At the Future of Field Service Live Tour event in Stockholm, I was joined for a session by Berit Hallgren, Program Director at Tetra Pak. In her role, Berit is focused on driving the company’s strategic focus on service operations optimization. Berit has been with the company for more than 30 years and is an experienced change driver with vast experience in project management and people management.
Berit’s demonstrated history of driving large, global business transformation projects within supply chain and services was clear in our discussion as she spoke to the many layers involved in achieving success with change at scale. As surfaces in many of my conversations, we touched on the fact that so much of a company’s success (or failure) with service transformation comes down to people. But Berit also shared some tactical tips that have helped her over her career ensure that a massive transformation progress through its phases to ultimately deliver the intended impact. Here, she shares her five considerations for successful transformation.
#1 – Be Clear on Your Why
First and foremost, be sure you know why you’re doing what you’re doing – when the bumps in the road appear, and they will, you need to hold to your why to keep things on course. “Be clear on why you are doing what you’re doing,” says Berit. “What are the problems you want to solve? Because if that is not clear, how can you communicate to your audiences?”
Make sure your why considers the needs of all relevant stakeholders. For their current program, Tetra Pak began with a thorough analysis. “So, the first thing we did was an analysis. I brought together a team with finance, HR, market experience, service experience, and project management experience and myself,” explains Berit. “We did a detailed analysis to understand what are really the areas that we need to transform and how do we make that happen? Our objective came out through that analysis.”
#2 – Know Exactly What You Want to Transform
A vision of your ideal finish line is not enough to get you there, however. “And then, you need to determine what are the areas you want to transform in the end? It must be very clear for people, so they understand we are not going everywhere. We are going in these specific areas,” says Berit.
For Tetra Pak, the analysis resulted in four objectives and four levers, or ways in which the company will meet its objectives. This is clear and consumable, helping the company stay focused on the purpose of the journey and making the “how” simple to understand.
“It’s exciting to have a clear vision of where we want to go, but we need to do that in a step wise journey. Always putting the customer first and putting the employees first as well. That’s really what excites me – what we can bring to our customers, to our employees, and also to the company with this whole transformation and the new opportunities it brings for the future,” says Berit.
#3 – Get Outside-In Perspective
I believe this is a consideration that companies often fall short on, because there is immense value in outside perspective. “The outside in perspective is super important as well,” says Berit. “That I would also really advise. Successful companies can tend to focus more on themselves than on the customers and the outside input, but there is a lot of value that can come from doing so.”
Getting some outside-in perspective can also help you to benchmark where you are and where you desire to be to help guide the transformation. “Being able to show to the organization, ‘This is where we want to go. This is where we are.’ That becomes really, really powerful,” adds Berit.
#4 – Communicate Change in a Personalized Manner
It’s critical to communicate effectively around change but doing so in a personalized manner is the key to that communication being impactful. To do this, you have to know your audience well and communicate the aspects of the transformation that are relevant to them in a way that resonates. “‘What’s in it for me?’ You need to be able to explain that for the customer, for your employees, and for the company as well, because it’s not the same message to all of these people,” explains Berit.
Often a company develops one narrative around its change and uses that message with the masses, but this impersonal approach doesn’t take into consideration what matters most to each intended audience – which limits the ability to gain buy-in and commitment the way a personalized approach will.
“We have a clear communication plan for all of our projects, of course. Change and communications work closely together. We have a change manager for the program because if you don’t take change management seriously, there is a huge risk for failure,” says Berit.
#5 – Have Courage
This was my favorite point of Berit’s, simply because it was so clear that it is a trait she exemplifies that has helped her track record of success over a long career at Tetra Pak. “And finally, have courage. That’s probably one of my stronger skills. I’m persistent, ‘So, okay. It didn’t go this way. Let’s try the other way.’ Because you need that when you drive a big transformation. You have to be persistent, because it will take time. There will be challenges, but it will happen if you have decided it will happen,” she proclaims.