Avoiding the Cliffs of Transformation

The work of transformation is uncomfortable but incredibly rewarding; team-members are often afraid of what change means, building alignment around a direction is difficult with so many cooks in the kitchen, and the unknown is often untested.

Below are some very practical disciplines and warnings that the Silver Rock team employs in the transformation processes we lead.

  1. Structure your time well.
    WARNING: If your working sessions are not structured or a well-intended pathway is not communicated, the Taskforce, body of engaged key stakeholder, will lose interest and not put their creative thought into transformation. This is not about having an all-day session and you are done.  This could take 4 to 6 well planned Sprints (working sessions) each full of highly intentional questions and content.
  2. Ask meaningful questions
    WARNING: There is a difference between asking the taskforce “what do you think about this direction?” and “what direction could we take that might grow the company?”Simply communicating the need for change is insufficient.  Instead, ask them specifically what they are trying to accomplish and what that success might look like. Getting the best output from the taskforce requires being targeted and forethought. Knowing what to ask is as important as how to ask it.
  3.  Assemble a broader working body:
    WARNING: Assembling a small Taskforce of 3-5 leaders that are nimble and can make fast decisions seems good, but can miss the mark and risk your organizations ability to execute on the new strategy.  We recommend a Taskforce of 15 – 20 people. The “Why” behind the larger number is 1) a broader functional experience base for knowledge input, 2) more influencers build enterprise momentum, and 3) different processers excel during different phases of the project. In another blog we discuss how to pick those members. Seek members that are leaders AND influencers within the company.  You may even consider board members or key patrons/customers. Your Taskforce should have a mix of strong resident knowledge, outside industry experience, functional expertise, and yes even a couple of nae sayers.  Nae sayers that are highly influential turned “yea sayers” are very powerful.
  4. It doesn’t need to be perfect the first time around.
    WARNING:  Not taking action for fear that you won’t get it perfect could be the worst decision you could make as a leader. Indecision speaks volumes.

Congratulations on your decision to take flight and transform the company.    This journey is exhilarating.

Scott Hippensteel is a Consultant and Advisor at Silver Rock Consulting. If you are looking to take a transformation journey and would like an experienced partner along the way please reach out to us at SilverRockConsulting.com or contact us at (414) 999-1120. Scott’s email is scotthippensteel@silverrockconsulting.com.


*Image used: “Cliffs of May Mono” by Phil Combe is licensed under CC BY 2.0