Month: October 2019

Why do Digital Transformations fail?

There are many articles recently looking at why Digital Transformation projects are failing. A recent survey by Accenture among 1350 global executives, which collectively invested over 100 billions USD on scaling digital innovations, shows that 78% of companies struggle to see results. This confirmed the 2017 survey results from Bain that showed that only 5% of digital transformation projects were successful. we learned that few companies win, most struggle and some are left with complete disappointment. This rings true especially as companies shift from improving the efficiency of their operations to generating new value for customers.  Accenture, Retink, Reinvent, Realize But what are the reason for this? I’ve tried to compile a list here based on some of the most known articles on the topic. A collection of challenges The first two challenged have been identified in the above-mentioned Accenture research by Mike Sutcliff, Raghav Narsalay and Aarohi Sen and published on HBR. Unspoken disagreement among top managers about goals: if senior managers’ don’t agree on the priorities, or on how to measure success, it is difficult for the organisation …

Build your skills: Decision-Making

In my organisational experience, I noticed that one of the most complex skills to master is Decision-Making. This even though anecdotal evidence tells that each of us takes many decisions every day.  Many decisions might be easy to take. What to eat for lunch, where to go over the weekend, which blog to read next… At work, however, things often look different. For sure, an impact can be due to some issues in the operational governance model of your organisation. Unclear rules, not formalised delegation, blurry roles definitions, unset escalation routes, all these aspects may hinder or stall your decision-making process.  In many cases, organisational absences are an alibi. Many managers tend to avoid or delay decision making also in areas entirely within their scope of work. Why?  There can be multiple reasons. However, from my experience, many people have not been taught how to make decisions.  Very often, we identify Decision Making as a Process. If you look at it this way, there are multiple places where decisions can be stuck. There are many alternative models here, but the one …

The future of HR? Is Human.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reasoning (again I would say) on the role of HR. I’ve been especially challenged by the idea that “HR is a job for losers“. I have tried to understand where we can still make the difference, which around (re)taking ownership of the relationship between the “work” and the way the organisation uses it.  I think I’ve now come to an (initial) conclusion, and this is probably going to be the area in which I will be reasoning most in the future. I genuinely think some part of our profession has moved in the wrong direction in the past two decades, chasing a path that has derailed us from the real objective of our job. And in a moment where technology becomes even more present, we must take an entirely new different approach. The future of HR is Human. I know I’m not the first using this concept. The first article I could trace dated back to 2012 and was focused on Diversity. But it is in last months that I’ve heard this …

Organisation Design for Agile: Start with Governance

As we approach (re) organisation design work to support business transformation, we are often faced with the fact that few organisations address one of the critical components of Org Design: Governance. It’s essential to make decisions on who decides, at all levels of the organisation, to avoid stall and bottlenecks. A truly agile organisation can only be built on a firm decision making backbone. I’ve recently been involved in a large organisational redesign process, and have kept meeting functional leaders who always started the discussion by introducing a new Org Chart for their function. I’ve already discussed the fact that I think Organisational Charts way too often end up being a simplistic representation of an Organisation. What however is way too often missing in these design efforts, are answers to what I think are the key questions to be answered in organisational design: How do we align on priorities? How do we make decisions? How do we communicate decisions? How do we ensure that decisions are followed up? How do we mitigate risk? How do we ensure …

Design your Data Organisation

A key component of Digital Maturity is the capability to exploit data do derive knowledge and support business success through predictive analytics, which is why many organisation are now creating Data Science departments focused on this job. But how can we create a successful Data Science team able to be successful? How do we make sure we’re not just following the latest hype? How can we position these roles within the framework of our organisations? One of the critical aspects that are driving Digital transformation is the availability of data. The quantity of data that is produced every day somehow already passes human capability to understand. But what do you do with this data? This is the crucial question that most organisations are trying to answer. One of the critical aspects that are driving Digital transformation is the availability of data. The quantity of data that is produced every day somehow already passes human capability to understand. But what do you do with this data? This is the crucial question that most organisations are trying to answer. Data Science, …

Book Review: Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan

This book is considered a milestone in marketing (and selling) for women, and for this reason, I decided to read it. According to Bridget Brennan, 80% of sales are influenced by women. Moreover, at the time this book was written, most of the marketing effort was made towards man. No relevant communication, no specific advertising, no tuned-in marketing. Stop: we all assume there is a ton of marketing addressed to women. However, one of the most exciting chapters of this book is dedicated precisely to Marketing to Women, and is titled “The Difference between Sex Appeal and Gender Appeal“. In short: if you thought that women lingerie advertising are typically done for women, think again. The sexual charge of it is generally addressed to man. Gender is the most powerful determinant of how a person views the world and everything int it. it’s more powerful than age, race, or geography. Bridget Brennan, Why She Buys, page 11 If seen this way (although some might disagree), we understand the fact that the entire process of designing, producing, selling …

How do we get sh*t done. The Future of Work and a new paradigm for HR.

Too many HR professionals still consider traditional employees to be their only “customer”. Companies today however have redefined the concept of work by interacting with multiple types of talents. If this is clearly defining a new future of work, it also impacts how we define the role of HR. Since the beginning of organisational theories, social scientists and managers kept struggling on how much operations should be centralised or decentralised. This topic has been the big conundrum of most of the organisational theories for a lot of time. It is in this period that the role of HR has been framed to manage labour or work within the organisation. At the beginning of the seventies, the above discussion has added a new aspect: that of delocalisation. Through off-shoring of some production activities, the traditional organisation was effectively carving out some activities it would typically manage, attributing these to entities which were not just part of a conventional sourcing relationship.  With the mid of the eighties, a new cost-cutting exercise meant that more functions were being outsourced, giving a path to …