Is there ever a good time for transformation? Do you wait until figures plunge and staff morale is at an all-time low, or look at how even small changes could make a difference to your bottom line? It’s important to note here that transformation doesn’t necessarily have to mean an entire overhaul of a business.
In fact, according to Eleanor Potter, Executive at Altech Autopage, business transformation shouldn’t be a ‘once-off’ occurrence in an organisation, but rather a continual process in terms of awareness of how to improve systems, processes and products.
While figures show the failure rate in change programmes to be around 70-80%, the flipside is that organisations that use effective transformational approaches achieve almost 80% more success than those that don’t.
Here are six thing to look for in effective transformation:
A lack of buy-in, either from the top or from employees
Lesson – It is essential to have buy-in from the top
Taking too long
Lesson – By setting short-term goals, employees stay motivated and enthusiastic
Constant, effective communication
Lesson – Staff need to know not just what’s expected of them, but why and how the changes will help their performance and the overall business
Lesson – Although using internal personnel who are invested in transformation, it’s critical to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the project team – external resources should be brought in to add a fresh perspective if required
Lesson – If the goal is to reduce costs by 10%, the objective must be refined. What is creating the excess cost or the perception? Cutting personnel by 20% could mean short-term savings, but would it negatively impact the long-term viability of the business?
Lesson – Spending on redesign and new technology implementation without a detailed business plan can derail transformation before it starts
Potter says: “Before you can transform a business, you have to understand the environment, identify the business needs and then work out solutions to business problems. It is about planning, productivity, teamwork and accountability. Transformation is a constructive and continuous process, which results in a cultural shift that enhances a business’s bottom-line and ensures it’s not left behind.”