The Key to Success: Mindful Leadership in the dynamic IT industry
Today, the IT industry is transforming from a facilitator of services into a digital bastion of products which add substantial value to the society.
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Try and remember the Indian tech scenario a couple of years ago. The advent of smartphones led to strong disruptions… something which twisted the very fabric of market dynamics in India. Instantly, an array of tech-driven platforms supported by excessive venture funding was actively replacing conventional business models and operations. They were changing the way one traveled, shopped groceries, and even ordered food from a food joint just round the corner. From extensive discounts and hyperlocal deliveries to unbelievable developments such as booking an auto-rickshaw at the touch of a button or even making payments to a golgappawala – tech, and more importantly, tech-based start-ups (both regional and national) were everywhere, solving everything.
But as the dust from that frenzied period settles, a majority of start-ups have either disappeared completely from the scene or have had to considerably scale down their operations to limit losses; only a handful have been able to further their market presence and growth figures. So, where exactly did it go wrong for the ones who couldn’t pull it off despite promising beginnings?
Some start-ups had a disruptive idea but lacked in terms of execution, while some probably had the best human resources but were hamstrung by an inflexible team structure. Some bore the brunt of excessive cash burn, some of unsustainable business expansion plans, while others simply fell prey to adverse market conditions. One way or the other, if you carefully analyse individual stories and connect all the dots, everything will converge to point towards the biggest reason behind their failure: a distinct lack of mindful leadership.
What is mindful leadership and who is a mindful leader?
A mindful leader is someone who not only has the ability to anticipate, but also has the strategic capability to execute the vision by mobilising his or her workforce in the right direction. Such leaders drive change and are extremely agile as well as prudent. A mindful leader displays strong acumen and aligns his or her team in the most favourable way to cater to a situation, whether positive or negative.
This characteristic becomes even more crucial in the highly dynamic and fast-moving IT industry. The IT industry bears witness to state-of-the-art technological deployments which could quickly grow from a promising idea to mandatory across-the-board requirement. Take machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, IoT, and blockchain (which is being used in multiple applications, from cryptocurrency to cybersecurity and global supply chain management) as an example. The anticipation of the future can enable a tech start-up to incept and develop products and services which will serve much higher purposes than just achieving sustainability and growth.
Mindful leadership is not only significant within the business landscape, but also has a social aspect associated to it. This is because it brings about a collective change in the society and paves the way for the desired industrial transformation. Today, the IT industry is transforming from a facilitator of services into a digital bastion of products which add substantial value to the society. Product development philosophies are evolving as well, and cutting-edge products are becoming easier to use and adopt for various use-cases,leading to the emergence of a lot of alternate career options.All of this is happening while the transformation is still underway.
Mindful leadership and its impact on business
Mindful leadership is a conscious and result-oriented approach which is driven by vision and clarity. It is important to lead and create an impact from the inside out rather than having a top-down mechanism.This approach helps in generating multiple tangible results.They include:
Increase in productivity: The apt alignment of the entire workforce as per the developing conditions enables an organisation to augment its work processes and increase the overall productivity.
Strong decision-making: The result-oriented approach of a business leads to a clutter-free environment and provide high discernibly while keeping in view the overarching goals.
Reduction in stress levels: A mindful leadership-driven approach amplifies the organisational power and gives fillip to smooth work processes.This ensures that no stress is induced within the workforce.
Drivers of change:Establishments which have adopted mindful leadership practices are very intuitive and are more receptive to reforms, making them drivers of change not merely within the organisational level, but also within in the marketplace.
Enhanced Performance: Performance can be improved significantly and gives rise to a highly evolved corporate culture.
Prioritization: The result-driven approach gives higher clarity in terms of immediate and long-term objectives and leads to better prioritization of work processes.
Growth-driven vision:Thought leadership comes naturally with a mindful leadership approach.This not only helps businesses in adopting an out-of-the-box approach, but also enables in aligning the entire organisation so that its collective synergies converges into a robust growth-driven vision.
Structure and processes: A mindful leader aligns various processes to enhance the efficiency of the entire organisation. Also, the team structuring is done in a fashion that promotes harmonious engagement and develops a work environment conducive to innovation.
Performance under pressure:The consolidated model and apt deployment of people and processes enables the organisation to absorb pressure easily and generate the desired results even in otherwise stressful and adverse circumstances.
What does a mindful leader bring to the table?
Value is the biggest contribution that a mindful leader makes to both the people and the organisation. This is done by:
- Creating and articulating a clear vision.
- Breaking the vision into meaningful missions and goals.
- Mobilizing people for strategic execution. It includes:
- Driving the team through goals and metrics.
- Managing performance through coaching and clear direction.
- Creating growth avenues for talent.
- Investing in learning and skill development for future readiness.
- Developing a healthy and a competitive work environment.
- Personalized Rewards & Recognition to boost motivation.
Creates and reinforces a culture which develops an organisational structure on the grounds of principles and ethics that one believes in. It must include well thought-out values with farsighted perspective and objectives.
A mindful leader is always ready to lead the change and ensures his setup is disruption-ready. This is done through continuous innovation and market learning, which brings unlocks sizable competitive advantage.
The need and demand of specialised talent has never been realised more than it is today. This is precisely the reason why all tech-based start-ups must understand the skill gaps in their organisations and invest in re-skilling their people.Although the industry has woken up late, but the first steps of the change are now visible – with thought leadership and mindful leaders acquiring the centre stage!