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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. And at this moment, more than any in recent history, knowing what to keep and what to let go could be the difference between surviving—or not. Yet, many leaders end up playing it safe when it comes to how their organizations and people work.

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 and are able to pivot quickly.

of Transcenders mandate collaboration and cross-functional work

Don’t just assess your work culture, improve it, because it’s probably not as agile 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 to make my company more essential now and in the future? This will be uncomfortable, but it’s crucial for surviving today and for becoming a Transcender in the future.


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 a new line of products: Surface 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. So the company has 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

Tom Puthiyamadam

Digital Products & Consumer Markets Advisory Leader, PwC US

Paul Gaynor

Global & US Alliances and Technology Consulting Leader, PwC US

Scott Likens

Partner, Trust Technology, PwC Labs, PwC US