THE FUNDAMENTALS OF TRANSFORMATION

In business, change is constant. As a leader, if you are not regularly considering how to transform and adapt, you are risking organizational obsolescence. At Silver Rock Consulting we use business transformation to describe “the fundamental reimagining and shift from one form of existence and operation to your New Next.”

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Scott Anthony (click here) described three kinds of transformation:

  1. Operational Transformation – “doing what you are currently doing, better, faster, or cheaper”
    (e.g. a traditional brick and mortar company selling online)
  1. Operational Model Transformation – at Silver Rock we call this Business Model Transformation – “doing what you are currently doing in a fundamentally different way.”
    (e.g. a Healthcare company determining what kind of a relationship it wants to have with its customers, and the experiences needed to foster that relationship)
  1. Strategic Transformation – “changing the very essence of a company”
    (e.g. an organization shifting from a driver of profit to a provider of a social good)

Each type of transformation plays a role in the life of a company and its stakeholders, whether for today, or 10 years from today.

As you consider transforming your organization, there are a number of key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What is driving transformation? This is the “Why” of the transformation. The motivation behind the effort to transform your organization can provide clues as to the type of transformation needed and help you answer some of the other questions below.
  • What type of transformation is necessary? Considering the kind of transformation needed can help you;
    1. Efficiently apply resources that are commensurate to the opportunity and challenge. Your company cannot afford to transform your whole organization every 6 months, and when you are ready to transform you will need to ensure that you have freed the needed resources (time, talent, treasure) to guarantee a successful transformation.
    2. Ensure the appropriate bridging between transformational types. Often one type of transformation begets the other and there is a need for integrating and sequencing the two. An out of sync process can unravel the effort.
  • What will tomorrow bring? This is the futurist view. It is a given that all transformation must be market-driven. Not just in response to current trends but forward looking to remain market-relevant and desirable.
  • Who needs a seat at the decision table and why? The dimensions of influence and power are rarely all concentrated in the same few people. One key consideration here is: some of your team members are transformational players, while others are transitional players. On your team you want folks who are forward thinkers, have deep institutional knowledge, are the drivers of change, have influence, or are doers.  We will discuss this further in the weeks to come.

The hardest part about transformation is rarely uncovering where you want to go, but helping employees and team members make the heart-shift and mind-shift needed to join the effort and move the ship in the agreed-upon direction. The more strategic your transformation the more important it is to invest in the mind and heart paradigm shift.

In our next Silver Rock blog, we will talk about the juxtaposition and tension in transformation between innovating and protecting the core.

Reimagine your New NextTM

Written by Karen Hung (October 2, 2019)