Attempts at organizational transformation fail at a rate of 60 to 70%. That statistic, according to relevant studies, has been true since 1970.
The ability to manage change as an organization has grown more important in the last 50 years, and the particulars of the transformation discipline have changed. But actually transforming—thoroughly, meaningfully, enduringly—hasn’t gotten one bit easier.
Over a century of experience planning and guiding organizations in the act of transforming from top to bottom tells us that successful transformations have one overarching thing in common: they’re driven by purpose.
That was true when we helped the U.S. Navy transform into the world’s dominant oceanic fighting force in the 1940s. It was true when we helped Chrysler transform to bounce back from bankruptcy in the 1980s. It was true in the 90s when we helped the IRS transform into a customer service-centered organization, and it’s true today as we help the U.S. Air Force redesign its entire budget execution process.