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Business transformation refers to the implementation of fundamental changes in the way an organization operates. This process allows for the rapid improvement of overall business efficiency, leading to increased revenue, greater customer satisfaction, reduced operational costs, and enhanced employee productivity.

By undergoing business transformation, a company can significantly accelerate its development. Instead of waiting for sufficient financial results and organizational effectiveness, thorough changes are made, enabling immediate focus on new strategies and implementing innovative solutions.

Several contemporary market trends encourage companies to pursue business transformation. New players in the market are revolutionizing industries and achieving more significant value than established players. Other influencing factors include strategies based on ecology, compliance with environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria.

Additionally, many organizations opt for transformation to acquire new talent, especially in leadership positions.

However, in many cases, the transformation process proves to be incredibly challenging and complex. According to McKinsey research, less than one-third of business transformations achieve their goal of improvement and, more importantly, maintaining better results. A comprehensive approach is necessary to achieve this, focusing on attaining sustainable, long-term outcomes.

How can business transformation be carried out to harness a company’s potential fully? In this article, we break down the most important and commonly discussed aspects of this topic, addressing critical issues in the process.

Types of company transformations

Slow Transformation

The first type of transformation is a slow, gradual process. In this case, organizational leaders present a new vision along with a timeline for implementation that is stretched over time. Everything takes longer, and the change occurs gradually, at a so-called leisurely pace. The challenge here is to focus on the long-term goal. Slow transformation requires patience and a forward-looking perspective on the company’s affairs. The chosen direction must be retained sight of. Continuous learning and improvement are essential throughout the lengthy transformation process.

An example of such an approach is the digital transformation of the Danish company Maersk Line, specializing in container shipping. The company undertook activities to increase visibility and transparency in the supply chain among customers. This required significant but gradual technical, organizational, and cultural changes. Although investments were made as early as 2016, Maersk Line continues to strive for the set goal. Its growing technological contribution is currently recognized, though it still primarily remains a container shipping company.

Express Transformation

The second type, known as express transformation, similar to its slow counterpart, arises in response to internal needs. Nevertheless, it is more radical and unfolds significantly faster, such as by introducing a new strategic initiative or sudden corporate restructuring. Express transformation may result from the emergence of a new trend in management practices or corporate governance. Although this type may seem risky compared to the previous one, it proves to be highly effective and provides long-term benefits after implementing appropriate actions.

The issue here may revolve around the motivation to act. Sudden changes often induce uncertainty and stress. To maintain the chosen direction, it is necessary to build a strong narrative that “propels” employees and leaders to swiftly implement new strategies and solutions.

Negotiated Transformation

In this case, we deal with company transformation in response to external factors. A perfect example is the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union. Although the requirements were enacted in 2016, companies operating in the EU had several years to implement them. Simultaneously, over the years, many explanations and interpretations have been provided to facilitate companies in transforming numerous operational procedures.

As a result, negotiated transformation occurs, for instance, when regulations emerge that a company must comply with. Simultaneously, it may slightly influence the course of the transformation, such as participating in debates or preparing the entity to operate within new requirements.

It is worth noting that this process should proceed at a slow pace. Acting too quickly is not advisable, as subsequent modifications may arise, requiring further adaptation.

Enforced Transformation

The latest transformation category pertains to initiatives marked by sudden and often detrimental changes resulting from external factors. These factors essentially take command of a company’s operations, compelling it to conform to new regulations. As an illustration, the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 induced alterations in the business model of numerous commercial enterprises. The majority of them augmented expenditures on enterprise computerization and the advancement of e-commerce. Contemporary information and communication technologies were implemented, concurrently striving to enhance the transportation of goods.

Another, albeit deleterious, instance is the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, after which numerous companies concluded their operations in the aggressor country. In alternative scenarios, they confronted sanctions and political ramifications, along with media and customer boycotts.

When should a business transformation begin?

Every business transformation endeavors to optimize the business potential. Many concentrate on amplifying the organization’s value, while others target specific objectives, such as streamlining operational methodologies by adopting novel methods or technologies.

Most of these transformations are digital in nature, encompassing investments in cutting-edge technologies and processes that harness said technology.

As evidenced, companies opt for transformation to realize diverse objectives. The most prevalent of these encompass:

  • Responding to external challenges, such as groundbreaking alterations or the emergence of new market participants.
  • Navigating macroeconomic pressures, exemplified by challenges in the supply chain.
  • Adapting to shifts in consumer behavior due to the advent of new technologies.
  • Achieving broader strategic goals, whether through substantial mergers and acquisitions or focusing on values related to environmental stewardship, social responsibility, corporate governance, or principles of equality and diversity to exert greater influence.

In summary, the impetus for business transformation may include:

  • Augmented revenue and overall performance.
  • Safeguarding against competitive influences and market dynamics.
  • Expanding the enterprise’s operational footprint.
  • Gaining access to more sophisticated technologies.
  • Streamlining the management model.
  • Adapting to external vicissitudes.
  • Mitigating operational costs.
  • Enhancing productivity and customer contentment.
  • Attracting new, highly skilled personnel.

When can the company transformation be considered successful?

Three fundamental actions determine success in company transformation, each associated with the highest value for the enterprise:

  1. Defining a Specific Reason for Transformation: Beyond increasing or protecting profits, leaders must elucidate why employees should act differently. A lack of understanding regarding the significance of transformation in daily work (and overall business goals) results in employees lacking behavioral and cognitive changes. Hence, crafting a narrative that supports the belief that business transformation will enhance efficiency in daily tasks is valuable.
  2. Utilizing an Objective Fact Base to Identify Areas for Improvement: The better a company leverages facts to assess the financial benefits of transformation, the greater the chance it will pursue ambitious yet realistic goals. A thorough examination of an objective fact base allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the areas requiring enhancement.
  3. Selecting the Right People for Key Initiatives: Appointing specific individuals to achieve business goals clearly indicates that they generate fundamental value for the company. According to McKinsey research, successful transformative companies more frequently introduce significant changes to their annual business plans. Additionally, they regularly evaluate the performance of various company components, such as conducting weekly briefings among executives and individually discussing results achieved by employees.

Moreover, concrete financial incentives serve as effective motivational tools. Companies implementing financial incentives directly linked to transformation results achieve almost a fivefold increase in total shareholder return compared to firms without such programs (McKinsey study). It is worthwhile to combine this with non-financial incentive programs.

Furthermore, thanks to the majority of successful company transformations, within the first year, companies recover up to 70% of the costs incurred in the transformation. Consequently, they can reinvest these funds in subsequent transformative initiatives.

What is a failed company transformation?

A failed company transformation can stem from various factors. Among the most common is a lack of clarity (or consequences) in assigning tasks and individuals responsible for specific actions. Such practices hinder the implementation and reinforcement of new methods. Without clear goals and individuals responsible for them, sustaining the transformation progress over an extended period is impossible.

Another reason for failure is prematurely announcing the completion of the transformation. Within a few months, the company should transform its plans into achievable, clearly defined principles of operation to adhere to. In the case of unsuccessful business transformation, the initially achieved effects are not sustained. Causes of failure may include an inadequate budget for plans or a weakening of discipline in management.

Thirdly, success in transformation depends on many long-term actions. No single action or group of activities guarantees success. Therefore, leaders must strive to maintain the momentum of change for an extended period and foster an attitude that transformation is a priority for the company.

Business transformation in Poland

In business transformation, everything begins with strategy. Clear, broad goals and plans, along with the knowledge of how to achieve them, form the foundation of successful transformations. Additionally, the transformation needs to be transparent not only for the organization’s leaders but also for individuals at various levels within the company.

For years, RPMS Law Firm has been supporting business clients in company transformation in Poland. We specialize in providing legal services for corporate entrepreneurs, particularly those involved in commercial law companies. We have been involved in the enterprise reorganization, mergers, and acquisitions of entities from various sectors, including finance, IT, as well as production, services, trade, and modern technologies.

How does business transformation work in Poland? It depends on the company’s situation, the reasons for transformation, and many other factors. Each transformation may have a slightly different course, but typically:

  1. In the initial step, it is crucial to identify what needs improvement or development to achieve strategic goals. This requires an analysis of various areas of the company’s operation and determining which ones require modification.
  2. From the outset, it is advisable to entrust the transformation process to professionals with the relevant experience and qualifications to ensure the intended results are achieved.
  3. Subsequently, maintaining the achieved results is essential. This involves trying to prevent the company from reverting to old tendencies or habits.

The process can be best explained through examples:


One of our recent activities in this area involved the transformation of the DIGITAL NOW! HOLDING group into a holding structure. As mentioned earlier, in the case of large organizations, transformation requires time and significant effort. Only in this way can all required assumptions be met.

Our law firm supports the DIGITAL NOW! HOLDING group at all stages of this process. We began by thoroughly analyzing capital, organizational, and personnel aspects. Subsequently, we developed an optimal tax strategy, consulting with tax advisors. This allowed us to prepare a comprehensive transformation plan in such a way as to achieve full compliance with the provisions of the Commercial Companies Code. The intended structure for this project was a holding structure, a form of capital accumulation. It requires various actions based on economic, capital, and personnel-related considerations.

The creation of the DIGITAL NOW! HOLDING group holding aimed at reorganizing the ownership structure and consolidating capital in a single dominant company that would manage its subsidiaries. The RPMS Law Firm continues to support this organization in achieving its goals: from the analytical stage and the adoption of the transformation resolution to the final completion of all changes.

Merger of iCEA Group Companies

One example of our activities is the merger of iCEA group companies in the third quarter of 2020. The merger of three limited liability companies, which iCEA had previously acquired in earlier years, aimed to:

  1. Reduce the operating costs of the company.
  2. Enhance the quality of the services provided.
  3. Centralize resources.

We guided iCEA and the companies being acquired through all phases of the merger, dividing them into:

  • Managerial phase – this involved conducting preliminary activities related to the analysis of the merging companies, known as due diligence. Within this phase, we identified and assessed the risks associated with the merger, potential costs, the market in which the company operates, organizational and technical issues, etc. We conducted a comprehensive legal and asset analysis of the companies, examining their economic and financial situations, tax and labor issues. As a result, we were able to implement optimal tax solutions for the merging entities.
  • Ownership phase – this stage of company transformation involved providing legal support to the partners of the merging companies. We prepared the necessary merger resolutions for them and maintained ongoing communication with notaries.
  • Registration phase – finally, we submitted applications to the relevant commercial courts for each of the merging companies. On behalf of iCEA, the acquiring company, we applied for the announcement to be made. We ensured that the announcement occurred on the first day of the following month, as this is crucial for tax purposes.

Despite the significant workload and careful attention required to meet various requirements, the transformation of the iCEA group concluded with complete success.


Company transformation can have various causes, such as a desire to change business processes, leverage technology, or restructure management frameworks. Nevertheless, in most cases, it is guided by a singular objective: the need to harness the full potential of the enterprise.

Persistently maintaining the status quo within a company may prove short-sighted and detrimental. Virtually every organization harbors processes, structures, or areas that could benefit from a “reconstruction.”

It is essential to note that the lack of adequate legal support in transformation, coupled with an effective, well-thought-out plan for structural changes, can lead to numerous adverse consequences. The entire process involves the necessity to make formal, organizational, capital, and personnel-related alterations.

Collaborating with experts in business transformation enables the creation of a successful, comprehensive project for a new business model.