How to boost your transformation & growth
Most businesses need to change. Organisations need to reinvent themselves because markets change faster than ever. Your market consists of customers - those you already serve and those you want to serve. A successful transformation requires clarity around your customer and the obsession to serve them, a learning culture to embrace the journey of change and cross-silo collaboration to move and deliver fast. It starts with a clear strategy, it succeeds by doing the work. It results in growth.
Strategy always leads to discussion. What is strategy? It is your plan to get from where you are to where you want to go. Defining all crucial elements that require change in today's fast moving world. Connecting companywide goals into functional roadmaps and multidisciplinary initiatives with deliverables, timelines, milestones helps to get it done. A fresh look at your business strategy might be the thing to move you into action.Think big, start small and grow fast.
If your strategy requires you to transform the business, everyone in the organisation needs to pull their weight. The best way to enable that is by design. Your companywide transformation needs to be planned, needs to be communicated, requires symbolic changes to kick start and requires tracking in a way that is more exciting than looking at the well known traffic lights. It is about giving direction, boosting energy and sustaining it over time. With a clear philosophy and purpose.
In most businesses your commercial strategy and operational reality are the core of your existence. It is first about customers, and second about the market you are in. It is about having a sound commercial plan, and the shared practices and capabilities to deliver. Here is the real challenge: no team can be successful on its own. Success requires shared goals, real time data driven insights, effective meeting rhythms and the willingness to work together across the entire business.
People / HR
Without an engaged group of people that is enabled to achieve the goals of the business, there is no way you will be successful in your business transformation or growth. Topics such as talent acquisition, compensation & benefits, performance management, learning & development and internal communication can all support a culture of change or lead to resistance. The people team needs to be the frontrunner in your transformation and that is a change in itself.
Talk to it
You might just need a sparring partner to kickstart your transformation, or you want someone to work next to you and get it done. You want help with a companywide design/plan or with actually crafting and creating the required end products in the functional areas described. Or...you got all of that covered and just want to offer fuel and inspiration for your team(s). I am very happy to share my experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly. Tailored with you to be of value.
Examples of work done
Strategy - Category growth plans
Defining your overall company strategy is one thing.
If you have different business units, categories or product lines, you need a strategy based on the specific market, consumer and competitive dynamics in each segment. As input for these plans there are shared sources you can use, both internal and external. Having the same foundation for your strategic choices helps to understand trade-offs and make decisions. A simple template can tell the story and explain the choices made and proposed. Diving deep into category dynamics and then looking at the common elements that need to change across the entire business leads to a comprehensive and structured plan, where everybody has ownership for their piece of the puzzle. Trade-offs and investments become clear, strategic choices can be made explicit and actions can be timed. An effort to grow requires a focused effort to plan and decide.
Design - 100 day plan & milestones
A 100 day plan is something that executives often make when they start in a new company or function. A business transformation also benefits from a 3 month or '100 day' plan to get things started and to move at the fastest pace possible. Especially when it is paired with a roadmap approach: taking strategic goals and breaking them down in what needs to happen before and what needs to happen now. Planning always does a few things: it helps to see what is on the critical path, enforces decision making and makes the necessary ownership transparant. A 100 day transformation plan needs to contain hard and soft factors, symbolic changes, minimum viable products and strategic choices affecting the fundament of your business, plus you need to map top down and bottom-up initiatives. Also no transformation will be successful without a solid internal (and external) communication approach.
Commercial - Data driven decisions
A growth plan needs to be turned in seasonal tactics and delivered through day-to-day trading. Nowadays, successful trading requires the translation of data into real-time insights allowing for decision making on what to do short term, mid term, long term. Understand what KPIs or drivers have the biggest impact and bring to life how these are all connected and can be influenced - also over time. A cascaded KPI / driver tree can be connected to team goals and function profiles. It is important for everyone to understand how they contribute to the overall goal, and for you to see where conflict between teams is happening. Conflict happens when the big picture is not understood and people believe their piece of the puzzle is the most important to get right. If you want to lift people out of their silo, everyone needs to understand the full driver tree - what needs to be done and what needs to be discussed. Those are not the same. All efforts need to add up. When you have your growth strategy, the driver tree and the teams in place, you need to help them with insights. Make it easy for them with daily, weekly, monthly automatically generated reports. You are paying people to decide what needs to happen, not for their ability to data mine for insights. Keep repeating the big picture, make insights readily available for people to decide what needs to be done to drive growth every day. Help yourself to the key bird eye insights and introduce a trading rhythm that helps you steer the business. Standardised reports, structured meetings and a rhythm allows everyone to focus their mental capacity and creativity on fixing problems and seizing opportunities, not on finding them or trying to understand how it all is connected.
People - Talent acquisition revamp
Talent is the new currency of being and becoming a successful business. Talent is scarce and talented people know what they are worth. Most talented people have one important trait in common: the drive to learn and grow. It is often combined with the effort they put in to develop others. In a transformation, you need everybody to be a leader - to lead themselves, lead others and lead the change. Functional fit and track record are the old ways of identifying and selecting people. A shift is necessary to include cultural fit, learning agility & mindset as elements to assess. The world is changing too fast to rely on past experience only. This way of looking at talent acquisition is soft, subjective and therefore scary. Where to start? Start with your employee value proposition - what do you have to offer, identify who the rock stars across disciplines are and why, define what these traits are that you are looking for and build a talent community in your business and beyond. Make your people responsible for building the culture with you. It is about getting to a critical mass of capabilities to transform and change, not getting stuck with a happy few. Talent acquisition needs an authentic and compelling employee value proposition, a candidate journey that brings this to life, strategies to find and attract the best talent and smooth recruiting operations. Talent acquisition revamp always includes looking at onboarding practices and reviewing what your compensation & benefit package is telling candidates and colleagues. It is about creating a learning obsessed culture and a talent acquisition (leadership) community that takes ownership of growing the business, transforming the organisation and building a culture for change.
People - New performance mngmt
Performance management is a difficult topic. It seems hard to get it right. That is indeed true if you don't link your strategic goals to the culture you need to achieve these goals. What is your definition of getting performance management right? Very often the discussion is focused on pay and not on how do we develop people to be their best and have the biggest contribution. Make performance management a win-win in terms of learning, contribution and growth. Make a split in WHAT needs to be delivered and HOW are people achieving goals. The real conversation is around the HOW - how does your team member work with others, how does he or she plan and lead an initiative, how do they challenge themselves and others? Link the HOW to compensation, and give people the responsibility to assess their own goals and learning. Help your managers in the company to have meaningful and courageous conversations and focus on their development first and foremost. The approach you take with your people will be passed on. Compensation and conversations essentially do the same thing: they are both a sign of acknowledgement and appreciation. Make sure they both communicate: "working here is a win-win between your personal growth and business success." Forget the mechanics at the beginning, start with the philosophy behind your culture and strategy. Start communicating your philosophy, be a role model and your performance management design will fall in place naturally. Make sure you engage people in the business early on. Focus on philosophy and people before performance and pay.
Cultural change - Value driven
Every company has implicit or explicit values. There is a lot to say about 'the value of values'. Defining your set of values is an art and a skill. It needs to acknowledge and respect what is typical for the culture today, and it needs to be aspirational and explaining what needs to change. It is the way to communicate how to win in the market and how to work and win together. In the process of identifying and defining values, you need to showcase the culture you want to build. Therefore '3 x 1 word' values don't help you do it. Not only because they are likely not unique. There needs to be clarity on what the company values mean, and why. Values need to be integrated and translated in all you communicate, especially in all people components such as talent acquisition, performance management, internal communication etc. For values to come alive, they need to be lived. A newly defined set of values need to be supported by change in behaviour, symbolic changes and changes in the fundament of doing business and working together. Getting to the values of a company is something that be done and it can be done fast. But it needs to be done through an interactive process and requires a complete roll-out when they are there. In bringing values alive, you need to have a fresh and critical look at all things that communicate implicit and explicit messages to your people and your community. Be critical and ask feedback as your intention is not always equal to perception. In the engagement with colleagues a lot of the culture can already be showcased, the change needs to be lived and with that: values come alive.