Organisational and cultural transformation series #5

What have we learned about looking at organisations holistically and what does it mean for you?

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  • Insight
  • 5 minute read
  • 20/03/24

Over this series of articles we have outlined good practices to help you transform your organisation holistically. We explained why it is essential to align your purpose and strategy, culture and operating model. And we presented some initial ideas on how you can do it.

In this, the final article in the series, we summarise the key lessons we learned about looking at organisational holistically. We describe what to look out for when transforming your organisation to ensure that your efforts are rewarded with the intended return on investment.

Practical considerations to make transformation work

Rather than repeating the concepts introduced in earlier posts, the emphasis here is on the practical, process side of such initiatives and how to set the context.

  • Content matters, but so does the process. Designing the right organisation and culture around your purpose and strategy is important, but so is how you get there and how you intend to bring these to life. People need to truly understand why a change is beneficial and needed and how they can contribute to it. So, engage people in the process, communicate your change vision frequently and make sure that everybody understands the case for change. Give people the right formats to engage, raise their concerns and contribute to solutioning. This way you ensure that people play an active part in the journey rather than merely feeling the impact of another restructuring.
  • Involve employees: Bring your people on board and let them co-create the future organisation: Make use of their collective intelligence and proximity to customers and internal teams. Balance top-down and bottom-up approaches, as this will greatly increase commitment and buy-in for your new organisation. However, you should be aware that a participatory approach is not a “smooth cruise”. It involves lengthy workshops to discuss and integrate different points of view. In the end, though, it is worth the additional time investment to achieve sustainable change.
  • Do not underestimate the time and resources required: Changing your organisation and embedding new ways of working takes time. It involves a lot of additional work that can not simply be done alongside business as usual. This means you have to clearly prioritise your company and team objectives to provide enough room to engage with the new organisation.
  • Match your employees with the intended organisation: Your organisation’s success is not about pleasing everyone. It is about building an agile structure around your strategy and aspirations. Once that foundation is solid, it is time to explore the perfect fit for your team, identifying key talents and upskilling opportunities.
  • Do not rest on your laurels: Constantly reflect on how your target market and the needs of your customer will develop in the near future and what this means for your strategy, culture and operating model. Organisations that have been successful over a longer period of time have developed a mindset and distinctive change capability that enables them to be always open for and agile in responding to new market, customer or employee demands.

What’s next for you?

We hope that this series of articles has given you inspiration as you rethink your future organisation initiatives, and that we could provide you with helpful insights and tools that will help you align your purpose and strategy, culture and operating model.

Do you find yourself confronted with some of the challenges described? Do you want to work on your organisation but don’t know where or how to start?

We are happy to discuss your company’s unique situation in a follow-up conversation. Just send us your contact information with a description of your specific circumstances and we will connect with you.

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Myriam Denk

Partner, People and Organisation, Zurich, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 26 53


Anika Zumthurm

Senior Consultant, People & Organisation, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 76 30