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70% of business transformations fail. Inclusion is the key to greater success

April 18, 2023

How can you drive change if you don’t design it properly? You wouldn’t build an extension on your home without knowing exactly what you want to use the new space for, and not without getting some serious plans done. Equally, you wouldn’t send a product for manufacturing without intense rounds of design and without asking people how they’re actually going to use it!

And yet with change, the same level of rigour is rarely applied.

What often actually happens is that leadership says what they want to change, and they charge a team to go away to create a plan to deliver a programme to make that change happen. At least they assume so. They believe the program will bring the desired change, while forgetting about the people who actually need to bring the change, and make it stick. Programmes like this need to be carefully designed.

It helps to involve people as soon as possible in the co-creation and management of the change.

Embedding change is a challenging process that requires a thoughtful approach. Jumping into action is not necessarily going to give you quick results. Slow down now to speed up later.

We’ve seen firsthand how successful collaboration can lead to long-lasting change, and we believe that effective design is key to achieving this outcome. 

According to research by McKinsey, around 70% of transformations fail. Contributing factors include insufficiently high aspirations and, significantly for us, a lack of engagement within the organisation.

One of our clients, a global insurance company, approached us with the goal of repositioning themselves in a changing regulatory landscape. We knew that to design a new strategy and overcome internal challenges, we needed to gather the right information and engage the right people in the process.

During the design phase of our engagement, we identified two entrenched views within the company, each with different ways of working and expectations. We knew that addressing these competing voices was essential to achieving the desired outcome. We engaged 100 senior finance and actuary executives from across the organisation to focus on the gap between the current state and the desired future state. 

By designing a series of exercises – based on over 150 modules in our Inclusive Business Design toolkit – we leveraged collective intelligence and expertise to identify solutions that were robust, effective, and sustainable. Crucially, these solutions were owned by the people creating them.

Our approach to collaborative events is rooted in our belief that engaging all the right people en masse leads to solutions that have buy-in and ownership from all parties. 

Changing mindsets is a critical outcome. By investing time in gathering the right information, identifying the right mix of people, and leveraging our inclusive business design approach, teams can create solutions that are truly transformative.

If you're interested in learning more about how we deliver inclusive business design, please get in touch with us.

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