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Requisites for Real Transformation (And Thought Leadership on Timing & Circumstance…)


People who know me also know that I’m very much attuned to the fact that often what happens in life – successes, failures, blessings, curses – you name it, can be attributed to our fickle friend, timing, and her partner, circumstance.  Where you were born.  When you were born.  The family you were born into.  These are our first brushes with timing and circumstance, after which they become less obvious, but no less infrequent or important, for the rest of our lives.  Yes, what we do in the face of timing and circumstance is crucial to our long-term outcomes, and yes, a big part of “what we do” contributes to “making our own luck.”  However, I digress from the purpose of this blog post.

I was reminded of timing and circumstance because I randomly (if I’m being honest, accidentally) read one of the myriad marketing emails I receive every day in my iGrafx inbox.  I actually hit delete, but something had caught my attention, so I hit undo.  Sure enough, there was an article curated by TechWatch called: “Why So Many Companies Fail On The Way To Transformation.”  My interest piqued, I did the unthinkable and actually clicked on the link to see the article, fully expecting to be directed to a form asking for my contact info before releasing the content.  Pleasantly surprised, I wasn’t, and I read the article.  It was great!

Now, the odds of me finding this article were slim…  It was included in an email directed to one of my ex-employees, and it showed up in my inbox because I’m still loosely monitoring their old inbox.  And, let’s face it, we all get plenty of our own email solicitation, often delivered as thought leadership content.  For grins, I just checked with Google, and in 2018 almost 105 BILLION marketing emails were sent PER DAY.  And that was projected to be over 2B by 2020.

Ok, enough waxing philosophical.  Here’s the deal about the article on business transformation:

  1. It hammered home the fact that really and truly transforming a company (i.e. making substantive, positive change) requires a culture that makes it possible, and that starts at the top.
  2. It pulled zero punches, and called BS on time-honored management dogma, such as smugly telling employees “not to bring me problems – only solutions.” What a sure way to stifle real collaboration and hive thinking.
  3. It’s iterated that really transforming a business is not about hiring the best consultants or implementing the shiniest technology du jour and waiting for the company to transform itself. In fact the author, Nigel Thurlow, calls this approach a “pile of poo!”
  4. Thurlow bluntly says that business leaders need to get out of their clichéd comfort zones, lead by example, become real problem solvers and create a transformation culture.

Real business transformation isn’t easy, and it isn’t about consultants, buzzwords or fancy technology. But it’s definitely possible.  And a bit of timing and circumstance won’t hurt. 😊

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