Organizational Transformation Support

Transformation Project Is An Oxymoron

Every business has a set of purposes that it exists to fulfil.

Over the last decade, 70% of the companies in the Fortune 1000 have ceased to exist. That's a sobering statistic!

“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change inside, the end is near”
Jack Welch

And let’s be honest—the rate of change in the competitive environment is only increasing. But that is not the same as the oft-quoted, but baseless, statistic that 70% of change programs fail. The reality is that, with a little governance around how you charter change programs, your chances of failure drop to less than 5%. We have data from studies of over 500 change projects and programs to support that assertion.

If you are like most organizations, the rapidly changing environment means you are on a transformational journey. That means you need to explore and reinvent how you deliver value in order to avoid being relegated to an also ran. While the long term organizational goals may be readily apparent, what’s usually not so clear is how to get there; what the challenges are and how to overcome them.

“Business transformation means being prepared to change everything you do—but most importantly—how you think” COO, Major Wealth Management Organization

For those in the executive and management ranks—it means changing the way you think about change.

Change How You Manage Change

Rather than trying to change the past—imposing change on an unwilling and disengaged workforce—savvy organizations take a different tack. They involve their people in the program, engaging them to shape and mold the initiative around customers and the value they deliver. That means change by co-creation and engagement rather than change by dictate.

So rather than attempting to reengineer the past, focus your people's attention on inventing the future. But first, you have to set the direction—the trajectory. Without a clear and concise strategy you get confusion. Without governance, you'll get lots of false starts. Without a structure and plan, it’s chaos. But without an emphasis on the culture, the most you’ll ever achieve is “better sameness”. It’ll be better, but not sustainable.

Change How You Think About Cost

When you focus on the past, it makes sense that the business wants to do what it does at a lower cost. If productivity equals value divided by resources, then most change program focus on reducing the resources rather than driving up the value side of the equation. From the perspective of the primary value chain, technology—like other services such as accounting, HR and legal—is a necessary evil. Of course you would want the cost of that to trend towards zero.

On the other hand, when you now consider how technology is now about enabling innovation and engaging customers to deliver that value side of the equation, then the budget issue is quite different. You’ll find that when you focus on designing the future—rather than fixing the past—it’s much easier to engage your business colleagues. You are now helping them deliver more value and solving the problems of your customers rather than pandering to the reductionist platitudes.

Change How You Engage Your People

The core of all successful change programs is a focus on the people involved. In the end, your furniture (or a technology) will not transform your organization—you need to engage your employees to do that. This is not something you can outsource; the organization has to do it to itself. Increased profit, reduced operating expense—they are a byproduct of effective change programs; not the primary purpose. Those sorts of things—increased profit and reduced cost—are value disciplines you embed in the engagement effort.

Change The Way You Manage Exceptions And Handle Variation

In low maturity businesses, it’s about standardizing everything. When things are a mess with little predictability in outcomes, you need to create the alignment. But as you get basic management controls in place and maturity increases, so does the level of empowerment and the focus on end-to-end metrics rather than discrete task performance. So while your organization needs to develop repeatable processes to support its interactions with customers and partners, it also means embracing the fact that those same customers want things their way—it means handling variation at the point of need.

Your job is not to make change happen—it’s already happening. Your challenge is to stop persistence happening. But you need to focus the effort, ensuring it has the right trajectory and value disciplines. It's about creating the conditions within which your garden develops—not instructing individual plants to behave. If you do this right, you unleash the power of people continuously improving the way value is delivered.

When You Cocreate The Future With Your Employees, Amazing Things Happen

You are much better clarifying on your brand promise and then engaging people to work outside-in. Bring them together and challenge them to design service propositions and customer journey maps that deliver the compelling customer experiences you need to thrive. It’s these compelling service propositions and offerings that form the core of your target operating model. That way, they own it. You will be quite surprised at the outcome.

We will help you create a programme that engages the guiding coalition of change agents—the 80-100 people that really matter in any large organization—empowering and enabling them to drive the transformation program forward. Thet have to really understand the methods and how their behaviours affect the outcome. This is is a long term effort; it’s also a team effort.

Structure Talent will not provide you with pre-packaged solutions. We will work with you to design a program structure and engagement approach; helping you develop your own playbook and choose the set of methods that best suit your organization. See our recent blog outline a broad Business Transformation Framework