transitions and aligns strategy to responsibilities, encouraging a better overall working environment and a recipe for success.