Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis

Management Consultant, Mental Health First Aid Instructor

How to navigate the murky waters of Digital Change: a coaching culture for all

Organisations today are continuously transforming, shape-shifting and adapting to meet the needs of their consumers, employees and the wider economy.

Opinion Piece by Jordan Mizrahi, Management Consultant & Peter Lewis, Change Management Consultant

At the heart of this is the digitization of interfaces and the increasing use of data to learn, predict and map user interactions to improve profitability and drive business growth.

To navigate such frequent change, the promotion of a dynamic culture that allows organisations to reap the rewards of digital transformation is required. This means that organisations must be led by individuals who instill a culture that embraces rapid change and that the leaders of today must effectively coach the digital leaders of tomorrow.

The successful development of incumbent executives, middle managers and those beginning their careers will build a dynamic culture that not only supports but facilitates functional experts in directing the organisation’s strategy into a digital age. So how can this be achieved?

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Coaching Dynamic Leaders to Enable a Dynamic Culture

Change is occurring rapidly, often and requires speedy adoption. In many organisations, change has come around as a one-off event that is then drip-fed to employees over several years.

Frequently, employees who have been at a company for many years are less open to major changes and are often less receptive to embracing such regular change. This shift towards greater change mobility must be spearheaded and championed by senior leaders.

Providing and investing in coaching helps to build a more resilient workforce that is not only capable of surviving turbulent times but thrives during them. This means that current leaders must cultivate an entrepreneurial culture whereby a great idea can come from anyone.

In an age where data is described as the most valuable commodity in the world, it can help companies and governments improve their services by learning more about their customers and employees.

Leaders must adapt rapidly to make the most of this information both effectively and ethically. Leaders must endorse the right utilisation methods and invest in protecting people’s data from growing cybersecurity threats in order to gain the trust of their stakeholders. Incumbent leaders must be willing to upskill and further their learning so that they can justly champion these developments and exhibit digital fluency.

This upskilling can be done in parallel to training the rising generations in the skills required to be successful business leaders. This cross-organisational coaching will create a shift in culture, whereby everyone is a future leader and the benefits of digital change are realised.

Organisational Change and the Perils of Unequipped Leaders

For decades, long-term employees who exhibit functional expertise and perform their jobs well have been rewarded with steady promotions to managerial positions over the course of their career. With the pace of change now being so rapid, it has created the need for more dynamic organisations. High performers should be coached so they have the skills to lead before becoming leaders.

The soft skills required for this can only be taught through a shift in priorities; an investment into functional training supported by investment into a culture that encourages the nurturing of valuable managerial skills. Developing such soft skills requires a culture where trust is instilled in leaders, allowing for the freedom to stretch themselves, to take on challenging leadership opportunities and work outside of silos.

Through Chaucer’s coaching and focus on change leadership, we have elevated both the level of work and overall ambition of the programmes. We would not have got there without them. Chaucer has brought a rich level of personal coaching to the team, that I know everyone values… they’ve given us a new language and style to use with senior stakeholders when exploring challenging subjects and this is of immense value as we move into modernising IT.” VP of Digital, Energy Sector

Consistent Coaching and Mentoring at the Core

Chaucer, through working with global leaders across various industries, have identified a trend where organisations are expressing a lack of confidence in their performance management systems.

Processes like annual reviews may provide structure and consistency, however they are slow in progressing and promoting the desired characteristics required to meet the ever-changing demands of their industries.

Leaders should not only review performances more often but must ensure that the quality of feedback is valuable and helps to steer employee development in a valuable direction, both for the individual and the organisation. Organisations require transformative leaders who lead by example and help drive change in the company’s culture. To do so, they must communicate clear values, a well-defined company strategy and set the standards for the transformation.

As we embrace the digital age there is an opportunity for technology leaders of organisations to be the figureheads of transformation, coaching the organisation to navigate the murky waters of digital change.

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For more information on how to navigate the changing landscape of leadership, please get in touch with co-authors and Chaucer consultants Jordan Mizrahi & Peter Lewis.

Peter Lewis

Management Consultant, Mental Health First Aid Instructor

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Chaucer

Chaucer

Experts in creating value from digital transformation and data to improve lives

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