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Your business is transforming right, whether you know it or not.
What does the transformation look like? What are the signs?
Is the transformation being driven by internal forces or external ones?
How urgent is the transformation?
Now that we’ve answered these essential questions, let’s unpack what to do next.
As a leadership and culture coach, I find our clients are in a near-constant state of transformation.
And that’s a good thing.
Because the organizations that aren’t transforming and likely to get left behind.
What’s Causing Your Transformation?
Some internal forces that drive transformation are:
· Product Obsolescence
· Staffing Trends and/or Exits
· Resource and/or Raw Material Shortages
Some external forces that drive transformation:
· Climate change
· Compliance and/or Regulatory Change
Now that you’ve identified the type of transformation, you’re in, and what forces are causing it, here are a few more thought-provoking questions:
What’s the pace or urgency of the transformation you need to make?
Where specifically do you need to make it (department, division, geography, subsidiary, parent company, other)?
What are the dependencies and contingencies you need to take into consideration?
Here’s my take on how to handle the 3 types of transformation I see most often, based on my 35+ years of helping clients to successfully transform.
1. Gradual Transformation – these are slow, well-planned, and agreed upon internally. This scenario can often have both internal and external forces, such as a corporate, culture, product reinvention/reorg/innovation, the need to become compliant, and the need to adapt to forces one cannot control. Make sure you have clear Decision Spaces so everyone knows what they own and stays mentally clear as well as a Project Management Office to ensure smooth processes and clear procedures with a specific timeline and deliverables.
2. Hijacked Transformation – these are stressful and intense, as you’ve been blindsided by an external disruptive force such as a competitor, legal action, crisis or an internal force such as a key executive abruptly quitting or even dying. There’s an element of shock or surprise in this scenario. This infographic will help everyone stay emotionally resilient, as it’ll help you lead and empower others through the crisis [infographic} to keep everyone grounded and focused.
3. Sprinted Transformation – these have a similar level of urgency to a Hijacked Transformation but without the potential panic or stress. I find these are helpful when you want a quick change led by a nimble small team. Developing and/or introducing a new initiative, product feature set, and cultural program are all candidates here. It’s all about motivation and momentum. This infographic will keep everyone in the right brain state and moving forward swiftly.
Note that you may have multiple types of transformations happening at once. In this case, be sure to understand the dependencies and contingencies between them, the potential resource constraints and allocation, and the priorities and level of executive support and sponsorship for each.
In today’s business world, you’ll always have some degree of transformation in the process. Learn to be on the lookout for stagnation, opportunities, trends, and risks so you transform when and how you need to!