The Transformation Myth: Leading Your Organization into an Uncertain Future

A new book launched today, “The Transformation Myth: Leading Your Organization into an Uncertain Future,” explores the common misconceptions that hold businesses back from successfully navigating digital transformation during disruptive times. Faced with a tumultuous and crisis-filled 2020, businesses had to respond almost instantaneously to the pandemic’s acute disruption — shifting employees to remote work, repairing broken supply chains, and keeping pace with dramatically fluctuating customer demand. Drawing on five years of research into digital disruption, “The Transformation Myth” helps organizations understand disruption and how to adopt tools for navigating it.

Co-authored by Rich Nanda and Anh Phillips, in collaboration with Gerald C. Kane from Boston College and Jonathan R. Copulsky from Northwestern University, the book uncovers how companies can use disruption as an opportunity for innovation and emerge from it stronger and more competitive. The disruptive impact of the pandemic was particularly acute, impacting profits, exposing gaps in capabilities, and reducing the competitiveness of offerings. Through a series of interviews with leaders at some of the world’s most respected organizations — from Anthem, Beam Suntory, CarMax, Hilton, Humana, Marriott and more — “The Transformation Myth” illustrates how companies that used disruption as an opportunity for innovation emerged from it stronger, while companies that merely attempted to “weather the storm” missed an opportunity to thrive.

“Transformation isn’t a one-and-done event. Rather, it is a continuous process of adapting to a volatile and uncertain environment,” said Rich Nanda, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, U.S. Monitor Deloitte practice leader. “Sustaining an environment of continuous change requires a growth mindset and a belief that innovation is a key to growth. In ‘The Transformation Myth’ we provide organizations with a guide for acquiring the capabilities required to thrive through disruptions.”

A key to successful digital transformation amid disruption? A belief that innovation is key to growth and that it is possible to acquire the capabilities required to thrive through disruptions. These growth-mindset leaders thrive during disruption by first understanding the degree of uncertainty and then identifying no-regret actions that serve them well across a range of potential futures. “The Transformation Myth” shows how organizations can learn a growth mindset to guide and propel them forward even in the most disruptive of environments.

In “The Transformation Myth” readers can learn:

  • How companies can use disruption as an opportunity for innovation and emerge from it stronger.
  • Insights into the leadership traits, business principles, technological infrastructure, and organizational building blocks essential for adapting to disruption.
  • How leading organizations navigate through and thrive during times of crisis.
  • Why technology isn’t an end-in-itself and how it enables the capabilities essential for surviving an uncertain future.

Learn more about “The Transformation Myth” and purchase the book on the website.

About the Authors
Gerald C. Kane is a professor of information systems at Boston College. His research interests involve how organizations develop strategy, culture and talent in response to changes in the competitive landscape wrought by digital technology, such as social media, mobile devices, Internet-of-Things, analytics and emerging technologies. Dr. Kane has also consulted with Fortune 500 companies and taught executive education worldwide on managing and competing in an increasingly digital environment.

Rich Nanda is a principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, where he serves as the leader of Deloitte’s U.S. Monitor practice. He has significant experience in guiding clients through strategy-led transformation to achieve profitable growth. He routinely advises boards, CEOs and executive teams at consumer products companies on topics spanning growth, business model innovation, operating models, capability building, analytics and technology adoption.

Anh Nguyen Phillips is a research director at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL). Anh is a researcher, author, and former management consultant who has dedicated her career to exploring the interplay between technology and humanity. As the research director for DTTL’s Global CEO Program, Anh directs research teams that help executives and other leaders navigate a changing world.

Jonathan R. Copulsky is a senior lecturer in marketing at Northwestern University, where he is also executive director of the Medill Spiegel Research. Jonathan is an innovative marketing leader, growth strategist and thought leader with over 40 years of experience working at the intersection of brand, marketing strategy, content marketing and marketing technology. He retired as a senior principal from Deloitte Consulting LLP in 2017 and also served as the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited Global Insights Leader.