In this blog series we explore various aspects of business transformation as a way to open up the discussion on how business leaders and business consultants engaged in transformation efforts can succeed in their efforts and avoid failure.

Read the first two posts on:

Over the next few posts we will explore :

  • Keys to Successful Business Transformation
  • The Role of the Business Leader in Transformation Success
  • And many more aspects of change and transformation

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin

Who am I to challenge the wisdom of Charles Darwin but my premise is that rather than ‘change’ Charles really meant to say ‘transformation’ as the change that he refers to is one that occurs over generations to create an entirely new animal! The long-necked Giraffe evolved from a short-necked ancestor who was able to reach up to leaves higher up thus reducing the competition for food.

Unfortunately, incremental change over generations is not a luxury available to most modern businesses.

What’s do you expect from a business transformation?

Although it may not feel like you have the luxury for contemplation, before you decide on what type of business transformation you need, you must identify why you need a transformation in the first place.

As business leaders undertake the immense challenge of a business transformation (of whatever type) as a way to generate new value for their organisation, their expectations may be to:

  • Drive new growth from existing or new markets
  • Develop organisational agility
  • Develop new capabilities previously unavailable to them
  • Deliver new efficiencies and reduce operating costs
  • Unlock new business opportunities with new markets, products and services
  • Increase customer satisfaction

In order to achieve those expectations, you need to understand how your business creates value today and reimagine how it can create value in a transformed future. The type of business transformation you need depends upon that.

Types of business Transformation

Every business is different. You need to consider both internal and external aspects together before you can determine what type of business transformation is right for your business.

You can think in various ways about business transformation.  

  • Business model transformations seeks to change the fundamentals of business value creation by completely changing the way that business performance is delivered – in recent years a good example of this is retail where many organisations have transitioned onto a predominantly online operation
  • Business process transformation focuses on how things get done in your organisation. Typically, this could involve process optimising and automation of routine processes and procedures. This is what most people think of when they say business transformation. It is easy to confuse this with many change management efforts. Outsourcing large elements of the back office could be considered a business process transformation.
  • Digital transformation involves leveraging new technologies and connectivity to unlock new business value from previously available information or data or with new data. Digital transformation enables us deliver new value leveraging behavioural, cognitive and network capitals—means that were previously unavailable to us.
  • Organisational, cultural and management transformation – Focuses on the business and its people.

What is right for you and your organisation may be a combination of one or more of the above.

How do you know what is right?

Great question.

That depends on your vision.

To put it simply, there is no rule book. As a result, each organisation has to decide where their future lies and work towards getting there. In fact, you may want to throw away the rule books when thinking about business transformation because technology integration and the evolution of innovative assets, business paradigms have changed and keep changing.

Today, businesses must either learn to adapt quickly right now or perish in a world of turbulence made up of shifting consumer tastes, workforce expectations, debates and challenges of remote work. At the same time, “COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point.”

Let us continue our discussion over the next few posts, which will focus on keys to successful business transformation and transformation failures and the lessons we can learn from them.

Share your thoughts. We invite you to share your thoughts in the comments.

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