A Transformational Leader’s biggest nightmare and how to overcome it!

A Transformation Leader’s biggest nightmare and how to overcome it!

In 2014, American automobile giant, Ford planned a Digital Transformation project, Ford Smart Mobility. It was about building digitally enabled cars with enhanced mobility. Though the initiative was launched with great pomp and show, it soon lost steam. Reason was lack of integration with the organization’s overall vision and culture. This project was seen as a separate arm of Ford that needed a different treatment. This resulted in irreparable quality issues resulting in losses worth $300 million. Few years later, the CEO stepped down.

As per a McKinsey Global survey, 70% of transformation projects fail at organization level despite the initial success! So, how the outstanding Transformational Leaders in the remaining 30% cross this barrier and ingrain changes into the culture of their organizations seamlessly.

Dividing the long term vision into small short term milestones to build and sustain momentum

Dividing the long term vision into short term milestones helps in multiple ways. It establishes a firm belief in the vision, provides the much needed motivation for employees to continue working towards the vision, presents tangible evidence on the progress made in the transformational journey and builds trust among the naysayers.

Putting the spotlight on the initial heroes of embracing transformation

Identifying the initial success stories of employees who embrace the transformational journey in the organization and sharing it on different forums regularly. This boosts the morale of the employees, reinforces their motivation to implement the entire initiative and creates peer pressure for others to follow and be part of this.

Constant articulation and active participation by Management

When the senior leadership talks about the how and why of vision more regularly and actively takes part in this process, it gives the much needed boost to the employees who see the passion to achieve the transformation successfully in the senior management and this further fuels their own energy.

Paul Cobban
Paul Cobban, Chief Transformation Officer, DBS Bank at HR Festival Asia 2019
Source: hrexecutive.com

When Jonathan Becher successfully ingrained a culture of indigenous innovation for future and embracing failure at SAP or when Paul Cobban did a complete overhaul of the business at DBS Bank, they knew they were on a transformational journey and hence built the right momentum and tone for it to be part of the core culture.

Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker
Source: europeanceo.com

When the Legendary Management Consultant, Peter Drucker said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast!” all he meant was that for any strategic initiative to become sustainable, it needs to be embedded in the culture. But change is hard, not just for humans but also for organizations.

In our next blog, we discuss the ways in which successful leaders take care of the first set of resistance during the transformational journey – the naysayers!

Want us to cover a particular topic of interest to you? Write to us in the comments below.


This blog is part of the Transformational Leadership series

Transformational Leadership aims to achieve significant changes across teams and organizations by inspiring and motivating participants to work towards a common goal (inspired by their aspirations) that not only brings long term prosperity to the organization but also helps the employees expand their own potential and fulfill their intrinsic dreams.

We present to you a series of data backed posts on some of the most pressing issues of Transformational Leadership with real life business examples of how they have been overcome by some of the world’s most famous Transformational Leaders.

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