Why change must be visualised By Maureen Whyman, Business Change Consultant at Lose the Box

The Brexit process continues to evolve and this is a challenging backdrop for SME leaders, who may already be dealing with economic pressure and digital transformation. If you’re an SME preparing for change, you may be interested to read our top tips. These recommendations stem

from working extensively on change and transformation, including Brexit readiness projects with HMRC Customs teams. This blend of processes and skills can help manage change, maintain productivity and make the transition as smooth as possible.

VISUAL TOOLS As a change facilitator, I like to keep things practical and simple as far as possible by creating simple visuals. These give leaders and teams a shared understanding of the challenges, key themes and progress towards business goals. Visuals have the power to unstick overwhelmed leaders and resistant teams. This is quite often the starting place when I’m asked to support business change or transformation.

CHANGE READINESS PIE CHART I created a pie chart to support other HMRC teams prepare for Brexit-related change in 2017. By visually segmenting actions they needed to take, it helped leaders and teams collaborate. Even with little detail about how new Brexit processes would impact their roles, they were ready to pull together as a team as soon as processes needed to change. My Change Readiness pie chart was adopted as standard across other Customs teams.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGE READINESS – THE ‘WHATS’ To help SMEs navigate uncertainty associated with Brexit, I developed a Brexit Readiness pie chart, designed to engage leaders and teams in action for change. When introduced as a structured project or programme, this approach can also help maintain or improve productivity.

Here are my top ten recommendations for Change Readiness processes and technical skills – the ‘whats’: 1. Understand current performance 2. Define business vision 3. Develop KPIs and measures to track productivity

4. Communicate and plan for change

5. Undertake gap analysis and risk analysis

6. Assess skill needs 7. Clearly define roles and responsibilities

8. Strengthen problem solving skills 9. Strengthen value mapping skills 10. Plan for sustainment

The road to digital transformation

By Lionel Mazzella (pictured), Director, Digital Evolution Industrial Consulting (D.Evo)

In today’s context, organisations need to evolve and act quickly to address the changing business landscape. If you’re in charge of making change happen you will be aware that

digital will play a big part in your business’ transformation and the question is no longer if or when, but how to initiate your digital transformation journey. A well-prepared and managed digital transformation strategy will bring

tangible benefits, such as: • Improve customer engagement, outcomes and value • Create new and improved existing business models • Improve operational agility, flexibility, effectiveness, response and performance

• Create new, enhanced and innovative products/services • Improve safety, regulatory compliance and quality.

Today, more than 70% of companies have initiated their own

transformation, but 98% of business leaders are still unclear as to the exact digital transformation, IoT (Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) meaning. With 70% of IoT projects failing to get beyond the pilot stage, how do

you ensure your digital transformation project will deliver what is really needed for your business, ensuring your competitiveness and longevity? As with most journeys, digital transformation will bring tough roadblocks, which may include:

• Lack of vision, strategy and clear expectations • Specific leadership and talent resource allocation • Change acceptance and reluctance from staff • Legacy business structure resistance and adaptation • Alignment and coordination with IT department • Budgets constraints and variations

Beyond the common perception, digital transformation is not just about

technological innovations and their disruption on the business, but also how these technological innovations are adopted and used. In the same way, digital transformation is not just buying a product that

will deliver more or less the expected results. Here are some actions you can take to initiate your digital transformation:

• Engage your leadership team, work out a clear vision and expected value • Test the water and communicate your initiative with your staff • Identify potential digital transformation champions in your business • Run a first assessment to set your initial starting point and evaluate changes to your structure

Finally, get the right level of expertise and support. Digital

transformation is a journey, it will take time and bring significant changes to your business model. Specific skills and knowledge will also be needed and you won’t necessary get that from existing staff, so make sure that you find the right partner before you initiate your own digital transformation.

business network November 2019 85

The ‘hows’: 1. Leadership commitment 2. Empower and engage 3. Collaboration 4. Visual control 5. Customer value focus 6. Costs and benefit focus 7. Change control process 8. Change assurance process

WIDER APPLICATION OF VISUAL CHARTS The segments of the pie chart can be set at different levels – from a strategic review, to a light touch assurance tool, to tasks on a team action plan. It’s not just about words on the page, it’s the principle of visually engaging people in change and improvement that matters more. By using this effective approach

to implement the key elements of change, leaders and teams develop transferrable skills that remain relevant.

To view the visual tools highlighted in this piece, visit g/brexit-ready-for-change/

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