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November 2013
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As easy as ABC

How to succeed at transformation:

A = alignment

B = belief

C = commitment

Identify the change leaders in the business (trusted lieutenants); give them the time to participate; then as a group do the ABC.

ALIGNMENT:  shared vision of

  • what – we are trying to build
  • why – compelling reason for action, return on investment
  • how – roadmap from where we are now all the way to deployment and benefits

BELIEF:   removal of perceived barriers to success.  Nobody wants to board a train that they think is going to crash.  Address issues and concerns up front.  Bear in mind that most of these (if not all) are cross-functional differences in priorities or inter-dependencies.  Not dealing with these in enough detail up front with an experienced enough person is where traditional consultancies fall down.  It is not enough to flag these issues.  They must be actively hunted down and killed.   I keep a list of these and make sure that the senior team knows what stands between success and failure.  Also – being self employed – and a bit of a stubborn northerner – I do not let people off the hook.  Other people might be OK with risking failure – I certainly am not.

COLLABORATION:   making sure that once alignment is achieved, it is sustained.  And also recognising that unanticipated issues will arise through the life of a programme that will require a mechanism in place to identify and resolve them.  Collaboration is often called governance.  But I find that that word is boring and has negative connotations.   Collaboration (or governance) also has to be well designed to be effective.  Poor design equals poor participation.  Which is worse than no process at all.   The participants are Exec and senior manager level.  The reporting and interactions need to be concise and to the point.  This does not happen by itself.

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