Learn from Google, Def Jam & More Plus: Women Execs Making Waves and How We Helped Easterseals Arkansas!
In the last edition: Navigating Leadership Transitions with Ease, we pulled back the curtain of leadership transitions to explore what works, what doesn’t, and how to prepare for the worst.
This week, we’re continuing our odyssey with examples of organizations that successfully navigated choppy transition waters.
Though we love diving into the latest marketing tactics on The Filter, we’re firm believers that in order to show up for your community and customers, you have to show up for your team.
Ready to see what could await your organization on the other side of a crisis?
Here are some case studies to aspire to in times of need:
Sundar Pichai of Google
Google isn’t a goliath just because of its technology – the company’s leaders have put in the work to uphold high cultural standards internally.
These efforts came into focus in late 2019 when Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin handed the Alphabet reins over to Sundar Pichai. Thanks to his role in the creation of Chrome and involvement in AI and Machine Learning investments, he couldn’t have deserved it more.
Yet the Google exec team didn’t take any risks during his transition – here’s a refresher of best practices during a period of leadership change, and how Google embodied them:
- Succession Planning: Pichai was groomed for the role over many years. No one was surprised by his promotion.
- Internal Development: Pichai started mid-level and rose through the ranks. This demonstrates Google’s investment in employee growth.
- Continuity is Key: Because Pichai shared the founders' views, the transition was smoother for employees, stakeholders, and customers.
- Empowerment and Delegation: Page and Brin demonstrated a high degree of trust in their chosen successor. They empowered the new leader and resisted the urge to micromanage.
- Communication: The co-founders openly communicated their departure and expressed resolute confidence in Pichai.
- Humble Leadership: Pichai is known for his humility, which earns him respect and fosters a collaborative culture.
- Adaptability: Despite the continuity, Pichai brought his own strengths and perspectives to the role, spotlighting the importance of adaptability in leadership.
- Innovation: Pichai's commitment to technology breakthroughs and innovation has remained steadfast.
Google continues to push boundaries, win customers, and earn loyalty. Clearly, Pichai’s transition was a success.
Jay-Z and Def Jam
When Jay-Z was named president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings in 2004, it marked the start of a new chapter for the label. Though his ascension is unique (we have a feeling you won’t have a world-famous rapper taking over your company any time soon), it embodied many of the positive changes that can happen during a transition period, such as:
- A fresh perspective: coming straight from an iconic career and momentous retirement, Jay-Z’s POV couldn’t have been more relevant and refreshing
- Organizational culture: his selection set a specific and strategic tone for the future of the label
- Skill enhancement: Jay-Z made the public decision to leave his own music career behind and pivot to producing, demonstrating a clear commitment to skill enhancement
- Stakeholder engagement: this one almost goes without saying – music and financial leaders alike were thrilled about the announcement
Satya Nadella of Microsoft
Few leadership transitions have been hailed as successful as Satya Nadella’s in 2014. Here’s why:
- The background: before the appointment, Microsoft was under serious threat from its competition, both on the mobile market front and on the Windows and Office front.
- The transition: Nadella’s background in Cloud and Enterprise set Microsoft up for success in cloud computing and AI. By having the company double down in these areas, Microsoft underwent a massive cultural and strategic shift.
- The outcome: Today, Microsoft is back with vengeance. The company is now a leader in the cloud market with Azure, and all eyes are on them to determine the future of AI and machine learning.
Nadella is an excellent example of a leader who saw a transition as an opportunity to drive cultural, business, and strategic change.
Eight Women Execs Leading With Ease
Last week, we also touched on the unique position women leaders find themselves in compared to their male counterparts. Transitions are never easy, but new women leaders have even more to navigate.
The main lessons include the importance of:
- Vulnerability and Empathy
- Supporting Other Women
- Leading Through a Crisis
- Role Modeling
- Assertive Compassion
- Balancing Emotional Strength
- Inclusion and Encouragement
- Human-Centered Leadership
Women may face additional challenges during a transition, but it’s also an opportunity to set a much-need tone of change and innovation.
Ron Ekstrand, Easterseals Arkansas, and iProv
As a leading digital marketing agency, we never miss a chance to make a positive impact in the community. This commitment came into play when Easterseals Arkansas underwent a significant leadership transition with the appointment of Ron Ekstrand as the new CEO, and we eagerly stepped in to collaborate with him closely.
Our role during Ekstrand’s transition was also timed to the challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you all know, marketing efforts across industries need to adapt, and adapt quickly. With our help, Easterseals was able to pivot to virtual events, including the popular annual Fashion Event. Despite the upheavals happening around us, we helped Ekstrand and his team surpass their fundraising goals that year.
How did we do it? Throughout our collaboration, we offered up:
👉 Strategic guidance
👉 Innovative marketing solutions
👉 Our deep understanding of the local market
👉 A shared vision with Ekstrand and his team
👉 Determination to enact positive change
Schedule a Consultation
Whether or not your organization is undergoing a period of change, a trusted marketing partner can keep your team on track and enhance the outcomes of your tactics. Curious about what iProv can bring to the table?
Let’s talk! Click here to schedule a free consultation.