Business (Finance) Transformation Manager Talks about Business Transformation
Transforming your business is vital to success. As your marketplace changes, you need to be prepared by making the necessary transformations and adapting.
In a recent interview, Rene Blum, an internationally respected CFO, speaker and Swiss transformation manager, talked about the three most important observations that he’s made in his decades of experience. He’s led multi-million dollar mergers and acquisitions and helped to guide several of businesses from the precipice.
Transformation is constant
“Change is the only thing that’s truly constant in business. There is an idea that business transformation is a simple project that can be done periodically and is complete. In truth, transformation is constant. The biggest factor in ‘business transformation’ is whether it’s intentional or not.
“Most businesses are constantly adapting and changing. Most of the time, it’s in small ways. Other times, the transformations are massive and require detailed plans. Either way, the best business transformation managers are always watching those changes, both large and small, and keeping them moving forward.
“Once business leaders understand that transformation is always happening, with or without them, they prepare for transformations and track them.”
Start with knowing what you need to know
“The very first step to a major transformation is to have a realistic and complete assessment of your market environment. This must be handled with discretion and professionalism.
First, your assessment has to be unbiased. Often, we approach analyses with our own perspective. This taints the final answers. If possible, hire someone to do a report for that has no idea what conclusions you’re hoping to draw from the report.
Second, ask two or three respected leaders, including a regional change manager, in your firm to review the report and make recommendations. Ask them to review it independently and not discuss it with anyone else. If you choose the right people, they’ll each have several ideas to bring to the table.
Third, find several smart employees, middle and lower management and long-time line employees, to do the same. A mountain looks very different from the top than it does from the bottom. There is something to be learned from every perspective.”
Don’t fear change
“Change is how we evolve. Many businesspeople are conservative. They see the world as something that they want to keep in its place. This is very often true for those whose fortunes were made in the past, but find the present a more difficult place to make money the ways that they used to.
“‘Evolve or die,’ is a phrase you hear periodically. Many business leaders don’t believe it. Evolution is a natural part of business and it’s what makes business fun and exciting.
“This might just be personal, but I’ve found the more that business becomes a stale and predictable affair, the more I want to shake things up. I see change as the thing that made me better and moved my companies from positions of stagnation to growth and profits.”