The Leaders’ Roadmap for Selecting & Managing Change & Innovation in Turbulent Times Sujoy Banerjee, President – Group HR & OD
We cannot predict the future. But we can create it. Uncertainty, Chaos, Turbulence, Change ….but some still thrive and become great!
Presentation Flow:• Section I : – Myths & Realities of Leadership – Leadership Framework in Turbulent Times – Poll 1• Section II : – 10x Leaders – Traits of 10xers – Poll 2• Section III : – Leadership in Indian Companies
Myths & Realities about Leaders• Myth: Successful leaders in turbulent and chaotic business environment are bold and risk seeking visionaries. They are speedier than the rest.• Realities : Most successful leaders do not have visionary ability to predict the future. They observe what worked, figured out why it worked and built upon proven foundations. They are not more risk taking, more bold, more visionary & more creative. They are more disciplined, more empirical and more paranoid. They figure out when to go fast and when not to.
Leading in Turbulent Times• In times of turbulence, the temptation is to seek safety by focusing on what can be controlled.• Looking inwards and acting “defensively” to avoid damage and minimize risks.
Leadership Framework for being successful inturbulent times….• Leaders need to stay alert to market conditions, competitor behavior and client/customer needs.• Leaders need to consider what value-creating opportunities are generated by the turbulence itself – weaker competitors offer attractive expansion potential as what may be bargain prices; new markets, products & services may be created as a consequence of turbulence.• Leading in turbulence entails being seen to lead, keeping up an active external presence, staying connected. Passive leadership won’t generate growth and may imperil survival.• Leaders need to demonstrate internally & externally that uncertainty creates opportunities and that a well-led organization pursues value creation in good times and bad.
Leadership Framework for being successful in turbulent times….• Leaders need to drive their organizations to continue to invest in financial and human resources to capitalize on the opportunities they generate.• Leaders must encourage entrepreneurial and innovative behavior so that organization can take risks – even though it is easy to believe that all risks are bad in turbulent times.• Emphasizing revenue growth in addition to whatever cost reductions may be appropriate is crucial and means supporting new initiatives. “No organization ever saved their way to growth”.• A common reaction to business turbulence is to cut budgets & postpone planned initiatives. Often such paralyses creates even greater organizational damage. Agility and responsiveness to market fluctuations are very critical while maintaining the momentum of core activities that protect the long term.
Leadership Framework for being successful in turbulent times….• Organizations also need to be able to make decisions when the future is even more uncertain. Leaders must create an organization – wide capability to maintain execution and at the same time create strategic options.• Accountability and empowerment should be pushed down to the lowest level of the organization as the decisions at the levels closest to market conditions are the best ways to manage ambiguity.• During turbulent times leaders must be able to demonstrate to their teams and to each other the emotional & personal benefits of being part of the organization. This especially should be focused towards “high – performing / high-potential’ talent who will otherwise be the first one to leave the company.
Leadership Framework for being successful in turbulent times….• Leaders must maintain focus & discipline – to remain focused on the cause as well stay committed to what they believe is right.• A conviction of “Together, we can do it”… an optimistic confidence is what the leader must create in the team.• The leader must not only be obsessive about discipline & focus but must also demonstrate flexibility – must maintain the openness to changing directions in turbulent times. Flexibility is neither indecision nor inconsistency rather it is a strength that allows a leader to respond to changed circumstances or new understanding with changed thinking.• Leaders in turbulent times must avoid conveying stress & anxiety to others.
Poll 1:Successful leaders in turbulent and chaotic business environment are bold and riskseeking visionaries. They are speedier than the rest.TrueFalse
Poll 2:Choose the most appropriate option:1. Leaders need to……… a) Stay alert to Market Conditions, Competitor Behavior and Client / Customer Needs. b) Need to understand what value creating opportunities are created by turbulence c) Emphasize on Cost-Reduction and hold back innovationQuestion: i. All three are applicable ii. Only a & b are applicable iii. Only a & c are applicable iv. Only b & c are applicable v. All are not applicable
Leaders we need…..• In the turbulent and ever-changing economic environment in which are we are operating now, it’s particularly critical to have ambidextrous leaders who can simultaneously manage both the tangible and the intangible and balance both short-term and long-term pressures and strategies.
10X Leaders…….those who build 10X Companies• On the one hand, 10Xers understand that they face continuous uncertainty and that they cannot control, and cannot accurately predict, significant aspects of the world around them. On the other hand, 10xers reject the idea that forces outside their control or chance events will determine their results; they accept full responsibility for their own fate.
10X Leaders………………• Fanatic Discipline keeps 10X enterprises on track….• Empirical Creativity keeps them vibrant• Productive Paranoia keeps them alive• Passionate Ambition provides inspired motivation.
Fanatic Discipline….• 10Xers display extreme consistency of action – consistency with values, goals, performance standards and methods. They are utterly relentless, monomaniacal, unbending in their focus on their quests.• For 10x leaders the only legitimate form of discipline is self-discipline, having the inner will to do whatever it takes to create a great outcome, no matter how difficult.
Empirical Creativity…………..• When faced with uncertainty, 10xers do not look primarily to other people, conventional wisdom, authority figures or peers for direction; they look primarily to empirical evidence. They rely upon direct observation, practical experimentation and direct engagement with tangible evidence. They make their bold creative moves from a sound empirical base.• The 10xers by virtue of having a much deeper empirical foundation for their decisions and actions, have a well-rounded confidence.
Productive Paranoia………..• 10xers maintain hyper vigilance, stay highly tuned to changes & threats in their environment, even when – especially when – all’s going well. They assume conditions will turn against them, at possibly the worst possible moment. They channel their fear and worry into action, preparing, developing contingency plans, building buffers and maintaining large margins of safety.
Passionate Ambition• 10x leaders are incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the cause, for the company, for the work and not themselves.• 10x leaders never defined themselves by money and power, they defined themselves by impact, contribution and purpose.
• 10x leaders accept without complaint, that they face forces beyond their control, that they cannot accurately predict events and that nothing is certain; yet they utterly reject the idea that luck, chaos or any other external factor will determine whether they succeed or fail……
Leadership Capabilities that have been critical for leadership of Indian Companies in recent times….• Vision & Strategy – Shared Values & Vision – Strategic Thinking – Drive to innovate – Taking advantage of growth – Aspirational goals.• Organizational Architecture – Building the leadership team – Talent Management – Responsibility and empowerment – Creating a culture – Overcoming adversity – Workplace diversity
Leadership Capabilities that have been critical for leadership of Indian Companies in recent times….• Personal Qualities – Leading from the front – Transparency & Communication – Maintaining good human relations – Managing the regulatory environment – Working with the owning families* Wharton – National HRD Network Study : The DNA of Indian Business Leadership
10 Commandments for Leaders inTurbulent Times…..• Be honest with yourself• Be Visible• Tell it like it is• Be Clear• Stick to Plan A wherever possible• Be Tough• Use confidence to create confidence• Balance enthusiasm and experience• Seize the opportunities• Learn to cultivate peripheral vision.