Article (June-2018)


Technological sharpness backed by sensitive emotional intelligence is the key

Adil Malia

Designation : -   Chief Executive

Organization : -  The FiRM, Mumbai


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How do you define culture of excellence in today's business world where it seems to be captured and governed by digital technology?
AM From 'demand creation' to 'demand fulfillment' and ultimately till 'Value' is created in the enterprise, the organisation has to go through different processes. Each organisation goes through these processes in its unique way which is defined by the values it subscribes to and the leadership behaviors it nurtures. Collectively, culture is the 'way around' which the enterprise goes about creating value through its value - chain.
Unless the enterprise has unwavering belief in 'excellence' in everything that it does, the targets will be missed, costs will over-run and its full potential capability will not be achieved. Digital technology is a great advantage to the process of creating excellence in value creation process.
Thus better results, more profits, reduced costs, better supply - chain management, efficiency, better quality and better results would become available to an organisation if it incorporates these digital technology advantages into its value chain.
Using digital technology as a tool to support its unique culture of excellence is indeed the only way forward.
What are the key characteristics of the new-age culture of excellence at work place? 
AM The new age culture reflects some of these key characteristics...
1. The new age culture acknowledges efforts but rewards only actual results.
2. Significant analytics has to back decision making.
3. Teams work from different geographies and different time - zones on the same assignment. If people will work together and therefore sharp and wise leadership is required to bind them.
4. Technological sharpness backed by sensitive emotional intelligence has become the key success factors.
5. Competency is the sole criteria for success. Continuous learning mindset has become critical and total and diverse inclusivity is the basis on which enterprises will build their employer brand value propositions.
6. Social activism will have to be considered alongside business models for economic success. CSR and social justice will be much stronger cultural values that will be reflected in the culture.
How managers should manage the change and instill culture of excellence in approach and attitude of new-age workforce?
This change has to be managed by its leaders using 'Appreciative Enquiry' and inclusive processes to
  • Reframe its vision and organisation design.
  • Communicate its new values and ways of life.
  • Re-architect its processes to reflect the new way of working.
  • Retrain people wherever required.
  • Hire new talent to fill new competency gaps wherever it has gaps for the same.
  • Identify new measurements and metrics.
  • Reward positive changes that reflect adoption of the new ways of working.
What are the challenges likely to be encountered in developing and sustaining the culture of excellence? 
AM Challenges a galore it will have to be prepared to face. To identify some of these challenges, they would include :
  1.  Active and passive resistance due to insecurities.
  2. Adoption without supporting learning processes.
  3. Absence of continuous and inclusive communication.
  4. Lack of courage & commitment to change purpose. 
  5. Lack of tenacity and resilience of leadership.
  6. Absence of top management sponsorship.
What is the role of HR in setting organisational expectations for excellence?
AM The HR partnership role with business to set the change agenda would include...
  • helping the leader defines and communicates the OD journey to reach the new paradigms of change.
  • Helping leadership evolve the new organisation design.
  • Listening to peoples concern and provide them support.
  • Acquiring talent where critical gaps in new capabilities are seen.
  • Designing inclusive new processes and facilitate critical conversations wherever necessary to ensure engagement.
Auditing all existing processes to identify :
a. What needs to Stop.
b. What needs to Start.
c. What needs to Continue and
d. What needs to be Tweaked.
HR should be the leader's 'people alter-ego' in the change journey.