Revelations in recent years of wrongdoing at some of Australia’s top financial institutions should be a wake-up call to the leadership of every Australian organisation. At any time businesses, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations may find their activities under scrutiny – and found wanting.
We are in an era of increased accountability, where every consumer wields a smartphone, every activist group leads a social media army, every employee is a potential whistleblower and every regulator is keen to show it is no light touch.
Boards and executives that seek business as usual risk a dangerous complacency. These leaders would be wise to undertake a positive transformation to set up their organisation for the challenges ahead. All organisations that fall short of their potential, even if they have been spared their own public reckoning, could benefit from a transformation.
Many leaders are unsure how to go about this transformation, so turn to Nous Group to tap into our consultants' decades of hands-on experience.
Transformation success is typically measured in bottom-line results: higher revenue or lower costs. But many aspects of a typical transformation partnership destroy value rather than create it:
The result? Many transformation programs only deliver a fraction of the value promised:
At this point a new consulting firm might be brought in to turn the situation around; this may work, but it results in a huge overspend.
Fortunately there is a better way.
Nous Group has helped many clients exceed their targets and avoid these pitfalls. To achieve this, we apply six principles to our transformation partnerships:
Organisations should expect that a transformation is a positive experience that delivers large bottom-line improvements. Positive transformation is possible – but not by following the traditional approach. Nous has developed a contemporary transformation methodology that has proved a different approach can deliver more value than many boards and CEOs expect.
Recently a mid-sized financial services organisation spent several million dollars on a global consulting firm. The organisation's leaders received hundreds of pages of slides as a "current state analysis" but they were not involved in its creation so they understood very little of the report or its recommendations, and had no idea how to implement them.
The organisation had two options: To pay many millions more for the firm to continue the work, taking a leap of faith with no real clue about what they would be signing up for, or take back control of their transformation agenda and engage a different consulting partner.
The board requested took the second option and asked Nous for support.
Nous worked with the client to establish a joint Nous-client team, leveraging the skills and expertise within the organisation. The first two days were team training (client and Nous) on core consulting skills, ways of working under pressure, methodologies and tools.
Then, using the previous report as input, the joint team spent 12 weeks analysing and prioritising the actions required to turn the organisation around. It produced a 20-page business case that showed each action and its expected financial return, with a clear implementation plan. The executive and board signed off immediately.
With Nous as strategic advisor, the client has exceeded the benefits in that business case, turning from a projected loss to a healthy profit, and has built change capability throughout its organisation.
Done wrong, a transformation effort can waste millions of dollars and distract the organisation from its real business serving customers and communities. Done right, organisations get onto a consistently higher level of performance – doing more with less without burning everyone out.
Get in touch for more information on how Nous can support your positive transformation.
Connect with Sarah Connelly on LinkedIn.
First published in July 2018 and refreshed on 13 October 2020.