Changing the organisation

Organisational transformation describes the way and means for an organisation towards its future objective. The key questions for that organisation are: “How to get there?” and “How to make it happen?”
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Our organisational transformation model is based on 5 domains with 13 building blocks and for the sake of clarity only the top two levels are shown here. The complete model is further subdivided into 31 activity groups, each with several key success factors, which we will be happy to provide upon request.

Understanding the gaps

The beginning of every organisational transformation should be an organisational gap analysis in order to identify what kind of changes are needed. It is important not only to define the future state, but also understand the current organisational limits and limitations in order to specify the gap. A common error is to try to achieve too much transformation with too little means and get lost on the way in multiple roadworks. The key to a successful transformation is to define the priorities of the needed activities, focus on the top priorities with force and not do certain activities of lesser importance. The challenge is not to start as many projects as possible, but to finish the important ones.

Preparing on a strategic level

As much as the organisation itself needs a strategy, a transformation needs one as well. But it is not enough to have it defined and communicated. A transformation lives from a leadership that is strong enough inside the organisation, that is committed to the change and displays the urgency and commitment on a daily basis in words and deeds. As changes are not welcome by everyone in the organisation, some transformations do not survive the first idea or kick-off meeting, because the change leadership was not strong enough and the urgency has not been transmitted accordingly.

Defining the detailed approach

Once the strategic preparation is achieved, it is necessary to break down the strategic objectives into digestible and manageable parts for the different organisational entities. That includes the definition of specific goals and a clear understanding of the requirements in order to achieve those goals. In addition to objective and factual elements it is crucial to understand the forces that support and hinder the future transformation, which may not be initially obvious and visible. A clear understanding of those forces and a subsequent modification of the approach increases the chances for a successful transformation.

Implementing the transformation

After the preparation comes the execution, which has proven to be the most challenging part in some instances. One major success factor is an institutionalised active communication loop between the operations and the change strategy in order to allow rapid course corrections in case of complications. Unplanned road blocks in this phase are not a problem, they are as normal as waves in water. It is necessary to be aware of that and design a fast decision-making process in order to remove those roadblocks. Especially in larger scale transformations it is necessary to define and force quick wins in order to gain momentum. Success is a lot sweeter than failure and therefore, it is of particular importance to plan and put into effect positive achievements along the way.

Consolidating the gains

At one stage, some of the temporary activities need to become permanent and part of the normal operations. Therefore, it is necessary to actively steer that transfer and make sure that the changes do not get lost just before the finishing line and operationalise them. In rare instances transformation projects get a detailed review process in order to understand what went well and what did not. That is an exceptional opportunity to get a feedback, which is unique for that particular organisation with all the particularities that do not exist anywhere else.