Transformation to a company’s products or services is usually driven based on consumer demands, technological innovations, or both. Upon recognizing the need for transforming your organization, the process in which you embark upon these changes will determine the success of your transformation. It takes careful restructuring to come up with sustainable solutions.
Sustainable Transformation Requires Flexibility
When the opportunity arises to restructure an organization to meet current market demands, it is possible to execute a successful transformation. However, change often happens best when you think of goals as moving targets. You must remain flexible when setting up objectives that could take years to meet.
So many factors contribute to the success or failure of a transformation process. For instance, new people may enter or leave your organization. Each one of these employees brings new sets of expertise and ideas that affect your company’s future.
New technologies also influence organization transformations. Everyone on your team must adapt to new devices, software or strategies in time to make a positive rather than negative difference. All this, when experiencing market disruption, puts strain on a company. If you remain flexible during all these changes, however, you can thrive and even still make a profit during hard times.
Sometimes, it happens. Efforts to transform an organization to meet current economic demands just do not produce desired results. You must learn from other failures if you want your company to succeed. In planning transformation initiatives, it is important to consider the risks and the potential outcomes of failures. Below are two examples that outline the impacts of not properly exploring second and third order effects of strategic decisions.
Notable Transformation Failures
Borders Group, Inc. decided to partner with Amazon in 2001. Knowing what most people know about Amazon now, this might seem like a wise move. However, this action rendered the Borders physical stores useless before their time because people just browsed there before ordering online. The company had not prepared enough for this local-then-online window-shopping approach and went bankrupt by 2006 because of it. The company probably would have succeeded if they had made sure their online market could survive potential store closures before proceeding.
Unlike Borders, Kodak waited too long to embrace transformation. They seemed stubborn in their attempt to hold onto traditional photography instead of adapting to digital technology. If they had gradually worked in digital sales products enough, they could have avoided bankruptcy in 2012. Print photos still do have their place, even in 2021. However, companies that accommodate the digital climate stand a better chance in the fight against financial failure.
Prepare for a Sustainable Transformation
Launching a sustainable business transformation involves complex and careful planning. Here are a few steps to help you get started.
1) Seek to understand the potential market value of transforming your business.
2) Evaluate your current capabilities, especially in the talent and technology areas
3) Seek input and a fresh perspective from experts outside of your organization.
4) Develop a plan that incorporates both accountability and flexibility for changes/updates to your plan over time.
Tread carefully with every decision you make and analyze market risks while you do it. Keep a watchful eye on unanticipated outcomes and move to mitigate them quickly.
Are you seeking a more sustainable business model that will keep you thriving during hard times? Discuss future transformation plans with a Starr & Associates representative today.