ORG Blog

What Is Organizational Transformation and When Is It Necessary?


Remaining static is not going to make your business successful. If your organization needs to grow, adapt, or change, sometimes a shift is necessary—at times that means a transformation from top to bottom and inside to outside. 


Organizational Transformation is a strategic method of getting your organization from where you are now to where you will need to be in the future. The best way to look into the future is to gain a sense of where things are moving. Remember the hockey puck analogy in the video? From that point you can figure out a strategy to get there—and that plan has to include the necessary changes within your organization. Those changes could be as small as modifying processes and work design or as big as completely changing the direction of the company.

Organizational Transformation begins when you recognize that change is necessary.


Businesses face challenges every day—what would make a business owner, executive, or manager think organizational transformation is necessary?

There are many symptoms. One symptom could be performance-related. If you see lags in quarterly or yearly reports, you may have a more significant problem on your hands. Another indicator could be culture-related. Is there an undeniably high turnover rate? Or maybe there are leadership-related indicators like a lack of employee training or poor communication. There are many tell-tale signs; these are just a few. Knowing what to look for and keeping a keen eye on those areas will provide insight into whether or not transformative change is required.

With the smaller, everyday problems that are relatively easy to attack, taking a page from Amazon, and implementing their “two-way door” approach could work. That technique provides freedom to try something out and, if it doesn’t work, you simply step back through the door, reset, and choose another way to tackle the problem. It’s a straightforward tactical implementation that will need evaluation to decide if the course pursued is working or if a reset is necessary.

The “one-way door” approach is far more complicated. This methodology requires a lot of planning, data, thoughtfulness, full attention from the whole team, and all-hands-on-deck collaboration. And, once you’ve stepped through the door, there’s no way back. There’s no reset button. This approach requires contingencies, technical work, and thorough data analysis. A good plan is vital, and everyone involved has to be onboard for it to work. This method requires restructuring, regular and transparent communication, high-risk investment, and laser-focused implementation.

This Forbes article touches on Amazon’s “door” approach to change and problem-solving. The authors, Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen, write:

[For Amazon] a key concept to learn is the difference between 'two-way doors' and 'one-way doors.' The point is that committing resources to an invention allows you to make a foray into some new space; it’s like going through a door and discovering what is really on the other side of it. But what if you don’t like what you find there? No big deal if this was a two-way door and you can just retreat (walking through and then back); maybe you lost some initial outlay but on the other hand you learned something. “I’m totally happy with people saying yes and making mistakes of that kind,” says Wilke [CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer business]. But some investments are one-way doors, where the actions required to proceed render it impossible to go back again. Bezos [Founder, CEO, and President of Amazon] believes the reason some decision-makers are too timid is because they mistake two-way doors for one-way doors.

Regardless of the changes needed or the approach being taken—the real challenge is: are you driving the transformative change or is something else driving it for you?

Organizational Transformation means the company is the change-initiator, not vice versa.


If you recognize that your organization has been static for a long time and that change is necessary, stay in the driver’s seat by initiating the Organizational Transformation. You can attempt it on your own, or you can partner with a team of experts who have experience planning for and implementing big, organization-wide changes.

When a team from ORG is invited to help a client with an Organizational Transformation project, we always come with an open mind—not cookie-cutter solutions that we’ve used in three other previous engagements over the past year.

Our process is three-fold. First, we analyze (ask questions, observe, etc.) to ensure that we have a good sense of the organization and a clear understanding of how we can address the core challenges. It doesn’t make sense for us to parachute in with a solution that worked for someone else if it’s not applicable for that organization. Second, we work with the client to develop a customized strategy then we work alongside them and their employees to implement the strategy. The last step is helping the organization to sustain and maintain the changes.

It is these steps alongside thoughtful and intentional collaboration that allows Organizational Transformation to take root.

Learn about our services, and if you’re interested in starting a conversation about how we can assist you, please contact us.

Learn More About ORG’s Services

Still hungry for info? Check out these transformational insights.

When the way you’re working isn’t working, ORG can help. By fostering collaboration, boosting engagement, aligning goals, and implementing sustainable change, we can increase performance by two to three times your current goal—or more. Ready to work together?

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Topics: Organizational Transformation