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Future of Work

Transformation is a Team Sport …..

Have you ever wondered what makes the winning team of a super bowl, world series, or world cup so successful? The easy answer is the players and the talent of the players. But it is more than that. These winning teams had unwavering commitment, investment, and resources from the owner to the coaching staff to the hundreds of support roles and functions.

The true magic, however, is how well orchestrated these teams are. This orchestration comes with clarity of positions, the right skills/capabilities, defined roles & responsibilities, rigorous/yet flexible set of protocols & processes, and lastly, accountability. That doesn’t really seem like magic, but fundamentals in ensuring proper execution.

Have you ever wondered makes the winning team of a transformation? It would appear we could just mirror the same approach as the <pick your favorite team event> champions.

But is it that that easy? Unfortunately, research tells us that only 30% of large organization transformations are successful, which of course means that 70% of organizations transformation fail or do not meet their stated objectives.

Why is this? it seems fairly simple -  Right commitment, Right People, Right Investment….. However, in most cases transformations it is completely the opposite. In fact you will find in many research articles an increase in organizational desire to transform. Ok, so what is wrong with that - desire is an aspirational state, whereas commitment is a statement of action and willingness to do what it takes to get things done.

So why do organizations fail? Lack of commitment to change results in underfunded, under scoped, under sourced, etc. transformation efforts. But there is also another key piece to failure, organizations are also too complacent with status quo and not willing to change and break down organizational silo’s and transform as a whole. There is HUGH difference between silo’d results and organizational results. One set of results is meaningful to a specific group, the other is meaningful to the entire organization.

As an example, how many times have you heard or been a part of a HR Transformation, Finance Transformation, IT Transformation, etc. Most likely we all could respond with a resounding yes. What is most interesting is that in each of these transformation initiatives we see often see direct intersection points as it relates to impacts associated with people, process, data, and technology. What is also interesting and mentioned above is that in many cases we all have the same outcomes in mind, i.e. experience, simplicity, standardization, etc. However, each group may define or design each of these differently. So even though there are common denominators, the outcomes remain very different. A bit mind frazzling if you ask me. Why go through the motion of doing all of these things and ending up with different results??????

So let’s bring this home. What makes Transformation Successful? First and foremost, Transformation must have commitment, investment, and resources, but more importantly Transformation is a Team Sport. We must break down our silo’s by creating a common direction, common outcomes that we all are working towards.