With the increasing pace of disruption, organisations require a sustainable approach to transformation that enables them to accelerate time to value in a future of uncertainty.
In this article, we explore the concept of ‘Accelerated Transformation’; its importance, value and composition. This builds on our previous article ‘Three factors for successful business transformation’ where we explored our initial point of view around critical success factors for transformation.
We believe that transformation needs to adapt continuously to shifts in the market, operating conditions, and evolve the way business is conducted to deliver sustainable value.
Through our extensive experience of supporting clients execute transformation, we have identified 5 key elements to achieving the results in a compressed timeframe.
Accelerated Transformation – why now?
Anyone who has been involved in transformation understands that they can be complex and there are many challenges to tackle if you are to realise the intended outcomes. The increasing pace of digital, technological, consumer demands and regulatory disruption is real for our clients across all sectors.
This level of disruption poses challenges and significant opportunities, especially considering “in the next 10 years, 40% of the Fortune 500 companies will be gone” (Babson Olin School of Business). Those who continue to adapt to new disruptive forces and sense, shape and seize on new possibilities will become tomorrow’s leaders.
As such, it is no longer possible to consider change as “once and done”; it is the new business as usual. Organisations have told us that they want an approach to transformation that allows them to accelerate time to value. They want an increased confidence of likely success.
Accelerated Transformation represents our philosophy and point of view on what it takes to deliver such changes.
Accelerated Transformation – what is it?
We see transformational change as being able to:
- Adapt continuously to shifts in the market and operating conditions
- Evolve the way business is conducted to deliver sustainable value
This requires a transformation style that is proactive, considers the entire enterprise and is deeply focused on people.
At the heart of Accelerated Transformation is the goal of faster, sustainable value creation. There are five key elements to successful transformation and a faster pathway to realising sustainable value. These elements are not cyclical, nor are they a method themselves, rather key ingredients to successful transformation.
Purpose – Clarity of the strategic choices made supported by a simple, impactful transformation narrative that outlines the why, what and how
It is vital that the transformation narrative is simple and that the strategy underpinning it is articulated in a unifying story that is understood across the business. It must be compelling and set out why people should get behind it. It should also help to create a sense of urgency that facilitates action in the short term.
Agility – Embracing a minimum viable approach to designing the journey and how change is delivered continuously – big change does not require big bets
Test hypotheses and ideas by trial and in doing so prioritise ‘speed to output’ over the ‘perfect output’. Along with this must come a focus on minimum viable change, and selection of a small group of clearly prioritised initiatives.
Empathy – Taking a people-centric approach to designing business capabilities and how meaningful change can be sustained
Businesses that understand that change is about people have a much greater likelihood of success when adopting new ways of working and transforming the business. Business and transformation leaders must think in a human centred way, about how the transformation will impact employees and customers and support them through the process.
Control – Minimising bureaucracy, maximise transparency, execute quickly and maintain control of the transformation from core to new business value
Transformations are disruptive to the core business. Controlling the program is about putting in place the right transparency, inclusivity and making sure you have the right pace; when to go fast, when to go slow or when to change direction.
Sustain – Enabling the business to sustain success by being able to adapt to changing circumstances and re-prioritise investment for maximum return
Develop momentum through early wins that demonstrate how the transformation will feel and that change is happening, celebrate these successes. Allied with transparent reporting, leading and lagging indicators and utilising the right people at the right time will establish an environment of effective strategy execution and a platform to sustain change.
In conclusion Deloitte has found that in the face of rapidly evolving operating environments, organisations who embrace agility, are focused on people, minimum viable approaches and have a unifying narrative have an increased likelihood of successfully executing their transformation strategy and goals.
 The three factors 1) the importance of a simple, unifying story that is understood from top to bottom of the organisation; 2) the notion of minimum viable transformations (MVT) a concept that focusses on rapid hypothesis testing and an ability to have impact in the short term; 3) and finally, focusing on adaption, the idea that businesses need to continually assess the alignment of capabilities to strategic ambition, invest in new and divest the non-strategic.