What is an enabler? Large enterprise often attempts to drive new strategic change initiatives across the organisation but often fall short of the desired execution. This can be because disparate projects are mobilised with little alignment to long term vision and sometimes led by different teams and executed in different ways.
Successful business transformation can be realised when the enterprise sets a five to seven-year business vision, plus strategic business enablers, that will help them get there. An enabler considers the current market and organisation conditions and guides the direction of business transformation initiatives.
Enablers need to be agile while staying aligned to the long-term vision. For example, an organisation can’t only have a vision to grow revenue without considering the evolving market and organisational condition which requires a fundamental shift to realise the new growth.
New revenue may require a shift in how the organisation manages and analyses its data, which in turn might require new data science skills or analytics and visualisation tools. In this instance, an enabler for this organisation may be that it needs to become a ‘data business’, which could include projects such as: setup a data stewardship model; migrate data to cloud storage; training data analytics API’s; recruit data scientists and enhance digital IQ of employees, which will all in turn help realise new revenue growth.
Getting an enabler ‘officially endorsed’ by the executive board is a necessity to implement supporting transformation projects for all areas of the business. The business unit and functional leaders will then be held accountable to identify, manage and report on how they will execute each enabler using a list of priority projects.
Communicating the successful implementation of these projects associated with each enabler is also critical to demonstrating to the organisation and its clients that change is happening and against market relevant factors. Digital dashboards, infographics and town halls should be used to reiterate the necessity to drive support and execution of priority projects linked to these enablers.
Identifying and prioritising these enablers requires time and support from senior stakeholders with input from young talent, who are excited to lead new change for the organisation. A quarterly review process can be established to propose new and updated enablers. These reviews should be superseded by sufficient market and organisational research to understand what new factors will help the entity realise its long-term vision.
What are some of the market trending enablers for 2018:
1. Build a data business: an imperative to operating in a digital world. Appointing a digital stewardship lead that can map, test and regularly ensure that all data is accurate and complete is the start. Then pick the most applicable cloud solution for storage, analytics, machine learning and visualisation and migrate relevant data today.
Recruit and train top data scientists that can abstract insights and build solutions using clean reliable data.
2. Build your digital IQ: one can’t become a data business if leaders are not digital savvy. Mobilise learning and development programmes to quickly up-skill resources on trending digital concepts.
3. Adopt an agile culture: mobilise training programmes to shift teams away from Waterfall project management to a more agile, lean start-up collaborative approach to doing work and solving problems.
4. Build new collaborative workspaces: invest in creative collaboration spaces (AKA “innovation zones”) where teams can break away from the norm and creatively use spaces to interact with clients and colleagues to solve old problems in new ways.
5. Simplify operating models: review the adequacy of how you work and run processes within the organisation. Assess if the way you work aligns to how your people want to work.
6. Promote digital collaboration: besides efficiency gains in new operating models, people can contribute significantly more effort to realising new growth if they are mobile and able to collaborate digitally on the go from anywhere.
7. Invest in new services / products: a typical innovation funnel of regular ideas surfacing and cycling through a review and funding process.
8. Focus on what matters: Build and market a new centre of excellence space showing your clients and people that you are leading experts in emerging digital trends, for example a centre leading research into blockchain for the financial services sector.
These enablers can’t be successfully implemented through agreed projects without an adequate change-management programme and supporting team to lead the change. A formal Change Leader needs to be appointed, who sits in the office of the CEO and has his/ her full endorsement to implement all priority projects with functional and business unit leads. A standardised change management approach and supporting team bring confidence to the organisation that constant change is okay and new value is just around the corner.