Understanding your role as a manager.

A relationship is required to get from one level of performance to the next and have been known to cause significant advance things from where they are to where they need to be. The absence of the right relationships have been known t be responsible for the decline of organisations, contributed to the failures of products and played a part in the delayed launch of key products.

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 People have been known to see other people treated as things, and treat things treated as people. This behaviour stems from a few things, amongst which is a focus on a perspective that says; “my side is the only side, and my way is the best – take it or leave it”. Though not always verbally expressed, this is the interpretation of various “well meaning” actions. When people are not treated well enough, productivity suffers as morale is low and chasing the vision is not as easy.

 Granted, there are reasons to use discipline as companies fail when this is not done, it seems the case that discipline is meted out not to make the ‘offender’ better, but to prove some esoteric point. The problem with proving a point is that it is just that – proving a point. It doesn’t make the superior party stronger in real terms, neither does it make the subordinate weaker. One outcome of proving one’s point in an I-am-wiser-than-you way is that one relationship that could have led to future partnerships is been dented. And that partnership opportunity always comes where a strong relationship would have come in handy. It has been argued that a lot of today’s networking is as a result of past relationships poorly managed.

An article in the Harvard Business Review by John J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter suggests that the onus is on the subordinate to manage her boss. The boss, naturally busy juggling numerous work demands and well aware of the deadlines (and the scarce resources) may not always remember the importance of investing in the subordinate. Therefore, the subordinate is expected to look for times when the boss is most approachable and work with that. Making the boss’s life easier by taking on some of the extra work and suggesting new ways of getting better results.

 But what happens where the manager creates time to lead? That is, to show the way, be the way and be the bridge too? Or isn’t that how today’s manager arrived at the hallowed manager position – that is through the help, support and (in some cases) permission of key influencers? It emerges that the most valuable managers tend to be demanding but are also supportive, providing the resources necessary to achieving results.

 Before managers chalk their names under this list, it is advisable that a stock count be taken of actions taken specifically to support the subordinate in achieving the set standards.

The unseen customer and her relevance to the future of your business

“I assure you, he will ask for your thoughts and then shoot them down, mid sentence” was a comment by a manager friend from a recent conversation. His organisation had stagnated for about 5 years, numbers were low, morale was lower and the only ideas that ever saw the light if day seemed to be those unofficially categorised as “most likely to be accepted by the boss”. I smiled knowingly at the trend I had seen start years ago at a meeting where a rising star had raised an idea that was shot down, mid sentence. She soon left to become one of the most productive sector leaders in an outpost of the same company. Still the entire organisation is stuck with an interesting type of leader – good enough to be listened to, but not experienced with “out of the box” thinking.

 Problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking at which they were created, and besides, there are new problems every day – some, a repeat of what may have happened before – with slight variations. Others, entirely new. There are also problems caused by the customer’s widening perspective of what forms the baseline for acceptable service, not to mention what the competition is willing to do to meet and exceed same. From a cursory study of business history, it appears that the best performing companies tend to focus on connecting with the customer.

But it wasn’t always so as customers used to be simply satisfied with great products that were easy to use. Then the customer, wanting more than just a great product, wanted a connection. That is, they wanted to be heard, felt, and seen. They wanted to be recognised as important, and not one more sale. The CEO could no longer sit in the corner office all day managing her vast empire, or take to the skies attending yet another meeting. She had to be available to the customer, and not just the high value customer but also the mass market. This is because as organisations got larger, a bias towards high level client management was no longer effective especially if the objective was o see around the curve.

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Business leaders then realised that with the help of technology, it was easier to connect with larger groups of people. And so, some took to days dedicated to open phone calls, while others chose to connect via social media. It may be that connecting with the customer through the pre-planned meetings, roundtables, and annual meetings is no longer as effective as it once was. Today’s business leaders would do well to be only a call, SMS or tweet away taking on the not-so-new challenge of connecting with the customer irrespective of the time of day.

 There are the arguments that a business leader’s time with customers is best utilised if the customer is high value, and this may be true if the purpose is to preserve existing businesses and possibly grow incrementally. However, if the purpose is to get into entirely new business areas or get brutal feedback key to the future of the firm, then it might be best to go mass market. And that is the challenge; carving out time to connect with the unseen customer – the customer who may not be high value, but who’s point is still valid. The customer who’s many complaints are inversely related to her financial value to the company. It might be the employee who currently isn’t doing well on the job, but has a perspective missed by superiors. It might be the middle manager tired of pushing an idea through a rigid system and has decided to be a ‘yes man’- because life is easier that way.

 As the best ideas rarely announce themselves as so, it might be reasonable to spare a thought for the unseen customer.

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Upending disruption.

 

Large companies used to spend decades on the who’s who of business lists, in the zone where the competition couldn’t inflict much damage and it was easy to attract as much talent and funding as was wanted. Earnings were at record highs and high flyers were rewarded accordingly. However, their impact on the communities could have been better and profits could have been more fairly shared with employees. This is going by sentiments held by a certain generation expected to change the way business works.

Fresh college graduates, growing disillusioned with the promise of big corporates are going out on their own to start new businesses, fully aware of the risks. Reports indicate that many will fail within the first five years, but some succeed and grow quickly as if in solidarity with those who failed. Graduates who choose to work at existing corporate giants, where given the choice, seem to look for those that have a clear sense of purpose and direction.

By interpretation, existing businesses might need to be faster in getting the right products to the market. They would also need to show a stronger connection to a higher purpose than their forebears, as today’s millennial professional is looking for something more than size and rewards alone. In his book, “How will you measure you life?”, management consultant and professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Clay Christensen came to the conclusion that there are things deeper than material definitions of success. This is after decades of observing the career paths of his Harvard MBA classmates.

Financial and material rewards have their place of course, but it is hard to find people at the end of their lives screaming for the opportunity to make a little more money. If it’s any reference to go by, the world’s richest tend to go after things that are more contributory in nature. The days where wealth was measured by expensive assets (or toys) are gone somewhat as doing that today communicates a certain emptiness in the actor. There is value to consciously investing in communities, making them stronger and more resilient.

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Millennials, also the world’s largest and soon to be wealthiest demographic, (born between 1980 and 2000) may have figured also come to a similar conclusion. They are out not only to create a good life for themselves, but to also make a difference in their environment. Research shows that some are willing to accept lower pay if the destination company is serious about improving the quality of life on a global scale. This is more likely to be the case as careers mature. A willingness to make a difference is part of the fuel for today’s startup. True, there is also the craving for wealth and fame but this usually gives way to a renewed quest for meaning as it becomes clear that after record profits, additional profit won’t have the same effect it once had. In effect, today’s founders might want wealth and fame, but are unwilling to let go of purpose and meaning at any phase in the process to becoming successful.

The established players will continue to experience irritation from these startups, losing out completely in some instances if they remain mainly focused on the bottom line. As most disruptions go, it will start in trickles, innocuous and may take years to grow. But if not prepared for, it will catch on and redraw the competitive landscape for decades to come.

A few established players have rightly recognised Millennials not only as a market segment, but also as a unique talent pool. Some now have millennials in strategic positions, while others have created internal units with products focused on their needs. In some cases outright acquisition of millennial startups has been the best option. Nevertheless, having experienced hands looking over their shoulders further ensures past mistakes don’t repeat themselves. Interestingly only a few startups have to succeed to upend an industry, and they have the wind in their sails at the moment.

Seeing ahead and being relevant to you

It takes as many as 25 people to successfully execute a heart transplant, and each has a role unlike the other. Each role on the day must have been carefully prepared for and each member of the team must work within a slim margin of error for the endeavour to succeed. Each person is expected to have been trained for at least a decade, and is currently on some continuous professional development programme. It is the nature of things that the higher the level of responsibility, or the more specialised an area of operation is, the greater the amount of skill, effort, relevant experience and depth of know how required to succeed.

Coming to aviation, the assembly of an airplane needs over 200 professionals working towards creating the best user experience, (while ensuring the plane never crashes, of course!). Take for example; engine parts have to be tested by an array of experts to verify ability to function even in the most difficult weather. The more sensitive the focus area of an expert, the more the amount of preparation required to pull it off. The expert cannot afford to get it wrong and this has contributed to technology’s rise as a complement to human decision making.

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Commenting on his 20 years as a soccer team manager, Arsene Wenger recently suggested that team managers of the future would not need to be extensively knowledgeable in the game. The ‘new’ managers would likely be able to select their players with the aid of technology as computers would have relevant data on player performance trends and strategic team choice options based on the selection of the opposing team. Part of the point is this; making significant progress in an industry, asides having a clear sense of direction, requires a dizzying number of events, some occurring contemporaneously, and a large number of people working in partnership. While this highlights the importance of leadership and one’s ability to work in teams, there is need to recognise these concepts not as possible outcomes of leadership strategy sessions, but as a basis for decision making.

The World Economic Forum’s report on the future of work suggests that placing a premium on one’s ability to contribute to a group and an ability to lead in complex situations are good starting points. On the back of projected workplace and business environment complexity is the need for continuous self improvement. The coming challenges of the business world and life in general will not be solved by yesterday’s insights, regardless of how long they’ve worked. There’s always some new shift just around the corner; some new service the customer is going to demand, some new industry wide regulation, some unique way the world of work is going to evolve and as such, some adjustments that must be made for careers to survive, stabilise and then prepare for the next round of adjustments.

So, it might be good to start or stay on the treadmill of self improvement, doing the morning stretches, having the critical conversations with industry thought leaders, scanning the environment and asking; what is coming, what might we be missing and what improvements need to be made? In his book, Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove made it clear that it is far better to initiate the new wave than to be called upon to respond – because not much time is given the responder to prepare (by way of adjusting business models and the like) and even the entire industry might be on its way out.

This means that advancement demands a certain vulnerability on the part of leadership; a willingness to be wrong, learn quickly and let go of what may have worked decades hitherto (and in some cases, might still be working).

The core of innovation that wins.

The Ubisoft Gaming development team had just presented what would be their highest grossing video game – Assassins creed 3. Based in Montreal, they had worked hard to create a new experience for the consumer and going by the numbers, they had hit a winner – innovation had paid off.

Away from gaming, there are tools that measure blood pressure, apps that can connect patients to the top doctors in specific locations for advise on a range of ailments. There are services that can deliver purchased items within hours, whether it be by land, sear or air. There are car pool services that allow clients park anywhere and arrange for pick up anywhere. There are services that promise a round up of all that has happened in the world in the last 24 hrs – all in 5 minutes.

These are examples of how people have discovered ways to make life easier, more convenient and cost effective. Since the discovery of fire, and even fore that there has been consistent movement from one invention to the other. There was also the square wheel that was changed in to the round version – again ease the process of day to day living. There are transport systems that allow people travel under water or overland at almost unbelievable speeds and that as high as 50,000 sq. meters above sea level.

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Through significant investment of resources man has brought an end to diseases that wiped out millions in times past through the discovery vaccines and alternative healthcare methods. This has led to the extension of life, not only in terms of number of years, but also in terms of quality. Sadly, there have also been discoveries to end the lives of many, and that at speeds unheard of since the beginning of time.

New ideas have also been introduced to education, art and the science making access easier and learning simpler. And while getting the benefits of these innovations have come at a price fully aware of the profit motive, the individual remains at the centre of all innovation. Without the individual, products and services would not be needed and would both be of much value.

Dependence on tools where taken too far and even blamed for the inability to produce results is often a negative effect of innovation. So there is some blame on social media for the current inability of today’s teenager to start conversations and manage physical relationships. Tools should not always be blamed for inability to resolve issues as people created tools. Then, just how important are they to human ingenuity and the capacity for discovery?

It is clear, from a cursory glance through history that groundbreaking inventors did not have access to some of these tools to achieve their levels of greatness. It boiled down to the capacity of the individual to innovate. Thomas Edison reminds us “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”

It might be reasonable in some instances to tone down the dependence on technology to achieve real lasting results as the more relevant innovations today tend to be those that leverage more on human relations than on complex gadgets. The exceptions here may be advances recorded in pharma/bio tech.

Human potential is still core to innovation and should be developed through reflection, engagement and the execution of ideas. People are the primary tool – their ideas, predispositions, relationships and work ethic.

Out of the box ideas that succeed remind us that innovation has the most value when it improves the of lives of the most people. The betterment of human lives remains at the centre of innovations that are remembered for generations.

How short cuts tend to cut short almost everything.

There are a number of reasons performers choke when the pressure is on to deliver. One of which is the side stepping of certain steps in the process to becoming. Sometimes these steps are deemed unnecessary and at other times they are considered too difficult and not worth the trouble.

Deemed not necessary because afterall, performance levels are already above 95% of the population – why go any farther?

It takes time.

As a background, some things take days to become, while others take much longer. It’s this day to day grind that builds capacity to the point where the right decisions can be taken. The more thorough this process is, the more likely performance is consistent.

But it’s worth it.

Needless to say, there are no shortcuts to building anything worth remembering and one would do well to invest in the process and learn the lessons. One can only imagine the amount of progress that could be recorded if the right track is taken and again, consistently so.

To the surprise of some, the recent popularity of slow food is on the rise again, thanks in part to the many health issues associated with fast food. But also thanks to deliberate methods that take more time (hours actually) to produce the best tasting food.

“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” Warren Buffet

A new way to think.

According to research by Goldman Sachs consumers, especially those of the millennial generation are among the most health conscious group and have started to ask questions surrounding the full costs of fast food. That is, are the health risks of fast food worth the time saved?

Speed by all means is still important, but if quality (that is, the health conscious kind) could be added, then all the better. Now, it is these kind of “consumer-thoughtfulness” that stands out one competitor from the other.

What the work needs.

This also underscores an important part of becoming the leader the world so desperately needs –always learning, looking at new ways to becoming better, putting in the hours on the treadmill of value delivery, building the best possible experience for the customer.

Making the right investments.

Sometimes, the best days are ahead because the right investments have been made in the past – a track record of achievement, remarkable displays of talent, drive or just that warm and ready mind hungry enough to put in the necessary effort own product or service types, not by obliterating the competition, but by creating the best product or service possible. But a caveat; it’s also those weak connections that sometimes land the right opportunities

With time, there are no weaknesses.

In another vein (and this, much debated), it is those traits currently defined as “weaknesses” that make one a right fit for opportunities of the future. This is because as times change and societies evolve, behavioural patterns deemed unsociable become exact fits for certain job types.

So for example, introverts once regarded as too awkward have long lasting impact on their teams, much less lead organisations are now praised for their strong leadership abilities.

All part have a role to play.

It has been said that the tree is not in the seed. Yes, you read that correctly. The tree is not in the seed, for if it were, a seed would grow on asphalt pavement – anywhere in the world. Or, all seeds could grow everywhere. Part of the tree is in the soil, another part is in the wind, and yet another part is in the rain and the list goes on and on.

The tree (or desired outcomes) depends on input from a wide variety of sources that cannot be effectively harnessed through short cuts.

Put in the effort to learn the right lessons and consistently so for therein lies the secrets of long term leadership.

Innovation, connection and the importance of you.

With the ability to recognise objects very, very, far, differentiating between colour, shade and degrees of movement, the human eye is a wonder. This is because its ability to receive and interpret light supporting the brain’s sense of direction, defining reality for most of the world.

The brain is yet another complex supercomputer able to recognise, analyse, synthesise, interpret and process the most relevant 2, 000 bits of information per second out of the 400 billion bits it receives. This part of the human system is still being studied as we speak and it is unlikely that the search to fully understand this complex machine will ever end.

And rightly so, universities, fields of study, billions in dollars and uncountable hours in research have been devoted to the study of the brain. Physically, the brain is 140 mm wide, 167 mm and 93 mm high weighing between 1,300 – 1,400 grams in full grown adults. There’s a thing about space – just how much is needed to make a difference?

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Yet again is the heart, which in an attempt to outdo the others, never stops working. This is not a part we want to stop working, going on vacations or off on sick leave. Whilst the eye can rest, by way of sleep, or the brain can have reduced activity, the human heart continues beating. To better understanding this, when seniors in Japan celebrate 105 years of existing in this planet, the simple conclusion is this; the heart has been beating every day for 105 years.

Not too long ago a leading carmaker had to recall 3.37 million cars because a part was dysfunctional, and yet another, asides from having to deal with a flood of lawsuits has agreed to pay $15 billion because performance tests were tinkered with to makes the cars appear more efficient. Considering the size of the parts responsible for these high dollar value recalls, it emerges that perhaps, not much space is required to be significant, to make a lasting difference, or to inspire change.

And then there’s the concept of whether a part can be replaced in the i-don’t-need-you-anymore sense. This question becomes more important the more the subject’s sophistication. And then there’s the concept of whether a part can be replaced In the case of the brain, science is yet to match its level of processing capacity, unable to handle objective and subjective decisions at the same.

Eyesight in terms of its ability to communicate seamlessly with the brain is yet to be completely replicated by the efforts of the science community. It is probably, of the three, the most closely replicated but this has been at much cost.

Just how much space is required to be a difference? Like the eye, despite its size, seeing things ahead is key to growing organisations grow and remain resilient.

Here’s a bit of the point; every part of an organisation has a value not only in itself, but in the fact that others depend on it. In many organisations, some parts of the business are regarded as more important and historically, this might be accurate.

However, the current wave of innovation (which will not be ending anytime soon) means that the best ideas could come from any part of the business.

And so it may be wise to follow through on the much discussed respect among divisions. A common example of this is the current criticality of today’s social media manager to the success of consumer brands, political parties and governments.

Decades ago, not many thought that the race for the presidency of the most powerful nation on earth would by heavily influenced by 140 characters.

As the heart, the recommendation is to never stop moving regardless of the current environment. Although there have been cases made by well-regarded authors and athletes as to when quitting makes sense, it seems reasonable to keep moving, looking for new ways to advance where the old ways no longer work.

 

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I knew it! (Or, in retrospect, the future was always obvious.)

When cars are more than the intended road capacity, and the roads are not getting any bigger, traffic congestion and its attendant effects on the human body and the environment is only a matter of time.

Increased stress levels, complex health challenges and a significantly weakened environment became the now obvious outcome.

After several years conducting covert military operations to reconstitute nations, contrary ideologies were bound to emerge, or where already in existence, receive a motivational boost from the perceived intrusion of the “intervening” nation.

This became obvious as splinter groups realised that they could back their ideologies with firepower significant enough to get the world’s attention.

Again, it remains one of the wonders of the world of business that firms believe (at some fundamental level) that taxes can be avoided (“delayed” becomes the term when actors are caught) and corners can be cut. Yes, it’s true and despite the many convictions, out of court settlements and prolonged court cases, tax evasions continue.

But this too in retrospect was obvious as systems created to maintain the necessary balance between opposing economic forces could be manipulated.

The statistics on civil unrest, fraud, theft, arson and crime in general and this appear to be another wonder – almost as if the entire planet is on the precipice of oblivion, about to make the jump into the unknown.

But then research shows how little time parents spend with their children, the now normal rise of individualism as opposed to the more society friendly communal style of living, the absence of strong mentors and the erosion of a moral code. And then in the end, it was obvious.

The outcome was always inevitable, crime had nowhere else to go but up.

Firms wonder why they copy strategies used by the competition and it doesn’t work, however sincere the adjustments made for the competitors business model. The borrowing organisation having the passion to succeed, but not the right vision, and consequently the wrong culture, devolving into the wrong strategy rendering every effort thereon a waste of time.

In the end, it was always obvious, “copy and paste” could appear to be, but would never be the real thing. Plus, the world of business and a blank Microsoft word page couldn’t have fewer things in common.

It may be in the nature of systems burdened with unrealistic growth expectations that corners are cut to meet the numbers and this sometimes in partnership with Governments.

There is always change, and it is always on the horizon until it flits past and then it’s obvious. Changes of the past is always obvious in retrospect – clearly things couldn’t continue in a certain way and people wonder how they lived without the advancements that have now come to stay. But then, why does it take industries by surprise?

There is usually an unwillingness to believe that a good run might be coming to an end, and must be changed.

This leads to a struggle to hold on by all means necessary to the systems that are in decline. So several props are is applied until the structures of the past can no longer bear the weight of the present’s demands.

This leads to the demise of great firms, irrespective of how old they were, what they’ve survived and how successful they had been.

The world couldn’t use the horse and carriage forever, as it could only travel so far. Neither could one spend months travelling by sea. Something had to give – the rate of population growth and the pace of man’s desires, ambitions combined to force out the new.

There is something to be said in favour of those who hold on the past as there have been changes that did not herald the future. These changes only destroyed what was currently efficient; hence phrases like “don’t change a winning team”, “don’t reinvent the wheel”, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

In practice, executing change, especially in large organisations is not as straightforward as management popular literature suggests. Next, companies, management and boards need to be aware that they may be more vested in existing structures than they think. This is why more investment is usually required to make consumers switch away from the competition’s brand.

A possible way out is to make company influencers own the change effort and attempt a execution person to person method.

It has been said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. One must then imagine what it would be if 7 billion plus people “created” the future – it would be a recipe for chaos.

A better position might be to have some who create the future and others who predict it.

That way more eyes are on the possible outcomes of present decisions thereby reducing the chances of seeing things only in retrospect.

Being Irreplaceable.

Being Irreplaceable

Max Weber was a 20th century German sociologist, philosopher and political economist who developed some of today’s well-known management theories. These theories influenced how the worker came to be seen as a tool for organisational growth.

For example, office seating arrangements to better manage absenteeism was in part his idea. The process of managing talent via apprenticeship such that we get the most of them, and even lighting up a work area are all supported by his work.

Again, the usage of first name only among members of an organisation irrespective of age to engender a commonality of purpose and a focus on results.

This side stepped cultural attachments to seniority whereby younger minds keep silent as the older ‘more experienced’ colleagues made occasional but avoidable blunders in judgment.

Organisations largely assume that talent for the most part is replaceable, or at least should not have holding power over the fortunes of an organisation such that their exit is guarded against at all costs.

The general thinking seems to be that the organisation should never depend on the best players as this shifts the centre of power and could makes the ship somewhat difficult to control.

It is said that an individual cannot possibly hold an organisation’s performance to ransom (either for good or bad) through ability, network or unique set of skills. To this end, firms have backup plans for the potential exit of any player in a bid to sustain performance.

Still, business leaders would agree that some individuals are almost impossible to replace.

This also makes any present or future negotiations on roles, responsibilities and rewards trickier. Thing is, every once in a while, there are those who make the difference and in many respects cannot be replaced or, where would France be without its Napoleon, the US without its Washington?

There was Alexander the Great whose drive for expansion is still studied in many business schools, colleges of war, and even during executive retreats. How does someone expand so far so quickly? Irrespective of the track record, strength or standing of the enemy, Alexander always won and was known to be magnanimous in victory.

How does an organisation plan for the replacement of such a contributor? Are there a special schools where Alexanders are trained – given matchless drive and an all-consuming desire to win?

During World War 2, Sir Winston Churchill galvanized what would become the allies to bring the advancement of the sweeping German army to a halt. Now, whether it was before during or after his leadership of Great Britain there are assortments of failures from which to choose from.

One could even look at this appearance and hurriedly conclude that he couldn’t be much of a threat even as other countries were either contemplating advanced surrender or looking for ways to negotiate some form of truce with the Germany.

One could argue he wasn’t morally sound, lacked finesse, spoke too much or unearth whatever list of weaknesses history has been kind enough to forget. Still he stood up when it mattered and made the tough calls no one else wanted to make.

There are no leadership programs that produce Churchills, Napoleons or Alexanders.

There are certain kinds of people that can’t be replaced, or if they can, at a significant cost. And cost not only in terms of resources, but the opportunity cost of ideas that would have brought to the table. It could also be that aggressive can do spirit, infectious winning attitude or boundless belief in the vision of the organisation.

The departure of these ‘irreplaceables’ can’t be completely hedged against and organisations are almost powerless when it comes to getting a replacement. They are the ones who the key man risk don’t cover, central to the firm’s strategy and it would be a journey into the land of pretense if we said it wasn’t so.

Therefore, I suggest a different strategy, the creation of the right environment for innovative talent, where leadership prepares to be wrong sometimes (and that without much evidence) and listens to what they say. Now, as hard as it sounds this is the easy part – that is, when they have shown clear signs of ability.

A more difficult road (with greater rewards) is finding them when they, like Napoleon in his early years, are yet to get an assignment, or like Churchill, yet to get a seat in government, or like Alexander unable to ride a horse.

When they look incapable of becoming the powerhouse they are capable of becoming.

So, I suspect firms are likely to be divided along two principal lines – those that see talent before it becomes clear for others to see and nurture it to the point of mastery, creating company loyalty at levels strangely heard of today. Or those who wait for talent to become as bright as the noon day sun and pay a king’s ransom for their services.

Individual talent can choose to become the talent everyone wants to have in their team that is personal development to the point of mastery.

This is the challenge.

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The Reason We Still Need Dreamers.

Every once in a while, societies are upended, and life is significantly redefined. Standards change and the norm no longer works. Choosing to continue in old patterns while familiar become impractical. Persisting in same has seen the end of many an organisation.

The light bulb replaced the oil lamp, the automobile replaced the horse and carriage, and email has replaced surface mail for communication.

Looking at the beginning of such advancements reveals certain points.

At the start, the carriers of these ideas were largely regarded unwell and either because of the passion for the dream or the beauty of the idea, they kept on. And history remembers that they did – them, and not those who labeled them unwell.

Of course, there are risks to attempting the unusual. But then, pushing beyond what is normal is the definition of progress. Wouldn’t it be worth all the investment finding lasting solutions to the many issues of the world today? What if there was a way to solve the most complex challenges our world faces – wouldn’t it be worth it risking all we have come to define as comfort?

There’s so much to be done out there, so much good, so many differences to make.

And by the way, if your line of thinking has not been questioned in a while, then yes, the system has succeeded and you are now certified normal.

Congratulations.

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