Delivering transformation projects is hard, even more so when trying to deal with the fallout of the pandemic. At BIE we work with some of the world’s leading organisations to identify and place the talent they need to effect the change their businesses demand. Using the insights we have gathered through those engagements and augmenting them with the results of our latest transformation survey, we have come up with five ways in which companies of any size can deliver successful transformation and change programmes.
As we have seen, significant numbers of projects are taking a long time. Even when going across the entire organisation, they need to be faster. If a transformation is going to take two years, that just means you will be two years out-of-date. The pandemic has shown how important speed is, and when you consider the disruptions we have had over the last four years, political, natural and health, any long-term transformation project is going to be massively off course if it runs on and on. Have a clear objective of where you are headed, and focus on getting there in short, sharp bursts.
It may seem ironic for a transformation programme, but often organisations are slow to alter course once an initiative has started. However, as we can see with our respondents, having the conviction to change can be critical as overall objectives shift and businesses require something else in order to keep growing.
It is understandable that, with suddenly constricted budgets, many organisations will have cut back on external consultants and hiring interim experts, but they should be conscious that they do not lean on internal resources too heavily. Not only do existing employees already have significant workloads, but they may lack that outsider’s perspective on what could be done to push through a programme of change. The ideal transformation team will differ per project and per organisation but should have a mix of permanent employees and interim specialists.
Every initiative should focus on the experience of the end-user and build backwards. Too often the objective is linked to business objectives (optimise resources, do more with less, increase efficiency), when the reality is that it will have a direct impact on people, whether employees or customers. Keeping that ‘customer’ front and centre will ensure that no matter what changes, the end result will meet the needs of the organisation.
Focus is good, but as you transform a part of your organisation, be aware of the other opportunities for change. It may be that as you evolve processes in one part of the company that there is a chance to improve another function. Be conscious of the impact you can have.
Ultimately, the sense of continued disruption we are all facing is not going to go away. Being able to quickly identify a need for change, and to be able to bring in the right team to deliver that transformation, is going to be a vital component for any successful business in the coming weeks and months.