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Business transformation is an inevitable process which every organisation goes through a number of times. Transformation of an organisation is usually driven by the need to grow, scale its operations and maximise productivity. It also emanates from an organisation's need to reset, realign or even restart some or all aspects of the organisation. Business transformation can be brought on by factors such as responding to economic, social and environmental factors, legislation, competition or simply a need to review and realign the strategy. Regardless of the drivers, every organisation needs to constantly transform in order to grow, maximise productivity, remain relevant and competitive.
The need for business transformation
As the world changes due to factors such as global pandemics and digitisation, organisations find themselves faced with a ongoing challenge to transform. No organisation can afford to remain stagnant when the world around it is changing. We have seen from various disruptions that organisations need to constantly ensure that their strategies, operating models and technologies are future-fit, but also agile enough to change direction when needed.
In initiating transformation, there are various areas that organisations can take into consideration. At the core of a business transformation is the business strategy, as it defines the direction an organisation will take and the goals set to achieve the strategy. However a clearly defined strategy without proper implementation will not move the organisation forward. Enabling and implementing the strategy requires a focus on the people - those entrusted with the effective execution of the strategy. Another driving factor is the organisation's level of agility, as it defines how rapidly an organisation can adapt and respond to change.
Key Considerations for a Business Transformation
Also critical in transforming an organisation, is a frequent review of the business strategy. This is necessary for organisations to create new value creating opportunities, optimise operating models and ensure alignment across all functions of the organisation. An additional consideration is that a turnaround strategy also needs to be in place, should the initial strategy not be effective in yielding the desired results.
Another critical component of a business transformation is ensuring organisations have a clear workforce strategy that will support the holistic and value creation strategy of the the organisation. A workforce strategy has many facets to it, and is a challenge to get right. An organisation can however apply various strategies to ensure that their workforce fully buy into the strategy, that they are aligned and are clear on their contribution towards the strategy.
An organisation's ability to transformation lies in its agility. An organisation's agility defines how rapidly an organisation can adapt and respond to change. Change comes in many forms, it can be as a result of external factors such as global pandemics, natural disasters, legislation or competition. It can result from inside the organisation due to a need to streamline operations, cut costs, re-align the strategy etc. Whatever the causes, for organisations to thrive, they need the ability to respond to these factors rapidly and effectively.
There are many barriers to agility such as culture, lack of clarity, customer isolated strategies, and a lack of collaborations. The cited barriers touch on key factors that are critical to the success of every organisation. A risk-averse or rigid organisation is most likely to be slow at taking advantage of market opportunities, thus losing out to the competition. A lack of clarity across all functions of the organisation results in major misalignments and members of the organisation working on non-strategic, value creating initiatives. Organisations can no longer afford to embark on customer isolated strategies. With customer demands changing, and customers using digital platforms to actively communicate their expectations, organisations cannot afford to ignore the voices of their customers.
Business transformation is all about making fundamental changes to your organisation to ensure it is fit for growth. It is when organisations see a need to reset, realign or restart whenever needed.
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