Most organizations will shrink or disappear in the long term: only a third of excellent companies remain excellent for decades, and when organizations try to transform themselves, even fewer succeed. But as economic, political, social, and technological change continue to accelerate, and competitive pressure grows more intense, leaders can't afford those odds. The likeliest way to overcome them, we found as we wrote Beyond Performance, is to address the underlying problem: organizations that focus too much on short-term financial performance, at the expense of organizational health, are those that most typically need transformational change; but, unfortunately, the change programs they create are similarly shortsighted.
Change programs that succeed, we've seen, put an equal emphasis on both performance and health in answering five basic questions that should shape any change program. Leaders who do this not only get near-term improvements, but also successfully build their organization's capacity to learn and keep changing over time — keeping them ahead of the pack.
1) Where do we want to go? Sounds simple, but answering this question for both performance and health means setting an aspiration at the intersection of where market opportunities exist, what capabilities your company has, and where you and your employees are passionate about making a difference. Learn the other four questions in this Harvard Business Review blog post.