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Business change and transformation drivers

Business transformation is often considered synonymous with change management – which is a shift, realignment or fundamental change in business operations. Gartner describes this as:

“Change (and transformation) involves significantly altering ongoing operations in a high risk

environment characterised by elevated volatility, ambiguity, disparity/diversity and novelty/scope.”

So, what makes a business undergo transformational change? At Yorkshire Change, we realise that there are many drivers of business change or transformation, which we will look at in more detail below.

Common Drivers of Change from within your Business:

  • Change can be vision led whereby change management can be used to deliver a clearly defined leadership vision.
  • Emergent changes happen when the business realises that the coordination and streamlining of processes is necessary.
  • Compliance driven changes are when a business must complete steps to ensure they do not face negative implications, such as when GDPR legislation came into play – all businesses needed to undergo change to ensure they were compliant.

Anderson and Anderson (2001) identifies 7 primary drivers of change

To fully appreciate business change, it’s imperative that we look at the drivers of change. The importance of understanding the drivers is so that you can avoid internal misalignment, miscommunication regarding scope of change, and simplify the process of executing said changes. The 7 drivers of change, identified by Anderson and Anderson (2001) focus on external and internal forces, listed below:

External Forces of Change

These drivers are ones that leaders are more acquainted with and will often think of first when defining the fundamental cause of the change and the extent of the impact of the change. External drivers can include a need to change to meet the changing needs/demands of stakeholders, or perhaps to align internal systems to reduce overhead costs and allow for a better internal flow of information.

  1. Environment
  2. Marketplace Requirements for Success
  3. Business Imperatives
  4. Organisational Imperatives

Internal Forces of Change

Internal change drivers are trickier to pinpoint and communicate, but if they are not seen to, they could cause your project to fail. Paying attention to both, internal and external drivers is key to successful change management.

  1. Cultural Imperatives
  2. Leader and Employee Behaviour
  3. Leader and Employee Mindset

Most organisational projects will have an external driver that initiates the need for change, but frequently, that external driver will spark an internal driver as well.

Business change and adaptation in light of Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisations to adapt, plan and deliver in new ways as it spreads quickly around the world. It is evident, that in today’s world, Covid-19 has initiated the need for the way businesses operate.

Leaders are in the midst of crisis management, attempting to steady their operations, safeguard their workforce and communicate with customers. Unfortunately, we do think, businesses must now plan for a different future that accounts for impact from the virus and resulting business and societal change over coming months.

There are several enduring opportunities for change that present themselves as a result of covid-19:

  • Rethinking the digital capability of the business
  • Enabling new ways of working by fostering the use of IT and Digital Tools
  • Promoting and setting digital standards, policies and processes
  • Continuously improving processes based on digital capabilities
  • Welcoming change through understanding stakeholder requirements
  • Improve operational and supply chain agility
  • Leaders to support their staff to work remotely

Other disruptors causing change in businesses to bear in mind

While COVID-19 has been an enormous disruptor, it isn’t the sole driver of change in the world of business today. It was just months ago when Brexit was at the forefront, and businesses were getting ready to deal with the consequences that Brexit had for the economy, employment and talent pipelines.

Innovative Companies that are disrupting their industry

Industries as a whole are going through transformations that were not predictable. Some of these have meant the business has had to adopt new structures and models to adapt the way they can continue to work. The changes have been driven by innovative models, demographic demand, technology, aging population, competition in the industry, mergers and acquisitions and a rise in consumer power. Transformation of the business model is happening in many known industries – some examples of these are listed below:

Airbnb – Transforming the hotel industry whereby a traveller needn’t simply book a hotel room, but they can stay in a strangers’ home, anywhere in the world.

Uber – Transformed the way people book transport worldwide

Apple Music – Transforming the way people purchase music – the consumer can stream millions of songs for a small subscription fee.

Netflix – Allows consumers to stream movies from their home, wiping out the traditional blockbuster business model

Businesses will invest more in business change management

The capacity to design and implement practical solutions to change and transformation challenges will become indispensable in today’s world of business.

In light of change drivers and the current disruptors, work practices and consumer demand, organisations need to start investing now in the technology, architecture and talent they need for future transformations.

Our advice is to invest in people, technology and data to prepare for the certainty of change.

For a free consultation, contact Chris@yorkshirechange.co.uk to discuss your business transformation challenges.

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