Tools to start transformation in 2024

Tools to start transformation in 2024

Is your leadership toolbox up to date and fit for the results you want to achieve?

The correct leadership tools are essential in driving successful change efforts. They help leaders ensure that the organisation’s goals are aligned, which is crucial for a successful change, and clear and consistent messaging about the desired culture change is communicated.

Studies by the Harvard Business Review, the talent solutions group LHH and MIT research have noted that senior leaders’ failure rate in driving people and culture change efforts reaches 60-95% for various reasons. The usual reasons are all valid: a lack of sustained support, poor communication and engagement, misalignment, and ultimately lack of ability to get staff to believe or care.

All of the above suggests no lack of effort by the people leading the change. Even when the willingness and the process are correct, the threat of failure to deploy remains high. I think not choosing and using the right tools and levers plays a part.

Today, many tools leading global organisations use to drive transformation are surprisingly easy for any leader or organisation to adopt and add to their leadership toolbox to get from point A to point B. Choosing the right tools to drive transformation is a crucial factor.

In my start-of-the-year conversation with peers, I learned that many of them use popular models to manage desired changes in different parts of their organisations. Some focus on mindset tools, which is an important factor for sure. Others also focus on coaching people to encourage them to do something new. Middle management development is another tool Thai leaders choose to drive transformation.

It is important to remember that it often takes the right combination of tools to make the most important things happen. We need our people to feel comfortable adopting new ways of working (the transformation) and equipping them with the skills they need to succeed when they start their transformation journey.

Getting this right also requires tools that apply to the leader herself in the critical personal transformation that must come first. Investments, by themselves, will not work unless leaders are a good model/example by doing transformation, not just looking at the process. Otherwise, it remains textbook or theory.

Here are some tools you might want to consider, particularly at the start of any change efforts:

Tools that get change started correctly: We must give people a clear picture from the perspective of what to what, as well as a clear picture of how to go. The goal is to make people want to go and feel comfortable with what they need to do. It is not a kick-off session where we just come and talk to people. We need to focus on winning our people’s hearts and giving them a clear picture and, no less importantly, the same picture. Go all in and have a launch event your people will not forget and that will create genuine interest.

Tools that help you understand where your people are: We need to identify which groups have expressed their support. Which groups have a tendency or expression to disagree/oppose? What we must do is produce a way to recruit people to go with us. We have to do good marketing with people in the organisation because we cannot drive or lead transformation at the owner/CEO and top management level alone. Try creating a stakeholder map and keep it up to date.

Tools to involve your people: Previously we were used to making change plans. In today’s more diverse workplace, we need to know people to take them all together. We can’t make plans with a few people and then announce them. We need a change inclusion plan.

Tools that make people feel good about changing: From walking to thanking and expressing to reinforcing what kind of behaviour or skill is right, whether it is a small or big action. Develop some recognition and reward systems. They don’t have to be big or complicated. Create a recognition wall or newsletter. Do not wait to dispense rewards for the final episode or result. Recognise every step along the way.

It is important to remember that we should keep using these tools now and then because, during the transformation journey, there will be people who participate and those who change or do not support it. We have to talk to people all the time. Another question to ask is do we need to empathise with each stakeholder?

Arinya Talerngsri is Chief Capability Officer, Managing Director and Founder at SEAC — Southeast Asia’s Lifelong Learning Centre. She is fascinated by the challenge of transforming education for all to create better prospects for Thais and people everywhere. Reach her email at or

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