Helen Soulsby, Managing Partner, APAC
All That Matters 2019 may have concluded but the speakers on my panel, “Game Changers – What It Takes to Lead Organisations through Change” are still out there redefining leadership. A great debate and while its impossible to cite all of the ‘nuggets’ shared by the wonderful panel; here are five themes highlighted as essential for leading through change …
1. Address any disconnect between company culture and strategy
Employee behaviour and direction are driven by company culture and strategy. If we demand innovation, then it needs to be supported by a company culture that allows for room to fail and learn from mistakes. We need to make sure that our organisation structure can fluidly adapt to changes in the business environment.
“Though we cannot expect everyone to have the same appetite for change, we can still foster a mindset of ‘sure, let’s try’.”
2. Transactional & tactical skills are not enough for transformation
A traditional ‘top-down’ approach is not going to cut it when going through change and indeed into the future. A transformational leader facilitates intersecting spheres of conversations, learning and actions – each with their own leaders. The leader acknowledges that they do not know it all and has the humility to learn from their employees. He or she also empowers them to take ownership and celebrate their ideas and achievements. However they must ensure support and time for employees whose natural instinct is to ‘wait until directed ‘ to adapt
3. Knowing employees beyond a headcount really pays off
Getting to know people in the company on a personal level gives us insight on what truly matters to them. People have very different motivators so appealing to them specifically with different initiatives increases the chances of them staying with us through change. The future of leadership in a constantly changing world will have a huge focus on really understanding humans!
4. Be prepared to answer more why’s than how’s
Employees are increasingly conditioned to think critically and leaders will have to be prepared to answer questions with clarity and honesty.
“We will get better buy-in if we ‘fess up’ in times of difficulty and collectively seek for solutions because employees will appreciate the frankness.”
Through change, employees need to know where they are going, what their role is in it and importantly, why they are doing it.
5. Be authentic
Authenticity in leadership breeds trust and confidence; it makes it easy for people to follow you. Being authentic was overwhelmingly the most important trait cited by our panel in managing change – now and into the future.
About the Author
Managing Partner, APAC
T: +65 9061 1411