Top 5 Tips for Drafting Your Business Transformation Charter

On the road to business transformation, the journey is as important as reaching the destination. Make the experience an enjoyable one for the employees. 


Knowing what goes into your transformation charter is just the beginning. Actually drafting such an important piece of internal legislation can be challenging for the first-time team members.

The following five tips were designed to help you draft a business transformation charter:

  1. Be Committed
  2. Consider a bonus program
  3. Customization equals optimization
  4. Be honest, upfront, and reasonable
  5. Benchmarks are beneficial

 Let's dive into these in more detail:

Tip #1: Be Committed

Don't proceed with the business transformation initiative without complete conviction that you have the commitment of the executive sponsor and the members of the core team. Timing--and commitment from the top down--is everything. If you have the time buy not the commitment, going forward with the transformation could do your organization more harm than good. 

Tip #2: Consider a Bonus Program

For those directly involved with the initiative. Remember, these people are doing extra duty, not parallel duty. Even if their day-to-day deliverables are scaled down they are still present, and to get maximum results it is important to respond to employee realities. Consider recognizing and rewarding the transformation team based on milestones and results. Examine what motivates the people on the team. 

Tip #3: Customization Equals Optimization

This step is applicable for all types of businesses, including small/medium businesses and large global enterprises. The key aspect that may be different is the scale or scope and the overall transformation strategy. Regardless of the type of business, you can customize each of the ten steps. See the previous blog post on "Top 10 elements of a business transformation charter" or read the entire "Front Runners" book

Tip #4: Be Honest, Upfront, and Reasonable

When you are trying to make a case for change, you are trying to move your audience from a state of complacency to a state of true sense of urgency. Going overboard and putting pressure on people will cause an irrational or false sense of urgency, which could be detrimental. 

Tip #5: Benchmarks and Beneficial

Your team will need to see progress to stay motivated through an ongoing transformation, which in my experience, can last from three to six to nine to twelve months (or more). While you don't need to constantly pep your team up, setting realistic goals and assessing progress through regularly published benchmarks will give executive team members a sense of accomplishment and pride. Consider throwing small celebratory parties every three to four milestones (depending on the budget and duration of the transformation, of course).  


Business transformation is not an event; it should, instead, become part of the organization's working DNA. To facilitate company-wide change, we must first consider "transformation" a key initiative--or official project--rather than just a familiar buzzword that gets passed around the employee break room with little to no action plan built around it. 

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