The Relationship Between Agility and Transformation 

When you think about an organization going through a transformation or large change, there are certain aspects that are much more challenging to execute than others. Certainly the need to be more agile, and more flexible, is key.

Aaron Sorensen shares observations on how organizations can become more agile during such a transition, and how this is integral to meaningful change. He also takes an up-close look these factors may impact organizations in financial services and insurance industries.

When you think about an organization going through a transformation or large change, there are certain aspects that are much more challenging for them to execute than others. Certainly there is the role of leadership and ensuring that you have the right the right talent or workforce to be able to execute the change. But there is also a very critical step to ensure that you have the right organization design in place. One of the things that we have seen in working with clients is that there is a tendency over time for layers and organizational resistance to accumulate, whether that be adding in new managers, creating burdensome processes or being less disciplined around how decisions are made. Over time those accumulate.

So when it comes time to really pivot an organization and serve the customer in a different way, often times one of the things you need to look at is how your organization needs to be more agile; more flexible, how you can “de-layer” and ensure that the people who are making decisions are empowered to make those decisions and are closer to the customer and the action. That is essential when it comes to pulling off or executing a transformation. Often, when we think about how to do that, it starts with “What are the capabilities that matter most to winning in the market?” Those are often not the same capabilities that the organization needed over the last five years.

In particular, when you think about insurance, financial services and organizations that have traditionally been about meeting customers’ financial needs and serving customers based on one-on-one transactions with a financial adviser, teller, or an insurance broker, the game has really changed. These organizations are now more technology-based in many respects than they are sales and advisory organizations, because they need to have those technical capabilities to create that omni-channel experience with which customers are now accustomed to interacting.

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