T for Transformagination

Neil ButlerUntypical Thoughts

As I mentioned yesterday, we are living and working in Untypical times. Things are not what they used to be nor will they ever be again.

Businesses have had to swing into Business Continuity mode – for some, Business Survival mode – which has forced their hand in creating new ways of running their organisation. New products. New service options. New communications channels.

But how many of these new approaches have been well-thought out versus thrown together to meet the very different business environment in which they now work?

Let me take a moment to introduce – or for some, reintroduce – Transformagination. Transformagination is where transformation meets imagination. We like to think that there are no limits here. Transformagination is a mindset where the old ways of doing things are pushed aside and organisations start imagining what their business could be.

For many businesses, the current operating model is simply not sustainable. This is very much a holding pattern. Once this period passes – whenever that might be – they plan to create a new operating model that becomes sustainable for the future.

But is the new way of operating going to simply be an adaptation of their old model or is there going to be a deliberate and decisive approach taken to designing the right operating model, regardless of how they used to operate.

Think back to the pre-COVID days. If you could give your business operating model a score out of 100 for its “fitness for purpose”, what number would you award it? 41? 63? 22?

Unless it was 100, it is fair to say that there was room for improvement. And, now, with the upheaval that we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very likely that your “fit for purpose” score has diminished further. If your business wasn’t fully fit-for-purpose before, how can you expect it to be now?

Here’s an analogy that might help you. Think about your physical workplace as it was before the pandemic arrived – whether that was a shop, a factory, an office or even a home office.

If that physical workplace was destroyed in a fire, would you rebuild exactly as it was before the fire? Given that you are working from effectively a blank canvas, you would brainstorm all sorts of ideas before designing a properly fit-for-purpose workplace.

For many businesses, the pandemic has effectively burnt their business model to the ground. Rather than rebuilding it to be like before, surely this is the time to design and re-build looking forward, not looking back.

Transformagination is a mindset that enables you to think beyond the obvious. Times like this demand thinking that is not so much out of the box but, in fact, takes no account of the box ever existing in the first place.

It’s now or never.

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