The Traditional Transformation Model is Dead – It’s Time be a Transformer

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Outdated transformation models are doomed to fail – and do!

The transformation landscape pre-Covid was already a disaster but with mandatory change being enforced on businesses, the likely increased failure rates will be even more gloomy. There have been years of research into transformation and it’s well documented that the success rate is depressingly poor.

Indeed, according to McKinsey "less than 30 percent succeed." Their most recent findings suggest that "digital transformations are even more difficult, with only 16 percent of organizations reporting that they have successfully improved performance and equipped them to sustain changes in the long term. An additional 7 percent say that performance improved but that those improvements were not sustained."

Let’s take Marks and Spencer as an example. They are on their fourth or fifth transformation, their EBIT and Eps is in decline, wholly demonstrating this strategy doesn’t work. They are about to embark on another…

Enforced change is a dangerous path to be on!

The need to be ahead of the curve, innovation and creativity will never be more important. Likewise, non-mandatory change will always be ahead of mandatory change. This philosophy and extraordinary leadership will be the key to future long-term survival.

It is very important for those companies now changing due to it being forced upon them, to understand the limitations that lie ahead. There is a real danger that only short-term solutions will be implemented and barriers to future success will remain. This means that the next time a crisis or period of uncertainty occurs, the same problems will cause damage and threaten survival.

A constant state of reinvention is the only way ahead

The need to lead your business into a state of constant evolution has never been more relevant than now. Those companies that are agile and have already been operating in a mode of continuous transformation, always prepared for disruption to strike, will have been riding out the storm.

Now is the time for remarkable leadership like never before, combined with the commitment to drive change and send traditional business models packing. The ability to think differently and look at your organisation holistically, considering your people, the business and technology, is critical.

Take time out to make conversation

Conversation is king. To be truly mutable you need to free up the innovation and creativity both inside and outside your business. Technology shouldn’t shape your ideas it should enable them. Finding a pathway to engender conversation and to ensure all your leadership team are engaged is paramount and introducing KPI’s for this will yield results and success.

Idea generation shouldn’t be confined to internal teams either. Business should actively encourage external contributions. Companies should create a mechanism to capture external ideas and actively support external conversation.

Take control of you: be personably mutable

The same business principles apply to you and me. But, just how mutable are we?
There are so many questions and opinions about what the future of work will look like. Whilst the rise of AI and Robotics is well documented, so is the realisation that our jobs can be done by someone else from anywhere. It’s clear there is not enough consideration by individual employees on how to shape their future.
We need to recognise that our current working patterns and expectations will need to adapt.

Seismic change was already underway pre-Covid and as the fourth Industrial Revolution (or the second digital revolution?) gets up a head of steam, we are entering unchartered waters with nobody at the helm.

McKinsey suggests that by 2030, intelligent agents and robots could replace up to 30% of the world’s current human workforce – and that automation will displace between 400 and 800 million jobs requiring as many as 375 million people to switch job categories entirely.

As well as that, AI adoption is growing faster than predicted. Recent research by Morning Consult, commissioned by IBM, indicates that 34% of businesses surveyed across the U.S., Europe and China have adopted AI. That far exceeds estimates from market watchers last year, which put adoption rates in the low teens, clearly showing the rate and pace of change is accelerating.

How can we create a personal, mutable advantage?

Take time to review the areas that will be less affected and look at how you can start preparing now. Future-proof yourself and don’t think it’s for someone else to worry about. Take control of you!

Be prepared to work differently, adopt multi-portfolio, think upskilling and learn to embrace change.

As an example, if 50 percent of your job is going to be taken over it’s a wonderful opportunity for you to work full-time across two different companies. In other words, being personally mutable – in a permanent state of reinvention – should be something you seriously consider.

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