Operationalizing Capability Transitions

This is the third article in a three-part series. Each post will explore the alignment of your talent functions to the achievement of your strategic business plan

The biggest challenge in any type of transformation lies in the fact that the steps cannot be executed sequentially. You must think ahead so that you can easily step into different choices and routines. A new mindset and tools are required to get us to a new outcome. Consider this example – you decide to go on a new year health kick. Good advice tells us that we should first throw away all the junk food and then do some meal prep to have healthy choices on hand. Perhaps we’ll identify a personal trainer or join a gym. We’ve all been there. It takes forethought and planning to set conditions for success.

When business strategy requires a shift in capability, the challenges have some similar threads. Effective leadership is always proactive versus reactive. After all, it’s the responsibility of the leaders to look ahead to the vision and adeptly lead their team in that direction. But what does that require when your organization is in the process of developing new capabilities?

Let’s imagine that we’re shifting organizational strategy to take a step into new technological territory. We succeeded in capturing a couple of rockstars that are top in their field. They have the best technical credentials of any candidates we reviewed. They’ve come on board and they’re ready to make a difference. Now what?

Invariably, we will need to operationalize new talent. In order to capture business value, we need to get the newfound talent out into the workplace and embedded into the way we conduct business. The secondary, related factor is that talent wants the opportunity to make an impact and embrace the challenges for which they were hired. Unfortunately, you can’t hire a star player for their technical skills and expect that they will also be adept at change management.

Developing new capabilities is always a change management proposition. Envisioning the future is an important step. Designing that future and bringing it to life is a whole additional and complex proposition. Capturing future business value lies in creating a coalition between your cutting-edge star talent, leadership, and change management experts. Let’s take a look at some questions to consider as we prepare to achieve business value from new capabilities.

The current marketplace and pace of technological innovation require all organizations to optimize their ability to change. Acquiring and building talent is a core part of evolving to meet today’s demands. Ensuring that your organization is equipped to operationalize new capabilities requires proactive planning and change management.

About the Author

Carla DiGiovanni is a seasoned change management and learning leader. She thrives on helping clients to realistically evaluate whether their talent programs are aligned to the achievement of their business plans.