Business transformation and long-distance running … compared!

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Successfully transforming your business requires a long-term goal-oriented mindset very similar to competing in a mountain half-marathon.

I never really liked running.

At my primary (sports) school, almost every week we were made to run two-kilometer and 100-meter races, combined with an intense swimming routine. I never felt I was running for myself, and I didn’t like the pressure of short-term results and competing with my friends.

I didn’t run for many years after I finished school, and when later I had a knee accident, it took me months to be able to walk normally again. I was so happy about being able to walk (and run) again that I started running as a way of getting back in shape. Soon after, I realized that I really enjoyed running long distance – I could plan my own training schedule and loved being outdoors in nature.

Earlier this year, some friends and I signed up for a 22-kilometer mountain run. The idea to run together was to develop a positive mindset and support each other during the training and preparation as well as actually during the run. My own personal goal was to complete the run and feel good about it. I’m proud to say we completed the race as a team – and it felt great!

This change in my mindset towards running reminds me of some of the transformation programs I’ve led with my clients, and what made them successful:

  • Having a long-term target brings focus and determination – organizations that have long-term objectives and ambitions tend to be aligned towards their goals. It’s amazing to work in an environment in which people are motivated by a shared desire to achieve a change that is expected to bring positive outcomes to the company.
  • If you don’t give up, you never lose – there are often factors beyond anyone’s control that can change the course of a desired plan overnight during a transformation journey. Never giving up on your long-term goals is key to completing a successful transformation program.
  • Ways of working need to accommodate changing business needs and stakeholders – it’s very difficult to predict all of the factors that may change with time on long transformation programs. Successful transformations I’ve been part of had to accommodate a number of changing factors that arose on the journey.
  • A core team is essential­ – as always, the people factor is extremely important. Having the right people that believe in the same goal and that will support each other is essential for driving any kind of change.

These key aspects have motivated me to run almost daily and are very similar to those needed for successful business transformation. Keep your eye on the long-term goal, adjust your pace and technique to changes in the terrain – whether you’re going up, going down, or running through mud in the forest.

Finally, and possibly most importantly, have a core team in place for each phase of your run – the preparation, the competition, and the celebration!

To learn more about how Capgemini can transform your operations to deliver an improved customer experience – or running a 22-kilometer mountain half-marathon – contact:

Learn more about how Capgemini’s Finance Powered by Intelligent Automation  solution helps our clients create more intimate, intelligent relationships with their end consumers.

Magdalena Matell  has over 14 years experience in business services. She is passionate about helping organizations to transform and become more client centric by changing business models and operations. She has successfully led global transformation programs and executed multiple Finance and Accounting solutions across a range of businesses.

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