Why the “Butterfly” approach to Transformation seldom works…

How about the shopaholic’s dream of looking round everywhere, checking out all the plate glass windows? A “Do I look fat in this” dream (or nightmare, depending on your perspective) – never actually finding what you want. That’s what the ineffective Transformation Manager brings to the party.


The average lifespan of a butterfly is 20 to 40 days – and that’s about how long you will last before you throw your hands up in the air and give in to the procrastinators and the theorists.

Previously I wrote about  ‘Success’ being a journey and not a destination.  As Transformation Manager you not only have to acknowledge that before you can plan a successful campaign; you then need to be able to convince your client that you have the gravitas to deliver and a robust enough plan for them to be successful – through you, of course.

So how do we demonstrate our control of the ‘Transformation’ concept?

  1. The successful Transformation Manager has a plan s/he has deployed many times in many situations. Always adapted for the particular client and constantly honed to perfection.  Don’t have a plan? Simple – just think about how you would like to be managed through a Transformation process and write that down.
  2. Paint the picture: your client needs to be able to feel the rain and see the sunshine. Transformation is all about adoption (more on that another time) by everyone affected.
  3. Demonstrate to your client a desire to understand their processes as they currently stand and as the client wants them to be. By mapping the processes at the outset it is easier to understand the operation and you gain a valuable insight into everyone’s thoughts on the oncoming process. Once you have mapped the ‘to be’ process you can start to formulate a path for success.
  4. Engage the stakeholders early – explain to your client who you need to see (or ask for contacts if this is all new to you) and go and meet them. If I have £5 for every time someone tells me of a failed project because the Stakeholders did not know what was expected of them/needs were not met/had no communication………

Document your approach to change and get it into the Client’s hands.  Utilise it in the presales delivery if you can. Demonstrate your empathy to the path they are about to tread and paint a picture for them which shows your supporting arm for the length of the process.