About Us

P2 Consulting was started by a group of award winning consultants who recognised the opportunity to build a global consultancy firm that had clients’ needs at its heart. We understand the challenges clients face – the pace of globalisation, technology change and increasing regulation – and the pressure they are under to respond to these changes rapidly and efficiently.

What We Do

We work on some of the largest transformation programmes in the corporate world and the public sector. Partnering closely with our clients, we help them deliver successful business change. Our reputation as a consultancy is built on excellence in portfolio and programme management, business architecture and design, testing and quality assurance and implementation.

Insights

Understanding the challenges that keep our clients awake at night is essential. In this section we demonstrate our expertise at solving your problems. We have deep insight into the business and technology issues facing all sectors.

Join Us

Are you looking to join a company where a challenge is welcomed, change is anticipated, and expertise is expected? Then have a look at our job listing and please get in touch.

Case Studies

We’ve worked with clients across a range of sectors and gained excellent results – but don’t just take our word for it. Have a browse through some of the work we’ve done.

Transformation Freefall: Check Your Parachute | Goals, Governance and Communication | Part one

Richard Rickards, Analytics for Transformation Lead, Business Architecture, Design and Analysis Practice, P2 Consulting

18.09.18
Taking the Transformation Leap

According to the US Parachuting Association only 0.0007% of parachutes fail to open each year, and despite this many people are still deterred to try a parachute jump. Interestingly, by contrast 84% of digital transformations fail according to Forbes(1), yet many organisations continue to take the transformation leap without adequate planning and design.

There is a wealth of business and academic literature which outlines the organisational elements necessary for transformational change to be successful. Yet many executives and managers frequently find themselves under pressure to take a shortcut and mandate change without enough planning and design. Clear goals, structure, business case, performance measures, and collaboration with people throughout the organisation, are necessary for success.

Let’s revisit the first 3 elements needed to make transformation successful – then ask yourself if you have them in place before you cross your fingers and jump.

 

Clear Business Goals

Executives often assume their goals should be bold, radical and exciting, to shake things up throughout the organisation. Take for example Canon’s goal to “beat Xerox” in the early 1970s(2) . However, if the goal doesn’t make sense to executives, managers and staff, it can have the opposite effect. A new CEO may say they want to become number 1 in the industry in 3 years – but what if this means increasing the customer base by a factor 10? If this aim is not accompanied by a clear roadmap on how to get there, staff will feel unsure if the organisation is backing the right idea. Karl Weick famously talked about small wins i.e. the idea that by moving from one small goal to the next people feel progress and are therefore motivated(3).

The point is that strategic goals need to be developed collaboratively and analysed in terms of what they mean day-to-day for staff. Often this means constructing the necessary numerical model to calculate what the goal means in terms of specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). If this is not analysed, the overall goal will be unrelatable to day-to-day work, and potential adjustments to change will be missed. We will examine KPIs and ‘Metrics That Matter’ in more detail in Part 3 of this series.

 

Optimal Governance and Decision-Making

The term ‘Executive Decision’ implies that business decisions are made in a chain of command with ultimate responsibility and accountability returning to an all-knowing and wise executive. So is that it for governance – no more design required? How often do we consider if our current ways of making decisions are working well for the organisation? Will we need to make decisions in a different way if we embark upon transformation?

The British Computer Society highlights the need to place decision-making fully in a political context(4). It is also necessary to identify the decisions which matter most for the success of a transformation. Who is, and should be, empowered to make those decisions, and who should be consulted? What is the decision-making process, and the supporting evidence required? How will we track the success of decisions, and learn if we should change the way we make decisions for continuous improvement? Careful thought and discussion are required to set up for success, followed by a practical design for a robust and effective decision-making process, without which a transformation is likely to fail.

Effective Communication Strategy

Continuing with our example of a new executive who feels compelled to communicate a dramatic new direction – what if that’s all that staff hear? They will be left feeling that there is a gap between the executive and the reality of day-to-day work. Nothing will be done, practically, by most staff to move toward the goal until their own manager tells them more. But what if the manager also does nothing, either because leadership has disseminated no more information, or worse if there is no opportunity to provide feedback on the new direction.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) highlights the importance of an effective communication strategy in delivering successful change(5) . Clear messages are needed about what change is intended to achieve, and its impact on those affected. Messages should be delivered through a multichannel approach, for example: by line management; group question and answers session; roadshows; town hall meetings; leadership presentations; voice conferences; internal social media; and not just shock email announcements. The opportunity for two-way communication is most important, as discussed later in this article at ‘Collaboration and Ownership’.

Early in the planning stages of transformation, interviewing key executives and managers to gain their insight on where the transformation opportunity is, and the political climate is invaluable in steering change planning. All of this of course will take programme planning, coordination, time, and work to set up for success. Clear roles, responsibilities and the right skills and resources are therefore critical as noted later in this series at ‘Structure’.

Coming Next in Part 2…
Tomorrow, in Part 2 of this series we will discuss the transformation business case, operational structure, and business capability.

Before you take the transformation leap, check your parachute. Contact us to learn more:

Anthony O’Hara, Head of Business Architecture, Design and Analysis
anthony.ohara@p2consulting.com
+44 (0) 7805 918905

Richard Rickards, Principal Consultant, Analytics for Transformation Lead
richard.rickards@p2consulting.com
+44 (0) 7809 339930

Sources:
1. Why 84% Of Companies Fail at Digital Transformation, Forbes, 2016
2. The Timeless Strategic Value of Unrealistic Goals, Harvard Business Review, 2012
3. Small wins: Redefining the Scale of Social Problems, Karl Weick, American Psychologist, 1984
4. Clear Decision-Making in Information Governance, British Computer Society, 2010
5. Employee Communication Factsheet, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2017