With seven in 10 enterprise transformation efforts failing to meet business leaders’ expectations, many companies are adding a new executive role to the C-Suite: the chief transformation officer, according to a new report from Project Management Institute’s Brightline® Initiative developed in collaboration with Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
Chief Transformation Officer: Why Transformation Leaders Matter, What They (Should) Do, and What They Need to Succeed examines how companies are driving enterprise transformations that are characterized by competing demands: far-reaching in vision and pragmatic in execution; deliberate and adaptive; competitive and collaborative; continuous and schedule-driven; value-focused and explorative.
Based on a survey of more than 350 transformation leaders across 25 countries and 18 industries, the report finds organizations that are successful with transformation share three characteristics:
- a well-formulated transformation vision,
- a permanent transformation office, and
- a chief transformation officer who reports to the CEO.
Nearly all respondents (95%) agree that the chief transformation officer role is critical for achieving transformation goals, and more than 90% of respondents believe a permanent transformation office improves the alignment between strategy and execution, and the orchestration of multiple initiatives. Together, these actions deliver more value than those with ad-hoc assembled teams.
“The rise of the transformation office and a chief transformation officer role in the C-suite signals that companies are embracing bold, concurrent transformation initiatives designed to support innovation and sustain growth,” said Greg Douglass, Accenture’s global Technology Strategy & Advisory lead. “The success of these programs depends on leaders having strategic vision for making the transformation a reality across the organization and building credibility and trust in the process.”
The report highlights the capabilities a chief transformation officer needs to excel, and the conditions that set them up for success. According to the survey, these leaders of enterprise transformations have broad experience across technology, business intelligence, business development, strategic planning and project management. Additionally, most also have long tenures with their organizations, suggesting they have earned trust across functions and the C-suite and are well-positioned to communicate the vision to all stakeholders.
“As we have seen since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability of organizations to adapt to rapid and sometimes unpredictable change is a key differentiator,” said Tahirou Assane, Portfolio Leader of Brightline at PMI. “Organizations that invest in and embrace the role of the chief transformation officer now will be well-positioned to not only survive but to thrive in the continuously evolving business landscape.”
When it comes to measuring success of transformation efforts today, the top three criteria companies listed were revenue, productivity and cost reduction. However, when asked to look ahead to 2025, the top success criteria they cited were non-financial, including customer experience, environmental, team diversity and inclusive structure. The different view of current and future success criteria may indicate that pressure to demonstrate financial results may divert efforts away from focusing on the longer-term value of transformation. What leaders of large and complex transformations highlighted is that every ounce of effort must be clearly aligned to transformation objectives.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.brightline.org/resources/the-chief-transformation-officer/
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About Project Management Institute (PMI)
Project Management Institute (PMI) is the leading professional association for project management, and the authority for a growing global community of millions of project professionals and individuals who use project management skills. Collectively, these professionals and "changemakers" consistently create better outcomes for businesses, community and society worldwide. PMI empowers people to make ideas a reality. Through global advocacy, networking, collaboration, research, and education, PMI prepares organizations and individuals at every stage of their career journey to work smarter so they can drive success in a world of change. Building on a proud legacy dating to 1969, PMI is a not-for-profit for-purpose organization working in nearly every country around the world to advance careers, strengthen organizational success, and enable project professionals and changemakers with new skills and ways of working to maximize their impact. PMI offerings include globally recognized standards, certifications, online courses, thought leadership, tools, digital publications, and communities. Visit us at https://www.pmi.org/, www.projectmanagement.com, https://www.linkedin.com/company/pminstitute, www.facebook.com/PMInstitute, and on Twitter.
About the PMI Brightline® Initiative
Brightline® is a Project Management Institute (PMI) initiative together with leading global organizations dedicated to helping executives bridge the expensive and unproductive gap between strategy design and delivery. Brightline delivers insights and solutions that empower leaders to successfully transform their organization’s vision into reality through strategic initiative management.
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