10 top skills of the best transformation leaders

10 top skills of the best Transformation Leaders

Innovation transformation requires multi-faceted talents who can combine a profound understanding of big-size organizations, with a rebel spirit and a drive for change.

We summarized 10 peculiar traits of these talents. Are you one of those? Feel free to apply, our team is growing!

1. Rebel

To make a corporation change, you need to be a rebel by nature. This role requires you to challenge the WoW of a company that is just not as innovative/rebel as you are. You’ll have to provoke and instigate change in people, for the better.

2. Empathetic

When you’re transforming the culture of a 400,000-employee organization, you’re impacting on the life of 400,000 individuals. Great empathy is required to understand the point of view of multiple people, so that you can design a change program that takes everyone into consideration and impacts people’s life positively.

3. Inspirer/storyteller/motivator

Most people see change as a scary, perilous path. A great Change Manager has the innate capability to inspire and motivate, by showing how the new ending point would impact positively the organization, and by building a strong relationship with the people involved.

4. Project-oriented

Many Change Managers have to follow up on dozens of innovation projects. Project management experience is certainly required to keep the pace of multiple initiatives running in parallel and to deal with dependencies.

5. but also… Big-picture oriented

Project management skills are just as important as the ability to look at all the projects with a global perspective. A multi-layer viewpoint is required, to have a good view on both the project and the organizational level.

6. Experienced in internal politics

A corporate is packed with internal politics. Innovation projects are the perfect fuel to spark internal fires. A Change Manager will need to spend a lot of time on internal communication.

7. Resilient

It takes a certain energy to transform the culture of a company. Great transformation leaders get their fuel from extreme challenges and are persistent to make change happen, even if it takes a while before they see concrete results.

8. Experienced in DT and LS

A solid knowledge of Design Thinking and Lean Startup methodologies is a fundamental requirement for anyone who is building new capabilities at an organizational level. This knowledge should combine a theoretical approach with hands-on experience, this assuring a perfect overview of both pros and possible challenges of these techniques.

9. Adaptive to exceptions and failure

An Innovation Transformation program deals with a monstrous number of uncertainties. A great Change Manager can find quick answers when the plan needs to change, and can find a learning experience every time failure occurs. In other words, keep the transformation goal in sight, while being open to change how to get there.

10. Strategic Sighted

Innovation projects fall by definition out of your companies’ comfort zone. Can you inspire others with a clear vision where else the company needs to look?


I’m Anneleen Vanhoudt, Innovation Manager @ Hyperion Group. Spreading innovation culture is in Board of Innovation’s DNA – if you liked the read, contribute to their mission by sharing this article.

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