The 5 Types of Business Transformations

Globalization, competitive pressure, the digital revolution, continuous innovation… These constant socio-economic changes are affecting the activity and performance of companies, leading to the need to transform themselves to remain competitive in their market. While each transformation is determined by the context (why is change needed?), the content (what needs to change?), the process (how to change?), the participants (who to change?) and the effects (what are the impacts and results?), 5 major types of company transformation stand out. These transformations take place within organizations, impact management operational modes, disrupt cultural norms, modify business processes and take advantage of new technologies, most often within the context of a digital revolution. We give a detailed review of the transformations that companies can and will face.

Organizational transformation 

This is the starting point for all changes in a company and involves redesigning an organization’s structure, mode of operation, and professional practices to enable it to work differently and more efficiently. Driven by general management, organizational transformation is a continuous and evolving process where the focus is on the employees: they must be supportive and committed to ensure success.

For example, in the distribution sector, the introduction of versatility and the development of new services means creating different work processes, a more collaborative and autonomous way of working. In other words, an in-depth transformation of the activity’s organization.

Management transformation 

Control, discipline and excellent responsiveness have long been a benchmark for management. Companies must now adapt to complex societal and environmental challenges in order to align with today’s reality. New generations have indeed rewritten the rules of hierarchy and internal relations. Hierarchical structures are weakening, validation circuits are being shortened, the number of middlemen has reduced and management functions and methods are being re-assessed: managers are moving from a – rather rigid and one-sided – system, based on the organization and management of their team, to a leadership model that requires them to unlearn their old ways of behaving and functioning at work. As well as encouraging communication, collaboration, and empowerment, today’s managers must also, for example, detect and retain talent and encourage growth, while acting as a source of inspiration in order to develop and maintain commitment. Management transformation is therefore a prerequisite based on sharing information, explaining and persuading, with the aim of ensuring a more comprehensive change within the company.

It can take the form of a Lean approach, a strategy developed with employees, letting them set their own objectives, holding meetings to express their doubts, frustrations, fears, mistakes, etc. The common goal is to promote trust, commitment, accountability, fun and well-being at work.

Cultural transformation 

Cultural transformation involves changing ways of thinking, organizing and behaving. It is a source and consequence of the rules that govern the life of the company, both in its structure and in its operation or its expertise, and therefore introduces a notion of separation from recurrent everyday behavior. Today, changing corporate culture means changing the individual and collective state of mind, to achieve well-being, and combine freedom with sustainable performance. Since implementing such changes is a delicate process, it can take up to 5 years.

The process can only succeed if managerial transformation has already taken place, driven by a vision and values that make sense: as a result, the action, reaction, confrontation and cooperation involved will result in a restructuring of the organization towards increased accountability, greater scope, and meaning and values, rather than hierarchical lists of tasks to be performed. Managerial maturity and the current company culture must first be assessed, after which the new vision and values should be presented – what remains is for the company to follow a path that leads to the acquisition of new relational models, new reasoning processes and new collective capabilities. This path is the perfect illustration of the transformation process itself!

Cultural transformation comes into its own when a merger takes place between two companies with different cultures, as the two cultures must be assessed in such a way as to promote cooperation and thereby resolve differences and together find a new way of thinking.

Information Systems Transformation

Information systems transformation is a core feature of the transformation of any company and a key growth driver, impacting all its information management resources, i.e. technologies, processes and people. It is the result of developments in digital technology combined with the explosion in both available data and data storage capacity. These changes have led not only to the creation of a whole raft of new services, but also to their increasingly rapid design, development and distribution. The main challenge here is to balance the needs of the company’s value proposition with the resources required to achieve it as quickly as possible – without losing sight of risk management priorities. Information systems transformation enables companies to differentiate themselves through a wide range of applications, including digitalization of services, process security, data sharing and information sharing. It also offers a key distribution channel, comprising e-commerce, multi-channel, and web services. It is important to prepare the company before introducing such major changes to information systems, if staff are to understand and accept them rather than seeing them simply as something they are obliged to endure.

Improved customer relations (CRM), phygitalization of sales outlets and digital workplaces for staff are just a few benefits that can be brought about by the transformation of company information systems.

Transformation of business processes

The transformation of a business process consists of moving from a function-oriented vertical vision to a business-oriented transversal vision. It involves automating and securing various repetitive, low added value tasks – something that is most often achieved by digitizing the relevant tools, so that the company can focus on its core business and thereby increase productivity and competitiveness.

Which processes will help you save time, speed up return on investment, streamline an action or save resources? It is important to identify the best options in order to select the right business model, technology and implementation plan to support both your business process transformation needs and your company strategy.

Example: the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impacts the entire data cycle, including data collection, use and storage. To achieve compliance, which came into force in May 2018, all tasks that involved data processing needed to be overhauled, including the creation of a processing register, the appointment of a DPO, the automation of rules, etc.: a ubiquitous new order that had to be integrated into every business process that used personal data.

A company’s driving force today is movement, and there is no doubt that this transformation is permanent. Whether responding to new challenges in markets and competition, taking on board new managerial modes of operation, developing new cultural norms, or making the most of new technologies – both computing and digital – the aim is to strengthen the company’s market competitiveness.

Whatever the target or nature of company transformation, the aim is always to strengthen a company’s competitiveness in order to ensure its survival. Since its success is closely linked to the commitment, engagement and empowerment of the employees involved, it is imperative that they are placed at the heart of the transformation project. Employees must therefore receive personal support and guidance, whether the transformation impacts the organization, management, corporate culture, IS or business processes. However, just as it is impossible to give each employee a personal coach, it is equally impossible to industrialize and personalize the process without the necessary tools for achieving the required outcomes!

InsideBoard is the first digital change management platform dedicated to employee engagement in company transformation projects. The tool can be adapted to suit any type of company transformation project, facilitating the adoption of new practices by providing all employees with support and guidance via a fun, personalized, fully integrated experience.

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