Applying transformation practices to business building and sustainability: A conversation with Seth Goldstrom

Tried-and-true transformation methodologies are being increasingly applied to new topics outside of traditional performance improvement efforts. McKinsey senior partner Seth Goldstrom talks about the influence of transformation approaches in two areas: business building and reaching sustainability goals.
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Seth Goldstrom: One of the areas where we’ve seen transformation practices increasingly applied has been in the context of growth, and specifically in business building. It can often be difficult for large companies to launch new businesses or products. Many of the knowledge processes around transformation port very well into the business-building context by allowing companies to take a structured approach to their efforts.

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In short, transformation methodologies allow you to consider the art of the possible and build a trackable plan.

That’s all the way from defining the full potential and the goals of the business to determining the initiatives and milestones that need to be in place to get to a successful launch.

For the same reasons, we’ve also seen transformation practices applied in the sustainability goal context. When you think of sustainability goals and carbon reduction, that’s often initiative based. Transformation methodologies allow you to lay out a concrete target over time and put in place a set of initiatives to reach that target. In many respects, a sustainability goal looks a lot like a functional improvement effort. The difference is that sustainability goals are often significantly more cross-functional. That makes applying transformation best practices even more important.

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