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How to stay ahead of the transformation agenda

Enterprise change initiatives are becoming more frequent and essential for companies. Here’s how to upgrade your transformation agenda.

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

Are business transformation strategies in need of some transformative new thinking of their own?

The stakes have never been higher for these big-swing initiatives, and the difference between sticking the landing or spinning the company’s wheels can have significant ramifications in this era of compound volatility.

But much like the fast-moving business climate itself, the roadmap to deliver impactful enterprise change is moving just as quickly—with an increasing trend of multiple, overlapping transformation initiatives on multiple fronts.

So, what separates the value-driving transformation winners from the others? A focus on four key priorities, as we outline in our new report, “Navigating the complex transformation agenda.”

Here’s what you need to know.

A snapshot of transformations in flux

Our thorough new research includes feedback from two related surveys over the last year, which captured the latest perspectives on enterprise transformations from two perspectives: senior executives (200 respondents) and middle managers (1,002 respondents). This dual approach provides a powerful cross-reference that captures a complete view of the transformation landscape, from the managers up to the C-suite.

Among the key findings, our surveys found that:


Among senior leaders, 60 percent said transformation initiatives at their companies are now continuous, with 66 percent reporting their organizations had at least three such projects underway.


Of employees, 76 percent were involved in three or more transformation workstreams, and 56 percent expressed concern that too much change was in motion.


Two-thirds of the executives said creating new value was their top priority on these enterprise change efforts, but just 19 percent believed their company’s transformation projects have delivered significant returns to date.

Both the executives and middle managers also cited several persistent gaps and risks, including poorly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success, inconsistent change management, and a lack of key technology and labor capabilities. One high-profile example was a general lack of confidence on rapidly adopting and leveraging generative AI: 22 percent of executives did not feel their organizations had the right technology and data infrastructure in place, and just 15 percent felt they had the right people to execute on generative AI.

Four keys to success

Like transformations themselves, our new research identified an enterprise transformation agenda that is evolving quickly in a continuous effort to make impactful changes stick. These major investments of the company’s time and money are becoming more important, not less. And that’s the case even as many organizations struggle to deliver measurable value.

But rather than pulling back, companies are leaning in—and raising the ante on the related risk-reward dynamics. In our research and work with clients, we’ve identified four priorities that drive successful transformation initiatives by tightly connecting the required strategic, financial, and operational execution:

1. Define value and how to measure it

Gaps in identifying value and a lack of clear KPIs are the leading indicators of transformation projects that struggle. Transformation success starts with defining exactly how the changes will create value. This requires alignment on the KPIs from all teams involved, a dedicated value delivery leader, and the data to track performance.

2. Meet people and culture issues head-on

Change is hard. After all, the human mind is wired to maintain the status quo. But successful transformations require that everyone is on board. Leadership needs to establish a clear vision for the entire organization and build belief from Day 1. More important, they need to sustain that buy-in by consistently engaging and enabling staff.

3. Learn to orchestrate continuous transformations

Running multiple enterprise change projects at the same time is now table-stakes for many leading companies. To do that, companies need to establish an enterprise view of change. Leaders must align on guidelines to manage these complex and overlapping projects, and be ready to adjust quickly. And they must track value on all, early and often.

4. Get the right tech and data in place

A robust technology and data foundation is the hallmark of companies that consistently deliver successful transformation projects. They quickly align multiple initiatives with the overall technology roadmap. They eliminate projects that aren’t delivering. And they empower innovation.

How to enhance your transformation agenda

As our new report details, while transformations are often challenging and always complex, successfully delivering value is possible—with the right approach, expectations, and agenda.

You can download our new report now for much more information, including:


Feedback from more than 1,200 managers and senior executives at leading companies


A thorough review of the current transformation landscape


Case studies that illustrate leading practices


A nine-part digital transformation suite of services


And much more about the four key components of winning transformations

Explore more insights and opportunities:

Meet our team

Image of Atif Zaim
Atif Zaim
National Service Group Leader, Consulting, KPMG US

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