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You Pivoted .. Now What?

I'd like to make a suggestion. Let's agree to set aside the word "pivot" - and - focus on the word "transformation."


trans·for·ma·tion

/ˌtran(t)sfərˈmāSH(ə)n/

the opportunity to define an ambition that goes beyond incremental change;

and the opportunity to rethink your business

The word - transformation - can be tricky to use. In a lot of cases, CxOs will cringe when a consultant walks through their gate and declares, "I'm here! Let the transformation begin!" The CxO envisions a bus full of consultants, all with luggage in hand, a smile on their face, and no chance in hell to solve their #1 problem quickly.


Pivot or Transform


When we say pivot, we connote a quick jog to the right to solve an immediate problem. We focus on simple steps that give a result. Of recent, successfully executing on a pivot was critically important to business survival and liquidity.


But, now that you pivoted, a transformation has to take place. Transformation ensures longer-term execution of the success attained as a result of the short-term pivot. In other words, your pivot may help you for the short term ... but transformation ensures longevity.


The word "transformation" is often confused with technology. In a recent article from CEO Magazine, I was reminded of a replay of a conversation I've heard many times in my career. It goes something like this:


ME: What are you transforming?

CIO: Our technology.

ME: Yeah, but what are you transforming?

CIO: We're implementing xxxx and using new ways of working.

ME: OK, but what are you actually transforming?

CIO: Collaboration toolsets.

ME: From what to what?

CIO: From manual to digital.

ME: OK, so all collaboration will be digital now?

CIO: Well … er, no. What was your question again?

ME: What are you transforming?


In reality, transformation is all about people.


"Every successful organization has to make the transition from a world defined primarily by repetition to one primarily defined by change."



All Things Transformed Map Back to People

Now that we've agreed to step away from the alter of quick-fix, I want you to think about the things in your company, organization, and team (etc.) that will require transformation. And, as you do so, map that item back to people.

Some examples of questions you may be considering:

Digital transformation: will your audience respond to your digital presence

Technical transformation: will your users break old behaviors

Workplace transformation: will your culture support permanent remoteness

Business transformation: will your leadership adapt and adopt and achieve



Transform Does Not Have To Be Hard

You know from experience, and I know from experience that transformational projects can be hard when approached improperly.


So, as you contemplate your businesses transformation, here are a few tips that may help:

  1. Leaders - Begin with an informed leadership team that can clearly articulate your business strategy and intended outcome

  2. Capabilities - Extend your view of capabilities to include strategy, mission, insights, inspiration, integration, processes, technology, and talent

  3. Value - be explicit about exactly how you intend to create value and establish strong, clear connections to your execution plans

  4. Sustainability - focus on an adaptive approach that embraces new ways of delivering and sustaining value post-transformation

  5. Agility - continuously evolve through transformation



The Long and Winding Road

Transformation is an evolutionary and continuous process. Yes, it requires guidance from a trusted person outside of the business's body for a while.


However, if done correctly, transformation is taught to leaders, teams, and individuals. All with the intent that they become capable of "fishing for themselves."

When executing on your transformation, having a trusted partner can be invaluable. You can learn more about how I approach helping my clients with their pivot by visiting www.dolandwhite.com


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