How should transformation teams adjust their agenda given the current situation



We asked Laurence Muscat the question, Laurence is a leader of transformation change and business operations.

Having lead transformation teams for many years through good times and bad, experience tells me that troubling situations such as now, can present excellent opportunities to demonstrate the real value of your transformation team and provide a platform to grow new services that once seemed impossible. By holding onto the above and proactively adjusting your offerings and ways of operating, your transformation team can be more in demand and make a greater contribution than ever before. Below are some ideas on how to do this:

1.  Deploy your capabilities to critical activities

Your team is likely brimming with essential skills needed right now but perhaps the business does not know this. For example, resource sharing across the business will be critical right now to ensure costly resources are deployed to the most vital areas. This might already be happening but the project management skilled people in your team will be very well placed to do this better and faster and this will also propel them into the heart of the business. Could you apply performance improvement and measurements techniques to those activities deemed critical to dig the firm out of this current crisis?

2.  Rethink and refit your offerings to make them relevant to the here and now

For example, could process improvement projects take place in real time and become incremental

“on the job” improvement initiatives? This would mean that they become an integral part of delivering client service rather following the more traditional route of “evaluate, design, test, pilot and rollout”. Are there elements of your in-flight initiatives that could be readily carved out and implemented to provide quick hit productivity savers right now and avoiding the need and associated cost of rolling out the full change / tech straight away?

3.  Bring in the softer side

Chances are that you have these skills in your team – behavioural change management, NLP, facilitation, teambuilding. These skills could be extremely helpful in a more standalone capacity right now. For example now more than ever people from different areas need to work together, understand each other and communicate better. How does the firm rapidly instil new behaviours and technologies in our workforce for its new operating model? Your team’s soft skills could be employed in driving exciting new initiatives that could live well beyond the pandemic lifetime.

4.  Turn your expertise outwards into a service offering

This is something that your execs could position to their clients, especially those that are particularly badly hit or do not have same capabilities that your team does. This could be a great shot in the arm for the team and present wonderful PR both for your people and the firm as well as of course making a valuable difference to key clients.

5.  Enlist domain experts that are usually very difficult to get hold of

This can often accelerate existing projects, particularly where business acceptance is tough to achieve.

If need be consider a trade-off situation where you lend some of your valuable resource in exchange. 

6.  Create a methodology for how to respond to the business impacts from the pandemic

Whilst this may seem like PR led thinking, it is actually an excellent way to help people channel their energy in an organised and thought through way for the better. It could be just for your existing work initially or for the whole firm or one could lead to the other. Keep it simple and grounded in theory regarding how people react to change.

7.  Don’t get sucked into red herrings  

At moments of extreme pressure, silver bullets, shiny new tech implementations and pet projects tend to rear their heads – some maybe indeed what they claim but many won’t be. Remember that what was good business sense still is generally good business sense – no one will thank you for squandering money / resources on something that really was not grounded in any business rationale even if it is flavour of the month.

8.  Do to yourself and don’t be done to

Even if you have just been through a cost cutting initiative it is highly likely in this economic environment that another will be coming. Be ahead of the curve if possible and show the way in how to plan for this next wave.

9.  Strategic awareness

Make sure your team can answer how their workstack is aligned to strategic responses to the current crisis. If your answer is far from clear, think about how you can link your activity to key initiatives or imperatives to ensure you have a visible alignment.

10.  Be pitch ready

Be ready when you are summoned to the COO or MD for a discussion, in a senior management meeting or even just in the elevator. This may have happened already, but there is nothing stopping you from preparing your story now so that you are ready for the next important encounter and hence ready to sell in many of the messages above.

Best of luck my fellow professionals. If you want to learn more about what I have written or how to discuss this within the context of your team then I would be very happy to join you for a virtual coffee.

Please contact me at: Laurence Muscat Consulting 07958 661 306 Authored by Laurence Muscat, a highly experienced leader of transformational change and freelance consultant.

BACK TO NEWS Go to Next Blog