The Creative Balance

February 14th






Only in rare cases can a transformation strategy assume that it is being created from scratch. What is more common is a situation where there is an ongoing enterprise. The traditional business model may even have been highly successful even though the time for transformational change may have been evolving for some time.

The basic strategic initiatives are not likely to be a great surprise. They most likely involve new strategies for reducing costs and increasing revenue. (For colleges this has often meant going beyond cutting perks and even staff. And new revenue has been sought through new special programs.) But these strategies are rarely achieved without pain. On the other hand, reducing the cost line through improved productivity, new technology or through innovation or new revenue sources will hold the promise of a smoother transition to the new state. This much is generally well known.

What will be increasingly important to future transformations will be the need to find a creative balance between the innovators and the traditionalists. With rising activism in the stakeholder constituencies everywhere, the balance point is most likely going to be difficult to calculate without engaging the stakeholders. (Even if the president realizes the ship is sinking, you can’t assume that every stakeholder just wants to save their position and maintain status quo.) To learn where everyone is, the most effective approach will be to democratize the enterprise and grant the stakeholders roles in strategy formulation, ones that they will most likely seize for themselves in any case.

➢ Do you have the key transformation initiatives in your sight?

➢ Will they be difficult to balance between the traditionalists and the innovators?

➢ Do you know who the interested stakeholders will be? Are you including them in the process of shaping the future?

Democratize the enterprise to find the creative balance point and secure the transformation strategy on a solid foundation of trust.


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