The question remains, 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? 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 ‘one-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 flip side is that organisations that use effective transformational approaches obtain almost 80% more success than those that don’t.
Here are six tips for effective transformation: Lessons for success
- A lack of buy-in, either from the top or from employees.
- Lesson - It’s essential to have buy-in from the top.
- Taking too long.
- Lesson - By setting short-term goals, employees stay motivated and enthusiastic.
- Constant 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.
- Misaligned talent.
- Lesson - Although using internal personnel who are invested in transformation, it’s critical to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the project team – so, if needed, external resources should be brought in to add a fresh perspective.
- Unclear goals.
- Lesson - If the end goal is to reduce costs by 10%, the objective needs to 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?
- High costs.
- Lesson - Spending on redesign and new technology implementation without a detailed business plan can derail transformation before it starts.
According to Potter, “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’s 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.” Information provided by Altech Autopage.