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Learnings from a successful transformation to a high‑performance organization – a longitudinal case study

Keywords High-performance organizations · HPO · Transformation approach · Change management

Learnings from a successful transformation to a high‑performance organization

An increasing number of organizations embark on a journey to transform themselves into a high-performance organization (HPO) to be able to better deal with the changes in their environment. Unfortunately, in the current literature hardly any approaches are described that can support them during this transformation. One promising approach, the (Waal and Heijtel, Meas Bus Excell 21:101–116, 2017) HPO transformation approach, has only been validated in one instance. This study outlines an additional validated approach. A simplified version of the aforementioned transformation approach (Waal et al. The high-performance finance function, handbook for the future-oriented financial professional, IGI Global, Hershey, 2022) was used at a case company which in 5 year time transformed into an HPO.Learnings from a successful transformation to a high‑performance organization

Based on a questionnaire which collected and evaluated interventions undertaken by the case company, coupled with an extensive interview on the interventions with the manager of the case company, the interventions were categorized in the HPO transformation approach. The HPO transformation approach made it possible to make a structured overview of the interventions, which gave insight into how the case company went about its successful HPO transformation. Thus, the research has both a theoretical and practical contribution. Theoretically, the currently rather limited academic literature on transformation approaches regarding high-performance organizations is extended with another validated case, thus further developing this line of research. Practically, organizations get access to a validated transformation approach, thereby increasing their chance on a successful HPO transformation.


COVID-19 has shown that circumstances can change very quickly, forcing organizations to react immediately to deal with fast-occurring threats. It is expected that this will become the “new normal” for business: changes in the world and in the economy will require them to be vigilant to be able to either take advantage of opportunities or to shield them from threats. These events will come in the shape of megatrends—large social, economic, political, and technological changes that are slow to form but once in place will have an influence for a considerable period of time….

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