Successful Business Transformation through Putting People First, with Arthur Phidd, Ep #2

In this episode of Tech Talent Today, I’m delighted to be speaking with Arthur Phidd, CIO. Art has more than 25 years of executive-level experience leading information technology and corporate-wide business transformation programs. He’s worked in multiple industries, including retail, financial, gaming, eCommerce, government, and more. An award-winning leader, Art is also a faculty member at the University Of The West Indies graduate schools of business, where he lectures on contemporary topics impacting organizational change, technology management, and transformation HR management strategies. You’ll want to hear what Art has to share from the transformation he’s led across the globe.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • The biggest challenge in corporate transformation [02:24]
  • How to encourage change in internal structure [06:40]
  • Having a teaching mentality [10:01]
  • Art’s journey to technology [13:58]
  • Combating complacency [20:35]

The obstacle to change

Art has been involved with corporate transformations for many years over multiple industries, countries, and geographies. Everywhere he goes, he’s met with resistance to change. This resistance is commonly blamed on culture. But is culture an accurate culprit? Blaming culture removes the human element from accountability, as though it’s some being from another planet that shows up and ruins things. Passing the blame like that prevents us from addressing what the real problem is.

The actual barrier to change is our nature. As humans, we are creatures of habit and are inherently built to oppose change. Because of this, we tend not to accept something new until we’ve experienced it. People get comfortable with what they know, even when it’s not the best fit, and lack the willingness to let go of a function that doesn’t belong where it’s placed in an organization. The result is misplaced responsibilities, inefficient work, and unsatisfied people.

Collaborative accountability

To overcome the resistance to change, Art creates a sense of collaborative accountability. He does this by effectively communicating to his client the importance of establishing centers of excellence. As leaders, we have the responsibility to manage people and their careers. That means placing people and talents in teams that can understand each other. For example, if you aren’t an IT professional, how will you manage the career and lead someone who just graduated with a degree in computer science? It’s not possible. This sort of logical discussion is what helps people understand the value of making adjustments to internal structures.

The awesome responsibility of leadership

Art’s parting thought is to warn us to think carefully about our desire to be a leader. We need to understand the differences between management and leadership. Managers focus on the status quo. Leaders focus on change. There’s plenty of management but not enough leadership. One of the most common reasons for people to leave companies is the lack of leadership. If you’re going to be a leader, you’d better understand the awesomeness of that responsibility. You have to be ready for the panicked, late-night calls from your people. You’re going to have to become someone’s big brother or big sister. You have to want to do that.

Managers focus on the status quo. Leaders focus on change. #Leaders #Improvement Share on X

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Arthur Phidd

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