Truly transforming an organization is not easy. Statistically, seven in ten initiatives fail. But the ability to transform rapidly is critical to success in today’s business world, and it’s an ongoing process.
The path to organizational change is different for every company, and Brightline’s Transformation Compass serves as a foundational tool that can guide all leaders through the process. Whether they’ve already begun or are embarking on strategic change, following the five building blocks of the compass can help any organization on its unique path.
Establish your north star
In order to succeed, all members of the transformation team must have a clear understanding of the direction the transformation will take. Clearly articulating the vision of the transformation not only motivates participants but also serves as a long-term test for all actions taken. The “North Star” includes an inspiring vision statement, as well as three to seven concrete goals that will help them achieve it.
Listen to customer insights and megatrends
Transformation requires a deep understanding of a company’s customers and broader industry trends. Acquiring this understanding can take several forms, from an ethnographic analysis to surveys and interviews. This may be an ongoing process, as organizations use their findings to come up with and test changes and then refine them based on customer feedback.
Apply a transformation operating system
The Brightline Transformation Compass incorporates bold, fast decision-making with minimal paperwork and bureaucracy. This can include rapid response teams, comprised of members from various departments and with a range of seniority levels. Led by a team pilot, each team has authority to focus and make decisions around one area of the business. They receive funding to test changes and additional funding to move forward with those that prove worthwhile.
Galvanize volunteer champions
Encouraging employees who are participating in the transformation process provides further motivation for them and a sense of ownership over and commitment to the transformation. This is key since they’re the ones who will evangelize the transformation, both within the company and externally. Another reason to keep a close eye on your volunteer champions: They’re often the future leaders of your organization.
Encourage inside-out employee transformation
Achieving a sustainable transformation often also requires change on the individual level. Encourage your employees to undergo a three-step process: defining their aspirations, developing an understanding of themselves, and sharing their transformation with their team. This final step creates accountability as well as a collective understanding that every team member is working for change.
The key to beating the odds and achieving a sustainable transformation begins with leadership and a focus on recalibrating an organization’s culture around new goals. The Brightline Transformation Compass has proven successful because it uses both an inward focus and an outward focus to enable an organization to reach its strategic goals, whatever they may be.