Insights on a Holistic Approach to Business Transformation

As businesses face rapid developments in technology, evolving consumer demands and an ever-growing competitive landscape, adaptation is increasingly critical for long-term survival. But still, siloed organizational structures, bureaucratic cultures and outdated technology are just a few of the factors inhibiting the growth and success of even the world’s largest businesses.

Today, business transformation leaders and operational excellence practitioners are provided with a unique opportunity to ‘flip-the-script’ on institutionalized ways of working and with more than a good reason for doing so. However, regardless of the explicit necessity for this change, challenges to transformation still persist; the largest of which is a lack of cohesion between the operation and direction of a businesses’ process, people, technology and data.

With insight from OPEX Week 2020 Advisory Members and operational excellence experts Leslie Behnke (HALO Branded Solutions), David Hadd (Webster Bank) and Loren Bishop (State Street), our latest content piece explores how leading practitioners are taking an ‘all or nothing’ approach to business transformation that puts holism at the fore. Here, we take a look at some of the key points made throughout our interviews with these experts.

“In my experience, when companies are going through major change, like an acquisition, automation or introduction of new technology, they will allocate a particular department to own it. Often this department is more business unit-focused and tends to forget about the holistic view of people, process, technology and automation and how all of these elements are critical to the success of transforming a company.”

-   Leslie Behnke

Throughout her multi-industry senior executive career, Leslie Behnke has developed an expertise in creating Operational Excellence Transformation strategies to increase top line growth, enhance productivity, optimize process effectiveness, mitigate risk and instil a culture of customer focused continuous improvement. However, during this, she finds that many companies overlook the cultural impacts of the improvement work they are pursuing and how they prepare individuals for that. For Leslie, a critical success factor is enabling impacted individuals to be part of the change: to contribute to the solutions, implementation and to lead the change.

To achieve this, Leslie is also concerned with providing a widespread technical and process competency of what needs to be done within a company. She recommends using DMAIC to ensure your change management and improvement results succeed.

“Focusing on the end to end process is critical to establishing a successful automation or optimization program. Balancing solutions using people, process, and technology is vital to long term success. But, getting everyone to embrace a balanced approach can be difficult. What I mean by that is using a combination of process and technology with change management is desired over just technology.”

- David Hadd

In 2013, David Hadd became the Director of Continuous Improvement at Webster Bank where he is responsible for driving straight through processing and preparing processes for automation. Webster Bank has been deploying ‘simple automation’ through imaging, automated operational dashboards and workflow management. They are now accelerating automation with low code solutions such as OCR, BPMS, and RPA, specifically in retail mortgage, home equity and small business lending. For David, the main challenge, which is not just inherent to Webster, but to all companies, is developing a design mind set. Tools are advancing almost every three months and what wasn't possible six months ago can quickly become easily achievable. So, overcoming organizational paradigms of what isn't possible is the biggest challenge for efficient progress.

Alongside this, David explains that before embarking on a process transformation journey, it is critical to understand the current state, which Webster Bank achieved through process optimization, characterization and low cost solution implementations.

“Even if we introduce great technology, quite often it doesn’t solve everything and so the other pillars still need to remain at the forefront. We need to identify how we can enhance the processes while making sure that the people are able to work effectively with the technology in order to be able to really get the extent of the benefits that we would expect to achieve."

Loren Bishop

Loren Bishop started his career with State Street in 1995. Throughout his time with the business, Loren became increasingly involved in leading projects on behalf of State Street’s clients and businesses which led to his introduction to Lean and Six Sigma and process excellence. This facilitated Loren’s transition to his current role as Managing Director of State Street’s Lean Management Office.

State Street’s target driven transformation programs ended last year after making over $1 billion in savings between them. Now the company’s COO is focused on promoting the ‘relentless pursuit of continuous improvement and transformation’. Being in financial services, it is always a challenge to be able to change the bureaucracy and the way that decisions are made. To make this easier, State Street has introduced multiple initiatives, including an ideas campaign where people from across the organization are invited to submit ideas which are reviewed by a dedicated group of people that identify whether those ideas can be used to improve the way we service their clients and improve their profit margins.

For a more detailed insight into how each of these transformation leaders are successfully achieving business transformation within their respective organisations. Click the image below:


To learn more about OPEX Week 2020, click here.