Effective Business Transformation Skills are Essential for Success Today

Navigating strategic change can be challenging for leaders today. Effective business transformation skills are essential to help them overcome risks, gain a competitive advantage and achieve a high level of success.

The cost of ineffective change management.

In 1985, The Coca-Cola Company set out to breathe new life into its soft drink brand by changing the formula to its Cola line. The change to the drink’s taste which had been a celebrated staple for 99 years caused an uproar. “New Coke” shook the brand’s consumer base with angry protests and threats. A few months and millions in lost revenue later, Coke returned to the classic taste which consumers welcomed with open arms.

Today, the “New Coke” taste project is famous for being one of the largest marketing blunders and transformation project faux pas in history. Fortunately for Coke, their quick thinking, and healthy bank balance allowed them to pull off a savvy recovery. There’s a lot to unpack with this classic case study, but most of what went wrong can be attributed to ineffective stakeholder communication and planning, a lesson I’m sure they’ve learned from.

What are the key risk areas of transformation projects?

When purpose and relevance are not defined and communicated, teams feel like they’re in the dark. The lack of a “why” may raise a host of fears and objections. The same applies to the communication strategies that underpin big projects. If the relevant stakeholders are not engaged effectively, they may fail to support or contribute to the project.

Another risk area is the contribution of leaders. Are they championing the change positively and effectively? If they’re stuck in a rigid management style, their contribution to the process may have an adverse effect. Being too forceful in their engagement with employees also has the potential to cause resistance.

Then there’s the matter of organisational culture, especially when merging departments or entire businesses. We must identify the differences in culture or operations and address the challenges that arise when integrating. Failure to do this effectively could result in inefficient and uncollaborative business operations.

We should also consider the human element of change. No matter how thoroughly executed the procedural aspects of transformation projects are, we’re doing our employees an injustice if we overlook the emotional impact.

Either of these risks can undermine the success of our strategic change projects, but with support, this area of business could become a strength.

Coaching puts organisations ahead.

Coaching is an essential performance development initiative with benefits. Markets are increasingly competitive, and technological advancements are compounding the rate of change. Coaching, however, continues to prove itself as an effective business performance ally to help navigate the risk-laden nature of transformation projects in today’s manic business world.

The right professionals can help you develop the skills needed to define the relevance of transformation projects, communicate their purpose, and will empower you to develop healthy, multi-directional engagement practices.

Coaching will also give your business leadership the tools needed to become positive drivers of transformation and adopt a more human-centric approach. It’ll help them inspire cooperation within their teams, develop the levels of empathy required to work with people through potentially distressing times and support their ability to create culture-relevant solutions needed for smooth integrations.

As a leading provider with 25 years of experience coaching leaders in blue-chip companies and government, Change Partners is perfectly positioned to help you advance.

Ashwin Rajah is an International Executive Coach at Change Partners with a wealth of multinational blue-chip corporate experience ranging from finance to technology. As a highly qualified executive coach and mentor, he uses proven methodologies to turn complex business challenges into real success stories.

His experience and passion for developing leaders make him an asset to any business that’s serious about achieving its best. Contact him at ashwinrajah@change.co.za or on 083 566 4813 to help you take your performance to the next level.

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