Fancy taking part in another organizational change initiative? Thought not.
But we are now in an era of ‘always on transformation’, according to Jim Hennerling, Boston Consulting Group’s Organizational Change Expert, with companies having to constantly adapt to keep up with rapid globalization and digitalization. Given we can’t hide from change, Hemerling shares his insights on how we can make a business transformation energizing rather than exhausting in his fascinating TED talk – now viewed more than 1.6m times.
Definitely worth taking the 13 minutes 20 seconds to watch it in full – but if you don’t have time here’s the one-minute quick read version:
He argues that the key thing is to ‘put people first’, with these five imperatives:
- Inspire through purpose – think Lego with their mission to ‘inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow’ and their ability to frame yet another global expansion as the chance to inspire more children.
- Go all in – not just cost cutting but thinking about what initiatives to put in place to win long term; and what investments to make now in leaders and talent for the future.
- Give people the skills and capabilities they need for the transformation – for example, the collaborative behaviors to deliver a seamless end-to-end journey for your customer.
- Instil a culture of continuous learning – instead of silos and a static mindset of ‘I know best’, moving to a ‘growth mindset’ where everyone aims to listen, learn and bring out the best in others.
- Be an inclusive leader – hold people accountable for results, be directive when necessary but also solicit ideas and keep the debate open.
These five imperatives very much mirror our experience of what leaders need to focus on when leading a successful transformation to matrix working. We’ve developed the following 4S model to help leaders navigate the change and keep people excited about the journey:
- clarify and communicate the strategy and the reasons for the change
- create the formal structure and informal networks and groups to deliver on this
- align the business systems and processes -including people processes
- build the skills and culture needed to succeed in a more complex environment
For example, one of our global IT clients specifically rewards people who can give examples of where they have shared information outside their function, and also where they’ve asked questions outside of their team. In this way they are actively rewarding the right type of collaboration (not just more meetings).
So if you’re introducing a change to matrix working; or you’ve just heard about a new business transformation from on high – let’s take up the challenge to make this transformation energizing not exhausting.