A Call To Transform

Last week in transform your organisation we delved deep into the concept of TRANSFORMATION. We discussed how Organisations would have to look at how they equip their cultures with the lessons learnt from the advancement of the digital titans. Millennials are coming to work with an entirely new set of expectations. It used to be that strategy was set from the top, but the digital age has show that ideas should be judged on an equal footing. That what matters is not your credentials but your contribution. Hierarchies should be built from the bottom up.

The human capabilities that contribute to competitive success can be arrayed in a hierarchy. At the bottom is obedience – an ability to take direction and follow rules. This is the baseline. Next up the ladder is diligence. Diligent employees are accountable. They don’t take shortcuts. They are conscientious and well organised. Knowledge and intellect are on the next step. Most companies work hard to hire intellectually gifted employees. They value smart people who are eager to improve their skills and willing to borrow best practice from others.

This is often where the talent management stops.

I’m not suggesting that obedience is literally worth nothing. A company where no one who followed any rules would soon descend into anarchy. Instead, I’m arguing that rule-following employees are worth zip in terms of the competitive advantage they generate. In a world with 4 billion nearly destitute souls, all eager to climb the ladder of economic progress, it’s not hard to find biddable, hardworking employees. And what about intelligence? For years we have been told we’re living in the knowledge economy; but as knowledge itself becomes commoditized, it will lose much of its power to create competitive advantage.

Today, obedience, diligence and expertise can be bought for next to nothing. From Bangalore to the Phillipines they have become global commodities. A simple example: turn over your i-phone, and you will find six words engraved on the back that foretell the future of competition: “Designed in California. Made in China.”

We need a new talent model. One that is equipped to take on transformation.

We need employees who are aligned to PURPOSE and display initiative. People with initiative don’t wait to be asked and don’t wait to be told. They seek out new challenges and are always searching for new ways to add value. Higher still lays the gift of CREATIVITY. Creative people are inquisitive and irrepressible. They’re not afraid of saying stupid things. And finally, at the top, lies PASSION. Passion can make people do stupid things, but it’s the secret sauce that turns intent into accomplishment. People with passion climb over others and refuse to give up.

Passion is contagious and turns one-person crusades into mass movements.

If we were to measure the relative contribution that each of these human capabilities makes to value creation, recognizing we now live in a world where efficiency and discipline are table stakes, the scale would look something like this:

We need to make sure that all people have the chance to do what they should be doing, to discover the Freedom within themselves and in their own way. It is my desire to bring these stories to life, to break existing paradigms and to inspire you to ‘dare, design and do’. To make the best of ourselves and of each other, we urgently need to embrace a richer conception of human capacity. We need to embrace our own sense of Transformation. A personal revolution is awaiting!

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