While preparing for our book Osez la transformation enterprise, I had the privilege of interviewing transformation leaders about their lessons learned. Here is some of what they had to say:
What are the main contributions of a transformation leader?
- Being the mayonnaise. My role was very much to connect leaders, units, levels and projects that were having difficulty talking to or understanding each other.
Unravelling the knots. A lot of my time was spent understanding issues that arose between individuals or groups and working with them to find solutions.
- Being a translator. I helped people understand the strategic perspective of those who are more tactical or, alternatively, the more tactical aspects for those who are more strategic. I helped tease out the structural from the intuitive, the task aspect from the human aspect.
- Bringing clarity. A transformation involves a lot of uncertainty. I worked hard to clarify objectives, projects, issues, strategies, roles and responsibilities. I helped narrow the beam from diffuse to focused.
What are your main lessons learned?
Don’t underestimate the details that will quickly become major irritants if not heard and addressed. For example, a person’s access to a floor, a building or information sources can be critical to them and their team. You have to learn to listen.
Be part of the steering committee. As a transformation leader, you are at the heart of the strategic and cross-cutting issues that directly affect senior executives.
You being an integral part of the team, with a clear mandate as transformation leader, has proven to be a critical success factor.
Space for reflection and action
Take a few moments to consider these two questions:
- What are my own lessons learned from our transformation efforts to date?
- What actions can I take to bring these lessons learned out within the management team and translate them into actions that will accelerate our transformation?
Cofounder, Vice President and Strategic Consultant