Mindset & Managing Change: When Will CEO’s Realise Their Mistake?

By Don Holley – 

Change management is one of the biggest barriers companies face when moving to a shared services or outsourcing model.

Many Australian companies are looking at business transformation initiatives such as these to achieve some level of organisational improvement. It may be the need to become more competitive on an international level, broader access to supply constrained skills, or the need to reduce costs and/or improve operational efficiencies.

But what’s the one constant that’s required to realise any of these improvements? Change!

They all require significant amounts of change to occur in the organisation, both at an individual and enterprise level.

Change management affects every layer of the shared services journey. As such, it presents challenges both at SSO staff and business stakeholder levels. It’s the people involved in the change that will make or break its success, so it only makes sense that you need a plan from the outset to manage the transition.

Mindset and managing change

I recently read an interview with Pfizer’s ANZ Head of HR Shared Services, Jonathan D’Souza. He said, “For us at Pfizer, it’s a mindset change.”

Music to my ears!

A key part of setting strategy is achieving alignment within the business, so there is one single direction and approach. A single mindset.

Don’t fall into the usual trap

A lot of clients only begin to understand this mid or part way through the transformation project. The trouble is that by then the activity has already started and the dye has been cast.

Why do so many organisations continue to dedicate inadequate resources to manage the change that is required for a successful transition?

We know all too well that mistakes made during the transition can have an impact for years to come, leading to delays and loss of financial benefits. Or even worse, stakeholder dissatisfaction.

Culture is either the key enabler of strategic execution or the invisible force that kills it. But so many CEOs are still overlooking this critical piece of the puzzle, a fatal mistake in my book.

When will CEOs and leaders of business finally realise that the soft skills are actually the hardest?