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Cracking the Code of Transformation

Research has shown that all corporate transformations can be compared along six dimensions.

Comparing theories of change
Our research has shown that all corporate transformations can be compared along the six dimensions shown here. The table outlines the differences between the E and O archetypes and illustrates what an integrated approach might look like.

Dimensions of changeTheory ETheory OTheories E and O combined
GoalsMaximize shareholder valueDevelop organizational capabilitiesExplicitly embrace the paradox between economic value and organizational capability
LeadershipManage change from the top downEncourage participation from the bottom upSet direction from the top and engage the people below
FocusEmphasize structure and systemsBuild up corporate culture: employees’ behavior and attitudesFocus simultaneously on the hard (structures and systems) and the soft (corporate culture)
ProcessPlan and establish programsExperiment and evolve
Plan for spontaneity
Reward systemMotivate through financial incentivesMotivate through commitment—use pay as fair exchangeUse incentives to reinforce change but not to drive it
Use of consultantsConsultants analyze problems and shape solutionsConsultants support management in shaping their own solutionsConsultants are expert resources who empower employees

This is an excerpt from HBR’s 10 Must Reads (On Change Management). Get your copy here.
Credit: Abhishek Singh

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