// . //  Takes On //  3 Ways To Boost Success In Performance Transformation


The potential growth from digitalization cannot be left on the table. It will likely set the tone for the company’s future, but this growth can only happen if value is captured by driving alignment across the company
Olivia Reed, Associate

Organizations need to align all their people to see the desired results of performance transformations. Here’s how to initiate that value conversion.


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Performance transformations to drive efficiency and cut costs have become something ubiquitous among executives, but despite big visions, many of these programs fail to get even a fraction of their expected value. So, why is the value conversion not happening?

My name is Olivia Reed, and I’m a member of our Energy and Natural Resources team based in Houston — what many would call the global hub of energy. My background is in performance and digital transformation, and I’ve advised energy companies in the oil and gas, utilities, and environmental services spaces to rethink how they drive operations improvement.

For an industry that is so interconnected with everything we do, it’s critical that the industry continues to evolve how they do business. And this is where data and digital transformation have the potential to create huge value for companies, but only if rolled out in a way that promotes stable operations.

So, then the question clients often ask is, “How do I visualize performance in a way that aligns all my people and creates adoption and real operations improvement?” Failed or lackluster results from performance transformation can leave executives wondering why they invested so much to disrupt the way they do business — “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” right?

Often, these programs focus on digitalization and the stakes of transformation go beyond just misallocated dollars. In a study from Harvard Business Review, researchers found that companies with higher rates of tech intensity saw revenue growth rates that were double that of less tech-intense competitors. The potential growth from digitalization cannot be left on the table. It will likely set the tone for the company’s future, but this growth can only happen if value is captured through listening, gaining alignment, and driving adoption.

There are several ways we’ve helped clients in this space — one example was where we designed, developed, and deployed a tool to visualize route execution for an industry-leading environmental services company. This was a part of a broader automation program and enabled logistics experts to see how drivers were progressing on their routes with an enhanced level of granularity. It enabled better decision-making and improved performance “today on this route”.

The tool also allowed firm leaders to see how their operations worked, knitting together teams that had become regionally siloed. After the initial pilot, usage stats were extremely low. This surprised many of the company’s leaders — they thought they had designed a fantastic and user-friendly tool with “obvious” value. But, through interviews, we learned that some features were missing and that folks weren’t using the tool as originally intended.

After making technical enhancements, we reprioritized our efforts to focus on translating the tool’s capabilities to the intended audience, performing live demos to make its impact come to life, and tracking usage to target interventions and study adoption patterns. When the new changes were implemented more broadly, there was a significant behavioral shift as more users aligned to the tool’s purpose and adopted it during their daily routine.

One user, while live on a group feedback call, spotted an issue with one of the routes while screensharing. He told the group he was going to make some live edits. The group watched excitedly as his changes updated instantly to show a significant correction to a driver’s route that boosted efficiency. Events like these built trust in the tool and adoption spread more organically.

In this example, changing something as simple as daily routes will make material improvements to the bottom line. This only came when the right audience connected with the change and bought into the story of what the change could do for them.

The bottom line is that firm leaders can replicate the process for visualizing performance to gain buy-in with their people if they keep the following three steps in mind:

  1. Listening to each audience and identifying their why.
  2. Gaining alignment between local, regional, and corporate teams to build confidence in the shared goal.
  3. Driving adoption at the most granular levels of the business and laying the foundation for behavioral change and performance.

I’m Olivia Reed, and this is my take on visualizing performance.

This transcript has been edited for clarity