Link to sson network

This column is co-written by Sebastiaan Laurijsse, Senior Director IT & Digital Transformation Manager at NXP and Ilse Kerling, Founder of Global Business Academy.

Missed Part 5 of the series? Read it here.

In the previous article of this series, dissecting the journey at Dutch manufacturing company NXP to realise the value of analysing current skillsets in pursuing a valuable transformation. 

In this final article, we will round off the previous 5 columns by summarising all the important components of transformation:

Phase 1 – Transformation strategy, executive sponsorship and alignment with the business

Step 1: Alignment with the business: how can we accelerate their success?

Step 2: Aclear vision, strategy and goals

Step 3: Quantifying those goals with the help of the CFO. Executive sponsorship CFO.

Step 4: Client centricity vs reality

In the old days, everything was a project. You build a website and deliver it after two months – the so-called Waterfall. Agile stems from the “this isn’t quite what I wanted” reaction. The ownership belongs to the business. They give continuous feedback and determine what will be delivered and how. In a way, you live and breathe together on the project. The reality is usually more unruly. You tell a client, who is used to Waterfall, “I want 5 minutes every day”. Or you get a person who was pushed forward, or someone who represents 15,000 users. Then you can only hope that you have the right individual, who represents the right people. This is an important factor that plays a role in the 70% missed transformations.  

Phase 2 – The internal adoption of transformation

Step 5: On the soapbox: the how, what and why up until organisational microlevel

Step 6: Alignment with your (Indian) service providers

Step 7: Upskilling and team-building of your global workforce, including the service providers

Step 8: Measuring and monitoring

Agile and DevOps is how we create client satisfaction and speed. The Agile framework contains tools and evaluations to measure our agility. Quality, lead time, client satisfaction, adoption, you name it. NXP also has a “feedback now plan. When you are at an airport, you often see smileys next to the toilets. Those are not there to know whether things are going well, but to monitor peaks in unhappy smileys. In those cases, the toilet may be dirty or there is a long queue. It always triggers action. We do the same with our clients. Lastly, we monitor the wellbeing of our people. We have a master scrum temperature check every two to three weeks plus two to three surveys a year. This helps us to make quick adjustments, whether that is management, team dynamics, work pressure, cultural differences. This is crucial, otherwise change will not happen.  

Step 9: Pushing forward or holding back: the crucial role of the CHRO is to protect the health of the organisation.

Step 10: Long-term endorphins

To create a lasting change, there has to be gratification. Otherwise it’s like a diet or quitting smoking: eventually you fall back into your hold habits. That is why the last step of change is gratification. This is personal, which takes us back to NXP’s ‘know your people’.  That is why the people, culture and inclusion element is so crucial to NXP.

 By being part of IT director Sebastiaan Laurijsse’s world, we were able to understand the importance of each step. But for such a structured change to have a long-term impact, it is important for talent to stay in the organisation. That is where purpose comes in. This is why Sebastiaan is already preparing his organisation within NXP for the next step: a purposeful culture.

 Purpose vs result

People want to work on assignments that have purpose. They are prepared to work really hard, but when it is finished after three months, they leave. We already see that happening, especially amongst our data scientists: if the puzzle is not complex enough, they go elsewhere. How do you prepare your organisation for this? How do you keep their knowledge in the organisation? You don’t want to keep people in; you want to attract them. You can only do that by creating an purposeful environment. Within my team I see that: learning is on #1, purpose on #2, driving results on #3. The new vision is an organisation where people want to work, which will lead to the desired results. The closer you get to C-level, the more they look at results. Right now, we are in an era of rapid transition.  

That’s it for the Transformation series! Revisit Ilse’s column here for more insights on closing the cultural divide.