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Leading Change: A Conversation with Margit Takacs

Updated: May 10, 2023

"Modern leaders strive to create a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and innovation that make the organisation as a whole a change maker".

Margit Takacs, a woman with mid-length blonde hair and brown hair, wearing a white, floral patterned, v neck top
Margit Takacs

This quarter, our theme at Women in Digital Switzerland is Changemakers: Networkers and Modern Leaders. Change is all around us in our daily lives, but how can we intentionally enact change to achieve gender equality and inclusion in our careers and organizations? Why do connection, networks and modern leaders matter for such change?

We speak to Margit Takacs, who joined us on 30 March 2023 for our online event Digital Transformation - Unleashing the Power of Change Within Yourself and Others. As a Change Management and Culture Consultant and author of the book Change Matters, she shares with us her view on why change is critical in today's digital economy, what a changemaker and modern leader means to her, and her tips on successful change in our careers and personal lives.

 

Margit, tell us about yourself: why did you choose to become a Change Management & Culture Consultant, and why does this matter to you?

It happened in 2007. I was working at the time in the regional headquarters of a multinational company in Singapore and I had the opportunity to go to Bangkok and learn about change management. I attended a four-day-long training, and as I was learning and observing a very seasoned consultant teaching us the methodology, I had an epiphany: “One day I want to do what she does! She has such a wealth of experience when it comes to helping leaders cope with resistance. She has got amazing stories I can relate to and learn from. She makes us feel that even the really hard situations can be managed well. She gives us hope as well as practical techniques. I want to be like her one day!”.


It was really inspiring. I completed the training and together with my boss at the time I had several opportunities to apply what I had learned in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, amongst other countries. It was not easy. In theory, all sounded so clear and common sense but each time a new project challenge posed a new complexity. I loved it! Almost two years later I applied to be a Global Change Management Consultant within my company and it was my full-time assignment to do what I love. That was nearly 15 years ago.


I love that I can do what I am so passionate about, namely helping change leaders and practitioners to find ways to be even more effective as they aspire to bring others on board. From the corporate world, I transitioned to the world of entrepreneurs, running my own business and finding my clients to see how to bring about change.


Book cover for "Change Matters" which shows an illustration of a person surrounded by a whirlwind with a globe as the head. Margit and a selection of businessmen and women are shown next to the book with the captipn "Stories for Leaders Today"

Your book Change Matters is aimed at business leaders and managers. Tell us about it, and how could leaders benefit from reading it?

Change Matters is not your typical business book. Through insightful and relatable stories, this book helps you strengthen your emotional intelligence at work and deepen your human understanding. I invite change leaders and practitioners to look inward, find wisdom to cope with the emotional upheavals, and enrich inner passion, wisdom, and strength with some of my insights and practical recommendations.

Leading change can feel daunting, particularly when faced with resistance from team members and stakeholders. But with the right mindset, I believe leaders can overcome these obstacles and drive transformational shifts in their organizations.


In today’s rapidly-changing world, the talent to adapt and pivot quickly is an essential ability. And I believe that my book can help in that journey.

You recently joined us for an event on Digital Transformation, where we explored why it's about much more than technology and requires leadership and champions of change. If you could give us three takeaways about successful digital transformation, what would they be?

1. We all have a wealth of experience to deal with emotional upheavals. We need time to reflect, think, build on it, and act upon it. We are powerful beings, who with a bit of guidance and inspiration, can tackle any emotional challenges at the workplace.


2. Amongst others, Skillspotting is a powerful platform to help us bring a tangible framework to dealing with the intangible emotions of everyday life and mobilizing the influencers.


3. Connecting with like-minded people through events like this is inspiring and allows us to leverage our collective wisdom.

Our key theme at WDS for Quarter 2 is Changemakers: Networking and Modern Leaders. What does a changemaker mean to you? In your view, how should modern leaders approach change for their teams and organizations, particularly as we look to achieve gender equality and inclusion in the digital space?

A changemaker is someone who actively seeks to create positive and impactful change in their organization and in their community. They are people who challenge the status quo whilst communicating their vision and mobilizing others, and are willing to take risks to achieve their goals.

By adopting a transformational leadership style that empowers others to become changemakers themselves, a modern leader can shine, thrive and reach so much! A critical part of the process for creating a change is bringing an inspiring vision whilst being congruent with the values of an organization.

Diversity and inclusion need to be prioritized by leaders, because by recognizing the unique perspectives and talents that different individuals can bring to the table, change can take us to new levels of transformation.

In the digital space, leaders can start by evaluating the organization’s culture and practices and identifying any biases that may exist. Seeking out diverse talent, and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups to grow, is an important step.

Modern leaders strive to create a culture of collaboration, inclusivity and innovation that make the organization as a whole a changemaker.

If you could give our WDS Community one piece of advice about change in their careers and personal lives, what would it be?

Change can be often uncomfortable and even scary at times. It is important that in our careers and personal lives, we embrace it with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow. Change takes time and effort, so be patient and seek out resources that can support you.

Overall: embrace change as a natural part of life and approach it with curiosity, resilience and a growth mindset.

 

You can pre-order Change Matters by scanning the QR code below, or support her Kickstarter campaign to share this book more widely with leaders here.

Infographic shows a data visualisation: Spreading the word about change matters, status update: 31 March 2023. 228 people and companies backing the book campaign, 620+ paperback and e-book copies pre-ordered,

Margit Takacs

Find out more about Margit Takacs, and follow her on LinkedIn. For WDS members, you can interact directly with Margit in the Member Forum.

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