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COVID-19 Advice From a Business Continuity / Transformation Expert – Dan Smith

During COVID-19 organisations are identifying expertise gaps in critical areas. As we work through this crisis period we have created a series to focus on these critical areas, with insights from one of our readily available expert Interim Executives. View the full series here.

“Transformation Leadership during a crisis is about focusing on the core objective requirements and delivering value fast” –Dan Smith

Dan’s Expertise

Dan is a dynamic transformation leader with a Big 4 management consulting background. He has a plethora of experience in providing transformational leadership and strategy in high growth and enterprise businesses. Dan is MBA certified and a results-driven strategist. He has experience that has spanned operationally focused roles, providing leadership and direction for over 60 staff. This is across both corporate and within the ADF, including 2 deployments to Afghanistan.


The organisation required significant transformation due to a rapidly changing environment that was underpinned by unsustainable cost pressure, technology, workforce structures and processes from over 20 years. To add pressure, many of the existing supporting contracts were up for renewal regarding a $16B asset base and a $200m annual supporting budget and the organisation needed to change internally to ensure optimal value for money performance.  What started as a small focused functional transformation, soon led to an enterprise wide transformation due to the interdependencies across the organisation for optimal performance. 


Dan helped the organisation with their enterprise level transformation by defining the key goals for success, the value drivers impacting the organisation and subsequent actions required based upon the value it delivered. This was a multi-year transformation due to the scale but each piece of the transformation, whether long or short, focused on the following areas: What was the goal, what was the plan, what capabilities were required and what were the actions to achieve success? This required a significant amount of stakeholder engagement for defining value drivers, root cause analysis of problems, solutions and stakeholder buy in for implementation. 


Some of the key outcomes were business operational improvement of 161% with the supporting $200M budget, a redefined strategy framework with underlying strategic principles for future contract decisions, an enhanced technology capability and data analytics for decision making, a workforce redesign aligned with future operating requirements and a fundamental alignment of operational capabilities and outputs to meet strategic requirements.

What Dan Learnt

Any transformation comes with a high level of complexity and pressure. There are a number of key areas that need to be addressed with short or long term transformations:

  • Be clear on what you are trying to achieve by defining the goal, develop a plan and getting to action
  • Consistent stakeholder engagement with all that are impacted from the very top to the very bottom of the organisation
  • Be comfortable in complexity and high pressure
  • Minimise risks and maximise opportunities – ensuring they align to the key strategic goals
  • Ensure the organisation has the operational capabilities (people, process, technology) to meet the strategic goals

If you have any questions or would like to hear more contact one of our helpful team today.