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In season two, episode 16 of ColumbusCast, Ian Kingstone, UK Director of Strategy and Change and Toby Mankertz, Principal Advisor for Business Transformation, discuss the importance of having a value first mindset when it comes to enabling successful transformation.  

Why are businesses looking for transformation projects? 

The current economic landscape is one of turbulence, with almost every industry experiencing major disruption, from raw material shortages in manufacturing to rapidly rising energy costs. Businesses must place a focus on change and transformation to become resilient and adaptable to mitigate the impacts of any current or future challenges on their operations.  

However, simply placing the focus on a need to transform is unlikely to be enough. With 70% of transformation projects failing to deliver the results expected, it’s clear that the challenge lies beyond simply knowing that a business must change. 

Generating business value will define who you are as a business and differentiate you from the rest of the market. It’ll also align your organisation around one true destination, giving your teams the confidence to make the right decisions for your organisation.

transformation project

Why people are the wildcard to change 

The stakeholders within your business will have different motivations and needs and they may not agree with any new business direction or values, creating complexity around aligning mindsets towards one course of action.  

Engaging with multiple teams and individuals about why the change is happening and answering their ‘what’s in it for me’ question will increase the efficiency of your project by developing: 

  • A culture of innovation – every employee will feel as though their opinion is valued, resulting in more ideas potentially being raised in meetings or one to ones 
  • A vision that’s shared company-wide – keeps teams in the loop right from the start, meaning any news about the change project is less likely to be misunderstood or misinterpreted 

How is value the solution to introducing change? 

When businesses implement solutions such as a CRM or a ERP system, they’ll often find that user adoption statistics are significantly lower than expected and  their technology doesn’t deliver the desired business value.  

This often stems from simply looking at an implementation from a features and functionalities perspective, without looking at the wider implications the implementation will have on not just the core users, but stakeholder groups across your business.  

transformation project

A shift in focus towards prioritising how the change will impact your workforce and their current processes will allow them to understand why the change is needed.  

Different businesses also look at value in different ways. For example, one area of perceived value is from the financial gains of the project, but another could be the ability to strengthen outside relationships with suppliers and customers.  

With this in mind, it’s vital that your values: 

  • Are defined and agreed upon before you decide on the solution you’re going to implement 
  • Are shared business-wide so that everyone is on the same page 

Alignment with the companies’ values and overall business goals will lead to greater overall engagement, improved user adoption, and improved project efficiency throughout the lifetime of your transformation programme. 

How do Columbus approach value? 

Our main focus is to enable businesses to understand where value lies for them, and moreover how they can hunt new value from the solution they’re implementing.  We work with teams to enable them to align stakeholders with visions for change.  

However, we understand that what works for one organisation, may not work for another in terms of the pace of adapting to new processes involved in taking on a new system. Businesses may look towards an ERP or a CRM solution, but the reality may be that your business doesn’t currently possess the capabilities and resources required to sustain a rapid implementation on this scale.  

transformation project

Implementation and transformation projects that aren’t carried out within a realistic timeframe are at high risk of failure. Our Envisioning process enables businesses to gauge the scale of the transformation that implementing any solution will entail, ensuring your business is ready to take on board the inevitable need for new process, cultural and behavioural change.  

In our envisioning workshops, we dive into: 

  • The challenges your business faces from an internal and external perspective 
  • What ‘utopia’ looks like, at all levels of business 
  • The risks that need to be considered, associated with delivery of the business outcomes you’re looking for 
  • The areas of your business that need improving, then developing a case for overcoming your challenges

You can find out more about our envisioning workshops here.   

The importance of measuring value throughout the change process 

Without measuring value, how will you know that you’ve reached the outcome you expected? One way you can do this is through setting clear objectives and key result indicators before the change process has started.  

transformation project

With these in place, you can not only communicate effectively with your stakeholders about when they can expect to see the benefits and outcome of the change, but you can also focus on the right value, at the right time within your transformation project.  

Learn more about the impact value has on business transformations by tuning into this episode 

Scroll to the top of this blog or search ‘ColumbusCast’ in your podcast app and listen to our podcast episode, where you can gain more insight into: 

  • How our Value First approach has helped businesses in a variety of industries overcome their transformation challenges, and how you can benefit too 
  • Why transformation projects should be more than just the technology you implement and the importance of aligning stakeholder groups 

Alternatively, to learn more about how we can help you envision your change project, download our fact sheet below, covering these three key areas: 

  • Creating a clear vision for new value 
  • Aligning on business strategy 
  • Gaining buy-in on business priorities 

Read about Envisioning


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