To lead business transformations, varied phases in the life of a companiy have to be covered from a General Management perspective. And depending on the aim of such a transformation,
it will be in a different form :
- To achieve a sustainable transformation, it will always include an element of Business Development in order to improve the Top-line - either in absolute terms or in terms of quality.
- Increasing the profitability by means of improving the Operational Performance, leading Restructuring Projects or driving Turnarounds. A Transfer of Production to a low-cost country may also be implemented in this context.
- Also Post-Merger Integrations always include a strong transformational dimension, even as they originate in the business development.
Such projects typically also incorporate some elements of Business Excellence.
To be able to implement comprehensive transformations successfully, it is crucial to focus not only on the 'hard' aspects like Strategy, Structures and Processes, but even more important to pay sufficient attention to 'soft' aspects such as Communication, Leadership, Organizational Development and Corporate Culture.
Another particularity in managing business transformation projects often is the requirement to be able to lead an organization with informal power only, as well as typically cross-functional and in many cases also cross-cultural. Consequently, a Transformational Leadership approach has proven to be the most suitable one in such situations.
That goes along the line that 'quick fixes' may be appealing in the beginning, but again experience shows that the implementation of a sustainable solution is worth the additional effort. This is also in particular true when it comes to a transfer of production, where the time and effort for ramp-up in a new facility is often grossly underestimated.