#54 People & Process in Digital Transformation

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on Mon Jun 21 2021 17:00:00 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

with Darren W Pulsipher, Ann Madea,

Darren Pulsipher, Chief Solution Architect, Intel, asks his guest, Ann Madea, former CIO of HSBC, to reflect on the process of big transformational changes she spearheaded in organizations.


#multicloud #organizationalchange #change #people #hsbc #cio

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Ann started her career as a programmer, moved into program management, and has experience in acquisitions and sales of companies. She was the Global Head of Data at HSBC and became the Chief Information Officer in September 2016. She delivered major organizational transformation programs throughout her career, including new mortgage systems and new core banking systems.

Some of the challenges of those transformations were asking the right questions during the assessments. In a mortgage transformation program, she first asked questions about the finances: Are we over budget? Are we on plan? Do we need to ask for more funding? For the leadership team, she asked whether the right people were in place with the right skill sets to accomplish the changes. She also delved into the bigger picture: What does the business believe? What are the business objectives? Do they understand clearly why the transformation program is necessary and what we are trying to accomplish? She also looked at the status of the program through metrics and KPIs.

For that transformation, they already had a program established and started, but Ann came in as almost a kind of internal business consultant. The program was business driven and business led, but they needed to leverage the technology to achieve those business goals and objectives. The technology and the goals needed to be completely aligned.

In the last transformation Ann headed, almost three years into a five-year transformation program, she took over as the program director for both the business and technology sides. Four CIOs reported to her, each assigned to a business: retail, commercial, wealth, and investment banking. Ann connected them with their business partners, and they would both come together for meetings to make sure they stayed aligned since they were trying to accomplish the same thing.

Although it would seem that these type of partnerships would be regular business practice, Ann found one her biggest challenges as a CIO was getting the company aligned. For something as big and complex as changing a core banking system, a new mobile app, or a new web interface for example, Ann held meetings multiple times a day with the key players because there were probably 15 different work streams, and integration was the key aspect.

Coming in from the outside and making organizational changes is a difficult position to be in. People are nervous about change, especially when they trusted their previous leader. With time, however, Ann found that people came along because they knew the objective was to improve the business, and they bought into the journey. One way Ann accomplished this was sitting on the floor with the different teams instead of in an office. She got to know people and it became normal for them to have her around and be able to have conversations and raise issues. She got raw information from the people doing the work instead of filtered information through management.

One thing leaders often forget is that the people on the teams want to succeed, and a personal touch such as working alongside them goes a long way.

Podcast Transcript