Background Note | HBS Case Collection | December 2007

Tools and Tactics for Transformation: Three "Whats" and Three "Hows"

by James K. Sebenius and Stephen Friedman


Important transformation at Goldman Sachs, where one of the authors was Chairman, required analysis, political leadership, and management in order to fundamentally shift the strategy, people, and culture on a sustainable basis. After describing the actions needed to move a reluctant Goldman Sachs into junk bonds, private equity, and toward a genuinely global presence, broader lessons are drawn about the tools and tactics for transforming organizations.

Keywords: Negotiation Tactics; Business Strategy; Organizational Culture; Transition; Strategic Planning; Core Relationships; Multinational Firms and Management; Leadership Style; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Private Equity;


Sebenius, James K., and Stephen Friedman. Tools and Tactics for Transformation: Three "Whats" and Three "Hows". Harvard Business School Background Note 908-028, December 2007.