How to make change happen

Mandate change, don’t just talk about it

You’ve probably heard the adage ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ That’s bad advice. Most executives know that if they refuse to adapt, they’ll end up in the ranks of pay phone providers, VCR manufacturers, and 8-track aficionados. Yet, many leaders end up playing it safe when it comes to how their organizations and people work.

It’s more than breaking down barriers and silos. Go beyond encouraging collaboration and idea-generation, and lead the charge. Get everyone—in all areas of the business—involved, strategizing, and driving. That’s a big reason Transcenders can—and do—act on ideas from everyone to drive business.  

of Transcenders mandate collaboration and cross-functional work

Don’t just assess your work culture, improve it (it’s probably not as forward-thinking as you think). The Katzenbach Center’s most recent Global Culture Survey revealed that 80% of professionals believe their organization’s culture must evolve in the next five years for their company to succeed, grow, and retain the best people. 

You need to know: What’s working? What processes, products, and technology need to change? This will make some people uncomfortable, so get them involved early on and allow space (and time) for experimentation and adjustments.


Shutting the door on know-it-all culture
In the 1990s, Microsoft began to diversify beyond the Windows operating system to stay relevant and competitive.

  • Microsoft made bold acquisitions: In 2011, the company acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, followed by LinkedIn for more than $26 billion.
  • It launched into a new product, the Surface line of tablets.
  • When CEO Satya Nadella took over in 2014, he led—and mandated—a transformation of the company’s culture, scaling back on hardware and doubling down on cloud computing.

How has all this helped? Says Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer: “We went from a culture of know-it-alls to a culture of learn-it-alls.”

“Our leaders must have a clear long-term strategy and vision for digital transformation.”

CFO, Technology, Media, & Telecommunications, Belgium


Transforming the driving experience
For car makers, digital transformation means anticipating changes to the driving experience and to what it means to own a car. In 2018, the Porsche brand announced that half of its IT budget would go to digitization. The company notably decided against a single department dedicated to digital transformation – leaders expect all employees, across expertise, to be involved.

Moving forward, faster
Porsche SE, with substantial stakes in Porsche and Volkswagen, is preparing for the day when cars aren’t sitting idle 95% of the time, but are on the road almost constantly as drivers use them to earn income with on-demand services. And it’s acquired PTV Group, which uses models to simulate traffic, and has made investments in augmented-reality companies that could provide improved information to drivers.

Leadership takes the wheel
Leaders at Transcender companies are getting results

Leadership takes the wheel

The payoff for Transcenders


act on ideas from everyone, not just bosses


have a clear direction for digital success

Contact us

David Clarke

PwC Global Chief Experience Officer, PwC US

Tom Puthiyamadam

PwC Global Digital and BXT Leader, PwC US

Paul Gaynor

Partner, Global & US Alliances and Technology Consulting Leader, PwC US

Scott Likens

PwC Emerging Technology Leader, ­US, China, and Japan, PwC US