Leadership: spokesperson and role model

100 Open Startups
4 min readApr 1, 2022

Understand the importance of the role of leadership in the consolidation of Cultural Transformation

In the last Culture articles, we discussed the four fundamental pillars for you to implement Cultural Transformation within your corporation and that are part of the Open Culture Movement for Innovation . These pillars ( Enabling ; Empowering ; Communicating and Rewarding ) are underpinned by a fifth and final one, the Leadership Emphasis .

Leader as an example

This pillar is nothing more than the example of leaders in everyday life , the famous “walk the talk”, that is, talking about and acting in accordance with the principles of culture. This example supports the other pillars, as the pace of consolidation of any change is directly proportional to the presence of leaders, that is, how they behave as spokespeople and role models .

Recent data, released by Great Place to Work , showed that great leaders generate an increase of more than 325% in people’s willingness to innovate, improve the retention rate of talent in their teams by 128% and increase productivity by up to 353% .

In other words, the performance of leaders is so important that it works as an artifact for the consolidation of Cultural Transformation, as all their acts, actions and behaviors are observed by the entire company and have a direct impact on the way their subordinates act .

contradictory behaviors

Despite the expressive results that successful leadership can offer, a survey carried out by Gallup , showed that 70% of leaders are not prepared to perform this role, which, consequently, brings greater complexity to this challenge.

Here are some examples of contradictory behaviors that leaders may have:

  • A leader who talks a lot about collaboration, but doesn’t allow his area to support others in their deliveries;
  • Or yet, a leader who speaks and aligns with the team on a principle of flexibility, and is not flexible in defining an internal deliverable.

These are just a few examples of contradictory behaviors that hinder (a lot) any Cultural Transformation.

Leadership training in Open Innovation

We also emphasize that training , engagement , participation and active communication about culture are the turning point for any transformation or cultural expansion and, of course, this part of the effective performance of leadership, which, according to data published by Gallup, is responsible for for 70% of employee engagement.

When we talk about Open Innovation, we must be very clear that, in order to be successful, it is necessary to have a leadership that believes and is able to defend this practice and that provides resources and freedom to the team to implement it.

The leader’s mission is to participate in actions, show teams how Open Innovation can be beneficial, how it relates to the company’s culture and strategy, in addition to recognizing those who work and foster this practice internally.

It is worth emphasizing that, in order to successfully implement an open innovation culture, the transmission of beliefs and values ​​must be constant , and the CEO is one of the main protagonists in this process, having the responsibility to support his team to overcome challenges in a very close and systematic way. Without these actions, the implementation of an aligned culture will be doomed to failure.

A leadership that does not believe makes all the work much more difficult and, many times, does not generate the expected results, since the alignment of managers guarantees the company’s competitiveness and strategic understanding.

“Anything is possible for a company when its culture is to listen, learn and harness individual passions and talents to achieve the mission. Creating that kind of culture is my main job as CEO.” Says, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft .

Well-guided actions and behaviors represent the turning point for the consolidation of a culture of open innovation. Having leaders present in the processes is directly reflected in how employees will look to their leaders as an example and replicate their way of thinking and acting, thus expanding the reach and results of this great movement of Cultural Transformation.

In the next Culture articles, we will talk about Cultural Modeling in Startups !

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