Perspectives

Business transformation, HARD AND SOFT

To transform a business for good, you need to think both hard and soft. The ‘hard’ elements are the processes, operational model, organization, and systems. The ‘soft’ elements are the people and the company culture, including the way individuals and teams operate, their behaviors, attitudes, work dynamics, and values. Successful business transformation requires you to take both the hard and the soft elements into account.

Engaging in DIALOGUE

Inclusive, two-way communication is essential to successful transformation, so leaders need to engage in dialogue, rather than tell people what to do. By involving people in the process, and by fostering employee understanding of what the transformation means for them, top management can be much more effective than simply telling them what to do using a traditional, top-down communication approach.

Change starts with YOU

Before you can change others, you must first change yourself. Knowing and leading yourself is the starting point for leading others and allowing change to happen at team and organizational levels. To lead yourself, you need to be self-aware and to act in accordance with your own purpose, values, and vision. As individuals, we are always free to choose the attitude and the intention with which we want to live our lives. From this perspective, leadership is accessible to all, regardless of their position in the organization.

Healthy work environments grounded in TRUST

We regard trust as the number-one source of competitive advantage. The opposite of trust is fear, and where trust is absent, team members will not work together; managers will not delegate; and subordinates will not follow. That’s why it’s important for leaders to create an atmosphere of trust in their organisation. Trust is a key enabler of sustainable and meaningful business transformation. We are more able to be ourselves, and better able to take risks, when we work in an atmosphere of trust.

Leading by EXAMPLE

Top management sponsorship is crucial for maintaining the pace and sustainability of transformation. They must lead by example, acting as an inspiration for the whole organization. They must consciously model the behaviors and attitudes that the employees are being asked to develop, with conviction, energy and commitment.

Leadership is PERSONAL

There is no such thing as a typical leader. What counts is that you feel confident enough to leverage your unique personality and strengths, that you step up to the mark as a protagonist in change, and that you act with focus, determination, and clarity of purpose. These are the qualities that will make you an effective leader.

CHANGE YOUR MIND, change your destiny

Organizations do not change. People do. If you want to change a system, you first have to change your mindset. Only after the opportunity, the need, and the benefit to change have become clear, will you be willing to consider changing your behavior. It is this shift in mindset that gives us the motivation and the commitment to consciously ditch our existing behaviors and develop new ones. Continued practice of the new behaviors allows us to develop new habits and attitudes that become ingrained in our every day and that ultimately shape our destiny.

Effective CONVERSATIONS for effective leadership

Leadership is about relationships, and relationships are enacted through conversations. While keynote speeches and performance reviews can play a role in business transformation, chance encounters at the water cooler can be just as important as opportunities to influence and engage. Influence, not authority, is a more sustainable way to get things done. The quantity and quality of conversations – as well leaders’ ability to listen – defines the quality of the relationship.