Is your organization’ s approach to Strategic Transformation, correct and working?
‘Not sure’ would be the most probable answer for most companies.
Many organizations approach transformation in ways that are not successful or that simply do not work.
In reference to McKinsey & Company, “only 30% of Large -scale Corporate transformations succeed”.
Strategic transformations are very important to almost all organizations in today’s competitive and ever-changing economy. They need them for them to survive and thrive in the midst of changing consumer preferences and pressures of the market place.
Companies undertake strategic business transformation once they are hit by sustained and significant marketplace pressures. In order to maximize consumer satisfaction and increase the shareholders returns, the transformation process may include but not limited to;
1. Pivoting their services, offerings or products ,or
2. Re-alignment of the way an organization carries out business.
What is a Strategic Transformation and how can an organization undertake one successfully and remain relevant in the market place?
A strategic transformation can be defined as a business plan of action for change management that is purposed to move an organization from one level (where it is currently) to another (desired future state).
It involves re-configuring and re-imagining the operations of a company across the whole organization onboarding all the employees along the journey. This is in addition to isolated or improved individual product or operational strategy changes.
An organizational change is essential for a company to grow, thrive and succeed. It calls for a strategic transformation process that allows employees to understand it and embrace a commitment to the change and work effectively during it.
In addition, an organizational transformation involves a process of aligning the way a company’s employees work (original culture), with the trade-offs that the company is willing to make to attain its goals(strategy). This is usually met by resistance to change and new ideas by the employees and therefore it requires overcoming this initial resistance. It also necessitates creating a conducive environment where the employees are able to actualize and try the new methods and ideas and after failing, learn and eventually succeed to spread and reinforce them to the other members of their teams in their organization.
How do you manage resistance to the transformational change so as to achieve success?
Normally, people do not embrace change easily reason being it’s a human natural instinct to resist change. However, for businesses to succeed, grow and thrive, change is very critical. Organizations will grow if they are fast in innovation and are agile which translates to their workers going through change.
It calls for an organization to plan for the roll out of a strategic transformation well in advance having in mind the possibilities of resistance to change by employees. This includes good communication to everybody onboard about the importance of the process and how the company intends the change to positively impact on the employees and the company at large. This includes both the planning and implementation stages of the strategic changes. It therefore requires development of a clear road map that ensures that the transformation will actually happen and succeed.
A very important point to note here is that a company undertaking a plan for strategic transformation should involve the people who do the work on a daily basis and those who are usually in closer contact with their customers.
This is because these employees have great insight and ideas into what the company really needs to improve its performance. When involved and communication is done appropriately when initiating a change effort, resistance will be minimized as well. In brief, some of the strategies that an organization can use to minimize unproductive resistance includes:
i. Listening first – Communicate and allow the employees to initiate the conversations more
ii. Communicate the reasons for change – Explain what, why and how the change is needed and how it will also benefit the employees
iii. Getting excited – Show wholeheartedly how the change is necessary and beneficial to all those involved. With excitement and transfer the conviction to them
iv. Making it about employees – Ensure you approach change in terms of employees using the human resources on board. This is called User adoption strategy
v. Delegating change – Engage the natural leaders in the business first and train them. Then they will act as role models and train their team members.
vi. Show them the data – Show transparency and need for improvement by showing the employees data for them to see by themselves.
vii. Implement in stages – To allow everyone to digest the change and for the feeling to be drastic, allow proper planning and participation slowly and in stages.
viii. Practice Change Management Exercises – These includes simple exercises that demonstrates how despite change being uncomfortable and unpleasant at the beginning, the end results are beneficial and the reality of it is very satisfying.
In conclusion, Organizational strategic management is very vital in the success of a company’ growth and thriving in the competitive marketplace. Good communication to the employees is essential as it allows them to understand the process and commit to the shift while continuously working effectively during it. Also, it’s good to note that aligning an organization culture with its strategy involves a process of an intense discourse among the company’s stakeholders. This process is structured to create a new vision, negotiating priorities, creating actionable plans while minimizing the risks to establish a commitment for change from all.