Is strategic planning and business transformation inextricably linked?


The business world is constantly evolving. Whether it’s the latest technology to worry about, or an emerging market that simply has to be a priority, the C-suite can quickly be caught out when trying to deal with and adapt to change.

Consequently, enterprise transformation is more critical than ever before. While an ‘adapt or die’ mentality may seem a little aggressive, it should be the mantra of the most progressive enterprises.

Of course, no sweeping change can happen without sound strategic planning beforehand, but just how strong is the connection between the two?

Only 27 per cent of the largest company transformations are completely successful.

“The right approach for a transformation starts with a clear understanding of how the transformation is supporting the strategic vision and business outcomes,” explained Stephen G. Hasty Jr, global transformation leader at KPMG.

Success through planning

However, while any transformation project should be clearly outlined in the company’s strategy plan, a number of organizations still fail when attempting to make changes to their structure.

Research from the aforementioned KPMG outlined that 34 per cent of US-based CEOs said that their organizations’ transformation plans in the past had failed to meet the business objectives that were originally outlined.

KPMG’s research, which was carried out in partnership with Forbes Insights, can be found in full via this tweet:

So, in making efforts to achieve transformation success, what steps should enterprises take?

Aligning strategy with transformation

As touched on, and a point that is reiterated throughout KPMG’s research, the best way to ensure that any enterprise change is a success is to align the process with the company’s wider strategic plan.

However, the stakes are high when it comes to getting this right, and any tools to help can prove invaluable. While only 27 per cent of the largest company transformations that KPMG recorded proved completely successful, the key takeaway for any enterprise is to ensure that it doesn’t shy away from ambition.

Outlining a clear strategic plan before engaging in business transformation is the best way to secure success.Outlining a clear strategic plan before engaging in business transformation is the best way to secure success.

Planning any transformation with the end result of competitive advantage in mind is crucial, and being as broad as possible has the potential to yield the best results.

‘Execution eats strategy for breakfast’

While getting a plan for transformation in place is one thing, strategy execution is not always easy. As research collated by HP outlined, true business transformation requires organizations to both think and act in new ways.

Whether or not that mentality can be embraced is a key barometer of success. If it can, then the consequent success is likely to be more fruitful than the original mapping of any plan will prove laborious.