Cooking up transformational change is like making the perfect mole! My passion outside work is cooking – all cuisines, but especially Central and South American. When I think of transformational change – I think of the Mole – complex, balanced, and enriching. It takes a monumental set of ingredients but the art of cooking mole is the balance you can achieve.
The biggest business challenges are no different. They require multiple perspectives blended into a cohesive, thoughtful approach. A few weeks ago, I joined a group of Point B leaders in a meeting that reminded me how we help our customers create that harmony. In our business of transformational change, we balance trusted leadership, the voice of the customer, and subject matter expertise.
The foundation of this recipe is trusted leadership. We see our job as helping our customers provide that trusted leadership – by helping them translate their vision into tangible action, align their organization around their agenda, and stay in sync with what is happening, from the front lines of their business to the very edge of their industry. We emphasize to our program leaders the importance of deeply understanding our customers’ business and the individual leader’s interests and aspirations. We stress the importance of strong and lasting relationships from the executive team to the front line – to pull context and activate change within the organization. We model the transparency, forward-thinking, and agility needed to help our customers create that system of trust within their change agenda.
Envisioning how you want the recipe to taste for your customers is where transformational change is either won or lost. Simply put, seeking and hearing the voice of your customer is the key part of the recipe that can help land sustained change in the organization. For us, it translates to backing our account teams with industry expertise – leaders who hone their understanding of our customers’ business in order to speak their language, bring in new ideas and relationships across the industry, and keep a pulse on trends that might be around the corner.
Assembling the right subject matter expertise is like making sure you are using the right ingredients and spices to translate vision into tangible business outcomes. Beyond getting the ingredients right lies the importance of methods and tools, timing, adaptation, and innovation. Our customers build confidence in their transformation journey when they use consistent methods and tools they understand, a unified but flexible approach, and the willingness to go beyond “the statement of work” to adapt to changing conditions, innovate new ways to solve problems, and ultimately leave their organization in a better place.
And then, just like cooking mole, is that art of balance. Keeping trusted leadership, voice of the customer and subject matter expertise in balance is critical. When you don't leverage expertise, you miss opportunities to benefit from the best, most innovative ideas, limiting yourself to incremental change. When you over-index on expertise over trusted leadership, you miss the chance to understand the greater context, nuance and needs of both the leader and the organization to adopt change. And without translating all your thinking into the customer's language, you miss the ability to enrich your customers’ experience.
I'm thankful every day for the opportunity to bring the art of cooking mole to our customers’ biggest challenges. The outcomes we help generate and the balance we instill allows our customers to take bigger swings at their most pressing challenges.