Today, up to 80% of managers lack sufficient training to support the transformation of French companies. This was a finding of a study conducted by OpinionWay, which involved 310 local managers and 102 executives. Yet 70% of the respondents insinuated that internal transformation was at the forefront of major concerns. What could be the reason for this gap existing between managers’ desires and reality? What most managers forget is the fact that they themselves are the leaders and facilitators of change.
What is Business Transformation?
Transformation in a business environment is all about identifying the new techniques and technologies that are currently neglected to maximize output. It involves understanding the alternate solutions needed to increase production and revenue as well as gain a larger market share.
Managers consider transformation to add value to their organizations. This may involve retraining employees, harnessing technology and intellectual property, or creating efficiency to enhance productivity. The goal of transformation is to ensure that an organization implements the best systems and processes.
For many organizations, transformation is not a simple process, especially when employees have a fear mind-set. It is, therefore, important to understand the challenges associated with implementing change and how to communicate to employees to embrace the transition.
Managers: The Keystone to Business Transformation
Currently, there are five types of organizational transformation projects. And whether the transformational goal is cultural, organizational, managerial, business-related, or digital, managers remain the central stakeholders in maintaining a competitive climate. As such, 80% of managers believe that there is a direct link between the management and company transformation. This statistics even goes beyond the estimation as 50% of local managers feel that they are the sole decision makers in change management.
It is then the manager’s role to align his strategic vision with the organization’s as well as facilitate the acceptance of the transformation strategy with the operational team. In a study conducted by QualiSocial, it was found that 9 out of 10 employees always resist change. Putting this into consideration, the managers should integrate leadership, interpersonal skills, collective intelligence, and empathy into the transformation process.
Problems Managers Encounter during Transformation
Generally, managers are very committed to transforming company activities for better performance. However, amidst their experience in the field for a very long time, they also face several issues. Some of the common issues that hinder successful transformation are listed below.
A proposed change can evoke negative emotions such as fear and uncertainty, which leave staff frustrated and angry at each other. Experiencing conflict is an unintended consequence, so it is the duty of the manager to put in place effective conflict management practices. Conflict can disrupt the transformation schedule. So it is important to proactively address conflicting issues and find a solution that includes all staff. When a solution is achieved within a short time it will ensure that the business operations are resumed as quickly as possible and the productivity of the business will not be affected.
An active manager will address issues arising from change while also working in line with the goals of transformation. Patience is, therefore, needed during the process to accommodate the conflicting perception of employees. Giving them time enables those to rethink and find a way forward that will be long lasting.
Without a correct plan, change will always fail to take positive effect. Managers can obtain the greatest benefit of systematic process, which defines the nature of the change and what the company culture should stick to. During transformation, if a company does not adopt a new system that is compatible with the old one, then poor transition would occur without proper planning. Successful planning entails delegation, increasing efficiency, and maximizing the potential of workers.
To plan out the change strategy, the manager must be able to understand the current business state, map out the human resource, systems, and processes that will support the process of delivering products and services to consumers. With a good plan, a manager can understand the vision of the future based on the desired change.
Setbacks are common in every new environment, but these can be reduced by identifying them prior to their occurrence. A manager should never assume that the change process would be flawless. Because it is a new system, setbacks are prone to occur because it is not possible to accurately foretell the future. It is important to maintain a positive mental attitude and adopt necessary measures to address setbacks.
Expecting setbacks is not a sign of success, but being able to identify the challenges in advance and ensuring they are addressed is. It is the role of the manager to assess whether a challenge is critical that needs reshaping of the whole change plan.
Lack of communication
Failure to communicate to all stakeholders about the relevant change can affect a company. Rumours about the change will fill the organization, and this would lead to lack of trust in management that makes it difficult for the employees to accept the change. It is the right of employees to know what is intended to change. It is important for them to understand what is going on and the plans for the change project.
As a line manager, you must ensure that you keep your employees informed, whether through a board session or a regular meeting. Communication is key as employees can help with brainstorming change procedures.
People would naturally resist change once they get accustomed to the current organizational circumstances. When employees get too comfortable, they do not see the need for growth or change. This means that managers should work towards addressing the issue of resistance on a psychological level, to change the perception and behavioural barriers that hinder transformation. When the staff gets reassurance and emotional support, they will take their time to adapt to the proposed change.
The feeling of not getting everything done successfully during change is indeed the tip of the iceberg. As such, managers must prioritize themselves as the agent of change. At the same time, they should understand that transformation is an urgent process, and so they don’t have all the time to learn how to foster change.
Individual Coaching: The Added Value during Business Transformation
Only 15% of local managers admit to having received training to support the transformation of their organization. And only 11% are accompanied by an external consultant. What is the consequence of this lack of managerial experience? Up to 21% of managers reported that they are undergoing business transformation, but the process is imposed on them. This explains why 65% of managers have expressed the desire to pursue a professional coaching course.
Every business has its own transformation goals. Also, each manager in an organization may have different personal goals. Therefore, every person should benefit from individual support, whether the transformation impacts the management, organization, corporate culture, business, or the information system processes. The profound transformation affects every person at the company, and at times it can cause real pain to employees. Coaching is, therefore, critical as it begins with active and attentive listening to help the company realize what is not fitting the situation. Coaching allows the beneficiary to take action and get out of a bad situation.
To affirm the role of coaching in organizational transformation, Hugo Manoukian, the CEO of MoovOne, noted:
“Developing individualized support helps develop the potential of managers and optimize intra and inter-team synergies. Coaching allows you to define concrete goals to achieve tangible progress, in just a few sessions. This allows a rise in overall competence on all soft skills (non-technical skills) and transformation factors that influence the organizational and structural aspect of the company. This is how companies will enable their managers to become true relays of transformation.”
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The Strategy of a Certified Coach at MoovOne
Coaching methods for a global transformation
Catherine Kerckove is one of the professional coaches at MoovOne. She primarily uses management tools to work on priorities. And from her point of view, everything concerning transformation or change is urgent, critical, and important. Therefore, the success of coaching depends on the ability of the participant to look deeply into the situation as it really is and not as he imagines it.
How can this be achieved ? By simply stepping back and coming out of any form of panic or emergency.
As a manager’s coach, Catherine often questions the management style that a company adopts. Are the managers too perfectionist ? Are they too delegative or directive ? Can they work differently ? What should they change in order to achieve their transformation goals ?
An extra at MoovOne ? We utilize a “Train & Coach” approach that helps managers and equip them with the right skills and knowledge for change. The educational content offered to their situation is accompanied by new tools and protocols to make them grow.
A simple step to our coaching strategy
At MoovOne, we have a simple coaching strategy that consists of 5 steps which help our clients to achieve what they think is impossible in organizational transformation. Our strategy entails:
Clarify the goal
The main step in our coaching strategy is to specify the goal of our coaches in a measurable and specific manner. To make sure that clients reach their goal, we work with them to know exactly the outcome they expect, which they must be able to measure quantitatively. When the client is clear, we will be able to transform our goals into reality.
Make the goal real
Our minds don’t know the difference between imagination and reality. But the more we think of a situation with all our senses, the easier it is to actualize the imagination. At MoovOne, coaches imagine the client details and how it is possible to meet their goals. What do they want to achieve? What are their surroundings? What are they currently doing? By coaching the client, they will make their environment real and take action towards their transformation goal.
Strategizing action steps to achieve goal
After coming up with measurable and attainable goals, the next coaching strategy we consider is developing a plan which guides in reaching transformational goals. The strategy might include working from the goal backwards to identify the best implementation approach. A focused action would be identified to achieve the goal of the client.
Consideration of accountability in the coaching strategy
The goal of business coaching is to hold clients accountable for every step they take through the transformation process. As such, our coaches ensure that clients keep track of their progress and stick to their goals. Being accountable empowers clients and helps them gain confidence through the transformation journey.
Celebrate every step
Coaches also acknowledge every progress made during the transformation process. This is a very essential part of coaching as they help clients to focus on goals that seem to be impossible. We help our clients to understand that celebrating every success is a means of motivation to achieve the complete goal.
Example of Concrete Coaching
One of our coaches was brought in to coach a manager who wanted to oversee a digital transformation within a VSE. The transformation process was complex because the manager was new to the position. As such, he has to understand the transformation challenges, support the transformation process, and adapt to the new environment (hierarchy, new customers, partners, etc.).
One of the things the coaching focused on was taking a step back from the new way of operating. Working in an environment with digital revolution which was previously unknown to him caused a lot of pressure on him. The coach, therefore, worked with the coachee on returning to natural reflexes.
After six months, the manager is still holding his position. He is no longer stressed and feels as part of the company. He managed to take a step back and get through the challenging period when he was almost losing ground. Now he has all the necessary skills and the digital transformation is going well.
Business Transformation: Conclusion
There are five different types of transformation today: organizational transformation, cultural transformation, digital transformation, managerial transformation and business transformation. In all cases, the manager places himself as the facilitator of the desired change. He not only participates in actualizing the transformation plan, but also facilitates acceptance of the strategy by employees. And to successfully accomplish this mission, a manager must be able to take a step back, prioritize, express leadership, empathy, and interpersonal skills. Unfortunately, only 15% of local managers have taken training to lead their organizations towards change. And only 11% are accompanied by an external consultant. What does this mean ? Managers seem to be missing out on the importance of one-on-one coaching for business transformation. The good news, however, is that there is still room for change. MoovOne Certified Professional Coaches are bringing to you change towards successful transformation.