3 Common Transformation Pitfalls

By Damani Short 

I’ve had the opportunity to lead business transformations for companies like Newell Rubbermaid, United States Olympic Committee, Johnson Controls, and Shutterfly throughout my career. And through Lexico, a transformation services consultancy, we’ve analyzed patterns and identified a few common pitfalls we help clients avoid when embarking on large-scale transformation efforts. 

Failing to take a prioritized, KPI-driven approach

While it’s common for leaders to index on total program cost, timing, and scope, they often overlook identifying a handful of business KPI’s which will improve as a result of a given transformation effort. For example, while helping a client transform its call center to an omnichannel contact center, we helped them focus their effort on three KPI’s:

  • The ratio of digital/voice contacts
  • Customer experience & satisfaction
  • Cost per inquiry (accounting for multiple contacts for given inquiry across channels).

Of course, there were additional KPIs, but staying focused on a handful tends to be the winning formula. Taking a balanced KPI approach, leaders can realize the most important outcomes for the transformation in a way that avoids cannibalization and sustainable benefits realization over time.

Lack of transformation experience and expertise

Especially in more modestly sized companies (sub $2B revenue), finding leaders in the organization with transformation experience can be elusive.  Furthermore, having an executive sponsor who hasn’t been through it before at scale presents substantial risks.

In addition to bringing in experienced talent (typically a combination of consulting partners and permanent hires), incorporating cycles to train and develop leaders is essential to help grow a company’s ‘transformation IQ’ over time to support and sustain targeted transformation outcomes.

Inconsistent engagement of executives

Leaders often have to engage throughout the transformation and long after it’s ‘completed’ in addition to the early phases where it’s most visible and exciting. 


While most leaders have figured out the communications part of their role in the process, finding ways to engage leaders in visible, substantive ways tends to be far more the exception versus the rule. We all know that pairing behaviors and actions with carefully crafted communications are far more impactful than words alone.

If you have any questions or need help transforming your business, contact Lexico.