Business transformation efforts can be a complex undertaking under the best of circumstances. During times of uncertainty, some things can make business transformation more tricky.
Business transformation initiatives are time-consuming and involve stakeholders across your entire organization. On the surface, it may not seem all-encompassing. Still, once these projects are initiated, virtually every employee, leader, vendor or customer in and outside of your organization will likely become a stakeholder. They will impact transformation efforts or be impacted by these efforts. This can become more complex and involved depending on how your organization addresses these five things.
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Transformation can be a proactive process or it can result from urgent changes required when a crisis hits, such as COVID-19. Either way, how your leadership team views the need or urgency for change can be a game-changer. If leaders view business transformation efforts as something that can wait until current projects or initiatives are complete, then a successful path to true transformation may become fleeting. Recognizing the need for change, especially during times of increased uncertainty, is prudent. At the very least, leaders turn over every stone to determine how uncertainty and changes to internal and external environments might affect current and future goals.
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Speed is your friend when it comes to transformation. Companies that are slow to adopt the right technologies, best practices, effective policies and processes, the right talent, and the ability to become customer- and forward-focused are likely to lag behind their competitors. This eventually results in customer confidence as well as market share and financial losses.
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For many companies, potentially the smaller ones, diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices may not seem like they will significantly impact successful business transformation efforts. A recent PMI report explains that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 30% of companies put most or all diversity and inclusion initiatives on hold. The report said that organizations need to recognize they need a full breadth of perspectives and skills on their teams within the project economy—true diversity to foster innovative, collaborative and future-ready teams that deliver powerful outcomes.
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Employee and leadership education and training are a vital part of any transformation. Sometimes it requires reteaching employees in your organization. Your goal should be to help everyone understand the value they can add to your organization's overall strategy. It's about increasing their awareness of organizational change management. With some effort and patience, employees will overcome their fear of change and embrace change as a positive thing once they are better equipped to manage it.
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As more companies adopt at least partial or hybrid remote teams, technology is needed to keep teams connected and help them work more efficiently. Remote teams need remote-friendly technologies that address collaboration, security, digital adoption and integration, scheduling, productivity and mobility, among other things. No two companies will have the same needs, but successful business transformation relies on developing effective digital transformation.
Successful business transformation is possible during times of increased uncertainty; it just requires companies to ensure they factor in leadership and employee views on change, agility and speed, DEI, and the adoption of technologies that enable change.