Let's talk about ... Business Transformation


In my previous article we talked about Business Performance. We discussed the need for incorporation of new parameters like Sustainability, IO/OT-convergence and Complexity into the equation and the importance of People & Process as key pillars of the overall topic. Because the value I add is Business Performance through Change & Transformation, it's Business Transformation that I'd like to talk about in this article.


For me, the definition of transformation is continuous change. This definition is carefully chosen, but why is this relevant? Good question!


In business, a known and popular one-liner is of course "change is the new constant". And that's actually true. Well, in fact it has been for over 20 years. So it IS true for sure. The world changes faster all the time. Triggered by faster means of communication facilitated by IT and internet, reduction in product life cycles, with as prime example iPhone versions succeeding each other with a pace that consumers can hardly keep up with (and as a consequence, the market being flooded by second hand), and many other factors like progress in technology and science. By the way ... I almost forgot to mention that we also all (including companies!!) have to change to save the planet; talking about sustainability one more time.


But for me Change doesn't cover the full story. Because change is indeed continuous, for me 'transformation' is the better word to use in this context. So, the fact is that, in order to win (or at least survive) organizations should all be continuously in transformation. I know for a fact that most corporate organizations are indeed in continuous transformation. Simply so because otherwise they wouldn't survive in this ever changing world. Question is whether smaller organizations are also in continuous transformation. Perhaps not, but for sure they are more agile so perhaps many are in fact.


But what bearing does this have on people? Or should I say well-being? Remember, People & Process? The people working in those organizations are the ones that have to deal with continuous transformation. Not everybody likes change as much as some others. Not all functions intrinsically like change as much as some others. And perhaps within organizations some change faster than others. Taking into account that despite this, change is still the constant, managing change and transformation has become a key factor in driving Business Performance.


Going back to people. The question is how to best manage this constant state of transformation. Should organization do this with their own people or are they better off getting in a fresh pair of eyes and an unbiased set of brains to accelerate (part of) the transformation where they're actually currently stuck. This might be because they lack knowledge or have become blind to a better way of working or have become tired of the pace of change in the last years. New insights and new energy could bring substantial increased Business Performance. Think about this!


I'm convinced that, in this world of continuous change at increasing pace, one of the new ways of driving Business Performance is by transforming to a different balance between fixed and flexible resources. There will be those that master change and transformation because they like it (and because of that have become good at it) and they will increasingly be part of the flexible resources. These can be allocated on project basis and switched on or off on-demand. And then there will always be those that probably form the stable backbone of an organization that are extremely important to secure knowledge and provide the required level of stability to guide the continuous transformation. The first, flexible group of people will more and more be freelance resources that like change intrinsically and that can bring business performance. The future balance between fixed and flexible will change. To what extend? Hard to say, but it's probably going to be a balance that changes over time, like always.


Let's change!


P.S.: If you want to learn more about Business Transformation, please read this McKinsey article recently published, by clicking here.


For further background and information please visit my LinkedIn profile by clicking here.


Commercial Performance Leader for the Industry