The word transform is more often used to describe an intention to improve something. Using an approach that is extremely different from ‘how things are normally done’. So much of the time, when people think about transformation it’s viewed as a major ‘about-face’, a move that will alter the way things are, look, feel, and exist.
Remember the TV series Extreme Makeover? The term transformation was the main descriptor - you couldn’t even recognize the person after transformation. Then, of course, the beloved sci-fi action series Transformers, in which vehicles trans mutate into giant autobots. Both entertaining yes because we can watch and admire the effort and commitment that goes into changing so drastically from our lounge chair. It seems the focus of these radical transformations is really from the outside-in.
Transformation happens in business all the time too and has become a buzz-word for essentially, change. But shouldn’t transformation be internally-focused? A methodology that influences behavior, processes and the feelings of the ones affected by an extreme transformation? With an approach that will alter the way forward in a progressive, positive way?
Most business leaders consider political shifts, competitive pressure, digital expansion, continuous innovation, and changing consumer demands; that all lend to reshaping the company. And these organizations generally are tasked with becoming more profitable, revolutionizing the industry, being socially, economically, and politically responsible all while maintaining a highly committed talent pool.
Couple that with the need to scrutinize the organizations' current state; practices, structures, technologies, and cultural habits that hold your company back.
That’s a lot to take on, and generally not doable from a lounge chair.
So, to support business transformations and empower your own team of Transformers, here general focus areas.
This is the typical starting point, an in-depth transformation of the company’s activities. Such as redesigning an organization’s structure, mode of operation, and professional practices to enable it to work more efficiently. Driven by leaders, the shift is a continuous and evolving process where the focus is on the employees, they must be supportive and committed to ensuring success.
Historically, control, discipline and excellent responsiveness were management traits. However, structures are weakening, the number of middle people reduced, and management functions and methods are being re-assessed. We’re seeing a leadership model that requires them to unlearn their old work behaviors as well as model solid communication, collaboration, and empowerment skills; while retaining top talent and encouraging growth. Once again, the touchpoint to success is centered on the people. Sharing information, explaining and persuading, with the aim of ensuring a more comprehensive change within the company.
Today, changing corporate culture involves changing ways of thinking, organizing and behaving. Focusing on individual and collective mindset shifts to achieve a cohesive culture with sustainable performance. It’s structure and operation guidelines that govern the company. At this point, governance has already been set, and the new vision and values laid out to the organizations' Transformers. Such as increased accountability, greater scope, new reasoning processes, and new collective capabilities.
Cultural transformation often occurs when a merger happens between two companies with different cultures. The two cultures must promote cooperation and resolve differences to shift to a new way of thinking.
An absolute constant is tech transformation and its impact on operations, processes, and people. These changes have led not only to the invention of a host of new services but also to their increasingly rapid design, development, and distribution. The main challenge here is to balance the needs of the company’s value proposition with the resources required to achieve it as quickly as possible, without losing sight of the inevitable risks. Digital transformation enables companies to differentiate themselves through a wide range of applications, including digitalization of services, process security, data and information sharing. It is important to prepare the company’s Transformers before introducing such major changes to information systems. If staff are to understand and accept them rather than seeing them simply as something they are obliged to endure, organizations can mitigate major risk factors early on. Too often the technology transformation is way ahead of the actual Transformers engagement.
The transformation of processes often focuses on technology and an implementation plan to support company strategy, so everyone can concentrate on its core business and increase productivity and market competitiveness.
It is important to identify the best options in order to select the right business model. After all, processes are implemented, applied, and followed by the organizations Transformers. Identify which processes will help save time, speed up return on investment, streamline an action or save resources?
The aim of transforming, even for the Transformers, is to improve strength and garner a competitive edge ensuring survival.
When using an approach that assesses, identifies, and works with the best way to transform human behavior from the inside-out, organizations can expect a major cultural shift and realignment, and fundamental change in business operations. The aim is to make changes to processes, or systems so people can better align with the company’s business strategy.
Recognize that change is constant and building Transformers capacity and capabilities to sustain the transformation into the future, is a key tool in the LaMarsh Global / Levvel methodology. You could say it’s a more ‘future proof’ perspective, setting everyone up in an organization with the skills and tools required for all to be Transformers.