A more integrated approach to transformation, owned collectively by the Board as a guiding coalition ensured that transformation at this UK retailer was greater than the sum of its parts.
The board worked well together but recognised that the change activity needed to be orchestrated better. Initiatives were not done with the best priority and order. In particular, everything to do with technology was left to the CIO.
We began with the formation of a new Change Board. This was independently chaired and focused on the best ways to transform the business and their execution in the right order to achieve maximum benefit.
Secondly we created a set of cross-business Portfolios focused on Customer, Product, Efficiency and People – each of which was owned by an Exec Director with the authority to make decisions outside of their operational area of accountability.
Thirdly, we formed a coalition of Senior Responsible Owners who would own and deliver the outcomes of the transformation and work together day-to-day to ensure the right prioritisation of activities and resources and the highest performance of the whole Portfolio at all times.
Better understanding of all the transformation elements and how they were linked improved performance and the strategic decisions made. Increased awareness of technology and how it could enable step-changes across the business also helped massively in sharpening the digital strategy and roadmap.
The new approach greatly improved the prioritisation and sequencing of transformations across the whole business and as a result the return on invested capital increased twofold. This was achieved together with a better balance of outcomes across customer, people and social/environmental as well as financial.
From a delivery point of view this optimised the use of talent and resources on the areas that mattered most which removed blockages and accelerated improvements.
The coalition of senior business owners got stronger and stronger as time went on and their ongoing collective ownership of the Portfolio helped reduce organisational silos, increased collaboration at all levels and sped up decision making and delivery.