I recently met up with a friend who is the CIO of a large utilities organisation in the Asia Pacific region. He was in the UK on a business trip as a guest of the professional services organisation that partnered with him through a recent business transformation project, removing 10% of their cost in a 12 month period.
During his trip he was planning to meet with two UK based utility organisations that themselves gone through a similar transformation process. The question on his mind? “How do you sustain the reduction in costs and ensure that you gain an improvement in business results once the initial transformation is complete and your professional services organisation has left?”
Interestingly he is planning on hiring a competitive professional services organisation for the next phase of the transformation in order to get their ideas on how to sustain and extend their work further!
My question to him was, “Who within your project has the responsibility for the enablement, alignment and engagement of those employees that are will now pick up the additional workload and ensure that the efforts of the transformation are not lost?”
The standard response to this question is that this is the responsibility of middle management, and yet, this same group are often so busy trying to deliver on the business results with less resource that they end up squeezing the last bit of effort out an already exhausted group of employees and a downward spiral of poor business performance results.
The voice of the people function within organisations is heard too infrequently within these business transformation initiatives that are critical and central to the success of the organisation. Each business transformation project should have a representative from the HR function or external employee practitioners involved to ensure that changes to organisational structure, tools, processes and procedures are accompanied by supportive measures to develop new skills and modify required behaviours.
Similarly, the voice of the employees should be listened to with much greater frequency before, during and after any business transformation initiative in order to ensure that the organisation moves forward as a whole and does not get fragmented in its approach.
As representatives of the most capital intensive aspects of most organisations, HR and external people focused practitioners, like Emenex, have a critical role to play in ensuring that, not only should the cost reduction part of the transformation be achieved and sustained, but that the most important part of the transformation, the sustained improvement in business results, occurs a well.
To find out more about the work that Emenex do to support organisation in sustaining their business transformation initiatives visit our website at www.emenex.co.uk or call us at 03450 523593 and ask for Alistair.