Tuning your compass to the ‘North Star’ in your cloud business transformation is critical to effectively navigate curves and growth during rapid business change. Read up on ten key ways to keep steering straight ahead as you lead your organization to success!
There’s no denying that change in an organization can be unriveting, especially for those of us who have been entrusted with positions of responsibility, with the duty of leading others safely through the turbulent waters of transformation.
With the right approach though, times of transformation can be incredibly enriching for your organization; for all the chaos they may incite, periods of change also hold the most potential for bursts of insight, inspiration, and creativity. In the midst of our own experience, I hold ten core fundamental principles close, and think constantly about how to make the most of the challenges and opportunities that follow on the heels of change. The following principles do not only apply to driving transformation effectively – it’s about backing your talent and your collective force of contributors to make sure they have a clear sense of charter and support, beyond the goal of positive business outcomes.
  1. Remember that successfully navigating transformation requires a “people first” focus. It’s easy to get caught up in the technical side of things but at the end of the day, it’s the people operating it. I have always said that “your people are the single sustainable competitive advantage a company has.”

  2. Think long-term when hiring. It’s not enough to hire based on what skills you need now; instead, you should be thinking about what kind of skills and training you will need in five years’ time, based on educated projections about the future of your industry and your company’s role in it.

  3. Understand that it’s not simply your organization that is changing—so is the prospective employee. People raised in the digital age work and interact differently than prior generations did; get ahead of the curve by figuring out how to motivate “millennials” and get the most out of their unique perspectives and work habits.

  4. Remember that change requires a paradigm shift to a new vision. One of the most exciting things about times of transformation is that they make necessary the evolution of workplace culture. Be prepared to alter your overall business model for the changes ahead and decide on what sort of culture will support the business model you develop. Then, communicate your vision – in a way that everyone will want to be a part of it. And when I mention communicate, I mean, ‘COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!’

  5. As a leader, remember that you need to change, too. Leaders often get caught up in how to effectively change everyone and everything around them to keep pace with transformation, but you must also use these periods to look within yourself and think about how you ought to adapt to better serve the organization in the future.

  6. Build committed teams. It’s very difficult for an organization to effectively navigate transformation if the teams within it are not committed to the future of the organization. When hiring employees, look for those who not only have relevant skills, but who also have a passion for commitment. Avoid the “annual employee”: People who seem to enter and exit organizations every year or two.

  7. Never forget the value of motivating and appreciating high performers. Naturally high-performing employees are a boon to any organization—you don’t have to work hard to inspire them to do a great job, they just seem to do it out of an intrinsic desire to perform well. More importantly, they want to be challenged and given opportunities to grow. Look for ways to put your top performers in positions to make the greatest impact possible.

  8. Retain a sense of direction by clearly outlining goals. In times of change, it’s easy for people to lose a sense of what, exactly, they are working towards—everything becomes about adapting to the present, not creating the future. Maintain direction by outlining clear goals and objectives and making sure those in your organization understand them.

  9. Remember to keep delegating. When things feel uncertain, it’s tempting to try handle everything you can on your own, rather than adding extra uncertainty through seeing how someone else will handle it. This is the wrong approach in times of change, because the act of delegation actually empowers employees—it makes them a valuable part of what’s happening, which is motivating to them, and ultimately enriching to the organization as a whole.

  10. Stay engaged. As a leader, it’s easy to become disconnected from what is happening on the “ground floor” of the organization—but it’s there that change really occurs. Remember to make a daily effort to relate to the people you lead, to build them up, to get to know what they need and what they think, and how change is affecting them as individuals.
As you’ve heard before, the only constant is change. And within that change lies the ultimate opportunity to win by transforming the profitability, the people and the promise of stabilizing the path ahead to success. Remember YOU are mapping to the North Star of a new world, and as captain, provide the compass and the communication.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Phil Sorgen has been named “50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs” by CRN; you can learn more about Phil here.
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