July 8, 2019

The paradoxical skill set of a business transformation leader

Working with clients on end-to-end business transformations, from development to implementation, is highly rewarding. We witness first-hand how a transformation positively impacts the bottom-line of our clients’ organizations. But it also comes with many challenges. We must keep our client focused on the goal of the transformation for months or even years. We must adjust the itinerary of the transformation on a regular basis. And we must continuously reassess the value of the transformation.

To address these challenges, we deploy consultants that can handle these end-to-end business transformations. At Papilium, we call them business transformation leaders, because they retained the skill set required to successfully develop and implement disruptive business transformations. And what’s so special about this skill set, is its paradoxical nature.

–   A business transformation leader is analytical and pragmatic
Analytical people are good in structuring problems, coming up with sets of hypotheses to solve those problems and gathering just the necessary information to accept or reject these hypotheses. Pragmatic people deal with issues sensibly and realistically, based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. If our consultants are only strong analytically, they won’t be able to implement the solution they found. If they’re only strong pragmatically, how can they know whether the implemented solution is optimal? Therefore, both skills are essential.

–   A business transformation leader moves very fast and has a lot of patience
At the start of a transformation project, it’s often all about speed. We want to provide our clients with valuable insights from the first week onward. But, fast forward a couple of weeks or months to the actual implementation of a business transformation, and suddenly you need to show a lot of patience as people, systems and structures need time to process the change. Again, speed and patience are both mandatory.

–   A business transformation leader teams up with top level management and operations level personnel
An organization’s top level management bears the responsibility to generate value for their stakeholders, and our transformation plans helps them to deliver on that. Therefore, our task is to convince top level managers of the intrinsic value of our proposed business transformation. But once they are convinced, the key to a successful transformation is to involve the operations level personnel, to end up with a plan supported by the whole organization. Therefore, business transformation leaders should be fluent communicators to and collaborators with top level management as well as operations level personnel.

With our system of continuous coaching, Papilians are every day one step closer to becoming a true business transformation leader, developing a paradoxical skill set to deliver end-to-end business transformations and generate substantial value, fact-based.

Go back