Transformation: Is It All or Nothing?

Transformation. It’s one of the biggest, hottest new buzzwords in business management. What does it mean to the typical business owner?

When business owners and managers talk about transformation, they are referring to how the organization changes. They talk about fundamental changes to the way the business operates, do they not? They talk about changing the business’s relationships to its vendors, its customers — in fact, all its stakeholders, even within the organization.

As business owners and managers, we know we can’t afford the status quo. Change is inevitable, so we either help make it happen or we let it happen to us.

But, again — what about transformation? Are we ready for all that it implies? Is transformation possible in increments or is it necessary to transform our organizations immediately and on a grand scale?

Remember — this is fundamental change we’re talking about. We’re going to the core of our business and shaking up the way we’re doing things. We reject the status quo because “that’s the way we’ve always done it” is no longer acceptable.

We need to align, or coordinate, every part of our organizations with one another. We can’t afford to have operations, sales, customer service, accounting, etc., act as if they have different goals and objectives.

Top management dictates the direction, pace, and extent of the change. They revisit and revise the organization’s strategic plan.

Eventually, every aspect of the organization must undergo change. Is it necessary for all our operations — no matter how large or small — to undergo radical transformation? Is it possible for some aspects of the business to undergo a lesser degree of change, or transform at a slower pace?

Transformation – Now or Never?

There’s an old saying common among former military officers: “How do you eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.” The medical profession has a similar philosophy about weight loss. Though you lose according to a strategic plan, you proceed in small steps, or increments.

ISO 9001, the universal quality standard, also instructs us to have a plan but implement the plan and make incremental improvements continually.

What do you think? Should business transformation be “all or nothing”? Contact me now at or leave a message below.


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Posted in Business transformation, Change management

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