Are Leaders Lacking A Transformational Mindset?

Are Leaders Lacking A Transformational Mindset?

Many organisations across the globe have adopted digital transformation at a faster pace than expected. Many business leaders have stated it was more of a business need rather than a vision set that enabled this transformation.


A study conducted by McKinsey indicated that the COVID situation advanced the digitisation of customer interactions by three years and the digitisation of products by seven years. India also has similar transformation records. A Dell Technologies study has revealed that Indian organisations have not only fast-tracked digital transformation projects this year but re-invented business models as well.


Amidst these business transformations, how has the mindset of leaders changed? Have leaders become more transformational or transactional?


I hosted a poll on LinkedIn to know what people think about their leaders during this pandemic that has enabled remote working. The question I asked was: Has remote work made leaders more transactional or transformational? It was more like a dipstick survey to gauge the actual experiences of professionals. Approximately 42% of the respondents felt that leaders had become transactional. I followed up with conversations on why they thought leaders had become transactional, and the top three reasons revealed were:


1. Reactive than Purposeful: Reacting to situations has become the norm instead of setting a purposeful direction for the teams.


2. Compliant than Creative: The assumption that taking risks might negatively impact business and following set rules would be safer is hindering creativity and risk-taking abilities.


3. Hierarchical than Inspirational: There is more stress on the chain of command than on being an inspiration and influencing actions.


For an example outside IT, Domino’s Pizza comes to mind. The company was drowning in 2007–08 and was rated the lowest in the customer brand performance survey. Domino’s showcased transformation in style and rose to become the best pizza provider in the United States.Their turnaround was led by CEO Patrick Doyle, who:


1. Set a purposeful direction (centred on authenticity and investing in future-focused technology).


2. Was more creative in taking risks (not many leaders choose to feed the trolls by accepting they make mediocre pizza. Domino’s went all-in with admitting failure and marketing their publicising their pledge to improve every part of their pizza).


3. Was inspirational (Doyle described his leadership style as “people- and relationship-focused”).


In 7 years, the stock value of Dominos rose by 2000%, even higher than Amazon and Netflix.


Despite the day-to-day pressures that you face, do you operate with a transformational mindset? How you answer this question will determine whether you are prepared to face constant change and ride the waves of continuous transformation anytime with ease.


Swarna Sudha Selvaraj is the Head of Talent Development for TCS Europe, UK & Ireland. She is a vibrant HR leader with over 18 years of work experience gained from association with TCS and Murugappa Group of Companies.


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