That is how Cheryl Cran sums up the focus of her work as a successful business entrepreneur and author. Cran will offer insights and practical guidance how leaders today can prepare their organizations for the future of work in her keynote presentation on Friday, March 27, 2020, at the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program’s upcoming 32nd Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference.
Based on two decades of supporting the leadership of thousands of organizations around the world as founder and CEO of Synthesis at Work Inc., Cran recently talked to me about two key challenges that leaders today face across all sectors and industries:
“One of the reasons that companies struggle with digital transformation is that they haven’t addressed people’s needs first,” she said. “If that’s done first—that is, you have focused on addressing both your employees’ and customers’ needs—your company will make a successful change,” she affirmed. “You will have a seamless change approach and an organizational culture that embraces change,” she added.
In her early career in finance and insurance—in which she was promoted to a leadership position at age 23, with ten direct reports—Cran’s bosses identified that she had “a natural aptitude for leadership and seeing the big picture.” Those traits have helped her clients to have greater success—“and that excited me,” she said recently.
“My passion is in finding future-focused solutions.”
Since she launched her consulting practice in 1997, Cran has worked with organizations globally in wide-ranging sectors and industries, including technology, health, agriculture, finance, and insurance. She developed a proprietary business process tool called NextMapping™ for use by organizational leaders to prepare their workforce members and customers for the inevitable digital transformation of both the workplace and relationships with customers.
Cran said the “people first, digital second” approach of her work “helps companies address human needs as they build the leadership capacity to adapt to great changes in the business world and beyond.”
In discussing her upcoming presentation for the Baldrige community, Cran offered the following insights for consideration by leaders who are building high-performing organizations for long-term success.
“Regardless of title, everyone is a leader in the future of work.”
“The biggest opportunity is for everyone to become more adaptable and agile toward the future of change.”
“The future is about collaboration, and we must all be shifting from a ‘me’ to a ‘we’ approach.”
Cran’s latest book, NextMapping: Anticipate, Navigate, and Create the Future of Work, will be available for sale at the conference at the ASQ bookstore on site, and Cran will sign copies for conference participants.
The three-day virtual showcase will feature the 2019 and 2020 Award recipients, former recipients, pre-conference workshops, senior leader plenary sessions with live Q&A, more than 70+ on-demand concurrent sessions, conference keynote, and more!