Sunday, February 01, 2015

Business Transformation

My challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week with an emphasis on cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies----Mark Zuckerberg

The truth is that just being a member of an organization is a political act. And we must influence people at work all the time. In healthy organizations, we "get" power, or we are granted power, by virtue of our ability to inspire and provide vision.

That brings us to "change" versus "transformation."

Many executives don’t realize that the two are not the same;
"Change management" means implementing finite initiatives, which may or may not cut across the organization. The focus is on executing a well-defined shift in the way things work.

Transformation unlike change management focuses on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly, the overall goal of transformation is not just to execute a defined change — but to reinvent the organization and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future.

Transformation is much more unpredictable, iterative, and experimental. It entails much higher risk. And even if successful change management leads to the execution of certain initiatives within the transformation portfolio, the overall transformation could still fail.

Steve Jobs was successful with the transformation of Apple to be the most valuable company while Tim Cook has been a great custodian of change management (just look at the unprecedented figures last quarter of 2014 - 18billions dollars)

That brings us to "C-level" versus "Executive"

When looking to hire a new CEO, corporate boards of directors are increasingly bypassing C-level and appointing less seasoned leaders.
Boards are seeking Executives who understand signals in today’s unpredictable environment. All too often, C-levels are overly focused on internal issues and opt to invest in familiar opportunities rather than taking bold risks.

Executives who embrace disruptive technologies and digital media;

Proven record of innovation

Confident global citizens,

Ability to operate in developed, emerging, and frontier markets and lead across diverse cultures

An acute understanding of shifting demographics in their customer base

Adaptive leadership traits, such as exceptional curiosity, open-mindedness, and the courage to act.
The board also continues to ensure the success of the executive by establishing a clear transition process for the assuming CEO role. A fast-track CEO succession should be the product of a deliberate strategy and not of desperation.

But quite frankly anyone who understands the dynamics of unfamiliar regulatory pressures, industry consolidation, complex emerging technologies, or changing consumer behavior deserves a shot at the title

Boards should still look for chiefs with the traditional attributes of intelligence, integrity, and stamina—traits that have defined great executives for decades.