The most frequent mistake we see in this phase occurs when leadership declares victory too early and then fails to follow through on signals that some businesses have implemented the staffing changes but are reverting to past practices. Continued scrutiny is required if an organization is to resist the temptation to fall back into habits that have been part of the company’s operating culture for decades.
All 10 of these transformation success factors are, as we’ve said, well known. You’ll find them in the business literature. More important, you’ll find them in the consciousness of veteran executives, the artists of turnarounds and transformations. Achieving long-term results requires a sustained and focused leadership that transcends management formulas. The leaders who realize success tend to be uncommonly disciplined — not just in the way they lead others, but in the way they govern themselves.
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Gary Neilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton in Chicago. The coauthor of Results: Keep What’s Good, Fix What’s Wrong, and Unlock Great Performance (Crown Business, 2005), he helps companies diagnose and solve problems associated with strategy implementation and organizational effectiveness. He leads the team that developed the “organizational DNA” concept.
Jack McGrath (email@example.com) is a senior vice president with Booz Allen in Cleveland. His principal clients have included manufacturers of prominent food, beverage, and consumer durable brands. For more than 40 years, he has helped some of the world’s leading global companies transform their businesses.