How To Make Business Transformation Less Scary
How To Make Business Transformation Less Scary
By Betsy Burton
As I was putting up Halloween decorations this year, I began to reflect on what makes something scary. I am not a big horror movie fan, but I do like the occasional suspense movie or even a good, haunted house this time of year.
I remember as a kid, my mother telling me that if you figure out what makes something scary, it can become much less scary. What is interesting is that we can apply the same elements that make a haunted house scary to business transformation, in order to make it less scary, intimidating, and overwhelming.
Element of Surprise
I think the most significant thing that makes something scary is the element of surprise. A cute kitten or child can scare you if you get surprised. A critical action is to keep your wits about you to reduce surprise.
In business transformation, to reduce the element of surprise, it is important to know what is going on in and around a business transformation effort. It is important to track the people, processes, information, and technology involved in transformation.
It is equally important to track the internal and external business ecosystem that may impact or be affected by business transformation.
A branch scratching on a window in the light of the moon can be very scary. Even today, my imagination can go wild in the middle of the night; it’s a witch, a monster, an intruder, or a bear. The problem is I don’t really know what it is, and I am too lazy to get up to figure it out.
I have written about this issue in other blogs.
Many times, when people say business transformation, they really mean modernization, optimization or remediation. And then we get too lackadaisical when it comes to determining what we are really doing, thus wasting huge amounts of time, energy, and money.
Before you get started getting all focused on your efforts, go figure out what you are really doing. It will make it much less scary and increase success.
I will admit, cockroaches, spiders, rats, and bats scare me. I know I am much bigger than them and could easily hurt them. But they are unpredictable, especially bats. They fly around really fast with seemingly no rhyme or reason.
Oh, and don’t get me started on cockroaches.
An unplanned business transformation effort barreling ahead with no clear vision, direction, goals or metrics is really scary. And, it can quickly become a huge money, capital and emotional pit, not only for the people involved in business transformation, but for your executives, partners, customers, and peers. It is critical to be calmly predictable.
Monsters, zombies and sharks are scary. Even if a zombie walks slowly, and even if I know it is not a real zombie, it can be scary because I feel vulnerable. My irrational side thinks I could get physically harmed.
Business transformation can be really scary if you feel your reputation, career, or relationships could be harmed. The best way to protect against this is to continually ensure your executives, leaders and peers understand and support your efforts.
In addition, you must always be armed with the status information and metrics that illustrate the progress and value impact of your efforts. This doesn’t mean you defend your position to a fault, but rather have the information and metrics to remain in leadership.
Things are much less scary if we know what we are getting into and keep our wits about us.
We will get scared along the way, and you should expect that.
But by identifying what we are doing with good planning, tracking progress and impacts, defining metrics, and communicating and gaining and retaining support, we can reduce the concern and fear of business transformation.
Vision. Plan. Communicate. Execute.
Now……..I just need to remember all of this next time I wake in the middle of the night to that witch scratching on my window in the moonlight.
The biggest challenges organizations face with business transformation are largely people issues; lack of leadership, vision, management and purpose.
Defining strong governance is critical to ensuring people know why, what and how to transform. In this webinar we will discuss how organizations support business transformation and introduce Aragon Research’s governance framework.
Join us for this lively discussion and learn how you can use good governance to fuel business transformation.
- How has governance changed in a post pandemic environment?
- What are the core elements of good governance?
- How do leaders apply Aragon Research’s Governance Framework to their business?
This blog is a part of the Business Transformation blog series by Aragon Research’s VP of Research, Betsy Burton.
Missed the previous installments? Catch up here:
Blog 10: What Is a Business Capability Model?