Is Your Transformation Working?

Ikhlaq Sidhu   |   April 1, 2017


As we discussed in earlier posts, firms like Amazon, Apple, Google, and many others are shining examples of companies that have successfully transformed and adapted over the past decade. In fact, most firms today realize they need to adapt in similar ways or face disruptive pressures themselves.

But here is the problem: While most firms realize the need to adapt, transform, and grow in new ways, many have not yet made effective business progress. Other firms may be seeing some level of progress in their transformative projects, but are so far not confident that the project will ultimately succeed.

Typical project issues include:

  • lack of internal or external customer traction
  • weak strategic alignment — no relevance at the CXO level
  • poor technical results, delays, indecision
  • increasing or skyrocketing project costs

Our viewpoint is that the problem is larger than either technology or strategy.  A successful outcome will also require an innovation culture as well as access to highly-skilled people.  These transformative projects cannot be successful unless the people in the organization have the appropriate expectations, skills, judgement, and behaviors.

Based on past programs at UC Berkeley, we are now developing a new program to help firms adapt to new disruptions, particularly related to data and other related emerging technologies including Blockchain, AI, robotics, and self-learning. In this next program, our approach will be to support the leadership with a combination of education, guidance, and global resources.

Through our executive programs during the past six years, we have worked with leaders at many SV firms including Google, Samsung, VMWare, Cisco, Applied Materials, Intel, PayPal, Facebook, and Apple. In parallel, our Data-X program at UC Berkeley has started to develop the next generation of experts in applied areas of data science. And through our global networks, we can mobilize the expertise of faculty at over twenty leading universities for venture development and/or research.

In short, we see a convergence of innovation leadership, data science skills, and global network capabilities.  And now, we are working on new ways to help firms with their strategic and transformative projects.  If you have suggestions for us, please contact me at, we would welcome your perspective.