by Anand Subramaniam, Associate Director, Zinnov; Chaitra Ramalingegowda, Marketing, Zinnov
A leader is one who isn’t afraid to push boundaries, who doesn’t stop learning and growing, and who knows how to translate their vision into reality. Great leaders are made, not born; it’s an evolutionary process. In an environment of increasing uncertainty and complexity, leaders’ effectiveness plays a vital role in the growth of organizations. However clichéd, it’s the survival of the fittest. Or more aptly, it’s the survival of those who are open to change their mindsets and transform themselves.
Good vs Great – Leaders Who Blaze a Trail
‘Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.’ – Warren Bennis
To survive in the unpredictable, dynamic business environment and steer an organization towards growth, a fundamentally different kind of leadership is necessary. This type of leadership requires leaders to transform themselves and evolve in fundamentally different ways, acquire new capabilities, and become ecosystem influencers, rather than followers.
A recent study that we did at Zinnov focuses on the three kinds of country managers currently active in Indian Global In-house Centers (GICs) – Governor, Techie, Intrapreneur. Intrapreneurs are the key to driving future growth and evolution of GICs into transformational hubs. The study revealed that, at present, there are only 6% Intrapreneur country managers in the industry, while there is a need for 15%. How can this chasm be bridged?
One way is to nurture leaders – not just good ones, but great ones, across the organization. And what sets apart a great leader from a good one, is their unique point of view; their ability to build a business case that is not just effective, but compelling.
But what is a Point of View (POV)?
A ‘point of view’ is an attitude or a way of considering a matter. But why is a POV even important? Leaders need to have a unique point of view. And what distinguishes a great leader from a good one is a well-structured opinion. History shows that people who have created an impact are the ones who have unique perspectives and opinions, with the ability to set the course for the future. A compelling point of view can be created from the ground up using Zinnov’s Leadership Framework that has 5 As – Awareness, Architect, Assemble, Assess, and Articulate.
Vincent Van Gogh. Pablo Picasso. Banksy.
All three artists have left indelible marks on the Art world through their distinctive artworks.
Aristotle. Galileo Galilei. Isaac Newton.
Three scientists, three heavyweights whose discoveries and inventions shape the field of Science even today, centuries after their deaths.
John Locke. Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King Jr.
Visionaries in their own right, who liberalized the thinking during their time and beyond, to become global influencers.
Henry Ford. Alfred Sloan. Taiichi Ohno.
Three pioneers who revolutionized the American and Japanese automobile industry respectively at various points in time, to make it a juggernaut and a world dominant for a long time.
What sets these pioneers and visionaries apart from the rest in their respective fields is their unique points of view. While having a compelling point of view is half the battle won for leaders, the other half constitutes on presenting it in a meaningful and convincing manner.
In a world where opinions are freely available, why does having a PoV matter?
Apart from having an effective point of view, what puts a great leader a notch above a good leader, is their ability to fluidly adapt to change. With the technology industry in a constant state of flux, it pays to have a leader who can adapt to these changes and evolve, to steer their organization onward and forward.
Some of the factors that have put the industry into a state of flux include –
- Software has become ubiquitous, blurring the lines between technology organizations and every other kind of company. Software is no longer the sole property of technology organizations, but every other company – regardless of vertical/horizontal – has transformed into a software entity. Thus, traditional organizations need to be wary of disruptors from all directions.
- At Zinnov, we define the five tech giants – Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft – as the tech mafia. These big five are disrupting every other company and vertical, time and again. In essence, they have their hand in every technology pie they can find.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ubiquitous – a part of our everyday lives. With the investment on this technology only set to increase in the next few years, organizations can’t afford to miss the AI train.
- Faster innovation cycles is the name of the game, and if an organization doesn’t keep up with this accelerated pace, it will lose out on potential business. As simple and as complicated as that.
How to Create a Compelling Point of View?
While having a point of view is critical for leaders, building a business case with a unique point of view and presenting it to the concerned stakeholders in an organization is equally important, if not more so. A POV could be defined as a validated business case, idea, or an opinion that aligns with the business outcomes and objectives. With multiple and multi-functional stakeholders in play in any large R&D organization, obtaining their buy-in for your point of view will go a long way in translating the draft point of view into reality.
We, at Zinnov, have outlined a framework to create a compelling point of view that has the potential to impact business outcomes. It consists of the 5 A’s, each of which helps answer pertinent questions such as –
- Awareness: What are the issues concerning the organization and its ecosystem that one needs to be aware of?
- Architect: How can one formulate a problem statement that defines the end objectives of the POV?
- Assemble: What are the resources needed? How does one synthesize the information to build a POV?
- Assess: How can one get their point of view validated? What are the different ways to refine it?
- Articulate: How can one articulate their POV in the best possible manner?
Creating an Effective POV with the 5 A’s
- Awareness: This is the first step of the process, which involves identifying the goal and contextualizing it to the organization’s focus areas. These focus areas can be broadly classified as revenue opportunities, operating efficiency, and organization capability.
- Architect: In this step, it becomes important to clearly define the problem statement, who to get the buy-in from, and what is the need for the point of view. Identify the key stakeholders who are decision makers and influencers in the organization.
- Assemble: This is where the basic ingredients of the solution roadmap must be defined. There is gathering of pertinent information, which is then synthesized to identify and address key budgetary aspects, along with the solution roadmap.
- Assess: This is a crucial step, where feedback is sought to refine the point of view. This step needs to be revisited multiple times to hone the solution roadmap. Steps (a) through (d) are iterative in nature, helping hone the point of view, to make the maximum impact on the stakeholders to whom the POV will be presented.
- Articulate: This step is where the point of view is presented to the decision makers and the stakeholders. To effectively deliver a point of view, learning the art of storytelling and identifying different ways to pitch right are imperative.
While having a point of view for a leader is imperative, creating an effective one is an evolutionary process.
As a leader, a PoV is what can get you a seat at the table. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to understand the intersection of Data, Trends, and Perspectives to drive better outcomes for your business.
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