Our world has changed drastically, and more rapidly, than anyone could have imagined just a few short months ago.
As the awakening of new sensibilities about public health, employment, culture and the digitisation of human relationships continues, global business leaders must pay particular attention to how the expectations of those around you are shifting…
In the context of COVID-19, determining executive compensation is far more complex and important now than ever before.
Stephen Diotte from TRANSEARCH Canada partner The Bedford Consulting Group shares perspectives on the importance of preparing for 2021 compensation cycles now to ensure company survival through this crisis and beyond…
‘When people support each other they not only share the burden, they find inspiration in the actions of those around them.’
Concerns about the global spread of Coronavirus have taken centre stage in recent weeks. Today, in many unprecedented ways, countermeasures to slow its advance have disrupted the daily work routines for hundreds of millions.
Left in its wake – aside from the illness itself – are the fears, uncertainties and ambiguity of how to cope. How to work remotely without getting distracted by the many competing interests? How to set priorities when everything seems like a priority? How to respond to the questions about the future for which, right now, there are few answers?
There are times in one’s executive career when our reputations are shaped and our legacies forged for good in the hearts and minds of those we work with.
These may take the form of a dramatic workplace shift, the death or sudden illness of a colleague, or something central to ethical leadership. Whatever the form, these modern-day challenges for executives tend to raise heartbeats (and perhaps brows, too), lead to questions and uncertainty and almost always call on individuals to decide what matters most to those touched by the situation.
Choosing the right leader for any organisation is its most important business.
Just ask employees and shareholders, and they will tell you that their experience and investment will hinge on whether they can follow the man or woman with the utmost accountability for future results.
Customers, too, will weigh in but most often only if issues with products or services are somehow disrupted or changed without their support. These are the silent majority stakeholders who will assume the mantle of leadership for the brands they support will be passed from one capable steward to another.
One of the most difficult challenges today’s global executives face has everything to do with the shifting market dynamics that are already changing or threatening to disrupt legacy customer and distributor relationships.
Consider the convergence of technology and financial pressures that will invariably drive major changes in how healthcare is delivered to patient populations. Then comes growing digitisation that is putting more power and control in the hands of consumers with mobile applications.
“Culture is the glue that binds an organization together and it’s the hardest thing for competitors to copy. As a result, it can be a lasting source of competitive advantage.”
Creating a winning culture will call on a very different type of skill set than is traditionally called upon by a CEO. You need the capacity to listen, empathy, and compassion to grasp the nuances of a winning culture and integrate each of them into your day-to-day operations.
“Culture” can sound esoteric and hard to wrap your hands around, but it’s not so complicated. You can manage and measure a winning culture by spending time on it. In fact, whatever time you’re currently spending on culture, quadruple it.
Be honest with yourself about where your culture is today. Find a clear vision for where you want it to be a year from now and then map an achievable action plan with the steps you’ll take as an organization to get there. Think about how this vision comes together on a day to day basis, how will it change the way you attract and assess new talent coming into your organization? Will it change the leadership competencies you encourage, develop and reward in leaders?
Action plan: Don’t “hang your hat” on positive engagement survey results. These type of surveys speak to the current climate of the organization at a given point of time and are not your culture. Identify where you need to be to WIN in the next 3-5 years and what needs to change with your current culture to best enable you to get there. Talent acquisition should be focused on hiring for the emerging culture.
“The most successful organizations will equip employees with what they need to make, measure, and sustain progress on diversity and inclusiveness.”
We know that companies are far more successful and innovative when they leverage diverse talent, and that it is no longer acceptable for “diversity” to be a keyword.
A CEO must possess an authentic intention and a solid plan for integrating diversity into every level of their organization and culture, and the new standards for diversity include diversity of experience and thought, in addition to physical and gender diversity.
Action plan: Consult with your CHRO and Talent Partner to re-examine how your organization attracts, assesses and onboards talent to ensure diversity and inclusion are being facilitated systematically with the highest-possible standard for democracy.
“True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.”
— Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Humility, empathy and masterful listening skills are all part of a mindful business practice and essential components for fostering a culture of disruptive innovation.
Mindful business isn’t a theory or a philosophy, it is a series of decisions you can make to drive buy-in, help people feel heard and part of a movement bigger than themselves. Mindful business is a means for making every member on your team feel safe to come up with big ideas.
Surround yourself with people that compliment your development areas and create influence with leadership. Learn what you need to know and not what your ego wants you to hear.
Action Plan: Read “The Mind of The Leader: How To Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results” by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter for Harvard Business Review Press. “The Mind of the Leader” offers a radical, yet practical, solution. To solve the leadership crisis, organizations need to put people at the center of their strategy. They need to develop managers and executives who lead with three core mental qualities: mindfulness, selflessness, and compassion.
This article was originally published by Steven Pezim, Vice Chair of the Board – TRANSEARCH International
Most global executives are promoted or recruited into new leadership roles because of the education they completed, the experience they gained and the insights they bring to new business opportunities and challenges.
Experience alone can be a game-changer. Having learned the ropes once before, successful executives can leverage the lessons learned and confidence instilled in them from past employment and parlay these assets into exciting new results for their next employer.
On the whole, experience truly is a gift for those who choose to learn – good and bad – from it, and those who learn how they must adapt in order to recognise how different situations, resources and people fit the current day and potential for tomorrow.
Sometimes, if you listen intently enough, some of the most powerful lessons of your executive leadership career can come from some of the most unexpected places.
Too often, it seems, global executives tend to look up the chain of command for insight on a host of important management challenges. It’s natural, after all, to seek to learn from the experience of more experienced and highly successful leaders for tips on balancing priorities, making sound decisions and taking calculated risks.
Yet some of the most telling and revealing lessons are often revealed where we might least expect it – on the front lines, in the trenches, so to say, and often, in the words of people who’ve walked distinctly different paths than our own up the corporate ladder.
Take, for example, the words of a schoolteacher who recently challenged some friends to look at little differently at their work, their aspirations and their lives, too.