5 Traits of Transformative Leadership

Transformative leadership should be normal in environments that are seeking improvement.  In a recent podcast, Kevin Murphy describes the mindset required to transform an organization.  One exercise he describes is to have members of the organization define the type of behavior that they will exihibit when the transformation is complete.  He further articulates techniques to remind them and encourage them to begin modeling that behavior.  It’s a neat exercise to bring the habits of your future self into the reality you now occupy.

pvsfqg8c_400x400In Nicole Forgensen PhD‘s book Accelerate she articulates five traits of transformative leadership and talks about their impact on on an organization.  The five traits she discusses are:

  • Vision-has a clear understanding of where we are going.  Has a clear sense of where he/she wants our team to be in five years.  Has a clear idea of where the organization is going.
  • Inspirational Communication-says things that make employees proud to be a part of this organization.  Says positive things about the work unit.  Encourages people to see changing environments as situations full of opportunities.
  • Intellectual Stimulation-cchallenges me to think about old problems in new ways.  Has ideas that have forced me to rethink some things that I never questioned before.  Has challenged me to rethink some of my basic assumptions about my work.
  • Supportive Leadership-considers my personal feelings before acting.  Behaves in a manner which is thoughtful of my personal needs.  Sees that the interests of employees are given due consideration.
  • Personal Recognition-commends me when I do a better than average job.  Acknowledges improvement in my quality of work.  Personally compliments me when I do outstanding work.

While Dr. Forgensen’s book focuses on the increased performance of teams in a software delivery environment, my personal experience correlates these traits with an increased performance in other environments as well.

Even if your current organization isn’t ready for transformative leadership it’s a good idea to take these leadership traits you want to exericse as part of your future and bring them into your current reality.

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The Relevance of Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an umbrella term for automated systems that combine multiple functions of internal business processing particularly in the capacity of the organization’s resources.  Although ERPs have evolved over the past years to the point where a Rip Van Winkle may not recognize their current implementation, they still exist and are by no means obsolete.  As long as there are human resources being managed by the ERP they will continue to be a valuable part of any organization.  

Human capital is generally one of the most risky areas of business.  It’s estimated that “on average, supervisors spend 17 percent of their time — nearly one day per week — overseeing poorly performing employees.”  Today’s current ERP include algorithms to identify underperforming individuals as well as those at risk for retention.  People are not only a valuable resource, they are also a complicated one.  More data and better analyzation tools can help managers make better decisions about talent management.

Deciding what will replace ERP isn’t easy.  The current model of cloud based ERP allows for a great deal of talent pooling on the software engineer side to cater products towards their customers.  In that model a company like Workday can develop a tool for a specific client and then scale it across their business giving them an edge against competitors.  This model encourages an evolutionary change not a revolutionary one.  

Discovering what the revolutionary change could be isn’t easy.  The iPhone made a lot of sense to a lot of people.  Now that it’s been enough years since its release that it seems a bit obvious in hindsight.  Look at the gadgets folks are carrying around and try to find a way to consolidate them into one.  The next level of ERP will take the collection of items on the tool belts of businesses and consolidate them further.