Eight steps towards successful business transformation

17. 11. 16 Andes Loukianos

You’ve heard the saying ‘the only constant in life is change’. It’s something we should all be used to in most aspects of our life today but the realities of delivering major change in the business environment can be daunting and a major challenge for any organisation regardless of its size.

It’s been claimed that real change doesn’t happen until the pain level gets high enough. So what are the key drivers that lead to this tipping point? We know organisations are under increasing pressure from outside influences such as a disruptive technology or the impact of global instability. However, more commonly, the cause will be the need to make certain internal processes more efficient, a change in customer requirements, new legislation or increased competition.

There’s no denying that change is challenging. So how do you ensure that your business is not one of the 70% of transformation projects that McKinsey says are destined to fail?

Barriers to successful change are unfortunately an inevitable part of the process whatever the business transformation project is. However, they shouldn’t be a reason to not embark on a project, and if approached correctly these barriers can be overcome successfully.

How you approach business transformation from the project outset is the key to its success. Here are some tips to help ensure you keep your project on track:

  1. Identify your key drivers for change and share these with the business. These are the reasons why change is needed and will help you ensure that the changes you are making along the way address each issue.
  2. Create and implement your plan for change. Identify solutions to any potential barriers and focus on gaining commitment to embrace these changes from all parts of the business.
  3. Turn the transformation project into an advantage. See it as an opportunity for an organisational review. Understand what makes your business unique and better than the competition and how these differences can translate to operational advantage.
  4. Be confident in your decision for making the change. If you expect your staff to embrace new systems or processes then you need to be able to justify why these changes are being made.
  5. A communication strategy is essential. Ensure the change strategy is communicated across the business and highlight successes as they happen.
  6. Understand any internal barriers to change so that they can be dealt with head on. One of the key reasons many projects fail is because staff members haven’t been included as part of the journey and are therefore reluctant to embrace change. You can read more about how to ensure employee engagement in business transformation in my previous blog.
  7. As each hurdle rears its head along the way, remind yourself why you are embarking on the project. What would be the impact to the business if you did nothing?
  8. Define the end goal so that its effectiveness can be measured. Check your progress along the way to ensure that you’re on target.

Change is inevitable in any business and it’s those organisations with the shortest learning curves who will thrive. It’s essential that businesses use change to their advantage and the intelligent business will embrace the journey.

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Andes Loukianos

Written by:

Andes Loukianos

Head of Touchstone Business Intelligence