In a Covid19 economy transition is happening all around us; from large scale re-structures, to digital transformations in a remote working world. Undertaking any business transition can be more onerous and complex than at first thought. Here are some steps to consider before taking the plunge and putting the wheels in motion.
Understand the key drivers
What is the main rationale for change? And where is this coming from? Top down imperatives may be driven by a need to make cost savings or protect reserves, but a huge amount of upheaval for merely short term financial gain may mean structures or people may not be fit for business purpose later down the line. The impact and benefits of the change needs to be carefully considered in tandem with the medium term recovery and longer term business goals. The prospect of immediate savings needs to be weighed up and complemented with other non-financial long term drivers (such as enhanced capability and new skill acquisition). In a time of uncertainty and rapidly shifting sands, it’s even more vital to consider anchoring all changes with a sustainable, strategic dimension. In this way, benefits will still be experienced from the improvements implemented, even if more change is required later on.
Create a vision
What ideally does this new world look like (be it a structure or capability profile)? How could it look? At a high level, what features and benefits does it have? This is the time for conceptual ideas and some blue-skies thinking without limiting creativity or innovation – e.g.: what is the ideal scenario? Keeping this idealistic will create a ‘stretch’ or ambition to work towards; something that can be tempered and adjusted when the practical planning commences and change resources are allocated.
Rationalise the vision with evidence
What benchmarking data or best practice is there to suggest this approach, structure or new capability profile may work? What operating models, systems or functional roles can be referenced to show tangible evidence supports decision making? What can be learnt from the sector and competitors? How can other approaches in the industry or marketplace be adapted and tailored to suit these business needs? This step is about doing some necessary research in the market place.
Review the current state and collate intelligence
What is the state of play? What’s not working well (efficiently or effectively) and what is working well? Before a strategy or blueprint can be produced, there needs to be a very clear picture of the existing reality. Review what’s happening now – pull together the evidence base in detail and establish the facts. Strategic aims need to link back to the starting blocks. Often there isn’t a clear and accurate picture of the existing state or the view is unqualified. Canvass multiple perspectives to get a comprehensive picture. It’s important not to be skewed by the views of the minority, and keep impartial and open-minded throughout the exercise.
What do they say? If it’s worth doing it’s worth doing well. I’d love to hear about the organisational changes you’re embarking on.