News  & Insights

[axr] Transformation and Change Management Breakfast with Ahmad Racheha, Westpac

by Jan van der Meer

Last week [axr] held the second in a series of events on Business Transformation and Change Management.
Ahmad Racheha, currently “Entrepreneur in Residence” at Westpac and previously Head of Digital at Bupa, spoke about his experience driving innovation in a large organisation and successfully transitioning a major business to become a leader in the digital marketplace.
Some of the key insights included:
  • The correct selection of initiatives/projects is essential. The test on whether an initiative is a genuine priority comes down to the commitment of the key stakeholder. Is the stakeholder prepared to commit completely to the project and withdraw themselves from the day to day or not? If not, it usually reflects the fact that the initiative/project is not the priority that they originally thought. They then become part of the project team developing and testing the ideas and are able to make immediate decisions on the next step.  If they are not prepared to do this then their problem is not big enough.
  • Once an initiative/project has been prioritised, the focus becomes “what is the business problem you want to solve” and keep coming back to this.  An initiative may sound like a great idea but keep the focus on the business problem it will solve.
  • Validate, validate, validate! It is critical to validate at multiple stages of the project. Validation must occur with the customer, whether internal or external. Ahmad emphasised that this needs to be real interaction with the customer – face-to-face and in a structured format. The analogy was, there is no point in building the best DVD player if no one uses DVDs.
  • Embedding an initiative/project/change into the business is still amongst the bigger challenges to actually delivering innovation. There is no easy answer. Having the key stakeholders fully engaged and creating a genuine solution for a business problem greatly increases the chances of successful embedding of initiatives. 
We would like to thank Ahmad for his contribution and we look forward to scheduling our next Transformation and Change Management event early next year.  
If you are interested in finding more about our Transformation and Change Management practice please contact our Business Transformation Principal, Jan van der Meer directly.
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