Tuesday, 1 June 2010

3 Reasons transformations fail and 3 ways to get success

Most transformations fail to get traction

Most transformations fail for three key reasons:

No/Low Sponsorship
The change required is understood intellectually but doesn’t really have senior level or stakeholder commitment, mainly because they don’t believe the outcome will meet the goal, and that the activity will de-focus people away from the core business
Failing to balance the short and long term
Organisations try to change too much at once, and not focus on the areas that will give the greatest return, and therefore spread the jam too thin, with little real traction in the right areas, and take too long to get a result. Transformation should be long and short term focused, with a strong focus on short/medium significant results
No/Low Focus
Because people are already busy, the wrong people are assigned normally on a part time basis. Generally having the wrong people doing the wrong things, too much analysis and presumptions about what needs addressed with a lack of experience about what really needs to be done, and the people who have the experience and need to be assigned are busy elsewhere or not put forward by their management, as Transformation sometimes gets seen as something that is done on the side.
So what are the three priority activities I should address ?

1. Maintain your Sweet spot

Your Company core business is key. This is your sweet spot, It makes sense to maintain the integrity of this area and build a wrap around it so you are improving the service but linking it to services which are incremental but complementary to the core. Look for areas of significant Improvement in the core but don’t divert the majority of the people.
2. Build a Parallel Stream

Create focused solutions that are a wrap to the core business. Develop incremental business streams that are the fastest to build and are key up sell services that complement the core and provide customers the opportunity to enhance what they already have. This will be the fastest and most successful way to addresses year 2 onwards of the 5 Year plan and get ahead of the curve in time.
Get a small team of people who are dedicated full-time, use mainly internal people so you can get commitment and bring people with you on the journey, add a few customer advocates and an external subject matter expert who knows the pitfalls, knows what good looks like and has a track record of doing this before.
3. Prove the value quickly
There are 90-120 days to get traction, during your focused work stream make sure you get Incremental and significant results quickly so people see that this is not another programme that doesn’t deliver, and your stakeholders gain confidence quickly. This will also ensure further sponsorship you will require to accelerate. You will need to have a really clear idea about where to focus for the best returns and move aggressively towards your goal. Shock and Awe!