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Accelerating Transformation: Why Did Your Business Need A Crisis?

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The COVID Crisis was not a disruption—it was an accelerant.

Leading transformation in large organizations is tough. It requires patience, persistence and can feel like an uphill struggle against a system that can’t get out of its own way to evolve. Millions of dollars, hours of effort and energy are poured into businesses to encourage revolution, yet how many true stories of success do we see?

Consider your own business. What has had the biggest impact in transforming your organization to date? Was it your business strategy? Strong stakeholder support? An organization-wide SAFe implementation? Or was it shaped by something you never anticipated, less planned for?

What we will share is how crisis can accelerate transformative change—more than the best laid out transformation plans—because it’s a shock to the system to remind it that it’s alive, a living entity with more latent skills than leaders recognize, or fail to realize.

We can’t think our way to a new culture, we need to act our way there. Crises accelerate transformative action because they require a response. By taking action—especially in uncertainty—we create results, and results are what we learn from to inform decisions, course-correct, and take better action in the new future. It’s a counterintuitive approach, because the nature of uncertainty means we don’t actually know what to do. But paradoxically, the only way to get the information we need is through action—taking your best guess, starting small, and learning your way through.

This article co-author by Jana Werner, Head of Transformation at Tesco Bank and Barry O’Reilly, Business Advisor, Entrepreneur and Author focuses on accelerating transformation during crisis—which a specific focus on the experiences of Tesco’s Bank, the financial services group of the UK largest retailer.

Key Takeaways

This article contains our top insights on;

  • Why the COVID-crisis is an accelerant not a disruption
  • Why leading companies have progressed 10 years in 10 weeks—and what changes need to be made to sustain such pace?
  • The 11 mindset and behavior shifts observed in Tesco Bank and other organizations to accelerate transformation.
  • What leaders must unlearn and relearn to emerge stronger from the COVID-crisis
  • How to systemize innovation throughout your entire organization (rather than a single initiative or team)
  • Deep-dive examples from Tesco Bank and other businesses, how teams were able to deliver above expectations—especially in highly regulated, complex operating environments.
  • Check list to accelerate your business transformation and increase organizational speed