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Just How Critical is the "Vision" in Transformations?

Transforming a team or an enterprise from waterfall to agile work methods often meets tough resistance. Most of this resistance stems from an unwillingness to change, comfort with the status quo, and lack of urgency. 

The problems don't stop here. The transformation team often struggles to change the mindset without understanding why the intended teams are not interested in this change. I have experienced that this problem has nothing to do with the tactical things the teams are dealing with, but the problem is at the executive level, which lacks "Vision." 

In a transformation, vision is the seed sown in the minds of everyone who engages and participates in the initiative.  

Here are some factors that contribute to a strong Transformation Vision: 

  • Need to become more adaptable to respond faster to changing requirements. 
  • Improved focus on customer-centricity. 
  • Eliminating waste from the current processes to realize business results faster. 
  • Decentralization of authority, which leads to faster decision-making. 
  • Breaking down silos and encouraging teams to work toward shared goals. 

When a transformation starts, generally, teams are in an upbeat mood. Still, without a communicated and owned vision, the intrinsic motivation soon fades, leading to a steep drop in participation and engagement of the teams and a catastrophic failure of the transformation. 

A transformation vision must be aligned with the long-term vision of the organization. Framing a transformation vision is an opportunity for the organization to revisit its long-term corporate vision and fine-tune it, if necessary. 

The transformation consultants must align with executive leadership and the initiative or engagement leadership to the transformation program and make them understand "THEIR" vision. We often miss this visioning session, which can help leadership deliver a clear message to the enterprise and also tell them that we are serious about and have a joint responsibility to ensure this initiative succeeds. 

Once the vision is brainstormed, debated, understood, agreed upon, and owned by its creators, it's time to inform the entire organization. A crucial step of transformation follows immediately after this: Creating a Sense of Urgency. The executive leadership must introduce the vision and motivate people to come forward and participate in the initiative. Just a pep talk may not be enough. The vision sails when the leadership promises psychological safety and autonomy to the individuals and teams involved.  

Once done, the participants start owning the transformation and are more likely to put dedicated efforts into ensuring its success. 

If this is not done, you lose your battle then and there! 

To sum up, a Transformation Vision must answer these questions: 

  • Why do you want to transform? 
  • What are the problems you wish to solve with this initiative? 
  • Why are the existing ways of working not working anymore? 
  • What does a post-transformation stage look like? 


The success of any transformation hinges on the clarity and strength of its vision. Without a compelling vision that resonates with all levels of the organization, from executives to frontline teams, the chances of achieving lasting change diminish significantly. A robust transformation vision outlines the "why" behind the transformation and serves as a rallying point for collective action and commitment. It aligns stakeholders, instills a sense of urgency, and sets the stage for meaningful progress toward achieving strategic goals. Ultimately, a well-crafted transformation vision is the cornerstone upon which successful transformations are built. 


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