creating-a-culture-that-supports-transformationThink you’re the kind of company that supports transformation? Research suggests you’re probably wrong.

Nearly 75 percent of all business transformations fail. What’s the biggest roadblock to success? Your company culture. A company unwilling to embrace change is one that fails to pivot and, ultimately, transform. Transformation is an essential part of business success – especially in times of volatility.

The good news is that any enterprise can support transformation with the right mindset. Here’s how.

Start with Your Employees

There’s a saying in business: “hire people, not skills.” Skills can be taught, but personality traits are ingrained. Hire and retain employees who are flexible, enjoy challenges, and don’t shrink from adversity.

Do your part as well by fostering employees who are innovative and adaptable. Employees are more likely to help if they feel valued and engaged with their work. Most importantly, it imbues them with a shared sense of importance. A strong shared vision helps alleviate any obstacles to innovation, including one major hurdle: internal politics. Company infighting is an incredible hindrance to transformation, while shared purpose moves employees in the right direction.

Never Fear Failure

Employees should also have the freedom to experiment. When people are awarded this freedom, they become more adept at prioritizing and begin taking the initiative. It’s easy to fall into a “this is the way we’ve always done it” mindset, but this only hinders progress. Businesses shouldn’t fear failure, as it is an essential step in the innovation process. Consider, for example, the failures of Bill Gates before he championed Microsoft. Companies that support innovation are also ones that support calculated failure. Remember: failure at the early stages of the innovation process is far easier to overcome than failure at rollout.

Value Streamlined Collaboration

Gone are the days of work in individual silos. Businesses that successfully transform are those that collaborate across all levels of an organization. Distributed decision-making is essential. Collaboration fosters a culture in which every employee feels that his or her voice is heard. While centralized decision-making puts the big decisions in the hands of those who are most out of touch with the people, distributed decision-making values employee needs and suggestions. Most of all, it facilitates faster decisions—which are an essential tenet of business adaptability.

Don’t Lack Vision

Businesses that lack an articulated vision are more likely to fail in times of volatility. On the other hand, companies that adapt and drive change have a clearly expressed vision that radiates through every employee in the organization. Your vision outlines how your business will operate in the future, but it also establishes your company culture.

A strategic plan is equally important for business transformation. While your vision provides a map of what your company should look like, your strategic plan details how you’ll get there. Engage all your employees in your strategic plan: in times of market volatility, a company is more likely to adapt when all voices believe they matter.

Wondering if your firm is open to change? Companies who demonstrate slow, centralized decision-making, top-down processing, and internal politics are clearly not yet open to the transformation process. Adaptable organizations use distributed decision-making and value every employee in the enterprise. Don’t wait for a market shift to see if your business makes the cut: Do an inventory now, and take steps to ensure your enterprise culture enables (and doesn’t hinder) transformation. Innovation and adaptability are what set great companies apart—especially today.

At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.

Photo Credit: iamRhino99 Flickr via Compfight cc