One of the great things about what I do is that I get to see many different businesses, so I get to not only recognise patterns but also to contrast different styles and approaches.
One of the perennial challenges for most businesses is how to recruit and retain great talent, because at the end of the day the fact is that it is only the quality of the people and how well they work together that differentiates businesses from each other.
So having spent part of the day with businesses who have struggled to recruit and retain talent I was amazed to read of another business which can claim that they are more selective than Harvard, Yale, or Princeton (They receive two million applications a year, and hire only a few thousand). That business happens to be Google, but that isn’t the point.
What if you could create a business that people actually wanted to join and be a part of? For most businesses recruiting as a little like dragging a bride to the altar, in so far as we find a reluctant partner and cajole them with money, perks and promises to join us and it doesn’t often turn out well.
What if we could turn all of that on its head? It is not impossible. It begins with understanding people. It means creating an environment where people are valued, where they know that their work matters and where they can feel fulfilled. Where they can work together with their colleagues in the certain knowledge that what they do matters and what they do together is important. It is founded on the presupposition that people are good and want to do their best.
Perhaps the greatest challenge in achieving this lies in some of our fundamental beliefs about leadership and control which pull against creating an environment where people can play at their best. Many of these beliefs are unquestioned, unexamined and historic but absolutely colour how we lead. So the real hard work is the work we need to do on ourselves to be able to create the sort of business that people want to be a part of.
But just imagine what if we could?