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25.03.2016
When it comes to how you should use the Web to enhance your business, you might feel lost from time to time. Take it from a guy who has to stay informed about these things, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of online marketing buzz words and the slew of new services with catchy names claiming to be then next big thing. Basic search engine optimization (SEO) is key to getting indexed well and easily found in Google and other search engines.
Getting other well-trafficked and relevant websites to put a referral link back to your website is another great way to generate targeted traffic. Social sharing is another free technique involving adding buttons to your website that allow visitors to quickly share pages and content on the social media they use most. Finally, I wanted to mention offline methods as they relate to driving traffic to your website.
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This chapter presents how organizations or organizational units can successfully plan transformation alignments and implementations.
Strategy management primarily addresses the “envision” phase of the transformation lifecycle, where a strategy is developed. We believe that a business transformation must have robust strategic triggers if it is to succeed at all. Sometimes the trigger for a business transformation is not strategic, but has more to do with the “ego” of the business leaders or key stakeholders. The step-by-step methodology described below for developing the business transformation strategy takes into account the complexity of the transformation itself.
The strategy method presented here is based on six logic steps and describes the first phase (envision) of the transformation lifecycle introduced in Chapter 2, Meta Management.
What are the business transformation drivers and how do they affect the existing business model? What options does the enterprise have to act and what is the vision for the future enterprise?
What is our future competitive edge and what additional value can be realized by the business transformation? Does the enterprise have the experience required to adapt its processes and organization in line with new challenges?
The following methodological steps (see Figure 3.2) are intended to find the answers to these questions. The importance of the Project Startup step is often underestimated, with most project sponsors attempting to shorten it significantly. A record of the initial situation is an essential prerequisite for accurate business planning as the entire analysis is based on a systematic collection of the data related to the factors that shape the development of the company. This is one of the most important phases in the development of a business transformation strategy and is based on the experience that excessive business transformation pressure does not build up overnight but can peak across various phases. The most effective solution is to take a proactive enterprise and perform a transformation analysis to investigate the effects that the transformation drivers have on the enterprise as well as the associated opportunities and risks.
Proactive – The company monitors the market developments, business environment, social and environmental changes, and adapts accordingly.
A lack of awareness and transparency on the part of management with regard to transformation needs creates the basis for future problems such as a lack of stakeholder commitment during the transformation process.
The company starts to lose key clients because it has not adapted to the change in requirements. As the company’s need to transform increases, so does the pressure to do so as quickly as possible.
To obtain a reliable estimate of the business transformation need and elaborate sustained transformation concepts, a selection of the methods and tools (presented in Appendix A of this book) must be deployed.
Alongside the recognized analysis methods used in strategy development, which are mainly geared to market conditions, competitors and a company’s core competencies, analyses that take a closer look at an organization’s transformation readiness are becoming more and more important. Normally, the people in an organization do not tend to change; without a willingness to change, however, the company cannot adapt quickly enough to new challenges.
Generally, an organization’s experience and willingness with regard to transformation can be measured by the level of collaboration throughout the company. To promote collaboration in these decentralized structures, companies initially strive to establish a centralized organization, which, once empowered, aims to enforce central initiatives. In the first case, key decisions are frequently taken too late or not at all in order to conceal the conflict. Enterprises that already demonstrate a high degree of collaboration in certain areas across the company have usually left these stages. Transformations are generally associated with significant process changes – that is, changes to the way in which the company works.
The ability to adapt processes flexibly to new requirements generally requires an appropriate IT infrastructure.
The transformation analysis results in a rating that can be used to assess potential transformation strategies (see Figure 3.7). In summary, it can be held that a company’s transformation readiness is extremely important for planning a transformation. Develop a common understanding of the project, create an efficient working environment and compose a “winning team” (including key stakeholders and knowledge experts). Perform a transformation analysis to investigate the effects that the transformation drivers have on the enterprise as well as the associated opportunities and risks.
Measure the organization’s willingness with regard to business transformation by the level of collaboration. Companies can gain an advantage (compared to companies with similar transformation strategies if they consider organizational readiness, process readiness and IT readiness during the implementation of the business transformation). The aim of the business transformation is to increase the value of the company, which can be achieved through consolidation, risk reduction, or growth. The mission statement includes a description of the field of operations, the required resources and the value system of the company.
A description of the mission statement, therefore, must encompass all of the key aspects of a company (see Figure 3.8).
A company’s mission statement must be coherent and a successful strategy ensures that the key implementing measures are coordinated effectively. The objective here is to identify permanent unique selling points that are perceived and valued by the customer.
Cost leadership: achieved by realizing economies of scale, reducing transaction costs and establishing low-cost structures in areas of fixed costs.
Time leadership: a particular form of tangible customer benefit is punctuality, time savings, or the ability to develop products and bring them to the market and customer more quickly (time to customer, time to production, time to market).
Innovation leadership: the ability to develop new products and services through creativity and market knowledge, and thus always remain one step ahead of the competition. Network and partner leadership: providing optimum coverage for and control of the value chain through an intelligent choice of the right partners.
Nowadays, however, it is not absolutely essential for companies to focus on exactly one of these strategies and then become leader.
The development of an appropriate transformation strategy requires opposing transformation needs with transformation readiness. If the pressure to transform is low and if the company has a high transformation readiness, it should continue to monitor its business environment and operate proactively.
If both the pressure to transform and the transformation readiness are low (for example, due to stakeholder conflicts), there is usually still enough time to pursue all options for action.
If the pressure to transform its business is high and the company is also able to do so, a direct strategic realignment is also a feasible option and can be realized by initially strengthening its core business.
A further option is to extend the company’s core business, for example, by offering complementary products and services or integrated solutions. Another option is to tap into new success potentials, for example, through developing innovative products or processes, ramping up core competencies, opening up to partnerships, or introducing dynamic network structures along the value chain. If the company, however, is under a significant pressure to act and has only limited transformation readiness, its only option for securing its survival is to overcome the product and sales crisis by consolidating and concentrating on its core business.
Investigate the core competencies of the company or performance potentials of certain individuals as well as develop new core competencies.
Describe the mission statement in a tangible manner that enables it to be applied to specific goals. Nowadays, it is not absolutely essential for companies to focus on exactly one of these strategies and then become a leader. Once the company’s mission statement and transformation strategy have been established, the next step is to describe its future business model.
Once the future business model has been developed, its implementation is planned before a final decision is taken by top management. The business transformation plan begins with the design of the transformation framework (meta level). If the company is under considerable pressure to complete its business transformation, it should nevertheless act with as much autonomy as possible and as much control as necessary. It is also important to discuss and identify the key formal and informal roles for the transformation at an early stage.
From a process management perspective, the key changes in the process organization that are required to describe the future business model should be determined. As a result, the need for change can be determined and the associated improvement potentials derived. Once the need for transformation has been determined, the necessary change management measures can be derived. The benefits associated with the process changes are outlined in brief and – if possible – the monetary value is calculated. A further investigation should be carried out as to whether the job requirements associated with the process changes necessitate specialist or interdisciplinary employee qualifications. Analyze the necessary management and communication style as well as the values of the future company. Discuss and identify the key formal and informal roles for the transformation at an early stage. Determine the key changes in the process organization that are required to describe the future business model. It is precisely at this point that intensive communication regarding the reasons and the planned mission statement is essential to signal that this approach is necessary to secure the survival of the organization. All of the measures are then subjected to a transformation risk assessment using the “360° Strategic Risk Assessment” approach (see Chapter 5, Risk Management). Strategy management primarily addresses the envision phase of the transformation lifecycle and is concerned with strategy development. Establish a “winning team” out of key stakeholders and develop a common understanding of the project. Analyze the external and internal factors that will affect the future of a company to be transformed.
Investigate the effects that the transformation drivers have on the enterprise as well as the associated opportunities and risks.
To obtain a reliable estimate of the business transformation need and to elaborate sustained transformation concepts, a selection of appropriate methods and tools is presented briefly. It is worth mentioning that an integrated transformation plan considers all BTM2 disciplines. Many transformation initiatives fail, or succeed only after a painful series of restarts and revisions. Envisioning the desired organization at the start of the transformation process most obviously helps to ensure buy-in from its stakeholders and eases the subsequent task of change management.
Maximizing shareholder value is a central performance objective for most companies, and finance theory shows that this depends on achieving sustainable, profitable growth.
Transformational aspirations are often couched in terms that are familiar and meaningful to those at the top of companies and those who advise them – shareholder value, market position, value chains, ecosystems, processes and the like.
In addition to defining the target organization – the people, processes and purpose of the future – the envisioning phase needs to include a definition of the enabling organization that will work within the organization as a whole to bring about the transformational change.
In their early years, like many global leaders these companies were centralized around their home countries or core businesses, where, typically, key customers, partners, efficient capacity and expertise were all co-located.
In a first phase of transformation, all of these companies decentralized with increasing vigor during the 1990s.
Allied to these company-specific factors was the rise, during the 1990s, of management theories celebrating the virtues of autonomy and accountability so as to enable fast responses to local opportunities and laser-like focus on local performance.
Despite the virtues of local autonomy, the companies in our sample found that decentralization brought with it mounting disadvantages, which – after 2000 – gave rise to efforts to reverse the trend to varying degrees.
This was the backdrop to the more recent phases of transformation seen in our case studies from 2000 to 2010. In two of our case studies, for example, success in HR transformation initiatives after 2005 depended on the core proposition that – far from undermining the autonomy of HR directors and their business partners – more effective global collaboration and support would empower them to perform their local roles far more effectively.
The first, decentralizing phase of transformation in the organizations we studied aimed to release individuals from the old bureaucratic constraints.
Transformation inevitably entails conflict: between old and new and – vitally, between those whose task is to enable change, and those whose task is to run the existing business.
The enabling organization is comprised of the people and processes that make transformational change happen. The first is to ensure that the enabling organization is given power and protection from the top of the company.
The fourth is to ensure that the enabling organization becomes the source of key appointments in the target organization.
My goal is to undo that feeling in a five part series of posts aimed at taking the broad topic of web management strategy for small business, and breaking it down into what I hope are simple, understandable, and useful chunks.
What if you just want to put a simple and effective strategy together to make sure you have your basics covered? Despite being the start of the cycle, this area must continually be worked at and refined to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck.


Small techniques such as using location based key phrases and well thought out page titles can make all the difference in your search result placement.
This involves researching blogs, directories, and review websites that have related content and are popular in your industry or where your potential audience already spends time. For pennies-per-click you can put small advertisements on Google’s search results and on websites in their networks. The best and simplest technique is just to stick your URL everywhere – letterhead, business card, the bottom of advertisements, etc. Everyone who signs up gets full access to our entire library, including our curated collections.
Our Standard license allows you to use images for anything, except large print runs over 500,000+ or for merchandising. Once you have downloaded your image, you have life-long rights to use it under the terms of the license purchased. A frequent cause of failure is an erroneous or inaccurate planning of a transformation strategy.
Strategy development refers to the selection of appropriate team members, collection of data, analysis of transformation needs and readiness, design of a business vision and a business model, and the definition of an integrated transformation plan.
The strategy definition phase of our methodology links the transformation program to the fundamental changes in the business’ environment and corporate direction. These may relate to sustainability changes or new technologies, such as cloud computing or ubiquitous computing (Weiser, 1999), which are facilitating completely new business models and rendering existing ones obsolete. Ultimately, these transformations fail for lack of market acceptance or at an even earlier stage if not accepted by employees.
At the same time, it makes allowance for the fact that various management disciplines, such as Risk Management, Value Management, Business Process Management, Organizational Change Management, Transformational IT Management or Competence and Training Management, are required to elaborate the concepts involved. In this phase, it is essential to select the right stakeholders and project members, and ensure that all of those involved have a common understanding of the project.
It is often argued that the transformation strategy is important and that results are expected as quickly as possible. This means that both the external and internal factors that will affect the future “transformed” company must be analyzed. For this reason, the phase is divided into series of stages (“Lack of transformation awareness and transparency”, “Lack of stakeholder commitment”, “Lack of transformation strategy”, “Lack of business success” and “Lack of liquidity”) that a proactive and healthy enterprise passes through when it becomes “unhealthy” and insolvent. For companies in other stages, however, an analysis of the situation and crisis assessment is an integral part of the appraisal.
A delegate who was, to put it discreetly, rather stout of body rose up and said: “Transformation never really can work. All of us have imperfections and, as in the academic notion of path dependency, certain events and experiences have led us to where we are now. In doing so, it has a high degree of flexibility in terms of the period and options available for readjustment.
In addition, the absence of positive results is preventing the management team from implementing key projects. The company loses credibility and experiences more and more difficulties in raising the capital it so urgently needs.
At the same time, its scope becomes more restricted as certain barriers arise (Gro?, 1997). These analyses are based on the observation that companies with similar strategies achieve completely different results even though the market conditions and their core competencies are similar. It goes without saying that the readiness to change of the workforce is directly linked to the process and IT readiness.
Organizations with a lower transformation maturity frequently have predominantly local centers of power. The prescribed or forced changes, however, generally meet with relatively little acceptance and their success remains limited. They have established cross-company organizational units (such as shared services), which provide services for the company itself, its vendors or customers. Experience of process management is extremely beneficial when it comes to changing and optimizing processes. Studies have shown, however, that companies differ considerably in terms of the state of development of their IT. This entails investigating the core competencies of the company or performance potentials of certain individuals as well as developing new core competencies. The company’s mission statement plays a key role here and should motivate employees to implement the goals of the transformation.
The goal is to ensure that employees identify with the company’s mission statement and this can only be achieved if the value systems do not contradict one another. In addition to the business areas, production and sales program, the development of the value chain and manufacturing penetration, as well as the required resources and corporate values have to be described.
These can include cost leadership through economies of scale, efficient business processes and low-cost personnel structures. On the contrary, a better approach is to pursue several strategic options (see Figure 3.9) and combine the various strategies in such a way that this combination represents a unique selling point in itself. Suitable measures here include brand profiling, closer positioning of core competencies in a niche market, building strengths and dismantling weaknesses, and leveraging environmental and market opportunities, as well as technological opportunities. The company could also attempt to transfer its products, brand, or other areas of expertise to new applications. This initially involves reducing overcapacities because the focus here is on cost efficiency. On the contrary, a better approach is to pursue several strategic options and combine the various strategies in such a way that this combination represents a unique selling point in itself. This can mean concentrating on key basic requirements or focusing on selected products and markets where the prospects of success are good.
This entails the production and sales program, the sales and marketing plans, purchasing strategy, key research and development products, financing options, workforce planning and qualification planning, as well as the IT architecture and IT planning.
Implementation planning contains a “high level” plan of all the necessary transformation steps, the associated expenditure, an estimate of the monetary and non-monetary benefits, and the strategic risks. This requires an analysis of the necessary management and communication style as well as the values of the future company.
It goes without saying that the most important thing is to secure the company’s survival, and the measures required to do this should also be implemented immediately.
These include the top managers of the divisions that will be affected most by the transformation and that are crucial to the transformation. Starting from a rather abstract level, the processes that will change are identified and the target profile for these processes is described. In addition, the measures that are required to bring the company’s process management maturity to the level necessary for the transformation should be planned. Furthermore, an initial stakeholder matrix is compiled and an estimate is carried out for the key stakeholders as to what extent they will be affected directly or indirectly by the change and whether their attitude towards the business transformation is positive, negative or neutral.
A monetary evaluation is not always possible, particularly if key strategic changes are involved. The future IT architecture has already been recorded as part of the IT maturity assessment. By applying this approach, information can be collected from a variety of perspectives – from managers, employees, partners, specialists and IT departments, as well as external experts. In this chapter an approach was presented to develop a strategy for business transformation by taking into account the complexity of the transformation itself. Such a plan is necessary since the weakest element might determine the success or the failure respectively of the business transformation. A typical denouement, as our case studies show, is a “transformational” IT initiative running into the sand, over budget and with missing deliverables, in the wake of non-cooperation, rejection or even sabotage by key stakeholders in the organization.
But it is crucial for a more fundamental set of reasons that relate to the drivers of transformed company performance.
In general, the triggers for transformation are concerns about untapped opportunities for profitable growth that the company is unable to realize, or even concerns about the drivers of profitable growth tipping into reverse.
In a world of increasingly knowledge-intensive businesses these strategic resources, in plain terms, are people. But to ensure success, the envisioning phase of a transformation must ensure that all of these can be translated into what the transformational change means for individuals and their jobs, and are embedded in the definition of the target organization that will make individual transformation possible.
In the latest, most successful phases of transformation, these companies are leading the process with a vision of people, their jobs and organization design. As they developed a global footprint, the early organization model was one of core and periphery: the core being the home country or primary activity, and the periphery arising from emerging opportunities in more remote geographies or product markets. In some cases this mirrored the growing importance of markets and supply sources beyond the traditional heartland, and the rise to power of country managers who demanded autonomy commensurate with the size of their budgets. The corporate parenting role, in many cases, became one of financial control – focused on outputs – rather than strategic planning. From a global perspective, there were increasing opportunities for labor cost arbitrage: consolidating activities into low-cost locations.
But despite the obvious economic benefits to be gained through recentralization, in all the cases that we studied the transformation initiatives encountered varying degrees of organizational obstruction. The creation of global hubs as centers of excellence in learning and development, for example, gave in-country HR directors access to world-class resources that could not be matched locally. But over time this turned out to be insufficient: the more recent phases of transformation have focused on restoring connectivity where this adds value to people’s jobs, creating connected global powerhouses rather than fragmented islands of activity. Indeed, conflict drives transformation as we have seen in the dialectical process of change from centralized through decentralized to connected organizations in our case studies. In our most successful case studies, the enabling organization was directly championed by the CEO or board-level function head (in the case of the HR transformations we studied), and those leading it reported directly to the C-Suite.
The full range of stakeholders needs to be given a voice: not just for the sake of buy-in but because they will represent the reality test for the definition of the target organization and implementation pathway. If those running the businesses have had experience of the transformational task, they are more likely to understand the meaning of further phases and make conflict between old and new fruitful rather than destructive. Using our 12 years of experience as a guide, I collected and organized a list of tools and methods that have time and again produced solid return on investment for our clients, and are both affordable and easy to implement.
Although this technique can be used to help your SEO ranking as well (think Google Page Rank) my recommendation is to focus on quality and not quantity when it comes to who and how many websites to contact.
Also verbally telling your customers or potential leads to visit your website for more information might seem obvious, but if it’s the first time you actually owned a useful website, you might not be accustomed to mentiioning it! If at any time you're unsatisfied with your experience with us, you can cancel your subscription. This chapter systematically guides through the six major steps of developing a transformation strategy and explains the integration of essential aspects such as transformation need, transformation readiness, stakeholder management, options for action and the integration of a transformation plan. Intensifying global competitive pressures (Porter, 2004) (new competitors, buyers’ bargaining power, suppliers’ bargaining power, alternative products or services), demographic trends (growth in India, South America, India, and contraction in Europe, the USA and so on), and even failures within the enterprise can act as robust strategic triggers for transformation. In other cases, difficult personnel decisions were taken too late – for example, certain key persons were not replaced soon enough, even though, it was evident that they were opposed to the business transformation due to self-interest. Yet, just as in other projects, neglecting certain initial aspects frequently has far-reaching consequences. The data required to do so must be of high quality; that is, it must be both conclusive and transparent. It is important to understand that a sustainable transformation cannot be brought about without removing the causes of all crisis situations (Gro?, 2009). However, the reason why he is not willing to change is because the pressure is not high enough yet. These become evident in Stage 4 at the latest – if not earlier– and are generally due to a loss in confidence on the part of key customers or suppliers, with the result that the company can no longer raise the financial resources it needs.
Consequently, it is important to know what factors affect the implementation of the business transformation. It is unlikely that a company will have reached a high level of process or IT maturity and still have a limited organizational readiness. This illustrates that leadership competence plays a key role in an organization’s transformation readiness. In turn, this creates a continuous cycle of conflict and often an increasing conflict escalation. Thinking in local or largely centralized structures has been replaced by a form of thinking that is geared more to the interests of the company as a whole. The less process management experience a company has, the more complex and lengthy the transformation will be. Companies with a low state of development frequently have many heterogeneous IT solutions that are interlinked by a cumbersome set of interfaces. This is extremely important because employees have to abandon their habits and learn new skills.
The mission statement should also be described in a tangible manner that enables it to be applied to specific goals. The mission statement is coherent if a company’s strengths are developed and its weaknesses dismantled, and if strategy and organization are mutually compatible. This is not always a simple undertaking – in some cases, the solution requires personnel changes. This can be done, for example, by transferring core products to new customers or regions or resources and capabilities to new areas of business in order to leverage synergy effects. The company may also have to divest itself of certain divisions that are less efficient or sell them. However, it may also be expedient for the company to focus on those markets or products where its competitors are weak. At the same time, a rough description of the target organization and the organization model during the transformation is compiled. If the company has enough time to complete the transformation, a participatory management style that promotes autonomy can bring about success.
Nevertheless, it is precisely at this point that intensive communication regarding the reasons and the planned mission statement is essential to signal that this approach is only temporary while it is necessary to secure the survival of the organization. A decision should also be taken on the top sponsor (power promoter) of the transformation and who the business transformation managers will be. In addition, provisions must be made for adapting or implementing applications that are required as a result of the process changes. To provide greater transparency and a better overview, the connections between strategy, processes, need for change, training requirements, IT, benefits and risks are represented in a business transformation network.


According to our research team, these are in particular organizational readiness, process readiness and IT readiness.
A key insight from our case studies is that the all the transformational initiatives need to follow, not lead, a vision of the organization. Profitable growth depends on competitive advantage in exploring and exploiting opportunities, which – as the strategy literature shows – in turn hinges on the possession of “strategic resources” that are the building blocks for creating customer value, and which are also scarce, and hard to imitate or substitute. To transform performance, we need, in the end, to transform people – that is, to free individuals to unleash their own personal competitive advantages, to do their tasks of value creation superbly, collaborating effectively with others.
Power was typically concentrated at the center, often expressed through strategic plans tightly governing activities through a hierarchy. In another case, decentralization mirrored the diversification of the group across three distinct industries and 130 operating companies, leaving little scope for the center to act other than as a holding company.
At local level, heterogeneous processes, policies and systems tended to proliferate in this period, in all the cases that we studied. Consolidating hitherto local activities provided benefits that went beyond cost savings: knowledge-intensive activities could be aggregated into global hubs, bringing centers of expertise up to the level needed for sustainable world-class excellence.
The global standardization of policies and the centralization of administration in global delivery centers reduced complexity and saved costs. In this new phase of transformation, defining the target organization – how connectivity will help individuals rather than constrain them in old bureaucratic ways – is key to success, as key stakeholders will recognize that the move away from decentralization entails a loss of freedom.
To ensure that conflict does not derail the transformation, defining and safeguarding the enabling organization is critical. Because it is a distinct organization within the company, the boundaries around it allow the existing businesses to continue running effectively with minimum disturbance and distraction while the transformation is in progress. Championship entails commitment: again, in the successful case studies we explored, the CEO or function head had identified their own, personal success or failure with the transformation agenda. The conflicts in our case studies were rich sources of learning, leading to valuable breakthroughs in the context of a clear commitment to change.
Individuals will need to see their role in the enabling organization defined in terms of their personal task and career.
And, as we found in our case studies, where transformation is becoming continuous, this provides the basis for a confident transformational culture to permeate the target organization as it takes shape. Of course you need to decide how much you are willing to pay for people to click through to your website, but AdWords does a good job of providing you with the tools to maximize your results.
As a result, the entire transformation process took longer than planned and the image of the program suffered long-term damage. The next step entails clarifying the company’s economic starting point – that is, its market position, competitors, product and service portfolio, key revenue and expenditure, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. Failure to include a key stakeholder or knowledge expert, for example, can have a profound negative impact. Among the key data that must form part of this analysis are external factors such as economic trends, the competitive environment, information about transformation drivers including globalization, demographic developments, sustainability aspects and technology drivers, as well as specific industry trends. Figure 3.5 outlines the different stages of the transformation need, which are explained in the following.
In many cases, decisions regarding personnel are not taken or the wrong personnel choices for key positions are made.
It fails to make the necessary product developments and investments in human capital, or it makes the wrong investments.
These obstacles are also referred to as market exit barriers when the abandonment costs, for example, can no longer be funded, or also market entry barriers if the capital for a regional expansion, for example, is lacking.
According to our research team, these are in particular: organizational readiness, process readiness and IT readiness. This may be the case, however, if corporate culture is destroyed as a result of mismanagement, for example, and employees consciously oppose change, as can actually occur in one of the later stages of the transformation need.
Many locally different processes or many exceptions to the standard processes are an indication that a company has insufficient process management experience.
In most cases, accessing data is difficult, the systems are inflexible, there are many data silos and the quality of the data is poor. In his experience, the “hidden champions of the 21st century” – SMEs that have reached the leading position in their market – set themselves apart from their competitors primarily due to their strategic orientation.
Coherence also means, however, that the strategy and expectations of the enterprise environment fit.
Companies with a high need for transformation must determine their strategic direction and, above all, secure their survival in the short and medium term. From a consultant’s perspective, the situation is particularly difficult if the specific customer is the actual cause of the problem.
Outsourcing or offshoring certain areas or individual business processes too are potential initiatives if they produce cost savings.
The transformation plan contains elements of all the management disciplines such as Program and Project Management, Business Process Management, Value Management, Transformational IT Management, Organizational Change Management, Risk Management, and Competence and Training Management. This also fosters identification with the company’s future mission statement and ensures that its implementation is largely planned and designed by the employees themselves. It is also advisable to decide on who will support the business transformation as the expert promoter and who can be relationship promoter. Nevertheless, the objective is systematically and realistically to record and represent all of the key value-added aspects of the business transformation. For this reason, the future IT architecture must be reviewed and an implementation plan compiled.
Thus, a well-developed transformation plan and strategy strongly contribute to a successful business transformation.
A major source of transformational failure is allowing organization design to become a consequence of the transformation process, rather than its guiding principle.
The cradle for this is what we describe as the “organization”: the structures, processes, systems, culture and policies that when transformed will enable people to accomplish great things, realizing opportunities and removing obstructions. The companies in our case studies have learned the hard way that definition of the target organization is key to transformational success. Another company in our set of case studies decentralized under the culture shock of merger: only a loose combination of two very different organizations – one a trusted, high-quality provider, the other a low-end producer in the same sector – was possible given the different histories, values and market positions. Centralization was out of fashion: IBM, Japan and the Soviet Union had all gone wrong simultaneously. Moreover, the fragmentation associated with decentralized organizations meant that opportunities for synergy and knowledge transfer could be missed.
This would not be given up without a compelling argument that went beyond the projections of cost savings that were typical of business cases made at the time.
But more vitally it freed HR directors to concentrate on the core of their task – supporting the business partner with excellent HR advice. Because managing conflict is a central role for the enabling organization, its definition during the envisioning phase needs to show how conflict will be managed. This meant “burning bridges” through public statements of objectives, so that yielding to pressures for delay or reversal from opposed stakeholders would carry too humiliating a personal price. This matters, because in too many cases being part of a transformation project has meant career death for talented, high-potential people: because of enmities aroused by conflict, the absence of familiar performance metrics enshrining success or simply too much time spent away from running the businesses, which are usually the source of recognition and power.
The third step involves analyzing the acute transformation need and its causes as well as the organization’s readiness to transform. For this reason, the requirements and duties in the project startup step should be elaborated with the same due care as in the other steps within the project.
The dangers of inertia are serious; from this individual’s point of view, the onset of diabetes and then progressively worse symptoms. Growing dissatisfaction among management and employees can also give rise to a loss of core know-how.
Corporate culture represents a major business potential that encompasses the common values and conceptions.
The term “employee and management barriers” (see Figure 3.6) is used to describe situations where the workforce’s resistance to transformation is too high, and is primarily caused by communication that is unsatisfactory or too late.
Even though it is difficult to make these “constructs” perceptible and thus measurable, we will attempt to establish an initial estimate here. At the highest level of maturity, collaboration between local and centralized structures is in a spirit of partnership where mutual respect is shown for all interests and decisions are based on the benefits to the entire company. In this case, generally no process owners have been defined that could configure cross-departmental processes. The mission statement conveys a sense or orientation by giving employees an idea of how the company will look in the future and how it will prevail in the market.
As such, the mission statement plays a central role in coordinating resources in the context of a transformation.
In this context, the transformation readiness (see Figure 3.7) of the organization must be considered. Success requires a close dovetailing of all these management disciplines and intensive dialogue between all of the experts involved in planning.
The steering committee for the transformation should also be appointed as the future decision-making body. Our case studies included a new corporate venture which was conceived in the late 1990s as a business organizationally separate from its parent: an island of technology, with its own partner ecosystem, product strategy and route to market, without any connection to the parent company’s IT architecture, business processes or systems. This first phase of transformation had an organizational vision at its core: setting people free from bureaucracy. All of these factors could tip the balance of competitive advantage or disadvantage at the business level.
The winning arguments were those that defined an organizational vision that would enable key stakeholders to do their jobs excellently.
Here, the organizational vision was one of connectivity: localizing where autonomy was critical to value creation, and globalizing where scale was critical to supporting value creating activities at a world-class level. It matters all the more because the enabling organization will need to include some of the company’s best people who cannot be squandered and who will need to be convinced about their future prospects. This involves questions regarding the core mission and business and their contributions to earnings, as well as competition-related resources and capabilities: management, procurement, production, sales, technology, innovation and financing.
No doubt he feels that he will be the one exception to this decline, but we know without doubt that he will get progressively worse.
Resistance to transformation often stems from management level because the higher a person is in the company hierarchy, the more he or she has to lose and the greater the risk of image loss (Schein, 1995; Simon, 2007). Here, even employees question their own working practices independently and show a willingness to adapt to a shift in conditions. Other indications include excessive process loops, integration gaps, or undue control and approval steps.
Companies at a slightly higher level of development often have cross-company applications for some key processes and mission-critical data has been standardized throughout the organization.
In many cases, the transformation need is underestimated and the transformation readiness overestimated.
At the level of the corporation as a whole, it was becoming apparent that the decentralized model could not be controlled, other than through high-level and usually historic financial data, and this had become less acceptable in an era of greater risk. In effect the enabling organization needs to be defined as a positive top talent career track, with well-envisioned selection criteria, metrics, development and exit paths. Step 5 contains a detailed description of the future business model including the production and product portfolio, as well as the future core processes, future organization and IT architecture to demonstrate the sustained success of the business model. This information is retrieved methodologically by analyzing data from accounting, interviews with managers and employees, examining business partners and competitors, and including research data. And we know too that at some point, it will be too late for him to ever get back to full health – the chance will have been missed. A continued or progressive crisis will harm a positive corporate culture and can significantly impede business potential.
Such companies could also be described as learning organizations with a culture that essentially regards change as something positive and fosters mutual trust between the management and the workforce as well as between centralized and decentralized organizational units.
If a company has gained a certain level of process management expertise, it may have already standardized certain processes throughout its organization and defined initial responsibilities for process standardization.
And yet there is no corporate-wide IT strategy and still many local and heterogeneous systems. As a result, either the transformation goals are too low or the organization is simply overburdened. By optimizing organizational structures, the company’s ability to transform its business can be enhanced.
This means that the reasons for the transformation (case for action) are presented objectively and the pros and cons are discussed. Corporate leaders saw a greater need to move the global enterprise more swiftly as new opportunities and threats emerged.
Finally, a rough business transformation plan is elaborated that includes an estimate of the costs and benefits as well as the key steps required to conduct the business transformation. At an organizational level, the complacency that sets in reduces information search, challenge withers away and there is a slowness to react to new circumstances. At the next maturity level, process owners have been defined for all cross-company processes and process know-how is well established throughout the company. Not until a company-wide IT strategy has been defined, standards for systems and data established, and local standalone systems systematically replaced (where expedient and feasible) can the IT infrastructure be regarded as mature. The situation does not have to be exaggerated to conjure up a crisis situation if one does not actually exist. As well as slowing down responsiveness at a global level, the complexity of different local processes, systems and policies created gave rise to costs that needed to be addressed through simplification and a measure of recentralization. At some point, if business transformation is introduced (usually when a crisis occurs), it is too late to restore the health of the company fully.
If the entire organization thinks in processes, endeavors to improve these processes permanently and adapts itself flexibly to new requirements, it can be regarded as having a high level of process management maturity.
At an extremely high IT maturity level, however, the company has global and integrated IT-systems and uses state-of-the-art technologies efficiently in order to organize its IT operations in a flexible and cost-effective manner. Once these problems have been solved, the company can opt for consolidation or a strategic realignment.



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