Every Company Will Face Digital Disruption. This Is How To Respond
Be Like Tom Brady, Fear not Disruption. Plan to defend and respond by Becoming a Disruptor.
There is a lot to learn fromTom Brady’s come from behind Super Bowl win. Digital Transformation’s impending disruption will appear to many company’s like being down 27-3 at halftime. Disruption must be met with courage, experience, skill, and leadership. Digital Transformation leaders see the market’s competitors, have an innate will to win, and an over pronounced never give up attitude.
This article serves as a Digital Transformation Guide and uses NEC's Successful Digital Transformation as a case study. NEC's Digital Transformation was based on,
- Vision cast at the beginning of the Cloud Era,
- Recognition that Internet Protocol (IP) was an open systems based operating system for internal networks,
- Prediction that the network industry market would require a TurnKey Solutions and Services Provider,
- Expectation that the market would require a vertical market solutions portfolio,
- Belief that network IP treated as an open systems operating system would be best served by a LifeCycle Services Practice that meets all inter networking needs of customers.
All Digital Transformations are,
- Outcomes Based on a new Digital Method that Places a Company into a New, Defendable Market Position,
- Results that are delivered under a new business model
- Digital Growth that is Rapid.
This article addresses,
- How To Identify Digital Transformation Leaders,
- Why Great Transformation Leaders develop a Transformation Culture,
- Utilizes NEC's perilous, successful Digital Transformation,
- Identifies Key Transformation Leadership skills,
- Describes a Conductive Transformation Leadership Style,
- Outlines Communications Requirements,
- Defines an Effective Transformation Decision Making Process.
Digitally Transforming a company is high stakes chess that requires,
- Ability to See the Big Picture,
- Ability to See Outcome / End Game,
- Ability to Quickly Determine Sense and Nonsense,
- Ability to Think Strategically and Act Tactically,
- Ability to Link Strategy, Tactics, and Actions into a Cohesive Plan,
- An Instinct that Accurately Predicts Emerging Market Requirements,
- An Intuition about Effective Operating Models,
- An Understanding and Demand for Action over Activity,
- Diplomacy that Fosters Strong Customer, partner, and vendor alliance Relationships,
- An Innate, Passionate Desire to Lead companies to New Ground.
Great Digital Transformation Leaders have Justified Confidence earned through getting lots of help, listening carefully, and making decisions strictly tied to Outcome requirements. The are informed, curious, decisive, think things through to their conclusion, and are not daunted by obstacles.
Digital Disruption is now. Companies are highly dependent on finding Effective Digital Transformation Leaders to respond to pending disruption. Unfortunately Skilled Digital Transformation Leaders are scarce.
Digital Transformation Leadership Characteristics,
- 50/50 Balanced Left and Right Brain thinking,
- Intellect and Instinct,
- Charismatic and Evangelistic Communicators,
- “Rubrics Cube Detail” orientation, Stringing Facts into Evolving Patterns and New Stories,
- Able to define Sense and Nonsense when Listening, Communicating, and Setting Priorities,
- Action Oriented, culling out activity base effort,
- Market and Technology Savvy,
- Flexible and Adaptable.
Experienced Digital Transformation Leaders are rare. Few companies have been forced to transform business models, and digital itself is a (2) decades young and just gaining steam.
Successful Digital Transformers tell their company story in a compelling manner conveying pride and a deep, personal understanding of the challenges faced, the responsive enthusiastic spirit of participants, the critical decisions made, and the moments impacts were felt.
Their stories identify defining moments demonstrating insights, substance, and complexities faced. While every company is different, Transformer skills, processes, and tools are transferable company to company.
- Digital Transformation Leadership Experience/ Process and Tool Knowledge,
- Company Transformation Processes (every phase from Strategy to Outcome),
- Facilitation Leadership (Meta Planning),
- Strategic Intent and Strategic Characterization Matrix Investment Models,
- Company Financial Management, Direct P&L/s, Finance & Planning, General Accounting, SEC, and Sarbanes Oxley,
- Big Picture Management, Demonstrated Experience with Multiple Business Lines (LOBs) & Corporate Disciplines providing full domain experience,
- Working with and building envisioned outcome support with the Board of Directors,
- Routes To Market, Developing and Managing channels, alliances, and associations,
- Customer Facing Experience,
- Lead Negotiations Experience, Practice, Training, Certifications,
- Public Speaking, Internal and External Communications (Analysts, Press, Forums, Key Notes, Employee Meetings).
Digital Transformation’s are collaborative efforts. Leadership Skills and Experience are valueless without the ability to impact Company Culture. Company culture is key to success. A Company Culture Plan is a key Digital Transformation component. Digital Transformation Cultures,
- Action Based Decision Making,
- High Ethical Standards,
- Dependable, Predictable Leadership,
- Contagious Enthusiasm,
- Mission, Role, and Outcome Clarity,
- Personnel, Personal Investment,
- Desire to Compete and Win,
- Highly Valued Sense of Purpose throughout the company.
For further background on Digital Transformation, Please see my other LinkedIn articles, “What is the Cloud and where did it come from” to understand Digital, article, “How to Spot Digital Transformation Opportunities” to understand assessing Digital Markets, “Why 95% of Digital Transformations are Doomed to Failure” to understand Digital Obstacles, and “Effective Digital Management” to understand how to conduct Digital Transformations.
Digital Transformation Disruption is inevitable and could very well wreck havoc on many companies.
In a Time where cars are becoming self drivers, Digital disruptions impact on the American Economy isn't yet clear, but Digital knows no bounds in Free Markets and its reach is global. Digital will enter the US from outside its borders.
AI, IOT, Cognitive Software, and Digital Applications are under massive, rapid innovation while Cloud Technologies are expanding global reach. Companies will adapt by gaining competitive advantages or, Companies will die for failing to execute successful Digital Transformations.
Today’s Digital Transformation Market Disruption will grow quickly, culling out companies of all shapes and sizes within every business sector. The last decade featured Leaders with “turn-around-cost-cutting capabilities”. Companies cannot cut their way to growth. Today Companies need Leader’s with transformation capabilities to drive innovative growth through new digital business models.
Companies need fully engaged employees operating in a high performance culture. Today’s Tech Savvy employees demand an unprecedented culture of collaboration and trust with their boss to deliver high performance results. They crave interaction with leadership. Employees demand that leaders actively enable their performance and reward the company with high performance when their needs are met. Employees that band together in a clear direction with contagious enthusiasm, delight customers and partners deliver success.
Protecting a company facing Digital Disruption requires changing the way a company participates in the market. Few existing company cultures are well tuned to wading through transformation and thus require a cultural transformation.
I have been involved with several Digital Transformations ranging from “water boy” to CEO and learned (3) things that define Digital Transformation success,
- A leaders Digital Transformation skills,
- A company culture that supports Digital Transformation,
- An authentic and Defendable Market Digital Transformation Outcome.
Case Study: The Telephony market and NEC serve as an excellent case study for Digital Transformation.
- In 2005, I correctly predicted the Telephony Market would soon face massive Digital Disruption similar to the Computing Industry’s “Open Systems” Transformation Disruption. Disruption has a history of bringing carnage to the largest market players. Telecom market conditions were showing signs that Telephony’s Big Four, Avaya, NEC, Nortel, and Siemens would face survivability trouble.
- I’d witnessed and participated firsthand the disruption carnage of DEC, Wang, and Bull, and calculated that similar Digital Disruption would wreck carnage on Telephony’s Big Four manufacturers. I sensed a defining moment was at hand and decided to embark NEC on a Digital Transformation.
- Carnage came to Telecom. The other Big (3) Companies circled their wagons around enterprise customers and failing to distinguish downturn from disruption they went into “protect mode”. Smaller Telephony players grew by picking up Mid Sized and Small customers from the “protect mode” companies who shifted strategy and coverage to the channel.
- This missed market assessment created catastrophic results. Small and SMB Sectors were the growth Sectors. “Protect Mode” companies strategically and operationally missed the sector’s growth and evolution importance. They left themselves dependent on an Enterprise Customer Base that didn't drive enough upgrade revenues to support their long term viability. Their course didn't provided sustainable profit margins. Enterprise Customers are highly skilled at shrinking vendor profit margins.Technology replacement’s are “ForkLifts” which bring in competitors creating an indefensible customer base.
Reacting to a "Down Turn" versus "Disruption" created a death spiral.
- Small Telephony’s merged (Mitel/ InterTel) and Grew (ShoreTel) by focusing on Mid Size and Small Customer Segments , (2) and of the original Big (4) are gone (Nortel, Siemens), (1) is in Chapter 11 (Avaya), and (1) Thrives (NEC). Telephony Providers experienced the same carnage computing experienced. Today only NEC is a healthy surviving Big Player.
NEC’s Digital Transformation,
- NEC’s mission would become a vertical market based services and solutions company based on the vision that Internet Protocol (IP) could be treated as an open operating system for inter networks.
- NEC would become the Market’s first Choice for Inter Network Applications,
- A “Total Solutions Provider” for simple and complex network applications,
- A Lifecycle Professional Services Company featuring Net Work Consulting, Systems Integration, Implementation, Management, and Support services,
- A value Add conductor of Trusted Advisor Channels,
- A company whose DNA fosters future transformation requirements.
- Holistically overhauling the company from a manufacturing and distribution company into the market’s preferred professional services and solutions company would support NEC’s ability to protect its current base and add net new customers during a declining market,
- Building a massive, diversified solutions portfolio would extend market reach and deliver maximum skills and capability flexibility to trending network technologies and market requirements.
(3) Strategic goals,
- Protect current revenue streams by carefully harvesting resources from dying revenues,
- Utilize Harvested P&L to reposition company for growth by redeploying assets,
- Place NEC in a defendable new category within its market.
New Business Model / Operating Plan,
- NEC would adopt the “Total Solutions” model adding third party network solutions and vertical market value add applications under our services capabilities,
- NEC would develop integrated consulting, solutions, and implementation practices designed for specific industry verticals along with key horizontal practices that could go wherever the market went,
- NEC would establish a Transformation Core Group composed of industry and solution GMs responsible for evaluating, building, and delivering new solutions. This group would reside in sales (not marketing) so as to drive sales by under a shared quota and compensation system. Additionally SME and Project Managers would also reside in this group to be staff out by Sales versus Services ensuring availability and profitability alignment,
- Channel Teams would shed sales people in exchange for engineers, architects, pricers, TC’s and SE’s operating in a mobile “JIT” scheme and be free to channel partners,
- NEC’s Channel organizations would leave the forecasting business and enter the sales support business, freeing resellers from the cost of employing these skills in exchange for hiring more NEC sales personal.
- NEC’s Channel would become and extension of NEC’s workforce and fully participate in education, support, new technologies and solutions portfolio development and customer delivery.
- Channel Partners would become preferred subcontractors receiving skill based business revenue streams from NEC.
A good Financial plan tells a story. It has a beginning, middle, and end. Properly built and managed it is the language of Digital Transformation.
- “End Game Strategies”,
- “Strategic Characterization Matrix”,
- A new tool named “Line of Business Analysis” to determine our detailed financial plan,
- NEC's plan was designed to measure and capture every stage and result of the Transformation,
- The financial plan became a tool that helped manage transformation decision making,
Final Plan Requirements,
- Understanding our true GP at the lowest group level provided the clarity needed to rank “things” we sold from highest to lowest GP,
- LOB Analysis created the business “harvesting clarity” needed to redeploy assets,
- Established our ability to micro manage our business decline producing the least harmful short term results,
- Able to fund new growth opportunities inside the current P&L,
- Meet objectives by strategically linked savings to new initiatives,
- Education investment in current employees saved severance and replacement recruitment that typical add 30% to year (1) new opportunity employee cost.
- Adopting third party value add applications provided rapid portfolio development with little investment,
- New Portfolio supported by new job descriptions, configuration tools, compensation plans, and resources gave the company a fast start on success,
- Within 18 months NEC was recognized for its best of breed industry and technology based solutions; earning top rankings with InfoTech, Gartner, and Yankee Group.
- Life Cycle Company Management,
Company Readiness Assessment,
Entering the Digital Transformation disruption is heightened or lessened by a company’s current market situation. Transformation Leaders understand their company’s current position as starting point from which they drive evolution. NEC was in trouble at the very time we predicted pending Digital Disruption,
- NEC lost 50% of its revenues the (4) years before Transformation,
- NEC Faced an SEC investigation resulting in a $20M fine
- NEC's channel partners reacted competitively to NEC channel programs,
- NEC Manufacturing elected to produce "hybrid" products in the interim between Analog and Pure IP,
- NEC's measured morale was 34%,
- NEC was a Proprietary Operating System Telephony Manufacturer and Distributor,
- Cisco was a company operating without a legacy base easily winning marketshare,
- The Overall Telephony market was in a massive down turn,
- The US Financial Crisis squeezed financing for Customers,
- NEC had it's own finance / leasing company,
- The market, Channel, and Employees had lost faith in NEC.
Great Transformation Leaders are in tune with and recognize company cycle shifts. Stages have tremendous impact on Digital Transformation Operating Strategy. Within a company up and down cycles can run simultaneously by organization,
Navigating the uncharted waters of Digital Transformation requires cohesive teamwork. Leading a Company as diverse and complex (with many moving parts) like NEC through Digital Transformation required a defined decision making process. A process recognized by the company as part of our culture.
- Decisions made based on intelligence gathering and carefully listening to people who knew answers to critical questions simultaneously foster good decisions and grass roots buy-in. May Companies mistakenly ignore their people. Top down managers often seek answers to support their preconceived conclusions,
- Our assessment found we were not the exception,
- NEC needed a Culture Plan.
A company’s culture is the best predictor for success or failure. Good leaders pay careful attention to culture and have a Company Culture Plan that connects all strategic and tactical plans. The Company Culture plan is the foundation for,
- Market Style and Approach,
- Company Behavior,
- Market recognition,
- Market Attractiveness.
- Ability to recruit and train top talent,
- Create a personal connection among employees.
Culture Plans do not misplace the importance of essential employee attributes such as, resourcefulness, relentlessness, creativeness, responsiveness, proactive nature, natural confidence, or domain knowledge.
- Instead the Transformation Culture brings a new style that builds upon and delivers these attributes in a people first, enablement fashion that serves a multitude of employee behavioral thinking, social, economic, gender, and generational backgrounds.
Following the Baby Boomer generation is an emerging generation of leaders gaining attention for their “Servant Leadership” style. While baby boomer’s were raised to maturity during a period of great change and are adept at managing change, they came through a prolonged self entitlement period. Like Physicians of yesterday, they do not typically see second opinions as standard practice and sometimes operate in an omnipotent fashion driving success and change through their willful personality. The risk has been the potential “me first” personality whereby conflicting views can be mistakenly viewed as adversarial and respectful challenges are sometimes considered insubordinate. Servant Leaders view themselves as enablers who seek to understand employee requirements as a necessary component of leadership and drive success through follow-ship.
NEC’s Digital Transformation depended on (5) critical Culture fundamentals,
- Support an Action Based vs. Activity Based Culture,
- Support disruptive change,
- Support a High Performance Organization,
- Support Employees need to believe their efforts were worthwhile,
- Support future state requirements.
Building a collaborative and passionate culture was the foundation of NEC's Transformation,
- It enabled NEC to achieve a 30 point morale increase,
- Significantly improve relations with our channel partners and customers.
To execute the needed culture we worked inclusively to craft strategic and tactical initiatives and built a communications plan designed to create a collaborative, adaptable culture. Communications became Core to our Culture Management. Strategic listening became our operating mode.
Transformation Leaders are Evangelists seeking out communications opportunities, never missing an to listen and speak; using every possible communication vehicle at their disposal. Transformation Leader’s establish,
- Open, honest, dependable atmospheres,
- Whereby employee’s can count on and predict behavior
- Fosters trust and the ability to work together.
The general employee population has been treated to years of distant leaders due either to personality, time constraints, or competition for the leader’s ear. The Transformation Leader commits their will and energy to become master communicators understanding that every communication encounter forms a lasting impression and valued connection with employees. The Transformation Leader,
- A comfortable, engaging communicator,
- Utilizes a genuine“roll-up-the-sleeves” manner,
- Don’t like be handled by Staff referring to see their company through the eyes of employees, customers, partners, and competitors.
During the Telecom Industry down turn we worked closely with employees, business partners, and customers to gain their success definition requirements and established key objectives,
- Crystallize our Mission,
- Simply our Strategy,
- Value our Operating Plan
- Make our Financial process transparent,
- Stabilize the workforce,
- Inspire customer and partner confidence,
- Publicly showcase transition successes as example and for morale (makes up for inevitable public mistakes),
- Publicly Confirm we on the right path,
- Make Digital Transformation our highest priority,
- Build a High Performance Culture,
- Define, promote, and educate collaboration.
NEC needed to shift into a High Performance Culture to beat existing and emerging competitors to new ground. The theme of NEC’s 2005 Annual Company Meeting was, “We Are All In This Together”.
High Performance cultures,
- All high performing companies have collaborative climates,
- Enable employees across organizations to perform at their highest level possible,
- Understand the best employees have the option of producing their best work at another company,
- Winning in the market place starts by winning the talent war,
- Recognizing the talent war goes beyond recruiting and retention and extends to the everyday choice employees make about their individual performance.
Transparency and Integrity,
A strong Transformation Culture depends on treating employees like adults. There is no better place to start than integrity. Integrity is a 360 decree process whose report card is follow-ship and employee morale. Warren Buffett said, "I look for honest, able management". Find a board, leadership team, or company with secrets kept from one another and it is a sure bet employees, partners, and customers have a growing trust and confidence concern. Find the opposite, and time will reward that company with desired results. Leaders must demonstrate honesty by,
- Clearly communicating an understanding of the company’s assets and weakness,
- Legitimately grade focus, mission, strategic relevancy, roles, and tactical capabilities, and share results,
- Set ethical standards and provide clear, accurate performance report cards,
- Lead by example,
- Abhor hidden agendas,
- Hold themselves and others accountable.
Transformation Leadership requires an identifiable Style that signals change,
- Digital Transformation leaders are required to be change agents. Digital disruption comes at a more globally diverse, gender and generational competitive, and socially complex time whereby the employee culture melting pot demands collaboration with diversity.
- Effective Leader’ embrace varying employee and external views as valuable data to be assimilated in the company fabric.
- Leadership must reflect a new age where outlandish perks and big time egos draw new levels of ire ranging from watch dog groups – business press –and employees. All who demand to be heard and are perilously ignored.
Transformation Leaders who ensure employees are the company’s #1 asset build the required transformation environment conditions.
- Every employee must be treated with dignity and respect based on trust and constant communication,
- Leaders can not play favorites and must recognize that at the core of every organization are people who create, make, market, sell, deliver, support, measure, collect, and report – the very things customers, business partners, and Wall Street buy,
- Defining Moments occur every second as employees shape and manage the things they present to the market - offering a value proposition only they control,
- Leaders must not mistake things for people,
- Transformation Leaders must demonstrate they are proud of their company employees and brag on them like family.
Winning versus demanding Attention,
Leaders Demanding attention today is a fool’s errand creating “Emperor’s With No Clothes”. Today’s employees are,
- Constantly pulled in multiple directions,
- Stressed from dramatically increased role responsibilities,
- Juggling unprecedented personal commitments.
Recognizing the challenged lives employees face today, Leaders need to compete for employee attention and time versus dictating requirements. Forcing a single parent to choose between picking up their child on time from day care versus staying late to finish a last minute manger’s request is disrespectful. The report may get done, but motivation and morale will plunge, hurting future performance and company culture. Leaders who chose to motivate using energy and enthusiasm to gain commitment, focus, and results to create winning cultures.
Transformation Leaders believe in Earning Respect. Transformation Leaders communicate the company value, market relevancy, and sustainability of employee contribution and commitment. The Transformation Leader focuses on people first by,
- Enabling their performance,
- Identifying un-tapped capabilities and talents,
- Valuing People highest, the Transformation Leader does not treat systems and process as “intellectual Capital”,
- Use Systems and Process to support employees,
- Intensely valuing data that provides insight,
- Prefer people over tools to provide data,
- Looks to engage people in a conversational fashion preferring to meet with people versus receiving faceless electronic reports,
- Understands the horse comes before the cart, realizing it is impossible to motivate a business tool,
- know the most willing employees can be de-motivated by poor performing tools or managers who tout the tool god.
Conducive and Inclusive Relationship Management is essential to building Transformation Cultures,
- Employees spend 80% of their day, five days a week at work. Employees build relationships and depend on each other in ways the leadership team does not witness. Employees have daily rituals; coffee together in the morning or lunch together. Good Transformation Leaders drop in on these gatherings taking time to be part of the group joining in their outside work discussions. Stories told during these gatherings build bonds that connect the Transformation Leader to employees in a way that earns both the Leader and individual employee’s common ground. Exchanging glimpses into each others outside lives provides confidence that the Transformation Leader is an available, approachable listener.
Every day a team will perform a great feat that may not directly link to company key performance indicators (KPIs). Transformation Leaders get into the plumbing to understand these accomplishments, knowing they are the foundation to company results.
Transformation CEOs actively find ways to reward their teams; personally delivering pizza to the team or requesting the team stand and be recognized by the whole company during employee meetings.
Transformation Leadership Requires Stamina and High Energy,
- Digital Transformation is not for the feint of Heart. Transformation Leaders run business marathons with high energy and personal productivity. Transformation Leaders are,
- Take the time to involve those not in their schedule,
- Routinely create a relaxed atmospheres for Q&A solicit company suggestions,
- Creates small group meetings, not mixing mangers and non mangers.
Transformation CEOs focus on Executive Bonding,
Successful Digital Transformations have a heightened dependency on The Senior Executive Team. Fiefdoms, Silos, and Politics kill Digital Transformations. Each Executive from CFO to Head of Sales has an organizational role that often conflicts with a peer. These accomplished and powerful leaders are thrown into Transformation dealings everyday. Their actions and reactions determine integrated coordination or chaos. The Transformation Leader understands that if executives can not work together and depend on each other, the rank and file has little chance of operating collaboratively.
- If the rank and file employee spends 80% of their time five days a week on the job, the senior executive spends 90% of their time six days a week focused on work.
- Although more skilled at multi tasking, crisis management, and conditioned to grinding, the Transformation Leader recognizes that executive managers hide the fact they have fear and are under stress.
- Knowing that executive level positions and roles are often better suited to creating conflict among one another, the Transformation Leader realizes,
- Basic relationship building is not enough to establish a comfortable environment,
- Continuously creates opportunities for the senior executive team to bond. Traditional “come to Jesus meetings” between conflicting executives are replaced with impromptu activities like golf.
Every CEO has two primary modes,
The Transformation CEO must Implement and Champion productivity principles for each mode by,
- Building Cohesive senior management teams that prides itself on collaboration, coordination, problem determination, and problem resolution,
- Creating Conditions a culture whereby employees and managers can count on and predict company behavior,
- Understanding leadership is responsible for creating and maintaining trust,
- Recognizing how fragile trust is in the work place.
Stewardship Mode is utilized when a company is hitting on all it's metric cylinders. Transformation Leader’s adopt a Stewardship mode that recognizes metric and innovative performance showing gratitude during up times; praising and rewarding all involved. It is easier to govern during up cycles. Transformation Leaders use this time to create strong follow-ship.
The Transformation Leadership Mode is deployed when a company is unable to innovate it's way to success.
- Engaging new ideas from the grass roots to the Senior Executive team; embracing the ideas of employees, partners, customers, analysts, and consultants,
- The Transformation Leader recognizes that there is no better tool for gaining respect than to request someone’s thoughts and opinions… thanking someone and asking them what they would do next are everyday actions of a Transformation Leader.
There are a great number of factors contributing to the up curve period stemming from internal company and external market realities making the up curve period somewhat unpredictable.
The Transformation leader builds emotional intelligence within the management team to prepare for down cycles,
- Like stored nuts for the coming winter season, the Transformation Leader implements a dependable culture platform designed to protect collaboration, go-forward decision making, and employee morale in troubled times,
- The Leader that changes tone under pressure promotes failure,
- The Leader who champions a positive, can-do culture and picks up the company tempo inspires greater results,
- Preparing for the worse, the Transformation Leader can count on the company’s strong culture to deliver the company’s best results regardless of cycle.
Transformation Leaders Install a special brand of Decision Making throughout their Company to foster rapid Transformations that,
- Get on track,
- Stay on track,
- Arrive at Outcome safely.
Every Digital Transformation decision made has defining moment qualities. Good company wide decisions start by,
- Understanding how key players think
- Ensuring all employees feel valued at all times,
- Features enters Action Based Decision Making versus activities that go nowhere,
- “Defining Moment” Decision Making Analysis,
- Delegation Levels of Authority,
- Clear path up the chain for rapid support and response.
Brain Orientation is a critical observation that requires a clear management capability,
- Thinking Styles play a key role is transformation outcome and success,
- Left and Right brain thinking styles typical represent various organizationals and their Organizational Heads.
Transformation Leaders must be able to,
- Blend and balance organization thinking,
- Ensure department heads are equally valued,
- Ensure information is understood by all,
- Ensure Actions make sense
- Create a well balanced Outcome.
All Companies are comprised of nature’s engineers and accountants; salesman and marketers. Leaders may be left or right brained oriented themselves. Great Transformation Leaders’s functionally possess both orientations. The Transformation Leader understands,
- Preferred language of thinking styles,
- Acts as a thinking style translator,
- Builds consensus,
- Establishes commitment to Action.
Decision Making Responsibilities and Delegation,
- Transformation Leaders resist the urge to become self involved, instead demonstrate support and install confidence within the organization to tackle decisions by,
- Incorporating decision making principles they champion and govern to enable decision makers at all levels,
- Adopting a review process to ensure that expected decision outcome is consistent with company culture, strategic, and tactical plans,
- Relying on People and Promoting Decision Making Principles versus controlling the decision process,
- Touting Good Decision results,
- Providing a support platform foe decision makers by communicating to gain grass roots implementation buy-in,
- Ensuring decision making is an action oriented activity,
- Driving out stalemates (kiss of death to transformation),
- Establishing a fluid employee engagement path to higher levels of authority,
- Ensuring people are heard and not stifled,
- Routinely drop in unscheduled on group meetings to show support and gain detailed understandings.
Transformation’s (3) Basic Functional Decisions ,
Every Day Decisions,
Rank and File Managers and employees make instant decisions which impact the internal and external company experience, Every decision meets up with other employees, partners, and customers shaping the company’s market perception. Effective Management Provides,
- The empowered means to solving thousands of daily problems,
- Recognition that the enemy are actual competitors, not other employees,
- Collaboration that is the fastest and most rewarding path to results,
- Praise drives and rewards team results.
Middle Management Decisions / Black and White Complex Decisions are Straight Forward decisions supported by experience and skills falling within their organizational span of responsibility,
- Standards and Precedents are understood,
- Metric Management is the primary responsibility.
- Senior Management deals with high complexity decisions,
- The Transformation CEO recruits a highly cable leadership team.
Senior Managers deal with Non Standard and Precedent Setting Decisions,
- The “C” level team typically require only a CEO sounding board and implementation support,
- CEOs avoid stepping on their senior team’s toes and undermining confidence and collaboration,
- Transformation CEOs Deploy a “Rubrics Cube” decision making process to assist the decision maker,
- Helping by sounding out and analyzing risk-reward outcome scenarios,
- Helping out by evaluating cross organization capabilities and determining organizational alignment and operating dependancies against market forces,
- Ensures collaboration by other organization heads,
- Promotes executive buy-in by considering the market advantages and disadvantages that organizational leaders need to plan(s) for during implementation and ongoing management,
- Assists the executive decision maker’s need to gain support by setting peer support expectations,
- Establishes other organization milestones while holding the decision maker accountable for results.
CEO Decisions, the Gray Complex Decisions,
The Transformation CEO deals with the gray area, most difficult decisions every company faces. Every CEO knows that the issues placed on their doorstep have the most to fear, but the Transformation Leader recognizes these decisions as,
- Daily tests of their morale compass, legacy, and macro impact on their company, the lives of employees, partners, and customers,
- These tests come their way because the decision has no historical foundation, profoundly impact the company, and typically can be argued in equal competing, compelling views.
- Making these decisions is not for the faint of heart - no MBA curriculum addresses these challenges. Sense, Logic, and commitment to stated outcome serve as decision foundation,
- The Transformation Leader routinely goes out on a limb for the greater good of the company,
- Has the fortitude to decide and lead through the unknown,
- Understands these decisions are thorny,
- Recognizes complex decisions are not testosterone fuel, but are a true test of their own value,
- Seizes the Public nature of these decisions to strengthen follow-ship.
When the CEO Vision, Company Energy, and Great Decision Making all Come together the company is rewarded with the ability to conduct the Digital Outcome. The best tools at the Transformation CEO's Leader’s disposal are,
- Their ability to see what others do not see until too late,
- Passion and Ability to create a contagious atmosphere for success,
- Ability to paint a compelling desirable outcome,
- Ability to simply simply articulate and be understood,
- Create rewarding roles for all involved,
- Implement an Action versus Activity Based Culture.
- Transformation Leader’s recognize that Transformation is a rubrics cube of complexity that requires organizational alignment and Operational excellence through,
- Detailed planning and determined outcome execution,
- Constant engagement every facet of the company testing its collaboration links and gaps
- Demand optimum performance,
- Never operate in a vacuum; they work hard to spend time outside their own office choosing to continuously seek out others to help them study and learn their company and products every day,
- Strive to never let complacent into their company,
- Demand that they stay in touch with their company, customers, and competitors,
- See their company and its solutions / products through the eyes of others,
- Deploy a contagious, enthusiastic "Roll up the Sleeves" approach, a winning culture, and fun place to work.
Transformation create Tension and require Tension Management. Nothing ever goes as planned.
- Build and protect atmospheres that create a positive collaborative environments,
- Enable people across the company to commit, collaborate, exceed, and laugh a little,
- Recognize the Transformation work environment is filled with a certain amount of natural tension,
- Understand that unnecessary additional tension is a long term cancer,
- Transformations Leaders recognize that a company that laughs together works together. Transformation Leaders know there is no better medicine than laughter to cure differences, issues, and petty jealousies that penetrate the work place.
Conclusion: Theres’s an old adage, “Horses for Courses”. Transformation is a unique track requiring specialty CEOs with instinct for,
- Digital Disruption Awareness,
- Skills for jockeying companies into winning positions,
- Competitive drive to win big,
- Intelligence to determine defendable market positions,
- Emotional IQ to create supporting company cultures.
Today’s Digital Disruption will quickly grow and cull out companies,
- Of all shapes and sizes
- Within every business industry,
- Within every business category,
- Domestic and Foreign.
Today’s employees demand an unprecedented culture of collaboration and trust with their boss to deliver High Performance results.
- Employees crave interaction with leadership,
- Employees demand that leaders actively enable their performance,
- Employees reward the company with high performance when their needs are met.
Companies that band together,
- In a clear direction with contagious enthusiasm,
- Grow by delighting customers and earn new found success.
- Increased company asset valuation by 12%,
- Grew Revenue 150%,
- Grew Profit 166%
- Grew Market Share 7% during a 2% Industry Down Turn,
- Upgraded Employee Morale by 60 basis points,
- Dominant Market Share in Health and Higher Education Verticals,
- Produced Today's presence as leading Digital Provider.