If your business wants to do more than survive, it needs a different approach to optimise processes in your business
If you’re tired of the buzzwords, you’re not alone. The idea of a “digital transformation” or digitalisation or any other kind of coined version of “change” drives many in business to the brink. The reason is that seasoned professionals know that embracing every buzzword doesn’t guarantee success.
You need more than buzzwords. You need results.
An already popular study from the Harvard Business Review pegs the fail rate at around 70 per cent for most digital initiatives. Seventy per cent. Two-thirds. What’s worse is that McKinsey surveyed several businesses, asking them if they thought their businesses would stay “economically viable” if the trend towards digitalisation continued.
The results? Only eight per cent believed they would…
Only eight per cent of businesses think they could survive the changing tides that technology and innovation bring. That’s shocking.
If your business wants to do more than survive, it needs a different approach to optimise processes in your business. It needs to take control. And doing isn’t as difficult as you may think, provided you make the right choices at the start.
How to successfully transform your business
Before you can understand what works, you need to realise what doesn’t. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to transforming your business, there are mindsets you can and should avoid.
Luckily, the right solutions can help you overcome the common problems that plague scaling your business. This is your roadmap to scale your business successfully.
Problem: Lacking clear expectations
When you ask many executives and department heads what their goals are for their company, you often hear generic responses, “Improve customer service, grow sales, and stay competitive.”
Also Read: Avoid the Top Mistakes That Startups Make
But generic mantras won’t get you far. And tacking on “digital transformation” to every initiative doesn’t constitute change.
Businesses aren’t clear cut, black and white processes with concrete, established boundaries. They’re organic entities with a lot of moving parts. If you shift one area of your company without respect to how it will affect another, you risk doing more harm than good.
New processes need to flow across all areas of your organisation. Without that, they’ll fall apart before they even get off the ground.
Solution: Clearly defined business goals
The solution is to have clear business strategies. Rather than have generic goals, discuss and create specific, reachable ones. Once you define those goals, you’ll be able to easily backward design a roadmap to get you there.
During this process, you should listen to input from all departments so that you can have an understanding of how each area of your business evaluate success. You’ll also see the obstacles that stand in the way of that success.
Delegating a single approach will not work. Successful business transformation rests in having a holistic strategy. It should keep in mind the focus of the goals, how to implement them, and how to balance change with growth. It should also be dynamic and run from the top-down, back up again, and throughout the business as a whole.
Remember, without clearly defined goals, your strategy will lose momentum before it even sets sail.
Problem: Choosing the wrong beginning
There are most likely clear strategies you can put to work right now that would reduce costs and keep your business competitive. But are they the right strategies? And how do you know? And which order should you implement them?
While it may seem commonsensical to implement quick, simple solutions, that may not be the best approach. Quick fixes can be like patches that take up time and resources but only slow the problem temporarily. To really make a change, you need to think bigger.
Solution: Prioritise strategies for change
While creating the strategy for your company’s future success, begin listing needed changes to workflows and processes in your business.
Once you know what changes your business could benefit from, see how other processes would be affected by implementing these changes.
Also, look at what problems remain after putting them into practice. You’ll quickly find that some quick fixes may be unnecessary. Or worse, you may discover that they slow down progress.
Problem: Having a “set-it” and “forget it” mindset
With the ease of access to information these days, it doesn’t take much effort to find out what kind of tactics successful companies used to grow and stay competitive.
Certain workflows may, again, seem commonsensical at first. And requiring rigorous review and oversight before adding them as solid stepping stones toward progress may seem excessive.
Except there’s a problem with that way of thinking. Every business is different. One strategy and roadmap may work well for one company. But it could fail to bring results for your business. Expecting solutions to work because they worked for other organisations is a recipe for disaster. You need to take a different approach.
Solution: Create a custom roadmap for digitalisation
You need a strategy that reflects your company culture, brand, and mission. And more importantly, you need one that caters to your employees’ needs. Any new processes won’t succeed if employees don’t advocate for them.
Designing a roadmap specifically for your business with company culture in mind is a great way to avoid irritating issues. Looking at the data to back up any decisions while using KPIs to further evaluate performance before augmenting initiatives is key.
It’s better to think of business transformation as a continuous process. One that must be constantly evaluated, adjusted, and tested before its full value is realised.
And once your new systems take hold and yield results, more employees will aid in championing them on their own. With your company behind new initiatives, successful business transformation is more likely to occur.
Problem: Underestimating the power of disruption
Often, important tasks get pushed aside. Even though executives know the value in successfully digitising your business, they may not fully understand the consequences of putting it off. True. Digital innovation now happens at a far more rapid scale than ever before.
Advancements, data, and analytics mean that more companies are working harder to provide services customers expect. Some changes need to happen quicker than others. And some can be avoided altogether.
This results in a kind of “analysis paralysis” where companies believe it’s better to hold off and wait because something better is on the horizon.
Solution: Prioritise agility
Rather than waiting for a “better” system, create both a business and company culture that values agility. The key to any successful attempt at digitisation in your company is to have champions behind it. But for that to happen organically, you need a system that clearly improves the experience of those interacting with it.
The best way to do this is to create workflow processes that are easily adaptable. The beauty in business optimisation is that many software solutions are cloud-based.
They also promote the use of automation and integrations. And as a result, new systems can be far more easily connected to existing ones. These types of workflows reduce processes, handling menial tasks that often bog down employees’ time.
By making digitalisation easier for your company, you’ll greatly reduce pushback from implementing new systems.