In today’s digital age, small to mid-size organizations must remain competitive by innovating and adapting quickly. They need to leverage their strengths, address their shortcomings, and determine their key differentiators to maintain a strong position in the market. Staying ahead of emerging market trends and adjusting their strategy to ensure exponential growth is critical.
Imagine a small IT offshore services company, ValTech, that specializes in providing customized and reliable IT service management solutions to mid-size businesses in various industries. To stay competitive, the organization must leverage its strengths, such as its expertise in customizing IT solutions based on client needs, its reliable and fast turnaround time, and its excellent customer service.
In the next three years, ValTech envisions becoming a trusted and go-to IT partner for its clients, expanding its service offerings to include emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, and building a solid and loyal customer base that refers new clients to the company. Setting a specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound vision for success is important; making sure your organization stays true to a purpose that inspires you and your team to work towards achieving it will attract top employees, lead to financial success, and enable to grow a business exponentially. Your Purpose should be reflected in your day-to-day operations and how you treat customers, employees, communities, and colleagues, not just shareholders.
Identifying your needs to achieve your Purpose will help you focus your efforts and resources on what is most critical to your success. Once you have identified your needs, create an action plan to address them. Improving organizational structure, processes, and culture is critical to enabling growth and innovation. Please determine what you need to drive growth, whether it’s cash, the right people, or relationships, and anticipate potential obstacles that could get in the way. Finally, identify risks and challenges that may arise during the transformation process and ensure your customers remain satisfied and loyal throughout the journey.
Foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation to sustain your growth in the long run. Hold yourself accountable and stay focused on your goals. Remember, success is not just about financial gain; it’s about offering better experiences to all stakeholders.
To live by its purpose and achieve its vision, ValTech needs to act on several fronts. First, the company must invest in developing its employees’ skills and expertise in emerging technologies, hiring new talents as needed, and building partnerships with other companies specializing in these areas. Second, ValTech must improve its organizational structure, processes, and culture to enable growth and innovation. This includes implementing agile development methodologies, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement, and providing an environment that encourages innovation and creativity.
For example, automation could streamline processes, data analytics to gain insights into customer needs, and machine learning to create personalized customer experiences. To fully transform into an ExO by leveraging the power of technology. ValTech could create a platform that allows them to customize and maintain software for small to mid-size organizations. Furthermore, this platform should be designed to be scalable and easily accessible, allowing the company to provide services to its customers quickly and efficiently.
Finally, ValTech needs to anticipate potential challenges and market changes to achieve its vision, such as competition from more prominent and established companies, changing customer needs, and disruptive technologies. By identifying and addressing these challenges early on, ValTech can stay ahead of the curve and continue to grow exponentially.
To hold itself accountable, ValTech will establish clear goals, objectives, and key results, measure progress regularly and solicit customer and employee feedback. By doing so, the company can ensure that it stays on track and continues to provide high-quality and customized IT solutions to its clients.
By embracing business transformation and a culture of innovation, a small to mid-size organization can achieve exponential growth and remain competitive in the ever-evolving digital world. By holding oneself accountable, anticipating obstacles, and taking action, such as securing cash, building relationships, and hiring the right people, a business can create a roadmap for growth and achieve its vision of success in the long term.
Call to action
Start by exploring how change might affect your business, create a Massive Transformative Purpose, and ideate how you can reinvent your stakeholders’ experiences, internal processes, and business model to become a platform business. Furthermore, make it a fun learning experience!
By Cesar Castro, Managing Partner at Escalate Group
“A fixed mindset is when people believe their basic qualities, their intelligence, their talents, their abilities, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount, and that’s that. But other people have a growth mindset. They believe that even basic talents and abilities can be developed over time through experience, mentorship and so on. And these are the people who go for it. They’re not always worried about how smart they are, how they’ll look, what a mistake will mean. They challenge themselves and grow.” Carol Dweck, at Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
The things and relationships that I mostly enjoy in life and where I had the most challenging and rewarding experiences are: 1- The love for my family, 2- My passion for endurance sports, 3- My commitment to work, and 4- Being lured into the history of civilization.
From these areas of my life I have learned many leadership lessons; the key ones from last year were the following:
1- Leadership lesson from my family
There’s an old saying that inspires me and many others to do better: “do things right and do the right things”. When you lead by example, you create a picture of what’s possible. Currently I am sharing my life with my pre-adolescent daughters and my wife; I have been re-educated in a very important concept that makes a huge difference in our life:
– Always look closely at your own behavior first and reflect on how everyone else is feeling in your presence
Parenting is a journey that many of us have embraced; it provide joy and the amazing opportunity to learn and be better persons, better parents and better leaders. Our kids learn by example. They notice our behaviors, actions, emotions and our words. They tend to observe us and copy us so our leadership consists in preaching not just words but by example.
2- Leadership lessons from an Olympian
During many years as executive leader and active endurance sports practitioner, I have learned about discipline and the importance of setting small milestones, enjoying and celebrating performance peaks – even if they hurt – and making sure to take time to recover before and after big efforts. In mid-June I learned directly from Mary Whipple, a 3-time Olympic medalist, two important principles that stick in my mind when watching #Rio2016 and reflecting about exponential mindsets and digital transformations:
– “There is not one way to row, there are many… you need to pick one, the fastest way!”
– “In order to perform, you can’t be afraid of how fast you can go”
To gain the flexibility and adaptability capabilities needed in today’s fast-paced times, we need to take time to experiment, move fast, provide more autonomy to our teams and not be afraid of the exponential growth ahead of us.
4-Leadership lessons from Work
I joined Microsoft once the Nokia acquisition was completed in April 2014; in the past two years I have seen Satya Nadella driving important changes not just in direction, but also in the culture and mindset of the company. At Microsoft, we fundamentally believe that we need a culture founded in a growth mindset. It starts with a belief that everyone can grow and develop, that potential is nurtured, not predetermined, and that anyone can change their mindset.
– “Leadership is about bringing out the best in people, where everyone brings their A-game and finds deep meaning in their work”.
We need to be willing to lean into uncertainty, take risks and move quickly when we make mistakes, recognizing that failure happens along the way to mastery, that we need to be open to the ideas of others and that the success of others does not diminish our own.
5- Leadership lessons from the Ancient Romans
The Romans were prodigious builders and their civilization produced advances in technology, culture, and architecture that can still be seen today. In early December I was thrilled to learn that I had to prepare a case about the Romans for my Harvard Executive program. My energy level crashed when reading the assigned chapters from two ancient texts – it was really hard. During my special January week in Boston, the Roman teachings led by Professor Frances Frei happened to provide a very high note and a unique lesson.
– Justice is a trade-on, not a trade-off, between severity and fidelity
A leader’s role is to make people better through our presence, commitment & support. Practicing deep devotion to our people (meaning our family, our friends, our colleagues, etc.) is very important, and to do so, we don’t have to lower our standards.
In the past, business models were created based on scarcity; now we live in a world of abundance where every business is a digital business and we are digitizing, dematerializing and democratizing the physical world. This implies a huge change on how we have to approach businesses, societies, etc., and requires us to re-align our leadership concepts. Leaders have to act as catalysts of change, find better ways to reach and manage the unique opportunities ahead, create clarity, learn how to engage with audiences and communities, empower people to make a difference and ultimately deliver success.
Learning is a mindset, more specifically, a growth mindset. It’s vital for our children but also for our personal and professional lives. “Changing the way I think generates a change of how I behave”.
I would like to learn from your leadership lessons and from your transformational leadership challenges.