Business transformation in the brave new world


Its fact, many businesses struggle to implement solid business transformation. Driving out waste whilst struggling to manage creaking systems that are being asked to do things that they were never designed to do.

We drive for ever shorter lead times, higher quality and improved customer experiences. Yet in almost every case the ‘utopia’ remains a pipe dream.

Transformation has huge implications for most organizations. Done correctly, the process means fundamentally rethinking and re-engineering how everything looks, feels and operates, inside and outside an organization. Coupled with this the effect that employees feeling that are experiencing the change cannot be under estimated. In our experience and Excolo, over 80% of any successful business transformation is cultural.

People, for the most part, just come to work and want to do a good job, they like routine. In short, they dislike disruption.

But when we introduce change, It’s a ‘Disruptor’ People generally feel uncomfortable. They become in easy and fell threatened as the world they know comes under treat. For that reason people don’t always go along with our ideas and plans and tend to change their behaviour - even when the change is good for them. So, if we don’t think about human experience during a transformation, we risk pushing and implementing new systems, processes and working practices that nobody is willing to adopt.

When this happens the culture of the business suffers hugely. We may have achieved the business objective of new systems implementation to ‘Streamline’ the operation and drive out inherent waste. But we have not succeeded in transforming the business.

Today. for a successful business transformation, we need to consider much more that we did 5 years ago.

Why? Well because technology is ever changing and its capability is rapidly increasing. With the right systems architecture and the right data collection techniques, it is possible now in theory, more than ever, to run a business via technology. This concept is rapidly gaining momentum, just go on line and Google ‘Industry 4.0’ (2,870,000,000 results when I last checked). But the issue is how do you prepare the organization and its people for such a dynamic change? How do you bring them with you and not set them on a path of fighting change?


This is why it’s vital to look at the transformation process from a holistic perspective. A single strategy needs to be developed that takes into account, People, systems, and processes. We need to combine the design of new systems architecture with new methods of data collection and problem-solving techniques. We need to develop iterative methods of problem solving that not only uses data, but builds upon ideas and a human insight to solve problems. This needs to be done alongside the more traditional methods of removing process wastes that Lean thinking gives us.

New systems and badges like Industry 4.0 alone will not transform and organization. Far from it.

Business transformation is a human driven process. It is about people in organization. It’s about the way they think, work and engage with colleagues, customers and suppliers.

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