Succeed at transformation

Succeeding at business transformation will never be an easy task, but there are a number of factors which can help to influence positive results. Drawing on his experience as an independent business transformation specialist, Steve Deverill, of Eton Bridge Partners, an executive search and interim management organisation, examines the essential ingredients


You can have the most exciting transformation programme, supported by the latest technology and skills, but unless you manage it in the correct way and engage with the key stakeholders, you will be fighting a losing battle.

From the moment of inception through to the “go live” date, you have to win the hearts and minds of all those involved. If they can’t understand the issues and see the benefits at every level, then the best strategy and planning in the world will have little effect.

Very few businesses have the skills and experience to manage such major programmes in-house and, given that the Harvard Business School and CapGemini Economist Intelligence Unit estimate 70 per cent of organisational transformations fail, choosing the right transformation expert is a very important first step.

LEADING FROM THE FRONT

An increasing trend in the market is to bring in an interim transformation specialist. Interims have no other agenda apart from achieving success and are purely focused on the transformation programme.

They combine a lack of pre-conceived ideas with fresh thinking and their “can-do” approach can really complement in-house capabilities.

A good interim will lead from the front and use his or her influencing skills to work cross-functionally within the business. They will be highly qualified, used to quickly taking ownership, diagnosing the issues and managing the delivery.

Interims have no other agenda apart from achieving success and are purely focused on the transformation programme

Utilising interim managers also offers organisations the ability to tap into different skill sets.

While one individual may specialise in taking a more holistic view of an entire organisation and be able to create the vision, concept and ideas behind a transformation programme, another will have the necessary operational skills and tangible, hands-on experience to drive it forward at programme-director level.

All too often, we see organisations who have failed to recognise the need for a solid change-management programme to back up the transformation process. They will be ready to go live with a major implementation, such as an enterprise resource planning programme, but little thought has been given to engaging with the workforce, who will be directly affected by operational changes on a daily basis. No wonder then that so many programmes fail.

INDEPENDENT AND ACCOUNTABLE

With their own reputation at stake, interims are clearly focused on achieving success and leaving a sustainable legacy.

Their independent status enables them to step back from boardroom politics and challenge senior management views, while their accountability is solely to the client’s business.

Many of today’s highly successful interims have a “big four” consultancy background. Moving into the interim arena enables them to offer clients greater flexibility and a scalable, cost-effective approach, while taking advantage of their strong track record.

Put simply, an interim has your interests at heart. When the future success of your organisation depends on their expertise, you can trust them to deliver.

DEVERILL’S RECIPE FOR TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS

• Gain key stakeholder engagement from day one

• Talk to employees about why transformation is necessary

• Have a clear vision of what transformation should achieve

• Put in place a change-management programme which demonstrates how practical changes will work

• Take everyone with you on the journey

To talk to Steve Deverill for more details, call 01753 303600 or

e-mail steve.deverill@etonbridgepartners.com