March 30, 2017 (ATLANTA) – In today’s globalized corporate ecosystem competition and disruption can come from anywhere. Corporate survival is seemingly dependent on an ability to evolve, adjust and transform. Research suggests that 75 percent of the S&P 500 will turn over in the next 15 years. It’s no surprise that business transformation is a top strategic priority for many executives. And at the center of successful transformation in today’s global business ecosystems are the people.
This is a key insight of a new white paper and survey report titled, Humanizing Business Transformation, from management consulting firm North Highland.
Traditionally, organizations have tended to approach business transformation from a purely numbers-based or operationally-focused view. While this approach may deliver one-time change and short-term value, it fails to deliver the game-changing shifts required to move beyond mere survival in an increasingly connected, consumer-driven world.
“New, future-ready organizations have realized that no matter how far technology may advance, the future is human, and transformation can occur more rapidly and effectively through empowerment and activation of people as the heart and helm of change,” said Greg Bradley, North Highland Global Transformation Lead. “Organizations that get the human experience right, will have the support of their people, who are fully empowered to innovate, collaborate and generate sustained value, even in states of near-constant change.”
The report highlights results from a North Highland Insights survey conducted in February 2017. More than 200 business leaders in the US and UK were asked about their experiences in business transformation. The results make a case for a people-first approach to transformation that starts with designing a leadership experience that most effectively empowers leaders to inspire and engage employees.
The survey revealed a “lack of buy-in at all levels of an organization” as the top challenge. Only 35 percent of transformation leaders expressed extreme confidence in their organization’s ability to emotionally motivate employees. Even the best strategies, architectures and program governance models can be undermined by a lack of stakeholder engagement, trust, empowerment and buy-in.
In reflecting on their most recent successful transformation, business leaders cited “clear roles and responsibilities for key transformation functions” as the most significant success factor. Well-defined expectations and guidelines speak to both the emotion and to the intellect of change makers — the people across the organization who need to operate differently to deliver desired results. This approach empowers leaders to drive strategic change by working with and through an organization’s social system to effect positive change.
Wide-sweeping business transformation is occurring faster and more often than ever before. Sixty-nine percent of organizations say it’s likely they will tackle a large-scale business transformation within the next three years. By focusing as carefully on people as they do on products, systems and org charts, organizations can humanize transformation and create the cultural shifts that trigger movements, drive industry-leading customer experience and foster an environment for ongoing innovation. A humanized approach to transformation creates organizations that are more resilient, more adaptable and better able to enlist their most powerful asset in sensing and responding to change: their people.
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About North Highland
North Highland is a global management consulting firm known for helping clients solve their most complex challenges related to customer experience, performance improvement, technology and digital, and transformation. We add value and support our clients across the full spectrum of consulting, from strategy through delivery. We bring the big ideas, then we make them real. North Highland is an employee-owned firm, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with more than 3,000 consultants worldwide and 60+ offices around the globe. The firm is a member of Cordence Worldwide (www.cordenceworldwide.com), a global management consulting alliance. For more information, visit northhighland.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.