Legendary management consultant rightly said that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast.’ And the same holds true for organizations that leapfrog into digital transformation while ignoring the two most important ingredients- leadership and culture
Leadership and culture are the most often overlooked ingredients of tech transformation. A layer of transformation driven by leadership and culture is critical to the success of tech transformation. For this, it is important for organizations to identify the critical aspects necessary for a successful tech transformation, understand the role of leadership in driving tech transformation, and know how they can make transformation inclusive for the most important stakeholder- the employees.
In one such panel discussion at TechHR Singapore, Manish Verma, Asia Pacific Regional HR Leader, Cargill, will share his thoughts on the importance of leaders being drivers of the transformation agenda.
In an exclusive interaction with People Matters, Manish gives a brief snapshot as to what can leaders do to foster a culture which facilitates transformation.
What are the key points leaders need to keep in mind while designing a digital transformation agenda for their organizations?
I think each leader who is designing digital transformation for their organization must clearly articulate the following: defining “why” i.e. defining the value the organization is going to benefit.
He must also get the top of the house as a sponsor with commitment and ownership of goals and ambitions, including funding/investment.
Then he needs to keep in mind the approach for deployment including team, transformation or agile way of doing. Lastly, he needs to build change and adoption capability as well as facilitate the adoption of the new operating model.
What can leaders do to foster a culture which facilitates transformation and innovation?
Culture is extremely important to facilitate change and especially critical for transformation/ innovation, here are my pointers on what a leader should do to foster the culture –
• Leading and setting an example on change
• Collaboration tools and approaches to foster change, innovation, creativity, and transformation
• Combine (and promote) disruptive thinking with institutional knowledge that helped the organization to win in the market
• Create capacity to think and a safety net for them to try and fail, celebrate failure/learning
In today’s dynamically changing world, what are the key skills a leader needs to imbibe to deliver?
In VUCA world, leaders need to have the following skills and demonstrate all the time:
• Be a change agent- always
• Vision and direction
• High learning agility
• High systems thinking to make interconnections
• Simplicity for moving fast and
• Be the organization’s compass
What are the key things should leaders keep in mind while looking for and hiring digital talent?
These days, almost all digital transformation starts with culture and a digital culture attracts talent.
‘Having a reputation as a successful digital or transformational leader is a magnet for talent.’
Millennials are generally drawn to digital change and of course companies, with their promise of a collaborative, creative environment and greater autonomy. It’s no wonder that websites such as LinkedIn.com and Glassdoor.com are increasingly used by job seekers to get insiders’ perspectives on a company’s culture.
In today’s fast-changing world of work, what are the key challenges faced by leaders in the APAC region?
APAC is a growing region and there are many challenges a leader faces here. The first one is balancing global needs vs local nuances. We always have to be recruiting and retaining – pipelining on our minds. Then again building Asian talent for global positions is yet another challenge. So is the decision between cost vs investment in the region.