Skip to main content

Leadership Skill – Navigating The Titanic To Avoid The Iceberg

By May 3, 2011February 14th, 2019Articles, leadership, Leadership

Most people have an opinion on Telstra! It tends to swing strongly in one direction depending on the experience you have had with Australia’s largest Telco. I have my opinion as you do but I’ll keep that for another day. What I was fascinated by was a recent article outlining the organisations plight to change the culture of the organisation to a customer focused one! Interesting!  

That aside, it is great to see that organisations are getting back to the fundamentals of a successful business – their clients! The enormity of changing a culture in an organisation as large as Telstra is like trying to navigate the titanic around the iceberg that caused her to sink! How do you do that within a reasonable timeframe? How do you engage the hearts and minds of an entire global workforce and help them understand the compelling reason why this needs to happen? Now that is a massive challenge and I will be interested in how much of an inroad is made say in the next 12 months.

From what I can understand, Telstra are starting from the top and educating their people managers and charging them with the task to come up with a plan to increase the responsiveness to their clients in an effort to improve satisfaction levels. The culture of any organisation starts at the top so the approach is certainly a sound one. These people managers need to lead the change and they will be the crucial part in navigating the ship in the right direction. Again I ask the question though, how do you ensure that 3500 people managers are on the same page? This is the enormity of the task and the starting point. These people will be responsible for leading change within their business units and responsible for cascading the communications to the greater team. This is the challenge to the Telco and one that needs to be carefully managed and measured if they are going to make the impact they need to.

It is common for organisations to bring in a consulting group to assist them to roll out a vision and a message for change and improvement. There can be a lot of motivation and excitement to come out of this. If the message is not coached to and the learning’s and actions not implemented immediately, soon the excitement will be lost to the day-to-day demands of the business. This organisation now needs to have a polished strategy, short and long term, to bring their vision to reality. It’s a great vision and it is certainly needed for the people who are aligned with the service, employees and clients alike. There is a huge opportunity to get this right and to navigate a ship to success if they get the crucial actions to bring it to life right. This is where their people managers are critical. It all comes down to the success of the people. The people are the business. I hope their people strategy is as sound of the greater vision.