5 Factors for Business Transformation

Business transformation entails assessing people, processes, and technologies of the organization in terms of the current state (where the organization is right now) and future state (where the organization wants to be). In these assessments people, processes and technologies are not standalone areas but are part of an integrated and holistic organization. If any of these areas are ignored or not given enough attention then true business transformation is just a pipe dream.

In order to have a holistic understanding of an organization and its broader role in society, there are 5 factors that need to be considered. These factors should have an inward focus and an outward focus. If the organization only has an inward focus then sooner or later it will be taken over by competitors and if the organization only has an outward focus then it will crumble under the weight of its own (mis)management. So, both are necessary. The 5 factors that will determine an organization’s success and longevity are Strategies, Politics, Innovation, Culture, and Execution or simply called The SPICE Factors. It is critical to remember that:

  1. Strategies are to be used as blueprints. They are not shelf-ware.
  2. Politics is a reality and needs to be understood.
  3. Innovation is the lifeline and not only the responsibility of the R&D department.
  4. Culture is the soul. Lip service is not culture but your actions are.
  5. Execution is evolution. Without it you become stagnant.

All of the above need to be measured constantly, managed consistently and reviewed periodically.

SPICE Factors
SPICE Factors

Below is a poll on what people think are the most important areas and factors for Business Transformation:

How to automatically save your job search information in a log file?

How to use AppleScript to search for jobs on simplyhired.com and monster.com using a list?

How to use AppleScript to search for jobs on indeed.com and careerbuilder.com?

This video shows how you can use AppleScript to search for jobs online.

In addition to automation of job searches based on your keywords, this script gives you the ability to reduce the email job alerts that you get in your inbox since you have a choice not to sign-up for them.

Although this script has to be initiated by you and you can set it so that it runs at a certain time.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Information Technology (IT) with sprinkles of Enterprise Architecture (EA)

A few weeks back I posted an article (Why IT Should Be on the CEO’s Agenda) on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) LinkedIn group about why Information Technology (IT) should matter to the CEO. A reader commented and referred me to his blog post. After reviewing his post, I have the following responses:

  • I would argue the perception that IT is too complex and decision-makers need to have a deep understanding of IT in order to leverage it. For most organizational decision-makers, simply recognizing that IT can be leveraged for competitive advantage can be sufficient to have a leg up over the competition. Think about it, although the CEO might have a high-level understanding of Finance, Accounting, Operations, and Sales but does s/he needs to be an expert in all of them? Absolutely not and similarly CEO does not need to have a deep understanding of IT although the better understanding s/he has, the better-equipped s/he will be to face the challenges of the future.
  • On the point that IT has “complex processes and structures” is a blanket statement and would not apply to each and every organization. I would say that it all depends upon the organization and careful review should be done to understand the reasons for the existence of these processes and structures. This review can help in improving the organization and create an appreciation for all sides.
  • In terms of Enterprise Architecture (EA),
    • it has many flavors to it but it almost always starts with strategy/analysis and should result in execution/operations. While EA cannot predict each and every scenario that can happen but by involving the people who are doing the day-to-day operations, EA is able to create concrete solutions that work in the real world and is not merely theory.
    • one of the biggest mistakes organizations make is that they think EA is only an IT-thing, only about artifact development, only about future planning and only about software application development. While all of these are noble pursuits, EA has a much broader view of the world that goes beyond the IT world. A well-run EA practice will consistently produce qualitative (e.g., management best practices, better communications, etc.) and quantitative (e.g., increased productivity/sales, cost savings, etc.) benefits for both IT and business. So, EA sits in between IT and business and whenever you limit it to an IT-thing then it defeats the overarching purpose of EA.
    • organizations already “do” EA, no matter what they call it, how broken it is and no matter if they use custom or industry frameworks to capture the information. Each framework has its pros and cons but organizations simply cannot put the blame on EA when the business itself is not aware of how it can leverage EA across the organization.
    • since EA is the highest level of abstraction, it looks at the business and IT sides holistically and is used to drive various objectives such as organization change, business intelligence, and portfolio management to name a few. It is up to the organization collectively to understand this and then help themselves to continuously improve organizational assets such as people, processes and technologies.

I hope the above response helps shed some light on the different things that organizations need to consider. I would leave you with some questions to think about?

  • Does the organization really know what it wants to be when it grows up?
  • Does the organization really know who it wants as friends?
  • Does the organization really know what house it wants to build?
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