Discovering Your Business’ “NEW NEXT”

As a leader nothing is more exciting or concerning than the realization that the direction you have been heading will simply not get the organization to its intended goal.  Your options – change, suffer mediocrity, or worse, witness your organization’s decline.  What does the process of discovering your New NextTM look like?

The purpose of this blog is to provide a few guiding principles that will support your effort in this journey. Regardless of whether you are a large, midcap or smaller organization, the concepts outlined below are relevant across all sizes of organizations and transformation initiatives.


Getting Started-convening the Executive Council

The first step of any great transformational process is building your case for “why.”  Yes, it takes a village to bring about transformational change, but it always starts with a leader.  As the village leader you must call the Council (Executive Leadership) together and help them see “why” transformation is necessary.  Knowing that the road ahead will no doubt be wrought with challenges, it will be important to have your Council behind you as you move forward. The Council provides trusted advice, leads the effort alongside you, and their support will add weight to the importance of the project.


2 Key Aspects to a Successful Transformation Process

How many times have you been involved in a strategic planning process where what you were being asked to do was unclear and the results less motivating and unsettling?  We hear the smiles!  At Silver Rock we guide our clients to consider three main principles when starting this process.

1) Assemble the Right Working Team (Task Force)
Assuming the change you are seeking to bring about is throughout the organization, pick the influencers and leaders that have a mix of skillsets:

    1. Strategic Thinkers: You want folks who understand the complexity of the situation and are able to create a vision for where you want to go.
    2. Action-oriented doers: This team must include those who have the ability to map out the tactics and execute on them.
    3. Mix of Experts: Your team should have experts from the relevant industry but who have disparate industry experiences.
    4. Transitional and Transformational decision makers: During a transformational process you will need people who can immediately move into your New Next, as well as folks who can leverage a strong institutional knowledge and build the bridge into your desired future state.

This team becomes the Taskforce that works to drive change. While you will likely seek out team members who are willing to change, it is a good idea to include a couple of naysayers. Especially if they wield influence within your organization a naysayer turned yeasayer is an immeasurable asset. Not to mention their dissent is the fastest way to work through challenges. Yes, they do have their place.

Lastly, when considering who needs to be a part of the process, it is important to note that forward thinkers and those with institutional knowledge can and need to be sequenced as needs vary during the different stages of transformation.

2) Employ a “Co Creation” Process

Transformation needs to be radically inclusive to increase speed to results.  Involving the right villagers in the process helps your team know that their voice is heard, and can facilitate a smoother transformation.  Co-creating allows (1) the key stakeholders and experts to be at the table together sharing influence and power, and (2) provides space for innovation within the boundaries of a leader’s vision.

Silver Rock employs a proprietary Co-Creation ProcessTM that is built upon our years of experience as executive managers and our learnings from our work with our clients. Based on leadership objectives, our process is designed to draw out the ideas and expertise from your team together with our experience to build a strategic framework for growth.  In our experience co-creation results in greater buy in, higher momentum and a faster implementation process.


Final Thoughts

As the leader of your village you are likely to feel the anxiety of transformation most acutely, as well as experience the rewards of transformative growth for your company wholeheartedly.  We invite you to reach out to Silver Rock so that we may work with you as a guiding partner throughout this transformation process.  We are excited to help you and your team realize your New NextTM.


Written by Scott Hippensteel (November 20, 2019)

Silver Rock’s Co-Creation ProcessTM and New NextTM are trademarks of Silver Rock Consulting.


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)