In the book “Black Swan,” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the idea of a Black Swan is presented for the first time. According to Mr. Taleb, a Black Swan is an inevitable event either positive or negative which is considered improbable yet results in massive consequences.
In our personal life it could be divorce, bankruptcy, loss of a job, a serious car accident or others. Many people crumble under this event, and some make it through. But a very small percentage of people will thrive after experiencing this type of event.
You may ask yourself, what does all of this got to do with business transformation process?
In the business world, we tend to encounter such “Black Swans” during the experience of either external or internal events. Events such as a massive decrease in revenue, an M&A, significant changes in government regulations, or the need to increase efficiency via a large-scale operational plan.
When these events take place without an adjacent Business Transformation Plan, they are not only bound to fail, but ultimately can cause serious damage to the organization. But rest assured, it doesn’t have to end in failure. With the right strategic plan and execution, you should thrive as a result of these events.
What would trigger you to consider a business transformation process? We aren’t instinctively motivated to activate such an event – yet we often have no choice but to consider moving in this direction. In today’s ever-changing economic environment, it’s impossible to avoid it.
There are various triggers to force a transformation on the organization. As a result, we have to be well prepared, and ready to embrace the change for your business to succeed and thrive.
Proper Planning and Proper Execution Will Result In Success
- When Planning Ahead, Prepare for the Worst
This is an absolute MUST. Once you acknowledge the fact that changes are bound to happen, and then you understand that they are most likely not going to be positive.
You can and have to prepare ahead of time. A good example of this is someone working in a much regulated industry. These types of employees must prepare a blueprint for the day when change is inevitable.
- Make Sure Every part of the organization is Aligned
One of the most common mistakes is handling a business transformation process as a silo – instead of as a wide organizational shift. Business alignment between the finance department, IT, HR, and the rest of the Bus – together with the company’s risks, budget and strategic goals is critical. In this context, it’s essential to make sure your budget and work plan act as your strategic anchor.
- Give Equal Attention to Your IT – and Your Business Process
Nowadays, organizations and enterprises are enormous, spanning across several continents and employing more people than the populations of some countries.
Even if you work in a smaller organization, the changes you implement will likely impact every aspect of the company. Companies rely heavily on the IT side, just as much as they do on the human one.
- Just Because Your Plan is in Place, Doesn’t Mean Your Job is Over
It’s good to have a plan and to be prepared. But sometimes things don’t work exactly the way to planned.
According to Forbes, more than half of companies undertaking transformation fail to achieve the desired business result.
- Reap Actionable Takeaways from Every Transformation
Most COOs will readily admit that the process of business transformation is a never-ending one. Each time you embark on a new change is an opportunity to learn from its successes and failures, and use these insights to optimize the next initiative you take on.
Once the transformation is in place, ask yourself the following:
- What worked?
- What didn’t?
- Why did it work?
- Why didn’t it work?
Just remember – once you’ve successfully completed a major transformation, chances are another one will happen in the near future.
The knowledge you acquired is worth its weight in gold. Make sure you analyze and repeat what worked well, and avoid repeating anything that didn’t.
To sum up, it’s crucial to remember that only process-driven business can successfully complete business transformation process. You can’t just jump in and expect operational efficiency and process excellence without any proper planning.
If you wish to not only survive a massive change, remember this: The keys to a successful transformation are to plan, execute and analyze, and then to start again.