Successful business transformation

Successful business transformations renew and strengthen company offerings and positions – and can take many routes, including: 

  • start-up to scale-up
  • business rebounds
  • changes in business models
  • merging and creating industry-leading companies

Organisations can benefit significantly from successful transformations. But achieving a successful business transformation requires strong strategic logic, a significant investment of time and money and immense involvement of stakeholders.

From years of research, we see that the success rate of business transformations is consistently low – in fact, less than 30 percent succeed.

So, what makes a successful business transformation happen?

The key to any transformation is to be clear on a winning target and direction as well as a strategy for how to make this happen. In our experience, it takes a movement to make a transformation strategy come alive. To help “make this happen”, we see four key enabling factors:

  • Clear leadership – Unite and enable leaders across the organisation to take full ownership for spearheading the business transformation and inspire energetic conversations about the direction and change.
  • Organisational engagement – Engage the organisation and communicate effectively to build and sustain the importance of the transformation implementation.
  • Project portfolio – Design a transformation project portfolio to target high priority impact areas and ensure these are set-up for success with clear aligned ambitions, plans and ownership as well as impact follow-up and support.
  • Action impact – Design and deliver the right solutions deployed in agile projects with dedicated teams to deliver fast and sustained impact.

CEOs’ point of view on transformation

To explore this further, we have interviewed successful transformation CEOs and asked them to elaborate on how they succeeded or set themselves up for success in their respective past or in an ongoing business transformation.

Interview #1

Transforming mining operations to become profitable, sustainable and serve the electric vehicles evolution

Interview with Mr. Antonin Beurrier, CEO of Prony Resources

From this interview, the key learning is the importance of the three cornerstones of an organisational transformation:

  • Adjust and align your offering to evolving market dynamics and customer priorities.
  • Paint a common vision that involves all key stakeholders.
  • Work with speed and boost progress further by linking up with value-adding partners.

Prony Resources is a nickel and cobalt mine in New Caledonia that, among other things, is supplying electric vehicles with unrefined nickel. Their transformation is on several levels. They became independent from the Brazilian mining group Vale in April 2021 following a carve-out and are also aiming for carbon neutrality by 2040. Both endeavours call for organisation-wide changes, including going from being loss-making to profit-making and from being a supply unit with no proprietary customers to a standalone company in all respects.

To date, their journey has been impressively successful. They have started selling directly to customers with a positive margin, launched their own external communication channels and gained Tesla as their strategic partner – to name a few. Nonetheless, all grand ambitions come with several challenges that need attention. 

We hope you enjoy this interview, and we look forward to connecting with you regarding the topic of driving successful transformations.