Is DIY Business Transformation Really Possible?

The answer is a definite “Yes”. However I’d also qualify that by saying that in order to do-it-yourself your organisation needs to do some serious preparation. That will involve laying the foundations for transformation processes to work. In turn that means your people are going to need a healthy dose of coaching and support.

What’s the Benefit of Doing-It-Yourself?

Fundamentally the benefits are twofold, particularly for a smaller business. In the first place it will help to get just about everyone aligned with the new direction that is being defined. In large corporate transformation attempts, there’s frequently inadequate attention paid to this and it can seriously stem the progress towards the desired goal.

Second is the overall cost, as part of a cost-benefit analysis of why what is being proposed is even sensible. (Naturally some transformations are in response to external forces that simply have to be complied with. Although even in those cases it doesn’t necessarily mean you should rely on external third parties to run things for you.) So keeping your costs well under control is often actually easier if you keep things in-house. By contrast, even contracts with consultancies that are fixed price have a tendency to get very messy – usually because the initial scope is not well-understood and changes keep having to be renegotiated.

What is the Downside?

You have to be very realistic with your expectations right from the outset. Unless the leaders (CEO, Managing Director, Senior Partner etc) are prepared to be challenged on their assumptions from the start and will provide heavyweight support to the people chosen to lead the activity, then you are going nowhere.

When a third-party consultancy is running things they will frequently take on those challenging activities without feeling unduly pressured to agree with the boss. However that’s something that you can actually get around by working on these aspects of corporate culture before you engage in any transformative activities. They are good things to encourage – so get with the best practice.

Another downside might be the speed of progress. Here is where the downside can actually be converted into a massive upside. In my experience, those organisations that prepare thoroughly and properly – which will take an amount of time where others tend to rush ahead – are more likely to get it right first time around. I can’t emphasise enough how important this is. Having clarity about things from an early stage in a long-term programme of transformation will pay huge dividends in terms of limiting the amount of rework or re-planning.

Finally, you may not have sufficient resources to just move people over to do the work without disrupting Business As Usual. Don’t get hung up about this but do make sure you plan to back-fill some routine posts for the duration.

There Has to be an Upside …

and there is. Organisations that really want to transform (not just carry out a #metoo or lookalike change, copying what everyone else in your industry is doing) are usually about to embark on leading change. Once they do it successfully then more is inevitably going to follow. Having an in-house team who know what it’s about and can learn and grow along the way is worth a fortune in consulting fees saved down the track.

Besides, the mere fact that people from within are encouraged to learn, lead and enact transformation is a huge positive force. The business world is having to relearn the need for independence of thought, growth mind-sets and collaboration as it comes to terms with a rapidly-changing New Normal post-pandemic. Yet it is precisely these things that DIY transformation, run properly, will actively develop and grow.

Want to Know More?

Then simply get in touch and start the conversation. We’ll help you understand the stages and responsibilities you will need to develop as part of a free consultation. We also look forward to helping you transform in ways that take account of where you are as well as what you do. If you’d like more information, then you can also follow this link.

Rob Wherrett can be contacted at

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