Dare To Dream, Dare To Succeed
How ambitious leaders achieve full value from their big ideas
Every day, ambitious leaders have big ideas. Yours is a vision to transform your organization and build a better future for your teams, your customers, and society.
You start out energized, with high hopes and a big push to execute. But what happens when you realize you don’t have the capacity or capabilities to make your vision a reality? Or when you don’t have team buy-in across the board, and your execution and solutions become siloed, creating frustration and uncertainty?
Suddenly, you’re hitting unexpected roadblocks that you can’t overcome. Project progress slows, solutions are out of scope, and time and costs begin to spiral. And that’s when transformation fatigue kicks in. The big idea gets watered down, and only a fraction of the intended value is delivered – or worse still, none at all.
And I ask myself, why do visionary leaders accept this?
Limited beliefs limit success
I’ve seen this happen throughout my career. As a medical specialist, I set out with a dream of my own – to serve my patients and improve their lives. But I constantly came up against complex systems, processes, and disengaged teams.
I set out to find a new and better way of working to deliver projects and programs in life sciences. First, I built my management consultancy know-how at McKinsey. And then, I moved client-side to Novartis, where I had three roles, all driving transformation. I led corporate strategy at the front end (the strategic end) of transformation. Then, I headed up what would be a billion-dollar turnover business unit in today’s market as CEO, making change happen at a cross-functional operational level. And from here, I became our Group CEO’s right-hand man, his chief of staff, turning executive-level transformation initiatives into reality.
A team that shares a dream
I believe there is a better way.
Mission-critical projects should not be stressful – they should be fun, exciting, and fuelled by the anticipation of a successful outcome and the difference it will make. A shared dream that drives agility, innovation, and growth, and offers superior employee and customer experiences. It’s something that should unite your team and inspire them to own it and deliver it. Then you as a leader, will find the confidence to dare to dream and to dare to succeed.
Think about planning a long road trip with friends. You know the destination, you know the views will be stunning when you get there, but the road ahead is never certain. And so, you don’t just jump in the car and go. Together, you plan and prepare for the journey, and that’s half the fun.
Projects are no different. And here’s what I have learned:
Have a clear vision of the road ahead
The pressure is on to get projects underway fast and report early progress. But every project is different, and a lack of upfront planning and alignment can quickly grind a project to a halt. This ambiguity and uncertainty cause anxiety and unrest among your teams.
Give yourself the time and space to make your vision concrete and plan for success. Be clear on your goal and reverse engineer it, consider:
What does success look like?
What will it take to achieve it?
Who will do the work, and what effort is needed?
Mark out the milestones. Predict and prepare for bumps in the road. Ensure that you and your team have clarity on what needs doing and how. Go slow at the start, to go fast later.
Make your team a part of the solution, not the problem
Before embarking on your project, you must be certain your team is onboard and that you have considered and consulted every function. Your team will be the ones who execute and deliver the value from your vision. And team buy-in is the key to unlocking the full potential of any transformation project.
Align your top team for a cross-functional collaborative approach to co-create the solution and plan of action. Put them in the driving seat, and together, map out how you get to where you want to go. Clearly defined tasks, roles, and responsibilities instill confidence in delivery and end-to-end execution excellence. And an empowered team will advocate, communicate, and soothe concerns in your wider business – embedding change management from the outset, not just as a bolt-on at the end.
Think through your approach
Nobody knows your business better than you and your internal teams. You trust them to get the job done. And they, in turn, want your trust. But transformation projects demand focus, time, and energy. Do they really have the capacity and capability to get the job done well alongside their day-to-day? Or do you need to look for outside help? A management consultancy, staffing agency, or change management firm?
There is no doubt that external firms accelerate projects. But while they each come with their own merits, they also come with negative trade-offs. Some will bring in their own expert team, proven methodologies, and work to a clearly defined and time-restricted plan. Others will offer flexible staffing options or integrate with your team to smooth the friction associated with change. No one agency does it all. And with this, comes a lack of agility, a lack of internal team buy-in, and high costs. Not to mention a tendency for critical knowledge and skills to walk out the door along with the consultants when the project ends.
All these inherent trade-offs make it impossible for leaders to achieve the outcome they want – the full value they intended. And because this happens so often with complex projects, it's just accepted as the way things are.
Reject the trade-offs
When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense. Critically important projects define careers and company futures. Why would you accept anything less than 100% of your desired outcome?
So, I asked myself what if there is a new way, a different way – one that offers:
- A cross-functional collaborative project team with strong end-to-end project leadership to deliver value and results
- The combined experience of internal teams with the external expertise, proven methodologies, and proprietary tools of top-tier consultants
- A vast talent pool with the depth and breadth of experience and capabilities to match every need
- A resourcing solution with the flexibility to bring in the right talent, with the right skills, at the right time.
- The option to scale up and scale back resource as needed to drive cost efficiency
- An effective way to manage change that coaches your teams to embed new ways of working and builds internal capabilities to continue project success and ROI long after the consultants have gone.
What if there is a completely new consulting model that offers all the benefits without any of the trade-offs? A world of ANDs, not ORs.
For me, this is your vision realized. And this is The Genioo Way.