If you ask ten Chief Transformation Officers, "what causes the slow down?" you will receive a myriad of different answers depending on personality type, work style, and time of day. However, every single time transformation efforts hit an obstacle, the answer is quite simple.
In this short article, I am going to talk about the one major factor that underlies all other problems that arise in transformation efforts. However, in order for me to cover that, we need to have a look at the fundamentals.
Any successful endeavor hinges upon three basic elements:
Where you want to go (purpose & objective)
Where you are (current AS-IS-situation)
The path from where you are to where you are going.
In transformation initiatives, most businesses set unclear goals. They may have an idea where they want to be but usually it is not very specific and strategically thought through, therefore, they don't implement metrics or KPIs to effectively demonstrate when the target is hit.
Additionally, they fail to plan and to consider the path. If you decide to climb Mount Everest, even if you don't exactly know each step you are going to take, you do know the terrain, the conditions, and the hurdles you need to face. Most companies underestimate arising resistance or motivation in attempts to transform processes and mindset.
All of these failings can cause major trouble in transformation initiatives, but they all have their root in the here and now: in the end, there is only one real problem that holds any transformation initiative back and that is a lack-orientation.
Either the focus lies upon the absence of resources in terms of knowledge, money, or time. Or they focus on the lack of solutions to existing problems. Lack orientation is usually the default setting in organizations. Like a large freighter, changing course is a slow-moving and arduous task.
In order to overcome challenges, speedbumps, and obstacles is to train a solution-orientation. The mindset must be on the presence of resources, options, and possibilities as well as on strengths and talents that one can harness. Only that leads to a successful transformation.
About the author:
Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A. is the founder of MB Inspirations and Europe's leading strategy expert. He works as a consultant, trainer, coach, speaker, and lecturer all over the world for large, international businesses (e.g. Fortune 500) and leaders. He studied Strategic Communications in Germany and in the United States. Today, he operates from his head-office in Stuttgart, Germany.