The Harvard Business Review informs us that: Business transformation involves making fundamental changes in how business is conducted.
For myself, business transformation involves the structured (and planned) change, improvement, evolution and/or the replacement of processes, people, training, systems, technology, marketing and brand perception. This will ultimately lead to business improvements in the form of, for example, increased efficiencies, sales, workforce skills, customer satisfaction, brand improvement, stakeholder approval and profits.
My view is that any business can successfully complete a transformation project to support their growth!
Whether you’re a £50k or £50m turnover business you’ll perform (at a high level) the same type of change activities. Rather the key differences will be the scale of transformation undertaken, time frame needed, resources required, and the magnitude of the transformation attempted.
Remember, just because your company might have a small turnover and limited resources compared to others, doesn’t mean you can’t complete a successful transformation project.
So, when is the right time to kick-off a transformation project? This is an important question to consider! After all, should you kick-off when your business is: Going well, and you have a positive momentum and sufficient resources, or during a business plateau when your business is neither growing nor reducing? Or when things aren’t going well, and you need the transformation to recover your business?
In my experience, when things are going well in a business and confidence is high, this is when they’re most positive about initiating a transformation project. Although you might then ask, why would you transform if things are going well?
I think the most stressful and difficult time to consider initiating a transformation is when things aren’t going well in the business. Let’s be honest, when a business is struggling it’s going to be under a significant amount of additional stress and the motivation levels of staff within the business may not be high. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t initiate a transformation during this period, but rather it’s important to recognise that it’s going to be tougher.
So, you made the decision to initiate a transformation project. Next step, how do you do it? Each transformation is unique; however, I believe there are three keys factors needed for success:
1 Having the support of people who have successfully completed a transformation can significantly increase your likelihood of success,
2 Your team are key stakeholders, if they aren’t on board and involved in planning the transformation, they won’t buy in, and the success of the transformation will be impacted.
3 In order to make a successful transformation, you will need to allocate appropriate resources (which may be limited) and time.
In summary, business transformation can be undertaken by businesses of any scale at any time, however its always easier when the business is in a positive position. Transforming a business is a challenge. It takes time (potentially months and longer depending on the scale of transformation) and a lot of hard work and commitment.
Finally, thinking you can successfully achieve a transformation without time, effort and commitment, is a sure-fire way of setting yourself up for failure. However, if you follow a process and have the support of people with the appropriate skills, knowledge and experience, you can successfully transform your business and ensure success for years to come.
Dr Scott King is co-founder of Pinnacle Growth Group, a business advisory firm based in Lisburn. Scott is experienced in advising organisations in logistics, aerospace and aviation, tourism and agri to food and drink, construction, renewables and defence.
If you would like to talk about transforming your business for the future in more detail, email Scott at: [email protected]
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