Ur-Turn (2): It's Your Turn

3 min

It's Your Turn

Whether you’re a CXO or a divisional leader, a business / technology manager, a strategist or an implementer, it is likely that you will sooner or later be engaged in transforming your company’s way of working. As such, you will be tasked with shaping, planning, and orchestrating a significant redirection of your organization.

You might think this is just another challenge—but it’s not.

A transformational change is no business-as-usual project, no standard technology upgrade, no cost-cutting reorganization initiative. It’s much more profound.

It’s about questioning and changing the fundamental parameters of your business. It’s a journey that can make or break your company’s chances of sustained success.

While there’s plenty of well-meant advice out there, in the end:

It’s your business, your responsibility, your decision.

In the process of corporate transformation, whether digital or agility driven, you will be confronted with multiple challenges at once, including:

  • A complex and dynamic ecosystem;
  • Corporate limitations and trade-offs; and
  • Human challenges like fear of and resistance to change.

Most digital and agile transformation initiatives are triggered by the recognition that the economic and social environments are changing so drastically that it’s not possible for a company to continue as is.

In the post-industrial, digital age, the unabated pace of technological progress means not only that new solutions are continually emerging, but also that new competitors are shaking up the market.

The pervasiveness of digital technologies, the undeniable impact of climate change, and the deep schism of societies mean that the social conditions for companies will continue to evolve drastically in the future.

As well, the cornucopia of entrepreneurial opportunities is not inexhaustible.

Add in that corporate organizations are complex systems, and you are faced with a situation that you can hardly control.

A decision always implies a trade-off and a limitation of possibilities in other areas.

Shareholders rarely go “all in” when it comes to sacrificing actual earnings in favor of a risky transformation. As such, budgets are regularly constrained. But on the other hand, this does not necessarily mean that expectations are limited.

You must therefore spend your time and money wisely. To make the right decisions, you need clarity about the expected impacts—immediate and delayed, direct and indirect.

Money spent on technology cannot be invested in your workforce. Delayed or indirect side effects of significant changes might also incur additional spending that further reduces the available budget or funding.

It’s common for these factors to not be initially taken into account.

Experience shows that it’s often those overlooked second- and third-degree expenses that finally kill a business case.

Lastly, as human beings, we are social creatures who strive for recognition and security.

Our mental capabilities to grasp and assess situations and information are heavily influenced by our individual experiences and expertise. We may consider ourselves rational, but we’re not.

As Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman points out in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, humans are driven by fear, loathe uncertainty, and prefer the known and familiar. As such, their—our—decisions often don’t make sense.

Let’s be honest: As an erroneous individual equipped with limited means and tasked with changing a complex system in a dynamic ecosystem—you barely stand a chance.

So why not start by getting clear about the mess and understanding the logic of failure? [...]

The text above is the second part (out of eight) of our new whitepaper on Business Transformation - why most of the initiatives systematically fail and what measures help prevent failure.

Trexcelerator® is dedicated to support businesses around the globe cope with complex transformation challenges successfully - by creating clarity about the organization's environment, the dynamics and dependencies of the internal areas of action, as well as the appropriate transformation approach.

Our tool—The Transformation Board—helps transformation leaders, managers, and coaches envision, explain, enable, and execute transformational change effectively.

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