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The leader’s voice #6

What do you wish you had known before starting your transformation project?

When you start a project, questions always crop up. Some get answered along the way, while others will remain unanswered. And then there are those that never occurred to you - the ones in your blind spots. The things you wish you’d known before you started. We asked leaders about those, and here’s what they told us:

  • Clearly identify the primary goal of the transformation. Identify and share the primary goal of the transformation to determine whether it should be, and could be, applicable to all the other projects.
  • Understand the importance of creating a transformation committee. Many companies make the mistake of thinking there is no need to dedicate people exclusively to this work. They think their managers can do it and can handle the extra work. We would all like managers to be able to manage a transformation in parallel, but while it might be possible in a small organization, it is unthinkable in a large one.
  • Separate the operational from the strategic. When you start a transformation, there is always a risk of being overwhelmed by operations. It is crucial to devote time to the transformation strategy from the outset, and above all not to underestimate it! You’ll need to dedicate time and resources to the transformation if it is to succeed
  • Understand what the transformation means for senior management. Get a feel for how ready the company is for transformation, and not just in terms of the IT aspect. Get a clear picture of senior management’s expectations so you can determine what to measure and compare.
  • Analyse the capacity of the organization. Assess whether the company and all contributors have the capacity and the tools to achieve the transformation.
  • Use the right people. The contributors may vary depending on their activity, such as whether they are in charge of day-to-day operations or the transformation. To stay on top of day-to-day operations, you need agile, action-oriented people who act swiftly on the ground, whereas for a transformation, you need people who can project themselves into the future, navigate through ambiguity and uncertainty and work with things that are incomplete.
  • Share and adjust more often. It is not immediately obvious that transformation also means more frequent meetings.  But everyone will need to be aligned, and to communicate and consult, and that requires extra time.

Paula Alvarez

Responsible for marketing and digital projects

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