How To Define A Mandate For Strategic Transformations

Posted on December 15, 2010

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Companies today are facing an incredible amount of challenges and need to excel in their transformation process.
Prior to any program charter, Enterprises need to establish a proper transformation mandate.
The following guidelines might help a leadership team with this endeavor:

  1. Clarify in writing what exactly you want to achieve. It is important to state this objective in positive terms to improve the impact of further communications. For instance: “The transformation aims at improving the efficiency of our global supply chain by rationalizing our supplier base and developing excellence in the forecasting process.
  2. Contextualize the objective of the transformation. When and with who this challenge will take place. Bring physical elements in this description. For instance “We will operate this transformation on our electronic business first by the end of the second quarter, and rollout the other divisions by the end of the year. Local and global partners will be engaged during the entire process.”
  3. How would you know you will have achieved this objective? For instance: “A successful transformation will be characterized by 1 – 20% reduction in commodity spending and 2 – 95% of on time delivery” A quarterly roadmap is provided in appendix.” Collect with your leadership team a set of concrete scenario, on how the organization will be impacted by a successful transformation. It is important to be as exhaustive as possible. You should have at least 25 to 50 scenarios available. For instance Situational scenario could be: “Procurement managers will be working with detailed monthly analysis”; “S&OP meetings will be held two times per month”; “Sales managers and planners will be working with standard product and service family” etc…
  4. Ensure that you have proper control over the responsibilities required to achieve this objective? If not identify what will be the necessary actions to make it happen. For instance the 95% of on time delivery might be affected by a strike in the transport sector – like it happens time to time in France. You can certainly have this objective in mind, however there is clearly external factors that need to be integrated and clearly identified.
  5. Investigate the resources, actions and obstacles you will need to manage during the transformation. For instance “We will start with the selection of a global leadership team with members from our different operations. A communication program to country management will be then be initiated. Temporary staff might be authorized to allow organization to be fully committed to the transformation and manage the peak season” etc…
  6. List all the potential negative consequences of the transformation. For instance “Introduction of standardized processes could rigidify the organization in term of administration and employee could feel loosing decision autonomy”; Another way to question the objective is to ask what will we gain if we were not doing this. “By being committed (Investment & Resources) to this transformation we will postpone smaller tactical improvements that the local management was eager to start”.
  7. The final discussion is around the true motivation of the leadership team to engage in this transformation. For instance “What is important for the company by doing this. What will this transformation bring us in term of competitive advantage. Are we delivering the committed value to our stakeholders by embarking in such transformation? Do we improve our market position? etc….”

You can conduct a meeting with a mind mapping type of tool like the example provided in the picture of this post. Do not hesitate to share with us any comment or question.

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