The Culture Conversation

Culture isn't an end in itself. It's the engine that enables the business to win in the marketplace. In a successful organisation, it also shapes every aspect of the leadership conversation. And, if you get it right, it's the one thing the competition can't copy.

Moving beyond today's crisis isn't simply about having a better plan. To come out of this stronger means thinking differently about the business that will emerge. Some aspects, those that make the business special, must be protected. Other elements will have to be transformed. Elsewhere, the challenge means initiating "a new beginning".

Pulling everything together; the container that allows diversity to flourish; the system that provides meaning and supports momentum; the performance platform that enables a winning value proposition - are described by one simple term: "Culture". The challenge? The culture conversation we have now will determine not only what is possible but, more importantly … what becomes possible!

When tomorrow will be different, it's not enough to continuously improve on what you have always done. Two things are clear:

  1. Today's leaders see culture as essential to future success.
  2. Though it may be important, top teams don't spend much meaningful time on it.

The central question becomes "why?"

That culture is perceived as a slippery and esoteric concept is the start of it. That measurement is largely ignored is also clearly part of it. But the heart of it? Top teams struggle in knowing how to have the culture conversation.

"The Culture Conversation" explores critical issues:

  1. The Culture Carriers
  2. Look, Listen, Learn
  3. The Building Blocks
  4. Is the Organization Managing Its Culture?
  5. What Makes the Business Special?
  6. One Culture or Many?
  7. Measurement
  8. Strategy Versus Culture
  9. A Team of Teams
  10. Without Leadership You Ain't Got Much
  11. The Orxestra Change Model

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Seed Your Re-invention

Losing a job or losing fit due to decline in an industry can be difficult, but these developments can also help seed your re-invention. Your severance pay can fuel this ambition, and you can use skills that perhaps were not necessary for your past role to leverage your future success. You get to decide how to strategize this and how to spin it. Change gives you the chance to see your experience, skill set and goals from a different vantage point. That’s empowering. Use the momentum.

When HR professionals are reviewing materials to assess potential fit, they look to see if you have experience enacting the functions they need. If they are looking for a PR specialist or a licensed mechanical engineer, they are likely to recruit candidates who have done the job. If the setting is different but the competencies are the same, that often bodes well for fit.

It may be a cultural shift, but you can tell the story of how being a change agent is a comfortable role for you, once you’re ready to embrace again.

Insights from "How To Transition Into A New Industry" by John Ryan.

Leaders Who Capitalise On These Opportunities Will Set Themselves Apart

The pandemic is moving us into the future and creating a host of opportunities - a professional renaissance. In 2014, global futurist, best-selling author, and speaker Jack Uldrich remarked: "the future does not belong to 'a place.'" The pandemic has fast-tracked us towards this future.

As a result, we are experiencing a dramatic, systemic, and permanent change in many areas of life, particularly in our workforce. Enormous productivity advantages await companies that can take advantage of potential increases in productivity, skills, and compensation rates by hiring the best people wherever they live.

Companies that can execute a seamlessly integrated approach that maximises the value from this potential exponential growth in creativity, diversity, and efficiencies will see productivity expansion and increased profits. Of course, this is easier hypothesised than executed, but with the entire world working on seamless integration and explosive value coming from incremental and step-change value creation. It is a good bet to see dramatic improvements soon; this is what we might expect.

Leaders who capitalise on these opportunities will set themselves apart with greater agility, emotional intelligence, and authentic communication. The winning leaders of the future will be empathic, engaged with their teams, and skilled at delivering impact on challenging problems.

Insights from "Location, Location, Location - Not Anymore" by Chris Swan.

IMD World Talent Ranking 2020

The IMD World Talent Ranking captures the capacity of an economy to develop as well as attract talent to strengthen its competitiveness. Countries are scored across three factors of Investment & Development, Readiness and Appeal.

"The latest ranking suggests that most economies that perform well focus their talent development efforts in every stage of the educational process. From primary education to tertiary, to apprenticeships and continuous work training, enhancing the skills and competencies of the work force is important. The top performing economies are open to both people and ideas. Finally, in the difficult times of social distancing and working from home, keeping the employees motivated contributes to the talent competitiveness of an economy."

Read "IMD World Talent Ranking 2020" leadership insights

Location, Location, Location - Not Anymore

The pandemic has accelerated trends as nothing else could. We are experiencing a dramatic, systemic, and permanent change in many areas of life, particularly in our workforce. Chris Swan peers into the future to explore what we might expect:

  • The sweeping change of in-office employment
  • Impact on immigration and education
  • Leaders the future demands
  • The future is brighter than you think

Read "Location, Location, Location - Not Anymore" leadership insights

Project: Core Strength

"It's no longer candidates who are nervous at interview; it's now hiring managers who are anxious about identifying the character traits they'll need to survive and thrive beyond the impact of COVID-19. This is as true for Boards and CEOs as it is for recruiters and line managers."

This study uncovers the employee attributes that will enable organisations to thrive in uncertain times.

Read "Project: Core Strength" leadership insights

The Now, The Next, and The New Normal

"It's important to take lessons out of this rather quickly. So, what can you learn out of this crisis? What can you do? How can you shape your solution? How can you shape your services? How can you shape the sale of your product? This is pretty much something that every single industry or every single client has to think about." - Ullrich Ackermann, Chair of the Board at TRANSEARCH.

Ullrich shares his views on dealing with the ever-evolving status of organisational life, with the AESC.

Read "The Now, The Next, and The New Normal" leadership insights

Which Strategic HR Challenges are Companies Facing?

Which strategic HR challenges are companies facing for the remainder of 2020?

1) 53% - Maintaining efficiency while working from home.

2) 35% - Reducing headcount in response to new business pressures.

3) 30% - Changing work schedules to accommodate different ways of working.

Insights from "The Key Challenges and Opportunities in Human Resources" by TRANSEARCH Romania.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0

"Successful organisations are powered by the diverse opinions, skill sets and life experiences of their employees. To tap into the full potential of human diversity, organisations need to hire diverse talent and create an inclusive working culture underpinned by a fundamental sense of belonging, fairness and equity, enabling people to bring their 'full self' to work."

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5 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis

Communication during a crisis is critical for employees as they increasingly look to their leaders for guidance and support. Recent empirical research identifies five key leadership takeaways to improve employee satisfaction with how they are dealt with during this pandemic:

  1. Communicate frequently.
  2. Provide safe channels for giving feedback.
  3. Help employees work at home effectively.
  4. Address concerns about job security.
  5. Provide a plan for the future.

Insights from '5 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis' by Brooks Holtom, Amy C. Edmondson and David Niu, via Harvard Business Review.

Read "5 Tips for Communicating with Employees During a Crisis" leadership insights