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How leaders get results in a dynamic environment

Vishal Awal
Vishal Awal
Executive Director - Services, Xerox South Asia
Vishal has around 20 years of experience in business development, key account management and glob... more>>
Quite a few large organizations in the world are on the verge of a significant growth journey in the midst of an internal transformation. The overall health of an organization is shaped by the external market forces as well as the internal turmoil that influence its long term destiny.
Sometimes, in order to make fundamental changes in the organizational culture, strong leadership talent is sourced from outside. The leader is required to un-freeze the status quo, and to provide direction and impetus towards business growth.For a leader, this presents a challenging but also an exciting opportunity to prove his/her leadership mettle.
Like any other business initiative, for a transformation to be successful, results – short, medium and long term – are key. These results act not only as progress-meters but also as motivators for faster growth.
The first step towards achieving the results starts with establishing a great sense of urgency. Not doing this well leads to failure of many a transformational efforts in the first phase itself. It takes passionate leaders, not managers, to make the employees feel dissatisfied with the status quo.It takes leaders, not managers, to take bold, albeit risky decisions towards a march into a greater realm of possibilities.
This is accompanied by setting a vision which involves analyzing the market & competitive realities, identifying major opportunities and selecting the right team. The team may not have previous industry or functional experience but must have the ability to see the big picture. It should have the aptitude and attitude to appreciate how their decisions affect the overall organizational performance.Communicating this vision regularly through formal and informal channels is critical towards ensuring initial organizational alignment.
It is also important to empower the employees to act upon the vision. Here, the leader acts as an example and as a guiding force removing the obstacles,and works upon changing whatever undermines this vision. Often this involves being decisive and taking calculated risks in the face of uncertainty.
Next, the leader plans to achieve short term wins which could motivate and bring a senses of realism towards the vision.Identification of the opportunities which could deliver these wins becomes key.Sometimes,even when things do not go according to plan, the leader uses the bad business results to catch people’s attention and convince them to change.
Once the team gets the confidence through the short term wins, the leader then accelerates the pace using the well earned credibility judiciously. This enables a leader to further delegate with higher accountability. In return, the team learns the leader’s “big bets” mindset and starts displaying the leader’s strategic thinking in their actions establishing a holistic business perspective.
The long term results are only seen once the change is institutionalized and anchored in the organization. However, to ensure sustained results, the leader focuses on succession planning, and the discovery and establishment of a good successor marks the end of a successful transformation.

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