As the world has accelerated in strange ways over the past few years, and become more complicated, businesses and their executives have had to deal with pandemics, wars, economic instability, supply chain issues, increased labour strife, and a variety of other challenges.
On many levels, they understand that they must change the way their company operates in order to keep up with all of this, but many have discovered that business transformation is not as simple as they thought.
Pearl Lemon Consultants, as leading business transformation consulting experts, have seen this more and more. We have also assisted businesses in achieving business transformation with less pain – and better results – than they had anticipated. We can also do the same for you.
Because power is more distributed within companies than ever before, leaders cannot simply issue an order and expect everyone to follow it blindly. As a result, an organization’s ability to manage ongoing change—and to enlist the assistance of all employees in doing so—is both a requirement for survival and a long-term competitive advantage.
The process of coordinating a company’s organizational culture (how people cooperate) with its strategy is known as business transformation (the trade-offs the company is willing to make to achieve its full potential).
Although it may not appear so at first, the business transformation procedure is significantly more challenging because it involves people.
Overcoming employees’ initial resistance to new and creative ideas, creating an environment in which those people can actually start exploring those new ways, fail, and learn, and successfully reinforcing and extending those new processes to the rest of the firm are all part of business transformation. But it can be a painful process.
Despite the fact that many businesses can benefit from business transformation, statistics show that it frequently fails or goes horribly wrong. This, however, can be avoided with the assistance of business transformation consulting, which Pearl Lemon Consultants’ team can provide.
Although it is widely stated that “70% of change initiatives fail,” the reality is that many initiatives are at least partially successful. However, research shows that even “partial success” is frequently regarded as “total failure” by employees.
Worse, when people change their behaviour, they forget how they used to operate, making it difficult to persuade them that change is possible.
Employees’ suspicion toward business reforms is unsurprising – most people instinctively fear change- and most efforts’ disjointed communication strategies do not help.
Everyone has seen situations where management excitedly announces a new vision or cultural shift, but when these changes begin to falter, failures are hidden and efforts are abandoned, leaving people dissatisfied and worn out.
The truth is that business transformation is difficult and time-consuming, and new approaches may not be immediately successful. “Everything seems to fail in the middle,” according to Kanter’s Law, which is frequently taught in business school. And it often applies here.
Finally, even when a change is necessary and beneficial, it still involves some kind of loss, such as loss of control or time spent training to learn new skills, or when change happens to you rather than being shaped by you. Loss aversion, one of our most powerful cognitive biases as humans, increases resistance to change if not addressed.
Given these concerns, business transformation may appear terrifying, but it may also be inevitable. If market conditions change dramatically enough to necessitate a shift in strategy, your organization’s culture will need to change as well whether you like it or not.
This is due to the fact that culture dictates how strategy is implemented, including how departments are organized and how decisions are made within them, how information is shared and opinions are debated, and the procedures used to offer your goods or services.
If you don’t change how you do business, your company will struggle to adapt to changing market demands, and your top talent will leave in pursuit of better opportunities, putting success even further out of reach.
Unfortunately, some of the most popular methods for achieving business transformation were designed for a world that no longer exists—one in which change was less frequent, more formulaic, and easier to manage. This begs the question, “How do I lead a business transformation successfully?”
Furthermore, these models made the error of assuming that there was only one “correct” way to change, when in reality, organizations must select the appropriate model for the specific change they need to make. Some business transformations necessitate the use of several models for various components of the change, as well as a mechanism for integrating such changes without overwhelming the corporate culture.
All of this suggests that, in addition to the significant obstacles you face, which you will almost certainly not overcome without the help of outside assistance ( as in a business transformation consulting team) you must also exercise extreme caution when selecting your business transformation consulting partner.
Business transformation is still likely to fail if you work with a business transformation consulting team that is dogmatic in their thinking, insists on following “textbook” techniques, and/or is unwilling to take the time and make the effort to understand what your specific business needs.
Our experience transforming businesses of various sizes, industries, and cultures has led us to identify two types of business transformation: “safe-to-fail” and “fail-safe.”
Recognizing when to use each type and how to merge their outputs results in long-term transformation and, more importantly, personnel capable of expanding and adapting to future market demands, resulting in a company that not only survives but also thrives in market changes is just one of the big strengths of our experienced business transformation consulting team.
The standard practice in business transformation has always been to make “fail-safe” changes. When leaders hear the term “change management,” they typically envision large-scale, high-impact changes such as wholesale reorganization or new leadership.
We were skeptical of this approach when we first started providing business transformation consulting because it is frequently associated with “suits” who attack an organization with purported best practices, start telling management they should be firing half the workforce, and leave the surviving members to deal with the consequences.
Despite being the preferred option, it often fails to transform businesses over time, particularly when it focuses on catchphrases and rallies about “vision” and “transformational change” rather than establishing new practices that have an impact on teams’ day-to-day work.
As a result, we used a different strategy and a more agile, iterative change process to address issues such as restructures.
We quickly discovered that traditional change management is an effective approach when applied to the right problems; however, it is frequently overapplied to the majority of problems that organizations face.
As a result, we will continue to use it when appropriate, but not as a set procedure that must be followed simply because a business school textbook says so.
Fortunately, the majority of business transformations, whether they involve the implementation of new technologies, the adoption of new business strategies, or the establishment of new procedures such as onboarding or all-hands meetings, can be reversed with little to no financial or reputational risk. In fact, rapid experimentation benefits them because it allows them to respond to feedback and changing conditions.
This brings us to the second myth about business transformation consulting: the solutions offered are things that people are already aware of or, worse, are aware will not work. This demoralizes the ranks because they frequently have to justify not hiring more staff for their overworked teams while seeing money squandered on highly expensive, highly ineffective consultants.
Actually, those closest to their clients and those who do the work on a daily basis have a strong understanding of what the company needs to run smoothly. Of course, they can be wrong, just like outside consultants, but it’s a well-informed viewpoint, and most of the time, there’s at least the beginning of a great idea there, if not much more. As a result, we simply ask people what they’ve always wanted to try in order to begin a business transformation.
Pearl Lemon Consultants tackles resistance to change head on from the start because it is the most significant impediment to a truly effective, and lasting, business transformation.
Regardless of which strategy is most effective for a specific organizational change, humans will only make a change if they are motivated, capable of making it, and require it. That is why, regardless of the type of transformation we are implementing, we make certain to
We gather ideas and listen to front-line staff members’ and important stakeholders’ needs and concerns, workshop business strategy with executives and general staff members, and empower organizational leaders to own and lead the transformation. To successfully implement change, we need everyone’s help.
We provide a safe space for ‘grieving,’ while also teaching leaders how to identify and deal with resistance to change team members. Even if people are persuaded that new ways of doing things are required, this does not mean that they will not miss, and even lament, the old ways of doing things.
Other consulting firms spend time with catchy change buzzwords and hollow promises for an idealized future state when most leadership teams actually want different behaviours (which frequently exacerbate opposition).
As your business transformation consulting team, we highlight individuals who have made change and help offer others the social proof many want to see to make changes themselves in order to demonstrate that change can be implemented and to establish internal incentives to further drive people.
Because they understand that change is the “new normal,” the teams we work with are better prepared to sustain successful business transformation after we leave. We strive not only to meet our stated goals, but also to cultivate those who will be capable of working in our place on a daily basis.
Are you interested in learning more about what business transformation consulting and an expert business transformation consultant can do for your business? Contact us right away to start that conversation!
Are you ready to learn more about the benefits of partnering with Pearl Lemon Consultants for talent management consulting?
Get in touch with us right away and let’s chat about it.