We’ve been asked about the most successful method for a Business Transformation. Without a doubt, the cases with the most solid and sustainable success and where the results have been strategic, financial and cultural, are the ones that have been made in a disciplined manner, integrating strategy, management, processes, organization, culture and technology, in an agenda of intentional change, orchestrated and consistent throughout time.
Because of that, one of the most relevant elements in the company accompaniment that we develop with members of our Consortium, is a method of Integral Enterprise Transformation (TEI). A holistic focus that is rarely approached in organizations and that, in our experience, has resulted in a critical factor for success in business transformations.
A program for business transformation can go from different needs and go toward different objectives. Typically, productivity, efficiency, business integration and system implementation or institutionalization objectives are pursued. All of these are very relevant objectives, but not many times does the so-called transformation program have the expected business benefits, as can be shown by different statistics which have already been discussed in other writings.
There are several reasons why this happens, however, one of the most structural, is that the projects or attempts are executed in a functional manner or independently, without assuring operative, financial, technological and/or cultural inter-dependencies that exist with other initiatives. An example of this, is a redesign of processes and the implementation of systems, that typically are guided by a function that defines the tasks inside the limits of it, without considering that a process of business is only effective when it’s really designed from beginning to end, taking into account all of the functions involved. Another implication of not considering the interdependencies, is the fact that technological, cultural and organizational facilitators are not treated as part of said organization and worst of all, are modified by other attempts of change, also isolated and executed inside of other functions.
The results of all of this is the fragmentation of benefits, delays in projects, a rise in the expense of transformation, organizational wear down because of a cluster of initiatives and of course, a dissatisfaction of the directors for not obtaining the expected results.
The key for success in business transformation has to do fundamentally with the capacity of connecting vision and strategic definitions of the company, with all of the programs of change, all of the teams of execution and all the facilitators and mechanisms of management, in one structured and systematic agenda which we denominate Integral Enterprise Transformation (TEI). This systematic agenda of transformation can seem complex to integrate and manage, given the fact that typically, businesses live in “silos”, both in the way of executing their projects and in their own organizational, operative and financial structures. Nevertheless, not totally must be complex. Utilizing the methodology BTC for TEI, it is possible to integrate the necessary components in a pragmatic way, with optimal and proven results. Here, with the objective of diving into a deeper conversation, we share with you some of the relevant aspects that TEI includes.
Vision, purpose and game plan. A clear, inspirational and challenging articulation of where the company sees itself in the next years, and just as importantly, why we want to go there. Typically, the vision is expressed in function with the operative and financial results expected in the next planning period. This is part of the vision but it is not all; it is necessary to articulate in brief, concrete and understandable words, to all of the levels of the organization, where we want to go, what inspires us to change, what are the reasons of changing and how “we will win the championship”. All collaborators need to see their aspirations reflected on that vision and purpose to make it their own, or at least significant. Today, new generations are motivated in a very relevant manner by the vision and purpose of a business and not only by economic factors. Part of the definition strategy is the clear articulation of the differentiating capacities that will structurally enable the strategy. These capacities (combination of processes, technology, infrastructure, talent, etc.) are the key to see the Game Plan through.
Management model. A clear, written, communicated and audited definition of the way that the business is planned, directed, operated, and controlled from: processes, indicators, governance definitions and forums for decision making.
a. Business Process: How is the job done? It is important to go from the definition of a process model for the whole company. For every process, to define an owner with knowledge of an essential part of the process, moral authority for his or her experience in said process, executive committee endorsement and help from process architects.
b. Business Indicators: How is performance measured? To count on a control panel that measures and links strategy, processes and projects of change, is vital for the evolution of the transformation journey.
c. Governance: Who makes what decisions? There are seemingly obvious tasks which are very frequently undefined. Because of this, the formalization of roles and responsibilities of the positions of the organization is needed. Typically, these sorts of tasks stay in budget authorization levels, but as organizational structures and their processes are more transversal, it is important to clarify who is responsible for specific tasks, who is of assistance, who must be informed, etc.
d. Forums: Where are the decisions made? A task that is also frequently forgotten, is the definition of the key forums of the organization. This is a very relevant agility factor because it focuses on the objectives, participants, mechanics and duration of the most relevant forums for the organization. Additionally, it streamlines the participants agenda, given the fact that if a good link with the business process is done, where everyone’s participation is necessary can be clarified, which therefore simplifies people’s agenda and the execution of the institutional forum. To define, cleanse, and link the key forms of the organization with processes, helps to reduce the saturation of unnecessary and time-consuming meetings.
Organizational design.Design, measurement and management of the organizational structure with an integral vision of the company, and not as a sum of independent functional organizational charts. A very small number of companies have achieved the discipline of centralizing the organizational design and linked it both to the business process and to the differentiating capacities. The organization is designed -either intentionally or not-, to obtain the results that it does; therefore, if we want more optimal results, the organizational structure must be aligned to the processes of the business and to the differentiating capacities.
Organizational culture. Definition and alignment of all of the employees towards the three or four key behaviors that will allow the company to successfully execute the differentiating capacities and the operative model of the company. It is unrealistic and very risky to want to change the essential culture of the company; nevertheless, we can teach, model and measure new behaviors which will assure us a better execution of the transformational agenda as a whole. In this component, the training tasks, communication and management plan of change are fundamental for the total Transformation of the company.
Routmap. A multi-annual and total program of the company projects in each of the five points mentioned before, that allow sequence, rhythm and resource dedication (money, time and people). Without a doubt, the route map is one of the most relevant components for the total transformation of the company because it allows:
In most cases, many of these components are being developed or have already been defined in the organization. The key is that all of them must be part of a single Transformation agenda, that are constituted in the “architectural plans of the house that is being built”, and that it is executed in a methodological, structured and disciplined form under the leadership of the General Direction and the orchestration of its architect of transformation. The architectonic execution of a big project of construction is a good metaphor for understanding the relevance of integrating one sole agenda for all the company; if in a construction, the architectonic plan does not exist, it is not complete or not linked at all there is no possibility of said construction to be