The Emperor’s new clothes

Anyone who has worked for a large organisation in the past 20 years has probably been exposed to the concept of a ‘core’ competence model or a ‘behavioural’ competence model.

These models come in many guises and are often accompanied by a very heavy folder (electronic or paper!) containing detailed and graduated descriptors according to your level of seniority. Everyone, from middle management upwards, has a similar set of competences and these are designed to help the organisation deliver its purpose and mission. Irrespective of technological advancements, competitor strategies or client needs, the answer to your problem lies in the model.

However, strangely, most of these competences are very similar everywhere you go and are therefore normalizing, not differentiating, your organisation from others. In other words removing competitive advantage not creating it.

And herein lies the problem. read more…

Employee engagement is more than just a survey!

Research continuously shows that employee engagement contributes to increased profitability, yet most organizations still have no formal engagement strategy in place and two-thirds of employees globally are disengaged. The key word in the previous sentence is ‘strategy’. Building employee engagement is on ongoing process that uses surveys to track and monitor progress but requires culture and engagement to be embedded in the role of leaders.

Employee engagement is a mindset not just a survey!

read more…

Culture and the question ‘why?’

It appears that the topic of organizational culture has suddenly become fashionable and, to be honest, I’m not happy. As the owner of a company that specializes in helping leaders understand the organizational culture they both have and need, you would think this is very good news. However, the emergence of culture as a c-suite priority has created confusion about what we really mean by it. Every ‘consultant’ is suddenly an expert in this most intangible of topics and offering a different set of culture styles, dimensions, behaviours and models to help people ‘get it’. The problem is most of these experts don’t get it at all. Culture is not a set of observations and displayed behaviours. These are the observable consequences of your culture; the outcomes if you like.

But ‘culture’ is deeper  read more…

Strategy without aligned Culture is called ‘Hope’

Most large organisations have a Strategy Director who often acts as the right-hand man to the CEO. She/he may be tasked with developing a 3-year plan which will start with statements of Vision and Mission and definitions of strategic ‘pillars’, of which there are usually four. So far so good. When the 100-slide deck emerges just before (or usually just after) the start of the new financial year, it is cascaded top down with enthusiasm, clarity, excitement and sometimes realism. Lessons from the previous year are claimed to be learnt, new competences will be developed, and life is good.

But there’s often something missing. read more…