Transformational Leadership, how I understand it!

Searching through my files I have come across one of these letters that I have always sent to my teams in the organizations for which I have served.

I would like to share some of them, and this seemed to me ideal for the present moment.

¡What kind of things I said in 2000!


“Continuously improving processes, materials, quality and management, seems not that complicated but continuously improving people, and ultimately oneself, is a really complicated task.

One of the tasks that we all have as managers is to build trust. Of course, trusting ourselves is essential, but it is insufficient. Building trust vertically: up and down, as well as crosswise, is one of our main tasks in our day to day. And I am telling you this not only because of the responsibility we have as managers, but also as human beings who live in a society that fills us with responsibilities (social, family, etc…). Trust supposes respect in our work. Personal and professional respect. And we have to earn this respect every day. Nonstop. There is no minute for decay and abandonment. This is not always possible. We are human beings full of virtues, but also full of imperfections. We must pay due attention to people and help them from the responsibility we have to achieve their goals, both professionally and personally.

This, I repeat, is also the manager’s task. Managers of the 21st century. The manager who is able to lead. Lead, not robots, but people. Sensitive people to changes, to stress, to the dynamics of the business. And all around us we have incompetents, pissed, easily discouraged and demotivated people. We must make their work easier for them, offering them confidence, setting an example, helping them to understand better, reducing their stress. Many times, this is surrounded by conflicts (agreement, disagreement). But we always have to try to avoid confrontation. The balance is always in maintaining a coming and going of agreements and discrepancies in a rational and unemotional way.

And you know, the most important thing is to talk and communicate. Do not allow emotional silence to occur, that fearful emptiness, produced by pride, disinterest, insensitivity, and not even by avoiding conflict or by mere revenge.

I believe that we should all make an effort with ourselves and give the necessary example to others by learning to ask for forgiveness. It is, in my opinion, the most rational and emotionally intelligent way to resolve conflicts and foster a constructive relationship in our companies.

Learning to apologize. What a beautiful thing! What a positive action! I repeat not only in our work, but in our personal lives. Accepting our mistakes, reflect on them, repair the damage caused, ……., let’s not be afraid, do not hesitate to do so. From here I invite you to. To be able to express with clarity, honesty and absolute sincerity a “what you have done has hurt me”, to express “I’m sorry, I hope it doesn’t happen again”, to convey calm saying, “don’t worry, it didn’t matter” and above all to give in capital letters “THANK YOU” to all those who help us and also, why not, to those who ask us for forgiveness.

Jose-Pedro Martinez

Picassent (Valencia), December 2001”

How Do You Keep Team Culture Strong in a Hybrid World?

Over the past few decades, employees have spent much more of their time collaborating, in meetings, on phone calls, or via email and chat platforms.

Engaging with our team(s) now accounts for more than 60% of employees’ time.

This proliferation of teams has complicated the working lives of employees.

As teams become more complex, more fluid, and more remote, team members must navigate a continuous changing environment.

Teams today are more complex and more dispersed than in the past. Many employees work in more than one team, team members sometimes are in more than one country and for sure more than one work remotely.

However, employees think that they can be still duly connected with the organization working remotely.

While modern technology allows us to collaborate remotely in ways that were unthinkable short time ago, that doesn’t mean that working with virtual teams is easy or that it’s the same as working in person.

Generally speaking, we can say that in this hybrid world we need to manage and practice the same rules that in the past, but with some differences we must consider.

We are in a world continuously changing and more than ever managing people is very important. We need also much more people with a growth mindset able to face quick and agile changes.

But be sure that attending what you´ve just read, organizations will also be able to enhance their cultures.

Salary Negotiations: What should you know about it?

At this time of the year we are not only thinking about this Christmas or shopping time, but we are also thinking about how the end of year will be in our companies, if we will achieve our targets and something very important: if we have some option to improve our salary conditions for the next year.

Money isn’t everything but feeling that we have a competitive salary and we are well paid according to our contribution is crucial for us.

Negotiating our own salaries is a relevant part of our professional life. Many of us forget about it or don’t pay adequate attention to it.

There are different factors to be considered when negotiating our salary. It is not the same to negotiate a salary when we are starting a new job neither it is when we are changing a position inside the company we work in or when we have to renegotiate our salary from the position and job we are serving.

Each one can have a diverse casuistry and each case must be treated in a different way. However, each one has common characteristics that make possible treating this important negotiation under winner premises and strategies when we negotiate our salaries.

One of the first things that happen when we consider negotiating our current or future salary is our mind chatter or internal dialogue and how our emotions influence our decisions and the way we face this kind of negotiations.

It is true that the negotiation does not only depend on our own situation but also in which type of company we’re working at. It is not the same to negotiate with a family-owned company than with a multinational, and it is not the same with a big structured company than with a “start-up”.

The first thing we need to have when we start a negotiation process is references that will permit us a consistent approach to our current or future company. These references consist on knowing the salaries paid in the market to professionals with an equivalent experience to the required for the position, the required education, personnel depending on such post, and which position they have in the organizational chart considering companies with the similar size and in the same industry.

It is good to consider certain flexibility grade and being creatives when we start a negotiation process of these characteristics, so we should evaluate the possibility to get rid of part of our monetary compensation in order to obtain other kinds of alternatives as compensation in kind. We have to focus in the long term, not only in the short term when considering how important is our potential development in the company. We have to keep in mind, that after a negotiation of this nature we have to continue working and keeping a balanced relationship with our employer that will be also vital for our future.

Finally, I want to remember that the company we serve or the one we are applying to, won’t be the last one in our lives. Moreover, our current opportunity will determine in a big portion which will be our next professional challenge. If our mindset changes in that sense, from that moment we will start noticing new opportunities that will drive us to develop our experience and this one, will be decisive for our next job and the following.

Do We Really Feel That Time Speed Up Along Our Lives?

At the beginning of this year 2016, Marc Wittmann, a researcher fellow at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, Germany, published “Feel Time”, a book talking about the psychology of how we perceive time. How the perception of time is varying along our lives.

From Children that have trouble waiting for anything to older people where the years are flitting by without a pause. A fulfilled and varied life plenty of mindfulness will give us the feeling of time and improving that sense.

But he talked about it years ago, together with Sandra Lenhoff when they were in the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, in Psychological Reports. They studied a sample of time perception by 500 subjects, from 14 to 94 years old. Although empirical results brought them some controversial, results supported the widespread perception that the time speeds up with the age.

For all the generations that share the same workplace nowadays and in the future, they will have to have a common feeling, time flies when we are having fun. Likely this can make time appear to pass more quickly in the moment, but what is more important is that later on, we will remember our activities to have lasted longer than we could feel in the moment that happened.

In other words, the newer memories we build, the longer that trip will seem for our brains.

This combination can bring to our lives mental and physic health that for next decades will be critical for our organizations. Rising life expectancy will change everything for all of us.

Since 1840, every year has brought an increase in life expectancy of three months with extraordinary constancy. A child born in the West today has more than a 50 per cent chance of living to 105. Such forecasts could even be a massive underestimate depending on your assumptions about future innovation in medical science – according to some researchers, the first person who will live to 500 or even 1000 years has already been born. Estimations are that all the population in age to be retired, means 65 years, in 2030, they will have a life expectation overpassing 90 years

Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott of London Business School argue in their new book, The 100-Year Life, that the current three-stage model of life we have today – childhood, career, retirement – will be stretched to breaking point, with people either forced to save such huge amounts during their career that they enjoy dramatically lower living standards in their prime years or required to work much longer than they might feel capable of.



We must be able to manage this change in our world that together with very important changes in digital transformation and others will make us managing our organizations in a very different way.

Living together different generations in the workplace will be one of these changes. We must understand that people in their 20s and 30s, even those in their 40s and 50s, need to come to terms with the fact that the gift of longevity means they will not simply be able to emulate the lives of their parents. It will mean much more than this.

Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (our famous millennials) and Gen Z are already together with a world in front of them very different as they could imagine when they started or dreamed starting their careers.

To accomplish organizational goals, workers from all generations must identify common ground and develop the ability to communicate, cooperate, and value each other’s differences. This is not future fiction; this is already with us.

Changing Change

Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.

John Medina – Molecular Biologist


When we talk about change, most of the times we think about self-transformation and bring us positive emotions but also fear and anxiety. At the same time is empowering us to change things in our lives. Often we also have access to an immense amount of self-help books where we will find many recommendations and suggestions to enjoy an awesome life.

When we talk about organizational transformation, this occupies a different emotional space in our minds. As soon as we listen those words, “our organization is going to start a transformation process”, immediately we think lay off. We would like to run out of that, hide our heads into the sand. Organizations are continuously changing technologies, expanding and growing the businesses and in many other factors.

It is really true that our organizations are always adapting and we are in a called age of continuous transformations. And you know, we are tired of this situation, always changing and transforming our organizations in the way we do it.

I wonder why transformations are wiping out us and how we should face them in a different way. At the same time, I know that change is hard, especially when change is imposed and changes could be less hard if leaders would manage it differently.

If leaders reacted faster, changes could be less dramatic because the circumstances wouldn’t be so hard and difficult to turn around. If we let  companies finally go deep into a crisis, to recover back the health of them it will be much harder, complex and changes will be more painful for everybody.

These moments bring the organizations to focus mainly in the short term, so it is very arduous to give back a positive balance and look into the future with enthusiasm and hope.

So, what can we do? How can we face an organization transformation with power and energy?

The most influencing and persuading way to be successful with a transformation process is putting people first.

Most of the transformation processes have very important financial and operational goals. This can be very inspirational for leaders, but they won’t be very motivational goals for most of the employees in the organization. It is also common that transformations are headcount cutting to downsize companies with the main target to reduce costs and bounce back to a healthy situation.

This is not the only solution for organizations. Rather than cutting costs, we should pursue for initiatives. Initiatives that can make to win in the medium or long term run. Initiatives to drive growth. Everything is possible to modify what will make the organization to operate in a different way. And overall all kind of investments that can contribute to develop the talent and leadership of our employees.

Putting people first is very important to enable them with the capabilities that they need in that transformation period to be successful. Every transformation requires different tools, technics, skills, capabilities, so when we face one transformation it is very important that we provide to our employees with the right tools and skills.

Our organizations have their own cultures, but we must instill them with a right dose of learning skill. We need that our organizations are ready to experience what it is continuous learning. This is one of the biggest reasons that can bring success in an organization that is transforming. If we do this change in our cultures, we will transform the fixed mindset of our organization in one growth mindset. Our leaders for sure will behave in a very different way with that change.

Our leaders that are managing a change management process, at the end transformations, need to have a vision, a clear roadmap and then to have a great and cohesive team. This team should be excel managing conflict, achieving commitments and embracing accountability. For it, we need open, welcoming, comprehensive leaders.

In this age of changes and transformations we need to change the way we transform organizations and the only way to do that successfully is putting people first.Las Mentes Estresadas no aprenden de la misma manera.

John Medina – Biólogo Molecular

How Mindset Can Influence In Change Management

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.

Mahatma Gandhi


Do we really understand what mindset is? As a starting point, we can define it as a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one’s behavior, outlook and mental attitude.

Although genes have importance in the way we face our lives, the environment, it means, country culture, society where we are educated, education at school, our friends, classmates, and with a high impact what our family is transferring us, all them together determine our principles, values and culture.  These ones will fix our thoughts and how we perceive the reality and finally mindset.

What else?

All previously defined will be the drivers of our behaviors.

But mindsets at the end are beliefs and they are only in our mind, and we are able to change our mind, so we can choose which mindset we can take to achieve our goals.

In the world, we can distinguish between fixed and growth mindset. People with fixed mindset believe that intelligence is something we have and we cannot change so much. We can learn things, but we can’t change how intelligent we are. We are a certain kind of person and we can’t really change. We can do things differently but the important parts we are can’t be changed.

On the other side people with growth mindset believe that no matter how much intelligence we have, we can improve always a little bit more. No matter what kind of person we are, we can always change substantially. We can always change things about the person we are and we can obtain success if we are open to learn continuously.

When we box ourselves in, we can know only what is. We eliminate what could be. Missing from these self-definitions is any possibility of growth or potential. The brain is far more malleable than we could think about. .

Muvens considers, as a main key success factor in the change management processes, what we call The Art of Change. This Art is related with all change agents’ emotions.

When we manage The Art of Change, we talk about communication. We must communicate all the steps necessaries to achieve the strategic goals and for it we will need to define the vehicles necessaries to make the information come to everyone in the company.

By the behaviors of the leadership team, called the coalition, we have to teach the new attitudes and behaviors that we need to make the change successful. Nothing undermines change more than behavior by important individuals that is inconsistent with their words.

As people think differently, act differently and fare differently from each other, we must work consistently the change for each one of them. We cannot make things happen if we don’t consider the diversity in our companies.

We must learn about who in our teams have fixed and growth mindsets to manage it in a proper way. Behaviors are going to determine the success, specially because success is understood differently by them. Those with growth mindset understand success, when they do the best learning and improving, they see setbacks as challenging and they are continuous alarms through the organizations. Fixed mindset individuals don’t do that.

We can move our companies from being good to being great. Jim Collins did some research with his team to discover which companies moved from good to great. People in their companies want to be part of a winning team. They want to contribute to producing positive results. They want to feel the excitement and the satisfaction of being part of something that just flat-out works. When people begin to feel the magic of momentum—when they begin to see tangible results and the business starts getting speed—that’s when they line up and push.

The difference between the successful companies and those ones that didn’t pass from good to great, according to Collins research, was due to different factors. But the discovery of this research was that the main factor and absolutely key in the result of that change was the leader that brought to great each company.

Leaders must have one voice in the companies so it is really very important what kind of leaders we have making change work. Fixed mindset leaders consider that employees in the organization are classified between more intelligent and less intelligent, more talented and less talented and they consider themselves as superior compared with the others. Jim Collins calls this a “genius with a thousand helpers” company model. These leaders don’t like cohesive and powerful teams. They like to be the big fish in the company.

However, we can find some great leader with fixed mindset but incomparable with those growth mindset leaders where can be felt the brightness, energy, positivity and where everything changes. At the end they will make changes the most excitingMan often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.

Mahatma Gandhi

Leading People To Change

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw


Have you ever been in a moment where your intention was to stop smoking or to start practicing a regular exercise or perhaps trying to lose some kilos following a diet?

If you were in some of those situations, you really know how hard it is. Changing habits is one of our difficult tasks we face sometimes in our lives. But if we want to help others to initiate changes is even more difficult than change ourselves.

Many times we turn to coaches for helping us to face changes but no matter how skilled are our coaches, we don’t see any result in our employees or ourselves. Many times this fails because we receive the right support but in the wrong time. Everyone has a different moment in which is able facing changes.

Change has an important psychological impact in our minds. Human beings also react differently when facing changes. From the ones that consider change as negative and that things may get worse to those ones so enthusiastic that consider things may get better. Change is inevitable and it is part of our lives and few changes are under control.

When we change intentionally, we likely have more opportunities to be successful with changes controlling and predicting steps and results. We don’t have magic pills and it is very important to choose the right process and strategy and also the right time to succeed. Additionally, building self-confidence will help for such success.

Many times we don’t achieve the change with a positive result because of a lack of guidance. It is necessary that we put ourselves on the hands of expert professionals in change management. Managers and leaders that have lived again and again changes in their companies. They could participate in changes as part of the coalition or even leading the change. We want to listen to professionals with the experience and knowledge that guide us in those processes of change. Muvens is an expert in Change Management helping others make the change work.

We can call change to any process that we initiate to help modify our thinking, feeling or behavior. When we take part in a change, timing is everything. We should be very sure that we are ready for a change. The risk we have to failure is high when we aren’t ready. It is important to combine the right understanding of the problem, the path to follow and the actions to be taken. All this will bring us at the right time to success.

Researchers James Prochaska, Carlo DiClemente, and John Norcross introduced a breakthrough model of the five stages of personal change:


  • Pre-contemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance.

By recognizing the stage of change that the company or your employees are in, you can lead appropriately to help them move to the next stage and ultimately achieve lasting change.

Change is complex. It is easier to move forward if the recipient is ready and willing to change. By avoiding a onesize-fits-all approach to lead your people, you can increase your likelihood of success.El progreso es imposible sin el cambio, y aquellos que no pueden cambiar sus mentes no pueden cambiar nada.

George Bernard Shaw


Navigating Changes Remaining Who You Are

We usually like the safety of the known, much more than the uncertainty of the unknown. When we think about change we do it in terms of loss, more than the opportunity to obtain new and positive things that change can bring us.

But life usually makes us face changes continuously and we need to be ready for it. Even many of us try to keep far away along our lives but, at the end in the long term we have to face those challenges.

Not everybody has aversion to changes and we can find in our organizations many people waiting for the leaders’ initiatives for changing. I remember very well when I was managing one of the leaders in Spain in chemicals for industry professionals and construction. I could put more than one example. The company had tried several times to change the ERP system with several fails. At that time, we prepared together with the Information System Team in our HQ a very well planned process of change. I knew we were ambitious for that kind of culture but we were very sure we could achieve our goal. However, the culture was so strong and employees living in their comfort zone made impossible to implement the changes planned.

How many reasons hidden behind it?

Only the employees that had joined the company recently were excited about the possible changes promised, even if uncertain of their own job status.

There are different conceptions about how people embrace change. Tal Ben Sahar, author and lecturer, expert in Positive Psychology, says that human being base thoughts in beliefs and expectations. They create the necessary motivation to embrace changes. Sometimes there is not enough consistency between our beliefs and the reality. Our mind does not like when there is an inconsistency between our internal thoughts and the external reality.

When this consistency exists it makes our performance excellent. We listen, we are curious, we are open to new ideas and changes and we are collaborative.

But in case that consistency is lost we try to recover it. I.e. If we consider someone is not nice but we see them behaving nicely, we can change our mind. This is called “updating our mind”. This change doesn’t happen very often. We have a second option called “discard information”. Sometimes, although we can see something different as we believed, we ignore it. A third option is called “seek confirming evidence”. We try with this last one to find all the information necessary that proves what we believe and we will dismiss or discard all that could help to update our mind.

We often fall into the trap of discarding, ignoring, or actively seeking confirming evidence. But we have yet a last option which is creating a new reality. Reality comprises both, objective (what is out there) and subjective (our own interpretation). Our interpretation it is very important in how we perceive and interpret the world.

It will depend on our beliefs how we embrace change. If we have positive beliefs or if we belief things will not turn out well, our performance will be very different.

Change Management: What’s This?

After many years of research, nowadays, more than 70% of all major transformation efforts fail. Organizations do not approach to changes and engage workers effectively in those processes.

Changes affect both individuals and organizations and succeeding in increasingly unpredictable and uncertain environments, we can’t simply remain static. We must constantly change, adapt, and strive to fan the sparks of innovation.

This is much easier said than done.

Being in a hypercompetitive world we need constantly adapt and readapt so, why do you keep from being more innovative?

Sense of perspective and some barriers definitively keeps us away from. These barriers include fear, anxiety, insecurity between others.

Have you ever run up against these barriers either in your own life or business?

You are not alone.

We all want to reduce our stress, increase our effectiveness, and give a higher value proposition to our employers, customers and organizations. However, our perceptions diminish our abilities to take the best decisions, assuming risks and perform at maximum level.

Do you think all this can impact in your ability to succeed?

If you think so, change your outlook, and you can change your future or the future of the organizations.

Change is all around us, and in business specially it seems that the scope and speed of changes taking place today are immense.

But today I will focus on change in business more than those affecting our life. I will have time latter to talk about how to succeed despite uncertainty managing changes.

Change in business can take the form of:

  • Unstable economic conditions
  • Unpredictable operating environments
  • Changing customer needs and expectations
  • New tools, communication systems, techniques
  • Emerging new information technologies or other kind of technologies
  • Unexpected opportunities and challenges

Only to name a few ones.

So this rapidly accelerating rate of changes need to be managed properly to succeed.

That’s why we studied different methods and models to face these challenges and we opted for Kotter model, the famous 8-Step Process for Leading Change. Based on that model we developed a methodology to help individuals and organizations to face transformations.

Our methodology considers two main aspects of our businesses. Firstly, all related with the operations of the business and on the other hand the emotions of the individuals. Most of the times, that 70% of failures are due to how we manage the emotions of our employees and we help mobilizing organizations to achieve results.

The world of business is a risky place to be and it can seem intimidating. We should routinely be stepping outside the comfort zones we operate in. It is the only way to continually thrive on both an individual and an organizational level.

When we allow fears and anxieties influence our decisions and doubts to lead our actions, we often constrain our ability to grow and innovate.

Embrace change taking calculated risks and correct actions and you will discover that innovation is a part of yourself, learning will drive your ability to change,  change will make you grow up, and you will reinvent yourself.

Changing The Way To Design Processes

Currently technologies, digital transformation, industry 4.0, new software to face changes in processes are demanding companies that are either gaining or keeping competitive advantages. But something it doesn’t change is the necessity to apply continuous improvement in our organizations. This will help to manage change as part of corporate life.

Managing change in organizations require a continuous education of our corporate managers, managers, middle level and the whole organization. It is very important to consider some basics at the time a process change is successful. Sometime to underestimate those basics can drive companies to fail.

Once is defined what we want to change and the scope of the change action, the first aspect to consider is the timing for the design process. This should be well defined, not too wide but not too fast. At the same time, we must focus all the change in the output that creates the value proposition the customers.

Latter we must communicate the changes we are implementing to the whole organization. We must consider all the areas. The critical factor most often ignored is the need to take the message to the entire audience – people must be engaged with the project, because it is upon their actions that success depends.

It is very important that the workforce is completely integrated in the strategy of the company, know the importance of the processes and the performance levels expected to understand perfectly well the changes and the sense of them. This will contribute to support the actions of change that organizations implement.

We can build a successful and simple road map to implement the change and re-design process:

a). Process owner will be the one motivating the change. He will be responsible to communicate to the organization the sense and reasons to implement such changes and also will push with the courage and determination get the end with success.

b). We will look for the right Project Leader to re-design the process who will define the team member. That team must be able not only to drive the changes but can also work together in a cohesive way being very effective.

c). Assigning the adequate resources, facilities, technological to handle the project effectively.

d). Main goal will be to eliminate activities without added value and generate extra costs, mistakes and delays.

Before we start with any change implementation in re-designing processes we must check that we are able and ready to face a process transformation. We should check aspects as leadership, culture, experience and management skills.

Too often individuals spend a significant amount of time fixing things that have gone wrong, on top of just performing the tasks and processes that make up their ‘day job’. That’s why many times organizations have to initiate a more radical change in an organized way.

It is also necessary to define the right key performance indicators that fulfil some requirements:

1.- Aligned across all the organization

2.- No gaps in the measures applied through the organization hierarchy

3.- Used to drive improvement


Finally, new processes or changed ones must be approved and finally implemented properly. Consolidation and sustainability will guarantee the results and success of processes.