How are transformation initiatives impeded by lack of team empowerment?

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Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
One of the goals of a transformation project is to ensure teams are happy and enabled. But I've done interviews with development and product teams in pathological or bureaucratic enterprises undergoing transformation, and they revealed that while there might be a well-communicated purpose and urgency, the teams did not feel empowered. The level of leadership oversight on a strategic task is in direct proportion to the business value it drives, the accountability levels in the enterprise, and the urgency to achieve the outcome.

When teams that work on transformational tasks suffer from increased oversight, it often translates into status reports, deferred decision making, aggressive deadlines, and poor life-work balance. This creates a sense of low to no empowerment and low team morale. But there are approaches that can counter this effect:

1. Providing emotional intelligence training to leaders and management

2. Increased visual indicators (e.g., progress meters, Kanban board, Impact-Effort boards)

3. Retrospectives at the strategic levels and town halls with business leaders, for which the themes are enablement, empowerment and team appreciation

4. A connectivity graph that shows how tasks and initiatives are connected to drive business outcomes.
1 1 Reply
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

Is a goal really to ensure that teams are happy?

CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
My take is that if teams don’t feel empowered, then there is overall lack of engagement and buy-in, which will derail any initiative.
Chief Technology Officer in Software, 11 - 50 employees
An Initiative without team uptake and empowerment is simply just ones and zeros or some new pretty piece of hardware. What brings about transformation and transformative systems are the empowered people behind it. As a CTO or CIO you will not see any success in your projects without considering both as 2 halves of the same coin. 
CIO in Healthcare and Biotech, 51 - 200 employees
Teams must be able to address issues and make decisions unencumbered by bureaucracy.  If they can't do what they need, the work will be incomplete or significantly delayed. 
VP in Software, 10,001+ employees
Disruptive transformation can come with a start-up team spirit, where innovation and passion drive the creation of new products and services. Some strategic planning is required to create a high-level boundary on budget/spend, ROI monitoring, and shielding business and stakeholders' pressure. The team on the ground needs to be provided with high autonomy in decision-making and empowered with all resources to unleash their creativity. A governance authority and advisory committee to keep a check and guide the team at a high level to provide advice and guidance from time to time.
CIO in Software, 51 - 200 employees
Traditional mindset of 'I drive from top, please do as I envision and things will happen' does not work anymore anywhere where things are just too fluid. No traditional experience is relevant today and flexibility is only way to survive in this world. We worked from home during pandemic and then we were brought back to office and then again being driven back to home as soon as one Covid case is detected. Every customer is impacted by war. How would every decision be taken on top ? Let the front fighting team take decisions within the applied framework of decision making which is company's values and general guideline. That is what empowering means and that is the only way to go. 
HEAD IT in Consumer Goods, 501 - 1,000 employees
One of the key parameters of successful IT transformation is team empowerment along with a clear goal and timelines for each team, interdependencies among the team also need to be defined.
The team can innovate, learn and motivate when the team is empowered. 
The traditional command & control mode is not a good fit for modern-day IT transformation projects.
There are several examples and documents on empowerment, still, the top-line management support and faith in the team are essential.  
The “new way" means when the team is empowered helps to set excellent  examples of co-operations, often without a
systematic attempt to assess the efficacy and longevity of empowerment in practice.
Command & control modes tend to be restricted to dynamic, customer-driven, contexts
where there is a premium on innovation and customisation.
Vice President Information Technology in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
In many of the cases, we observe that any initiative or transformation journey gets adversely affected due to no or lack of team empowerment. Leaders often get into micro-management and wants to retain all decision making powers to themselves. The suggested way is to delegate the responsibilities to team and Managers must learn to create a good balance between their leadership and management roles. Empowered people feel their accountability and take responsibility to make the endeavor successful. People tend to learn from their mistakes and certainly we do want to see unused brains in the team.   
Chief Technology Officer in Media, 2 - 10 employees
Don't Just Tell Employees Organizational Changes Are Coming. Instead inspire them by presenting a compelling vision for the future. Your story needs to start with the company’s core mission and then offer a compelling and inspiring future vision. Have regular communication and feedbacks.
CIO in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
All initiatives will impeded by lack of team empowerment. The teams won't be able to accomplish anything with organizational authority and support. Nobody the organization will participate.

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