Given the events of the past 18 months, the need for rapid transformation now sits at the top of the boardroom agenda. Time is so often the critical commodity in addressing crises or long periods of underperformance – or creating value in the case of private equity. With that comes pressure, not always a component imbued with positive connotations, but one that can help to deliver incredible results if harnessed correctly.
Committing to radical transformation can become a catalyst for self-disruption, quickly executing on aggressive company ambitions by setting what at the outset might seem to be even more unattainable targets.
In disruptive times such as these, business leaders must seize the opportunity to be their own disruptor and consider applying a supercharged approach to the principles established in, for example, the Kaizen methodology of continuous improvement. By raising the bar in terms of the sheer levels of ambition and speed applied through a process of this kind, the aim is to achieve radical changes, fast, rather than incremental ones.
Consider psychology in team selection
Applying these additional pressures of time and extreme goal-setting can allow transformation teams to quickly find comfort in shifting mindset to a place where suspending disbelief and banishing self-censorship can generate radical solutions and kick-start the journey of meaningful and sustainable change at pace.
As with any time-critical initiative, there are potential pitfalls and much relies on the participants involved. While many potential contributors to the process of finding radical business solutions may present technical competence, it is perhaps more important to seek out those who display high levels of openness and imagination to take part, while also having an in-depth knowledge of the business.
Selecting for knowledge and attitude is critical, alongside diverse representation from the required business functions. The highest functional leaders are not necessarily best suited for this initiative, given the potential for individual investment in the status quo.
Dropping a level below can bring to the fore more ambitious, brave, alternative perspectives from those who are willing to consider sacrificing 'sacred cows' in the organisation for the greater good.
Extreme times often require extreme measures and, despite seeming improbable, radical transformation at speed genuinely is possible. The benefits go way beyond the bottom line, injecting new levels of positive dynamism and energy in a company through an approach that assigns such importance to ambition, collaboration and cross-functional engagement amongst team members.
With a strong, energetic moderator at the helm, who models the right mindset and behaviours to bring out the best in participants, this high-intensity process can effectively strike the balance between radical and achievable, driving businesses to reap the full rewards that this approach to rapid, radical transformation can offer.