What is business transformation? V2

How do we describe transformation?

Transformation is described in terms of the changes to the company’s business model. The business model describes how a company creates value for itself while delivering products or services to C&U (Customers and Users). 

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There are 9 components to the business model:

  1. Target C&U segments
  2. C&U value proposition
  3. C&U relationships
  4. Channel
  5. Key partners
  6. Key resources
  7. Key activities
  8. Cost structure
  9. Revenue streams

Each type of transformation is described in terms of changes to the three critical customer components of the business model and other business model changes.

  1. Who are the target C&U segments?  Who exactly is the company creating value for? What are the geographic, social, and demographic characteristics of each C&U segment? What is the market size?
  2. What is the value proposition of each target C&U segment?  A value proposition is the C&U perception of value i.e. All of the C&U perception of achieved benefits vs all of the C&U perception of incurred costs.  Benefits may include: financial and non-financial e.g. time savings, convenience, status, etc.  Costs may include financial (purchase costs, costs to switch, other adoption costs, ongoing costs) and non-financial (e.g. time, inconvenience, loss of status, etc.)
  3. C&U relationships.  What type of relationships do C&U expect to have with the company?

Customer needs, the competition, technology, the economic and political climate are constantly evolving and changing.  Successful companies understand the outside world and evolve as the world around them changes.

Transformation becomes an issue when the company’s leadership no longer understands the outside world, makes decisions in this isolation, and then has a crisis.

There are five types of transformation. A company may be undergoing more than one type of transformation at the same time.

#1 Restructuring

  1. Target CU& segments: The company remains focused on the same (or subset) of target C&U with the same set of problems and needs.
  2. C&U value proposition: The value proposition perceived by C&U is little changed.
  3. C&U relationships:  Limited changes to C&U relationships
  4. Other business model changes: The actions taken have a financial focus: reducing debt, selling assets, reducing the number of C&U (Customers and Users), reducing unprofitable C&U, reviewing all components of the business model to reduce debt and costs, selling pieces of the company, etc.

#2 Turnaround

  1. Target C&U segments: The company remains focused on the same (or subset) of target C&U with the same set of problems and needs.
  2. C&U value proposition: Focus on fast major improvements to the perceived value proposition.
  3. C&U relationships: Focus on fast major improvements to the C&U relationships.
  4. Other business model changes: Changes necessary to support the value proposition and relationship changes.

#3 Operational Transformation

  1. Target C&U segments: Focused on the same (or subset) of target C&U with the same set of problems and needs.
  2. C&U value proposition: The value proposition perceived by C&U is little changed.
  3. C&U relationships: The C&U may expect major changes to their relationships with the company e.g. move from in-person to mobile app.
  4. Other business model changes: Components of the business model are improved by a large factor e.g. 10 times.

#4 Business Model Transformation

  1. Target C&U segments: The focus is still on the same C&U, but their problems and needs have fundamentally changed.
  2. C&U value proposition: The solution perceived by the C&U requires fundamental change.
  3. C&U relationships; The C&U expect fundamental change in their relationships with the company.
  4. Other business model changes: Most or all components of the business model require fundamental change. 

#5 Strategic Transformation

  1. Target C&U segments: There are new C&U with new problems and needs requiring a new business model.  Think of Google.  It started out to be the best search engine.  Now Google produces the Android operating system, smart phones and has been working on driverless cars.
  2. C&U value proposition: These new C&U will have different value propositions than those for existing C&U.
  3. C&U relationships: A strategic transformation is basically creating a new company.
  4. Other business model changes:

Startups often pivot, which may be a business model transformation or a strategic transformation.

Other components of the business framework my need to change to enable transformation success.

The business model is one component of the overall business framework.  The other components include:

  1. What can only the CEO do?
  2. Company purpose.
  3. What are the company’s values, morals, and ethics?
  4. Talent management.
  5. Capital and cash management.
  6. Investor management.
  7. Exit management.
  8. Governance.

Further reading

“What Do You Really Mean by Business Transformation?” Harvard Business Review, 2016 February 29

https://hbr.org/2016/02/what-do-you-really-mean-by-business-transformation

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