CIO50 2020 #26-50: Christine Yip, LSG Sky Chefs NZ
“The most important lesson I have learnt so far is to be open-minded in my perspective as a leader,” says Christine Yip, business improvement manager at LSG Sky Chefs NZ.
“I realised this is probably the single most important factor in order to be able to identify real opportunity for organisational change.”
Yip is leading the digital business transformation at the hospitality service provider.
Prior to holding this role, Yip worked in project management and has a technical background. She was aware it was very easy to bound her thinking in technical delivery.
“We often talked about no one size fits all in business but when leaders have been working in a single domain for a prolonged period, there’s a strong likelihood that their perspective and thinking are narrowed into their past experiences,” she says.
That is why she says it is critical for today’s business technology leaders, in particular, to “ be aware of the wider perspective”.
“Coupled with a growth mindset and readiness to change means a leader is able to assess and digest all the relevant information and make the right calls when needed.”
This, she says, is basically what she aspires as she continues to take on more leadership roles in ICT.
Recently, her team worked with one of their largest customers in New Zealand, and held a joint performance review.
She says both sides wanted to understand their shared pain points, including the lack of real-time data and systems, that are impacting their respective operational performances.
This was the first time that LSG Group undertook this management exercise and she came away with lessons for how to lead initiatives in an increasingly digital environment.
She says one of these was the importance of clarifying data ownership and business functions, in order to realign and refresh operational KPIs for the evolving workplace.
As a result, she says, they have started roll out standardised processes across the business and operational functions, as well as implemented a number of digitalised tools to improve efficiency and transparency of business and operational performance.
They also took steps to grow in-house digital and problem solving capability.
This included implementing a Lean beginners training across the operations.
Yip also focused on shaping a higher performance organisational culture as part of the digital business transformation programme.
She has started a personal coaching programme to develop change agents within her team.
She invited these potential change agents to attend an external hackathon. “This is part of a professional development programme and also gives them an opportunity to experience a different way of working and in a more technology driven environment,” she states.
A student from the Manukau Institute of Technology joined their team as a Project Management Intern over the past few months.
“It has brought in diversity of skills and perspective into my team to influence the thinking and mindset as a peer,” she says.
“I personally believe that culture is people’s behaviour when no one is watching,” she says of her relentless focus on the people and training component of business transformation programmes.
“Culture relies on people taking ownership of their responsibilities. But first, they need to have a good reason why they should take ownership and how it benefits them.”