The Road to Transformation is Not Straightforward

by | Jul 24, 2018 | Articles, Featured, General, Interviews

Something that Clive Shepherd really likes about ‘The Transformation Curve’ is the fact it highlights that the road to transformation is not a straightforward, predictable or smooth one. “The report recognises that progress occurs in waves,” says Clive, founding partner at the learning organisation, More than Blended, and one of Towards Maturity’s ambassadors.

“There can be setbacks, including major business reorganisations, market fluctuations and key people moving on.”

There are always highs and lows, successes and failures, in business. Clive says it is so important that L&D and business leaders recognise that and work with it. Setbacks are inevitable so organisations need to be able to deal with them and not be floored by the unexpected. This is particularly important in the context of the transformation journey, where L&D and business leaders have to be prepared for anything to happen and for everything to change.

As the Towards Maturity report points out, no L&D professional or business can afford to be complacent because even when something is working well and yielding great results, it won’t be long before change is necessary. And if change doesn’t happen when it should, those successes start declining and turning into failures. This is what Towards Maturity means when it talks about the S shaped curve and pivot points of change – when it’s time to move on and let go of the past.

So change is not easy. How does Clive think suppliers and customers can work together to accelerate change and make progress as smooth as possible? “The best help a supplier can provide is to act as a trusted adviser, one who genuinely has the customer’s best interests at heart, rather than selling their product.”

In order to do that, Clive says suppliers have to act fairly and responsibly and be honest with customers. If their solution won’t give the customer what they actually need, then don’t tell them it will, don’t sell it to them. Clive says it’s really important that suppliers are honest and open minded in all their dealings with customers.

In fact, this is something that all the Towards Maturity ambassadors should do, he says – be honest and responsible in all their dealings with customers to make sure that they get products and services that work for them.

“We won’t criticize or embarrass you for not doing all the latest things,” he says. “We will talk in your terms, not through the lens of our own products and services. We will tell you when we cannot help you, even if this costs us money in the short term. We will be honest if we don’t think the products or services that you are asking us to provide will provide you with the results you are looking for.”

It’s this kind of honesty and open, constructive communications that will help L&D and business leaders get their companies where they need to go.

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