How to win Organisational Jenga and start delivering real transformation

Discover how to deliver effective and lasting business transformation by looking through five clear lenses.
12 August 2022

Associate Director, Consulting Practice, Kantar

According to HBR, when organisations undertake a business transformation to improve performance, they fail up to 75% of the time. It is unsurprising therefore that we receive frequent requests from businesses seeking to understand how to mitigate potential failure when undergoing change. Whether it be an organisational restructure, a cultural shift, capability upskilling or any other type of change initiative, it is important to think about all elements which can affect success. 
Here at Kantar, regardless of the change occurring, when we think about delivering transformation, we always consider five dimensions – these are Strategy, Structure, Process, Tools, and People. 


Building an effective organisation that can successfully navigate change can often feel like playing Jenga, one wrong move and it is easy to fail.  

Think of these five lenses as your stabilizing Jenga pieces, they all play a vital role! Often, we hear of organisations succeeding at one of these elements but failing to recognise the importance of the others and not delivering the transformation success they were after. 
Our view at Kantar is if you take one of these pieces out when tackling your transformation project, you are unlikely to truly succeed. 
Read on to learn more about why each is important:

1. Strategy

Real change always starts from the top and this starts with getting the strategy right. It is impossible to deliver real, lasting, organisational change if the change and indeed company strategy is not understood.

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do we have a clear strategy that all relevant stakeholders understand?
2. Is there a defined start and end point in mind?
3. Are we clear on what it takes to achieve this end point and who needs to be involved to support this (i.e., Sponsors, Ambassadors, Builders, Supporters)?


2. Structure

Ensuring you have the right organisational structure with clear accountability, a defined way of working, meeting cadence and set KPIs to follow through on performance is crucial to enacting change. Afterall, a great strategy means nothing if the right people are not speaking to each other at the right time or the level of resource is not adequate to support the change.

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is our structure set up to accommodate this change?
2. Do we have the right resources in the right places to make the change a reality?
3. Does the organisation have a clear yearly/monthly/weekly meeting cadence to ensure connections are happening when they should?

3. Process

When developing a specific plan of action to tackle the details of your transformation, ensuring you have processes which enable the team to flexibly respond to needs with agility, speed and efficiency is an imperative you cannot ignore.

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do we have clearly, documented processes which map out all the steps required?
2. Is there a clear RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) for all the processes which become impacted by this change initiative?
3. Do we have a plan in place to keep processes up to date as the situation and business reality changes?

4. Tools

Providing access to world-class tools which enable the team to consistently deliver outstanding performance is another important dimension to consider. Tools can refer to everything from dashboards through to templates. They are often considered as the outputs of a transformation and something which can tangibly be referred to as having changed.

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do we have a clear view on what tools are available today to support us with this transformation?
2. Have we considered the tools required to deliver against this change initiative?
3. How will new tools be introduced within the business?

5. People

Nothing gets done if we do not have the right people with the right skills, behaviours, and mindset, with one culture, working in effective teams. 

As people navigate the well documented Kubler-Ross Change Curve, they typically go through three phases, a Knowledge Shift, an Attitude Shift, and a Behaviour Shift. Helping your people through each of these shifts will enable you to deliver on the ground where it matters. 



Ask yourself the following questions:

1. What are we doing to promote awareness of the change that is occurring?
2. What are we doing to support a positive reaction to the change that is occurring?
3. What are we doing to provide people with the ability to apply and master what has changed?

So, if your business is about to go through a transformation, ensure you are considering all five dimensions above. Starting any transformation project without a coherent view on what needs to happen in relation to Strategy, Structure, Process, Tools, and People is a sure way to join the 75% failure rate. 

Five questions Kantar can help you answer:
1. How do we ensure we have the right strategy to deliver on the change we are seeking?
2. How do we ensure we structure and work effectively within and across teams to enact the change?
3. How do we ensure we have the right processes in place to embed the change initiative into the business?
4. How do we ensure we have the right tools in place to tangibly action changes?
5. How do we ensure our people understand the change required, feel differently, and behave differently?

Is your business about to embark on a transformation? Kantar’s Organisational Performance team can help, please contact us for more information.