3.4.2 Areas of transformation in an organisation
If organisational transformation occurs in one area in an organisation it is most likely that other areas will follow shortly (Lewis, 2014). Those areas in which organisational transformation in an organisation can take place fall under the following areas or a combination of areas (Lewis, 2014). The first one is in the mission, vision, and strategy (Lewis, 2014). Organisations should continually ask themselves: What is our current business mandate and what should it be? Answers to these questions can lead to a transformation in the organisation’s mission (the purpose of the business), its vision for the future (what the organisation should look like), and its competitive strategy. Soane, Butler and Stanton (2015) argue that organisations need to transform because performance is the indispensable goal of organisations to ensure that they stay in the market and are profitable.
Organisations cannot afford to hold on to old visions, missions and strategies, because the environment in which they operate is too dynamic. Human-behavioural changes can be addressed by training, which can be provided to managers and employees to give new knowledge and skills, or people can be replaced or numbers downsized. If technology changes the employees should be trained to be able to use it (Soane, Butler ; Stanton, 2015). As a result of financial crises, many organisations downsides creating massive unemployment that continues till this day (Soane, Butler ; Stanton, 2015). Another area where transformation in an organisation may occurs is the task-job design (Soane, Butler ; Stanton, 2015). Task-job design refers to the way work is performed in the organisation and how it can be changed with new procedures and methods for better work performance (Soane, Butler ; Stanton, 2015).
Organisational structure can be changed in order to be more responsive to the external environment (Lewis, 2014). The structures of organisations in general become less hierarchical in response to various factors, such as to be more responsive to the change in demand. These flatter organisational structures also include where and on which levels decisions should be made. Organisations can attempt to change their culture, including management and leadership styles, values and beliefs. Organisational transformation of the kind mentioned above is by far the most difficult area to transform in an organisation. It is worth noting that organisational transformation goes hand in hand with the transformation of organisational culture (Lewis, 2014). Transformation like any strategy has advantages and disadvantages. The success of the transformation will be determined by how competently management and leaders capitalise on the strengths of organisational transformation and how successfully they eliminate the disadvantages of organisational transformation.
3.4.3 Advantages of an organisational transformation
Bourilly (2016) identifies reasons in support an organisational transformation process. Bourilly (2016) argues that skills can be strengthen, while the increasing of alertness of the organisation become less lean. Bourilly (2016) reveals that there are more benefits to organisational transformation. This section examines the other less known benefits of an organisational transformation process for organisations and stakeholders.
The first advantage according to Bourilly (2016) is that the strategy of the organisation must be amended. It is a well-known fact that articulating the strategy comes before embarking on an organisational transformation (Bourilly, 2016). However, most leaders do not anticipate how to redesign the organisation and this forces the strategy to be made more clear and real. The effort also motivates the organisation to make a principled trade-off in favour of capability development over leanness. There comes a time in every organisation when leaders should ask themselves what aspects of the current model must be conserved (Bourilly, 2016). The list may include critical processes, corporate values, core capabilities and identification of strategic individuals. The adjustment of the status quo has a unique way of shining a light on the most important team members. The effort also provides an important test to further distinguish tomorrow’s leaders. Who holds the organisational transformation and changes into the future? And who sticks to the past and crawls half-heartedly forward? Succession planning just got easier. This is a very important advantage, because businesses in the past went down since an effective succession plan is not in place. This can be to the detriment of all stakeholders and the business at large (Bourilly, 2016).
Organisational transformation may infuse new energy into the organisation (Bourilly, 2016). Transformation should be beneficial to the overall processes within an organisation. However, it should not be avoided to uphold a stagnant status quo. Organisations are not meant to be rigid and static, because the environment in which they operate is very dynamic. Organisations work best when they are responsive and evolve naturally with the environment. Even this natural evolution creates the need for sporadic organisational transformation process (Bourilly, 2016). An organisational transformation may reconnect the teams and reaffirm the values of the organisation. Bourilly (2016) states that organisational transformation needs to be done in a way that advances business objectives and strengthens corporate values. Everyone who is a part of the process will be given the opportunity to revisit those carefully chosen words in the organisational doctrine. This will enable all stakeholders to take ownership of the organisational transformational process. What is the real and meaningful guided decisions taken and actions made by many people on a daily basis? The renewal of corporate values can have an external impact. Organisational transformation normally attracts the attention of the media. In doing so, leaders can even further unite their teams around a common goal and vision, while simultaneously sending a clear message to the market around agility and value creation for the various stakeholders to the benefit of all stakeholders (Bourilly, 2016). The next section addresses the disadvantages of an organisational transformation process.