The New Face of Transformation

ReinventMan MedIt is not uncommon for a firm to look up and suddenly realize they have to reinvent themselves to “stay in the game.”  As a matter of fact, the reinvent-or-die challenges that used to be rare catastrophes are now quite commonplace.  What hasn’t become commonplace is a direction about how to meet those challenges.  In a column by William L. McComb in Harvard Business Review (April 2014: Transformation is an Era, not an Event) transformation should not be thought of as a shocking but short-lived moment in a company’s history (event), but rather as a new era.  That is huge and a really important distinction. “When you expect transformation to define an era, you manage it differently.  First, you figure out how to sustain a vision, knowing that month-to-month realities will have you tacking this way and that.“  Mr. McComb studied the transformation of the brand Liz Claiborne into the blockbusters Kate Spade, Lucky Brand and Juicy Couture – the three brands with the greatest potential to hit it really big.  Despite the hard work, it was the team keeping their eyes on the prize and reminding themselves constantly that they were building a “blockbuster” that these three brands are what they are today.  It is a new era, indeed. 

Ann Banning - Wright