Drive a Transformative Culture with Diverse Leaders and Empathetic Teams

Chapter 8 of my book, Digital Trailblazer, is titled “Transformative Culture, Empathetic Teams, Diverse Leaders,” and I went through several rewrites and revisions to get the stories and lessons right. I just released the Driving Digital Standup video on this chapter, as it’s one of the most important reads in the book.

Transformative Cultures, Diverse Leaders, Empathetic Teams

Here’s a quote from the end of the chapter:

Hiring and nurturing diverse teams, creating an inclusive culture, and driving empathy are ongoing needs and essential to transformations. The mix of backgrounds, skills, drivers, and interests all play into how well teams collaborate and manage conflicts. Even when you have the right people, you must constantly adjust to whether they’re in the right seats with optimal responsibilities and agreed‐upon collaboration principles. Organizations transforming and managing shifting priorities must make reviews of leader and team dynamics an ongoing process. 

And you can watch the video here:

Diverse Leaders Guiding Empatheric Teams

There’s some logic to how I titled this chapter.

Every executive I know seeks a “transformative culture” that’s open to new ideas, supports experimentation, and partners in evolving the business model. Transforming is a matter of survival for most companies, whether it’s from the threat of a competitor, changing customer needs, or opportunities to accelerate with technology or AI capabilities. I believe transformation is a core organizational competency, but there isn’t a magic wand to help leaders and employees transform the culture.

To transform the culture, start with the ending of my chapter title – hiring, developing, and assigning a diverse leadership team to guide digital transformation initiatives. As I say in the book and video, I seek collegial conflicts brought on by diverse teams looking at problems and solutions from individual perspectives. That’s a culture change from command-and-control top-down cultures, and it’s the best way to ensure teams listen to customer needs, review data collaboratively, discuss tradeoffs, and decide priorities.

But it’s easy for leaders to burn out from the pressures to respond to detractors, accelerate transformation, and sometimes deliver more with less. Digital Trailblazers must balance their drive with empathy, and that EQ must trickle down to how teams collaborate.    

When diverse leaders oversee digital transformation initiatives with empathetic teams, I believe a transformative culture emerges. 

I have more videos and reading at the Digital Trailblazer Community.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.