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Six Transformation Triggers

(A Change Management Article)

Solutions to environmental triggers are rarely about the technology; rather they are about collaboration, leadership, process, and mindset.

You usually hear trigger phrases like:

“IT can't deliver anything on time,”

“Our technology organization can't keep up,”

“Sales would be better if our systems would stay up,”

“The technology organization doesn't listen,” or

“I've stopped asking the technology organization for help.”

Sometimes the comments are about resiliency, velocity, or agility. The complaints may reflect the availability of the system, the speed at which technology delivers, or the flexibility to meet changing conditions.

Sometimes the comments are about empathy. The complaints reflect a lack of understanding, awareness, or adoption.

When my son was young, he fell at school. Upon arriving home, he complained his arm was broken. Being the intelligent adults we were, we examined the arm, yet saw nothing that gave rise to such a conclusion. We found only a small bruise and assumed he was fine. That night we applied ice packs and pain relievers.

Though after a day of additional complaints, we took him to be examined. He had in fact broken his arm, and we chastised ourselves for being bad parents.

Often as technology leaders, we hear the complaints from our customers and associates, yet fail to drive to root cause. We become numb to their voices or choose to address symptoms despite apparent triggers. We observe the changing environment and find ourselves reacting instead of acting.

While the root causes of these complaints can most often be traced to Ego (see The Ego Trap), there are generally six environmental trigger conditions for significant transformational action.

1. Merger and acquisition

2. Divestiture

3. Business growth rate change (slowing down or speeding up)

4. Business stage change (what got you here won't get you there)

5. Market disruption

6. Neglect (the market is leaving you behind)

Each of these trigger conditions introduces a stressor into the organization, and each can directly influence our success or failure.

Over my career, I have helped many firms rebuild their technology organizations after years of neglect, refocus after a market change, grow to support a changing market dynamic, increase agility when business required a different velocity, or collaborate when the need for a technology partner grew.

Like the situation with my son, we should recognize the presence of major and minor triggers to drive to root cause. We should seek to eliminate the barriers and heal the broken pieces that prevent us from being effective.

Solutions to environmental triggers are rarely about the technology; rather they are about collaboration, leadership, process, and mindset.

© 2019 Barry Robbins, Silver Bear Solutions

Contact The Author

Barry Robbins is an IT Executive with a strong record of success in transforming IT organizations by envisioning, developing, and implementing IT business solutions.


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