Is this the fastest business transformation you have faced?
Over the past few days and weeks we have been forced to change the way we run our businesses says Karen Thomas-Bland, founder at Seven, a business transformation consultancy based in London. Businesses have quickly had to transition their model to be all online, remote working has become the only option and our interactions with each have all become digital. Unlike a normal change, which requires significant analysis and planning, this has had to happen overnight. On top of which we have the worry about the situation we find ourselves in. Suddenly we have had to quickly find a new normal. Organisations we see are typically reacting in three ways:
- They are in a state of paralysis and not acting fast.
- They are somewhere in the change curve.
- They quickly accepted the new normal and are focussed on making it work.
It’s imperative to transition your business quickly through:
- Creating a sense of purpose to inspire and engage. Purpose creates meaning. Only if people connect to the purpose will they change their individual behaviour.
- Ensuring the community collaborates to shape the final end destination. That way they will feel part of the change and own it together.
- Delivering authentic and empathic communications. Authentic communication will cut through this and create the foundation for great relationships to sustain online.
- One size does not fit all — it’s about personalisation. It’s important to think about the experience of change you are delivering for different groups and then personalising.
- Provide forums and platforms to support different and diverse types of interactions and contributions based on how people prefer to engage.
- As leaders step up and lead with confidence. Offer help for people in controlling how they feel and avoid looking for perfection.
- Embed agile approaches and iterative ways of working, shorter change cycles and sprints with a ‘fail fast’ mentality, built around a culture of trust and psychological safety.
- Identify ‘tribes’ in the organisation and who is influencing those tribes. Behaviour is affected by the social norms of tribes that people identify with.
- Understand what new skills people will need for the change and build this into the programme so people feel confident that they know what is expected and can deliver it.
- Introduce metrics and indicators that measure the changed behaviour needed. Align reward to these metrics and indicators for continuous reinforcement.
Based in London and with over 24 years’ global experience, Karen Thomas-Bland is often cited as one of the top business transformation consultants and coaches in the world. She is a trusted advisor to boards, executive teams and investors, creating sustainable, long-term value for FTSE/Fortune businesses and PE funds. She writes for many publications including The Times, FT, Association of MBAs and Management Today.