Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Digital Master Tuning #97: Doing the Wrong Things Differently Isn't Transformation

First things first, frame the right questions before answering them, ensure doing the right things before doing things right.


Organizations large or small are at the journey of digital transformation. However, statistically, more than two-thirds of these programs fail to achieve the expectation. What are the root causes? Do you agree: Doing the wrong things differently isn’t transformation. That is the importance of good transformation practice within a motivated change culture oriented to the right work for the right reasons. But what are the logical steps to follow during the transformation to ensure you are doing the right things, before doing things right, also improve organizational maturity from efficiency to effectiveness to agility?


Diagnose the current business problems: It is about the role of the "Problem Creator." A solution is nothing if the problem is not perceived, therefore, creating the awareness of the problem is the first step to making a solution be understood and accepted, realizing “We can't stay the same,” the realization only comes when the problem is perceived. One concept always is present in any process designed to successfully produce positive change; "Begin with an End in Mind (Vision in this example)." Transformation starts with the realization that where you currently no long can deliver the business objective and vision of success for your company and your shareholders. Determining what the future needs to look like, and what the transformation must look like is the next step. Having the most senior champion is critical - someone who will not only communicate what the transformation looks like, and where people will fit in the new vision but also be observed as the leader who is "marching towards" that transformational vision. That's the starting point. Leadership is about disclosing the new world of the organization, by developing a good strategy, by designing the right organizational structure, and by leading the way people show up in the organization through the way in which they show up. Transformation is about people in most of the situations. Most people prefer to follow and change as a result of positivity and inspiration. The process, change assessment, etc. are all tactics to get the organization there - but it all starts with the realization that "we can't stay the same."


Build a comprehensive roadmap for digital transformation: There are a number of challenges common in transformation programs, such as getting the right strategies, execution, a good leader to lead the transformational vision, and broader view of consumer demand, etc. They come up over and, those are the reasons why approximately 80% of these programs fail. Many of them are symptomatic of not having a comprehensive and strategic approach to transformation. Almost all organizations 'want' to change, they just don't have the roadmap. Transformations are mostly the C-Level’s 'big thing.' Besides a roadmap, a single transformation towards an organization that is constantly, effectively and organically evolving in a manner and culture that continuously deploy new capabilities seems more valuable - and a fair chance for the organization to remain competitive. Is it time to 'transform' transformations and give the organization a break!


The toughest part of the strategy is the trade-offs: The more you can front load and truly define the current state, the easier the journey moves ahead. Establishing an accurate baseline from which to transition from. It also assists with the entire education and communication required. Whilst spring-cleaning brings with it some benefit, there is a question about time and effort and bigger questions as to whether not doing it per se, It is a better trade-off to rather aligning behind new enterprise-wide capabilities. One of the pitfalls for transformation, either for improvement or innovation is sometimes getting the 'right answer' to the 'wrong question.' (remember that famous quip - When you ask customer what they want, they might choose the faster horse, not an automobile).  It's difficult to tease out the incremental innovations that yield margin efficiency or some top-line boost (cannibalization notwithstanding) from the WOW/step function innovations that change markets, at least at their inception. An 'ecosystem' perspective is essential. Enterprise needs an analytic platform to provide insight into where the value is being created and where destroyed. If spring-cleaning is at the high-end of the transformation agenda, there are some questions to be asked about the strategic agenda before embarking on any transformation, these questions can be considered:
- Is a major transformation necessary? (or is it just organizational right-sizing, spring cleaning)
-Does your company strategy hold or remain valid in the time it takes to actually 'transform'?
- Is the current state of your organization optimal for the type of transformation you are choosing?
- Do you need to transform your organization before transforming the business?
- Will you know you have actually transformed?
- Doing the same things faster with technology is not re-engineering.
- Measuring the same things with better reporting tools is not driving change,
- Keeping the old business rules and culture in place without confirming their continued value is not transformative.

Digital transformation is a leapfrogging business change. There are many pitfalls on the way, first things first, frame the right questions before answering them, ensure doing the right things before doing things right. The business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. That being said, it requires a good strategy, a comprehensive roadmap and most importantly the solid execution. Absolutely doing the wrong things differently isn’t a transformation, and the success of your digital transformation will also depend on how you overcome the leadership, management, and governance challenges.


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