COVID as a catalyst for Business Transformation and change: Part 2 by Jess Tayel

Creating a platform for urgency, but is the platform too hot?!

Last time we talked about business transformation being brought back into the agenda as a result of the COVID disruption

This level of global disruption has made some organisations realise that the way forward is to finally cut through and go after fixing what matters to best position the organisation in the market to continue to have a thriving business

Now what that means is that it has to be presented to the leadership team with some urgency. This platform of urgency is essential to push the program above the line and into securing funding and buy-in

Yet sometimes, this platform of urgency is too hot and can burn whoever touches it!

Let’s explore some of the aspects of making something meaningful, too urgent

Urgency is good as it brings focus into work and also helps give it attention and resources. Yet, when the urgency is exaggerated, two things can happen, which can flip the change on its head

  • Many things are also labelled as urgent
  • The program is so urgent, and we needed it yesterday


Labelling many things as urgent

Urgency without priority is an organisational Burden, dare I say Noise

Pre-COVID time, this was a problem for sure. But during COVID and post-COVID, this is even more of a problem, and here is why

  • Organisations having limited resources (more so with this pandemic)
  • Introducing new ways of working which resulted in:
    • Teams adjusting and adapting to the new ways of working, which takes time and effort
    • Working from home has blurred that line of separation between home and work.  That requires adjusting, not just for the employee but for the family too
    • Stress and overwhelm due to the fear of potentially losing a job or cutting down on working hours
  • Attempting to do operational work differently means that operational staff are also overwhelmed and having to move faster into doing things differently and mostly remotely

To balance between the changing landscape, the stressed-out staff and also the need to create a business edge for the business to pivot and stay in business, the need for prioritisation is becoming paramount  

Though it might be tempting to attempt to do too many things at the same time, it is more harmful than not to put the organisation into change overdrive which might breakdown the engine altogether

What we need is:

  • A laser-focus on prioritisation and dependencies to ensure that we are ONLY doing what matters
  • The approach needs to be practical and not to let the use of complicated and overly structured frameworks and methodologies get in the way
  • Keeping the customer truly at the heart of what we are designing and delivering
  • Cutting through red tape, including unnecessary approval cycles, long decisions making process, long business case documents, and cumbersome governance structures


Blinkers on.Blinkers off

With the pressure to deliver, we might feel the need to:

  • The delivery team hops into the super fast delivery train without looking left or right and going straight into solution mode
  • The right people and functions are not involved
  • The whole approach is focused on a single big tangible deliverable and not taking a holistic and integrated approach to create a true business solution

In this case, I have to ask what is worse than not delivering?

In my opinion, what is worse than not delivering is delivering the wrong thing. Something that is not fit-for-purpose and that doesn’t serve anyone. Furthermore, now the organisation has to work with the outcome produced because we have already spent time and money on it

This “Siloed” way of delivery is like sprinting on a treadmill, we all get tired, and at the same time, we are not going anywhere!

In conclusion, I believe it is great that we have change and transformation back into the agenda and that organisations are working on eliminating root causes

Yet, it is now more critical than ever to laser focus, prioritise the work and to be mindful of the changing people’s landscape to ensure that we have a transformation program that works


If you haven't already you can read Part 1 here.


This article is exclusive to The Business Transformation Network.



Jess Tayel serves organisations, professionals and leaders in the space of business transformation and change management to deliver faster, better, without the overwhelm, complexity and stress. All while creating better work environments, productive and fulfilled teams and happier customers 

She also helps business transformation professionals and leaders accelerate their career progression to elevate their status, income, productivity and delivery so they can have a better quality life at work and outside work 

Jess travelled the world to deliver large and complex business transformation and change programs in over 11 countries across 5 continents for the past 22 years.

Jess has served in various capacities as a leader, consultant, mentor, trainer and facilitator in both strategic and hands on areas of Business transformation such as managing &  designing business transformation programs , PMOs, project & program management capabilities , business process improvement, business analysis, technology and business systems implementation, customer experience design, business agility, future ways of working, team communication and change management

Jess is also a number 1 international best selling author, a speaker and big fan of tennis, squash and soccer. She now lives in Sydney, Australia and enjoying the summer 

If you would like to have a virtual chat to pick Jess’s brain, please reach out on LinkedIn or book a time to chat on