Posts Tagged ‘knowledge’

organisational authenticity and meaning

organisational authenticity and meaning

Business bookshelves are groaning under the weight of single ideas padded out to 250 pages, recycled and repackaged messages and occasionally, some ground breaking insights. I recently read a book that falls into the last category – “ Meaning Inc. – the Blueprint for Business Success in the 21st century” by Gurnek Bains. Bains is founder and CEO of YSC, a corporate psychology consultancy with global offices.

This is not another “In Search of Excellence” or “Built to Last” – books that looked in the rear view mirror and reverse engineered the precursors of success. Many of their successful companies floundered. Bains, using the widespread research of YSC, has delivered a concept that is enduring and creates meaning for employees, customers and stakeholders. His premise is that bringing meaning into the workplace is the best way to motivate staff and achieve sustainable high performance, and uses a number of corporate examples on the journey.

Bains argues that the following attributes are present in companies who create meaning:

  • An invigorating sense of purpose that goes beyond business success and which makes people feel that they are changing society as opposed to servicing needs
  • The courage to set extremely challenging goals and to be ground breaking in the pursuit of the core purpose
  • An innovative approach to benefits and the treatment of people which makes them feel special
  • A culture that allows people to be themselves and to feel that they are personally making a difference and utilizing their distinct talents
  • A rigorous and at times almost aggressive approach to evaluating performance and contribution
  • Clear and authentically grounded values which are lived through thick and thin
  • A concern for the sider and particularly, the environmental and societal impacts of business activities
  • Through all the above, an excellent reputation with consumers and other political and social stakeholders
  • Excellent long term performance coupled with a preparedness to sacrifice short term gains if their achievement conflicts with the core purpose and values.

I must say that from recent experience, particularly working with people under 35, this series of prerequisites really resonates. It is all about being authentic. I have now shared this book with four CEO’s who all claim it has impacted significantly on their approach to their leadership and buy in from staff.

A clear sense of purpose and the leadership vision to set a course based on the Bains approach, depends on the CEO and her executive team. Once established, it has a much better chance of success if reinforced through measurement, something which will, in its own right, make a significant contribution to productivity and performance.

to blog or not to blog?

to blog or not to blog?

July 28, 2010  |  knowledge, leadership, life, main blog, philosophy  |  1 Comment

 “Be very careful sticking your head up and writing a blog”, came the wise counsel of one of my conservative friends. He understands that I am a professional director and was being supportive and protective in his known world of risk management. The very next day, another colleague who had read my blog phoned to explore the possibilities of forming an alliance of influential people to work on sustainable futures. Obviously this wouldn’t have opened up without the blog.

These contrasting experiences set me thinking about the pros and cons of writing a blog – a concept that has been around for over a decade, but is still alive and well. Some bloggers have migrated to social media and some are now using social media to support their blogs.

Why should I write a blog?

  • We have migrated from a world where “knowledge is power” to one where “sharing knowledge is power”. By sharing, the blog becomes a conduit for additional knowledge and networking. It is the perfect place for focussed attention for an interested community. Network learning is the way of the future.
  • A regular blog stimulates thinking around subjects and requires a disciplined approach to developing that thinking. As such, it can become a powerful learning vehicle – a bit like doing your homework! It often adds to thought leadership.
  • Blogs are permanent and can be grouped in a way that stimulates ongoing discovery and interaction
  • Being a professional is also about contributing as well as consuming
  • You own your work in a self-hosted blog and remain in total control of its content and submitted comments
  • By putting your “head on the block” and because content is public, open to scrutiny and has an infinite life, authenticity and openness is demanded and more likely to be delivered through a blog

Why shouldn’t I write a blog?

  • Blogs can be addictive and a drain on time
  • Some people have a perception that writing a blog is self-indulgent and tend to categorize bloggers as ego trippers
  • There is a risk of offending someone who is in a position to influence your desired outcomes in life or career
  • The challenge to keep the material interesting, regular, original and relevant can be daunting
  • There is an underlying assumption that people will be interested in what you post

So it looks like the ayes have it! Now what will that next blog be about? Perish the thought of blogophobia!

life advice from the pointy end

life advice from the pointy end

 When I used to fly up the pointy end of the plane, there was nothing like a glass of Krug and freedom from electronic invasion, to stimulate the brain. I did some of my most creative work in the air. The following list of “life advice” given to my daughters in 2001, flowed from the beautiful bead at ten thousand metres……

  • Learn Spanish and visit as many places where it is spoken that you can
  • Take risks but be sharp when you do
  • Find a partner who will cherish you and who has soul, depth, passion and strength
  • Drink less and better
  • Share stunning experiences with your parents as they grow older
  • Be slow to judge, quick to relate and balanced in your conclusion
  • Respect, reputation and credibility are hard earned and easily lost – value these attributes
  • Mostly travel off the beaten track
  • Let passion and positivity reign over cynicism and mediocrity
  • Develop self-esteem to match your talent and most barriers to fulfilment will be removed
  • Be humble because we are lucky to be who and where we are
  • Place your trust in others wisely – they are not all like you
  • Have fun but understand when to knuckle down – hard work generally precedes success
  • Lust after knowledge
  • Understand the power of subtlety in todays “in your face” world
  • Those who respect you for being strong and independent will be your best friends
  • Be either switched on or switched off – never be caught half way
  • Embrace dancing for fitness, romance and fun
  • Do what you can to save the earth – we are losing the battle
  • Mentor/sponsor/support someone younger
  • Ask of yourself what you ask of others
  • See how much more you hear when you listen without judgement
  • When something goes wrong, seek to learn, not to blame
  • Understand and appreciate music – the international language
  • Look at the big picture – love is always there
  • Extensively use the best stress beaters – laughter and exercise
  • Allow the high of life to transcend over artificially induced highs
  • Whatever you pay attention to will grow stronger in your life.
  • Show empathy most to those who annoy you most
  • Ask questions instead of making statements

It’s easy to give advice – particularly when sipping Krug – and much harder to accept it or do anything about it, even if it hits the target. I was chuffed to discover recently that these beautiful women still carry a copy.