3 Steps for Implementing Successful Transformational Change

Written by Craig Saxby on Mar 13, 2017

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In an ever-evolving business world, organisations can no longer afford to ignore the need for change. To stay ahead of the game, effectively engage with customers and entice top talent, businesses must regularly review all aspects of the organisation and occasionally go through periods of transformation. After all, a business is unlikely to have the ability to operate in a competitive market using out-dated processes.

Transformation is also integral for aligning all areas of a business on key initiatives, strategies and technology. However, for any business, going through a period of transformational change is a big task and concerns often arises due to fear of things going wrong and inevitably costing the business time and further losses.

To prevent failure, business leaders need to have a clear strategy, be outcome focused and hold everyone involved in the project accountable. But before any transformation project even begins to get going there are just a few things that all (even the most experienced) industry leaders need to consider.

1. Focus on the Benefits

Ask yourself, will the transformation benefit the entire business?

For change to be successful it must be accepted or at the very least understood by those it will be affecting. After all, if the rest of the organisation doesn’t buy into a process the chances are they aren’t going to fully accept the change and adapt to new processes. Therefore, the transformation cannot just be a singular functional project and it needs to be clear as to how the change will affect other functions in the business.

Having the benefits of the business at the forefront of any transformation project is fundamental for managing expectations throughout the short-term pain that some projects will bring. Outlining all the core benefits of the project, and communicating these to everyone will help maintain focus, acceptance and visibility of the long-term benefits.

2. Getting the right Leadership team in place

Having the right teams and leaders in place is key for ensuring any project is well managed and can move forward progressively. To find the most effective leaders, look to bring on board people who have the necessary skills to have an immediate impact and hit the ground running. Transformation takes work and your leaders will need to demonstrate the right behaviours and be aligned with the aspirational culture the transformation is working towards.

The leadership team also need to have a holistic view of the entire project and can elevate above the business; make the right calls whilst still navigating through challenging short term issues.

To guarantee acceptance and uptake of the project there needs to be a strong sense of ownership and accountability. Transformation will require leaders who can ensure key objectives are met within the allocated times frames. Therefore, it is vital to think about whether you have the expertise within the business already or need a proven expert to ensure the project is a success.

3. Sustainability

Is the project sustainable? What is the legacy of the beyond the transformation?

This is a question that can often be overlooked when businesses get caught up in the planning and execution of a transformation project but sustainability will contribute to the future state of the business. So, it is crucial to look at the project from a long- term perspective. Primarily because as the transformation project develops, there will there be opportunities to expand and revisit the project, looking at what has worked, what hasn’t and what could be improved for future transformations.

Implementing a sustainable project is also fundamental for keeping employees engaged in the process. If they have visibility and understanding around the value that the transformation will bring to the business, they are likely to accept changes. Businesses should also use transformation projects as opportunities to align employees and different business functions, whilst providing employees with opportunities to develop their skills and receive training in different areas of their role.

If the change has full commitment of stakeholders, the right leaders are in place and the benefits are realised by all, it will build a blue print for a successful change programme because it will be ingrained in the culture of the business.

If your businesses is going through a period of transformation or you’d like to discuss this further, please get in contact directly at: craig.saxby@eoexecutives.com or comment on the blog.

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