One of the most difficult thing to do in a business as a CEO, is to successfully transform the business. The success rates of most of these transformation efforts show that most of these don’t succeed, which in my opinion is an understatement.

Yet, a lot of CEO’s find themselves at a cross-roads, where they need to transform their organizations or see them remain a shadow of their past or in certain businesses, go out of business. There are a lot of industries that are going through such a transformational change.

So, what would you do if you were a CEO of an organization that needs to transform itself in order to remain relevant in these times of turbulence and become future ready?

In my opinion, you need to identify one thing that you deeply care about and one that is so key to the transformational journey that you want to take your organization and “give a shit” about it or make an emotional connection to this one aspiration. These are called Keystone habits. One that can create a ripple effect on almost everything that you and your organization do and how you do it.

It is not just enough for you to do this, but you need to identify & reward people in your organization who show similar zeal and emotional connect and reprimand employees who don’t.

One of the keystone habits that you can use is “Customer experience”. I would recommend that you “give a shit” about how do you serve your customers. As CEO, you need to demonstrate that you not only cares about how your customers are being treated by are insanely paranoid about it.

Once your teams see that you are insanely paranoid about how customers are being treated, you shall start seeing a ripple effect on how new products are being developed, how your customer service reps start treating your customers, how your sales teams start engaging with your customers. All of this will also have an impact on how your customers perceive about you and your organization.

This is just an example. Even if you are not leading your organization through a transformational journey, you can still use the same principles and give a shit about some thing that you believe in: It could be about environmental sustainability, it could be about innovation, it could be about taking care of the community in which you do business, it could be about taking care of your employees or partners or about anything that you feel is important enough.

Encourage your employees also to identify and give a shit about whatever it is that they feel strongly about.

We humans are emotional beings but for decades we have asked our employees to leave emotions behind and work rationally while at the workplace. I would encourage you to build an organization which not only acknowledges the fact that we are emotional being, but also celebrates the same.

The key is to create an environment where you navigate these emotions and channelize them into creating a culture of engaged employees. In my opinion, engaged employees can play a key role in the success or failure of your organization. If you are able to do this well, this can become your sustainable competitive advantage, one that cant be easily replicated.

I would love to continue the discussion. Do share your opinions and we shall understand this topic better, together.

PS: I came across an interesting video that inspired this post: Enjoy!