Business transformation succeeds when there the felt need to transform is strong. The role of top leadership is primary, central, and critical. Consultants are there to assist the leadership and not to drive it.
Projects fail when the consultants are left to drive a transformation project with the organization leadership taking the back seat.
Let us take the example of the famous Healthcare reform project that President Barack Obama was keen to implement after promulgating the Affordable Care Act. The Project had Presidential backing, but the organization that was to drive the project – the HHS Agency was lukewarm to the project. The bureaucrats understood that the Affordable Care Act did not have bipartisan support. They did not want to be caught in the crossfire between Democrats and Republicans. However, with the sitting President backing the project, they were forced to implement his directive.
The ambivalence and internal dragging of the feet of the implementation agency led to the bombing of the project. President Obama had to apologize multiple times publically. He was forced to get a crack team of Silicon Valley experts to implement the website and save face.
This and many other similar examples in the public sector and elsewhere teaches u that business transformation requires all-around organization buy-in.
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