Transformation of large organisations takes many years

At Teal Unicorn, we have assisted in some amazing transformations of smaller (dozens to hundreds of employees) organisations, but in larger ones, so far we can only get results for a year or two before the immune system gets us, even with the support of the HIPPO.

Reading Gary Hamel’s Humanocracy (yes, still!!) I’m pondering the timeline of the transformation of Michelin. Ballarin joined in 2003, came up with an approach in 2012, experimented for 2 years, got a mandate to incubate an organisational new way end of 2013, which took 2 years, then began broad adoption in 2016, still incrementing of course, and major transformation kicked off in 2018 with a long way to go.

All the way, a few core committed people drove the advance.

Please dont fall for the bullshit about how you can transform a large organisation in a year or two. It might happen occasionally but beware survivor bias. Mostly not. It’s a career commitment of a decade or so from strong, committed, well-meaning people.

At Teal Unicorn, we know we can make work better within months: better results, better lives. But transform an organisation? We don’t make the ridiculous promises that some consulting firms do. It’s hard. No magic. We are up for it if you are.