A successful transformation is in the hands of the leaders

When a CEO or Head of Transformation embarks upon a major change initiative (business transformation, merger or acquisition), it is common for them to be clear on their destination, but not clear on their journey. Therefore, one of the first things they do is consider who can help them navigate the change. Experienced leaders know that development of a strategy alone is not sufficient – real, positive change is only achieved by bringing the strategy to life (positively impacting attitudes and behaviours), and an important pathway to achieve this is through effective communication and engagement.

Senior Executives want their change to be successful – they don’t want to be one of the majority of changes that fall short of original objectives. However, what many Executives do not consider, is the importance of employees understanding and believing in the change. In other words, a transformation can only succeed if resource and time is allocated to converting the strategy from intent to impact, by enabling leaders to communicate with employees and create authentic engagement.

The go-to partner for most Executives when embarking on a major change journey is a major consulting group, who plays a vital role in strategy development. These groups dissect the complexity of transformations and provide understanding and insight – together with tools – to help leaders get aligned to the intent of the upcoming transformation.

But how do organisations create the impact required for change to succeed?

At companies where senior managers communicate openly and across the organization about the transformation’s progress, respondents are 8.0 times as likely to report a successful transformation as those who say this communication doesn’t happen.

Good communication has an even greater effect at enterprise-wide transformations, where company-wide change efforts are 12.4 times more likely to be successful when senior managers communicate continually.

(McKinsey & Company, “How to beat the transformation odds”, April 2015)

After working alongside two of the major consulting groups in Australia for many years (helping clients to navigate major change initiatives), both groups have recently reached out to partner with Bunch in a more formal way. Together, we are a powerful force because we not only focus on strategy development, but also on embedding the change to ensure that the transformation is successful.

So the next time a CEO or Head of Transformation is embarking on a major change journey, I would ask you to consider the following:

    • The major consulting groups are not accountable for embedding the change in your business – as leaders you are!
    • Communication and Engagement are essential ingredients for your successful transformation.
    • Your Internal Communications team is critical and they should work alongside the major consulting groups to sequence/prioritise communications, which will help support you to communicate with your teams in an authentic and engaging way.
    • Consideration of a transformation communications partner is equally as important as a transformation strategy partner.