What does success look like?

The New Normal as referred in my last blog is the state of an organisation which is different from what it was previously after completing a transformation project. This blog talks about preparing for the New Normal and what does success looks like in the new world.

What does success looks like?

On completion of a transformation project many senior managers find that, due to the group-wide focus and effort required to achieve it, their staff have been transformed too. So what should they expect when moving into the new normal, and what capabilities remain that could yield benefits long after the project has concluded?

Reaching the much-anticipated completion stage is the result of close collaboration between the IT department, the senior /change team and employees. Change projects by their nature are intensive, creative and immersive problem-solving experiences, from which close working relationships often form. Regardless of the outcome, these teams are now much more closely aligned and share a collective sense of ownership and responsibility.

This is an important dynamic in the renewed business. Another characteristic often common among such teams, is an unstoppable sense that no change or challenge is too difficult for them. This belief and resolve can be a potent post-transformation asset. If harnessed correctly, this can have long-term benefits for the company, its culture and future profitability.

Once a transformation project has concluded, this is an ideal time to enshrine the concept of constant change into the culture. All businesses need to be in a constant state of refresh and, at this point, staff are likely to be at their most receptive to the idea that continual change is part of the new normal.

Encouraging team members to regard change as part of their everyday role is key. This could be reinforced by resetting the company’s values and introducing change as a measure of success in target setting and annual reviews. Promoting the continued joint sharing of responsibility for projects is also important. This should be encouraged as staff will otherwise gravitate to old habits, quickly sapping the energy generated by highly-productive working collaborations.

It is also important, within set guidelines, to encourage and allow people to take the initiative with change projects. Guidance, the right resources and the freedom to innovate with little constraint are also critical.

Managers must be brave in letting colleagues fail fast and learn from their mistakes, without fear of criticism. Not only will this harness the momentum created by a transformation project, but drastically reduce the need for another large project in the future.

Parminder Kaur, Director Consulting