C-Suite Intelligence 20th January 2021

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Transformation is personal

London School of Economics

A change of behaviour or a change of outlook by one individual in an organisation is the cellular basis of achieving transformation. Many employee engagement and transformation programs look good in a deck of slides, but fail when they face the first hurdle of reality: convincing and motivating people to act.

People-centred transformation is built on the following elements:

  1. Communicate a compelling change narrative.
  2. Act to think differently: Leaders need to re-align their own thinking and behaviour to act as role models.
  3. Embrace situational humility: Discovering the best organisational ways forward requires humility and the willingness to ask difficult questions and admit limitations and frailties.
  4. Focus on the few: There must be a focus on a small number of targeted initiatives.
  5. Give others agency: Research suggests that the ability of people to take independent action is key to transformation success.
  6. Decentralise decision-making.
  7. Catalyse the network: Transformation is slowed by silos, bureaucracy and linear organisation.
  8. Lead the system: Organisational systems and those who lead them must be geared to making change happen and anticipating when it is required.
  9. Nudge the culture: Massive cultural overhauls are difficult if not impossible. Instead, cultures can be nudged in the right direction to embrace new behaviours and perspectives.

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Four business orthodoxies to challenge in 2021

CIO Journal

Leaders can better position their organisations for recovery in 2021 by questioning long-standing business doctrines, including four in particular:

  1. Digital transformation should be modelled after previous IT successes.
  2. Market disruption belongs to new entrants.
  3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are for HR and are about increasing representation.
  4. Sharing of complex or nuanced information should be limited.

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Chief Procurement Officer (CPO): first 100-day plan

McKinsey & Company

An incoming CPO has three priorities:

  1. Understanding the organisation
  2. Engaging stakeholders
  3. Delivering impact

By focusing on the most important sources of value and following an agile approach, an incoming CPO can achieve those objectives while simultaneously delivering rapid cost reductions and value improvements for their organisation.

The first month should focus on rapid information gathering and network building. The aim is to develop a strong grasp of the procurement organisation’s people, processes, and capabilities, along with a good understanding of challenges and opportunities in the wider business.

In the second month, the emphasis should be on action: embarking on projects to deliver value in categories that are strategically important and show the highest impact potential.

The third month is about impact at scale. This is the moment for CPOs to win sign-off on their plans from the top executive team, supporting their arguments with the early results from ongoing initiatives.

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