Leading organisational change successfully is about vision and blending strategic brand imperatives with business objectives and benefits realisation. In order to improve performance competitive positioning and benefit from technological advancements with the potential to transform the business opportunities, behaviours, capabilities and innovation attitudes and enablement in the organisation need to be changed.
Sadly, even leaders with vision and the drive to bring the requisite change to bear on the business’s fortunes lack methodology, structure and the systems thinking required to implement change successfully. It’s often very difficult to run transformation programmes within the organisation itself with no independent and outside teams to bring industry best practice and ideas to what is a very hefty problem, in an area potentially fraught with conflict and plenty of opportunities to fail. The truth is that the risk appetite necessary to undertake a transformation that will help achieve the business’s urgent objectives is quite tough to gain consensus for and maintain motivation over the time it actually takes to implement the requisite change.
Leading organisational change is dependent on the ability to re-envision several different parts of the organisation in parallel and the business change and planning skills to bring those changes to fruition. Every manager, dependent on their operational discipline, will hold vastly different views on the content, process and structure of an effective change strategy to lead organisational change.
HR might focus on compensation and perhaps training but not necessarily what it takes to make staff feel empowered to lead innovations and part of the transformation which regards to what will make their jobs easier, faster and more effective, especially in the absence of knowledge of industry trends or best practice. Heads of operations and finance may argue the toss about adjusting financial metrics versus new productivity tools with little consideration of what these might mean for the overall operating models. It’s clear to see that leading organisational change would be fraught with difficulty for the leaders of business because too many different levels of vision planning, strategy, implementation and processes for measurement need to be considered. This is why it makes sense to get help in translating and implementing the vision while the leader remains the final arbiter and guardian of that vision.
External partners can help to realise clarity and determine the art of the possible with the objectives and requirements while identifying logical sequences and synergies that can be found.
Leading organisational transformation as an entrepreneur, CEO/COO or Director must focus on finding a team of external partners who can take the vision and run with ut so that the transformation answers a customer focus, brand-aligned, people-centred, on-trend with technology and best fir for the organisational purpose and business short to long term objectives.
Somebody needs to sustain the love and purpose of the organisation and use that to galvanise things when the going gets tough and snarled up during he transformation and the conflict in priorities threaten to halt things, with the chaos caused by the conflicting priorities of different leaders who want what is best for their department, functions and line of business. Only the leader can sustain a holistic across the board view of how things need to fit and work together for the sake of the business, its customers and its investors, all at the same time.
If as a leader, you have a strong, bold view of what the transformation should be and do, systemically and sustainably, its necessary that this remains intact and things are not allowed to descend into chaos.
To achieve this, a story needs to be told, consistently, constantly, indefatigably and clearly. The CEO or directors leading organisational change have to be the storyteller, They need to keep that story going to get the transformation done and most importantly to know when the goal has been achieved or be able to tell when there are gaps in the planned implementation and its impact o lack thereof.
The job of the leader of transformation within an organisation is to empower people to go away and make that story real and breathe, keep the faith and focus to realise the transformative benefits envisaged at the start.
You, leader, recognise the necessity of transformative action, systemic change and reinventing the business, its people and its processes. Translating these into a business transformation strategy and plan and portfolio of changes is a job a separate team should do under your direction. The world’s largest organisations recognise this and there is a need for small to medium size businesses not already in this mindset to adopt it. Make it a priority to find delivery and implementation partners who understand and have experience of all the areas that need to be juggled and that can provide a clear and shared framework and methodology for running a transformation programme and who will deliver a roadmap that clearly shows the activities, roles and responsibilities that should be represented in parallel and consecutive sequences to achieve the transformation desired by an ambitious company such as yours.