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#ebbfmember Nousha Ram: the rise of accompaniment through principles-driven mentorship and coaching

In the previous episode of this three-part interview, we heard from the late Deloitte Canada partner and ebbf advisory council member Nousha Ram, about the need to create agile organizations and processes to adapt effectively to a fast evolving environment.

Coach for soundness of principles

Nousha Ram observed that “With the rise of the sharing economy: Airbnb, Uber, for example; we are starting to see how the foundation of any business idea must be the principles of truthfulness and trustworthiness.”

Therefore, the focus in her mentorship is to coach for soundness of principles drawing out: “courage; trust; valuing diversity; inclusivity; bringing our whole selves to work” in order to create, what she calls; “Mega-Transformational Programs, that not only bring results, but which also speeds up the achievemnt of set goals, often creating unexpected additional outcomes and learnings.

Her coaching process was: “an innovation – adaptation – energize it – implementation cycle”  upon which “multi-million dollar investments can be made on this frame”, and which “leads – even if you pass through the ‘valley of despair’ on the line of ascent – to results”.


Moving from command and control, fear of failure towards trust

As Nousha Ram pointed out, “This is about working at the pace of change, using tech continually to leap-frog” and “making so much available to everyone, especially, in the competitive and innovative world of business.”

Contrast this approach, for a moment, with: “A traditional leadership style which would, when disaster strikes, use ‘command and control’ as a fall-back position. But” she explains, “this as a slippery slope, which may succeed in the short term, yet not so for the groups: they lose trust; fear of failure sets in; rather than making change as, and in, an organisation, the focus.”

Coming back to her reason for soundness of principles:  “A realization emerges: without trust, you can’t make it!”  Nousha Ram also clarifies that: “Instead of stepping back into the old ways and the old fall-back positions, the leadership must instead ask: What else is needed? How can we support?”

Trust, operating on soundness of principles, affords many opportunities: “We start with trust from the Leadership working with the Team who are supported and empowered.”   This brings confidence:  “We know that whatever we are committing to do is the right thing. Usually, 3 months, to go and figure … then over, say one or two cycles we achieve our goals and create a success culture.”  The focus remains clear:  We work with technology as being applied to business.  We work towards the minimum viable product.”


Leadership that pushes team members to do interesting work

Nousha Ram’s view was that: “Successful CEO’s have a different focus on what people in their organizations should focus on: To Do Some Interesting Work”.

This involves “moving away from: ‘steady repetitive process’ with ‘little or no change’ and people ‘staying back’ in an organisation; Shifting people in their teams to a a different mode, people who  – take, improve and operate – who ‘Make their work and their outputs something that reflects their personal self and where their full self is applied.”

To create this kind of environment, it is essential that leadership be dynamic and operationally thinking in this new mindset too: “It is encumbent upon us to have effected a transformation ourselves: (relinquishing the) ‘too big to fail’ (attitude). We, ourselves, must cycle out of the ‘so old fashioned’ to ‘the agile’.”

Nousha Ram had no fear of these challenges: “I love solving problems, thinking, reinventing, transforming and then – getting and creating energy from this process.”

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