Transformation and when it’s necessary.
Though a business in transformation is going through a significant change, it is not necessarily occasioned by a crisis. It usually occurs when either a company is healthy but not growing to its full potential, or the business has declining revenues. These are the two most common reasons why a business might require a transformation. Of course, another reason is due to a specific situation that has placed the industry at risk. Thankfully, this is much more the exception than the rule. For all three examples, we have found transformation difficult for two fundamental reasons.
Reason 1: This first reason might seem obvious. Most people don’t like change regardless of the cause. Our research has shown that truth in its first apprehension tends to be rejected. We have learned that senior executives are reasonably open to discussing the idea of change, but also found this openness tends to close down when they discover the change will occur in their particular area! Of course, no problem will be resolved if everyone says, “You can change everything, just not my area!” Real change requires the full acceptance and participation of every person, no matter what the difference might bring.
Reason 2: A transformation can be painful because most senior executives know what their problems are, but they don’t always know what’s causing them. Just like individuals, businesses can have a sincere desire to grow but be held back by internal mindsets they aren’t fully aware or don’t fully comprehend. Have you ever been called to do something new that you were unable to accomplish despite your best efforts? If you struggled to figure out what the constraints were, you probably needed to gather feedback from people outside your circle of influence to understand what was holding you back.
In these situations, many executives are uncomfortable in their uncertainty and admitting they need help. However, gaining external perspectives is so powerful and positive. When a business stagnates, it is often because it is cloistered by doing the same things over and over.
A transformation finds the solutions to all of these organizational barrier challenges by rethinking the norms and operations that are currently in place. By rethinking what is established, the business can take back control by diagnosing and removing its growth limitations.