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Culture is the often overlooked, all-pervasive, enterprise-wide, organisational DNA »

Culture is the often overlooked, all-pervasive, enterprise-wide, organisational DNA that dictates whether your strategy lands or if your brand sustains. It is "a way to be" shaped by the past but continuously honed by the emerging business, social, economic, political and customer context.

The essential supporting pillars of culture are:

  1. Mission (why do we do what we do?)
  2. Diversity (diversity fuels innovation)
  3. Brand (why buy from us?)
  4. Speed (Focus - Anticipation - Simplicity - Technology)

The four pillars are braced by the organisation's values. Culture and values frame the context - the cultural canvas. The most forceful elements on that canvas being:

  • Vision and strategy;
  • Measurement and rewards;
  • The talent management system (e.g., who gets hired and/or promoted, the leadership development agenda); and,
  • Technology (quickly becoming an irresistible force).

All of the elements described come together to shape the organisation's story. You are your story. Culture is story and story is culture!

Insights from "The 7 Questions Every CEO Should Ask About Culture" by John Burdett

How do you prepare before commencing your new Executive role? The following suggestions will help »
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How do you prepare before commencing your new Executive role? The following suggestions will help:

  • Involve the family – the support of your family and closest friends is invaluable, so share your excitement about the opportunity
  • Research the organisation's history, key players and culture
  • Reflect on what old habits you could let go of, what you need to start and stop doing
  • Develop a beginner's mind – be inquisitive and ask lots of questions from day one
  • Rehearse your story and be prepared to provide your new team with some insights about you
  • Build trust early by being transparent, sharing your personal values, being respectful and understanding
  • Thank those who assisted you secure the role, including your referees

Insights from "7 'Must Do' before you commence your new Executive role" by Bill Sakellaris, Managing Director of TRANSEARCH International Australia. #executiveleadership #talentmanagement

How do you prepare before commencing your new Executive role? The following suggestions will help »

Talent management is a system within a system: the organisation's culture »
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Talent management is a system within a system: the organisation's culture. Get talent management wrong and the organisation's culture will be misaligned with the customer's emerging needs.

Tomorrow, of necessity, talent management will be about resilience, reinvention and recognising that the ideal organisation design reflects how, given a choice, people would choose to work together.

Talent management is ultimately about hard data and tough choices – who to hire and promote, investing in the most efficient and fastest way to develop talent, putting muscle behind the succession process and, generally, building a cadre of leadership talent that will allow the business to survive and thrive in turbulent times.

If you can't imagine it, you won't reach it. If you don't measure it, you can't manage it. Strive to develop tomorrow's leadership competencies with purpose, precision, pragmatism and no little passion.

Insights from "Future-Oriented Leadership Competencies: Today's Talent Management Lynchpin" by John Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.

Talent management is a system within a system: the organisation's culture »

There is one fact of life that is impossible to ignore – tomorrow will be (very) different »
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There is one fact of life that is impossible to ignore – tomorrow will be (very) different. More specifically, the rate of change is getting faster – and about to get much faster. Being faster, however, is ultimately all about how people learn. It's a matter of adapt or perish.

How and what we learn is a product of the:

  • Nature of the experience,
  • Mental model (metaphor, theory, hypothesis, conceptual template) used to access the learning,
  • Quality of the questions posed,
  • Time set aside for reflection, and
  • Follow-up.

Ultimately, an investment in learning is about orchestrating change. In pursuit of that goal, learning starts with the experience. And it's not just learning fast at an individual or team level but building an environment where speed of learning becomes an organisation-wide competitive advantage.

If you're not fast, you're going to be last!

Insights from "Speed of Learning: The Ultimate Competitive Advantage" by John Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.

There is one fact of life that is impossible to ignore – tomorrow will be (very) different »

If you are a top executive, you don't owe it to yourself to be coached, but you do owe it to all of those whose lives you touch »
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If you are a top executive, you don't owe it to yourself to be coached, but you do owe it to all of those whose lives you touch. The coaching conversation must be informed by the emerging economic environment, tomorrow's customer's needs, and the business strategy. A number of coaching disciplines are common:

  • Coaching is about framing the conversation such that the coachee finds their own way (power to).
  • What the coach believes, the coachee will perceive. The coach must therefore work from the belief that the agreed outcome will (not might), could or should happen.
  • An experienced coach learns how to work from a beginner's mind.
  • To coach is to listen in the way the coachee has always wanted to be listened to.
  • To coach is to help connect the coachee with their own story, ask great questions, introduce a new metaphor, share a compelling story, open the door to best practice and personally model the behaviour being sought.
  • Coaching mastery draws on a robust coaching model, meaningful executive experience, cultural relevance, interpersonal sensitivity and mental agility.

Insights from "Coaching the CEO" by John O. Burdett, Leadership advisor to TRANSEARCH International.

If you are a top executive, you don't owe it to yourself to be coached, but you do owe it to all of those whose lives you touch »

Beyond Collaboration: "Co-tangle" »
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Cooperation is indispensable, collaboration is essential but in reinventing the very nature of what it means to be an organisation - as we must - there is a case to be made to add a new metaphor to our vocabulary. It's tough to achieve something that you don't have a word for.

Entanglement is an intriguing metaphor. It captures, in some ways, the new challenge of smart and unbridled connectability … of one element in the system impacting other parts of the system without those involved fully understanding how. Except, as a term, it is way too esoteric, way too bizarre to have any real currency.

John Burdett suggests an alternative, one that builds on the notion of entanglement but without the unfathomable implications. To Cooperate … To Collaborate … To 'Co-tangle'.

Beyond Collaboration: "Co-tangle" »

Tips for Winning Talent in the Era of Disruption »
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David Wongso, MD TRANSEARCH International Indonesia, recently spoke with SWA Magazine on 'Ways to Win Talent in the Era of Disruption'. David notes how in this era of disruption many workforce skills are becoming irrelevant, and that the rate of change is getting faster. He highlights that leadership development and talent acquisition agendas must tackle the mismatch of skills and be directly managed by the C-suite and board of directors.

"The board of directors must ensure that leadership development and talent acquisition work effectively. Do not let the two agendas be entrusted to the level below but not be controlled."

Tips for Winning Talent in the Era of Disruption »