Managing Change in a World of Iterative Transformation.
In this mini-series we introduce the ‘Ripple Effect’, Gate One’s differential approach to business transformation.
Everybody knows that nothing stays the same for long these days. In business, as in everyday life, it’s commonly accepted that the speed of change wrought by global competition, disruptive technologies and social media is more relentless than ever.
What is surprising is that so many business leaders instigate major organisational transformation as if this does not apply to them. It’s staggering how many large-scale transformation efforts are still planned to result in instantaneous or ‘Big Bang’ organisational change, based on the assumption that all environmental factors will remain static. This fatally flawed premise encourages change leaders to follow either a rigidly sequential programme management methodology or, citing ‘unnecessary bureaucracy’, no structured method at all. However compelling the business case, such an approach is doomed to fail in today’s climate.
‘Big Bang’ transformation is dead, if it ever existed at all. On the contrary, we believe that truly great transformation is only ever achieved painstakingly: the result of myriad hard-won, incremental improvements over the lifetime of your change programme, in the face of many unpredictable events.
We call this iterative transformation. It is a world that we in Gate One know well.
If It’s Too Good to be True
Since iterative transformation renders unique virtually every significant business change undertaking, it requires a degree of comfort with complexity and ambiguity that is notoriously hard to find within your organisation. Faced with this daunting challenge, the sales pitch of the ‘big brand’ management consultancies is seductive. It goes something like this: “We are a global ‘one stop shop’ advisory firm with far-reaching expertise in any domain that could possibly be relevant to your specific business challenge….as one of the biggest and best-known consultancy brands, you can trust us to know all the answers you need.”
Alas, this road rarely leads to successful realisation of your change objective. Fundamentally, it is the very business model of such organisations that is at odds with the challenges of iterative transformation: a highly leveraged staffing model based on large numbers of junior resources, and a very clear focus on short term targets.
Truly sustainable organisational change has resulted no more frequently from a ‘quick fix’ consulting elixir or ‘bulletproof long-term strategy’ than it has from hiring a plethora of interim contractors.
A Different Way
We believe that lasting and meaningful business transformation takes a meticulous, iterative cycle of planning and execution over a sustained period of time. It requires an elusive combination of organisational patience, focus, resilience, adaptability, Leadership….and the support and expertise of a different kind of management consultancy: one that is unswervingly focused on making your organisation better.
We believe that change is delivered by people, not brands. And we believe that organisational change is only ever achieved with genuine appreciation of how people can change, forming the new habits that progressively reinforce your programme’s strategic intent. This change gradually gathers pace and traction across the organisation, emanating from an initial pioneering core until at long last becoming a new, irreversible organisational norm.
We call this the Ripple Effect.
Working shoulder-to-shoulder with your people, it is this phenomenon that Gate One seeks to foster in your organisation, accelerating the delivery of benefits from your change programmes and increasing your confidence in achieving your transformational intent.
In our next edition we explore Gate One’s differential approach to business transformation, in “How do we do this… What does it mean in practice? ”.