There are two key things that must be considered when organisations are transitioning into new ways of working :
1) Has the change improved the employees’ experience and helped them develop?
2) Has the change improved the business by enabling fast and safe delivery whilst adding value to the customers?
Without the above two conditions being satisfied for every step taken towards transformation, the entire process becomes devoid of positive outcomes. Decidedly, a series of inconvenient and detrimental after effects would occur due to this lack of focus (with regards to fulfilling the criteria), resulting in uncertainty and frustration for the company.
Implementing change can be excruciatingly tedious and difficult, thus it is easy to forget or omit the purpose of the transformation itself. Furthermore, unnecessary amounts of ambiguity may be present. And ambiguity occurs when :
- There are new roles added,
- An existing role is mapped into a dissimilar one,
- Processes and tools have been changed,
- There are new coaches, training programs, etc.
Ultimately — ‘real’ working time may seem quite scarce, as some may say that they are being ‘pulled in multiple directions’. It’s certain that more reasons exist, although the above are the most common.
So how does one present themselves as a transformational leader to enable and champion change through inspiration, implementing change in tandem with the organisation’s direction, whilst simultaneously keeping the morale,motivation and performance of the team high?
The Boundary Conditions
In the context of computing a ‘boundary condition’ is often used when dealing with the designing, testing and proving of algorithms (as well as the implementation of said algorithms). When designing or testing an algorithm, paying attention to the ‘boundaries’ of the input is a must.
You may be wondering how exactly this correlates to the subject at hand. A simple answer is that employing these conditions will always be handy in certain scenarios. These could be conditions around values and behaviors, capabilities and competencies, tools, techniques, and processes. Some of these conditions are static and some some of these conditions change as we make progress and have fresh set of problems to solve.
An application of boundary conditions would be to utilise them as additional criteria that can further shape and give substance to an organisation’s transformation process.
The To Be’s
To-Be visions are very important in the stage of post-transformation as they set a guideline with regards to the course of action necessary for the evolution of the team. A key aspect of these visions is their relevancy in enabling change, therefore, they should be centered around key areas that will be relevant post-transformation, such as people, process(es), and technology. This exercise helps setting high and reasonable goals for the team we lead and also the organisation. This also inspires commitment and a shared vision for the organisation and helps communicate expectation clearly.
The Current State
This involves understanding the As-Is situations in teams and grouping them into key areas (people, processes and technology)- this acts as an indicator to how far you are away from the To-Be state. Taking time to understand the current situation is very important as it helps to prioritize needs of the teams before trying to influence them to change.
The path between the ‘As-Is’ and ‘To-Be’ states is a long and winding one, with certain levels of unpredictability. Leaders need to consider the next ideal condition for their teams to be in.
For the teams to move between states, it is imperative that they are being encouraged to think with a team-oriented sentience. Visualise the team’s path as a winding labyrinth, wherein dead-ends are set up to symbolise actions that could be counterproductive; for example, continuing to use obsolete processes and tools. This ‘labyrinth’ is different for each team based on where they are in the journey.
The Leader in you
Being open to new ideas, encouraging creativity and innovation helps with transformation, thereby making the journey interesting. It’s about the people and the organisation so be tolerant of mistakes.
Connect your team’s sense of identity with yourself, and with the collective identity of the organisation. Understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses and align them with tasks that enhance their performance. Allocate time to develop your team’s potential and challenge them to take ownership of their work.
Adapt to different situations, self manage, stay current, share collective consciousness, keep inspiring, and be the change you want to see.
Identify the doers, the followers, and the supporters who are in this journey with you and who share the same vision as you.
Finally, be open to setbacks and seek actively for solutions — change cannot occur without a significant amount of frustration!