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Agile Leaders Conversations

Agile Leaders Conversations Ep 15 – Ms Kiran Mann, M2M Business Solutions

Lead with crystal-clear vision & human-centred agile leadership

In episode 15 of Agile Leaders Conversations, hear Ms Kiran Mann, CEO of M2M Business Consulting and Forbes Council Member share her people-centric business approach to help several organizations create value. Located in Canada, Kiran’s futuristic approach and the ability to use unconventional tools and techniques that drive results enabled her to play a critical role in making them highly profitable and efficient. This episode is not to be missed.

Connect with Kiran at

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kiranmann23/

YOUTUBE VIDEO

TRANSCRIPT

Kiran Mann 

I had a passion that I should start my firm and be able to touch more companies more people than I can if I was working in one place.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

And welcome to agile leaders conversations where executives, business leaders and experts from all sectors come together and share leadership insights around leading in today’s workplaces. They will be sharing some tips on how they use the agile mindset to make sense of the complexity and lead with authenticity. Hi everyone, my name is Chuen Chuen and I specialise in growing the agile mindset in global leaders around the world so that they can be successful in their businesses and personal lives. I’m also the author of eight paradoxes of leadership agility, and in this episode of Agile leaders conversations, I have the pleasure of speaking with Miss Kiran Mann. Kiran is the founder of M2M Business Solutions, a people centric Business Advisory company. With a vision of growing people growing business, she found the M to M business solutions in 2017. Since its inception, the company has closely worked with over 100 businesses across Canada, helping them transform their operations and optimise returns on their investments in people, processes and technology. And welcome to the show. Kieran.

 

Kiran Mann 

Hi, Chuen Chuen, thank you for having me. Pleasure to be here with you today.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

I’m so happy to have you on my show. Would you fill us in a little bit a little bit more about what you do?

 

Kiran Mann 

I think you did a fair good justice by describing what I do. So appreciate for your kind words. As you mentioned, yes, I am based in Canada, Toronto, to be more specific, my background is automotive manufacturing. So worked on the other side of the world before I started my own firm almost three and a half years ago. And the reason of that was I was very passionate to fulfil the gaps that I always noticed in my manufacturing time which was oratoria years and I had a passion that I should start my firm and be able to touch more companies more people than I can if I was working in one place. So that is what was the cause of birth of M2M business solution. And given that the focus has been completely on transforming businesses, identifying the gap in the foundation of the businesses, so that further I can support them in the growth phase. So that the sustainability is much more feasible once the foundation is laid out between the proper planning people and processes itself, what cannot be ignored at any time in his business his people. So I work very closely with the people, the leadership programmes and also through special professional development based on what is happening in the market. Usually the programmes that I have launched are under M2M belt has been derived from what is going on with my clients at the moment. They came as a request, you know, this is what we what is going on and what can you do in this case and how you can help us and that has been an innovative way to bring in new programmes over the time. So between people and businesses is what my day looks like and I love what I do.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

Awesome. Absolutely. I can see the light and passion as you talk about it fully aligned with you. And you know, especially I think areas of sustainability, how sustainable you know, can the businesses be can the leadership be and that people is something that we cannot ignore in the process. So, so important. Just a quick side note, I’m curious about this background in automotive manufacturing was that an area that where females are quite rare.

 

Kiran Mann 

Very rare. So to tell you in short, my upbringing has been in the world of Army My dad was in army hence I grew up in army campuses. So coming from army to automotive was pretty stable, I would say it was like flowing in right in. Similar similar setup similar very organised structures and so on and very confined industry. You know, you have every supplier within automotive you’re, you’re not as dependent on other industries like I see now once I came out of automotive, but yes, definitely female – Not in in management probably is a rare sight. Female itself in in offices is rare sight. You would see more female in engineering or administration or buyers. Few few I’ve met buyers, but when once you’re sitting in the boardroom, I’ve been more used to sitting with 40 guys and me in the room. And pretty much if I see two, three females entering the room, I get cautious. Okay, what is happening? What changed? You’re completely right. I’m sure the world will evolve by the next generation coming up in the workforce. But I can see now some new faces.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, very inspiring. I think it’s not easy for a woman leader to exert influence in the boardroom in a male dominated environment. You’re looking forward to your sharing in a shed light in this area on woman leadership as well. Great. So Karen’s have read my book, the eight paradoxes of leadership agility. So I’m wondering, Kiera, what are your general thoughts of the book after reading it?

 

Kiran Mann 

I would say that out of the numerous, numerous books I’ve read on leadership, this one was definitely a standout, very different. I love the concept that you have utilised of turning the real time experiences into the pages of your book where people can actually relate to different incidents, I would say if an individual can note down every example that you have utilised, if they’re adapted and implemented in their, in their professional workplace would make a huge, huge difference. Huge difference. Like, as I was reading through in my mind, I was thinking of situations and having a smile on my face of how you had related those stories and also then converted, right, what did they do? And and what what process did you use in the background for them to have a change? And a lot of these are like real behaviour change. So that they stick around, right. It’s not a one time transactional change. But But real time behavioural change. So definitely a book that I would suggest easy to read and understand and apply upon. Yeah,

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

yeah, I think you hit the nail on that. I wrote the book with exactly that purpose, really, for busy leaders. something easy. Immediately actionable implementable. So you said, as you were reading it, there were some parts where you smiled, I guess there were some stories that resonated with you. So was there a paradox that specifically resonated with you?

 

Kiran Mann 

I think there was a one story where there was a guy Prakash, that that you have used the name as. And it’s, I believe it’s an enforcing and empowering. where, he’s a team leader, and he’s trying to work on a project of making change in customer experience. And his mission is that will impact the business overall, in a positive way. And I couldn’t I couldn’t have resist to having a laugh. And thinking out in the background, I would say in my past, where customer experience is actually a very dear topic to me even today. I always believe I think it’s a it’s a habit of mine. If I want to use that word, that anytime I meet a new prospect, I will somehow find out what terminology they use. Do they call customer service? Do they call it customer satisfaction? Or do they call it customer experience kind of really tells me of where they are in their journey when it comes to customers and their internal customers as well. So listening to that story, where he’s actually going through whole resistance and change management in a way of how to empower everybody, and empower himself in bringing that change, which I feel is a big project as good as doing an ERP system in the company. So that one was really good. There was another story for Kelly, if I remember correct, it was from your principled, and adaptable. And that one is again, a very great story of how people sometimes become bit rigid when they talk about principles like principles are a must have. But always The Open Mind is important to assess the situation. And understand how to keep your principles in check, yet have that you know ability to adapt to what is going on around you at that moment, and every situation is going to differ. So that means every time your adaptability behaviour is going to differ as well. But being conscious about that, and knowing about that, that, yes, principles are principles, but when needed, you need to have that adaptability is I think, one of the finest skill people can have in them

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

being principled doesn’t mean that you’re rigid. And how do you be principled and have an open mind as well? How do you see, you know, changes in leadership right now in the pandemic? And how is any one of these paradox applicable?

 

Kiran Mann 

First of all, if we touch upon the word pandemic, or COVID, I would say, it’s not the first or the last time that is happening, right? every decade has a story of its own. So if leaders first of all are aware of that, that means they’re constantly learning and developing themselves, their teams and their businesses to be prepared for this or any other challenge that comes challenges always going to impact that’s forgiven, but it does minimise it minimise, and it also on the positive side, it allows you, to, you know, reflect, look into how you’re running your business, and make the changes that you need for the future. So on a negative side, yes, it can be painful for people. But on the positive side, there are a lot of positive pieces. If we look at pandemic that way. I think in given time agility obviously very, very important leadership, where, where leaders are, they’re able to lead, but they hold oneself in the background, you know, they’re allowing their team to, they’re empowering them and not controlling them. And where people, individuals and teamwork, and team players can be more productive and be open to share their creativity, their ideas, and brainstorm as a team. I think one of the finest thing that is required is the leader having a clear vision, and not keeping their eye off that. And vision is always constantly changing as well, right? The vision we have for our lives when we are 20 year old is something we want to do by 25. And by 25. We look back and we’re like ewww, what was I thinking? Right? So it’s no different when you talk about business, businesses, just a bigger landscape of of yourself an individual, right? So if you consider that way, it’s always changing. But whatever it is, at that moment, the eye has to be on it, the more that clarity is there, the team, the processes, the planning, the strategies, everything will start coming together. And then more, you’re together, obviously, you’re working better, and whatever is coming in the way you’re figure it out how to tackle it and get better. So I think that unity comes from the clarity and the businesses and the leader giving that kind of environment where your team can develop a culture of excellence.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

Yes, yes. Want to highlight some of the key points that Kiran has mentioned the importance of having clarity, what is the vision, what is the culture and that in every stage of life for a human being and the same for businesses, we want different things at different times. So it could be principled versus adaptable coming in, perhaps the overarching vision of the purpose that we have as a business is still the same, but the manner in which we do it, be it pandemic or next one who knows right, if the method may be different, so we got to reserve the adaptability at the same time. And I think another key point that you mentioned, I kind of see you know, empowering versus enforcing and if we have a clear vision, then we know how to empower our people, because they have different perspectives, they bring in different things and we bring teams together to find better solutions,

 

Kiran Mann 

I would say vision is so clear, the more your vision is clear the strategies will be clear and strategies are clear. You can put down the measurable that your departmental level as your team level as individual level, right and not even sustaining and being competitive in today’s constantly changing market. But it also these same pieces are very much related with all of the threats that are going on in the market. They all play out Some sort of key important role, while business leaders are dealing with some other market traps that we have this decade. Yeah.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

Yeah, that’s a great viewpoint. And vision is always evolving. So I think good for all listeners, viewers to take note of that and cross check, am I pursuing a relevant visual right now? Or does something need to change? Now I want to look at this concept of leadership agility, I defined it as the ability to navigate complexities and uncertainties with a sense of ease and authenticity. Some of my clients describe it as having that feeling of peace of mind, by being able to sleep well at night with a clear conscience instead of being torn between two sides, that are correct, or in other words, the paradox. So how do you see leadership agility through the work that you do,

 

Kiran Mann 

but the way I would say I define that is, with three key words, lead, open mindedness. And just being there, you know, being there for your team. And as we talked about the vision, once that clarity is there, at times, you know, you probably may have noticed sometime, when you talk to different people in a business, and you ask them what their vision is, and people will point down to a frame on a wall. Or they will define vision based on what they understand the vision is, and the story may change from one person to another. The more that clarity is there, the more everybody’s focused on what they’re doing. One of the simple example that I pretty much use all the time is that, given that I’m in Canada, I always say from Toronto to Montreal, which is three plus hours drive. And I always say that if five of us are going to Montreal, we may take different paths, you know, depending on what our GPS is telling us. But if we know the exact address, you need to reach there, we will reach the same destination. It’s as simple as that. And if that destination, and the timing wasn’t given to us with full clarity, we may reach there and be in that area, but not at that destination. And that’s where that’s the vision, kind of comes in perspective when we look at businesses. So once that clarity is there, then the more important thing is being agile means bring your teams together, bring the teams together and bring the right people, the right team members. I personally believe that the smart team is not a word that I probably use. Personally, I always say, right team, I could be smart, but I’m smart for this company and may not be smart fit for for another company. But am I a right person for this job this company, then I am the right person. So identify the right team members, and put them in the places they belong. So if as the leaders in today’s world, if these are some of the keys, things, very small things, but play a huge role in the dynamics of a business world, bringing them and placing them in the right places. And then hiring same way a right people the right talent for your company. And then once you have given them the clarity, step back. Ask them allow them to empower them to bring their ideas and bring solution and give you a process right? This focus because you cannot keep your eyes off the vision. But the process let the team define what that process and the journey is going to empower them to work together with the very interactive team, but also full of diversity around you

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

It is about the vision. It is about outcomes. If you are clear, what is the vision and milestones the outcomes that will get the organisation to meet to reach the vision, then you will know what are the outcomes, all your talented people need to achieve and when you are clear on that then you will know how and who you need to get on board into your team. And then after that step back, just let them do their job. Let them work their magic and things will happen. I’m also very interested in this piece on woman leadership. Just wondering, you know, what advice do you have for leaders, especially women leaders in male-dominated environments out there.

 

Kiran Mann 

I’ve had very positive experience in my work life, as I mentioned, coming from growing up in the army world and being in manufacturing auto, and now now working in different industries. I think working within engineers all the time, or army and dividuals, pretty much male female, makes no difference. It’s all about the talent that you have. And pretty much all people are very technical. So it’s about your technical know how, and nothing more than that. But yes, as the world runs there, there are challenges and obviously much more challenges for female, not even to progress in positions, but also to sustain a day, female in general have way more responsibilities in a given day than then guys, most of the time, and balancing between your family life and balancing between your family and work life and balancing between your kids, once you have them. And then your co workers or your employee teams is a work of its own. What has worked for me, is I personally apply and I probably use this a lot in my own coaching as well, is I apply every aspect of business to a house. A house is a small version of what our business world is for me. So if you have learned the art of managing your kids when they were a teenager, or did you have your Wow, moment that oh my god, they have turned 13. So I’m going to have some wonderful years coming ahead. I think that’s the first test as parents, but also as a female, being a mother of applying your skills and polishing them. That’s the time. Once you have conquered that world, given that I’m a mother of three, I pretty much used every angle of skills that I learned from my father. Growing up in army world, I applied that with my kids, it kind of transformed on its own when I entered workforce. Applying the similar concepts, you know, being stubborn is a negative word. But I would say stubborn in your mind with with your ideas and your vision, being constantly on it. But having the flexibility of people to speak and allow them to do what they want to do and and one of the biggest thing as a female, or as a women leader that I probably believe, between the houses and the business offices is if you’re asking somebody to do something, always remember, you need to answer the question, what is in it for me? If you can answer that question, what is in it for me? When you’re asking whether it’s a teenager or an employee of your business? You got them by your side. You got them by your side. If my employer is asking for a change, what is in it for me, right? Why should I change? I did this every single day the same way? Why should I do something different. But bringing these concept as a female, using them between your daily life, whether you’re dealing with your kids, whether you’re dealing with your spouse, partner, or you’re dealing with your colleagues. So bringing some of these basic, I would say rules, applying those rules to your life really helps bringing a balance as a woman for sure.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

It’s been so consistent since the time we started this interview is always about being principled. What are your basic principles and it is actually transferable applicable across all domains of your life, with your kids, spouse, at work with your business, be stubborn in the vision. That’s my takeaway quote, for today, be stubborn in your vision, but be open minded how other people are going to do it. So be open minded about the approach to get there. And one key question that I also get reminded is what’s in it for me, for all women leaders for all business leaders? I think we are all dealing with a lot of change. So answering the question, what’s in it for me is an essential question for all leaders these days. I’m sure right now, our viewers you will be interested to find out how you can get in touch with Kiran, especially if you are based in Canada. I will also include Kiran’s social media handles and company website in the show notes.

 

Kiran Mann 

As my last piece I would say that professional development you know given that this decade COVID is COVID is pas, guys. COVID is was just one of the threat, we have a lot of other things to deal with this decade, starting from 65% workforce is going to be millennials and the generation gap, right, the skills gap. There are a lot of other pieces digital transformation called industry 4.0. All these things in a way seem like multiple different pieces that we need to deal with. But at the end of the day, they all are tasked with a clear plan, you know, having right people and then empowering them, to take them to the material that I always talk about. So find what is your material where your destination is what time you want to reach there, and then empower your team and guide them to walk there or drive there.

 

Chuen Chuen Yeo 

Such a powerful story I will have that story in my mind for a long time. Thanks for that. Alright, it’s been great connecting with you. I’m looking forward to more conversations. I believe there are many ways that we can collaborate so I will touch base again. And thank you everyone for listening to this episode of Agile leaders conversations, please check out the rest of the episodes on https://blog.acesence.com. I’ll also include the link in the show notes and see you again soon.

Check out the rest of the episodes.

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One reply on “Agile Leaders Conversations Ep 15 – Ms Kiran Mann, M2M Business Solutions”

[…] Kiran Mann founded M2M Business Solutions in 2017 with a vision to grow businesses by growing people. Since its inception, this company has worked with over 100 businesses across Canada, helping them transform their operations and optimise returns on investments in people, processes and technology. To listen to the full interview, visit here. […]

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