With significant shifts in technology and energy along with the challenges of regulatory compliance, organizations must be nimble in their response to customers by anticipating and providing fresh solutions.
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To understand how the notion of business transformation is so critical to surviving the competitive global landscape I reached out to Joy Taylor, Co-founder and CEO of TayganPoint Consulting to get her thoughts on the major issues facing companies today around business transformation and how to find that edge.
Dr. Woody: I hear a lot of business speak out there, so what do you actually mean by “business transformation?”
Joy Taylor: Depending on the size of the company, business transformation can have various definitions. To some it could mean a significant overhaul of both strategy and functional operations, to others a change in culture or market placement. Regardless, it means thinking and behaving in a new way; transformation is a series of changes not a singular event. For companies seeking a transformation, it requires successful execution which in turn necessitates commitment to strategy, vision, programs, and projects that are aligned and work in unison to create an improved business.
Dr. Woody:What are they key drivers of business transformation?
Joy Taylor: A combination of both internal and external factors drive the need or desire to transform a business. External pressures tend to create the strongest drive for change. Environmental factors such as a shift in the industry, regulatory requirements, or technology advancements can all be a catalyst to re-examine the various areas of your business and motivate a hard examination for meeting the needs of your customers. From an internal perspective, we’re all accountable to someone – a board of directors, a group of stockholders, the executive leadership team – all of which generate a tremendous number of questions that directly correlate to the financial health of the organization and require companies and business units to stretch beyond their comfort zone.
Dr. Woody:Which industries do you feel will be going through the most transformation over the next five years and why?
Joy Taylor: The convergence of healthcare and life science will be significant in the coming years. Both industries are experiencing tremendous changes related to regulatory shifts, healthcare costs, patent expirations, the patient experience, as well as requirements to stay current with continuously changing technology, meaning the strategic use of data and information.
There will also be a continued dynamic shift in how people are spending money in the entertainment and gaming industry. The emergence of online gaming, fantasy sports, subscription-based television, and video and music content has caused an audience migration from traditional channels to predominately online environments. The paradigm of how dollars are being captured is the key transformation and businesses are being forced to equip themselves in order to meet these new challenges.
And finally, while I hesitate to lead with my chest, here goes. I believe all top featured businesses (both public and private) are about to undergo a significant shift at the top levels; the board level. In the coming years it will be an embarrassment for any large organization not to have a female member sitting on their board. Tension is rising and someone, some business of great significance is about to be called out in the media and shamed for their lack of diversity in color and gender. While adding a female to a board seems like a small shift, it will be dynamic. It seems quite strange since woman tend to drive purchasing choices for families from food to automobiles; I just keep wondering why we aren’t asking for their guidance at the highest levels?
Dr. Woody:Recognizing the need for change often starts at the top. What advice do you have for executives in communicating the need for change to their employees, stakeholders, and customers?
Joy Taylor: First, it is imperative you create a shared strategic vision, and even more important, convey the vision to your employees with clarity. The biggest mistake is not communicating clearly enough or often enough – often being the most important part of the process.
Getting people onboard to execute your strategy is akin to running a political campaign -- clearly defining your platform, mounting your campaign to add character and emotion to your message, and constantly reinforcing to why they should support you. Making people want to participate and contribute enables them to act on something they feel they are now a part of.
Successfully managing people, behaviors and culture is the hardest part of the execution. Human reaction is never absolute. There will always be uncertainty around how an organization’s culture reacts or responds to the elements of transformation. Technology, process, data management, can all be more heavily controlled, but human nature is never 100% predicable.