For various reasons organisations can enter a condition that presents them with a “transformational imperative”. This happens when “old” ways of doing business cease to deliver sustainable competitive advantage and usual ways of “putting things right” fail to restore business viability. In this article, we review ten companies that experienced at least one episode of a successful transformation. From cross-case analysis we identify five competencies that appear to be common to successful transformations. We outline how organisations faced with a transformational imperative can build (often temporary) extraordinary management capabilities that facilitate multiple radical re-shaping activities and enable them to undertake radical organisational transformation.
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