Recently my daughter sent me this photo of my granddaughter, Freya, busily organizing Lego blocks. Not bad for 2 ½ years, eh? When she’s a little older, I want her to manage a transformational change project.
Executing your transformation swiftly means that you gain more value faster. This requires razor sharp execution founded on a solid organizational structure. I’ve seen plenty of change in my career, and those that move the fastest, have the greatest chance for success and drive the greatest value share a few common features.
Build a dream team of the best people to complete the job:
- You – the senior sponsor of the change – are chair of the transformation project steering committee. DO NOT delegate this to another executive. If it is important enough to spend your money, it’s even more important to spend your time.
- The steering committee includes functional leaders (functional VPs) whose teams are impacted by the change.
- A Transformation Management Office leader (TMO) who sits on your TMO and is your co-chair. This person ensures the day-to-day project plan is executed. They have a team of functional/operational business leads. These individuals typically report to the functional VPs mentioned above.
- A Change Management Office leader (CMO) who is responsible to ensure that all the behavioral elements of the change project are addressed. They do this by implementing stakeholder management interventions and organizational risks are mitigated.
- Representation by key constituent groups. I call this a Change Agent Network. These are front line employees charged with implementation.
Implement structures to accelerate elements of the transformation.
- Establish a process and a regular cadence to receive status, and update and mitigate risks and issues.
- Put simple tools in place for the team visually report stats and end the bureaucratic and useless weekly status reporting. Nobody reads those status reports anyway.
- In every project meeting, actively use risk and issues charts to update, mitigate risks and resolve issues before the cause too much trouble for the project.
Adopt a behavior manifesto, first for you, then for your team, then for the project.
- Encourage the discipline to persist. In the face of insurmountable odds, it might be easy to throw in the towel. Don’t give up. Persist. Of course, some projects may require your wise judgment to determine whether to continue.
- Develop resilience that you draw upon during times of trial. Look, nobody ever said change was easy, and sometimes navigating through issues is hard. Adapt. Be resilient.
- Rely on your best people. I have seen leaders put B players on important projects because “they don’t know what else to do with them.” Resist the temptation. Put A players on your critical change projects.
Seems simple enough, right? You’d be surprised to hear how many projects in which I’ve been involved still struggle with many of these. Yet most of this boils down to common sense.
What other features do you think are important? Please share them by commenting on my blog.
Call to action: Ask yourself, does your transformation project include these elements? If not, resolve today to significantly improve the probably of success and achieving – if not exceeding – the value you set out to achieve.
Dedicated to your profitable transformation,