Indian American, Raghurami Reddy Etukuru, published a book on Transformational Leadership emphasizing the need for new way of leading the organizations.
Indian American, Raghurami Reddy Etukuru, publishes a book on Transformational Leadership emphasizing the need for new way of leading the organizations. He has put down a framework that helps the leaders to navigate the Transformation Mission succesfully. He has discussed the aspects of transformational leadership, along with their appropriate components and subcomponents, in the book “The Art and Science of Transformational Leadership: Unleashing Creativity, Innovation, and Leadership to Embrace Transformative Change” that was just released. The highlights of the book are as follows.
As human beings are continuously looking for improvements to their lives in a world of unprecedented disruption, organizations need to create new value, uncover unmet needs, uncover new opportunities, and drive growth to deliver new efficiencies. Transformation is required in virtually any field, whether it is business, technology, education, health care, banking, agriculture, politics, poverty reduction, entertainment, transportation, cities, or manufacturing.
Transformation is a bold ambition that goes beyond incremental change to change the way we work and change the business models and operating models to deliver breakthrough value to the planet and beyond. Transformation is the evolution or journey from the current level to a different level, producing an improved state of things. The journey of transformation is a long-runnning process requiring discipline and building blocks for future success. The transformation process never stagnates. No matter how mature the industry is or how mature the organization is, there is always room for change. Change is the only constant. There is always room for people to dream big, think big, make a difference, and make an impact to bring about positive change to the lives of their families and friends, their organizations, and society as a whole. The bold ambition of the transformation process should include the democratization of products and services that are not easily available to the broader spectrum of people in all corners of the world. Specific blocks of transformation may fail at intermediate levels, but since transformation is evolutionary and occurs over a period of time, it should eventually lead to success.
For several millennia, leaders have shaped—as they are continuing to shape—the future. Their tireless efforts led to innovations at all times. We have reached the point where hyperconnectedness has become an integral part of people’s lives. Things in the hyperconnected world are changing faster than ever, and disruption is the norm rather than the exception. With exponential developments in technology, environment, and consciousness, the amount of human knowledge is now doubling every few months. However, the benefits are not reaching all corners of the world. Because of hyperconnectedness, the movement of the changes is becoming more unpredictable. With these changes, we are entering a new situation with full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, known as VUCA. Though we have more data than ever, we are more uncertain about the future than in the past as rapid and radical changes across industries are making things that used to be stable more volatile. That is why the acronym VUCA has become the norm in this context.
Transformation requires courageous leaders with the ability to imagine and visualize far beyond the current comfort zone to discover unmet needs with a clear purpose and the ability to drive the mission to reach such a destination by taking bold action.
Transformation starts with envisioning a zone that is far away from the comfort zone. Such a destination should have a clear sense of purpose. The purpose is most important not only for the organization but also for the members of the organization and, for that matter, even for our personal lives. When we live our lives with a clear sense of purpose, we begin living positively and start seeking out new opportunities.
Not every problem can be solved analytically. However, many of the current world problems can be solved using creativity, and indeed, many problems of the past were solved using creativity. The human being’s ability to create novel solutions to problems has allowed us to thrive on the path to the current state from the point of origin. However, many organizations have ignored creativity in their rush toward short-term benefits.
Innovation is the process of implementing new ideas to create a new product, service, system, or process, or to enhance existing ones to bring about positive change. Whereas, by definition, creativity is about original, unexpected, fresh ideas, innovation does not necessarily arise from those original ideas. Transformational leaders must foster a culture of innovation throughout the organization
Organizational culture plays a crucial role in the success of any transformational change initiatives. Certain pieces of the transformation can lead to an unknown state or even to failure. In the hyperconnected world of business, as there are multiple factors increasing uncertainty and creating fear of failure in the workplace, fear keeps millions of individuals from reaching their potential. Transformational leaders must create a courageous culture where people can think creatively, present innovative ideas, and challenge the status quo, even at the cost of failure. Transformational Leaders must create a culture of Collaboration. Collaboration is a process whereby individual people do not come together naturally but instead come together based on the vision created by the leader. Collaboration is very much required in a business where the problems are so complex that no one person or unit has either the information or the power to make decisions. A collaborative process will open the doors for innovation.
We cannot see opportunities in the absence of VUCA. With this in mind, transformational leaders should be happy when they encounter VUCA so that they can transform the environment into a more meaningful and healthy one. However, to deal with these factors requires courage. Courage makes innovation and transformation possible. Courage leads a person toward unconventional thinking and outside-the-box thinking. Skilled people must take risks to solve significant problems and innovate.
Emotional intelligence is one of the under-rated skills that the Transformational Leaders must pocess. Emotional intelligence is the human ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others to solve one’s own problems and the problems of society. Several unknown factors tagged with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) during the mission of transformation will create the uncomfortable feelings of tension, stress, and anxiety. These unknown factors can come in any form. We encounter them while we search for the solution to the problem, or they come in the form of resistance, which opposes change. If these emotions are not addressed, they can strain the mind and body. They can negatively impact a leader’s performance. Emotional intelligence skills help leaders to manage uncomfortable emotions and enable them to tackle tough situations before things get worse.
The book “The Art and Science of Transformational Leadership: Unleashing Creativity, Innovation, and Leadership to Embrace Transformative Change” discusses the Transformation Leadership by deeply connecting the leadership with Neuroscience and discussing the past and present happenings in the industry.
Raghurami Reddy Etukuru has substantial experience in Risk Management, Strategic Initiatives, Innovation, and Transformation. He led several transformation initiatives to build strategic platforms. He has a passionate belief in people that inspires them to become courageous and more valuable contributors to their organizations. He serves on multiple nonprofit Boards of Directors. He holds an MBA from New York Institute of Technology, New York, a Bachelor of Technology from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India, an FRM, a PRM, and a CAIA. He has previously published two other books, “Enterprise Risk Analytics for Capital Markets” and “Alternative Investment Strategies and Risk Management.”