BCG: Transformation: Delivering and Sustaining Breakthrough Performance


Traditional sources of competitive advantage—market position, scale, and legacy—are diminishing, and established operating models are becoming obsolete. In this publication, the Boston Consulting Group shares its perspectives on transformation.


As the sources of disruption multiply and the pace of change accelerates, transformation has become an imperative for organizations. Whether the intent is to respond to disruption, create strong and sustainable value, or fulfill your organization’s purpose, transformation—a large-scale change aimed at delivering and sustaining breakthrough performance—is now an essential modus operandi. For CEOs, leaders, and all those working in organizations who are called upon to adapt to change, transformation can feel daunting. But it need not be so. Done well, transformation can be energizing and empowering.

This publication is a synthesis of The Boston Consulting Group’s latest thinking on transformation, based on our research and our experience working with our clients on hundreds of transformation programs:

  • We start with a summary of key concepts and challenges.
  • We then expand upon our holistic, three-part transformation framework: funding the journey, winning in the medium term, and organizing for sustained performance.
  • Next, we share our experience in taking the transformation journey: leading transformation, managing change, and building capabilities.
  • In the final section, we focus on three types of transformation that are important and unique: digitization, restructuring and turnarounds, and emerging markets.

Transformation: Delivering and Sustaining Breakthrough Performance offers many lessons throughout, and it traces three overarching themes: the value of a comprehensive approach, the need to think of transformation as a journey, and the power of putting people first. (For more, go to