Change Management - Decoding leadership skills & styles for driving digital transformation by Poonam Garg

Automatic Summary

Decoding Leadership Skills and Styles for Driving Digital Transformation: An Insider's Perspective

Welcome and thank you for joining in! Today's blog post is largely based on my first-hand experience, I bring to you a candid narrative on change management, fascinating leadership skills, and styles crucial for accelerating digital transformation.

As we continue, I hope to engage you in a more personal and rewarding exploration of this subject. Should you like more insights about this, I welcome you to connect with me via Linkedin, Medium, or our community account. 

The Agenda: Setting up the Context

  1. Identifying the Problem: We'll discuss how leadership skills in middle management impact the speed of change management, especially in this digital era where customer experience is paramount.
  2. Defining Effective Leadership: Drawing from my experiences, I'll share how middle managers can cultivate their leadership attributes to effectively drive change management strategies.


Problem Statement

It has become extremely urgent for organizations and leaders to redefine effective leadership skills to hasten change management due to the ever-emerging landscape of technology and digital customer journeys. Considerably, developing middle managers into effective leaders is a secret recipe for driving organizational success and fostering a healthier culture due to their position and role within the teams.

Effective Leadership Attributes

In my experience, a few recurring leadership attributes have proven to work in different scenarios. These were skills I originally picked up from the Mckenzie framework and put into practice.

  • Communication: Effective communication is crucial in addressing a diverse audience, encouraging criticism, dialogue, and collaboration.
  • Motivation: Identifying and leveraging individual motivation within the team leads to better performance and output.
  • Positive Attitude: A positive attitude paves the way for constructive and valuable thoughts that can be propagated within the team and the organization.
  • Job Knowledge: Effective leaders must have a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of their team.
  • Flexibility: It’s important for leaders to adapt and comply with changing situations promptly.
  • Fairness: Leaders should make objective decisions when dealing with team issues.
  • Confidence: Confidence fosters a sense of readiness to undertake hard decisions and the versatility to welcome diverse opinions.

Alongside these skills, social skills, coaching, and being a good team player can significantly help leaders achieve change management strategy goals.

Practical Application of Leadership Attributes in Driving Change Management Strategy: An Example

A practical example of effective middle management leadership in driving change involves migrating a mainframe application to a modern tool. This example requires creating urgency situations, providing internal and external training, socializing with the team, validating team alignment, and adopting practices for more communication.

Lessons Learned in My Digital Transformation Journey

Effective leadership skills at the middle management level can indeed lead to achieving targeted business goals and are paramount for driving change management strategies. Establishing effective leadership core competencies among middle managers can prove more beneficial than hiring external change leaders.

As digital transformation continues to evolve, adaptability to change becomes increasingly important. An effective leader supports innovation while acknowledging the complexities of change. Leaders should manage these uncertainties while recognizing their importance in the foundation of development and change.

Thank you for reading through. Any further questions about my experience or change management strategies are welcome.

Video Transcription

Hello, everyone. We hope you all are doing great. And this is welcome to my session and my session is more about change management, decoding leadership skills and styles for driving digital transformation. This is purely on basis my experience, what I've seen it.So this is before we jump into the session, let me go. The here's a little brief about me. So my name is PG. I'm currently working within the US Bank as a vice president. My passion is more on employing technology to solve customer problems, empowering women and future generations to become a part of stem. And if you would like to connect with me, I have my medium account and, and I have my community account and I have my linkedin profile where you can connect with me on personally and talking about more on this topic. Or if you want more in detail, how I have seen in the past, how leaders are doing it uh in detail, I would definitely go uh in detail discussion with this topic. So today's agenda is more about uh problem. Uh We will start with some problem statement and then we will go with like what is the effective leader attributes looks like we might know most of the attributes.

But then in the example, I will show you like how uh I have seen or how I have done in the past doing uh reflecting those leader attributes in driving the change management strategy within, within my space and then we can run through with the Q and A. So this is a problem statement we often across like in this rapidly changing world of technology and digital journey of customer often puts organization as well as leaders to think about what should be our effective leadership skills looks like in the middle management to to drive this change management fast and why this question comes up because the reason behind it, every business would like to provide digital customer experience being ahead in this total experience game as per my ex as per as per my work experience, most of the time organization are hooked up hiring change leader instead instead of building middle manager as an effective leaders.

So this often leads to bring unhealthy culture within the organization or organization lost to trust among employees. So I'm going to provide some secret recipe that I have what I have learned. What should have an effective leadership attribute which assist us to bring fruitful strategic change.

So these are the few effective leadership attributes you might have seen it. Uh You might have seen it like a lot of coaching people talked about it. But I'm telling you this really works. And this I learned through my mckenzie framework uh in the couple two years back, and I really reflected at my workplace to bring that change within my organization. The first is communication. So we all know that to be a successful leader, one must possess a different varieties of communication skills to address a different variety of audience. And leader must embrace and adapt an open inclusive culture among themselves and their staff and among all the staff, individuals to support criticism, dialogue and collaboration. Communication is only success. Communication is when it is successful. We usually ask when it is always be a fair, open and agreeable and ready to work after privacy among a decent audience. That's what we learned. And we have seen that even in our personal life too similarly motivation. So and inspiring uh as a leader, I say that like leaders should understand the motivation within the team means what your team needs it. So employee always perform their duties if when the leaders motivate them personally.

So some employees usually feel motivated when they are being rewarded with incentives. Some uh employees get uh motivated when their names comes up. So there are multiple ways we can figure it out like we should know as a leader, as a change management leader, we should know like what's my team motivation looks like? Third is your uh positive add. So pos this is very important to us, this is very important thing because we uh in a corporate world while working, we come across with a lot of people who said a lot of things and we need to uh we as a leader, we need to be a very positive because and when I say like positive attitude means like we should be always be having a constructive and valuable thoughts and idea that can be easily propagated within the team as well as to the organization and making them feel they are valuable, right?

So they we should increase their value and leading the team from the back. So for this job knowledge, as a as a middle management leader, you should really know that clear idea of it. What is the jobs and responsibility of the team that you are leading? You should have to know in detail of it flexibility because of the CO COVID. And I would say like this is even before the COVID, I feel like this should be a very crucial, implement, crucial element to implement the change within the team. It doesn't have to be like a leader idea that lead to be success. It should be focusing on over all of vision and a strategy of an organization. So leader always analyze the situations and adapt accordingly to comply with the changes and pre presented. Then the then the then there is a fairness. So leaders always make fair decisions in the in effectively in dealing with employee issues. Effective leaders are always be like, you know, objectives to everyone by demonstrating the discrimination. Uh The la the next one is confidence leaders who are confident are ready to settle on hard choices for the, for the general prosperity of the team or the or the or the divisions or I would say that division as well. So they welcome all types of opinions, informations from the peers or from the team, they are leading to bring more critical thinking.

So overall what I would say in order to be an effective uh leader at this, at the middle management level, the individual must have a strength such as communication, skills, motivation, et cetera. But I think like they should also have a social skills coach and team player because they need to influence their own people and follow them and allow them to following following you and being a good team player and provide a great guidance to them in achieving the in achieving the goal of change management strategy.

That is what we call digital transformation. So I have seen it at uh I have seen it and I have applied it like effective change leader are the ones who does a lot of self reflection to improve his or o own efficiency and overall the effectiveness. So whatever you want from your team, once you start reflecting that you will get it because they see you and they start following you this is one of the example I would like to lead with this. So this is one of the example um like supposedly you might have seen it at your workplace as well, like as a change management leader, you might being said that OK, migration of mainframe application to a modern tool. So what is the strategy looks like being as a change management leader? And what are the effective attributes that I have explained on the last slide would uh help uh in bringing this change management strategy. So first is like as effective management, as effective leader, middle management leader, you need to figure it out like, OK, what are the things that I have to do? So first is like you need to create your urgency situations. So as a middle manageable, you need to conduct a small town hall meeting. So this is again, communication guys, that's what we learned in the previous slide.

Like how you need to bring more communication within the team because you need to address to different various different level of audience. And you should have a different variety of communication skills. So that's where the creating urgency situations talks about it. Like what what you could do it, you could have a town hall meeting and in this town hall meeting, you are not only having a one communication, but it is a two commun two way communication between the managers and the team and talking about it. Why we need to do this. Secondly, is providing external and internal training. That's where I was saying like motivation or uh flexibility, these things comes up with which we talked into the last slide because provide external training and job responsibility. So as every new management, every new change management strategy always demand the skills within their employer or they always demands in the change the way of working to overcome the fear of skills and resistance. As a middle manager, you need to set up an external training for the individuals to upskill them. That's, that's how you are supporting your team, right? So that's how you should know the job knowledge of your uh of your clear job, knowledge of within your, within your, within your portfolio. Then say third is socializing with the team that socializing helps you to motivate the team. Again, communication brings in.

So this is another way of communicating. So as as a middle manager being a part of the job, it is important to connect with the people who are front leaders or work at the ground level to add more clarity to the vision, what they would like to bring. So this can be done by the multiple ways, right? You might have seen it, it's nothing new. Maybe we could take them into a the launch or reenergizing the teams or refocusing them to uh what are the goals looks like and why we have to do this and this strategy brings all team together and which builds and fosters the connection within the team under the same division.

3rd, 4th is validating team alignment. So as a team, as a middle manager, we need to validate the team alignments with the change management to ensure that teams are motivated and clear with the course. So there are few activities that you can approach to validate that like whether your team is moving into that change, Uh Are they allowed with your digital transformation journey or change management strategy? So one could be your one on one discussions to unblock resistors or maybe sending an appreciation emails to the teams or group who build the POC which which is uh I would say uh which is like a driving the strategy of your change management. And then uh another, another one we can do that like adopting practices of more communication. So communication is very important strength that a leader should have without effective communication, one cannot influence other. That's we know it. So for example, in that case, what you can do, maybe you have like as I have talked about in the previous like monthly newsletter, Kudos, the team who adapt and they learn and the lessons learned from the failures or discovery work. You can reflect on those new letters saying that competitive, new technologies which hadn't been discovered within your or by any of the team, or maybe clarifying the values of the organization in terms of aligning with organization strategy or demonstrating the risk while taking the monitoring, the confidence, while taking a risk within those newsletter.

This helps the team, you know, to connect with you and bring this change management strategy fast within your uh and definitely flexibility. Is it the is it very important because without flexibility, you cannot bring that change and that is that is needed to adopt the new changes?

So question comes up. So, OK, what are the lessons we learned? So what lessons I have learned in my digital transformation change management strategy is like a genuine leader won't undermine by the quality of the crop and will support the most grounded staff. At the same time.

What I've seen it egocentric or some like prom leader who is unwilling to learn is inclined to commit huge errors and sets a poor case for others in the association. So what hand case happen? Like you might lose entirely team and the bring the organization in a case of unhealthy environment. So according to my experience, being focused on making an arrangement that depends on the quality of association and the people who are part inside that association will require that leaders should have an information and aptitude identified with the change procedure. So as an effective leader, you should always embrace difficulties while supporting the advancement and comprehends that change is per perplexing and realizing those vulnerability. But at the same time, it is important for us. Uh founded, it is important for the foundation of development and change.

So even in our society, we have seen it like we learn new things, we adapt ourselves to a change. So it is very important for our leaders to have a constant pattern of self managed learning so that they know how to overcome their future problems and achieve their goal. So in turn, I would conclude that that having effective leadership skills at the middle management level, not only achieve uh targeted business goals, but also very critical component in driving the change management strategy. So organizations have must have to rethink hiring the change leader or upskilling the middle managers to build the effective leadership as a core competencies. Thank you guys. A EQ and A I would like to take, oh yeah, I can go back to the last slide. Definitely again, I need to open the slide. Hm This one, Janine leaders, one into mine is that one? You were not getting it. So what I'm trying to say is like normally in the organizations, what happened? Uh uh we as they hire the change leaders from the outside, but really, they don't get that value, which is I have seen in my past organizations and that's where I was always trying to say that like, OK, then you, you won't, you don't know what is that genuine leaders looks like when you are enjoying the change leaders from the outside of organization.

So that's where I'm highlighting, like you need to build your leaders, your middle management leader as a genuine leader, which definitely will, will help, will definitely uh bring the value of the quality of the growth which you have within your organization. Anyone has more questions, uh learning uh the best strategy and tactics that I have leveraged for upskilling the team members is like learning and always encouraging and motivating whatever they are doing. So, for example, I have talked into my, this previous slides, like motivation, motivation, and positive attitude.

These two things really plays a very important role as a being a middle manager, you should have it. Uh So with the motivation is like, you should know like what motivates to your team. So if your team knows more about like, OK, I would like to learn something new skills because this is the, we are coming up as a tech, as a technology leader, we are having a lots of technology coming up on the plate and a lot of people are using those technologies. So sometimes your team might say that like, OK, you know, um uh you know, I would like to learn this technology. So you should start giving them a platform where they can learn and ask killing them. So one of the one of the goal you can make as a team, like as a learning goal, what is learning goal or maybe set up like every month? Uh uh Maybe give to your or give your team member like four hours of learning, uh four hours, four, learning, four hours of learning. So that way you can have it and positive attitude. Yes. So you need to inspire your team every time. Like, ok, guys, you are doing a great job. This is awesome. I came across with this clear thought, this idea, thought process. What do you guys think about it? Do you want to apply this thought into it? Let's talk about.

So those are the thing, those are the things which I have used at my place in this motivation and positive uh attitude. Um I know other people talks about like promotions and pay. So that's where the job knowledge is very much important. So you should ee being transparent with your people uh when you are interviewing and even with your own people, like what, why this job is needed this much salary and what kind of work you are going to do with that? So these are the skills like, yeah, these are the things that we did it at. Uh means I did it. I applied it at my place to work on it. Thank you guys. Hope you're enjoying this women's tech network ses Global Conference. See you guys in another session. Thank you.