Corporate transformation often happens under pressure when a company is forced to make changes to survive economically. It seldom happens because it is strategically planned which means that often transformation is regarded as a defensive and negative process. In the 80s companies would realign and redesign themselves every five to seven years; since then the business world has evolved, which forces companies to transform every three years. Three years is a relatively short time span, especially if you take into consideration that a successful transformation process can take three to five years to roll out effectively. In that sense, organisations are in a continuous transformation and change cycle.
Organisations struggle to transform because they don’t invest in proper workplace intervention strategies (H2)
Statistics show that organisational transformation has a very low success rate of 40%, which raises the question of whether the hard work is worth the desired outcome. There are key factors that cause the low success rate but if companies apply these “common sense” tactics the success rate shoots up to 80%.
Setting clear and aspiring goals – The underlying reason for the transformation needs to be planned in detail, step by step with clear milestones, goals and deadlines. This will be a huge process that impacts on people, systems, processes, values, and clients and we are well aware that change comes with resistance, unless it has a well-developed and thought out plan.
Exercising strong, authentic leadership – Leaders need to get together and collectively agree on the transformation process. They should keep in mind the motto of “One for All” during this initial process. After this has been decided, leaders must play a critical role in openly communicating the transformation steps to their teams, not once but often. In order to get their teams to accept and see the benefits of the change, leaders need to inspire and provide support. There is no space for secrecy or withholding information. The role leaders play during the transformation process cannot be highlighted enough.
Creating a clearly articulated structure and framework – The changes need to flow and happen in logical sequence. Each stage can vary in its roll-out phase and some can take several months to re-align; when people and systems are involved the focus is on gradual but continuous change.
Maintaining high energy and proactive employee involvement – This is a common area that is overlooked and a core reason why organisational transformation fails. Change might lead to redesigning the culture, values and norms and people need to be supported to change their behaviour and attitudes. Leaders should inspire people to see the growth potential and the opportunities in an improved working environment.
Change is not linear – The transformation process is not a one-directional, but rather a circular parallel process. Everything should happen simultaneously which is the reason for the energy and zest needed.
Some people will find the process confusing, chaotic and unclear. This is normal and healthy if it’s in accordance with the detailed framework. There might be gaps between perception and experience, and leaders must effectively attend to these and re-align people.
Success comes from positive transformation and change. Changing under pressure is associated with crisis management and seldom leads to well thought through processes. Support your teams to see that the transformation will make good results great, and be sure to take your entire workforce along on the transformation journey.
Contact us for more information about organisational transformation and workplace intervention.