Whose job is it to transform, why hire a stranger to do it?

Q: Why do so many companies outsource transformation to a complete stranger?

There’s been a disturbing trend in recent years with the proliferation of temporary “Transformation Executive” roles.

The idea is this person stewards the organisation to a desired future state through empathy, communications, workshops with a well-meaning process and a culture toolkit.

The question I ask is: whose job is it to transform? It seems to me that this is Strategy Execution dressed up Transformation. After all, isn’t there a strategic imperative to transform? And, how temporary is “transformation” anyway? The best organisations are consistently adapting, evolving and changing. Lastly, I see temp Transformation Execs with one eye on the organisation and the other on their next job. How well are they aligned to your long term success?

So my point is, call it what it is: strategy execution. If execution is the gap in the organisation, hire permanent people who are good at executing.

What I see is lots of visionary CEOs who have built up stellar organisations over a dozen or more years now struggling to reinvent themselves and their organisations in the face of once-in-a-generation disruption.

So who is it that has to “transform”? Hmmm. 🤔