Meet Warren Harris, CEO of Tata Technologies

Meet Warren Harris, CEO of Tata Technologies

This episode is sponsored by Lockton, click here to learn more

Meet Warren Harris, CEO of Tata Technologies, as he sits down with host Jan Griffiths to discuss the experiences, challenges, and critical milestones that shaped his career path to becoming a CEO. 

Warren talks about what Tata Technologies does and the intricacies of Indian business culture, explaining how their company defines and nurtures innovation by embracing a global mindset.  

Warren discusses how they maintain a safe work environment, emphasizing his commitment to addressing human factor issues, promoting organizational health, and embracing vulnerability-based trust. 

Warren reflects on his experiences and shares valuable advice he would give to his 25-year-old self. He emphasizes the importance of being present, enjoying the journey, and embracing opportunities for personal growth.

Moreover, he shares the lessons they learned from the challenges posed by the pandemic, highlighting the importance of organization alignment and understanding the company's purpose. Warren also explains how constant communication facilitated by technology proved effective in helping them deal with the challenges they faced.

Finally, Warren shares his aspirations for his legacy and the impact he hopes to leave behind, emphasizing the importance of building purpose-driven organizations that champion inclusivity and collaboration.

Themes discussed in this episode:

  • Shifting from a command and control type of leadership
  • The Importance of Authentic Leadership
  • The role of vulnerability-based trust in fostering a safe and transparent work environment
  • Defining the concept of Gravitas
  • Exploration of the cultural dynamics and Indian business culture
  • Personal accountability, including the rituals and mindset shifts necessary for setting oneself up for success
  • How the pandemic has accelerated changes in leadership styles and organizational dynamics
  • Purpose-driven leadership, global inclusivity, and meaningful impact across cultures

Featured: Warren Harris

What he does: Warren Harris is the CEO of Tata Technologies, a global engineering services company that offers product development and digital solutions. Warren has been associated with the company and its predecessor firms for over 25 years. His career has progressed from engineering to several technical management positions worldwide. Warren has led the company through significant expansions and mergers and established it as a major player in engineering services on a global scale.

On leadership: “Leadership is a responsibility. It's a service. And it's an obligation that one has to the company and to the individuals that are a part of it. And I think when you look at leadership in that particular way, it's very humbling and interjects a balance to decision-making, which I think is healthy.”

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode Highlights:

[00:02:08] Warren's story: Warren recounts his journey from humble beginnings in the UK to becoming Chief Executive of Tata Technologies.

[00:07:24] Indian business culture: The dialogue rethinks views on Indian-owned businesses, showing Tata Group's community focus and the growing global influence of Indian companies.

[00:17:30] Creating a safe environment: The importance of fostering a safe work environment is emphasized, with a focus on cohesive leadership, clarity of organizational purpose, and a culture of vulnerability-based trust

[00:27:07] Leadership style: Warren's leadership style is discussed, with a focus on his view of leadership as a responsibility and service to the company and its individuals rather than a personal prize.

[00:34:05] Gravitas: Jan and Warren explore their concept of Gravitas in leadership.

[00:37:37] How do you start your day?: The importance of personal accountability and starting the day right is discussed, with Warren sharing how his morning routine helps him focus and maintain clarity.

[00:41:22] Advice to your 25-year-old self: Warren reflects on his journey and advises his younger self to be present and enjoy the journey.

[00:45:25] Learning from the pandemic: Lessons learned from the pandemic are discussed, including the importance of organizational alignment, virtual collaboration, and authenticity.

[00:52:06] The legacy: Warren discusses his aspirations for his legacy, emphasizing the importance of organizations that prioritize purpose, inclusivity, and collaboration.

Top Quotes:

[00:11:45] Warren: “The way in which India is changing, the way in which the Indian business community is changing, gives me tremendous confidence that not only will India continue to be relevant today, it will have an increasingly influential role on business and the economic world in the years to come.”

[00:15:22] Warren: “The best definition I've come across for innovation is fresh ideas that have true economic value. And I think innovation comes from diversity. It comes through and from an environment that encourages different perspectives to be applied to a challenge or a problem statement.”

[00:22:57] Warren: “One of the things that I challenge my team to do is either agree and commit or disagree and commit on decisions that we make as an organization. Typically, I find if there's been debate, if there's been an opportunity to have that passion exposed in terms of the key issues, then regardless of the decision, people will weigh in. If you get people to weigh in, then you get people to own the decision. You get ownership that drives accountability. Accountability drives results.”

[00:34:34] Warren: “I look at Gravitas as being in the context of the business as being substance, something that's real, something that's meaningful; I advocate inside of the organization for the strategy being the driving force of our organization and the fact that compelling purpose is the basis on which we build a culture, and we build the plan for the organization. To my mind, that's a commitment to Gravitas; that's a commitment to the substance. That's a commitment to meaning that hopefully will resonate with all of our stakeholders.”

Mentioned in this episode:

This episode is sponsored by Lockton, click here to learn more