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Igniting Change Toolkit

Tips for your business from someone who has over 2.5B global transformation investment experience and mentored 100’s of people – yes I’m older and grey, or as my mum says – mature! I did not have children until much later in life so I was able to be a work a-holic up to 49 years old !  Now I’m learning the art of story telling and passing on perspectives to help others. 

My superpower is to ignite inspiring change for individuals and business. I empower individuals to unlock human curiosity that sequentially creates options.  I use those options and rapidly rejig actions and focus to realise the imaginable future for you or your business.

This article compliments a previous blog on questions and follows the ethos of “The quality of your life (business) is based upon the quality of the questions you ask yourself (your network) and the quality and quantity of actions you take for yourself (your business)”;  adapted from a quote from Dr John Dimartini. 

The below toolkit of recommendations is framed from 30+ years helping to drive transformation programs in small, mid and large sized businesses globally.  I’ve reflected and reviewed what would be the recommendations for people needing to look at their tomorrow in todays environments.  I went to bold some of the key words or phrases and nearly had the whole thing in bold. Enjoy and I sincerely hope that this helps you think about how to manage your tomorrow and your imaginable future.

A good leader knows what qualities are required and how to ignite inspiration

  • Value alignment between the leader(s), the business, the front line, and the customer is, I believe a new critical success factor. Most change programs fail, we keep taking yesterday’s learnings and applying them to tomorrow, but let’s be real… Our tomorrow is nothing like our yesterday.  We have talent in our communities to help us ignite curiosity to create options; spend time igniting curiosity while keeping an eye of historical success factors, but do not base your whole program around the success of another program.  It will fail! Much of the transformation journey can be learned.  The real gaps are typically around quality of leadership, those that are aligned in values, that can inspire, motivate, keep their eye on the outcomes and indicators to show progress to achieve it.  Those willing to be part of the team.

  • Have roles or governance that looks at internal and external change to give leadership a perspective. These do not need to be ‘payroll’ individuals.  They can be friends of the business, partners and children of employees, customers, or suppliers.

  • Make it clear who is responsible for the ‘thinking’ and who is responsible for the ‘doing’

Recognising the need for change

  • Often issues show themselves long after an event has occurred. Often by the time you realise you have an issue it has compounded, and you’ll have to work to pinpoint and assess the root cause of the issue (without making assumptions!) You need to make change or transformation a priority on your management agendas, and agree to the problem to solve; situation, complication, question (SCQ FrameworkTM).  Having the right traits to recognise the need for change and then decide what to do is the most difficult element of igniting change – transformation.

Merging Portfolio Management and Strategy to Achieve Your Imaginable Future

  • The ability to make change simultaneously to running a business is like being a juggler, being essential to keep an expert eye on every single ball.

  • Knowing what is in your portfolio to ‘keep the lights on’ vs ‘operating model improvements’ vs ‘growth’ is absolutely critical for transformation success.

  • Analysing cash flow against the same categories as above, bandwidth to inspire, think, manage, do and internal capability and capacity now vs tomorrow

  • Implications of the strategy to achieve your tomorrow and its priorities.

  • Create an impact roadmap. This is such a powerful tool for boards, management teams, front line and customers. You can create a layered view (like a persona model) of who sees what level of detail.   Create a change database or excel tool based of the type of change and audience it will impact – DO NOT DO IT FROM THE LENS OF THE PROJECT OR PROGRAM NAME.  The impacts should link back in the detail to the one or more investments that bring about the impact, but that project should not lead the conversation.

  • CONTINUAL review and assessment of what is working; what is not; what needs to stop, defer, merge, start is a full time job by a role that ‘gets it all’ and can highlight the problem areas for creating curiosity in the management team to resolve.

Make your strategic roadmap part of your day to day business discussions, not a quarterly or annual planning exercise

  • Plan the actions for right to play

  • Plan and prioritise when to pursue

  • Plan and take intentional action on when to disrupt

  • Concurrently have a lens across all the above for starting off through a narrow funnel and then broadening – widening yourself in the market as your results allow. But make it an intentional plan, not ad hoc each time you get some positive results in your bank account.

  • Be prepared to flex, many strategies get so focused on the end point without recognition of the amendments and flexing of many elements along the journey to get you there based in environmental changes around you.

  • The finish line is not often where you will think it will be, and often in business the baton gets passed on during the race! Endeavour to plan transformation with no more than 6 to 8 weeks between each ‘change drop’.

The importance of speed to achieve value quickly

  • Be intentional between your ‘change’ activities and ‘transformation’ activities. Your transformation activities should leapfrog much of your change programs or organic activities.  Be intentional of who leads organic change activities vs transformation change, they are a completely different maturity of skill set.  Many organisations take a ‘good’ organic change role and elevate them to transformation change and wonder why the success is not transitioned.   Success is greater if change is embedded as you deliver and the communication of why is aligned to values.  Speed is paramount in transformation change, hence why point 2 is critical.

Ecosystem of engagement and communication

  • Powerful and compelling storytelling on your strategy and operating model can be made confusing if written by the people who do the doing. We often go into the detail of how versus why.  People less interested in the how, are more engaged with the why and point of difference.

  • Everyone takes in information in different ways, be diverse and innovative in your engagement and communication ecosystem. In today’s day and age, you do not necessarily need a digital marketing agency to take 8 weeks to turn around every piece of content and collateral.   Use your digital marketing agency on your big key messaging pieces, in between self-drive and own ways to engage and communicate.  There are a wealth of good ways to do this… get a social media coach to engage with your management team or via your marketing team.  STEP UP TO COMMUNICATING IN A STYLE AND CHANNEL THAT PEOPLE WILL LISTEN.  Make sure this is aligned to your digital strategy. Don’t take 6 months to review, analyse and make a recommendation.

Create internal capability to lead sustainable change

  • Know when you need to invest in external help, but only do it with a guarantee of internal capability uplift, the investment should be around building your capabilities and rapidly getting outcomes realised. Be prepared for the investment of back fill for key roles concurrently as external help or you are partially wasting the external help.  What is the use of paying for external assistance if you do not free up your people to build capability and knowledge?  I have seen so many transformation programs over the years that use BAU roles without backfill and expect them to also do their day jobs and at the end of the transformation the BAU roles leave as they are burnt out and discouraged.

If you wish to have a chat; either virtual or the old fashioned way of using the phone; just ping me.   You can have a look at what I chat about on my website.

Change is a journey, transformation is a specialised skill set. 

About Ferne

My superpower is to ignite change and inspire actions to achieve the imaginable future of individuals and businesses. The first step is facilitating you to unlock your curiosity.


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