Achieving long-term transformation goals is attainable and rewarding

Large-scale transformations can lead to substantial financial growth for organizations that conduct successful implementation processes. The key to this success is the commitment to executing and sustaining changes over time.

A recent McKinsey Global Survey has shown that, in addition to outperforming their peers financially, organizations that achieved their transformation goals and sustained performance gains for at least three years share a set of unique attributes.

The survey uncovers three critical attributes that appear to fuel the success of large-scale transformations: maintaining implementation rigor throughout the program’s life cycle; investing in capability building and promoting new talent across the organization; and earmarking the right level of resources for every stage of the transformation process while maintaining pace and momentum.

For McKinsey associate partner Nancy Busellato, striking the right balance during a transformation process is key to achieving success:

To succeed in a transformation, companies must find a way to create and then reinforce the capabilities that will maintain their gains over the long term. To do so, they must balance effectiveness with efficiency while maintaining a focus on their people as well as on performance.”

The McKinsey survey also sheds light on the challenges of achieving transformation goals and sustaining gains over the long term. Among the respondents who have been involved in a transformation within the past five years, 56% say their organizations have achieved most or all of their transformation goals, while only 12% say that they have been able to sustain these goals for more than three years.

To overcome transformation challenges and navigate its many ups and downs, “the CEO and top management should remain committed from start to finish and ensure that their people also bring the same focus and commitment,” says McKinsey partner Takanori Sakamoto.

And the benefits of succeeding in implementing large-scale transformations are not to be underestimated. Our survey clearly shows that organizations that managed to sustain the transformation gains for at least three years are likely to report twice the EBIT growth of their peers.

Discover more about McKinsey’s Global Survey and the elements that guarantee the success and long-term impact of transformation processes here: