In working with a wide variety of leadership teams, we've found that there are 6 mind-set changes that allow for culture transformation:
1. Force yourself to plan and think of the big picture
Effective leadership during transformation begins with the ability to create a new future and then show your team how you are going to get there. A strategy should be based on a set of clear and finite priorities, formed by what's most important to the client (internal and external), and aligned with the overall business strategy.
2. Adopt a proactive approach
Think of this like the law of cause and effect. Your mindset should be from the perspective of cause. If you think from this perspective, you will be thinking from a place of impact and how you can make a difference. If you think from the perspective of effect, you become a bystander and are helpless to make any difference.
3. Don't delve into tactics
Even if you are a techie at heart, don't jump in and fight the fires -- even if you think you can do it better than anyone else. It's not your job as an IT leader to react to short-term situations; you need to be strategising about the future. If you don't do it, who else will?
4. Be candid with yourself and others
Have the courage to be candid. Don't avoid conflict -- it can be good; it can lead to innovation and creativity that would not happen if we all had the same point of view. It is critical that emotions are kept out and it is not taken personally or becomes personal.
Also, be candid about your own skills and weaknesses, by knowing your gaps. You can fill those gaps with team members who have them as strengths.
5. Prepare for and embrace change
Our one constant is change. As an IT leader, if you resist change or fail to see it coming, it can have a significantly negative impact on your organisation and not to mention your career.
6. Develop a relationship strategy
Success depends on your relationship with clients, peers, and staff. Effective leaders get out of their office and away from their computer and work on developing relationships.
Frequent talks with your important relationships will allow you to anticipate what's coming, develop an understanding of its impact, and gain the trust of the people whose support you need to create the new culture and future of your organisation.
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