Malta – In The Heart of an Interconnected World

Malta – In The Heart of an Interconnected World

If an earthquake struck today, could you imagine the devastation? The ground torn asunder and everything we treasure ripped apart. Technology and architecture have evolved to minimise damage and loss of life. And yet we still see city after city, community after community, having buildings destroyed by the immense forces of an earthquake.

The same can be said of our society. We live in strange times. We have seen banks bailed out by people, people who then saw their homes repossessed. We see the vastly wealthy grace the covers of magazines, while a child dies every 15 seconds from lack of access to clean water. We watch corrupt politicians line their own pockets, disregarding the rule of law or even what is humanly right.

Yes, the world is strange. It is a world where the pursuit of profit and personal gain outweighs the implications and consequences of our actions.

We may think these things don’t affect us, but we would be wrong. We live in an interconnected world, whether we are aware of it or not. Just like the effects of an earthquake reverberate around the world, so the ripple effect of events abroad impact our daily lives.

The question is – are we going to keep our head buried in the sand or are we going to do something about it?

Education

The purpose of education is not the acquisition of certificates, but the ability to think and apply knowledge. For this to happen we need an education system equipped with teachers, as well as a methodology that instils a sense of curiosity among our children.

The purpose of education is not the acquisition of certificates, but the ability to think and apply knowledge.

A system in which our children are encouraged to seek experiences that broaden their mindset and outlook. A model that encourages a desire to learn about the world around us, to think through better ways of doing things and eventually the role we can play in shaping it.

Businesses

The seeking of profits at all costs has justified some terrible business practices – the most recent of which is Volkswagen. Where is trust and integrity? While profit is important, businesses need to be smarter in seeking and adding value. By smarter, I don’t mean more conniving.

The winners of the future will be those who seek financial and social benefit. This isn’t some marketing campaign that says how good a company is because of its corporate social responsibility initiatives. Rather, it’s where the raison d’etre of business is the intrinsic desire and commitment to add value, seeking win-win solutions and whose business positively impact people, society and the environment.

Government and Regulatory Bodies

One of the objectives of governing bodies is to provide the framework of what can and cannot be done. From a business perspective, this framework should be like a well-oiled machine that facilitates good practice and supports efficiencies. The current paradigm, however, is one that creates stumbling blocks (unless you are someone who is part of the fray or has a team of lawyers to navigate the system). With a lack of understanding of the challenges businesses face, regulatory bodies seem to create more hoops for businesses to jump through, eating up time and resources that would be better spent elsewhere.

Systems are only as good as the people behind them.

If, of course, these systems stopped corrupt and unethical practices, they could be condoned. But they don’t. Why? Because systems are only as good as the people behind them.

The Mindset

The ultimate challenge we need to overcome is our mentality as a nation. As part of the developed world, we have become a society of consumers programmed to get a job, buy a house, buy a car. We live out life in a simple cycle: earn this, buy that. This has created a nation of automatons. We wake up in the morning, go to work, do tasks, go home and then sit in front of a box or glued to some ‘social’ device clicking like.

We are outraged when we see atrocities such as the refugee situation. Some react to the senseless deaths, others react to a perceived invasion of foreigners into our land.

But very few think through how, why, and what can we do about it. We are driven by our emotions without engaging our intellect. Why? We have been programmed to believe our actions are of no consequence, numbed into a sense of helplessness. Sounds pretty bleak. And yet, this tiny little island has the greatest potential in being a force for good.

This tiny little island has the greatest potential in being a force for good.

We are a democratic country with a thriving economy and a strong rule of law. We have education and health available to all our people. We have a mere 400,000 souls, smaller than the individual workforces of Wal-Mart, McDonalds and IBM. Surely, we can come together and formulate a better way forward.

The question is, will we step up and surf the wave of change or will we be engulfed by it?

As appeared in the Sunday Times of Malta

Deborah Webster is the Founder of AMANI™, a thought leader in Innovation, Leadership and Impact, and a catalyst for business as a force for good.

What a Company Needs to Attract the Right People

What a Company Needs to Attract the Right People

The right people are essential to a company’s success. In our view this is not limited to ‘staff’. Rather, it is the entire ecosystem of value-creating people – founders, teams, mentors, partners and investors. Through our experience, the greatest challenge is not finding the right people. It is finding great companies you want to find great people for. This is what a company needs to attract the right people and create value.

PURPOSE

A company needs to present a compelling purpose and proposition. A purpose candidates can relate to and connect with. Companies whose sole objective is to make profit with no sense of meaningful purpose, will attract a particular breed but not top talent. Purpose doesn’t have to be complicated but it has to real. And the company has got to be committed to it in practice.

PRINCIPLES

People want to ensure their own personal values will not be compromised through their work. Hence companies need to ‘walk the talk’. It is pointless and counterproductive to brandish a set of values if this is not reflected in decision-making and day-to-day business practices. For instance, an investment company that espouses high ideals may attract great people. But if in practice its investment decisions are made solely on the level of return, regardless of impact, it will not keep them.

PEOPLE

People starts with great leadership. People in positions of power may have the title but they may not necessarily be great leaders. Great leaders understand the value others bring. They also have the ability and desire to bring out the best in people. This includes: providing access to tools and resources required to succeed; a conducive environment where people feel they can contribute, where they feel safe to try, make mistakes, learn and grow; where their experience will help them excel and thrive.

People ultimately need to form a team. The team needs to consist of colleagues that resonate and have a balanced mix of different yet complimentary capabilities to get the job done. An optimised team harnesses people dynamics and fosters collaboration, trust and mutual respect. We call this the FIT – Finding Interconnecting Talent.

PERFORMANCE

High ideals are great but for a company to be successful it needs to deliver. Failure to do so will result in poor financial results and the inability to support the employees. There is no point in hiring people if you hinder them in getting the job done. So get clear on the mission and the deliverables. Moreover ensure you have the willingness and appetite to allow people the latitude they need to deliver.

PACKAGES

Companies need to ensure alignment between financial performance, desired behaviours and rewards/recognition. Whilst I would ward off any company from hiring anyone who is interested solely in the financial package, it is important for people to feel they are fairly rewarded for their efforts. Some companies have pay bands, compensation packages linked to a particular rank. Although these may be useful to HR in setting a guideline, but they are often a hindrance to the heads of the business unit who are ultimately held responsible for results. It is far wiser and more effective to view a person in terms of the value they add, adjusting the pay accordingly. So for instance a base (which can fit the bands) with a fair and measurable bonus component. This in effect shifts people away from job titles and focuses them on adding value. Companies also need to ensure the metrics they are using are in alignment with the business’s objectives and principles. Mismatched incentive programmes are a sure way to create conflict, demotivate people and create an atmosphere of resentment.

PRODUCTS

The company needs to produce or provide products and/or services that add value in terms of financial and social returns. For instance, a financial institution that provides project funding for power, water, telecoms and other infrastructure projects, thus enabling the advancement of society and a sound return. Companies also need to ensure they are mindful of the impact their product or service has along its entire lifespan, from sourcing and production to its use and disposal. Mechanisms needs to be in place to identify, eradicate and avoid negative practices.

PARTNERS

Who a company aligns themselves with and how they treat them speaks volumes about them as an organisation and as a group of people. Regardless of an organisation’s success, a level of humility, respect and fairness are essential. Companies that demonstrate arrogance based on their brand, size and supposed standing tend to breed a similar level of arrogance amongst their people. This is not the type of environment people of character opt to work in. Yes they want to work for respected organisations but acting superior is not a great way to earn respect – positive results and a proper manner of doing things are.

PROCESS

The process through which a potential candidate will be taken through is also essential. From interviewing to induction, companies need to ensure the company puts its best foot forward. It also needs to be open and honest about the challenges the company is facing – a reality check if you will.

A process which gets bogged down in HR processes is a sure way to turn off top talent. Talented individuals want to get a handle on the business environment and if they can add value. They need to understand the vision and the task at hand, and will be looking for data points that will enable them to determine if this is the type of company they are best suited for and if they are the right person to take it on.

Companies should ensure they have the ability to understand a candidate’s capabilities as well as their character – what makes them tick. Only in this way will you ensure you have people on board with the right FIT – essential for people to thrive in and add value to your business.

What a Company Needs to Attract the Right People

Character and Corporate Culture

Character and Corporate Culture

It is not in calm seas that our character and integrity are tested but in times of crisis. It is at these times that mistakes are likely to happen.

When people think of ethics and social responsibility in the corporate context, they perceive it as a simple matter of determining what is right and wrong. Since we do not live in a world where decisions are a matter of black or white but more in shades of grey, steering the right course is not always a clear cut decision. With increased diversity of cultures and nationalities in the workplace, the topic of ethics and social responsibility becomes ever more complex, and one that should be treated with attention and focus.

Every company in hiring executives seeks people with integrity and good moral standards, but how do these translate to the corporate culture?

Every organisation has a value system. But is what the company says it stands for and the value system communicated, aligned with desired behaviours, practices and reward systems? There is little point in having formal policies and procedures that prescribe one mode of behaviour, if people are positively rewarded for achievements where an alternative and ‘non-desirable’ behaviour is applauded in terms of raises, bonuses and promotions.

Sharing the value system of an organisation enables the individuals within it to look within themselves and align their values and subsequent behaviour with that of the organisation, making them stronger people and better corporate citizens. Making this a topic of continual attention in an organisation has a resultant impact on the level of openness, integrity and trust amongst colleagues. Research has shown that in organisations with such systems, people within the organisation are motivated to not only be stronger representatives but better enabled to handle turbulent times such as change or crisis management. Continual attention to ethics in the work place sensitises leaders and staff to how they want to act consistently. And this comes from the top – leaders who lead by example will set the tone for the whole organisation to follow.

Ethics programmes have also been shown to support employee growth and development. A study cited in the Wall Street Journal found a direct correlation between the level of emotional health of an executive and the results of a battery of tests on ethics.

Having ethics as part of the organisation’s agenda better prepares employees to face reality with the resultant effect that they feel more confident and ready to deal with whatever comes their way.

Another benefit is the impact ethics can have on a company’s public image if people perceive those organisations as valuing the manner in which business is conducted more than profit. Recent years have seen greater attention to this factor, with more companies reporting on their social responsibility and analysts making it part of their agenda in their valuation of company stock.

In the meantime, we need to ask ourselves how are we contributing to the sustainability and longevity of the local economy? How are we ensuring that our actions have a positive contribution for the next generation and beyond?

Authenticity and Transparency as the Cornerstone of Business

Authenticity and Transparency as the Cornerstone of Business

Use the words ‘authenticity’ and ‘transparency’ in a business meeting and you may find that an air of boredom sets in as staff steel themselves for, what they believe will be, yet another pep talk which has little to do with them and how they do their job.

So how can you explain the importance of authenticity and transparency and what do these words actually mean when we include them in our business thinking?

For me authenticity is about being yourself whether you are the CEO or the most junior member of staff. You won’t know all the answers so why pretend that you do? Create a culture where it is ok for people to speak up. If you walk around with bravado you will be intimidating others and you will, eventually, trip up. In the end that will cost you money because people will make mistakes as they are too afraid to ask for help.

Look at the way you recruit people. Do you really care about the people you recruit or have you simply decided they need to fit a certain role, act in a certain way and do their job ‘your way or the highway’?

Picking the wrong person will have an impact on your business quite apart from the cost of recruitment. If the interviewees are not encouraged to be authentic about who they really are then how will you know if they will fit? How will you know how to bring out their best and play to their strengths? One of the companies I worked with was particularly strong on this point. Since they recruited internationally, they knew that by offering someone a job they would be moving their family and their life across to the other side of the world. They wanted to be sure that the person would be happy and thrive in their role, as well as considering the needs of the family, because the consequences were far-reaching outside the workplace.

Transparency is an easy thing for companies to write in their mission statements but do they mean it? For me transparency is about being open about who they are as a business. So if they are claiming to be ethical then they need to be open about what they do and how they do it. This could be anything from where they source their material through to the treatment of workers outside of the UK.

The internet used responsibly has meant that there is no hiding place any longer for companies who choose to use sweat shops in the Far East or elsewhere. A smart phone and access to Wi-Fi means images from these places can be on YouTube within seconds of them being taken. How will your customers feel about you then?

A culture where a workforce feels valued will encourage staff to stay and to work with you as well as for you. Customers who feel you will do what you say, and you are who you claim to be, will keep coming back. Authenticity and transparency aren’t just words. They add value too, as long as you mean them.

As featured in Authenticity Rules

5 things to keep in mind if you want a great culture

5 things to keep in mind if you want a great culture

Corporate Culture

5 things to keep in mind to set a great culture

Ask a person the reason they love to travel and oftentimes they say to experience different cultures. Human beings seem to be intrigued by the social norms and ways of living of their fellow man in different cities and villages around the world. Having the experience and exposure to other cultures somehow adds a certain colour to our own lives, a certain richness.

What we are less aware of perhaps are the unique cultures we create in these environments we call workplaces. Just as the reality of visiting a country rarely reflects any possible depiction portrayed in a brochure, company culture is hard to convey by text printed in a company handbook or website, but rather better experienced by its essence, its spirit. But how can we translate something seemingly ethereal into something more tangible and why is it even important? Here are five things to keep in mind to set a great culture.

The ‘spirit’ of a company

Just as any culture around the world is formed over time through traditions, cultural norms, societal needs, forms of communication, behaviours and attitudes, so too is a corporate culture. We create the environments we work in through a combination of day-to-day interactions. Environments that come with particular qualities regarding desired and accepted behaviours, attitudes, principles and modes of communication. There is one main difference though – I am not aware of any society in the world that set out to create a particular culture intentionally, consciously. Rather the culture morphed through the ages.

Some companies morphed in the same way, directed mainly through the attitude and conduct of the board, leaders and managers, and the behaviours that were tolerated. But if you stop to think about it for a moment, through corporate culture we have an awesome opportunity. Through our actions, we can shape and form a mini-society that lends itself to our highest ideals. We can enable others to step up to the plate and be their best, to focus on and achieve a unified purpose and direction.

And quite scary in the wrong hands… So how do we get it right?

Setting the Tone

If you want to set the ‘right’ culture – start with yourself. Whether you are aware of it or not, your character, your personal conduct, value system and manner of treating others is akin to a metronome, the timekeeping device used in music to keep everyone in sync. So ask yourself some key questions: Who are you, what do you stand for, what drives you? How do you treat others? Are you a person of your word? Can you be trusted? Do you come across as friendly, approachable, aloof, firm but fair? What is your prefered style of communicating? Are you formal, structured, agenda-led, walk around the floor? How do people interact with you and react to you? What is your business ethos and how does it translate into practice?

Your people

The people you surround yourself with and the manner in which you interact with them speaks volumes. If for instance, you are smart enough (and humble enough) to realise that you are not great at everything and surround yourself with people who are ‘better’ than you, you have set the scene for greatness. That is of course if you also create the environment for them to speak their mind and you are open-minded enough to listen.

Measuring success

What does success look like for you and your company? Is it just about profit at all costs? What milestones do you measure and reward? Does the manner in which objectives are met really matter and are they taken into account? Are certain behaviours tolerated, just as long as there are results?

Aligning vision with practice

A lofty and noble vision is all well and good but it’s what you do in practice that counts. Do not underestimate the impact that your individual actions and conduct have in setting the standards and the cultural tone. So ask yourself: Do you want to create an environment in which compromising behaviours are tolerated in the name of profit? Or, do you want to generate an environment that nurtures, develops and engages competence and character, to build great companies that add value to more than just their profit margins?

As featured in WorkLab

Ask a person the reason they love to travel and oftentimes they say to experience different cultures. Human beings seem to be intrigued by the social norms and ways of living of their fellow man in different cities and villages around the world. Having the experience and exposure to other cultures somehow adds a certain colour to our own lives, a certain richness.

What we are less aware of perhaps are the unique cultures we create in these environments we call workplaces. Just as the reality of visiting a country rarely reflects any possible depiction portrayed in a brochure, company culture is hard to convey by text printed in a company handbook or website, but rather better experienced by its essence, its spirit. But how can we translate something seemingly ethereal into something more tangible and why is it even important? Here are five things to keep in mind to set a great culture.

The ‘spirit’ of a company

Just as any culture around the world is formed over time through traditions, cultural norms, societal needs, forms of communication, behaviours and attitudes, so too is a corporate culture. We create the environments we work in through a combination of day-to-day interactions. Environments that come with particular qualities regarding desired and accepted behaviours, attitudes, principles and modes of communication. There is one main difference though – I am not aware of any society in the world that set out to create a particular culture intentionally, consciously. Rather the culture morphed through the ages.

Some companies morphed in the same way, directed mainly through the attitude and conduct of the board, leaders and managers, and the behaviours that were tolerated. But if you stop to think about it for a moment, through corporate culture we have an awesome opportunity. Through our actions, we can shape and form a mini-society that lends itself to our highest ideals. We can enable others to step up to the plate and be their best, to focus on and achieve a unified purpose and direction.

And quite scary in the wrong hands… So how do we get it right?

Setting the Tone

If you want to set the ‘right’ culture – start with yourself. Whether you are aware of it or not, your character, your personal conduct, value system and manner of treating others is akin to a metronome, the timekeeping device used in music to keep everyone in sync. So ask yourself some key questions: Who are you, what do you stand for, what drives you? How do you treat others? Are you a person of your word? Can you be trusted? Do you come across as friendly, approachable, aloof, firm but fair? What is your prefered style of communicating? Are you formal, structured, agenda-led, walk around the floor? How do people interact with you and react to you? What is your business ethos and how does it translate into practice?

Your people

The people you surround yourself with and the manner in which you interact with them speaks volumes. If for instance, you are smart enough (and humble enough) to realise that you are not great at everything and surround yourself with people who are ‘better’ than you, you have set the scene for greatness. That is of course if you also create the environment for them to speak their mind and you are open-minded enough to listen.

Measuring success

What does success look like for you and your company? Is it just about profit at all costs? What milestones do you measure and reward? Does the manner in which objectives are met really matter and are they taken into account? Are certain behaviours tolerated, just as long as there are results?

Aligning vision with practice

A lofty and noble vision is all well and good but it’s what you do in practice that counts. Do not underestimate the impact that your individual actions and conduct have in setting the standards and the cultural tone. So ask yourself: Do you want to create an environment in which compromising behaviours are tolerated in the name of profit? Or, do you want to generate an environment that nurtures, develops and engages competence and character, to build great companies that add value to more than just their profit margins?

As featured in WorkLab

Water and Wealth Creation

On a trip to Kenya, we were faced with a village that required access to clean water. Their wish was to have water, to grow crop that would in turn provide them with the money to educate the boys and the girls of the community (traditionally only the boys were...

A fresh perspective on Women and Leadership

A fresh perspective on Women and Leadership

Female Leadership

A fresh perspective on Women and Leadership
It always amuses me to see the look of bewilderment when people hear that I love working in the Middle East, and even more surprised when they find out I had a successful practice in the region. This surprise is for the simple reason that I’m a woman.

I understand how there is a perception that women are not respected or highly regarded in the Middle East, therefore making it difficult to fathom how a woman could have a successful business. But in my experience, the traits that seem to be more abundant amongst women, such as insight, intuition and inclusion, seem to be trusted and appreciated in the Middle East, enabling us to not only contribute but also play our role in business

But I am just as bewildered as those who find my success in the Middle East surprising, by some of the rhetoric around women in the workplace and leadership in the UK and London specifically. A recent article on the matter pointed out that 15% of Senior Leadership roles in the City were held by women, and the majority of those by foreigners. The article went further by attributing this ‘fact’ to the foreign women’s swagger. The truth of the matter is, given that London is a global financial center, there is a strong likelihood that a senior leadership role will have a regional or global focus and if the potential candidates haven’t had any international experience, they simply don’t qualify, swagger or not.

That said, the ‘swagger’ comment did get me thinking, and led me to reflect on the great Arab women I have had the privilege of interviewing and working with. They are highly intelligent, very well-educated and extremely insightful – ingredients which are prevalent amongst many women around the world. They don’t seek to be liked but rather have the courage of their convictions. They don’t have to speak loudly or demand to be listened to, but still have their views be known and considered. They tend to speak less and act more. They are compassionate and kind but don’t tolerate fools.  But above all else, there is a particular ingredient in their presence and demeanor, described perfectly by a dear friend from the region – “we are salty not sweet”.

 

From Segregation to Sisterhood

It’s fascinating when you think about it. Yes, women in the region tend to live more segregated lives. This means that instead of competing with men, they understand and nurture the concept of sisterhood, encouraging and supporting each other. When they get older and enter the corporate realm, government or family business, they are purposeful and have a quiet self-confidence, an inner strength which is ready to come out and be deployed in a broader spectrum. And contrary to popular belief, they are welcomed in the workplace and encouraged to grow and rise through the ranks. Have they had challenges to overcome? Absolutely. Challenges have shaped their character, balancing their resilience, perseverance and determination, together with their faith, patience and belief in a higher power. Formidable indeed.

So what are some of the ingredients that help foster women’s capabilities in this way that we could instill to make our companies more balanced, diverse and better equipped to handle the changing times?

 

Vision & Purpose

If you want to attract, nurture and keep the best women, consider what difference your business makes, why it matters. Frankly, if your business isn’t concerned with anything other than profit, you are going to face challenges in finding and keeping people with character and competence – women  or men.

 

Interview From the Inside Out

If you are using an interview simply as a checkbox exercise to see if the person has the skills for a particular job, you are missing out on a great opportunity. A person’s CV is merely a scratch on the surface of not only who this person really is, but also how far their capabilities can extend. Context is key.

As a starter, why don’t you put the CV aside and get them to tell you their story. Adopt a curious mind,  seeking to learn about the person’s experiences that has brought them to the present day. This approach can open up an individual’s character, their way of thinking, approach to challenges, and the environment and factors needed to bring out their best. You never know – you could even learn something along the way.

 

Don’t Hire What You Don’t Appreciate

This may seem a bit of a shock, but frankly, if you don’t see how someone adds value to your organisation, why hire them? And if the person is onboard, why aren’t you listening to their viewpoint and perspective?  If you want yes people who just go along with what you say, you are wasting your money in hiring great people. A recorded message to yourself telling you you’re doing a good job will suffice. But if you hire us, listen to us. We have a different perspective. It may not be what you want to hear but we are here to add value. Allow us – there are skills, traits and natural capabilities just waiting to be engaged. If you don’t appreciate us, we’ll find someone who does.

 

As featured in Women’s Prospects 

It always amuses me to see the look of bewilderment when people hear that I love working in the Middle East, and even more surprised when they find out I had a successful practice in the region. This surprise is for the simple reason that I’m a woman.

I understand how there is a perception that women are not respected or highly regarded in the Middle East, therefore making it difficult to fathom how a woman could have a successful business. But in my experience, the traits that seem to be more abundant amongst women, such as insight, intuition and inclusion, seem to be trusted and appreciated in the Middle East, enabling us to not only contribute but also play our role in business

But I am just as bewildered as those who find my success in the Middle East surprising, by some of the rhetoric around women in the workplace and leadership in the UK and London specifically. A recent article on the matter pointed out that 15% of Senior Leadership roles in the City were held by women, and the majority of those by foreigners. The article went further by attributing this ‘fact’ to the foreign women’s swagger. The truth of the matter is, given that London is a global financial center, there is a strong likelihood that a senior leadership role will have a regional or global focus and if the potential candidates haven’t had any international experience, they simply don’t qualify, swagger or not.

That said, the ‘swagger’ comment did get me thinking, and led me to reflect on the great Arab women I have had the privilege of interviewing and working with. They are highly intelligent, very well-educated and extremely insightful – ingredients which are prevalent amongst many women around the world. They don’t seek to be liked but rather have the courage of their convictions. They don’t have to speak loudly or demand to be listened to, but still have their views be known and considered. They tend to speak less and act more. They are compassionate and kind but don’t tolerate fools.  But above all else, there is a particular ingredient in their presence and demeanor, described perfectly by a dear friend from the region – “we are salty not sweet”.

 

From Segregation to Sisterhood

It’s fascinating when you think about it. Yes, women in the region tend to live more segregated lives. This means that instead of competing with men, they understand and nurture the concept of sisterhood, encouraging and supporting each other. When they get older and enter the corporate realm, government or family business, they are purposeful and have a quiet self-confidence, an inner strength which is ready to come out and be deployed in a broader spectrum. And contrary to popular belief, they are welcomed in the workplace and encouraged to grow and rise through the ranks. Have they had challenges to overcome? Absolutely. Challenges have shaped their character, balancing their resilience, perseverance and determination, together with their faith, patience and belief in a higher power. Formidable indeed.

So what are some of the ingredients that help foster women’s capabilities in this way that we could instill to make our companies more balanced, diverse and better equipped to handle the changing times?

 

Vision & Purpose

If you want to attract, nurture and keep the best women, consider what difference your business makes, why it matters. Frankly, if your business isn’t concerned with anything other than profit, you are going to face challenges in finding and keeping people with character and competence – women  or men.

 

Interview From the Inside Out

If you are using an interview simply as a checkbox exercise to see if the person has the skills for a particular job, you are missing out on a great opportunity. A person’s CV is merely a scratch on the surface of not only who this person really is, but also how far their capabilities can extend. Context is key.

As a starter, why don’t you put the CV aside and get them to tell you their story. Adopt a curious mind,  seeking to learn about the person’s experiences that has brought them to the present day. This approach can open up an individual’s character, their way of thinking, approach to challenges, and the environment and factors needed to bring out their best. You never know – you could even learn something along the way.

 

Don’t Hire What You Don’t Appreciate

This may seem a bit of a shock, but frankly, if you don’t see how someone adds value to your organisation, why hire them? And if the person is onboard, why aren’t you listening to their viewpoint and perspective?  If you want yes people who just go along with what you say, you are wasting your money in hiring great people. A recorded message to yourself telling you you’re doing a good job will suffice. But if you hire us, listen to us. We have a different perspective. It may not be what you want to hear but we are here to add value. Allow us – there are skills, traits and natural capabilities just waiting to be engaged. If you don’t appreciate us, we’ll find someone who does.

 

As featured in Women’s Prospects 

Water and Wealth Creation

On a trip to Kenya, we were faced with a village that required access to clean water. Their wish was to have water, to grow crop that would in turn provide them with the money to educate the boys and the girls of the community (traditionally only the boys were...