Wednesday, 18 November 2009

CIPD 2009 Keynote session & welcome

Jackie Orme

Reflection on a turbulent economy

Last year was the days after the collapse of Lehman broths

We are in a stat of flux. Some say the recession is over, but most feel that the recession is hitting

Predicting the end is not important, what is, is dealing with the current

High calibre HR professionals are important. It is clear now that the nature of the orgs we create is critical for the performance of our orgs.

The difference for the success is leadership and culture – when an org out grows its ability to provide talent leads to a collapse. Sustainable performance is critical

Hr needs to be a broad church – generalists & specialists – and those with a diverse background.

HR need to understand the interplay between people and business process – not just what you do but how you do it.

Deep understanding or your org and its context enables you to devise strategy to lead the organisation and create the greatest impact.

Understanding or your org is your starting point.

Knowledge – activity & behaviour

Jim Collins – the quest for greatness

His 2nd only visit to the UK the last was to Harrogate 5 yrs ago

Everyone in the room shares a passion – the right people and the right who

Far more important than what we do, is who we do it with… first who then what.

It all goes back to a driving force for curiosity –

Its not just about success – but CONTRAST – who were in the same situation and the comparisons did not make that success – contrast the ones that did not make the leap are those are those that figured out what to do then find the people – the great get the people then found out what to do (30 yr time line graphic)

Give the same circumstances – some become great others don’t – its is not the context/ circumstance – it’s a function of choice and discipline.

We learn as much from failure as we do from success – studying failure is of value.

Both grow at the same rate – but at some point one may fall (how the mighty fall) the process of decline is scary.
Like cancer – you look healthy on the outside but be ill on the inside (decline unlike cancer is self inflicted)

Five stages of decline – three of them look healthy from the outside.
You can fall to the end of stage 4 and come back as a great enterprise.

Is the journey depressing? We are all vulnerable to a point and to know that even if you stumble, it is still in our own hands to come back – gives me some hope.

The world is challenging for us – rate the environment in which you operate – 1 everything is in your control (1-10) 10 is environment big forces, high uncertainty turbulence
Put your hand up if you are… 1-4 5-7 8-9
Control of our destiny is in our choices not our environment – decline is self inflicted, so is growth!

Light – success… dark – failure
Lets look at both sides

What do you need to do differently?

It never hurts to reinforce the basics – level 5 leadership
Why would orgs fail to succeed.. ???

Fail to embrace the new

Fail to apply the fundamentals consistently and brilliantly
Hubris – outrageous suffering (look this up)
The moment you think you are great… you are not!
The very greatest orgs gave the greatest credit to others rather than themselves, even when the evidence suggests otherwise. If you ‘worry’ that you are lucky then you tend to work hard at success – if you think it is you, we tend to stop (Mike - remember status group)
I’m a leadership sceptic, you cannot remove a leader and expect good results? Many good to great ‘leaders’ have had a charisma bypass…

The type of leadership is what matter.. in great they had level 5 leaders – the contrast level 4
The difference between level 4 & 5 – humility – obsessive compulsion for the cause – not for themselves – their ego is channelled outward – not about them.

Level 5 is not about personality, some have it some don’t
The relevant question is.. What are you in it for? Great CEOs would die for their culture…
Those in power, root causes – what is the truth of their ambition, stripped for the truth – are they really in it first for themselves? In ever single case for decline at the end of stage 2 there is a problematic succession of power issue
No single person can make a great enterprise

On a downswing, the wrong person with power can single handed can bring the organisation down.
What are you doing to ensure that does not happen.
You may think that orgs fail because they become complacement – this is true, nut not how the mighty fall – over-reaching – too much growth…
How would you know if you are overreaching? There are few ‘laws’ of management – “Packard’s law” (from HP Packard)

Look at Rubbermaid – too many new products too often.

If you allow growth to exceed your ability to have enough of the right people in the right seats to manage that growth – you will fall
Great leaders say “I don’t know” because they don’t know what is going to happen
The data suggests that the great people do not vision the future – what they do better is they prepare for what they cannot predict.
Get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the buss – then the right people in the right seats.
Use whatever competencies you have – that when fin are discussed an even more important number is discussed – number of seats and right people on the bus – how many key seats, is it filled with the right people is it going up or down? Do this before any other business numbers. We love numbers this is the uber number.
Can you get that accomplish this before you attend next year?
Is your team on the way up or down?
When something is ugly – that is the thing to look at and examine.
Look at the Stockdale paradox – Admiral Stockdale – how did the situation not ‘put him down’ “I never wavered in my faith that I would get out, and that I would value the experiences” who did not make it out – the optimists.. those that said we would be out by Christmas… then Christmas would come and go…you must never confuse the need to face the facts with the unwavering faith that you will win in the end.

Like Shirlock Holmes – it’s the dogs that do not bark that give more away that is apparent at first.

No incentive system can transform good to great leaders

The right people are self motivating – the role of leaders is not to motivate,

The task is to find self motivated people and find ways not to de-motivate them

You do not need external people to ‘light’ the organisation.
Stag 4 grasping for survival – how do you respond? – basics.. right people, right seats…. Or do we grasp for salvation with a new leaders from the outside? If that silver bullet does not work.. well get another? If you stay here long enough you will go to stage 5

No leaders can do anything useful in less than 7 years –
Change does not happen overnight

Keep pushing in a consistent and intelligent direction.. it’s the small consistent steps that work not the sliver bullet

3 circles…. Focus on the middle.. we need the discipline to stay in the 3 circles

Think about it from a people standpoint – its not just an org value.
Imagine not taking a job unless the job fits your 3 circles.

Passion--best in the world--economic

If you have a to do list – do you have a stop doing list?
You have to have a personal reason to succeed….the reason to be must be much greater than just increasing shareholder value – it needs to be emotionally tangible
When we are under pressure do not compromise values – you will not have the strength to endure.

Hold your value – change your practices (yin yang slide)

The signature of mediatory is chronic inconsistency.

In the last 10 mins I would like to give you a to do list..

Be productively subservice to your orgs

1) conduct your diagnostics – a diagnostic tool – good to great diagnostic)

2) before you return you somehow implement Packards law – how many seats

3) build a personal board of directors – chosen not for their success but for their character

4) turn off you electronic gadgets – discipline thoughts take time to process give ‘white space’ time engage in thinking at least 3 days every 2 weeks

5) what is your questions to statements ratio, can you double it ----focus on being interested rather than interesting….

6) Help org build a council and make sure the co focuses on its 3 circles

7) Start your stop doing list – work is infinite – time is not?

8) Replace titles with responsibilities – the right people have resp not jobs

9) Re articulate and re commit to the value, no matter what the pressure you will not budge from

10) Set your Big Hairy Audacious goals BHAGS – 15-25 years in the future

Its easy to focus on survival…. The real question is… How can you be useful?

This entry is a raw input from notes taken in the session, in the coming weeks these will be refined

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