In it for the long haul

Large-scale transformations of organizations often start strong but end up losing an average of 42 percent of their expected value in the later phases, according to partners Steve Armbruster, Takanori Sakamoto, and colleagues. Three practices can significantly increase the chances of success: maintain implementation rigor across the transformation program’s later stages, using the program to upgrade talent, and investing in the right resources at every stage. Companies that implement all three practices are 3.4 times more likely than their peers to say their transformations’ impact was sustained for more than three years.

Respondents’ organizations that followed three key practices were more likely than their peers to achieve implementation goals and sustain them over time.

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A set of 4 squares are sized by volume, with the volume representing the likelihood that companies using key practices would achieve implementation goals and sustain them over time. The 4 practices are: maintain implementation rigor across later stages, at 1.9 times increase in likelihood; upgrade their talent, at 2.0 times increase in likelihood; invest the right resources, at 1.3 times increase in likelihood; and all three elements combined, at 3.4 times increase in likelihood.

Source: McKinsey Global Implementation Survey, 2022.

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To read the survey, see “How to implement transformations for long-term impact,” May 26, 2023.