Transformation Can Get Companies Through Crisis . . .

. . . but leaders shouldn’t stop there

Organizations in every industry and sector have launched major transformations to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many have started moving from the red to the amber stage of reopening. But as with all transformations, even as companies begin recovering, their leaders will need to keep nurturing energy for and commitment to change in themselves and throughout their organizations.

Why? The recovery period will present new challenges and possibly new opportunities. Only ongoing transformation will give companies the adaptability essential for overcoming those challenges while also seizing the opportunities.

The lesson: Transformation isn’t a one-and-done effort. It’s a continual process that enables companies to keep deploying their strengths and sustaining high performance—amid crisis and long after.

What AlixPartners analysis indicates: Lessons from transformations launched in crisis and sustained over the long haul suggest that three principles can help leaders keep their companies’ transformation “muscle” in fighting trim:

  • Think like a private-equity investor. Assess external forces in your industry (competitive dynamics, structural trends) and internal forces (your enterprise’s competitive positioning, your growth headroom). Use the resulting insights to determine how to sustain major changes your company has launched.
  • Stay true to your company’s purpose and values. Regularly communicate the importance of your organization’s purpose (why it exists) and its values—not just to employees but also to customers, investors, and partners. You’ll stoke ongoing energy for and commitment to change—crucial ingredients for managing the inevitable setbacks.
  • Craft a compelling transformation story. To ensure that everyone knows why the company must continue to change, share your vision of the benefits that transformation will bring. Explain why the change matters to you personally, who’s joining you on the journey (colleagues, board members), and what’s in it for employees if they join too.