Over the past few years, we have seen exponential change across industries, faster and more frequently than ever before. It is now the norm for organizations to deal with continual shifting due to factors such as technology, politics, pandemics, and globalization. Unfortunately, many companies have not been able to catch up quickly enough to frequent and wide-ranging changes in the marketplace.
Companies and individuals often avoid addressing disruption because it is messy and uncomfortable. But the worst thing business leaders and executives can do is convince their crew that the problem will take care of itself. Organizations need to combine vision and energy to ensure they are always taking care of their customers and immediately addressing issues or needs. Change is not easy, but not changing can be fatal. Hiding from disruption while not preparing for changes in the marketplace not only causes organizations to stay in their closed-box mentality but also could lead to irreversible business loss.
While many organizations feel that change is a threat, others that generally succeed operate under the belief that change brings opportunities to improve products, services, technologies, people, and processes to realize a sustainable competitive advantage. In recent years, many businesses have focused on transforming and optimizing their operations to meet evolving market demands or to keep up with changes in their environments. However, many efforts fail because one or more of the following three pillars do not get leadership’s proper attention: strategies and tactics; delivery and project management; and culture, capabilities, and change management. All of the elements in each category must be addressed with adequate balance. By adopting an action-oriented mindset and customer-centric approach, and leveraging proven technology, you will be able to embrace change, build a healthy workplace culture, and deliver positive results within and outside of the company.
We can anticipate more big changes and disruption in the next decades. Today, companies and their shareholders have high expectations and demand higher profit. Customers continuously demand better quality, lower prices, and better service. Companies are stuck between the dividing forces of shareholders and customers pull in different directions.
Here are some examples of why business transformations fail:
Strategies and tactics
- Poor leadership
- Unclear strategy, open to interpretation
- Incorrect assumptions
- Lack of innovative or quality-oriented mindset
- Strategy excludes different functions or operations
- Strategy relies on adopting unproven technology
- Lack of customer-centric approach
Delivery and Project Management
- Unrealistic expectations
- Underestimation of effort
- Inadequate resources or budget
- Poor project management discipline
- Lack of action and follow-up
- Poor attention to details
- Not seeing the whole picture or losing focus on the true target
- Overburdened resources with too many initiatives
Culture, Capabilities, and Change Management
- Suboptimal culture
- Poor communication
• Misalignment between key stakeholders
- Management behavior does not support change
- Employees are resistant to change
- Lack of involvement or adoption
- Poor attention to the needs of evolving capabilities
Rias Attar’s book, Change to Win dives into the most common reasons for failure in business. Attar shows readers that often, businesses face a doom-and-gloom fate as a result of leaders and business owners who continue to use the same methods because of past success, and who are uncomfortable taking educated risks and changing approaches and habits. He shows readers not only why the disruption is happening, but also what organizations need to do, when they should act, how they should operate, where they should dig in, who should take the lead, and how much they need to invest in growing and sustaining a competitive advantage. Change to Win is truly a must-read for business leaders.