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How to chart the right course for your transformation

By answering just 10 questions, the Transformative Index can determine where your company stands—and help it get to the next level.

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  • The EY Transformative Index allows companies to assess where they are on their transformation journey, to help them chart the right course of action to succeed in the Transformative Age.

Authors | Hank Prybylski, EY Americas Vice Chair – Advisory & John de Yonge, EY Global Markets EYQ Global Insights Director

We are at a pivotal moment. Disruptions are creating opportunities with unprecedented speed, from those close at hand — super consumers, behavioral design, health reimagined and the future of work — to those on the horizon, such as human augmentation, engaged aging, superfluid markets and quantum computing. Yet while the possibilities seem endless, so do the challenges.

Can purpose inspire new ways of working and thinking? Can constant reinvention lead to continued relevance? How do you make customers co-creators? And how do you leverage the value of intangibles that are more valuable than assets?

To help leaders navigate an age that could unlock both value and human potential, we have developed the Transformative Index — a 10-question survey to determine where their companies stand in their transformation journey, the challenges they face and what they should do next. The intent is to use the index and its recommendations as the basis for fostering a transformative organizational mindset that engages and inspires innovation among a wide range of stakeholders, from customers to co-workers to society at large. It should also spur leading through future-back innovation: driving priorities and immediate action by looking at what’s beyond the horizon.

The Transformative Index

The Transformative Index stems from a recent multi-part research study undertaken by EYQ, the global think tank generating future-looking insights with diverse perspectives. The study explored the dynamics of disruptive challenge and transformation, with more than 100 CEOs from the world’s 5,000 largest companies revealing how ready they believed their organizations were to seize the upside of emerging opportunities. Our research uncovered important distinctions in terms of disruption awareness, sense of urgency and transformation.

Using the most pressing themes related to disruption readiness — leadership, culture and innovation — a Transformative Index score out of 100 ranks organizations as either a caterpillar, chrysalis or butterfly. Caterpillar companies focus on exploiting existing success without taking transformative steps. Becoming leaders requires these companies to consider how to become skilled at both initiating and responding to disruption. Chrysalis companies are aware of the impact the forces of disruption have on their business and are taking steps toward creating a strong culture of innovation as they begin to undergo their transformation. Butterfly companies are the most innovative. Their next step to reach full potential is to maintain a transformative mindset across the extended enterprise and successfully execute.

The results of the Transformative Index and the corresponding maturity level of organizations helps determine potential actions companies can consider in moving to the next stage of transformation. Here are examples for companies in the caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly stages.

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