The definition of transformation is the act or process of being transformed. The definition of transformed is:

  • to change in composition or structure
  • to change the outward form or appearance of
  • to change in character or condition 

So I conclude that when folks use the word transformation, their intention is to covey an act or process of changing something. This concerns me as I think people are underestimating the magnitude of what is happening today. Transformation was a great process to move a company forward five years ago. But are you telling me that for us to deal with digitalization, digital commerce and the pandemic all we need to do is change the way we do business? This is what I have read in many articles and blogs, but just changing what you have done in the past is woefully inadequate. As we try to put 2020 behind us, we need to grasp that it is a whole new game. You will not be successful going forward if what you do is transform your business, supply chain or logistics processes. Simply changing these processes is totally inadequate. You must throw out how things have been done in the past and reinvent your business, supply chain and logistics processes. Many of the things I read imply that although your house has just burned down, all you need to do is buy some new curtains and all will be fine. Folks—and I know you know this—but 2020 has not just been a bad year, it has been the worst year in modern history, and if your response is transformation, good luck with your new curtains.

So please understand where we are and what must be done. Transformation is inadequate. To address the magnitude of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity) in 2020, you must start with a clean slate and reinvent all that you do. Failure to do so and only transforming your business will beget failure.

About the Author
Jim Tompkins
Jim Tompkins