Does Your Company Need a Transformation?

September 2016, by So-Young Kang
  • Do you have what it takes to grow your company exponentially?
  • Does your organization need to transform itself to stay relevant?
  • Is technology disrupting your industry and business?
  • Is it time for a shift?

The truth is…how do you know when it’s time to transform? Maybe you feel that things have just stabilized and you are okay. If so, that’s great and this piece is not for you. It’s for those of you who feel that something may not be quite right. You may be sensing that your company needs to change but you are not quite sure why you feel that way, or even how to go about starting the journey.

In our work on hundreds of projects over the past decade, we have seen some trends and patterns which will hopefully help you reflect on whether it may be time for a transformation. The majority, if not all, of our clients across 10 different industries regardless of size tend to fall into one of these three categories of need.

Which of the following situations resonates with you?


Do you want to stay ahead of the competition and invest in your future today even though things may be going well right now? Are you constantly investing in clarifying vision and strategy for the long-term, building capabilities, and understanding where the gaps are so that you can better prepare for the future? Then you may be a ‘pioneer.’

You don’t underestimate the power of new and forward-thinking competitors who may disrupt your industry at any moment. 40% of today’s S&P 500 companies* will no longer exist in 10 years. You want to proactively transform your business before competitors force you to adapt.

“We know that we’re the market leader but others are catching up and we need to stay ahead.” –Pioneers

Clothes Don’t Fit

What has gotten you this far no longer seems to be working in propelling you to the next growth stage, and this is often due to growing pains such as growing beyond 1,000 employees or beyond US$100 million in company size, which are actually good problems to have. You may now require different systems, processes, and people to reach the next level because your ‘clothes don’t fit’ anymore.

You wonder, “How do we go from start-up to a billion dollar company?” Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way of growing your business exponentially? All companies, like people, go through different lifestages. What’s important is that as we grow from one stage to the next, we recognize it and adapt. These moments are all critical opportunities for growth if we quickly recognize the symptoms so that we can continue to breakthrough to the next level.

“We seem to have plateaued and don’t know why. We are doing what we’ve always done but it doesn’t seem to work anymore.” –Clothes Don’t Fit

At the Crossroads

Are you at a crossroads where if you don’t adapt or change now, you may not survive? There can be many factors involved, both controllable and uncontrollable, such as major industry shifts, disruptions, rising competition, or leadership crisis. Your needs are different and often complex. 50% of Fortune 500 companies listed in 2000 have fallen off due to mergers & acquisitions and bankruptcies, so it doesn’t matter whether you are a start-up or a Fortune 500 company; you’re in the midst of rapid change in your environment where change is required.

“There has been a major disruption in our industry. We have to change or else we might not make it!”  –At the Crossroads


Transformation can take place at any stage in your company’s lifecycle. Sometimes, it’s ‘forced’ upon you by external factors and sometimes, it’s a deliberate choice. What matters is recognizing the kind of changes needed at the appropriate times. This requires taking a step back to assess and reflect before moving forward.

So, is your organization in need of a transformation?

We pioneered the practice of Transformation Design (TD) globally because of the needs that we consistently see in the three situations. We always welcome authentic conversations so please feel free to contact us to have an open discussion around where you are and where you want to go as a leader or organization.


*Source: Study at John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University