Last week I ran into a problem with my emails. A Microsoft glitch meant that not only did I temporarily lose a large number of them, I was also unable to access Outlook for periods of time.
There’s a lot of focus these days in organisations on delivering. Quite right, too. Not before time, we are moving away from the era where performance was judged on hours spent at one’s desk, and to a far more enlightened and productive age, where our stand out performers are those who are seen to be consistently delivering tangible outputs and achieving goals, regardless of the amount of time they spend in the office.
When you think of flexible working, what kind of employee demographic comes to mind? Working parents? Likely primarily mothers? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Historically, flexible working has very much been seen as the domain of those employees with childcare responsibilities to work around. With the majority of primary carers still being mums rather than dads, it is easy to see how flexible working can have been dismissed by organisations as something which is required by the few, not the many.
For some time now, there’s been a concerning trend which has been emerging. It’s apparent whenever you scroll through LinkedIn, read industry articles which talk about how the brightest and the best got to where they are today, or even have a conversation with friends about how their organisations work.
The current inclement weather may have been a pertinent reminder too late for some organisations that they perhaps haven’t planned for such an eventuality. With the typically mild climate we enjoy, weather which has the potential to impact on business operations is generally few and far between.
It’s an exciting time to work in business. Technology is advancing like never before. We have the increased automation of jobs, and the prospect of widespread AI on the horizon. We are able to work faster, smarter, and in more remote locations than ever before, in an increasingly diverse spectrum of roles designed to support the growth of technology.
With all of this going on, it is important that we don’t forget the very human side of our workforces.
When we think of the traits of successful business leaders, what first comes to mind? Assertiveness? Decisiveness? The ability to command a room and take control?
While there are undoubted merits in all of the above, there is a danger that we start to value these more than the attribute which can perhaps provide us with one of the greatest competitive advantages of all.
When we set our New Year resolutions, they’re often about achieving particular goals. Whether it’s nailing that particular promotion, or just shifting a few pounds, we tend to think about the end result rather than the behaviours we exhibit in order to get there.
Culture has been a buzz word in the HR industry for as long as I’ve been a part of it. We’re all familiar with the quote attributed to Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The truth of course is that great organisations need both a clear and well defined strategy, and the organisational culture which enables delivery of that strategy.
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