Monday, January 23, 2012

Leadership is so Yesterday!

Bob Kelleher, a noted speaker, consultant, author, and founder of The Employee Engagement Group, a global consulting firm that works with leadership teams to implement best-in-class leadership and employee engagement programs is co-organizing the A/E/C Industry HR Summit this March in San Francisco. He has an amazing revelation he’d like to share with you:

After spending a career helping companies engage their employees to drive business results, I suddenly realized that having engaged employees by itself is not the answer. I still believe engagement is the secret sauce that separates you from your competition, but engagement, along with profit, revenue growth, innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction, are by themselves all outcomes of something bigger.

Employee engagement, profit, growth, and client satisfaction by themselves are not sustainable. Neither is solid leadership. Leadership, traditionally defined as the ability to lead people, build fellowship, and make money, is so yesterday! Today, leadership is about creativeship; defined as the creation of sustainable cultures and business models. Creativeship will allow a business to compete and thrive in this world of unprecedented technological advances, globalization, shifting economic drivers, government intervention, changing workforce demographics, vastly different motivational drivers with Gen X, and the emergence of corporate social responsibility as a motivational driver.

For firms to be sustainable, they need to shift their leadership model from the historical definition to creativeship and invest their energies and resources in six prominent and overlapping business priorities: Purpose, Engagement, Performance, Innovation, Branding, and Growth. Following are brief highlights if these six priorities for creativeship:

Purpose. Organizations need to articulate both their “what we do” and their “why we do it.” A firm’s employment value proposition (EVP) needs to identify its “why” if they want to retain, attract and hire the best employees of tomorrow.

Engagement. Luckily, we’re seeing evidence that more and more leadership teams are asking their human resources and organizational development staffs to build engaged workforces. According to December 2010’s Economic Intelligence Unit, 84% of C-Suite survey respondents reported that that “disengaged employees” is one of the biggest threats to their business. Successful initiatives will link engagement efforts to high performance while minimizing employee satisfaction goals. The last thing you want is a team of satisfied but underperforming employees.

Performance. Creating sustainable cultures of performance at both the company and individual level is key.

Innovation. Creating cultures of innovation fosters both engagement and sustainability. Companies fail when they cease evolving their product or service, or internal processes. Creating cultures of innovation and sustainability requires investing today’s cash to discover tomorrow’s new technologies, products, services, geographies, and approaches.

Branding. Social media is a huge engagement, staffing, retention, and increasingly, branding tool. The benefits of linking one’s employment brand to one’s service or product brand, a process called product/employment co-branding, is essential. But now, in order to build sustainable cultures and business models, a third dimension is necessary - tri-branding. Tri-branding occurs when companies build tenacious customer brand loyalty and passion – a process made easier today with the emergence of social media as an everyday communications (and branding) tool.

Growth. The old business adage, “Grow or Die” is at the core of creativeship. In this era of globalization and technological advances, companies need to understand that they will perish if they don’t evolve, grow, expand, and morph. Companies who are local need to think regional; companies who are regional need to think national; companies who are national need to think global. At the employee level, creativeship is about creating cultures of personal growth and development.

For more information on creativeship and what it means for your firm, register for PSMJ’s upcoming A/E/C Industry Human Resources Summit. The HR Summit is a senior level HR-oriented event specifically designed to address the increasing needs and demands of senior leaders of HR, as well as other key executives who deal with critical employee and firm issues on a daily basis. Through panel discussions and best practices presentations, you experience successful real-life case studies and receive A/E/C survey results, while networking and asking your peers for their proven solutions to problems just like yours.

For more information, click here to download the program brochure or contact our Education Department at or 617-965-0055.

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