Companies are all being told that they must digitize, automate and innovate. Technology firms are leading the charge by creating new solutions that allows companies to put content on the web, to leverage big data and move everything to the cloud. While these are all noble causes and programs, we forget that companies are made up of employees and leaders who shape the strategy and the day-to-day functions of an organization. So look around. How many solutions do you have that you are not using? How many devices are collecting dust because what seemed like a great idea, is not suddenly last year’s fad?
Studies have been done over the last 10 years from prestigious universities and the fact of the matter is that the success of a new technology or software solutions determines the success of a company 22% of the time and the real impact, 78%, has to do with the culture and leadership of an organization. This means that is you have an amazing company and a mediocre technology, you will probably still win, though the best technology in a dysfunctional organization is doomed to fail every time!
This is why we feel that leadership and organizational development is integral to the success of a company. With our work with Dr. Henry Cloud, who just published his 42nd book!, we focus on how companies develop “High Performance Leaders” and look to draw people closer to achieve extraordinary results. In his book, “Boundaries for Leaders”, Dr. Cloud offers practical advice on how to manage teams, coach direct reports, and instill an organization with strong values and culture. In “Necessary Endings”, the goal is to create focus by finding those things that need to be trimmed from our life. As leaders, we are great a starting things, how often are we finishing or ending those things that individually and organizationally are sapping energy that could be better used to drive new innovations. In his most recent book, “The Power of Others”, outstanding performance depends on having the right kind of connections to fuel personal growth and minimize toxic associations and their effects. The focus is on how to get more from yourself and your teams by drawing on the strength and expertise of others.
As all businesses compete in the new, connected world, we must realize that how we lead ourselves, our teams and our customers is the key to our success.
Technology companies, like Cisco, have realized that the key to their success is how well customers adopt their solutions and integrate into their business workflows to drive transformational results. They have used Dr. Cloud for customer events to help IT teams learn how to lead their organization by focusing on leadership skills before technology features. Additionally, they have hosted leadership workshops for senior executives to learn how to improve their leadership skills inside and outside their organization.
To gain mind share with customers and help them really use technology for transformation change, focus first on organizational development and the speed of adoption and transformation will increase exponentially!