In the ’90s, Microsoft pioneered a powerful phenomenon of penetrating people’s minds with the next technology they would introduce. They were so amazing in marketing (Why shouldn’t they be? They were burning mountains of cash like no one for decades on marketing). Because of their marketing, they were able to attract people especially high-end users of corporates whose budget for IT alone for a year was never less than Sterling £2-£3 billion, that is approximate as per the exchange rate to INR @ 70/- was around 21,000 crores. Banks like UBS Warburg who had a bond division whose technology budget crossing Sterling £2 billion, staggering but true. They were all attracted to Microsoft!
The managers of these corporates, spinning the global markets of risk and equity from London, had unimaginable power to create technology overhauls that the common person could never imagine. If you pause and think, even in today’s date, the budget of this amount speaks volumes about their quarterly turnover and annual worldwide…
So back then, Microsoft invented the term – the .NET framework, a transformational technology. Since then, the transformation has been used left, right, top, and bottom on almost everything crucial such as transformative boards, transformative leadership, transformative technologies and so forth. The power Microsoft had once was to seduce these extremely wealthy institutions to pour in their lion’s share of fat budgets for Microsoft technologies. One word that made Microsoft seduce and create an image in the minds of these managers as the next big thing which would transform their tech space was – transformation.
This story does not end well!
Soon, Microsoft lost its shine in the west due to a poor ratio of fulfilling promises with every next big thing claimed to be transformative. Still, it wasn’t… and soon banks became super sceptical with anything Microsoft was hailing as transformative. So, hail the .Net when it is unfit to buy but made these banks invest super ultra large in unfit technologies because transformation had been key to believe them like a silver bullet to solve their problems.
Now why I am sharing this first-hand live experience is human beings, especially owners or P&L leaders, who look for opportunities to explore and exploit in a good sense for a business to take that edge and grow, get fantasised with anything that promises or looks promising without trying to dive deep and understand what truly makes something delivering their hopes. Transformation as a word has tremendous power, and you feel it in your blood sometimes, but the key is understanding the depth of this word and the context in which it is being used. However, putting it as an adjective for boards and leadership etc., would hardly make them truly deliver what must be delivered by transformational boards/leadership.
So, what is the transformation in a business context, and why should you care?
Give yourselves a breath and remind yourselves what your definition of transformation is in the business sense. Verbalise it. It would be much better if you could visualise it. But try. What did you find as your definition? Hold it tight and see if the below list helps you to qualify yours and augment perhaps its depth and meaning further:
- It isn’t about improvements in operations or business or organisation. It doesn’t get concerned with anything that is business-as-usual (BAU).
- It concerns itself with creating a radical shift in the organisation, its business, and even its backbone of information & communication technology
- It concerns with creating winning responses to punitive future challenges they envision worth addressing for an explosive growth
- Transformational business means continuously destroying what isn’t needed or less serving and rapidly accepting, adopting and adapting before even any competition notices
- Transformation means in business as a term that defines a bold future as the norm and is ultra-allergic to boring, rudimentary and traditional/conventional thinking, leading and doing
- It isn’t about speeches and talks, but a structured, clear & sharp accountability led to the mobilisation of all levels of business
- Tellers/Speakers are not entertained by business transformation, but architects are a must who are transformational leaders indeed
- It carves results and deploys mechanisms to help align the mindset, heart set, and skill set of each employee for accomplishing momentum of mass with high acceleration to bring the radical shift
- It is not a need of an hour but a cry of a leader who believes business need not be the boring grunt of making numbers! He draws himself to creating a different kind of world for his business and challenges himself to achieve a higher purpose. For this, he gets busy building a remarkable infrastructure, architecture, and all essential systems to empower his army of people (employees) to achieve all essential habits for results
…and much more
Today, a business requires creating disruptions to harness explosive growth continually. Disruptions are an intelligent part of transformational businesses, and they wait for none, which leads them to create a niche for themselves in a systematic and aggressive form.
First and foremost, these businesses create systems capable to make their organisation execute transformations in ultra-disciplined way ensuring success.
Remember, don’t make mistake of under investing in organisation architecture and systems which will be your only true friend to reach your goals of transformation. You cannot expect transformation from a weaker or poorly designed organisation.
Perhaps get an independent body to fetch a report to you on calibrating organisational readiness of yours sufficient enough to pull off the transformation you desire.
If you want to be transformational about growth, consider how your current business architecture and its operating model needs are reformed to harness the power of true business transformation. Evaluate your current leadership results and approach and do a gap analysis you would require filling to become a transformational leader who reigns a transformational business.
I hope this helps!