Change is the norm now that we live in an increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex world. The only credible solution for addressing this, it seems, is by implementing deep and dramatic business transformation.
This solution has largely become the accepted narrative of our day and a key part of Eton Bridge Partners’ business – except, are organisations so keen to chase this change that they’re missing a trick?
They may recognise they need external expertise, but consultancies wave the vision of best practice, wonderful technology, etc., rather than a first step to good practice, which can be an 80:20 solution – 80% of the potential prize for 20% of the effort and investment. In searching for the ‘Holy Grail of Best Practice’, are businesses failing to look at what they already have and assess their processes with a dispassionate set of eyes?
I believe this is firmly the case, because if there’s one – often underappreciated – benefit we find clients report back to us from hiring interim managers, it’s that they challenge ‘accepted norms’. Instead, they will actually take a much more balanced look at a business, to see what transformation might or might not be needed at all.
Many of our clients are utilising interims to provide an intelligent ‘gap analysis’ to identify issues that organisations might be suffering from – but they won’t simply confirm a consultancy-led approach that would take the business down a lengthy path of huge expense and disruptive change. By having a broad and deep base of experience, and an ability to hone in on issues unseen by those working there day-to-day, interims can often show how to avoid change where it’s not needed.
We recently placed an experienced Interim Supply Chain Director, Alastair Charatan, with one of our clients as the business was conflicted as to whether it had reached capacity in its distribution centre. Alastair used a mix of tools and analysis to understand the flow of the operation, their pinch-points and warehouse usage, and showed how extra capacity could be created without the need to move to a new, larger site. Alastair’s change programme could deliver significant benefit through less intrusive changes such as vertical storage and other more pragmatic, and rapid process changes.