Why We Need a Sense of Urgency to Transform

Insights | 21 May 2018

In my role, I have been fortunate to spend some time visiting a large number of companies. As a result, I have witnessed a broad range of organisational cultures. This exposure has allowed me to observe the behaviours that contribute to a company’s transformation success.

There have been all too many cases where I have witnessed what I call “Anxious Activity”. This is activity that is not productive, or results driven.

People are running around in circles without clear objectives. The PowerPoint presentations have become a cottage industry and people are measured by the numbers of meetings they attend rather than what the meeting is designed to achieve. Instead, the focus should be ‘what are the objectives of this meeting?

There is no powerful sense of urgency to move quickly and intelligently to deal with challenging situations. Maybe it is simply a sense of complacency in the workplace, but the reality is that you cannot transform your business if people are complacent. It is imperative that all employees are aware of why the transformation is being undertaken and that the transformation is led from the top.

On the other hand, I have visited organisations where people are pre-emptive of situations, resourceful and share a sense of urgency in order to be the best they can be. They have an understanding of what they are aiming to achieve, and they relentlessly pursue it as this sense of urgency is an integral part of the culture. These organisations have a much better chance of transforming to compete in the marketplace.

The reality is, it takes skilful leadership in organisations to move from complacency to a sense of urgency and ultimately realising transformation success.

What other factors do you feel are integral to a successful transformation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you require assistance transforming your organisation, please contact myself or PM-Partners on 1300 70 13 14.

About The Author

Ken Sheargold, Chief Executive Officer at PM-Partners group

Ken joined PM-Partners as a Transformation Consultant in February 2016 and took on the role of CEO on May 8th 2017. Ken is responsible for delivering major transformational change where there is complexity, risk, many inter-dependencies and conflicting priorities.

Prior to joining PM-Partners group he held a number of executive appointments in the NSW Government and Telstra Corporation.

His most recent appointment in government was the Executive Director, Premiers Implementation Unit directly responsible for supporting the Premier in the delivery of his key priorities across NSW. Prior to working in the Department of Premier and Cabinet he was the Executive Director of ServiceFirst, the shared services organisation responsible for the provision of shared services to the central agencies of government.

He was the Program Director and commercial lead for the outsourcing of ServiceFirst that successfully executed contracts with Unisys and Infosys in June 2015 with a total contract value of $235 million dollars.

Prior to joining the NSW Government, he held a number of senior appointments in Telstra Corporation. Those appointments included Executive Director Corporate Strategy and Customer Experience and Executive Director Service Advantage.

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