Are You Taking Care of your own Scheduled Maintenance? Ron Thomas

“The scheduled maintenance light came on; what do I do?”

As we enter the twilight of 2020, I thought of the comment above. My daughter would freak out every time a light flash. My reply was that it is simply time for the scheduled maintenance.

Every auto manual lays out a timeline for maintenance based on mileage and what needs to be done for your car to work optimally.

Design your owner’s manual

It struck me that this is the perfect metaphor for careers and life. However, we do not get an owner’s manual for our lives.

So, I wonder: As we close out 2020, what does your fictional owner’s manual say needs to be done?

This is not about a New Year’s resolution, which we have all been doing for years with a horrible success rate. No, your career strategy should be more in-depth. It is a live document that outlines the primary goal and your scheduled maintenance.

If you follow these steps in your car maintenance, you are pretty much assured that you will have a vehicle that will provide you flawless service over the years.

The same holds for where your work life is headed, however, a lot of us procrastinate year-in and year-out, and we can’t understand why we are not making progress.

Don’t live life without it

Sure, there will always be detours along the way, but if you do not have a plan, you do not know what direction to go.

Imagine driving a car and never changing the oil and filter, tires, or getting a tune-up, or doing any maintenance. It would be only a matter of time before the car failed to start, and if you want it running again, it will cost you a great sum of money.

However, if you handled the maintenance during those regular intervals, these problems, for the most part, would not be there. And the cost would be spread out because you followed the plan in the owner’s manual.

Albert Einstein said “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” is the definition of insanity. This is the way, however, a lot of us have run our lives. We want stellar results, but as we bumble along, we do not adjust.

This owner’s manual concept will work, and it has proven time and again that it can.

Mapping success

I am a big fan of autobiographies in that I love reading about the obstacles that many people faced. The vast majority of folks would have found it easier to just give up, but they preserved, and in the end, it worked out.

They had a plan and they followed a plan. They created their own user’s manual and lived, breathed, and slept it. In the end, they succeeded.

You and I are no different. There are no short cuts. A short cut to success is short-lived. The jails and courts are full of people who tried to circumvent the system on their way to whatever they wanted to find quick success with.

There are a whole host of reasons for our complacency. No matter how much and how easy it appears to be, some will not make the effort.

The root cause of inaction

You must be willing to act, and you must be willing to sit and draw up your maintenance manual. Post your goals everywhere so that you are constantly reminded of them every day. My posting spots are my bathroom mirror, the dashboard in my car, and the desk at work.

I can’t live my life without seeing the reminders. Some days, I hate to look at it, but for the most part, it keeps me focused on the destination.

Distraction is another major cause of inaction. If we spent as much time on our careers as we do on Facebook or other distractions, we would easily be on our way.

The Internet is another time suck. I have friends that sit around and mindlessly Google search every available thing that you can think of. If you want it you must channel your emotions, behavior, and desires towards attaining whatever it is that you desire.

You are in charge

It takes self-discipline to persevere amidst all the distractions that we face today. Living a life of self-discipline is powerful and a whole lot less painful in the long run than regretting “what might have been.”

Sure, you will always have the Big D called DOUBT. It will eat away your ability to succeed if you do not remain confident in your vision and plan.

The thing that I have noticed about doubt is that at the time of the most doubt, you need to channel that into working on your project. Review, re-adjust and realign when you feel it coming on, and like a fog, the doubt will eventually rise and go away.

One thing you should always remember and keep paramount in your thoughts that you are in charge of your own owner’s manual. You design it, you live it, and you will relish the results. Success can be had.

As they say, it is not brain surgery

How Your Company Can Implement a Good Mental Health Strategy Maggie Williams Dubai

How Your Company  Can implement a Good Mental Health Strategy

It’s becoming increasingly critical for companies to implement a good mental health Strategy as Covid 19 and increasing job losses and businesses collapse. Cases of mental distress calls are multiplying daily with suicide and sickness figures mounting.

Mental health is one of the most valuable assets of any organisation and here are some tips to improve the mental health culture in your workplace.

  • Develop a mental health action plan and implement a implement an effective workplace policy
  • Provide mental health training including specific First Aid training for employees across all levels of the organisation and adjust job roles to accommodate extra responsibilities
  • Publicise your commitment to mental health issues as you would environmental commitments
  • Evaluate the possible causes of mental health across the organisation identifying areas of improvement – this may include the analysis or absence of performance data
  • Ensure employers and senior management spend more time communicating and getting to know employees. This should give employees the  confidence that management is approachable and ready to listen and help and support, thus erasing stigma.
  • Monitor employee performance and ensure you recognise and reward good performance
  • Introduce networks, initiatives and activities involving mental health and communicate this via company intranet, news bulletins and work communal areas
  • Offer occupational health services, return to work schemes, employee assistance programmes and allow flexible working hours to accommodate employees commitments outside work
  • Make employees feel valued by encouraging them to be involved I decision making and managing their own workloads

I

How Your Company  Can implement a Good Mental Health Strategy

It’s becoming increasingly critical for companies to implement a good mental health Strategy as Covid 19 and increasing job losses and businesses collapse. Cases of mental distress calls are multiplying daily with suicide and sickness figures mounting.

Mental health is one of the most valuable assets of any organisation and here are some tips to improve the mental health culture in your workplace.

  • Develop a mental health action plan and implement a implement an effective workplace policy
  • Provide mental health training including specific First Aid training for employees across all levels of the organisation and adjust job roles to accommodate extra responsibilities
  • Publicise your commitment to mental health issues as you would environmental commitments
  • Evaluate the possible causes of mental health across the organisation identifying areas of improvement – this may include the analysis or absence of performance data
  • Ensure employers and senior management spend more time communicating and getting to know employees. This should give employees the  confidence that management is approachable and ready to listen and help and support, thus erasing stigma.
  • Monitor employee performance and ensure you recognise and reward good performance
  • Introduce networks, initiatives and activities involving mental health and communicate this via company intranet, news bulletins and work communal areas
  • Offer occupational health services, return to work schemes, employee assistance programmes and allow flexible working hours to accommodate employees commitments outside work
  • Make employees feel valued by encouraging them to be involved I decision making and managing their own workloads

I’d be appy to help you implement your Mental Health Strategy and contact me on: maggie@thrivinghives.com

October Spotlight: Murad S. Murza Global Thought Leader Dubai

1.Tell us about your professional journey in the Middle East and how has it enriched you professionally?

My first engagement in the Middle East was as a tourist to Dubai in 2004.  I enjoyed the hospitality of a vibrant community that was in love with its nomadic past, captivated with the rapidly evolving landscape in the present, and thrilled with the possibilities of a promising Digital future.  The magnetism of living and contributing to the growth and development of a place that galvanized dreams to become reality attracted me in 2011 to make UAE as a regional hub for my consulting/advising services, especially, within the realm of Organizational Development, Talent Management, and Business Transformation.  In addition to serving global clients, I have had the pleasure of being a Speaker and Moderator at various regional and global professional forums held in Dubai and become a published author for various prestigious publications across the world.

Additionally, I have been truly humbled and delighted to be globally recognized in 9 areas (HR, Leadership, Culture, Management, Agility, Innovation, Future of Work, Change Management, Customer Experience) by the world’s first open platform for Thought Leaders (https://www.thinkers360.com/about/) based in the USA that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) for ranking to preclude human bias.  My insights/articles/perspectives have been added to the libraries of premier institutions across the world (e.g., United Nations, European Union, World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Berkeley, Cornell, Stanford, Columbia, INSEAD, United States Military Academy West Point, United States Marine Corps, United States Naval Academy, California State Library, The National Library of Australia, Canadian Parliament Library, Royal Danish Library, National Library of Finland, etc.).

2. How does your inner voice drive you to excel in your profession?

The average life of organizations used to be 60 years in the 1950s; it is less than 20 years in the Digital Age (https://lnkd.in/f9T8bei).  This presents tremendous challenges and wonderful opportunities for innovation.  Whether you listen to the ‘Prophets of Doom’ or the ‘Prophets of Nirvana’, the key to staying relevant and competitive in the Digital Age is to keep evolving.  Therefore, maintain the momentum to ‘outdo’ yourself by timely replenishing hybrid skills through honest introspection, keen sense of dynamics in the relevant ecosystem, brazen propensity for self-improvement, and timely pivoting to growth opportunities to increase the value of your indispensability for discerning employers.  You’re the ‘true’ master of your future!

3.What is the frequently overlooked factor in an organization’s poor performance?

There is no greater debt on an organization’s conscience than underutilized talent

4.What is the biggest challenge for successful corporate entities in the Middle East?

Mediocrity often reigns as ‘excellence’ in organizations used to prospering in the absence of worthy competitors

5.What are the critical competencies needed for organizations to stay relevant and competitive in the ubiquitous Digital future?

  1. Being comfortable with being uncomfortable

Refers to effectively embracing foreseeable changes/unanticipated scenarios/disruptive chaos

  • Being uncomfortable with being comfortable

Refers to effectively overcoming intoxicating complacency from dominant market positions/stakeholder contentment/goal attainment

6. What issues will be top-of-mind for C-levels with regard to the future of work over the next three years?

Senior leadership will be grappling with three key issues pertaining to the future of work over the next three years for their organizations to remain relevant and competitive in the rapidly evolving Digital Age.  First, how to retain the ‘right mix’ of a motivated and engaged multigenerational workforce while being continuously lured by the transformative promise of AI-enabled technologies.  Second, overcoming the dilemma of which emerging/new roles to incorporate within the corporate hierarchy and which existing ones to depreciate/eliminate to ensure/assure an agile organization.  Third, how to design/develop/sustain a productive workplace that also caters to employee health and well-being effectively.

7. Where do you anticipate leading enterprises will be in their future of work journeys over the next three years?

The progress on the future of work initiatives in three years will vary from sector to sector, especially, due to the fluctuating levels of the ‘nagging effect’ of the disruptive influencers.  Generally, leading enterprises with a bullish agenda will significantly refine/redefine organizational structures/meanings, aggressively revamp/reengineer work processes to robustly align with strategic imperatives by weeding out underperforming functions with AI-driven solutions and achieve a visibly leaner and a highly capable workforce with a proliferation of hybrid skills.

Murad’s LinkedIn profile is available at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/muradsalmanmirza/

A Self-Reflective Tool for Gauging the Impact of 10 Key Dimensions of Health and Well-being on Professionals in the Digital Murad S Murza

Progressive organizations are increasingly gaining sensitivity to the health and wellbeing of their workforce with mental health coming to the forefront as a substantial concern in recent times since conventional focus used to be on providing support and coverage for physical ailments.  A key driver of deteriorating mental health is the pressure associated with staying relevant and competitive in the Digital Age in order to sustain a viable and productive ‘career lifecycle’ that can robustly stand up to dynamic changes in the marketplace for talent.

However, intrinsically-driven/highly-ambitious professionals frequently tend to marginalize such concerns as they focus on career aspirations by embracing stressful conditions and diving into time-consuming complex/challenging assignments to impress influential sources of power with their professional abilities.  This often leads to hiding/suppressing the knowledge from employers about existing conditions that might put careers in jeopardy, especially, where there is proliferation of skilled labor ready and willing to take their place at a cheaper cost to the employer.  Consequently, the future of organizations is being precariously leveraged upon the apprehensive professionals who are actively gambling with their health and wellbeing due to the fear of being discovered as a ‘costly’ investment despite working for a seemingly ‘caring’ employer.  The following tool has been developed for professionals caught in such a dilemma to facilitate an honest self-appraisal to take timely, appropriate and effective remedial actions for not only themselves, but, more importantly, for the sake of their loved ones:

  1. Family (Your bonds with the family)
    1. Are you on bad terms with most members of your family?
    1. Does most of your family refuse to help you during challenging times?
    1. Is there frequent conflict in your family?
    1. Do you tend to avoid family gatherings?
    1. Are you frequently approached by various members of your family for support, e.g., financial, legal, health, resolving children-related issues, arbitration between feuding family members, etc.?
  2. Friends (Your bonds with the friends)
    1. Do you lack any close friends?
    1. Have most of your friends refused to help you during challenging times?
    1. Are you frequently involved in resolving problems faced by your friends?
    1. Does the circle of your friends include both from the workplace and in personal life?
    1. Are your friends actually ‘acquaintances’, rather than, friends?
  3. Personal and Professional Networks (Your bonds with the wider humanistic circle)
    1. Are you primarily an introvert by nature?
    1. Do you like to develop relationships with other people based upon reciprocity?
    1. Are you generally unwilling to forgive those who have wronged you in the past?
    1. Are you naturally suspicious of people who are trying to reach out to you?
    1. Are your personal and professional networks a source of stress for you?
  4. Self-Makeup (Your bonds with yourself)
    1. Are you often engulfed in self-reflection regarding stressful matters, e.g., personal health issues, delicate financial situation, precarious career trajectory, traumatic memories, yearning for a meaningful life, etc.?
    1. Do you have difficulty in saying ‘No’ to people?
    1. Do you have difficulty in saying ‘Yes’ to people?
    1. Are you able to work long hours without adequate rest/sleep?
    1. Do you feel the pressure to be liked/admired/respected in your community?
  5. Global (Your bonds with the wider world)
    1. Are you a keen follower of major events shaping the Digital Age?
    1. Are you emotionally affected by things happening on the global stage?
    1. Has a global event, e.g., financial crash, regional tensions, COVID-19 pandemic, etc., ever impacted you professionally?
    1. Do you frequently worry about family/friends living in different parts of the world?
    1. Do you believe that national interests/priorities/policies/regulations often dilute the humanistic desire to live as a peaceful global community?
  6. Influencers (Your bonds with the people whose opinions matter)
    1. Are you a keen follower of someone outside the family/friends circle who has had a profound influence on you?
    1. Do you tend to trust a certain person or a select group of people in terms of advice/guidance on personal matters?
    1. Are you frequently willing to change your mind after listening to recognized expert(s) in a relevant situation?
    1. Are you hesitant to recommend an influencer to others in your personal and professional network in case things don’t work out for them the same way that it did for you?
    1. Have you ever been disappointed/disillusioned by someone whom you trusted in terms of being an influencer?
  7. Tech (Your bonds with the technology)
    1. Are technological advances more of a nuisance for you?
    1. Do you see AI-driven entities as a threat to your career aspirations?
    1. Do you think that humanistic concerns are being marginalized due to the efficiencies gained by deploying technological solutions in the workplace?
    1. Do you know someone who has lost his/her job due to the influx of technology?
    1. Are you worried that the emphasis on getting more and more technology will degrade talent management initiatives by progressive organizations?
  8. Homeland (Your bonds with the country of origin/residence)
    1. Are you sensitive to what is happening in your home country?
    1. Do you feel the need to get defensive when someone voices a negative opinion about the way things are projected about your home country, especially, in case of being an expat?
    1. Have you been victimized in your home country in an illegal/immoral/unethical manner, e.g., crime, defrauding, forgery, rape, corruption, vindictive court cases, etc.?
    1. Do you harbor migrating to another country for a better standard of living?
    1. Do you often feel discriminated or stereotyped on being a citizen of your home country?
  9. Surroundings (Your bonds with the general environment)
    1. Do you get stressed while stuck in congested traffic?
    1. Are you sensitive to seeing suffering in your neighborhood, e.g., poor people/children begging on the streets, rampant pollution, rising crime rates, etc.?
    1. Do you often feel ‘lonely’ in a crowd whether among familiar or unfamiliar people?
    1. Are you often troubled by the signs of economic downturn in your surroundings, e.g., home foreclosures, empty shopping malls, vacant playgrounds, pandemic curfews, etc.
    1. Does the poor quality of appropriate infrastructure, e.g., roads, bridges, access points, clubs, parks, hospitals, domestic/commercial services, etc., to facilitate everyday living frustrate you as a concerned citizen?
  10. Professional (Your bonds with the workplace)
    1. Do you usually dread going to your workplace?
    1. Are corporate values rarely upheld in your organization?
    1. Are your peers and supervisor(s) a source of stress for you?
    1. Is your compensation package inadequate in terms of catering to your health and wellbeing needs and expectations?
    1. Is the leadership of your organization generally uninterested in assuring and ensuring the betterment of working conditions for the workforce without the pressure from outside influences, e.g., trade unions, labor laws, advocacy groups, minority rights channels, women empowerment forums, multimedia campaigns, etc.

The following table can be used to assess the urgency for taking timely, appropriate and effective actions to prevent catastrophic harm to personal health and wellbeing that can generate painful experiences for the loved ones and ultimately lead to derailment of professional ambitions:

The aforementioned tool is essentially a preventive measure that resonates with the adage of ‘Health is Wealth’.  It beckons the courage to embrace personal fears/apprehensions/misgivings and incentivizes the formulation of strategies that assure and ensure a sustainable lifestyle that can survive the trials and tribulations of the Digital Age without demanding an exorbitant price in return.  Will you take a moment to reflect?

Progressive organizations are increasingly gaining sensitivity to the health and wellbeing of their workforce with mental health coming to the forefront as a substantial concern in recent times since conventional focus used to be on providing support and coverage for physical ailments.  A key driver of deteriorating mental health is the pressure associated with staying relevant and competitive in the Digital Age in order to sustain a viable and productive ‘career lifecycle’ that can robustly stand up to dynamic changes in the marketplace for talent.

However, intrinsically-driven/highly-ambitious professionals frequently tend to marginalize such concerns as they focus on career aspirations by embracing stressful conditions and diving into time-consuming complex/challenging assignments to impress influential sources of power with their professional abilities.  This often leads to hiding/suppressing the knowledge from employers about existing conditions that might put careers in jeopardy, especially, where there is proliferation of skilled labor ready and willing to take their place at a cheaper cost to the employer.  Consequently, the future of organizations is being precariously leveraged upon the apprehensive professionals who are actively gambling with their health and wellbeing due to the fear of being discovered as a ‘costly’ investment despite working for a seemingly ‘caring’ employer.  The following tool has been developed for professionals caught in such a dilemma to facilitate an honest self-appraisal to take timely, appropriate and effective remedial actions for not only themselves, but, more importantly, for the sake of their loved ones:

  1. Family (Your bonds with the family)
    1. Are you on bad terms with most members of your family?
    1. Does most of your family refuse to help you during challenging times?
    1. Is there frequent conflict in your family?
    1. Do you tend to avoid family gatherings?
    1. Are you frequently approached by various members of your family for support, e.g., financial, legal, health, resolving children-related issues, arbitration between feuding family members, etc.?
  2. Friends (Your bonds with the friends)
    1. Do you lack any close friends?
    1. Have most of your friends refused to help you during challenging times?
    1. Are you frequently involved in resolving problems faced by your friends?
    1. Does the circle of your friends include both from the workplace and in personal life?
    1. Are your friends actually ‘acquaintances’, rather than, friends?
  3. Personal and Professional Networks (Your bonds with the wider humanistic circle)
    1. Are you primarily an introvert by nature?
    1. Do you like to develop relationships with other people based upon reciprocity?
    1. Are you generally unwilling to forgive those who have wronged you in the past?
    1. Are you naturally suspicious of people who are trying to reach out to you?
    1. Are your personal and professional networks a source of stress for you?
  4. Self-Makeup (Your bonds with yourself)
    1. Are you often engulfed in self-reflection regarding stressful matters, e.g., personal health issues, delicate financial situation, precarious career trajectory, traumatic memories, yearning for a meaningful life, etc.?
    1. Do you have difficulty in saying ‘No’ to people?
    1. Do you have difficulty in saying ‘Yes’ to people?
    1. Are you able to work long hours without adequate rest/sleep?
    1. Do you feel the pressure to be liked/admired/respected in your community?
  5. Global (Your bonds with the wider world)
    1. Are you a keen follower of major events shaping the Digital Age?
    1. Are you emotionally affected by things happening on the global stage?
    1. Has a global event, e.g., financial crash, regional tensions, COVID-19 pandemic, etc., ever impacted you professionally?
    1. Do you frequently worry about family/friends living in different parts of the world?
    1. Do you believe that national interests/priorities/policies/regulations often dilute the humanistic desire to live as a peaceful global community?
  6. Influencers (Your bonds with the people whose opinions matter)
    1. Are you a keen follower of someone outside the family/friends circle who has had a profound influence on you?
    1. Do you tend to trust a certain person or a select group of people in terms of advice/guidance on personal matters?
    1. Are you frequently willing to change your mind after listening to recognized expert(s) in a relevant situation?
    1. Are you hesitant to recommend an influencer to others in your personal and professional network in case things don’t work out for them the same way that it did for you?
    1. Have you ever been disappointed/disillusioned by someone whom you trusted in terms of being an influencer?
  7. Tech (Your bonds with the technology)
    1. Are technological advances more of a nuisance for you?
    1. Do you see AI-driven entities as a threat to your career aspirations?
    1. Do you think that humanistic concerns are being marginalized due to the efficiencies gained by deploying technological solutions in the workplace?
    1. Do you know someone who has lost his/her job due to the influx of technology?
    1. Are you worried that the emphasis on getting more and more technology will degrade talent management initiatives by progressive organizations?
  8. Homeland (Your bonds with the country of origin/residence)
    1. Are you sensitive to what is happening in your home country?
    1. Do you feel the need to get defensive when someone voices a negative opinion about the way things are projected about your home country, especially, in case of being an expat?
    1. Have you been victimized in your home country in an illegal/immoral/unethical manner, e.g., crime, defrauding, forgery, rape, corruption, vindictive court cases, etc.?
    1. Do you harbor migrating to another country for a better standard of living?
    1. Do you often feel discriminated or stereotyped on being a citizen of your home country?
  9. Surroundings (Your bonds with the general environment)
    1. Do you get stressed while stuck in congested traffic?
    1. Are you sensitive to seeing suffering in your neighborhood, e.g., poor people/children begging on the streets, rampant pollution, rising crime rates, etc.?
    1. Do you often feel ‘lonely’ in a crowd whether among familiar or unfamiliar people?
    1. Are you often troubled by the signs of economic downturn in your surroundings, e.g., home foreclosures, empty shopping malls, vacant playgrounds, pandemic curfews, etc.
    1. Does the poor quality of appropriate infrastructure, e.g., roads, bridges, access points, clubs, parks, hospitals, domestic/commercial services, etc., to facilitate everyday living frustrate you as a concerned citizen?
  10. Professional (Your bonds with the workplace)
    1. Do you usually dread going to your workplace?
    1. Are corporate values rarely upheld in your organization?
    1. Are your peers and supervisor(s) a source of stress for you?
    1. Is your compensation package inadequate in terms of catering to your health and wellbeing needs and expectations?
    1. Is the leadership of your organization generally uninterested in assuring and ensuring the betterment of working conditions for the workforce without the pressure from outside influences, e.g., trade unions, labor laws, advocacy groups, minority rights channels, women empowerment forums, multimedia campaigns, etc.

The following table can be used to assess the urgency for taking timely, appropriate and effective actions to prevent catastrophic harm to personal health and wellbeing that can generate painful experiences for the loved ones and ultimately lead to derailment of professional ambitions:

The aforementioned tool is essentially a preventive measure that resonates with the adage of ‘Health is Wealth’.  It beckons the courage to embrace personal fears/apprehensions/misgivings and incentivizes the formulation of strategies that assure and ensure a sustainable lifestyle that can survive the trials and tribulations of the Digital Age without demanding an exorbitant price in return.  Will you take a moment to reflect?

Disruption Drives Reinvention Leena Sahijwani & Nishchae Suri

The notion of work is veering from task completion to problem solving and managing human relationships. The successful execution of this is only possible by altering the very conception of work, workforce and workplace and at a pace where organizations are able to upskill and reskill their workforce at the speed at which businesses are changing.

The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed” – William Gibson

The Future of Work is an outcome of the severe and unprecedented changes that are impacting ‘Work’, ‘Workforce’ and ‘Workplace’. The evolution of work over the last few decades has been fascinating. Stepping into the cognitive revolution or what some may call the brink of the knowledge economy, it is not the first time that we witness a complete change in the cultural idea of work. According to the World Economic Forum, while the foreseeable loss of jobs may amount to 75 million in the next 5 years owing to technological disruption, another 133 million jobs will be gained. In lieu of most repetitive and routine tasks likely to be automated, work is being redefined to create valuable human-machine collaborations.

The notion of work is veering from task completion to problem solving and managing human relationships. The successful execution of this is only possible by altering the very conception of work, workforce and workplace and at a pace where organizations are able to upskill and reskill their workforce at the speed at which businesses are changing.

Engagement harbours talent

While work has evolved, several of the processes in Human Resources continue to be embedded in a mechanistic view of the workforce. Although, there have been attempts to improve processes incrementally over the years, now is the time to catapult to an approach that leverages uniqueness of our employees and maximizes their contribution and impact to the organization. In the human-machine conflict, the pandemic has brought humans back in the forefront. As we tread an unknown path, the HR teams have a unique opportunity to shape the future of an organization and support its success in disruptive times through use of new-age technology and concepts. This new approach is embedded in the belief that an individual’s potential is unlimited – we can expand and shape it through carefully curated experiences, knowledge sharing and learning platforms that focus on creating greater value to the individual and the organisation.

With the change in workforce demographics and types of employability, organizations have begun rethinking their talent development strategies. In addition to devising learning models that make a diverse workforce adept to tackle the evolving nature of work, organizations need to change the fundamental view of an employee’s life cycle from “attract, develop, and retain” to “access, curate, and engage” for all workforces of all types:

  • Access talent with the right set of capabilities and skills across your organization along with consistently scanning the talent universe
  • Curate and design meaningful development journeys for employees by enabling learning in the flow of work and providing well-defined career development frameworks optimized through robust technology platforms which enable targeted upskilling.
  • Engage your workforce, business teams and partners effectively by building compelling relationships strengthened by a common goal of self-directed learning to enhance productivity and impact by taking advantage of new ways of teaming and working.

Necessity breeds innovation

Flexibility of work and workplace has been on the rise. While some may say that workplace transformation was yet to be a reality, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, it is fair to say that organizations are beyond its cusp. However, one major concern that has historically cast a shadow on remote working is how productive and efficient can an employee be when they are not under supervision by co-workers and managers? As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 94% percent of the world’s workforce are impacted by workplace closure/ stay-at-home measures. This recent experience has challenged the mindsets and historic assumptions around workplace definition, with a number of companies seriously considering distributed workforce as a permanent feature. They are actively embracing the ‘New Normal’ by reimagining where work gets done from traditional co-located spaces to those that are completely distributed via virtual media. However, as the workforce gets more distributed, organizations need to devise ways of fostering a culture of collaboration and building a community.

All HR processes must be re-designed to enhance the potential of individuals bound by a common “purpose”. The TATA group has always believed in a “social enterprise” framework with a focus on improving the quality of life of communities and creating long term value. Purpose is a strong foundation on which an enterprise is built. The organisation must enable employees to find fulfilment through meaning and purpose of their work and work experiences while delivering impact. Embedding meaning into every aspect of work and removing drudgery through digitalization is a great opportunity ahead of us. This can be achieved through mindful performance enablement processes.

Today, talent needs of an organization are fluid mirroring the times we live in. Agility, adaptiveness and resilience are key attributes to win in a dynamic environment. Organizations today are a web of networks; this is a big departure from the hierarchical structures of yesterday. Our processes however have been built to serve a hierarchical organisation and must be re-visited. Insights from the pandemic have propelled us to work on concepts such as distributed workforce, flexible and alternate workforce arrangements. These approaches will enable us to help serve our organisations in future by fulfilling diverse talent demands and enabling greater talent experience. With the frequent shifts in the market conditions and uncertain futures, continuous learning is integral to the ‘Future of Work’. In unprecedented and challenging times like these, learning professionals must rise to the occasion to facilitate a shift in mindset at both, the organizational and individual level. Learning Agility will be the key to building smart, healthy and future ready organizations’ which keep adept with the ephemeral as well as enduring changes in the industry.

Immersing Ourselves in the Future of Work

The first step towards the ‘New’ is by stopping to resist what lies ahead and scrutinizing existing systems, processes and practices. It requires you to move away from your fascination with ‘what’s worked in the past’ to forge a new relationship with ‘what’s needed in the future.’

In 2019, the TATA group began its journey to upgrade HR technology in some of the companies that desired this change as part of a larger one Tata approach. A key principle used to finalise a technology platform was its ability to lead digital transformation of processes keeping in mind the future needs. “Niche solutions” termed a bolt-on technologies that leveraged AI were used as enablers on top of world-class core HR platform to achieve this objective.

However, deploying powerful digital tools is not enough to drive meaningful change in the processes, one must constantly ask how can we see the processes through the lens of our people? Is it enabling our people to do the best or holding them back? Our job in HR is to build, use, and implement technologies that are centred on people, we need to shed our traditional hat in order to do so. Any digital transformation will fail if we continue to replicate our current experiences and processes in the new age technology world. We need to constantly question if our processes are designed to help our teams to perform better, enhance productivity and employee experience? Over the last few months, the TATA group has revisited its processes with a critical lens focusing on enabling and supporting employees better, offering a seamless experience through intuitive technology and taking these new learnings forward to do better every time faced with a new implementation challenge.

In the space of learning and knowledge management, the advent of cognitive technologies is substantially transforming the way organizations aggregate, create, curate, collect, interpret, disseminate and apply knowledge. Employers can no longer rest on their laurels; they need to be experimental and take calculated bets on technologies like AI that are more likely to be boosters rather than impeders in work life. Only 1 out of 5 organizations always encourage application of learning and knowledge through active experimentation according to the EdCast Learning Health Index Study 2020. Immersing in the Future of Work entails analysing your assets and gauging who can be retrained, what can be redeployed and how to develop and acquire what you need for the future.

Designing for the Future of Work

Organizations need to design for agility and focus on impact. Agile is definitely based on ‘Just in time’ (JIT), a concept we are all familiar with as applied in Manufacturing. Agile organizations learn at the speed of business by compressing the distance and time between learning and working. However, what is of equal importance is what is delivered and is it enough? L&D needs to constantly scan the horizon of learning to meet the growing demands being placed on organizations to bridge the skill gap by enriching current job roles with the evolving skill and competency requirements. Providing ‘Just enough’ learning personalized to the needs and preferences of the learner – ‘Just for me’ and ‘Just in time’ is what creates the desired impact.

Creating & Curating Future Worthy Content

Content strategy & architecture is the backbone of any organization’s learning ecosystem. The content portfolio should include ‘Future Skills’ spanning across emerging technologies, professional skills and human – machine collaboration skills, that enables learners to become future ready. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace learning Report, CLOs spend most of their time sourcing & building ‘Just the right’ learning content ensuring an optimal balance of variety, volume and velocity.

Optimizing Learning for the Future of Work

Renewing skills of the workforce is no longer a choice, it is a necessity! With technology advancements eroding the boundaries of the traditional work and workplace, learning must be made a seamless experience which is accessible ‘anytime – anywhere’ by an increasingly mobile workforce. We need to redesign learning to be social, flexible, self-directed yet collaborative to enable peer to peer learning in an increasingly remote environment. Organizations should adopt cost-effective, learner centric solutions like a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) that lead, enable, manage and support the learning agenda catering to the preferences and needs of employees. Given that only 28% of employees are highly satisfied with the learning solutions offered by their company, Gartner’s recent study reports that improving the user experience of technology is the foremost strategic priority of L&D professionals today.

The TATA group has always believed in creating leadership capability that serves future needs of the company through mindfully curated programs at the Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC) in Pune. Technology-driven learning tools have opened huge possibilities to make learning be available anytime, anywhere. This has expanded the reach and influence of the flagship institution to help shape a Future Ready and Future Engaged workforce. Tata recently launched the Tata Tomorrow University (TTU) powered by TMTC – a digital platform that will help drive employees engagement and be involved in changes that are desired in future. The platform will enable people to come together and learn with each other at an enhanced scale than what has been historically achieved through physical class-room immersive experiences.

The group’s learning approach is evolving from setting aside one or two weeks a year to a continuous learning approach to keep pace with the demands of shifting job priorities. Due to the fluidity and dynamism in the environment, jobs today need to cater to changing expectations. As the priorities shift so do the learning needs of individuals. This new approach therefore keeps the learner at the heart and center of the process through personalization enabled by technology. Embarking on this journey, Tata is mindful of preserving cohorts of different companies and disciplines which, in the past have helped break down barriers and enabled social learning. It strives to bring the best of both worlds by putting this blended approach in play enabled by powerful technology solutions such as TCS iON and EdCast.

Upskilling to Build a Future Ready Workforce

A 2019 Survey by Global Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace reports that 64% of HR leaders responded that organizations acknowledge the presence of skills gap within their firm due to fast paced digital transformation, dearth of skilled talent within the organizations to fill up the required positions and lack of qualified candidates. With technological disruption on the rise, Digital Upskilling is a critical success factor for the future workforce. As job roles are being deconstructed, redesigned, and retooled, organizations need to help their human talent to leverage machine capabilities. While most employees are excited rather than fearful of technology, Forbes states that 81% of them yearn for assurance from their organizations through opportunities of continuous learning so that they can adapt to new roles.

Learning in the Flow of Work = Working in the Flow of Life

The way we work and where we work will continue to transform in the times to come, accelerated by the recent events. While technological advancements are set to progress, human relationships will be at the centre of this transition. HR is in a unique position to advise leaders on the probable impact of a dynamically shifting workforce and workplace. As we bring together a physical and virtual world, processes need to adapt to be able to deliver better outcomes- sharper performance enablement through clearly defined objectives and outcomes with frequent check-ins, learning meeting the employee at their space and non-linear career approaches are a few such processes. The way we engage with employees is bound to change. A more inclusive approach that addresses all work-arrangements will be key to our success. We have seen a surge of virtual engagement efforts in recent times with innovative approaches adopted by our companies, some of these knowledge nuggets should not be lost as we start resuming operations.

According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace learning Report 94% of learners say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development but 49% report that they do not have the time to learn at work. Employees crave inspiring and challenging experiences throughout their career. To keep them engaged organizations must make available self-directed opportunities for growth in the flow of work that not only directly contribute to them succeeding in their current job but also create growth opportunities for them in the future. In order to harness the potential that the future of work and talent holds for us, the HR function should adopt a new digital mindset and craft nimble processes that help talent succeed. The more we design our processes “in the flow of work”, higher will be our success through these processes. After all, process is an enabler and not an event.

As work and workplace complexities increase, it has implications on organisation structure. With the practice of WFM, the traditional lines around work – life segmentation are likely to become more blurred. It is anticipated that our workforce, having demonstrated success while working from home, will prefer it more than ever. In addition, companies are also evaluating this option vis-à-vis reduced real estate cost while enhancing work-life integration. For those learners who are ‘integrators’ – blending work and life, the idea of work bleeding into home life, in the words of Nancy Rothbard could be, “as natural as breathing” while for ‘segmenters’ it might be a struggle. As the organisation structure evolves to be a strong web of networks, how we redesign the HR function to service this need is yet to materialize! HR must play a pivotal role in times to come and can do so by walking the talk – an agile, adaptive and resilient HR function will pave the path for a future where learning will be the new working.For more details on EdCast or to register for an account at EdCast’s Spark, click here and here.

Authored by Leena Sahijwani, Vice President (Group Human Resources, Tata Sons) and Nishchae Suri (President – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, EdCast and Spark by EdCast).

The 8 Stages to Guaranteeing Innovation Ian Berry Strategic Heartistry

Let’s take a quick look at each phase:

I created a process to help my client learn and take action. It’s turned into a way to guarantee innovation and progress. It’s also a track I use regardless of the kind of work I’m doing or the event I’m conducting.  I’m taking people on a journey from information to insight to inspiration to idea/s to implementation to introspection to integration to innovation. This is my fundamental methodology.

Information

Information is everywhere right. We’re drowning in it. It’s accessible and mostly free. Deliberate distribution of disinformation is now rife. One of the challenges today is determining whether information it’s true or false.

The bottom-line, information is actually of very little value. What we crave is insight.

Insight

Insight is everywhere too. Yet not easily accessed.

A most worthy pursuit because it’s the beginning of more people feeling valued, living values and delivering value, which are the fundamentals of a thriving enterprise.

Inspiration

Very few people take the time and energy to savour insight and imagine what can be. To be inspired heart is required. Emotions need stirring.

Idea/s

Any idea from the heart inspired by intuition is worthy of consideration. There’s three key questions to answer:

What’s your process for considering people’s ideas and getting back to them once considered?

What is the decision-making process for choosing an idea to implement?

How much freedom do your people have to implement ideas?

Then love your idea like your dearest. Find people who love it too. Work with them to turn your idea into innovation through the final three crucial stages.

Implementation

There are three essentials for successfully implementing any idea.

1) do so one quantum leap at a time.

2) implement in 90 day blocks using performance possibility plans-on-a-page. 90 days is enough time to do things that matter and yet short enough to be able to correct any missteps.

3) aggregate the marginal gains.

Introspection

To reflect on actions taken and their impact is vital to all learning and progress or innovation of any kind. I help a lot of my clients with after-action-reviews and have a simple 5 stage process that I’ll mention shortly.

Integration

Integrating new perceptions with what is already working well for you is an essential to embedding learning and established new levels of performance.

I recommend the following 5 stages to for introspection and integration work.

1) Review one implementation action at a time and answer the following questions what happened and why? what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn? How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings? Who will we become? What will we do next?

2) Determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you.

3) Upgrade your individual, team and organisational plans and co-promises on a page accordingly.

4) Reflect new perceptions in appropriate standard operating procedures, policies and practices.

5) Upgrade learning and development materials.

Innovation

Innovation has occurred when we have changed what’s normal, when we have shifted from sameness or the status quo that was no longer serving us, to something more valuable.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Ian

Author, Blogger, Conversationalist, Online Course Creator, Mentor, Podcaster, Video Presenter on #heartleadership #strategicheartistry and #everydayinnovation Learn more at https://www.ianberry.biz/

Cognitive Dissonance Uzair Hassan 3h Solutions

This is a term used to describe a state when a person holds two conflicting thoughts / ideas / beliefs / values etc. The core beliefs people hold can be extremely strong and may create a estrangement of thoughts, that, under stress, can co-exist. An example is smokers. They smoke, and on a rational / logical / intellectual level, understand that it is bad for you (cognition). This conflict (dissonance) resides, albeit uncomfortably, in their psyche. It is this discomfort that people feel when allowing contradictory thoughts to inhabit that creates schisms. The usual approach is to create excuses / reasoning to not accept the opposing /contradictory information.

If their beliefs are based in truth, or are simply misguided convictions, it does not matter. It is the basic discord created by these conflicting thoughts that is interesting. That such divergent viewpoints could exist in the same space is in itself amazing. Extreme stress can occur as well as guilt, and time spent on justifications / legitimizing their stance.

This brings us to the cognitive dissonance in our day to day lives:

  •  Wearing a mask in times of COVID-19, but not believing in its efficacy.
  •  Smoking while being aware of its negative impact on your health.
  •  Breaking your diet and justifying it by thinking about all the walking done today.
  •  Difficulty in believing that one of your role models is being implicated in some wrongdoing & justifying it with conspiracy theories or being framed or……
  •  You are environmentally aware but use plastic bags at the supermarket.
  •  Your boss asking you to do something you don’t like, but you do it anyway.
  •  Reading this article even though you are aware that it’s a delaying tactic for real work that is pending for sometime now .

Simply put, its your beliefs clashing with your actions.

Scientific evidence, tangible / quantifiable research, Visual confirmation, informed decisions made on newly (to you) unearthed facts/data/information that dispels your current beliefs/ perspective / perception. Does it work? The answer is: yes. If you have an open mind and are flexible in your approach and don’t make excuses or try to legitimize your opinions, its possible.

Although the adage goes something like this: It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it(at times, attributed to Aristotle), interestingly our minds are creatures of habit, as well as very creative at finding support and justifications for ideas / values / perspectives we believe in.

Guilt may be a part of this feeling, and, it can bring forth positive results, not necessarily negative ones. But stress and guilt do factor heavily in these circumstances. The idea would be to align the two divergent thoughts and bring them onto the same platform. Choose.

Now bringing this into the realm of day to day workforce management:

This is where values must align (Organizational & individual), ethics must play its part, fairplay and justice must be practiced and genuine/authentic leadership must prevail. People should never have to choose between right and being let go. Pressure of any kind to go against their values and beliefs etc. should not be exerted, and, empathy, value alignment, ethics and justice must reign supreme.

Just like ego, no one is immune from cognitive dissonance. Like the saying goes, There are two types of egoists in this world, ones who admit it, and the rest of us. Similarly, we are all affected by cognitive dissonance in one way or the other. Our judgements and decisions are impacted by it and as long as we learn to recognize it, we can harness its boundless potential to make us grow.

Ask why. Question your decisions and see the divergence for what it is: An opportunity to grow, expand our horizons and become adept at reaching these decisions based on judgements made with a clear vision.

Ask why. Clarify. Grow.

Uzair Hassan / Aug 2020 / Uzair.hassan@3hsolutions.biz / 0097150-6228126

September Spotlight: Heyam Farrington

  • Tell us about you, your experience and time in the Middle East.

I am an accomplished, versatile HR Strategic Professional and Educator with a passion for both innovation and education to bring impactful change. With a broad range of international “C” level contacts across Industries, I am collaborative, open and transparent in my approach, with a results driven focus. Building on an experience spanning over the past 20 years, I am hands-on experienced in HR Strategy and Organisational Development, and passionate about Talent Development, in particular, ensuring that organisations and individuals get real insights into best practice. I bring a unique global perspective on many industries having worked in the UAE, AMMAN and IRAQ in both private and public sector.

  • How would you describe the culture of your business?

My business is mainly based on coaching and training the leadership level, as well as one to one professional and career coaching, focused on emotional intelligence

  • How easy is it for you to get direct access to the decision makers in your company? Companies here?

Currently I am based in the UK and work virtually with the middle East, specifically my clients in the UAE, KSA and Amman. I maintain a great professional relationship with many government entities as well as semi government in Banking and Educational sectors.

  • What are your biggest challenges in the next 5 years?

To ensure keeping up with the latest trend in virtual training programmes, and educating Arabs educators on the benefits of emotional intelligence and mindfulness in schools and universities.  

  • What are the skills and competencies that you would need to train in order to meet the regions talent requirements?

Prior my move last year to the UK, I have been focusing my 3 years of work at the Emirates Diplomatic on the 21st Century Skills, which mainly covers; Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, Soft Power, Critical Thinking etc.

I am working on a new approach to mental health teaching in schools in the UAE and KSA by the beginning of 2021.

What is Your Approach to Successful Talent Management in the Digital Age? Murad Salman Mirza

Discovering the Recipe to Attain/Maintain the ‘Employer of Choice’ Status)

There is no greater debt on an organization’s conscience than underutilized talent, therefore, the best way for assuring/ensuring success in the ‘war for talent’ is by taking efficient and effective measures during the ‘peace in talent’.  However, inducting and maintaining a capable and motivated multigenerational workforce whose priorities are aligned with the corporate imperatives is becoming increasingly harder each day as AI-enabled entities make significant inroads in the workplace.

The ‘redundancy apprehension’ clouding the minds of hardworking and dedicated professionals is impacting their health and wellbeing at an alarming rate, however, very few organizations display the magnanimity and boldness to take effective measures to manage such ‘internal conflicts’ while embarking upon ‘Employer Branding’ initiatives.  The conventional wisdom prevalent throughout the corporate landscape is to take the ‘cover’ of technology as a ‘relationship buffer’ between the ‘discerning’ senior/top management and the frequently ‘overworked and underappreciated’ workforce to avoid getting embroiled in the ‘agonizing’ search for effective solutions to ‘uncomfortable’ questions.

This is evident by the extravagant application of metrics-driven KRAs/KPIs in conjunction with an elaborate and judicious system of associated Rewards & Recognition to mask the desperate efforts for placating simmering discontent at the ‘Supervisor-Supervisee’ level due to a stifling work environment.  Such ‘shallow’ measures often result in the career progression of promising talent being held ‘hostage’ by a tired, coaxed, vengeful and/or hurried supervisor’s assessment of their performance to complement another metric on the ‘HR Dashboard’ to inform the senior/top management on how ‘well’ things are working.

Furthermore, more and more of the repetitive/physically demanding/minimally diverse jobs/roles/function are being relegated to ‘smart’ machines while cerebral skills, e.g., innovative thinking, astute strategizing, creative application, team building, network development, etc., steadily gain elevation as the ‘last’ bastion of ‘human relevance’ in the workplace of the Digital Age.  Consequently, the following assessments are getting more profound and complex in their probabilistic determination to ‘hit the mark’ in terms of getting the ‘right’ talent and technology is being increasingly leveraged in the respective context:

The sobering reality of shrinking positions within the conventional professions is also forcing the working professionals to confront the agonizing obsolescence of the mantra ‘working for a living’ as they wrestle to stay relevant by contemplating their own interpretation of ‘yearning for a living’ in a ubiquitous AI-driven world.  Moreover, the rush to implement ‘Happiness at Work’ initiatives is often at a faster pace than the ‘healing time’ required for effectively resolving ‘Sadness at Work’ issues.  Therefore, a significant number of such ‘successes’ lack meaningfulness and robustness to survive simmering cynicism and passive resistance by ‘experienced’ employees weary of ‘trendy’ leadership initiatives.

Additionally, organizations are experiencing frequent blockages in the talent pipelines as the uncertainties of gainful employment in ‘conventional’ professions coupled with the apprehensions of ‘life without work’ is driving the need for ‘postponing’ career moves or ‘delaying’ retirements.  This is being exacerbated by the phenomenon of ‘real wages’ spiraling down in relation to inflationary pressures, extension of ‘professional life’ due to longer life spans, regulatory relaxation in pension age, and the desire to remain within the ‘safety net’ of health and wellbeing benefits (https://lnkd.in/fy6Us-j).  Consequently, ‘over-experienced’/‘near-retirement’ professionals are caught in nagging struggles to maintain their ‘relevancy and usefulness’ to prolong their careers and try to garner enough savings for enabling a dignified existence as a senior citizen.  Therefore, it becomes imperative for organizations to gauge the effectiveness of their talent management practices and the resulting risks to the ‘Employer Brand’, especially, by elevating the significance of ‘employee departure’ handling.  A crucial step in the respective context is the preservation of the sanctity of the ‘employee exit interview’ which is prone to marginalization in egregious circumstances.

Gone are the days when budding professionals depended upon the paternalistic instincts of their employers to provide them with a viable career path.  The capable professional of today is more informed, incisively skilled, and comes with a baggage of knowledge that enables leveraged negotiating targeted to achieve maximum gains within a mutually agreed frame of reference.  Consequently, organizations are being pushed to increase the quality of ‘Employee Experience’ in addition to the ‘sweetening the conventional pie’ comprising of compensation and benefits to attract/retain the desired talent.  The era of ‘Employee Loyalty’ has been over for quite a while now, however, the concept of ‘Employee Partnership’ that was built on the ashes of organizational allegiance is also under threat.  The new arrangement taking root is one of ‘Employee Gratification’, where attractive ‘Total Rewards’ packages are customized to serve as ‘Golden Handcuffs’ on the desired talent as long as the organization sees/perceives a healthy ROI (Return-On-Investment) in terms of retaining them as part of its workforce.

Sagacious employees, on their part, prudently refrain from confusing conformance with performance and seek innovative ways of increasingly the ‘indispensability quotient’ by applying inherent/accumulated skills judiciously and visibly in staying above the mechanistic compulsions, engulfing their peers, for assuring/ensuring sustained career development and progression.  This is characterized by having a keen eye on the changing professional landscape due to the evolving ecosystem of their industry and timely pivoting/adapting to board the ‘new train’ of relevance.

One of the major short-sighted mistakes that organizations make is the propensity to implement talent management practices which are designed for ‘risk accommodation’ against ‘talent flight’ instead of ‘risk mitigation’ that caters to ‘talent engagement’.  This significantly impacts the ‘psychological contract’ as it shifts from being blindly based on ‘solemn faith’ to being watchfully propped up on ‘validated trust’.  Such a lack of ‘trustworthiness’ in the ability of senior/top management to provide a robust ‘bridge’ for aligning personal goals with organizational imperatives results in employees being adamantly unwilling to loosen the ‘stringent’ expectations of the ‘psychological contract’.  Consequently, hardening of attitudes occurs and apathy prevails at the cost of organizational harmony.  This leads to the following phenomenon:

The plethora of talent management practices deployed across the corporate world to overcome workforce challenges can be encapsulated within the following two main strategies:

Approach A (Indoctrinate, Assimilate & Obligate)

  1. Focused on creating and grooming loyal disciples based upon the desired norms of corporate etiquette
  2. Inculcates shared values as a robust and binding foundation for a cohesive corporate culture that borders on fanaticism
  3. Encourages adherence to well-established and standardized work practices designed around functional optimization and harmonization
  4. Prefers corporate hierarchy for incentivizing improvement initiatives
  5. Designs compensation packages as ‘golden handcuffs’ for maximizing talent retention, especially, those who are considered ‘flight risks’ due to their particular skill sets and perceived lack of capable replacements
  6. Talent treated as an asset prone to depreciation
  7. Training, learning and development is discretionary and generally based upon supervisory assessment/prerogative in accordance with the functional requirements

Approach B (Accommodate, Motivate & Facilitate)

  1. Geared towards creating an empowering work environment that galvanizes the utilization of a wide bandwidth of apparent/hidden talents
  2. Uses shared values as guiding principles for self-discovery of work excellence and  strengthening of organizational integration
  3. Encourages progressive experiments and ‘timely’ improves work practices for enhancing wellbeing, mindfulness and productivity of a multi-generational workforce
  4. Prefers thought hierarchy for incentivizing innovation initiatives
  5. Designs compensation packages to enhance the employee experience during employment association for creating ‘alumni ambassadors’ as an astute employer branding measure to attract future talent
  6. Talent treated as an investment prone to rich dividends
  7. Training, learning and development is mandatory to ensure congruence between individual ambitions and corporate imperatives

An astute talent management professional can effectively customize the most appropriate approach for optimizing the benefits accrued from the available human capital by adhering to the following principle in congruence with the unique dynamics of an organization.

This is a strategic undertaking of prime importance since the very future of the corporate entity is at stake in the unforgiving, uncompromising and unrelenting nature of the Digital Age.  Consequently, the following tool can be used to make profoundly insightful and prudently sound decisions:

The path to sustainable success, formidable competitiveness, and continued relevance in a rapidly evolving Digital World is paved by ‘Productive Rebels’, rather than, ‘Insular Conformists’.  Therefore, progressive corporate entities have to assure/ensure that their talent management practices have the ‘Breathing Space’ for ‘Free Thinkers’ and ‘Trendsetters’ who are imbued with the ‘Change Imperative’ and enrich the ‘Organizational Aptitude’ in unconventional ways that boosts the ‘Core Value of Innovation’ effectively.  Organizations that have the humility and astuteness to learn well from their missteps are the ones with the foresight for maximizing the probability of success.  Will you commit?

Discovering the Recipe to Attain/Maintain the ‘Employer of Choice’ Status)

There is no greater debt on an organization’s conscience than underutilized talent, therefore, the best way for assuring/ensuring success in the ‘war for talent’ is by taking efficient and effective measures during the ‘peace in talent’.  However, inducting and maintaining a capable and motivated multigenerational workforce whose priorities are aligned with the corporate imperatives is becoming increasingly harder each day as AI-enabled entities make significant inroads in the workplace.

The ‘redundancy apprehension’ clouding the minds of hardworking and dedicated professionals is impacting their health and wellbeing at an alarming rate, however, very few organizations display the magnanimity and boldness to take effective measures to manage such ‘internal conflicts’ while embarking upon ‘Employer Branding’ initiatives.  The conventional wisdom prevalent throughout the corporate landscape is to take the ‘cover’ of technology as a ‘relationship buffer’ between the ‘discerning’ senior/top management and the frequently ‘overworked and underappreciated’ workforce to avoid getting embroiled in the ‘agonizing’ search for effective solutions to ‘uncomfortable’ questions.

This is evident by the extravagant application of metrics-driven KRAs/KPIs in conjunction with an elaborate and judicious system of associated Rewards & Recognition to mask the desperate efforts for placating simmering discontent at the ‘Supervisor-Supervisee’ level due to a stifling work environment.  Such ‘shallow’ measures often result in the career progression of promising talent being held ‘hostage’ by a tired, coaxed, vengeful and/or hurried supervisor’s assessment of their performance to complement another metric on the ‘HR Dashboard’ to inform the senior/top management on how ‘well’ things are working.

Furthermore, more and more of the repetitive/physically demanding/minimally diverse jobs/roles/function are being relegated to ‘smart’ machines while cerebral skills, e.g., innovative thinking, astute strategizing, creative application, team building, network development, etc., steadily gain elevation as the ‘last’ bastion of ‘human relevance’ in the workplace of the Digital Age.  Consequently, the following assessments are getting more profound and complex in their probabilistic determination to ‘hit the mark’ in terms of getting the ‘right’ talent and technology is being increasingly leveraged in the respective context:

The sobering reality of shrinking positions within the conventional professions is also forcing the working professionals to confront the agonizing obsolescence of the mantra ‘working for a living’ as they wrestle to stay relevant by contemplating their own interpretation of ‘yearning for a living’ in a ubiquitous AI-driven world.  Moreover, the rush to implement ‘Happiness at Work’ initiatives is often at a faster pace than the ‘healing time’ required for effectively resolving ‘Sadness at Work’ issues.  Therefore, a significant number of such ‘successes’ lack meaningfulness and robustness to survive simmering cynicism and passive resistance by ‘experienced’ employees weary of ‘trendy’ leadership initiatives.

Additionally, organizations are experiencing frequent blockages in the talent pipelines as the uncertainties of gainful employment in ‘conventional’ professions coupled with the apprehensions of ‘life without work’ is driving the need for ‘postponing’ career moves or ‘delaying’ retirements.  This is being exacerbated by the phenomenon of ‘real wages’ spiraling down in relation to inflationary pressures, extension of ‘professional life’ due to longer life spans, regulatory relaxation in pension age, and the desire to remain within the ‘safety net’ of health and wellbeing benefits (https://lnkd.in/fy6Us-j).  Consequently, ‘over-experienced’/‘near-retirement’ professionals are caught in nagging struggles to maintain their ‘relevancy and usefulness’ to prolong their careers and try to garner enough savings for enabling a dignified existence as a senior citizen.  Therefore, it becomes imperative for organizations to gauge the effectiveness of their talent management practices and the resulting risks to the ‘Employer Brand’, especially, by elevating the significance of ‘employee departure’ handling.  A crucial step in the respective context is the preservation of the sanctity of the ‘employee exit interview’ which is prone to marginalization in egregious circumstances.

Gone are the days when budding professionals depended upon the paternalistic instincts of their employers to provide them with a viable career path.  The capable professional of today is more informed, incisively skilled, and comes with a baggage of knowledge that enables leveraged negotiating targeted to achieve maximum gains within a mutually agreed frame of reference.  Consequently, organizations are being pushed to increase the quality of ‘Employee Experience’ in addition to the ‘sweetening the conventional pie’ comprising of compensation and benefits to attract/retain the desired talent.  The era of ‘Employee Loyalty’ has been over for quite a while now, however, the concept of ‘Employee Partnership’ that was built on the ashes of organizational allegiance is also under threat.  The new arrangement taking root is one of ‘Employee Gratification’, where attractive ‘Total Rewards’ packages are customized to serve as ‘Golden Handcuffs’ on the desired talent as long as the organization sees/perceives a healthy ROI (Return-On-Investment) in terms of retaining them as part of its workforce.

Sagacious employees, on their part, prudently refrain from confusing conformance with performance and seek innovative ways of increasingly the ‘indispensability quotient’ by applying inherent/accumulated skills judiciously and visibly in staying above the mechanistic compulsions, engulfing their peers, for assuring/ensuring sustained career development and progression.  This is characterized by having a keen eye on the changing professional landscape due to the evolving ecosystem of their industry and timely pivoting/adapting to board the ‘new train’ of relevance.

One of the major short-sighted mistakes that organizations make is the propensity to implement talent management practices which are designed for ‘risk accommodation’ against ‘talent flight’ instead of ‘risk mitigation’ that caters to ‘talent engagement’.  This significantly impacts the ‘psychological contract’ as it shifts from being blindly based on ‘solemn faith’ to being watchfully propped up on ‘validated trust’.  Such a lack of ‘trustworthiness’ in the ability of senior/top management to provide a robust ‘bridge’ for aligning personal goals with organizational imperatives results in employees being adamantly unwilling to loosen the ‘stringent’ expectations of the ‘psychological contract’.  Consequently, hardening of attitudes occurs and apathy prevails at the cost of organizational harmony.  This leads to the following phenomenon:

The plethora of talent management practices deployed across the corporate world to overcome workforce challenges can be encapsulated within the following two main strategies:

Approach A (Indoctrinate, Assimilate & Obligate)

  1. Focused on creating and grooming loyal disciples based upon the desired norms of corporate etiquette
  2. Inculcates shared values as a robust and binding foundation for a cohesive corporate culture that borders on fanaticism
  3. Encourages adherence to well-established and standardized work practices designed around functional optimization and harmonization
  4. Prefers corporate hierarchy for incentivizing improvement initiatives
  5. Designs compensation packages as ‘golden handcuffs’ for maximizing talent retention, especially, those who are considered ‘flight risks’ due to their particular skill sets and perceived lack of capable replacements
  6. Talent treated as an asset prone to depreciation
  7. Training, learning and development is discretionary and generally based upon supervisory assessment/prerogative in accordance with the functional requirements

Approach B (Accommodate, Motivate & Facilitate)

  1. Geared towards creating an empowering work environment that galvanizes the utilization of a wide bandwidth of apparent/hidden talents
  2. Uses shared values as guiding principles for self-discovery of work excellence and  strengthening of organizational integration
  3. Encourages progressive experiments and ‘timely’ improves work practices for enhancing wellbeing, mindfulness and productivity of a multi-generational workforce
  4. Prefers thought hierarchy for incentivizing innovation initiatives
  5. Designs compensation packages to enhance the employee experience during employment association for creating ‘alumni ambassadors’ as an astute employer branding measure to attract future talent
  6. Talent treated as an investment prone to rich dividends
  7. Training, learning and development is mandatory to ensure congruence between individual ambitions and corporate imperatives

An astute talent management professional can effectively customize the most appropriate approach for optimizing the benefits accrued from the available human capital by adhering to the following principle in congruence with the unique dynamics of an organization.

This is a strategic undertaking of prime importance since the very future of the corporate entity is at stake in the unforgiving, uncompromising and unrelenting nature of the Digital Age.  Consequently, the following tool can be used to make profoundly insightful and prudently sound decisions:

The path to sustainable success, formidable competitiveness, and continued relevance in a rapidly evolving Digital World is paved by ‘Productive Rebels’, rather than, ‘Insular Conformists’.  Therefore, progressive corporate entities have to assure/ensure that their talent management practices have the ‘Breathing Space’ for ‘Free Thinkers’ and ‘Trendsetters’ who are imbued with the ‘Change Imperative’ and enrich the ‘Organizational Aptitude’ in unconventional ways that boosts the ‘Core Value of Innovation’ effectively.  Organizations that have the humility and astuteness to learn well from their missteps are the ones with the foresight

Discovering the Recipe to Attain/Maintain the ‘Employer of Choice’ Status)

There is no greater debt on an organization’s conscience than underutilized talent, therefore, the best way for assuring/ensuring success in the ‘war for talent’ is by taking efficient and effective measures during the ‘peace in talent’.  However, inducting and maintaining a capable and motivated multigenerational workforce whose priorities are aligned with the corporate imperatives is becoming increasingly harder each day as AI-enabled entities make significant inroads in the workplace.

The ‘redundancy apprehension’ clouding the minds of hardworking and dedicated professionals is impacting their health and wellbeing at an alarming rate, however, very few organizations display the magnanimity and boldness to take effective measures to manage such ‘internal conflicts’ while embarking upon ‘Employer Branding’ initiatives.  The conventional wisdom prevalent throughout the corporate landscape is to take the ‘cover’ of technology as a ‘relationship buffer’ between the ‘discerning’ senior/top management and the frequently ‘overworked and underappreciated’ workforce to avoid getting embroiled in the ‘agonizing’ search for effective solutions to ‘uncomfortable’ questions.

This is evident by the extravagant application of metrics-driven KRAs/KPIs in conjunction with an elaborate and judicious system of associated Rewards & Recognition to mask the desperate efforts for placating simmering discontent at the ‘Supervisor-Supervisee’ level due to a stifling work environment.  Such ‘shallow’ measures often result in the career progression of promising talent being held ‘hostage’ by a tired, coaxed, vengeful and/or hurried supervisor’s assessment of their performance to complement another metric on the ‘HR Dashboard’ to inform the senior/top management on how ‘well’ things are working.

Furthermore, more and more of the repetitive/physically demanding/minimally diverse jobs/roles/function are being relegated to ‘smart’ machines while cerebral skills, e.g., innovative thinking, astute strategizing, creative application, team building, network development, etc., steadily gain elevation as the ‘last’ bastion of ‘human relevance’ in the workplace of the Digital Age.  Consequently, the following assessments are getting more profound and complex in their probabilistic determination to ‘hit the mark’ in terms of getting the ‘right’ talent and technology is being increasingly leveraged in the respective context:

The sobering reality of shrinking positions within the conventional professions is also forcing the working professionals to confront the agonizing obsolescence of the mantra ‘working for a living’ as they wrestle to stay relevant by contemplating their own interpretation of ‘yearning for a living’ in a ubiquitous AI-driven world.  Moreover, the rush to implement ‘Happiness at Work’ initiatives is often at a faster pace than the ‘healing time’ required for effectively resolving ‘Sadness at Work’ issues.  Therefore, a significant number of such ‘successes’ lack meaningfulness and robustness to survive simmering cynicism and passive resistance by ‘experienced’ employees weary of ‘trendy’ leadership initiatives.

Additionally, organizations are experiencing frequent blockages in the talent pipelines as the uncertainties of gainful employment in ‘conventional’ professions coupled with the apprehensions of ‘life without work’ is driving the need for ‘postponing’ career moves or ‘delaying’ retirements.  This is being exacerbated by the phenomenon of ‘real wages’ spiraling down in relation to inflationary pressures, extension of ‘professional life’ due to longer life spans, regulatory relaxation in pension age, and the desire to remain within the ‘safety net’ of health and wellbeing benefits (https://lnkd.in/fy6Us-j).  Consequently, ‘over-experienced’/‘near-retirement’ professionals are caught in nagging struggles to maintain their ‘relevancy and usefulness’ to prolong their careers and try to garner enough savings for enabling a dignified existence as a senior citizen.  Therefore, it becomes imperative for organizations to gauge the effectiveness of their talent management practices and the resulting risks to the ‘Employer Brand’, especially, by elevating the significance of ‘employee departure’ handling.  A crucial step in the respective context is the preservation of the sanctity of the ‘employee exit interview’ which is prone to marginalization in egregious circumstances.

Gone are the days when budding professionals depended upon the paternalistic instincts of their employers to provide them with a viable career path.  The capable professional of today is more informed, incisively skilled, and comes with a baggage of knowledge that enables leveraged negotiating targeted to achieve maximum gains within a mutually agreed frame of reference.  Consequently, organizations are being pushed to increase the quality of ‘Employee Experience’ in addition to the ‘sweetening the conventional pie’ comprising of compensation and benefits to attract/retain the desired talent.  The era of ‘Employee Loyalty’ has been over for quite a while now, however, the concept of ‘Employee Partnership’ that was built on the ashes of organizational allegiance is also under threat.  The new arrangement taking root is one of ‘Employee Gratification’, where attractive ‘Total Rewards’ packages are customized to serve as ‘Golden Handcuffs’ on the desired talent as long as the organization sees/perceives a healthy ROI (Return-On-Investment) in terms of retaining them as part of its workforce.

Sagacious employees, on their part, prudently refrain from confusing conformance with performance and seek innovative ways of increasingly the ‘indispensability quotient’ by applying inherent/accumulated skills judiciously and visibly in staying above the mechanistic compulsions, engulfing their peers, for assuring/ensuring sustained career development and progression.  This is characterized by having a keen eye on the changing professional landscape due to the evolving ecosystem of their industry and timely pivoting/adapting to board the ‘new train’ of relevance.

One of the major short-sighted mistakes that organizations make is the propensity to implement talent management practices which are designed for ‘risk accommodation’ against ‘talent flight’ instead of ‘risk mitigation’ that caters to ‘talent engagement’.  This significantly impacts the ‘psychological contract’ as it shifts from being blindly based on ‘solemn faith’ to being watchfully propped up on ‘validated trust’.  Such a lack of ‘trustworthiness’ in the ability of senior/top management to provide a robust ‘bridge’ for aligning personal goals with organizational imperatives results in employees being adamantly unwilling to loosen the ‘stringent’ expectations of the ‘psychological contract’.  Consequently, hardening of attitudes occurs and apathy prevails at the cost of organizational harmony.  This leads to the following phenomenon:

The plethora of talent management practices deployed across the corporate world to overcome workforce challenges can be encapsulated within the following two main strategies:

Approach A (Indoctrinate, Assimilate & Obligate)

  1. Focused on creating and grooming loyal disciples based upon the desired norms of corporate etiquette
  2. Inculcates shared values as a robust and binding foundation for a cohesive corporate culture that borders on fanaticism
  3. Encourages adherence to well-established and standardized work practices designed around functional optimization and harmonization
  4. Prefers corporate hierarchy for incentivizing improvement initiatives
  5. Designs compensation packages as ‘golden handcuffs’ for maximizing talent retention, especially, those who are considered ‘flight risks’ due to their particular skill sets and perceived lack of capable replacements
  6. Talent treated as an asset prone to depreciation
  7. Training, learning and development is discretionary and generally based upon supervisory assessment/prerogative in accordance with the functional requirements

Approach B (Accommodate, Motivate & Facilitate)

  1. Geared towards creating an empowering work environment that galvanizes the utilization of a wide bandwidth of apparent/hidden talents
  2. Uses shared values as guiding principles for self-discovery of work excellence and  strengthening of organizational integration
  3. Encourages progressive experiments and ‘timely’ improves work practices for enhancing wellbeing, mindfulness and productivity of a multi-generational workforce
  4. Prefers thought hierarchy for incentivizing innovation initiatives
  5. Designs compensation packages to enhance the employee experience during employment association for creating ‘alumni ambassadors’ as an astute employer branding measure to attract future talent
  6. Talent treated as an investment prone to rich dividends
  7. Training, learning and development is mandatory to ensure congruence between individual ambitions and corporate imperatives

An astute talent management professional can effectively customize the most appropriate approach for optimizing the benefits accrued from the available human capital by adhering to the following principle in congruence with the unique dynamics of an organization.

This is a strategic undertaking of prime importance since the very future of the corporate entity is at stake in the unforgiving, uncompromising and unrelenting nature of the Digital Age.  Consequently, the following tool can be used to make profoundly insightful and prudently sound decisions:

The path to sustainable success, formidable competitiveness, and continued relevance in a rapidly evolving Digital World is paved by ‘Productive Rebels’, rather than, ‘Insular Conformists’.  Therefore, progressive corporate entities have to assure/ensure that their talent management practices have the ‘Breathing Space’ for ‘Free Thinkers’ and ‘Trendsetters’ who are imbued with the ‘Change Imperative’ and enrich the ‘Organizational Aptitude’ in unconventional ways that boosts the ‘Core Value of Innovation’ effectively.  Organizations that have the humility and astuteness to learn well from their missteps are the ones with the foresight for maximizing the probability of success.  Will you commit?

for maximizing the probability of success.  Will you commit?

uthor’s Profile

Murad is an innovative thinker and an astute practitioner with more than 20 years of multi-disciplinary experience in Organizational Development, Talent Management & Business Transformation in a rich array of roles, e.g., Board Member, Senior Executive, Corporate Manager, Consultant, Trainer, Auditor, Author, Speaker, Mentor, etc.  He is globally ranked in 9 areas (HR, Leadership, Culture, Management, Agility, Innovation, Future of Work, Change Management, Customer Experience) by the world’s first open platform for Thought Leaders (https://www.thinkers360.com/about/) based in the USA that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) for ranking to preclude human bias.

His insights/articles/perspectives have been added to the libraries of premier institutions across the world (United Nations, European Union, World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Berkeley, Cornell, Stanford, Columbia, INSEAD, United States Military Academy West Point, United States Marine Corps, United States Naval Academy, California State Library, The National Library of Australia, Canadian Parliament Library, Royal Danish Library, National Library of Finland, etc.).

He has successfully guided, trained and enabled organizations from services and manufacturing sectors in gaining competitive strategic and operational advantages through ingrained core values, cohesive corporate culture, fervent embrace of diversity and inclusion practices, responsive organizational design and structures, incisive organizational development interventions, engaged talent management initiatives, robust management systems, astute use of technology and an unrelenting focus on enhancing the delight factor for internal/external customers.

—————————————————————————————————————————–

Looking forward to your advice accordingly

Best Regards

Murad

Murad Salman Mirza

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/muradsalmanmirza/

Leading in Today’s Workforce: Let Your Personal Style Come Through Ron Tomas

“You should never be afraid to let your personality and style comes through.”

That has been a foundational statement for me during my career.

My first job out of college was working in the sales division for IBM. I always tell people that IBM was the Google of its day. As part of the role of becoming a sales associate, we were all sent to ‘sales school’ where we had to learn to sell the products, sell the benefits of those products, and extend the brand into the client organization.

It is more comfortable being you

As I look back on it, we all sounded like robots spewing the same information in the same structured style. It was not until I was back home in my sales territory that I worked with one of the “grizzled veterans.” As we made calls that day, I was on my best in presentation mode. I sounded just like I was back in sales school.

That is, I sounded like that until this old veteran told me over drinks at the end of the day that I had to let my true self come through. Be comfortable in your own skin, he said, because someone else’s will not fit. “Never be afraid to let your personality and style come through,” Sid told me as he twirled the ice around in his drink.

We both laughed, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood exactly what he was saying. So, over the next few weeks, I changed my approach to selling. I became more of my natural self as opposed to a product/benefit salesperson. I felt comfortable being me, and it just seemed so natural. As naturally happens when you do that, my sales went through the roof.

That advice has stayed with me through the ages. In having a discussion the other night, I brought up old Sid and his wisdom and sayings. I told her “Thank God for Sid” because he changed my life.

The importance of being your natural self

As a sought-after speaker on the international circuit, my role has expanded from presenter to conference chair, which I always say is the MC of the event.

“I like the way that you always start of your presentation by telling a story, and you just talk sans notes” – one of the speaker’s told me as we talked during break. Hearing that, I had flashbacks of that famous quote from Sid.

Being comfortable in our own space is a must.  It is called being authentic.

Being the Big Shot in the room

I have a good friend who is extremely smart. Regardless of whatever interaction, he is having, it will not take five minutes into the conversation before he mentions that he is a member of Mensa, the high IQ group. He just feels the need to “credential” himself so that people are aware of how smart he is.

When I mentioned that he should cool it, his comeback was that he was proud to be a member of this group. He could not understand that this was a prelude to being what I refer to as the “smartest person in the room syndrome”.

It is not unlike when we are in a social situation, and right away, people want to know what you do.

The alphabet soup of job title acronyms helps to inflate that same concept. One of my other friends, once he made VP, could not wait for someone to ask before he spouted out those two letters. No matter what the situation was, he would always refer to the fact that he was a VP.

Credentialing is a 21st Century concept

Does it really matter? Just make the connection with a person without the credentials.

This has nothing to do with you as a person. We all started as gloriously authentic people, but over some time, whether it was wanting to be accepted or hanging with a crowd that we felt the need to impress, it was hammered out of us.

We latched on to a fictitious character and picked up the script. We did everything we could to be that imaginary person. Some people were lucky because the script they picked up mirrored their self-image. However, others did the exact opposite, and they can be spotted five minutes into a conversation.

Sadly, they are named phonies.

In this day and age of a culture-driven organization, it behooves all of us to periodically go back to the drawing board. Being authentic is a must-have competency, and it is extremely hard to operate without it.

With so many of our projects today being team-driven, it is a must that we come across as authentic and not a shell of someone we are trying to be. People love to work for authentic leaders, but they hate phonies.

Judging a book by its cover

All of us want to come across as impressive in showing that we have a command of what we do. However, when we embellish ourselves to the point that we begin to lose sight of who we are, that is the slippery slope that we are headed down.

We all want our personal “cover” to be the shiniest, most impressive cover we can manage to project. But, we must always be assured that our covers match who we are inside.

Leading in Today’s Workforce: Let Your Personal Style Come Through

“You should never be afraid to let your personality and style comes through.”

That has been a foundational statement for me during my career.

My first job out of college was working in the sales division for IBM. I always tell people that IBM was the Google of its day. As part of the role of becoming a sales associate, we were all sent to ‘sales school’ where we had to learn to sell the products, sell the benefits of those products, and extend the brand into the client organization.

It is more comfortable being you

As I look back on it, we all sounded like robots spewing the same information in the same structured style. It was not until I was back home in my sales territory that I worked with one of the “grizzled veterans.” As we made calls that day, I was on my best in presentation mode. I sounded just like I was back in sales school.

That is, I sounded like that until this old veteran told me over drinks at the end of the day that I had to let my true self come through. Be comfortable in your own skin, he said, because someone else’s will not fit. “Never be afraid to let your personality and style come through,” Sid told me as he twirled the ice around in his drink.

We both laughed, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood exactly what he was saying. So, over the next few weeks, I changed my approach to selling. I became more of my natural self as opposed to a product/benefit salesperson. I felt comfortable being me, and it just seemed so natural. As naturally happens when you do that, my sales went through the roof.

That advice has stayed with me through the ages. In having a discussion the other night, I brought up old Sid and his wisdom and sayings. I told her “Thank God for Sid” because he changed my life.

The importance of being your natural self

As a sought-after speaker on the international circuit, my role has expanded from presenter to conference chair, which I always say is the MC of the event.

“I like the way that you always start of your presentation by telling a story, and you just talk sans notes” – one of the speaker’s told me as we talked during break. Hearing that, I had flashbacks of that famous quote from Sid.

Being comfortable in our own space is a must.  It is called being authentic.

Being the Big Shot in the room

I have a good friend who is extremely smart. Regardless of whatever interaction, he is having, it will not take five minutes into the conversation before he mentions that he is a member of Mensa, the high IQ group. He just feels the need to “credential” himself so that people are aware of how smart he is.

When I mentioned that he should cool it, his comeback was that he was proud to be a member of this group. He could not understand that this was a prelude to being what I refer to as the “smartest person in the room syndrome”.

It is not unlike when we are in a social situation, and right away, people want to know what you do.

The alphabet soup of job title acronyms helps to inflate that same concept. One of my other friends, once he made VP, could not wait for someone to ask before he spouted out those two letters. No matter what the situation was, he would always refer to the fact that he was a VP.

Credentialing is a 21st Century concept

Does it really matter? Just make the connection with a person without the credentials.

This has nothing to do with you as a person. We all started as gloriously authentic people, but over some time, whether it was wanting to be accepted or hanging with a crowd that we felt the need to impress, it was hammered out of us.

We latched on to a fictitious character and picked up the script. We did everything we could to be that imaginary person. Some people were lucky because the script they picked up mirrored their self-image. However, others did the exact opposite, and they can be spotted five minutes into a conversation.

Sadly, they are named phonies.

In this day and age of a culture-driven organization, it behooves all of us to periodically go back to the drawing board. Being authentic is a must-have competency, and it is extremely hard to operate without it.

With so many of our projects today being team-driven, it is a must that we come across as authentic and not a shell of someone we are trying to be. People love to work for authentic leaders, but they hate phonies.

Judging a book by its cover

All of us want to come across as impressive in showing that we have a command of what we do. However, when we embellish ourselves to the point that we begin to lose sight of who we are, that is the slippery slope that we are headed down.

We all want our personal “cover” to be the shiniest, most impressive cover we can manage to project. But, we must always be assured that our covers match who we are inside.

Leading in Today’s Workforce: Let Your Personal Style Come Through

“You should never be afraid to let your personality and style comes through.”

That has been a foundational statement for me during my career.

My first job out of college was working in the sales division for IBM. I always tell people that IBM was the Google of its day. As part of the role of becoming a sales associate, we were all sent to ‘sales school’ where we had to learn to sell the products, sell the benefits of those products, and extend the brand into the client organization.

It is more comfortable being you

As I look back on it, we all sounded like robots spewing the same information in the same structured style. It was not until I was back home in my sales territory that I worked with one of the “grizzled veterans.” As we made calls that day, I was on my best in presentation mode. I sounded just like I was back in sales school.

That is, I sounded like that until this old veteran told me over drinks at the end of the day that I had to let my true self come through. Be comfortable in your own skin, he said, because someone else’s will not fit. “Never be afraid to let your personality and style come through,” Sid told me as he twirled the ice around in his drink.

We both laughed, but the more I thought about it, the more I understood exactly what he was saying. So, over the next few weeks, I changed my approach to selling. I became more of my natural self as opposed to a product/benefit salesperson. I felt comfortable being me, and it just seemed so natural. As naturally happens when you do that, my sales went through the roof.

That advice has stayed with me through the ages. In having a discussion the other night, I brought up old Sid and his wisdom and sayings. I told her “Thank God for Sid” because he changed my life.

The importance of being your natural self

As a sought-after speaker on the international circuit, my role has expanded from presenter to conference chair, which I always say is the MC of the event.

“I like the way that you always start of your presentation by telling a story, and you just talk sans notes” – one of the speaker’s told me as we talked during break. Hearing that, I had flashbacks of that famous quote from Sid.

Being comfortable in our own space is a must.  It is called being authentic.

Being the Big Shot in the room

I have a good friend who is extremely smart. Regardless of whatever interaction, he is having, it will not take five minutes into the conversation before he mentions that he is a member of Mensa, the high IQ group. He just feels the need to “credential” himself so that people are aware of how smart he is.

When I mentioned that he should cool it, his comeback was that he was proud to be a member of this group. He could not understand that this was a prelude to being what I refer to as the “smartest person in the room syndrome”.

It is not unlike when we are in a social situation, and right away, people want to know what you do.

The alphabet soup of job title acronyms helps to inflate that same concept. One of my other friends, once he made VP, could not wait for someone to ask before he spouted out those two letters. No matter what the situation was, he would always refer to the fact that he was a VP.

Credentialing is a 21st Century concept

Does it really matter? Just make the connection with a person without the credentials.

This has nothing to do with you as a person. We all started as gloriously authentic people, but over some time, whether it was wanting to be accepted or hanging with a crowd that we felt the need to impress, it was hammered out of us.

We latched on to a fictitious character and picked up the script. We did everything we could to be that imaginary person. Some people were lucky because the script they picked up mirrored their self-image. However, others did the exact opposite, and they can be spotted five minutes into a conversation.

Sadly, they are named phonies.

In this day and age of a culture-driven organization, it behooves all of us to periodically go back to the drawing board. Being authentic is a must-have competency, and it is extremely hard to operate without it.

With so many of our projects today being team-driven, it is a must that we come across as authentic and not a shell of someone we are trying to be. People love to work for authentic leaders, but they hate phonies.

Judging a book by its cover

All of us want to come across as impressive in showing that we have a command of what we do. However, when we embellish ourselves to the point that we begin to lose sight of who we are, that is the slippery slope that we are headed down.

We all want our personal “cover” to be the shiniest, most impressive cover we can manage to project. But, we must always be assured that our covers match who we are inside.

Embellishment, I think, shows a serious inferiority flaw. We need to puff it up because, deep down, we do not feel that we measure up. However, the side effect of doing that is that you do not come across as the person you want to be.

Yes, you simply come across as an actor who is playing a role that they are not qualified or suited for.

Embellishment, I think, shows a serious inferiority flaw. We need to puff it up because, deep down, we do not feel that we measure up. However, the side effect of doing that is that you do not come across as the person you want to be.

Yes, you simply come across as an actor who is playing a role that they are not qualified or suited for.

Embellishment, I think, shows a serious inferiority flaw. We need to puff it up because, deep down, we do not feel that we measure up. However, the side effect of doing that is that you do not come across as the person you want to be.

Yes, you simply come across as an actor who is playing a role that they are not qualified or suited for.

http://www.strategyfocusedhr.com/

Where’s The Talent? William Spindloe





Where’s the Talent.      William Spindloe

If I had a penny for every organization who told me that succession planning was a key objective I’d have, well, a lot of pennies.

For some organizations and sectors it is THE concern. Ask anyone in Oil and Gas. So what is going wrong?

It is way to simplistic to say that a lack of investment caused these talent gaps to occur. Whilst that may be true for some, if you speak to many they will show you a balance sheet that shows some pretty heavy expenditure in capability development.

One of the key reasons many companies are suffering from succession planning concerns is they have never fully understood where the capability gaps are. For many throwing money at the problem simply created a new set of challenges.

A great many people were and are promoted because behind them there is a list of courses they attended. Or worse that because they happened to be in a position for a reasonable length of time they some how deserved the opportunity.

I have seen this happen on more than a few occasions and I am sure there are many of you who know someone who has been promoted similarly. One recent example involved a salesman at a large IT software company. He has been with the company for 8 years, and was consistently one of the best performing in the group. He was being paid at the top level of his grade and the company did not know how to further incentivize and reward him. Not wanting to risk losing him, when a position for sales manager became available they offered him the position and he gratefully accepted. 6 months further on, sales in the group were markedly down and likely to drop still further. They had lost a couple of key sales people to the competition and the prospects of losing more were very real as morale seemed to be at an all-time low.

I learned about the company’s plans to terminate their new sales manager in a side conversation over lunch, whilst I was doing some work with the division. They went on to tell me that prior to the promotion he had been one of their best revenue generators and that this dip in performance was hard to understand. I enquired as to why he else he was selected for the position and what the company did to prepare him for the role. After a short conversation it became clear that the length of his time with the company and consistency of meeting targets were the only reasons behind the promotion. As for preparation, there was none. They did not in the end terminate his employment. He was instead demoted to the role of salesman and the company hired externally for the sales managers position. I heard that a few months later he decided to leave, a little demotivated by the whole experience, no doubt.

There is a phrase that comes to mind when I think about this situation ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’. The company felt that a just reward for him and good move for them would be to promote a loyal and consistent performer, but instead ending up destroying a functioning sales team, losing revenue and ultimately the person they were seeking to reward.

A great deal of the training delivered has been a reaction to a concern or challenge rather than anticipating and planning career growth against organizational needs. Infusing coaching and mentoring with experiences. There needs to be recognition that time spent on the job, throwing someone into a classroom doesn’t necessarily equip employees with the appropriate skills.

Training for many became an ultimately expensive, fruitless endeavor.

There is a saying that everyone eventually gets promoted to a level of incompetence but it doesnt have to be that way, does it?

 William Spindloe

Senior Consultant at Worle

Palpable Mediocrity Uzair Hassan Ceo 3h Solutions Dubai

Success is overrated. Mediocrity, on the other hand, is underrated.
Mediocrity, is palpable. It’s all around us and its prevalent in every aspect of our lives. Most people are living in mediocrity and only the top few percent make it beyond that.

So, let’s start by understanding what mediocrity is. The official definition is as follows: “A mediocre is someone whom you cannot at any time speak of, as being great, poor or average.” So, you’re above average, not poor and surely part of the majority. A whopping majority at that. Most people tend to jive their lives in the yellow area.

omparative studies may suggest that success is achieved by moving out of mediocrity towards the high end top 20%. But success is what you make of it. “What holds us back is the picture in our minds, of what life should be like”. I truly believe in this and its profound

C

impact on our happiness. If your image of a perfect life is white picket fences, a dog, a high paying job and owning a private jet, then you will end up spending your entire life trying to achieve it. And, that may actually not be what would make you happy.

Let me be clear. By no means am I pushing mediocrity, or selling its potential as the place to be. It’s just not as bad as it’s made out to be. Sure, push harder, try to excel, make the sacrifices, pay the dues. But, as life plods into its latter years, one begins to realize that the roads paved with gold are not meant for the sizeable majority (80%) of people.

Maybe you merit more? Meritocracy has its own flaws, specifically the judgement of that merit and how it is meted out. So, if you feel you merit more than mediocrity, keep in mind that maybe you actually deserve more, but, the system simply did not process the merits according to the way it ought to have.

It may sound paradoxical, but, achieving more or being happy with what you currently have, do not have to collide.

The moniker of success is an uneasy one and it’s not there to stay. If happiness is what one is after, and already has it, then what’s the fuss. I am reminded of the story where a businessman is crossing through a small town and sees a man sitting on the pier fishing. He asks the man how many fish he catches every day. The fisherman replies enough to feed my family. The businessman says have you thought about getting a boat, because you would catch more if you were a little further out to sea rather than at the pier. The fisherman replies “why”? he says because then you could sell more and expand your network and business and hire more people and open offices for export. The fisherman again asked “Why”? Well then you could earn a lot more money and reach a stage where you could relax and go fishing without any worries. To which the fisherman replied, but that’s what I am doing.

The journey of our lives, the singular opportunity we are given, does not have to be spent in pursuing dreams that don’t match. One must look at the bigger picture and if they are happy, in their current state, the Now, then they have achieved more than the people spending entire lives trying to but not attaining their view of success.

We must break out of our comfort zones, push the envelope, stretch the boundaries of what is possible & shed our self-inflicted limits. That said, at the end of the day, we must also keep an open mind. We must revisit the paradigm of success as well as of mediocrity. In pursuit of an unachievable goal, we are pushing people into stress and unhappiness and building unrealistic expectations, creating erstwhile challenges.

Mind you, I am not selling mediocrity. Simply opening one’s mind to the possibilities of accepting it as a part of life. Maybe mediocrity’s time is now. Time to ditch the old norm and look at things differently? The world is changing around us at breakneck speed. Will you be on the right side of history?