Taking on a transformation needs a different mindset and culture. One that welcomes and encourages change. So, if you’re looking at building a transformation team, then you must hear about the 4Ps of building successful teams. Listen now to get clear and actionable tips to help build a winning culture and team.

Listen to the full podcast episode to discover:

  • The 4P model to building successful retail transformation teams.
  • Actionable next steps that you need to get started.
  • The extra 5th element and why that’s important.
  • Why you and your team should sign up for the Retail Transformation Briefing

Retail Week Live (featured panel discussion)

On the show, I mentioned a panel discussion at Retail Week Live 2020.

It’s called: “When culture is mission critical, what are you doing to protect yours?”

It’s on the 26th March (Day 2) at 13:55 – 14:35. Go to the Track 1 stage to watch the session. As mentioned on the podcast, this panel recognises that our people are managing very different businesses to those that they may have been trained for, or to which they have been exposed to in the past. The discussion will look at how to align the hearts and minds of colleagues with business strategy. Plus, you will discover how to create a culture of energy and resilience – which are of course critical to be able to successfully take on a transformation. It features 3 interesting guests:

  • Vickie Gooch – Director of HR – Sainsbury’s Food
  • Wilf Walsh – CEO Carpetright
  • Liz Elder – Global Director, Leadership Development & Learning – LEGO Group

If you’ve not yet bought a ticket to Retail Week Live, make sure you take advantage of my special 15% discount on tickets. As a media partner for the event, you can use the code RTS15 when buying your tickets.

Find out more or buy tickets: Retail Week Live.

The 4Ps of building a winning transformation team

Use these as you look at setting up a transformation team or if you’re looking at managing and leading a team in your company. The 4Ps are:

  1. Purpose
  2. Permission
  3. Plan
  4. People

Applying the 4Ps to setting up a new transformation team

🎯 Purpose

It’s critical that your new transformation team serves a clear purpose. You should ensure that there is a compelling vision for how you want to transform. Ultimately, you can’t set up a new team before you know where you’re going.

You’ll want to have a mandate from the wider organisation which is a recognition that things need to change. Without this, you’ll struggle to make change stick. In fact, it’s one of the elements that was covered back in episode 11: 3 Critical Foundations For Successful Transformation.

3 questions for you:

  1. What is your vision for the future?
  2. Does the organisation openly recognise the need to transform
  3. Do you have a transformation mission statement?

✅ Permission

Once you have a clear purpose, you must make sure that you have senior sponsorship. Really, you want a member of the exec team – perhaps the CEO themselves, alternatively the COO or CMO.

Effective governance will be essential to be able to make meaningful cross functional change. So, discover how governance is working right now and make improvements to it if necessary.

Finally, a culture of experimentation and failure is another key piece. Your teams have permission to fail. You could even celebrate it (hooray, you’ve found another way that doesn’t work! So, you’re one step closer to the right answer).

3 questions for you:

  1. Who is your exec sponsor? (And do they recognise this?)
  2. How will governance work and how will decisions be made?
  3. Why will you be ready to experiment without worrying about failure?

📅 Plan

With a vision in place and having the right support in the organisation, you must be sure to tackle the biggest problems first. Don’t ignore the 600lb gorilla in the room. Make sure that your transformation programme plan gets started right away on the real problems – not the little things. And definitely don’t get distracted by the sexy technology!

Plus, you’re going to want a resource plan that puts in place the right people and other resources that you need to achieve the vision in line with your design.

3 questions for you:

  1. What is the 600lb gorilla in your room?
  2. In the first 3 months, what will you achieve?
  3. What resources do you need?

😀 People

The final P is about getting the right team in place. You’ll be looking for a blend of skills and experience. In fact, differences will help give you more organisational capability.

In addiiton, make sure there are clear roles for your team members. This is particularly important if you have a team which balances transformation responsibility with a “day-job” operational role. A RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) is a widely recognised tool that you can use. However, personalised job descriptions can also be very useful to explain values and priorities. Plus, they can play a part in creating a great team building workshop to get things kicked off.

3 questions for you:

  1. What are the core skills and the specific technical skills that you’ll need?
  2. How will you support and guide the team members through the rollercoaster of transformation?
  3. How will you define the roles for each member?

Using the 4Ps to level up your existing transformation team

🎯 Purpose

Transformation doesn’t happen if things don’t get delivered. So, it will always remain critical to focus on delivery. Ultimately, if your transformation team stops delivering change then it’s core purpose is not being fulfilled.

I’m sure you know about quick wins. Obviously it’s good to achieve benefit quickly. However, a hidden benefit of delivering a quick win is that it builds momentum and trust. The team build confidence with every solid piece of work delivered. Meanwhile, the wider organisation will trust you more to achieve the bigger vision.

Finally, if that vision changes, it’s important to face into that, not bury your head in the sand. As the wider retail market develops, you’ll want to stay up to speed. And if you find that you need to amend the vision then do it and engage the rest of the organisation to build buy in to the new vision.

3 questions for you:

  1. What is the team’s track record for delivery?
  2. What quick wins do you have in the pipeline? And how will you take advantage of delivering these?
  3. Is your vision right still? (Are you sure?)

✅ Permission

Hopefully, you won the permission when the transformation team was set up. But you need to keep that permission alive. The best way to do this is to seek and respond to feedback from the whole business. If you listen to the challenges, show that you listened and then react accordingly, it will build trust and the whole organisation will continue to support you in your mission to transform the business.

In addition, it’s also important to take people with you when you are making changes. Without this, changes will not stick and benefits will not be realised in the long term. And if this starts to happen, then the organisation will stop trusting you to deliver and slowly, you’ll loose the permission that you need.

Finally, you must take sensible risks. You have probably heard of the phrase “ask for forgiveness rather than permission.” Whilst this can be useful, if done with confusion and disarray, then again, you risk loosing the business’s faith in the team. So risks must be taken with careful consideration.

3 questions for you:

  1. When did you last get real feedback from the wider organisation and what was the outcome?
  2. How are you ensuring that your changes are landing and being adopted successfully?
  3. What risks are you taking and how do you know this is sensible?

📅 Plan

If your business has to report results to shareholders or in public forums, then it’s going to be essential to also give accurate forecasts.

If your transformation programme is meaningful, then it’s likely to be playing a part in adjusting those forecasts. Therefore, it’s critical that you have an accurate plan of how benefits will be achieved and are able to realise those benefits reliably. If not, then forecasts will not come true and shareholders will loose faith in the leadership.

Already, we’ve seen how the team’s trust can be damaged. But fortunately, doing good planning is your tool to help earn trust from the organisation.

3 questions for you:

  1. How accurate have your previous forecasts been? And how could they have been more accurate?
  2. What are you doing to accurately and reliably plan the future of your transformation programme?
  3. What is your plan to earn more trust from the organisation?

😀 People

There are several elements to help keep your people at the top of their game.

Firstly, you must ensure that your team stays current in their knowledge. Continue to expand capabilty through training. Also, make sure that they are getting insight and inspiration from outside the business. This could be understanding how your competitors are working (and what they could do next). Alternatively, it could be staying in touch with the wider retail industry and even outside it too. The Retail Transformation Briefings can help with this. They’re free to subscribe to and will keep your team informed of the latest developments. Find out more here or subscribe below.

Next, you must establish more collaborative ways of working. If your team can really help each other out then you’ll be able to multiply what they can achieve. Some ideas to help you:

  • Create a safe environment for this to happen, where nothing could go wrong.
  • Encourage asking for help. And lead by example yourself.
  • Plan in time to help and collaborate. Try scheduling this into your diary.
  • Recognise people’s efforts and say a real thank you.

Finally, be sure to celebrate success. Transformation is tough. So, recognise this accordingly and remember to celebrate milestones – not just the big finale!

3 questions for you:

  1. Do your team members all stay up to date with the wider world.
  2. What are you doing to create a collaborative culture?
  3. What is the next milestone that you could celebrate? And what will you do?

The extra P – the 5th element: Passion

We have our 4Ps that can be used to build a successful transformation team. Purpose, permission, plan and people.

However, there is a 5th element that helps add strength and determination to your transformation team – whether you’re setting up or have one in place already.

So, that 5th element is:

🧡 Passion

This gives the love, care and commitment that is so essential to be able to deliver your transformation. It’ll power you through the hard times. Plus, it’ll make you fly higher in the good times. Essentially, passion is what will help you to bring the transformation to life and follow through.

3 questions for you:

  1. Does the team show passion in what they do? (And what does this look like?)
  2. How are you using feedback to build empathy?
  3. What will you do if you detect that passion is falling? (And how will you know?)

How will you build your winning transformation team?

What will you do to make sure that your transformation team is successful? Out of the different ideas shared in this podcast episode of the Retail Transformation Show, which will you do first?

Or, what other tips do you like to use to make sure that your team is on fire? Share below in the comments.

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