Insights

A fresh take on ideas and trends in Human Capital

Lets put our thinking caps on UK!

(image source) “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” -

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  -Winston Churchill

(image source)

Due to recent events there are very mixed feelings amongst the people of the United Kingdom today. As they woke to find the majority voted to no longer be a part of the European Union. The other half are now forced to accept the results and look forward to a brighter future, as a democracy has always been about coming together with the idea that 2 heads are better than 1. Now we must put that into action as a collective plan is needed to shape this outcome into something positive just like everything in life. From the demographic results of the EU Referendum, they showed a very mixed opinion and certainly show separations in terms of earnings and age. Not everyone will agree with the voice that is heard but it opens the door to conversations to ask the question; “Is the UK too small to compete?”

The UK has the:

The result means, we can now negotiate favourable trade or business deals. There are many benefits from leaving the EU just as there are disadvantages. The time has come as a democracy to band together and accept the outcome by taking advantage of the benefits that do exist.

 

 

 

Create the Spark and Fan the Flames

The X-men are brilliant. While they do stem from a comic book stories they do have significant theme

The X-men are brilliant. While they do stem from a comic book stories they do have significant themes and makes comments on society, one key theme in it is the leadership styles and how they clash between Professor Xavier and Magneto, who were influenced by Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X respectively. In a summary the mutant kind in the stories are a minority and Xavier believes they can cooperate with mankind while Magneto believes they are the superior to mankind. The reason I bring this up is that in one of the X-men movies Magneto goes to fight with his army and stops the significant characters and says “In chess the pawns go first”. This very much shows his leadership style as a command from behind and let the ‘unimportant’ members of the team take the risks.

Leadership styles have changed throughout history as environments have changed. Monarchies ruled for centuries, now Democracy is the norm in the Western world and who knows what could come next. Of course, business is not exempt from these changes and leadership has always been a hot topic. What is generally started to be realised in both the world of business and the psychological research is that the ‘lead from the back’ method is outdated to the modern world and could even be counterproductive.

Furthermore there is the double-edged challenge of leadership that you have to initiate the idea and then maintain progress on that change, creating the spark and then fanning the flames as it were. Many times innovative individuals will get that spark and be overwhelmingly excited by it but then don’t commit to it for whatever reason. Often as well there shall be individuals fuelled with energy with vast resources at their disposal but they lack direction. Both of these examples would make poor leaders as it is the combination that is required, while different leadership techniques can be taken into account these two factors need to be accommodated for.

Can you say your organisation has these kind of people? It’s not an easy thing to figure out or to measure, while you can discover personality traits such as diligence and innovation that won’t necessarily mean they have the ability to combine that into leadership material on their own. But given the right support they could have that potential. Many people would possess the individual traits but it’s that combination that makes someone a leader, but could your organisation be a leader of leaders? The right understanding of your workforce and the people coming into your organisation could allow them to be developed into strong, confident leaders that go on to help your business succeed.

Harnessing Willpower

“We are too young to realise certain things are impossible, so we do them anyway” Wilber

“We are too young to realise certain things are impossible, so we do them anyway”

-Wilberforce

 

William Wilberforce, an astounding man that was key in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. In a time when slavery was the norm and where a great deal of the establishment and economy relied on it Wilberforce resisted it all and achieved his goal for the pure reason that it was his motivation to do so. He shared this kind of attitude with his friend William Pitt who is famous for becoming Britain’s youngest Prime Minister at 24. Considering it was the late 18th Century where traditions were law of the land it is inspirational that these two had the determination to defy what is expected of them. By this time it might be a bit obvious I have been watching the film “Amazing Grace” and that I’m a bit of a history nerd but bear with me I do have a point!

A career is a job that you’ve made a part of your life, its part of your identity and this is true more now in the 21st Century than it ever has been in the past. While people are now expected to go through several jobs in their life time they’ll still be defined by their career, it’s something that follows a person throughout their life.  Of course you only will accept something as a career if you’re happy with it, a child who has to take over his parent’s business may not have the passion in them to make it their career which means they’ll be in it for all the wrong reasons. The best way to motivate someone is to engage with them as the person, money and fear will only get short lived results but if you make the goal apart of who the individual is that person shall put their entire willpower behind that. That’s what identification of career motivation is, the harnessing of willpower.

Now for the fun cheat code to life, you don’t have to give people passion, they will have found it themselves! Everybody has some form of passion, borderline obsession or fascination in an area that can be turned into a career. There was a time when parents would hold back tears as their child “wasted” their time on YouTube, but now that child with the right support could be paying off their mortgage. If you put an individual in their element and give them the support and guidance they need they can do amazing things because their efforts are powered by the limitless resource of willpower.

This breaking of expectation is giving people the liberty to do whatever they want to do. Any group that had previously been limited because of their gender, age or anything else have a chance now to do exactly what they want to do. #WomenInTech are showing for example that technology development is welcoming to everybody regardless of their gender. A career doesn’t have a gender or age limit so people shouldn’t have to worry about these kind of things when they want to take up what they love.

Once again it’s also about how are you, or your organisation, helping to support this career motivation in people. Are you using blind CV’s for example? These are plenty of options such as career development plans with employees and career guidance in schools. People may not know the options available to them or even what their own passion is, this is where experienced individuals can offer their support by giving them the career guidance and support they need. Just think what an individual could do if from the start of their career they are passionate about what they do. While progression of a career is a self-discovery pathway there is no reason you can’t put signposts on that pathway. Then once started you as a mentor can sit back and watch them do things you thought were impossible.

The Science of HR & Business Success

The key to science is measurement, science aims to make measurements of everything. In medicine you

(image source)

The key to science is measurement, science aims to make measurements of everything. In medicine you measure the dosage for a patient and in astronomy you measure distance (not time, Han) in parsecs. Without measurement then the outcome can’t be relied upon, if only 10 mg of a medicine will cure a patient why give them 20 mg? It would be a waste of resources and dangerous for the patient’s health, making the action counterproductive. Measurement allows success to be observed and also highlights what needs to be improved effectively.

The job of a scientist is to start by making elements of the world and quantifying them into a measurable component. This isn’t always easy, there has been evidence in the past of a body getting lighter as it dies which some have claimed to be the weight of the soul; this isn’t clear evidence but it does raise the issues involved with measuring abstract variables of life as we know it. In psychology it can be especially tricky as it is the field of science where the subject is studying the subject, an analysis of behaviour & perception is always clouded by our own behaviours and perceptions making such things as cultural customs a challenge to overcome in such measurements. For example what is happiness? It could be satisfaction with life, it could be a euphoric state or it could just be a balanced life. Such massive concepts needs a deep analysis and tests and retests to make sure the measurements are doing the right job. Might seem a daunting task but science isn’t for the faint hearted.

I love science though, I love it so much I’ve dedicated hours and hours of my time to conduct research into something that produced no significant results and then carried on researching. I love it because it’s amazing when applied in the right way. Every research article I read I’m looking for its application to the real world and, with my new career, the world of business. The difficulties facing the scientific method in business is people like “trusting their gut” and don’t necessarily want to put in so much effort as science requires. Furthermore, when science is conducted properly it doesn’t have an agenda, the objective outcomes aren’t always sugar-coated in a way that people like; as I said science isn’t for the faint hearted. These challenges are what face companies but it is clear coming into the 21st Century that these kind of measurements are becoming the norm. Success needs to be measured in order to be improved, Usain Bolt wins most races he wins but now he is trying to beat his own time, he only knows if he succeeds because of the time being measured.

In business particularly different measurements such as fiscal success have been common but now the science of HR is beginning to take hold. In particular areas such as psychometrics or career motivation questions have been on the rise aided by the technology revolution of cloud platforms. These eAssessments can measure a remarkable amount of features of an individual within an organisation, such as leadership, body clock, personality, cognition, career motivation, employee engagement, integrity and emotional intelligence just to name a “few” off the top of my head. This means that eAssessments aren’t just a measure of skill or something to pass at, they’re something that measures the 3-Dimensional Employee.

Understanding employees in such an in-depth way as the scientific method that takes out bias and stereotypes that far too often stand in the way of success. Selecting the right forms of assessments and using it to measure the qualities that make up an organisation and its people gives hard evidence for strategy to be developed off. When assessments are used correctly there is no such thing as a failure, the assessment is simply a measure of the individual it’s up to the organisation to use that data then in order to make it a success. This can be through development planning or finding the role to suit an individual’s talents, by having this data to inform progress and the state of the organisation it can lead to strategies and campaigns that are only limited by the imagination. Using eAssessments gives HR and organisations the data and tools to go on to succeed it is then down to the ambition of the company to see how far they can take it.