Home Strategy Transformation and Turnaround Association launches to support transformation managers

Transformation and Turnaround Association launches to support transformation managers

Transformation is more than simply a buzzword; it's genuinely an important skill of today's leader. A new industry association has formed to provide mentorship and advocacy around the discipline.


Your company needs you to be a transformational leader; this was the premise of my blog The Wired CIO when I launched it in 2011, and it's even truer today with the rise of the cloud changing traditional IT departments to focus on business problems instead of infrastructure issues.

Yet, it's easy to say you need to be transformational, just like it's easy to say you want to be agile, you want to build an effective company culture, or even simply that you want to lose weight. These things don't happen based on simple desire or by repeating the words, and without skilled mentors it's difficult for young leaders or professionals to know how to make change – how to identify it, how to develop and articulate a strategy, how to gain stakeholder support, and importantly how to execute and deliver.

Today a group of experienced business transformation executives established the Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association (AusTTA) to assist leaders and organisations better respond to today’s rapid change, including digital disruption, and support growth of the Australian economy.

Formed by executives with experience from big four banks, big four accounting firms, consulting firm government innovation agencies and numerous start-ups, as well as venture capitalists, trainers and more, AusTTA sees corporate transformation as being poorly understood, despite its importance for the Australian economy, major companies and government organisations.

The Association's research found 25% of respondents said they were "uncertain" how to deal with the challenge of digital disruption.

While technology is a strong industry focus, AusTTA believes transformative challenges are not driven solely by technology changes. The opportunities — and threats — of digital disruption also come in the form of new business models.

AusTTA says its goals are to
1. promote the professional skill-set of experienced transformation professionals
2. advocate the benefits and opportunities available to practising members
3. active support for enterprises facing transformation challenges
4. assist individuals and society to minimise the distress, and maximise the benefits, from transformation.

The Association also seeks to reduce the stress and risk of transformations on employees and stakeholders during change management.

Adam Salzer, chairman of the Association, notes the group is for leaders of change, saying, "Running an organisation today is more challenging than ever before. AusTTA brings together innovative problem solvers who are working on the frontline of change, planning, strategy, transformation and turnaround management – the people who make day-to-day decisions that shape the future of organisations in Australia and help new ones grow.

"We bring together professionals in change management, disruption and transformation to share expertise, experience and knowledge to help organisations thrive in today's changing world."

The group brings together seasoned professionals who have turned around existing companies and others who have actively supported the expansion of new, disruptive companies.

All are highly experienced transformative leaders who have led major restructures and driven rapid growth/expansions. They come from a wide range of sectors – manufacturing, services, consumer goods, primary industry, creative arts and government.

“Transformation has become somewhat of a buzzword – we’re focused on bringing some discipline to what may have been in seen part as a dark art, but is mostly about skill and experience,” said foundation AusTTA member and chief executive of PM-Partners, Ken Sheargold. “AusTTA has been formed with the goal to drive true turnaround and transformation best practice in Australia, and we believe this is best led from those who have experienced the cycles of change within the public and private sector.”

Initial interest in AusTTA has been strong, through its LinkedIn group to bring together transformational and change professionals as an advocacy group.


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David M Williams

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David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. Within two years, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Newcastle, as a UNIX systems manager. This was a crucial time for UNIX at the University with the advent of the World-Wide-Web and the decline of VMS. David moved on to a brief stint in consulting, before returning to the University as IT Manager in 1998. In 2001, he joined an international software company as Asia-Pacific troubleshooter, specialising in AIX, HP/UX, Solaris and database systems. Settling down in Newcastle, David then found niche roles delivering hard-core tech to the recruitment industry and presently is the Chief Information Officer for a national resources company where he particularly specialises in mergers and acquisitions and enterprise applications.