The world is an uncertain place and is changing fast, but businesses still need to perform. Against a backdrop of digitalisation and sustainability, pandemics, and wars, how do organisations adopt a transformation mindset to make the bold changes necessary to succeed and what does this look like in practice?
We have distilled the transformation mindset into six critical dimensions of change needed to navigate these unpredictable times and deliver transformation objectives successfully.
A clear and well-communicated strategy for change directly linked to the broader business strategy is at the heart of any successful transformation. A key part of this is the definition and baselining of the success metrics, which need to be cascaded throughout the organisation, so that everyone, regardless of their role, is aware of the impact their specific role-plays in the success of the transformation.
The leadership team have a critical role in the success of the transformation, as they are ultimately responsible for engaging and motivating the organisation in the need for change. If the leadership team are not aligned or do not fully sponsor the programme, this can have a significant impact on the success of the transformation – either through driving siloed ways of working due to misaligned incentives or through lack of prioritisation. Additionally, it is up to the leadership team to role model the future behaviours needed from the organisation to deliver and sustain the transformation.
Like any operation, maintaining control of the transformation delivery is essential. With many transformations favouring an agile approach, rather than the more traditional ‘waterfall’ methodology – cross-functional working and communication is key. Although the days of thousand line programme plans may be in the past – it is imperative to have clearly defined milestones of what will be delivered and when and ensure business readiness to support the change.
Transformations introduce new systems, processes, and ways of working, and as such, there must be a conscious assessment of the impact of the ‘to-be’ ways of working versus the status quo. This could be from a technology perspective – do we have the right systems to collate the right data for decision making? Processes – do we have the right meeting cadence to review the data and make decisions? Or people, for example, do we have the right people with the right skill sets to be able to execute the new process and use the new systems? A good transformation will consider all three when developing implementation plans and ensure any risks are identified and actively mitigated.
For many organisations, change is a fundamental part of their DNA, with new products and processes and initiatives being successfully launched regularly. For others, the transition to a new way of working may feel like a seismic shift, requiring focused mechanisms to be implemented to ensure the change initiative is sustained and the risk of reversal back to the ‘old ways’ is minimised. Cultural mindset plays a big part here – and the ability to shift the organisation from a fixed risk-averse, ‘we’ve always done things this way’, to a growth mindset ‘I’ll try this a different way’, is an integral part of making a transformation a success.
As with anything in business, the people are what make it happen. So, without engaging the organisation in the transformation, it is likely that the transformation will fail. There are different ways to engage the business, from true co-creation of strategy through engagement workshops to a lighter touch communication strategy where the strategic vision is shared. Regardless of the level of interaction – it is critical that the organisation is bought in to the need for change. Even if the strategy is pre-defined, it is essential that as part of the communication to the wider business, individuals have the ability to feel some ownership and feel as though they are part of the solution.
To enable companies to achieve their transformation initiatives, we have developed a suite of Transformation tools and solutions across these six dimensions. If you are about to launch or are currently leading a transformation programme, our rapid Assessment 360° provides you with:
If you have a spare 10 minutes between meetings, click the link below to get started with your online Assessment 360°. Once you have completed the assessment and received your report, we can also organise a call to explore the recommendations with you in more detail.
Authors: Cat Brownlie and James Alberts