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Fit for Growth by Deniz Caglar, John Plansky

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3The Leader's RoleAligning Costs with Strategy

In working with senior industry leaders in dozens of organizations implementing sweeping Fit for Growth transformation programs, we have seen some succeed spectacularly and others stumble. But whatever the circumstance or outcome, certain consistent leadership lessons emerge on how to achieve the promise of a large-scale restructuring while avoiding the pitfalls.

Most of the leaders we work with are experienced corporate practitioners—they've been through their share of change initiatives (and likely endured many that failed earlier in their careers). They know that success is rarely a matter of applying the latest breakthrough methodology or jargon-laden formula; rather, it's an exercise in common sense, the common sense that comes with experience.

Unfortunately, the faith and ability to apply that common sense—especially in a large-scale cost restructuring—is all too rare. Why is it so difficult to keep a sharp focus on the basic priorities that any CEO knows are important? We believe that the uncertainty of the process is partly why. Any transformation aimed at altering an organization's basic way of operating disrupts business as usual and requires individuals to change long-established behaviors—starting at the top with the CEO. This requires everyone else to take a collective leap of faith. They must adjust their habits and adopt new structures, working practices, and guidelines without a clear line of sight on the outcome ...

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