The stakes have never been higher for business transformations. To keep up with changing markets, competition, and technology, many companies are undertaking multiple, often continuous, transformations to update internal processes and connect with customers, partners, and suppliers. Conor McCarthy of our People and Change team explains, below.

And, in an era of “compound volatility,” a combination of disruptive events and powerful structural changes is creating a less forgiving business environment, with higher costs, high interest rates, and tepid global economic growth. 

Senior corporate leaders recognise that running successful transformations will be critical to their ability to compete and grow. They need transformations to accelerate future state outcomes with profitable growth and efficiencies — and to help pursue new strategies.

Actions to consider

This paper looks at how the transformation agenda has changed. KPMG in the US surveyed both top leaders and middle managers to get their insights on the opportunities and challenges and business transformation today.

Based on this research, the perspectives of clients, and the insights of KPMG transformation professionals, we have developed a new transformation agenda that prioritises action on four fronts:

  1. Placing value at the center. Executives identified that the top area they would approach differently in their next transformation would be to increase focus on value. Transformations can create strategic, financial, and operational value, but only if value is the north star of every project.
  2. Investing in people and culture. When transformations fall short or don’t “stick,” culture and people issues are often to blame. Executives identified the two biggest challenges in making value from transformation stick were: 1) leadership change and shifting focus, and 2) a change management program that did not lead to adequate adoption. Transformation leaders need to invest more in creating buy-in, giving people the necessary tools and resources, and maintaining an active feedback loop to understand, iterate, and adapt based on what is working.
  3. Orchestrating projects and the people experience. With multiple and continuous transformations projects, it is critical to manage timelines, deadlines, and resources. Companies have, on average, three transformations running at the same time. This underscores the importance, and challenge, of creating broad-ranging, integrated plans to manage the complex streams of work
  4. Developing the right technology and data foundations. Executives cited the technological capability gap as the top challenge encountered during transformation. Almost any business process transformation or growth initiative today will involve a technology element. Companies need the systems, data, talent, and agility to develop support new digital initiatives

We believe that companies that master today’s more complex transformation agenda will be stronger competitors in what promises to be a more challenging environment.

Read our report in full below.

Get in touch

KPMG people can make all the difference on your transformation journey. Together we can help you to orient your business around the customer, optimise functions for a new era, manage enterprise risk and regulation for a safer future, rise to a new level of value creation, and create an environment for managing ongoing change.

If you have any queries about implementing change in your business, please contact Conor McCarthy of our People & Change team. We look forward to hearing from you.

Read more in People & Change