Nigel Adams (pictured below) is a thought leader in operational excellence and author of Match Fit For Transformation – Realising The Potential Of Everyday Heroes. In this guest post, Adams offers his tips to transform any business while you’re snowed under running the business…
Running a business is hard. Transforming it while you’re running it is even harder. A recent Harvard Business Review study found that 69 per cent of the US$1.3 trillion spent on digital transformation last year was wasted. And with the major consulting firms citing success rates below 30 per cent, it’s not for the faint hearted.
The root of the problem is that decades of corporate evolution and change all leave their mark. That is a tangled web of process fragments and legacy infrastructure. In many large, mature organisations the web is so complex, it is a miracle anything works at all. Yet somehow these fragile ecosystems deliver products and services day-in, day-out. Changing it is fraught with danger and is always approached with trepidation. Any interruption to service and social media channels light up. And yet not changing it presents an even greater, more existential threat.
It’s Not About The Technology
Unfortunately it’s not the technical challenges that make digital transformation so challenging. It has more to do with the approach organisations take to embark on their transformation journey. They are faced with a dilemma: train existing staff, who understand the organisation but lack the new skills and cultural mindset that the digital natives tout as critical success factors or hire external staff with the new skills but limited knowledge of “how things get done around here”. Organisations tend to choose the latter and it is this that can sow the seeds of division.
There are a number of issues. The new hires (the Change Team) typically find the pace frustratingly slow and think the mindset and culture is more constraining than empowering. They struggle to understand how the organisation works, conclude that the bureaucracy is designed to impede progress and that the existing delivery team (the Run Team) “clearly don’t get it”.
The Run Team feel overwhelmed. They are expected to do far more, with far less because their budgets have been cut to fund the transformation. They also assume that the Change Team are being paid more and, when it’s over, the Run Team will bear the brunt of the job losses.
Unsurprisingly, there is resentment on both sides and unrealistic expectations at the executive level exacerbate the issues. The pressure builds.
The consequence of this is not only does the transformation become more expensive and drawn-out, day-to-day service, hence revenues, are also put at risk.
How Should You Respond?
In reality, many of the new roles are more of an evolution than a revolution and it’s easier and faster to train new technical skills than wait for new hires to adjust and adapt. Bearing this in mind, the key to success is to bring the Run Team into the transformational tent. They must feel that they have a role to play in the future and that, by keeping customers satisfied today, while helping to fund the transformation, they are assuring themselves of a role tomorrow. To achieve this, they must learn how to do more with less. They must lend their subject matter expertise to the Change Team, free-up capacity to re-train staff in the new skills and prepare the groundwork for the transformation by simplifying the existing processes. The Change Team will need a small number of external hires to anchor the new skills and mindset, but their primary role is to train and coach the day-to-day teams in the new skills.
Easy to say, but is it achievable?
What Will It Take?
There are three steps to make this possible:
- The executive team must acknowledge that the Run Team are equally critical to delivering the transformation and should enjoy the same level of executive attention, recognition and reward.
- Both the Run and Change Teams must develop a shared understanding of each other’s roles, learn how to communicate and work effectively together and embed joint accountability for delivering the transformation.
- The Run Team must implement an operational excellence program to control their workload and enable the simplification agenda.
This people-oriented approach will not only make the transformation more achievable but it will keep the day-to-day humming along as well. And it will be genuinely engaging!
Please login with linkedin to commentNigel Adams
Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) is the biggest player in the holiday shopping game and Google’s most recent research suggests consumer interest for the peak sales season starts much earlier than retailers may realise. The pandemic has fundamentally changed buyer behaviour over peak sales season, with Google suggesting that global consumer interest in Black Friday […]
Awindependent PR Agency Agent99 has added The Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) to its client roster, alongside thought leader and commercial property specialist, Helen Tarrant. DISCUS is a national trade association representing U.S. producers, marketers, and exporters of distilled spirits. The account was won following a competitive pitch earlier this year. DISCUS has […]
Melbourne-based independent creative agency, By All Means, has today released limited edition ‘Locktown’ t-shirts to create a positive, artistic commemoration of their city, while shining a spotlight on the significant impact of lockdown on the mental health of Victorians. After 235 days under strict stay-at-home orders, Melbourne today claims the unenviable crown from Buenos Aires […]
Global marketing agency, Komodo, has announced it will be launching a dedicated TikTok arm to the business in Australia, following a series of key industry hires and new creators signed to their roster. The agency, who partners brands with social influencers across the globe, aims to bring a new dimension to influencer marketing by assisting brands […]
According to Fifth Dimension CEO Lyndall Spooner, whether you like roller coasters or not, we have all been riding ‘Dashed Hopes’ the COVID-19 emotional roller coaster for over 18 months and many of us have turned to online retail therapy to cope. Spooner uses the analogy of an emotional roller coaster to depict consumers’ […]
Underscoring its ongoing commitment to team care and wellbeing, during and beyond the pandemic, Havas Village Australia has introduced be together – a reconnection initiative to enable staff to reconnect with loved ones for longer when domestic and international borders reopen. The initiative, which reflects the Havas core value ‘Better Together’, gives staff from Host/Havas, […]
Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has ranked a group of 50 brands selling on Amazon.com.au based on a set of best practice criteria it has developed. Pet brand Zenify topped the ranking in Pattern’s Amazon Australia Benchmarking Report, scoring 82 per cent of the possible marks against a set of criteria designed to measure […]
Fifth Dimension Consulting has announced the expansion of its executive leadership team in response to the organisation’s significant growth over the last 18 months. Lyndall Spooner has moved from the position of managing director to the role of chief executive officer (CEO). As CEO, she will lead Fifth Dimensions’ innovation arm, as well as the […]
GoDaddy Inc. has today announced the Australian launch of GoDaddy Studio, a new content creation tool designed for small and medium businesses to create beautiful visual content for their business for all platforms. Compatible on both iOS and Android mobile apps and desktop, GoDaddy Studio includes thousands of customisable templates and easy-to-use tools, providing small […]