Business transformation

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Business transformation is about making fundamental changes in how business is conducted in order to help cope with a shift in market environment.[1]

When business transformation is used[edit]

The need for business transformation may be caused by external changes in the market such as an organisation's products or services being out of date, funding or income streams being changed, new regulations coming into force or market competition becoming more intense. This management approach is widely used:[2]


Business transformation is achieved by one or more of: realigning the way staff work, how the organisation is structured, the core product or service portfolio of the business and how technology is used. Typically organisations go through several stages in transforming themselves:[3]

  • recognising the need to change and gaining consensus amongst stakeholders that change is necessary
  • agreeing what form the change should take, the objectives of the change and a vision that describes a better future
  • understanding what the organisation is changing from and what needs to change in detail
  • designing the new organisational way of working and its support and management
  • testing and implementing changes, usually in waves, typically over a number of years
  • bedding in the change so that the organisation cannot move back to how it was and achieves the intended benefits

Transformation examples[edit]

Examples of organisational transformation include:

  • General Motors transformation and restructuring[4]
  • BBC's Delivering Quality First programme[5]
  • Box's pivot from consumer to enterprise, credited to Josh Stein [6]
  • British Airways strategic transformation programme in response to low cost airlines[7]


  1. ^ Harvard Business Review January 2007 Kotter
  2. ^ McKinsey Survey 2010
  3. ^ Harvard Business Review January 2007 Kotter
  4. ^ Transformed GM back in the game 2010
  5. ^ BBC website October 2011
  6. ^ Box: The Path From Arrington’s Backyard To A Billion Dollar Business "Josh Stein started to connect the dots on doing an SaaS enterprise model. We credit him to being able to shine light for us on something we couldn’t see.” 2012
  7. ^ British Airways simple route to business transformation 2005