The “surprise” reason transformative initiatives struggle

By: Jeff Wissink, Navint Managing Director

The Monetization Summit is an intimate, case study event hosted by MGI Research that focuses on the real-world challenges of subscription business, “as a service” business models, CPQ, billing, and revenue accounting. This year, eBay, Panasonic, AppNexus, and CallidusCloud took the stage alongside MGI analysts and industry veterans to share the inside details on their transformative agile monetization projects.

A common theme among speakers was that change management was not given the proper attention early on in transformative initiatives. Change management, not technology selection or even implementation, was cited as the surprise hidden barrier.

We’ve seen this time and time again in our Subscription and Recurring Monetization practice. Companies undertake major transformative initiatives and spend a disproportionate amount of time on technology vs. people and processes.

Decades ago we called this “change management” and hired proverbial cheerleaders in an attempt to rally employees around the change. We are seeing this term make a comeback as just another buzzword just like “digital transformation” or “subscription economy.” What does it mean to truly manage change?

Harvard Business Review released a piece titled “All Management is Change Management.” In this article, Robert Schaffer writes “Today’s change management movement has arisen in response to the difficulty companies have had in making constant, rapid improvement a routine aspect of work…Leaders should view change not as an occasional disruptor but as the very essence of the management job. Setting tough goals, establishing processes to reach them, carrying out those processes and carefully learning from them — these steps should characterize the unending daily life of the organization at every level.”

We couldn’t agree more. In fact, we have also learned through our practice that the most successful transformations have a galvanizing vision of what it looks like to be “done.” Only then can you develop a pragmatic way of institutionalizing the new technology, processes, or even people in an iterative, agile manner. It also prevents you from getting bogged down in the requirements, design, or implementation of the new technology—preventing the tail wagging the dog.

The fact is that despite willingness and intentions, transformation is hard, if not impossible, without a vision and a pragmatic approach to move the organization forward. There is both an art and science to successfully guiding large, complex enterprises through the dynamics of the change process.

Navint understands the intricacies of change in enterprises where rapid adoption and total buy-in are non-negotiable business priorities. Our documented expertise in managing companies through change allows us to quickly identify and remediate process gaps, anticipating problems before they disrupt operations. We apply this methodology across our practice, helping organizations navigate the journey to success with Continuous Customers™ and recurring revenue businesses.

For more information about Navint’s Change Management Leadership and our Subscription and Recurring Monetization practice, contact us.