Secrets to Business Transformation: The Seven Deadly Sins - Slide 3

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Most companies have mission statements — as well as vision statements, value statements, and other official website/employee handbook fodder. Yet many employees don’t believe in them and never use them. What they need is a cause, and that’s altogether different. Once organizations know why they exist, to whom they want transformation to happen and why, they gain the audacity and authenticity to drive strategic business transformation. So don’t confuse “cause” with “mission.” A cause is a lasting theme, an architecture that supports the transformation of the greater environment. It has personal, rather than organizational, implications. Missions are given to groups marching in lockstep; causes are taken up by creative individuals. A mission is a bounded, purposeful action. Missions impose the will of managers on employees, whereas causes are grounded in the latent, unexpressed will of the overall organization.

Having covered the IT industry and written about IT professionals for over 20 years, Don Tennant has seen what happens when the C-suite in a company tries to undergo some sort of business transformation without IT having a seat at the table. So he was recently gratified to learn that an IT guy has written the book — or at least one of them — on the topic.

Mohan Nair, chief innovation officer at Cambia Health Solutions in Portland, Ore., is a computer scientist with stints at Intel, Mentor Graphics and a few other IT companies under his belt, and now he’s the author of “Strategic Business Transformation: The 7 Deadly Sins to Overcome.” Nair’s premise strikes Don as a logical one: That effective business transformation won’t happen unless business leaders give employees a cause to believe in. Here’s an encapsulation of those “deadly sins” that Nair says must be avoided in this cause-driven approach.

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