Fostering Understanding and Conviction: A Key Driver of Transformation Success

Fostering Understanding and Conviction: A Key Driver of Transformation Success

Business transformations require leaders to proactively foster understanding and build conviction across the organization, according to recent research by McKinsey. Without comprehension or belief in the new vision and strategy, employees may resist changes they don’t fully understand.

McKinsey’s survey on transformations found that respondents who said their company fostered understanding and conviction were 3.2 times more likely than others to report outperforming industry peers after the transformation began. This data highlights how critical it is for employees to grasp why they are being asked to change.

The research advises starting by clearly explaining why the transformation is necessary in the first place. Survey respondents whose company thoroughly explained the rationale for change were 3.1 times more likely to outperform peers. Leaders should articulate why change is needed due to market trends, competitive pressures or other external forces impacting the business.

Additionally, the implications of the transformation for employees across all levels of the organization must be clarified. McKinsey recommends identifying internal stakeholders who can amplify conviction for the strategy across the company. Leaders should also align around a consistent change story and goals to unite the organization.

Ongoing multi-channel communication presents opportunities for leaders to increase comprehension among employees. Transformation leaders can help the workforce better understand the program through company meetings, FAQs, email updates and manager check-ins. Employees need chances to ask clarifying questions and voice concerns.

Transformation leaders can save time and apply best practices to their work using online resources. For example,, offers a transformation FAQ template with over 45 preformulated questions and answers. The site also provides an internal communications plan template that can be customized to most transformation programs.

Along with furthering understanding, leaders must make the case that the transformation plan is the best way to propel the company and its people forward into the future. They can reinforce conviction by celebrating incremental wins and highlighting positive external reactions. An open dialogue where leaders proactively address doubts can prevent skepticism from taking hold.

Widespread employee comprehension and belief are vital for executing organizational change. By clearly explaining “why” and “what”, while also building faith in “how”, leaders can foster the sense of conviction needed to drive successful transformations.