September 2016

In his speech at the “New Era of Collaboration and Employee Workforce” conference organized by Harvard Business Review, which brought together the most important executives in Turkey, Tamer Saka, the Kibar Holding CEO, stated that the technological era that we live in forces companies to constantly go through transformation. At the meeting which was organized at Four Seasons Hotel Bosphorus, Saka emphasized that transformation is a never-ending process, and said that successful transformation depends on the vision and the energy of the executives.

“The employees need to be encouraged on the journey of transformation”

Sharing his experience and suggestions regarding building successful teams, effective delegation, good communication and working with high motivation, Saka stated that the executives of our day, who lead giant organisms that are always in progression, need to be passionate visionaries who know how to work and lead with high motivation and never stop learning. He said: “I believe that the key concepts for success are thinking outside the box, taking risks, taking quick actions, constant learning, innovation, accountability, and transparency. The most important duty of the leader is to provide the required encouragement for their employees when embarking upon the journey of transformation.”

Pointing out the importance of the human factor in a successful transformation, Saka emphasized the importance of collaboration between the employees and the executives in order to move forward.

“What comes after transformation? Another transformation!”

Saka pointed out that transformation does not have a final destination but it is a permanent process, which is a very critical and essential point to understand. He defined this concept as “What comes after transformation? Another transformation!” and said:

“If one wants the success that one has achieved with this process to be sustainable, one should be encouraged to embrace this new way of handling business. During the journey of transformation, leaders need to pace themselves and provide the necessary energy for their employees. The main factors of success during the process of putting a transformation into practice include revealing the hidden strengths of the company and helping people see the shortcuts and alternative paths under all circumstances. At this point, some people might face problems in balancing central and non-central interests and correctly guiding employees. One needs to comprehend the conflicting goals and help people solve the resulting issues. I think a successful transformation can be carried out by supporting the collaboration between the relevant units, making all employees believe in change and preventing them from being exposed to uncertainties.”

Saka stated that in order to increase the transformation energy, they inform the employees about the results of the transformation, activate the recognition and appreciation mechanisms, and prioritize team spirit. He said that in order to avoid problems such as uncertainties or resistant behavior, they reassure the employees, clearly define the processes and goals, follow an organized program, and assign the team leaders as the advocates of transformation.

“We act with a global vision”

Emphasizing that transformation requires successful strategic thinking and planning, Saka shared his opinions with examples from Kibar Group:

“In today’s business world, transformation is a great competitive power. At Kibar Group, we create our strategies with the contributions of each unit. We believe that the strategies that we come up with should not stay on paper, but become a part of our culture and corporate vision. Our strategy is based on acting with a global vision in our executive organization, HR policies, manufacturing mechanisms, marketing and communication attitudes. The main axis of our planning comprises of acceleration. Also, strategies should align with practice and should comply with the trends of the market and the customers as well as the realities of the economic climate. Furthermore, the technological world that we live in requires us to go through constant transformation.”

Tamer Saka’s tips on successful transformation

  • Encourage collaboration among functions and corporate units.
  • Prevent employees from being exposed to uncertainties and reassure them.
  • Make clear decisions regarding who will be in charge of which phase of the transformation.
  • Prevent employees from facing uncertainties.
  • If employees are facing uncertainties, provide mentorship for them. Reassure them.
  • Reinforce their belief in a successful transformation.
  • Go through your primary goals quickly and keep up the pace for successful results.
  • Divide large goals into smaller, more concrete and reachable milestones.
  • You will face steep slopes and tough weather conditions as you climb up the hill. Change your path if necessary; have a flexible approach.
  • Set your priorities. Don’t scatter the resources. Instead of doing everything at once, focus on 3-5 main projects.
  • Encourage fast decision-making. Maintain the acceleration of the transformation.
  • Do not overanalyze. Keep a healthy balance between required analysis and bold entrepreneurism.
  • The central executives need to give their teams freedom in order to encourage moving forward.
  • Share the results of the transformation process throughout the company.