10 insights on leading through change



Gerri Gold shares insights from fellow HPE leaders for our customers, partners and beyond, navigating through their transformation

Since HPE declared our vision to be the edge-to-cloud company, we’ve made significant progress in our transformation.  From our strategy to operating model, culture, and brand – we’ve been architects, resetting the way. Recently, I had the great pleasure of hosting a panel with fellow HPE leaders; to share experiences, and converse on how we take our collective skills and talent, break down silos and accelerate our journey.

The advice of my peers resonated with me so much, that I wanted to share those insight with leaders across our customers, partners and beyond, as they navigate their own digital transformation and change management. Here are my picks, some of the standouts from the panel:

1.    Show up every day and be relentless.
As a leader, you need to be relentless in driving alignment, accountability, advocacy, and advancing talent and culture. Sure, it can be exhausting, and some days are tougher than others. But we are a people business: The energy and confidence you bring will have a huge impact.

2.    Build strong relationships and have the tough conversations.
It’s impossible to be aligned without healthy strong relationships, and it starts from a place of trust. We have to constantly be asking for feedback and giving feedback. Be intentional about your relationship goals.

3.    Give yourself time to think about transformation.
Take the time to develop yourself, to learn, think, reflect and on what is working and not working. Tough one, right? But if it’s important, and it certainly is, calendar it! Be disciplined about making time to strategize and brainstorm with your peers.

4.    Try radical transparency.
Share your journey and tell the truth. As a leader, you feel like you have to be strong, but those moments of vulnerability can add huge credibility.

5.    Listen before charging in.
That’s the famous “two ears and one mouth, use in that proportion”! Listen first. Really understand the culture and how people like to get things done, so you can adapt your approach and be more effective moving forward.

6.    Position tough work as a mission, not a burden.
This is one that particularly resonates with me. People hold tough work as a burden or a mission. Taking on a mission translates to people feeling like they are making a difference. Rallying around a goal, with a team effort in place, can sustain that “mission” mentality going forward. The sense of mission can create an amazing forward-moving energy

7.    Recognize that some thrive in change, and some don’t. Lead accordingly so everyone contributes.
In any given team, some thrive in change, others need more time and dialogue before they embrace it. As a leader, you need to mobilize the positive energy, bring clarity to drive change forward, but also address ambiguity or resistance. In fact, some may become your strongest allies in the longer run, once they’ve come out of the change curve.

8.    Know what makes team members tick and tailor motivation.
Get to know what makes your team members “tick” - that motivation will guide how you approach each person differently.

9.    Have the agency to break down silos.
Be willing to have those “difficult” conversations to break down silos and align to the priorities of your customer needs. Engage representation from all relevant facets to show the value they bring, but always keep your strategic direction and your customer needs as primary compasses.

10.    Always be on the hunt for talent.
There’s a lot of hidden talent in an organization. As leaders, we have a responsibility to spot the talent in those that are ambitious about the work, but maybe not as ambitious about advancing themselves. As one of my peers on the panel said: Our job is to look for the folks that don’t raise their hand.  

So many great insights from my peers. I look forward to implementing, or reviving, some of the tactics in my own day-to-day leadership.

When our panel closed, someone stood up in the audience. It was our HPE Chief Financial Officer Tarek Robbiati. He shared his feedback with us, and how he appreciated the felt empathy, and the importance placed on truth. Two things he said will stay with me for a while I know:  “The truth is the foundation of any high performance company,” and “Uncertainty is opportunity. Because there is no comfort in growth and no growth in comfort.” So true!

The reality is, in this complex world we’re in - even more so than in the past - leaders are learning along with their teams – and learning from each other.

What leadership advice would you add to that list?


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