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  • Paul Pilling

The Transformation Vitamin



So a while ago I came up with this idea that in order to have a healthy transformation journey you needed a supplement. Those that know me know I love a cheesy analogy as helps explain and this Transformation Vitamin was right along those lines.

So just cut to the chase right, what is the key to a healthy transformation?


Well it is Vitamin C and I came up with this list originally.

  • Clarity - Ensuring that the reason for the transformation is clear to all involved in delivering and those who will be on the 'receiving end'

  • Capability - Before embarking on the journey do you have the right skills to deliver and the right environment if not make sure you have a visible plan to address these

  • Colleagues - these are the people who will deliver, receive and ultimately define the success of your transformation so make sure they are understand the vision.

  • Customers - Ensure that your customer and their needs stay central to your transformation there is little point changing if you are going to negatively impact the end customer. At times there may be a bump in that journey but make sure you are transparent with customers so they know why.

  • Commitment - Every transformation will hit pitfalls and at times you will question if you are ever going to deliver it. Stay committed to your vision and purpose and you will get there, even if that means you have to stop and reassess.

  • Communication - Be open and honest all the way through, keep the communication relevant for the audience, admit to failures, celebrate them along with your successes.

  • Collaboration - Don't confuse this with communication, collaboration is key to delivering a successful transformation. Effective collaboration between those delivering the transformed systems and process and those on the receiving is vital. If those receiving the new systems and processes are involved and have input into the changes they will be invested and increase chances of success.

  • Courage - Any change is difficult even for the most hardened change advocate. Have the courage to keep going, learn from failings, to admit when you need help, when you don't understand part of the vision and most importantly in you ability to deliver.

  • Cost - Don't treat transformation like a waterfall project with a fixed budget, manage your costs on quarterly basis. This will help you keep on track and help you manage the benefits but being able to track and fill back up the pot with efficiencies savings along with new sales. This was of managing the costs will also help prevent cost spiralling and hidden costs become more visible.

  • Culture - Everyone know the saying 'Culture eats strategy for breakfast' and it is so true. Take an honest look at your culture before you embark on a transformation journey. You need to ensure those delivering feel enabled and empowered to deliver, I feel the best way to do this is to create a culture of adaptive performance, as described by Lyndsay McGregor & Neil Doshi in Primed to Perform. With this type of culture your colleagues are clear on the vision of the transformation and are trusted to deliver using their expertise.

I have now added to this with further experience


  • Compassion - As mentioned change is hard and it is no surprise that a way to measure peoples reaction to change is the same as how people handle grief, using the Kübler-Ross curve. So make sure give your colleagues the right tools, information and most importantly support to manage their journey.



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