I’m in the middle of writing up a series of learning points that hit home for me during #trulondon2, but this video from Jon Ingham was simmilar to a post I was composing, so here is my uncut thoughts.
In you’r blog “You’ll never be rich (it’s tru!)” on your excellent blog, Jon Ingham’s strategic, you refer to the track on the future of H.R. Leadership. (If anyone hasn’t read this or watched the accompanying video I recomend you do.)
Here is my response to your post Jon, with some thoughts of my own in this area:
A great video that gives a personal approach to a serious message. I was also in the track and would like to extend on a few points:
1: My point in the track is that often great environments’ are a utopia. It is good to aspire to this, but it is healthier for the business to have its feet firmly planted in reality. The most important aspect for me is having a realistic understanding of what your culture is so that you can communicate a realistic expectation and recruit to the reality. (maybe that’s the recruiter in me!).
I’m not saying I disagree with the perfect model as per the text book, experience tells me that is quite hard to achieve.
2: In smaller companies with a single leader, the culture tends to be dictated rather than evolved. This makes change extremely difficult and command leadership more common.
3: In the modern economy many companies are set up with an early (2 years +) exit plan as opposed to older companies which were built as life long businesses. I think this can lead to the kind of culture you heard spoken about where exit price is the end zone in a relatively short period of time.
I’m not saying this is correct, but it can lead to a predominance of task orientation over people orientation, reflected in the culture.
4: As an aside, the individual you refer too invests heavily in training and development; I think possibly he was defending profit against perfect world. As a result of your track, he has just adopted a system of voting for which team leaders the staff want to work for and has started a development plan for 4 staff to move in to these roles. Honest conversation over nodding heads may just have had more impact than you think. The culture won’t change completely but it is a step in the right direction and with respect is probably a point that wouldn’t have come out of a conference presentation where there is no real opportunity for conversation and disagreement.
Thanks for all your work on #trulondon, keep being an ambassador for what you believe in!