Business transformation is the process of changing the way an organization operates and creates value in response to external or internal disruptors.
A recent survey suggested 97% of organizations have a core strategy goal in the next 12 months to “innovate.” However, the same set of 3700 businesses muted that 19% of transformations have been a success in the past 5 years, with 1 out of 16 considering optimization. How can anyone innovate if they are not optimizing and facing transformation challenges? At EPMA, we have witnessed companies spend multimillions on what we call “repeat initiatives, with a different name badge” before engaging with a business that can take them on the journey for the right reasons and achieve the right results. These statistics are not only alarming but also reflective of the current state of business transformation initiatives.
Transformation involves strategic decisions, organizational changes, and operational improvements that aim to achieve breakthrough performance and competitive advantage. However, business transformation is not easy. It requires a clear vision, strong leadership, effective communication, and agile execution. It also demands a high level of readiness from the organization, its leaders, and its employees. Readiness means having the mindset, skills, and capabilities to embrace and drive change.
Culture and mindset are vital for execution. Many businesses aspire and plan to transform but lack the internal capability or, dare we say it, the courage and strategy. At EPMA, we focus on key principles that ensure your “House is in Order” to transform.
- Process: The recognition that without process excellence, nothing will stand the test of time.
- Behaviors: Without cultural alignment, collective leadership, and a “winning mindset” (regardless of company size), behavioral impact will be the one thing that stops any transformation.
- Image: Understanding why you are transforming goes deeper than any bottom-line impact. Transformation helps future proof your business and will last longer than the immediate year. Clarity on your why is a critical success factor.
- Results: What outcomes are we trying to achieve? Being smart, realistic and clear is critical. Any transformation needs to have a tangible long-term result. Revenue growth and customer connectivity are often two critical success paths.
- Vision: If there was ever a roof on you “House,” it is the vision. It bonds the house together, keeps it livable, and allows everyone to live a fulfilled life. Without vision, your “house” is uninhabitable.
Interestingly, technology transformation is often seen as the “answer.” While it is undoubtedly a vital artery to success, transformation is deeper than relying on technology alone. If you assume technology is your answer, then you are playing at 50%. Technology is only as powerful as the business proposition and capability it is supporting.
How can you assess and improve your readiness for business transformation?
Here are some steps you can take to prepare yourself and your organization for a successful transformation journey.
Step 1: Define your transformation vision, ambition and strategy.
The first step to being ready for business transformation is to define your transformation ambition and strategy. This means setting a clear and bold goal that goes beyond incremental improvement and aligns with your vision and mission. It also means identifying the key drivers and enablers of your transformation, such as customer needs, market trends, technology innovations, or operational efficiencies.
To define your transformation ambition and strategy, you can follow these tips:
- Start with the why. Why do you need to transform? What is the problem or opportunity you are trying to address? What is the value proposition for your customers, employees, and stakeholders?
- Think big and bold. What is the desired outcome of your transformation? How will you measure your success? What are the benefits and risks of your transformation? How will you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
- Be realistic and flexible. What are the current and future capabilities of your organization? What are the gaps and barriers that you need to overcome? How will you adapt to changing circumstances and feedback?
- Involve and align your stakeholders. Who are the key stakeholders of your transformation? How will you communicate and engage them throughout the process? How will you align their expectations and interests?
Step 2: Build your transformation capabilities and culture.
The second step to be ready for business transformation is to build your transformation capabilities and culture. This means developing the skills, processes, and tools that will enable you to execute your transformation strategy. It also means fostering a culture that supports and drives change, such as innovation, collaboration, learning, and resilience.
To build your transformation capabilities and culture, you can follow these tips:
- Assess your current state. Where are you today in terms of your transformation readiness? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the opportunities and threats that you face?
- Identify your priorities. What are the most critical capabilities and cultural elements that you need to develop or improve? How will they contribute to your transformation goals? How will you measure your progress and impact?
- Design and implement your solutions. How will you develop or acquire the capabilities and cultural elements that you need? What are the best practices and methods that you can use? What are the resources and timelines that you need?
- Monitor and evaluate your results. How will you track and review your performance and outcomes? How will you collect and analyze data and feedback? How will you celebrate your successes and learn from your failures?
Step 3: Engage and empower your transformation leaders and teams.
The third step to be ready for business transformation is to engage and empower your transformation leaders and teams. This means selecting and developing the people who will lead and implement your transformation. It also means creating and sustaining a high-performance environment that motivates and enables them to achieve your transformation goals.
To engage and empower your transformation leaders and teams, you can follow these tips:
- Define your roles and responsibilities. Who are the key roles and responsibilities in your transformation? How will you select and assign them? How will you clarify and communicate their expectations and accountabilities?
- Develop your skills and competencies. What are the skills and competencies that your transformation leaders and teams need? How will you assess and enhance them? How will you provide them with coaching, mentoring, and training?
- Provide your support and resources. What are the support and resources that your transformation leaders and teams need? How will you provide them with guidance, feedback, and recognition? How will you provide them with tools, technology, and budget?
- Foster your collaboration and trust. How will you foster collaboration and trust among your transformation leaders and teams? How will you promote a shared vision and purpose? How will you encourage diversity and inclusion?
By following these three steps, you can increase your readiness for business transformation and improve your chances of success. Business transformation is a challenging but rewarding journey that can help you and your organization achieve new heights of performance and value. Are you ready to transform?
So, is your house really in order? EPMA has supported 127 transformation initiatives over the past 18 months. Partner with someone who will build a house that will stand for years.
If you’re interested in talking or hearing more, please reach out today: