Technology is becoming a regular feature across global thought leadership. With disruption changing the face of businesses, leaders are queuing up to adopt technology rapidly. After all, only agile, resilient, and future-focused businesses stand to thrive in this new era.
But the question remains: how do you become an effective technology leader?
In a 2020 Global Technology Leadership Study by Deloitte, some interesting observations come to the fore:
- 55% of tech leaders identify themselves as trusted operators
- 64% of tech leaders aspire to be business co-creators
- 69% of respondents expect tech leaders to be instigators of change
Deloitte calls such a future technology leader one with a personal leadership vision known as ‘kinetic ”” leadership’. I It implies that to become an effective tech leader, you must not only be focused on introducing tech-enabled transformation but also conduct widespread organizational change to deliver business results and build resiliency and agility.
Becoming such a successful tech leader requires motivation, purposeful planning, and implementation of key strategies, seven of which are mentioned below.
- Follow the Conway’s law
‘ ‘Conway’s Law posits that the better your ‘ ‘structure and processes, the better your product will be. Too often, technology and finance business leaders suffer because they create a business environment that is solely dependent upon them. The goal here is to create a structure that can work independently, thus cutting down on micromanagement and enabling teams to work autonomously towards achieving their objectives.
Sanjiv Bajaj – one of the best finance leader builders in India, and President CII –believes in this leadership methodology a lot.
As a tech enabler who has transformed millions of lives through tech-based financial inclusion in ‘ ‘India’s underserved areas, Sanjiv Bajaj has created small, change-oriented teams called Centers of Excellence. These CoEs independently drive, innovate and execute new ideas with a clear accountability model. That has enabled Bajaj Finserv to push the boundaries of fintech and champion a rethink of technology leadership.
- Build cadences into your business
As a tech leader, you’d be surprised at how much energy and time you save by automating and regularising tasks and processes – like meetings – at your organization. Cadences generate harmony, rhythm, and clarity in a workspace, thus speeding up execution and reducing the number of check-ins and meetings required.
The structuring of every single event at an organization helps tech leaders foster clarity of thought, transparency, alignment, and execution speed in an unprecedented fashion.
- Ensure flexible and transparent roles and responsibilities
Accountability does not need strict organization charts or titles. There is a middle ground: Defining duties and roles independent of hierarchy or job titles. You can create a company-wide document that specifies roles and duties. List critical metrics for each job, who has it, what areas of responsibility it owns, and how long it should last. The idea here is to provide a clear sense of accountability and responsibility to all stakeholders.
As a leader, never undermine those who are accountable. Give your team members complete control. Remember, mistakes can easily be corrected. You should reflect briefly on their performance.
- Keep everyone informed on the progress
As a finance and tech leader, you need not be excessive. You don’t require excessive meetings to stay informed on each and everything. After all, the speed of change is good for a tech organization.
The action plan is to have a single, cross-functional meeting involving all members of the company to come forward and enlighten everyone about the progress they have made, the issues they face, and what their upcoming plans are. The idea is not to solve problems or issues in one meeting but to let everyone be on the same page and figure out offline who the best person to deal with them is.
- Retrospect consistently
Schedule a regular company-wide retrospective meeting where any team that completed a project or solved an issue in the last month might present. Each project should take 5-10 minutes. This way, you, as a tech leader, can align the team to your leadership vision and distill past projects or performances with a microscopic lens.
Use important metrics to figure out the performance and go for outcome-based indicators as the global thought leadership gurus do. Regular retrospection helps tech organizations cut down on errors and build greater consistency and efficiency at work.
- Dedicate one full day to planning
Many business owners are so caught up in the moment that they don’t consider changing direction or objectives. Yet planning for the future is necessary to keep pace with the competition and the industry changes.
Here, tech leaders can dedicate a full day to planning by including all the stakeholders.
In such planning sessions, it is important to figure out what goals to continue pursuing, what new tasks to take up, and what tasks to drop. Since we are hardwired to resist change, planning together takes ‘ ‘everyone’s buy-in and makes it smoother.
- Managing Stress
Lastly, a good tech leader can only become so by learning to manage stress better. No matter how excellent you are or how well integrated your staff is, there will always be conflict inside your firm. The effective way to deal with it is not to offer consolation or try to patch things up.
Greater transparency also allows a leader to prioritize which stresses and tensions to bust first. As you do so, you will realize that they have been automatically solved by the time you get to the ones with the lower priority.
The Bottom Line
By following the above-mentioned strategies, you can truly chart the way to becoming a progressive, successful tech leader who is not just tech-focused but also an instigator of change at an organizational and human level. This important distinction is what your leadership vision should be all about.
With the need to build greater resilience, agility, and future-focused ethos at an organization, tech leaders consider global thought leadership an important tool in managing an organization effectively. After all, it is not just about developing a new, innovative, disruptive product but creating an organization and capable teams, structures, and processes that can build such a product. In order to achieve the same, modern-day tech leaders can follow seven strategies outlined in this blog to become the ideal tech leader who will thrive in the future.