Leading transformation is one of the most critical roles in any organisation, as the firm seeks to evolve systems, processes, technologies and the workforce. Understanding the potential challenges and best practice opportunities to drive a successful result is critical, so in this DIGEST article we bring together recent analysis and articles from McKinsey, Forbes Magazine, INSEAD, Kellogg Northwestern and Harvard Business Review. “Transformation is perhaps the most overused term in business. Often, companies apply it loosely—too loosely—to any form of change, however minor or routine. There are organizational transformations (otherwise known as org redesigns), when businesses redraw organizational roles and accountabilities. Strategic transformations imply a change in the business model. The term transformation is also increasingly used for a digital reinvention: companies fundamentally reworking the way they’re wired and, in particular, how they go to market.” (Bucy, Hall & Yakola, McKinsey 2016) Five Areas to Focus When Leading Transformation Karthik
Purposeful leadership motivates individuals, empowers teams to achieve their greatest potential, provides clarity to organisational priorities and goals and connects everyone to broader societal goals. Purposeful leadership starts with clarity about your own purpose, and that can be difficult to get clear (at least at first). Pan Pan (founder of Swiss advisory firm Pantera Ventures) suggests that leaders wanting to identity their true purpose, need to start by considering the end of their careers. Consider the “end game”, where do you personally hope to be and what does success look like to you? Think about career achievements, what do you hope to have accomplished? What kind of impact will you make? What legacy, however small, would you like to leave behind? Leadership coach and author Mitchell Simon explains that one important aspect of being purposeful in leadership is to continually seek out feedback. Enabling the leader to better reflect if
Around the world leaders have rapidly changed business models, cut costs and plotted new paths to enable them to make the path to transformation. To thrive in this ‘new normal’ will require companies to make even more fundamental changes. This is the basis of the argument from McKinsey’s Robinson who explains that true transformation requires the organisation to be rebuilt from the cellular level. Because if business models and mindsets don’t shift the costs will creep back in. Melissa Arnoldi (CEO, VRio – an AT&T Company) provides a list for success Have a compelling story Sense of urgency Make sure you have a sustainable culture – diverse thoughts and inputs Generate short term wins “More than 70% of Transformations Fail” McKinsey research Set the highest aspiration you can and truely inspire people to get there – incremental targets lead to incremental results A process that turns ideas into actionable plans
The pandemic has had dramatic impacts to companies all over the world. While politicians are pushing for a V-shaped recovery to the economy. Most CEOs recognise that is totally beyond their control, instead they need to lead a Y shaped re-invention of their business. This is the premise put forward by Navi Radjou in Forbes magazine. With so many companies needing to reinvent or die he explains visionary companies are changing WHAT they do. What is a Y shaped re-invention This change challenges three core aspects to the company HOW – The perspective of how the company sees the world WHY – The organisation’s purpose, its underlying reason for being. WHO – Company values that are the basis of the corporate identity. This way of considering a firms impacts on society and the environment builds a significantly stronger loyalty with society and employees. A growing number of firms have taken
Amazon has now been in business for 23 years, and every year Jeff Bezos has taken the time to write to shareholders. These letters are lessons from Bezos, they articulate the business philosophies, technology strategy and leadership direction. It is a masterclass in what it has taken to build the second largest company in the world. CBInsights have analysed all twenty three letters and identified what they believe to be the most important wisdom in each letter in chronological order. In this DIGEST we have synthesised the content further down to the underlying themes over the last two decades. “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” Theodor Seuss Geisel Wandering the essential growth counterbalance to efficiency Most large established businesses know their market, they build plans and execute as close to
For those that have not read the Book – Blue Ocean Strategy – How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. Or the seminal HBR 2004 article ‘Blue Ocean Strategy‘ here is a very high level over view. Blue Ocean Strategies are ones that capture the new and unexplored areas. They unlock new demand and make the existing competition irrelevant. The cornerstone is “value innovation”, a concept which was originally outlined in the HBR article “Value Innovation – The Strategic Logic of High Growth” (Kim & Mauborgne’s 1997). “Red oceans are all the industries in existence today—the known market space. In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. Here companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of existing demand. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced.
Ross Levine is Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at Berkeley Hass. He write in this article that in a time of increased competition and pressures from the pandemic, it might be a simple assumption that firms might reduce their focus on Corporate Social Responsibility. Recent analysis however shows that companies are using Corporate Social Responsibility as a profitable strategy to build loyalty and trust. The paper (Competition Laws, Ownership and Corporate Social Responsibility by Ding, Levine, Lin, Xie 2020) is based on research analysing 14,000 firms across 47 countries between 2002 and 2015. The findings established that higher levels of competition boosts corporate social responsibility. The results were consistent across various firms, industries and countries. “Our empirical findings are inconsistent with the traditional view that competition induces firms to focus on short-term survival and therefore forgo investments that pay off in the long run,” Ross Levine One theory for