This week’s focus: Why is it that ‘business transformation’ programmes rarely, if ever, transform organisations? These centralized, top-down, process-heavy initiatives tend to move glacially slowly and fail to engage people who will have already read the book, seen the movie and bought – or been given – the t-shirt, mug and mouse-mat. And the almost inevitable linkage between ‘business transformation’ and a complete overhaul of your information systems means that any benefit is likely to be at least two years down the line, smaller than you’d anticipated and cost double your initial estimates.

If you want to transform your business, avoid transformation programmes. Instead, raise the bar, clarify your goals, focus on your priorities and involve and engage your line teams to work at pace to deliver against them. Think big, start small and act fast.

Where are you relying on a long-term ‘transformation’ programme when you could be delivering more rapid, more sustainable results through a series of smaller, bottom-up initiatives?

Off The Record: Waiting In Vain by Bob Marley

I don’t wanna wait in vain for your love

Because if summer is here, I’m still waiting there

Winter is here, and I’m still waiting there

© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.