Five ways to transform a business

Five ways to transform a business Purpose – For half a century, experts have offered leaders a standard model of how to transform organizations. It involves unfreezing them, developing a clear picture of the future, managing to make the picture a reality, and then changing systems to support the new ways. However, studies have shown that transformation does not always follow this script. This paper aims to look at four alternatives. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reviews more than 50 well documented transformations and compares them to both the standard model and non‐mainstream ideas about transformation Findings – The paper offers a guide to five distinct, reproducible ways of radically altering organizations: the standard model process (“holism”), transformation through the ambidextrous form, transformation through acquisition/restructuring, the Collins “Good‐to‐great” process, an improvisational transformation process. Hybrid approaches are discussed. Research limitations/implications – Providing a comprehensive guide to corporate transformation is a problematic undertaking. The authors could not review every case study of transformation, so they cannot say with certainty that their list of documented transformation methods is all‐inclusive. However, their survey gave them good reason to believe these are the five best‐documented transformation processes. Practical implications – The paper explains the important advantages of each approach to transformation that make it appropriate for particular purposes. Originality/value – When organizations need radical change, leaders need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all five well‐documented alternative paths to transformation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Strategy & Leadership Emerald Publishing

Five ways to transform a business

Strategy & Leadership, Volume 36 (3): 11 – May 9, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1087-8572
DOI
10.1108/10878570810870730
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – For half a century, experts have offered leaders a standard model of how to transform organizations. It involves unfreezing them, developing a clear picture of the future, managing to make the picture a reality, and then changing systems to support the new ways. However, studies have shown that transformation does not always follow this script. This paper aims to look at four alternatives. Design/methodology/approach – This paper reviews more than 50 well documented transformations and compares them to both the standard model and non‐mainstream ideas about transformation Findings – The paper offers a guide to five distinct, reproducible ways of radically altering organizations: the standard model process (“holism”), transformation through the ambidextrous form, transformation through acquisition/restructuring, the Collins “Good‐to‐great” process, an improvisational transformation process. Hybrid approaches are discussed. Research limitations/implications – Providing a comprehensive guide to corporate transformation is a problematic undertaking. The authors could not review every case study of transformation, so they cannot say with certainty that their list of documented transformation methods is all‐inclusive. However, their survey gave them good reason to believe these are the five best‐documented transformation processes. Practical implications – The paper explains the important advantages of each approach to transformation that make it appropriate for particular purposes. Originality/value – When organizations need radical change, leaders need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all five well‐documented alternative paths to transformation.

Journal

Strategy & LeadershipEmerald Publishing

Published: May 9, 2008

Keywords: Organizational change; Change management; Acquisitions and mergers

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