April 21, 2020

Values in Practice: Lessons Learned from Successfully Transforming Business

In order to be competitive in a global economy, attract and retain the best talent, and continue to innovate, the workplace must consistently adapt. For a company of any size, this can be a daunting task, but transitioning towards a more diverse, efficient and empowered workplace can be accomplished by taking practical steps.

According to Subashnee Moodley, Managing Director of Livingston Leandy Incorporated, integrating a culture of consistent transformation has been critical to the law firm’s success. “Evolution is essential in order to stay relevant. Our Directors are committed to implementing values that all employees can assimilate in order to drive change. These values are not lofty ideals; they are practical guidelines that our teams follow to achieve both personal and organisational growth.”

Based on the lessons Livingston Leandy have learned by putting values into practice, here are six practical steps your organisation can take towards transformation:

1. Always be up to Something

From management down to the bottom line, team members should constantly look out for opportunities to innovate. Moodley says, “the basis of an organisation owning innovation is through collaboration and communication. Inspired ideas on how to do things differently are very rarely borne in isolation; dialogue is a great way to create perspective. As a business, both formal and informal meetings are important to keep your fingers on the pulse and identify areas for improvement.” Touching base with your team regularly, conducting organisational health checks and taking different opinions into account creates space to discover opportunity.

2. Shatter Comfort Zones

In any organisation, there is no room to rest on your laurels. Approach every action with an efficiency-focused frame of mind. “Our belief when it comes to procedures and processes is just because it isn’t broken, doesn’t mean you don’t need to fix it’. From technology to management, there are always inventive ways to do things differently. We are particularly focused on modernising the workforce, and this does require shaking people up from time to time. As they say, the best place to grow is out of your comfort zone.”

3. Listen to Different Ideas

A diversity of opinion is integral to transformation. True integration means incorporating different viewpoints into all facets of the business. “Our workspace has been particularly invigorated by the inclusion of millennials, particularly in decision-making. In leadership, when you take the time to really listen, valuable contributions come from all kinds of places,” explains Moodley. Central to this is encouraging employee autonomy. When teams are allowed to make their own decisions, they take ownership of their roles; this gives them the opportunity to approach tasks in unconventional ways that may be more efficient.  

4. Cultivate a Conscious Work Culture

Organisational success stems from a happy and productive work environment. Transparency and open lines of communication are key to employees investing in their work. “When people feel that they are being taken care of, they buy into the best interest of the business. From a leadership perspective, this means acknowledging individuals and managing from a place of compassion and understanding. We empower our team through autonomy, and our mentorship approach to leadership means that employees feel like they are part of the greater plan at play.” Livingston Leandy believes that team-building is essential to establish interpersonal relationships and rapport amongst colleagues, and to stimulate collaboration and a sense of inclusion.

5. Management Owns the Narrative

When it comes to a committed and inclusive culture, management always sets the tone. According to Moodley, “Values mean nothing if they are not put into practice by leadership. We own the narrative by relating to our employees as people, and allowing ourselves to acknowledge our own humanity. Our EXCO is comprised of individuals who do not believe they are perfect; we readily admit our mistakes and put measures in place to ensure improvement. Failure is always a learning opportunity, and through self reflection we become better leaders, and better lawyers. Overall, we focus on dealing in solutions rather than problems.”

6. Strive for Business Unusual

While transformation begins with your organisational processes and company culture, this must extend to your service offering in order to maintain success. “You cannot do business today based on ideas of the past. The company must be focused on constantly improving service delivery and considering how to better cater to client needs. This encompasses improving both the quality of your offering and how you build and maintain relationships with clients.”

Transformation is an ever-evolving process that necessitates buy-in from management and staff alike, but by implementing practical steps, encouraging dialogue remaining flexible and open to change, organisational transcendence is more than possible.