Ability to drive change in an organisation is one of the critical Leadership Competencies for a CEO today, given more and more is getting done at the intersection of different ecosystems, and a large portion of value add is not directly under the leader’s control but in the wider realm of influence. In this segment, leaders talk about how they drove change through a complex system/organization.
Running a start-up inside the Govt.
Nandan talks about how the Government is fundamentally different from the Private sector in terms of how financial and human capital decisions are made. He talks about he thought about navigating those constraints to drive to the outcomes he had committed. He also talks about a couple of mistakes leaders often make in transitions.
Maggi crisis and decoding resilience
Suresh talks about how he took charge when he came back to India during the Maggi crisis. He talks about how he prioritized the various elements of the business and how he spent time for the first 6-9 months. He also shares his views on where he got his strength and what it takes to build resilience in the organization while dealing with a shock.
TAGSResilience Driving change
Influencing an ecosystem
Jay discusses he thinks about picking ideas to champion and talks about how you could get a pulse of the acceptance of the idea. He goes on to talk about the criticality of setting up feedback loops for you to get a pulse of the real public sentiment.
Making/Not making key decisions
Vinay talks about how Narasimha Rao made decisions or chose not to make decisions strategically depending on the political context. He mentions that often people think of Narasimha Rao as an intellectual but Vinay argues that he was a man of action but also somebody who was acutely aware of his political ability to drive through change.
Gautam Gambhir and the straight drive
Paddy speaks about how Gautam Gambhir was once trying to perfect his straight drive. He noticed that his shots were often going square of the wicket and he wanted to correct that. Expert inputs from accomplished players who understood the technique well didn’t quite help him sort out the issue. Paddy speaks about how he guided Gautam to listen to his own body and tune into his uniqueness to find the answer.
TAGSCoaching Driving change
The MAP of behaviour change
BJ speaks about the Motivation Ability curve which lies at the heart of his thinking around tiny habits. He speaks about how they complement each other and one way for us to take the vagary of motivation out of the equation is to go up the Ability curve so that we reduce the friction to the extent that we could do the activity with minimal levels of motivation.
Action versus Context Prompt
BJ makes the distinction between an Action Prompt (something that we do in our lives) versus a Context Prompt (an external trigger such as an Email, Pop-Up, Message etc). He speaks about how Product Managers in companies could be more thoughtful about how they could understand user behavior to figure out when to use the product to increase the likelihood of adoption.
Untangle (not break) bad habits
BJ speaks about the importance of language when we think about habits. He says that breaking habits is possibly a wrong metaphor where we could end up doing more damage than good if we adopt that mindset. He likens a bad habit to a tangled phone cord that needs to be carefully untangled knot by knot for us to really resolve the situation. He proposes a similar approach to dealing with bad habits rather than going after them aggressively.
Disagree yet commit - bringing it to life
Bill speaks about how decisions are made and how well people are listened to which ensures that there is minimal dissonance post the decision leading to “passive aggression”. He links it back to the writing culture in Amazon to ensure that complex ideas are presented with all the nuances for people to appreciate the various trade-offs.
TAGSCulture Driving Change
Agassi and Behaviour change
Katy speaks about Andre Agassi and the approach Brad Gilbert took with him when he was going through a slump. She says that Brad suggested that Andre would have to devise a strategy that is specific to each opponent and come up with a tailored approach to win and this new approach helped Agassi climb back to the top and win many more tournaments. Katy suggests a similar approach to tackling behavioral change.
The power of a fresh start
Katy speaks about how we all can leverage the power of a fresh start to drive behavioural change. She goes on to say that if we look hard enough then there might be several fresh opportunities we could find in our lives. Very often, we think Jan 1 in a year as a fresh start and have resolutions. But Katy goes on to say that we can have a similar approach if we think wider about a new start. She also refers to an initiative at Google that looked at key moments where people are more likely to engage in a certain behaviour.
Entering the magic circle
Katy speaks about how gamification of something is an art and if done well can really draw people into activities that they might otherwise consider boring. But she also goes on to say that if such games are not intuitively fun to people, they may not enter the magic circle, i.e. they may not embrace the implicit rules of behaviour that is required for everybody to have fun. She talks about how individuals and organizations should think about this.
Benefits of Commitment
Katy speaks about the power of constraints and commitment devices which can help us move towards our goals. She refers to what Victor Hugo did when he was faced with a deadline in 1830 to publish his new book – The Hunchback of Notre Dame. When he had only 6 months left, Victor collected all of his clothes, removed them from his chambers, and locked them away. He was left with nothing to wear except a large shawl. Lacking any suitable clothing to go outdoors, Hugo was no longer tempted to leave the house and get distracted. Staying inside and writing was his only option. Katy speaks about the notion of commitment devices which borrows from this broad idea.
Remove Escape Buttons
Harsh speaks about his belief in Prof Ram Charan’s maxim – Remove Escape Buttons. Harsh speaks about how he leveraged this insight in the way he went about pursuing the International Business and implementing the ERP system in Marico.
Breaking the Catch-22 of mediocre talent
Harsh speaks about how he broke the cycle of mediocre talent that a lot of companies struggle to do. He speaks about hiring his CHRO from XLRI and how he went about building the quality of talent from there.
Bringing ideas to life
Ayse speaks about how we move from getting some of these ideas cognitively to making real change happen. She speaks about the difference she made to Marshall Goldsmith and how her input helped Marshall develop the MG100 programme. We had Marshall on the podcast earlier. We connect the dots with his take on this subject.
Leadership next door
Ravi speaks about what Leadership looks like in daily life. He speaks about instances of people around him that have taken initiative and have assumed Leadership. He says that Leadership is not a Noun, Title or a Position but is an act and a verb.
Goal setting - a Goldilocks balance
Ayelet speaks about the four steps involved in Goal setting and what it takes in getting the right balance between inspiration and action orientation of the goal. She also goes on to speak about the roles of approach goals (going towards something) and avoidance goals (moving away from something) and how we can work with the two as we move forward.
TAGSDriving Change Habits
Glass half full or half empty
Ayelet speaks about how we should think about “glass half full or empty” when it comes to motivating ourselves or others around us. Do we look at the ground we have traversed or the distance ahead? She speaks about the nuance involved here and when each of the approaches might make sense for us to motivate ourselves or others around us.
Motivating ourselves during the long middle
Ayelet speaks about the fact that we often have celebrations at the beginning of a journey and at the end of the journey and it is the long messy middle during which we often struggle to find the motivation to keep marching forward. She shares some insights on how we can overcome this long middle.
TAGSDriving change Resilience
Identity and Optimizing vs Satisficing
Ayelet speaks about the link between our approach to optimizing or satisficing in a certain domain and our identity. She goes on to say that our identity often helps us prioritize across different choices and the extent to which we push ourselves in a certain domain.
TAGSIdentity Driving change
Marie Curie and power of joint goals
Ayelet speaks about the case of Marie Curie. She wins the Nobel Prize in 1903 with her husband Pierre Curie for discovering Radioactivity. (She wins another Nobel Prize in 1911 for isolating pure Radium). Their eldest daughter, Irene Curie, won the Nobel Prize with her husband Frederic Joliot Curie. They were the second couple to win the Nobel Prize together, the first one being Marie and Pierre. Ayelet speaks about the power of joint goals using this as a reference case in point.
Driving human transformation
In my experience of having worked with leaders, I have realized that outcomes often depend on the mindset of the coachee than the skill-set of the coach.
Healthy feedback - not crossing the net
David speaks about how there are three realities in any conversation between A and B. 1) A’s intent 2) A’s behaviour 3) Impact of A’s behaviour on B. A can see 1 and 2 and B can see 2 and 3. The challenge often happens when A makes up a story about 3 or B makes up a story about 1. David likens this to how we play tennis and urges us to stay on the same side of the net (2 being the metaphorical net in this case).
TAGSListening Driving Change
Repair and restoration of relationships
David speaks about how at least one of the individuals needs to take responsibility to drive the repair and restoration and rejuvenation of the relationship.
Personality vs Behaviour - Understanding change
David speaks about personality (which is often hard-wired) and behaviour (often in the realm of growth and change). He speaks about how we cannot use our personality as an excuse for our behaviour.