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Make 2020 a Year of Business Transformation

It's time to think about how to implement a solid business transformation program that will lead to real progress, increased productivity and opportunities to compete more successfully

If you are new to a senior leadership role, or maybe just want to make 2020 a year of fundamental and long-term change in your existing role, now is the time to consider implementing a business transformation program. It could be that you have been promoted and now have the authority to make executive decisions, or you might have identified a lack of efficiency in the new business that you are participating in. It could be that companies have relied on the knowledge of several individuals, rather than effective, powerful systems and processes, and there are gaps in current knowledge after they move. Or it may be that those who control the wallet are not aware of the loss of efficiency that results from the old manual system, and are reluctant to invest the funds that are needed to make changes.

Whatever the reason, when we enter a new decade, it's time to think about how to implement a solid business transformation program that will lead to real progress, increased productivity, and opportunities to compete more successfully. While cost savings may be your main goal, this is also the time to think about how the new system will increase employee engagement, the company's reputation, and streamline future growth.

The first thing to note is to focus on the triangle: connecting leadership, strategy and culture. Unless these three factors are considered together, the program will fail. But what exactly does this mean in practice?

Leadership is top - it is important for the management team to fully follow the process, and be strong, united and able to steer the ship. Below are the other two pillars - strategy - making sure you have a strong plan with clear results that can be achieved. And last but for sure, culture - it's just as important, and without it all fails. This important element considers the people who work in an organization. Clear communication at every step of the process is very important to keep employees engaged, and fully in line with the company's philosophy and reasons for change.

This all drives the crossroads of work and people. Without this alignment, any business transformation program will be a challenge. Do it right and the process will be much smoother.

Some questions to ask yourself and those who share responsibility for implementing this program are -

Does your organization know the work that needs to be done and why? If they are not clear about their individual goals and roles in them, you may face obstacles. If they know what needs to be done, it is important for them to know how it needs to be done. People are always the key to success, so intrinsic culture needs to be right. What are cultural norms? The organization is used to it. And do they flow from above? Ensure leaders 'carry out talks' so that the team will be open and enthusiastic about the transformation program, and will not treat it with suspicion. If leaders are there with basic rules, and fully understand what the culture inherent in the company is, respect will follow. A strong, open and honest culture, holding fast to them at all levels will encourage high performance and increase the likelihood of a positive transformation process.

Is the job related to strategic imperatives or is it just 'busy work'? Is this just about cutting time doing unnecessary administrative tasks, and therefore reducing costs, or is the new system clearly linked to a strategy, such as 'entering a new market' or 'launching a new product'?

Does work contribute directly to customers or market needs, or does it allow several other areas in the business to do this? If not, why do we do it?

For real and long-term success, make 2020 a year where every tactic in business is linked to strategic results, be it solving customer problems or meeting market needs. Make a resolution to not only 'do business with each other' in the organization and think 'big picture' for long life.

At each stage, consider the holy trinity - and make sure leaders fully understand the relationship between strategy and culture, and the same interests that need to be placed on both. It's not good to be great with people if we can't get work done, and there is no point in getting work done in any way that is detrimental to society. Nothing is sustainable. A successful business transformation program is about balancing culture and strategy, and a great leader will have the skills to drive