London Tumblr meetup and Run.
It has been arranged… 2012milesin2012 and I will be at Marble Arch on Saturday 18th May, 2013 for a meet-up and run, at around 9:30 am.
All of you London tumblrs (and anyone else in the neighbourhood for that matter) are all welcome to join- would be a blast to meet you all!
It’s this Saturday y’all!!
007runner asked: That's great, I'd love to come for a run! When are you in town? I'm going to two conferences in May, so won't be around all the time.
Hey! We’re doing a tumblr run from Marble Arch by Hyde Park on Saturday 18th May from around 9:30 am… will post more details soon- hope you will be around!
Dear HR departments…
I do enjoy working for you. I do. I also enjoy getting paid for services rendered. HOWEVER, I do not appreciate when your inefficiency and lack of professionalism makes me look inefficient and unprofessional. No consultancy fee is worth that.
Please get you act together. *end rant*
I’m also ending another project with another client. This was was a lot shorter (less than a year), but has also been quite gratifying. In a meeting last week, I was able to sit back and see the managers working through problems, which a year ago, they could not, or were unable to do.
I’d like to take full credit for that, but I can’t. The CEO has really made an effort to be more inclusive, more supportive and clearer on what he wants. It has made quite an impact. My role? whisper in his ear all the things I notice about his staff and the culture while I implemented a Performance management and process improvement project. He listened, took action, and is now reaping the rewards.
Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. Is the work over? No way. But they got the right start, and in my line of business, that goes a long way.
The beginning and the end
I’m in the process of writing a report to conclude a 6-year old project. That is funny because in the initial proposal way back in 2007, it was supposed to be a 6-month long project.
So we missed a couple deadlines, a couple people got fired, some left voluntarily and other parts were put on hold countless times, but it has been one of the most fulfilling projects of my whole life. These clients are now my friends, and I know more about the company that some of their own employees- in fact they treat me as a member of staff, and have been told as such many times.
But it has to end. And guess what? There is still a lot to do. Here is to great work and great clients.
Roaring back into work mode. Clients, meeting, projects. Time to buckle down and make this year amazing.
It’s hard to be optimistic when you see so many people being treated, and treating others so badly at work. It was hard for me. But now its time to be part of the solution. Bring it.
The Denmark Experience
At the end of September 2010, I had a shadowing opportunity with one of my company’s international partners, Assessment and Development Consultants (A&DC) on a Talent Centre inDenmark. The name of the host company was Grundfos- one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers, covering approximately 50% of the world market. The company also has just over 18,000 employees across 41 countries worldwide.
The 3-day event took place at The Poul Due Jensen Academy, located in Bjerringbro,Denmark. Set in the idyllic Scandinavian countryside, the Academy is an impressive structure, including many classrooms, offices, conference facilities, an auditorium, gym, dining area and guest rooms. It was the perfect setting for an intense, 3 day event, where I was able to witness the integration of People and Strategy in a global organisation functioning perfectly.
The aim of the Talent Centre was simple- to help the company identify Global Talents- those individuals that displayed key characteristics that would enable Grundfos to achieve its strategic goals- way into the future.
Back in early 2009, Grundfos engaged with A&DC to design and implement a robust talent assessment process to determine whether nominated employees had global potential and whether their strengths identified them as being more of an innovator, specialist or leader.
‘Talents’ as they were called, came from all over the world, including counties such as Germany, Turkey, India, the United States and other parts of Europe. In all, there were 13 Talents at this particular exercise. Grundfos has an internal procedure whereby through the recommendation of line managers and other performance indicators, Talents are selected and have the opportunity to participate in this process several times a year.
Along with the expertise of A&DC, Grundfos developed a Talent Centre program that was an energising and stretching event from which all participants would emerge with positive experiences and learning for the future. The Talent Centre is part of the wider “Talent Engine” – which focuses on the development of staff within Grundfos.
In order to design and deliver an objective, fair and consistent Talent Centre for Grundfos, A&DC needed to establish the criteria for what identified an individual as a global ‘Talent’. Through consultation with key stakeholders across the globe, including the Grundfos Group President and Regional Managers, 10 Talent criteria were identified.
Following the diagnostic phase, A&DC then designed a Talent Centre, based on ‘Day in the Life’ principles that provided comprehensive and reliable information on each individual and could be used for assessment and development purposes. The Centre measured ability, personality and motivation, to provide a holistic view of each Talent.
The Talent Centre process involved some pre-work and a two and a half day Centre. This included a number of scenarios utilising an analysis exercise, group discussion, presentation and concluded with a crisis management exercise. This crisis exercise stretched all the participants, using a number of linked scenarios which required interaction with technical experts, media panel interviews, presentations to the board and a number of group discussions throughout the process.
The elements within the crisis exercise enabled the specific roles of specialist, leader and innovator to be assessed through connected scenarios in a highly realistic setting. There were also reflection elements to look at how participants were able to consider their experiences and demonstrate elements of learning agility. A self-development module was followed by an in-depth 1:1 behavioural and psychometric feedback sessions and the creation of an individual personal development plan. The evaluation process completed after the Talent Centre showed that the ‘Talents’ had benefitted from the exposure to strategic assignments, feedback and networking opportunities.
What I experience over the 3-day period was a very intense, coordinated and well managed intervention that would begin as early as 7:00am and would go well past 10:00pm for the first two days. The Talents took part i several simulated exercises, which saw them sometimes working alone, one on one or in teams, all designed to have them elicit behaviour that the trained assessors could observe and quantify.
Even though most of the participants had never met and were from different parts of the world, soon they were all immersed in the process and worked as a team- even when language proved to be a barrier, as English was not everyone’s first language.
The Assessors were all Grundfos staff- some Senior Operational Managers, some from the People and Strategy Function who manage the Talent Engine. The Talent Centre even used individuals as Roleplayers in the Crisis Exercise who had been identified as Global Talents in previous Centres. All Assessors were fully trained, some of them in the 2 days prior to the start of the Centre, so that the process would have been fresh in their minds. It was clear that the Academy staff had gained a lot of experience in implementing the process before, and even when there were unforeseen issues, these where quickly resolved. I soon learned that when planning an event of this scale, things will not always got according to plan, but all contingencies have to be planned for in advance, because on a Centre, time is critical to its success.
As with all Development Centres, feedback is critical, so after a day and a half of participating in exercises, the Assessors went through a very detailed ‘wash up’ session, and prepared notes to give the Talents individual feedback. The scoring and criteria were clear, so after many hours of deliberation, the Assessor team quantified their results, shared their experiences with each other, and prepared their brief for the one on one feedback sessions. The Talents also received feedback on their psychometric profiles as well from Psychologists trained in this specific personality questionnaire.
At the end, Global Talents were identified, and all participants (whether Global Talents or Talents) had to develop a Personal Development Plan (PDP), where they had to identify specific actions going forward for improved performance.
Those identified as Global Talents were provided with a welcome pack and a USB in the shape of a key that gave them access to “The Greenhouse”. This metaphorical place gives the Global Talents access to development opportunities including strategic projects, mentoring, coaching, networking and master classes. Those identified as Talents are provided follow up development within their specific business units– managed by their own Line Manager and the regional HR representative. So even if not successful as a “Global Talent”, all individuals are given the opportunity to follow up on their development.
Key Learning Points
The Framework. In order to be successful such an initiative must be directly linked to the Vision,Mission and Strategy of the organisation, and must have the full support of the top management. This was clear in the Grundfos scenario, as shown by the commitment of the Assessors, who were all senior employees.
The Planning. The key staff that is involved in the project should work closely with an experienced consultant/consulting firm. Some companies may think that they have the internal capacity to deliver this type of training, but a well qualified external consultant can bring experience from other similar interventions, as well as give some ‘outsider’s objectivity’ to the process.
The Execution. The timetable is the most important component on a Talent Centre, and managing it will determine just how successful the intervention is. It is important to think of all contingencies, and still have some flexibility to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
The Follow-up. A well structured post-Centre programme must be in place to support the participants; otherwise most of the key learning points and developmental opportunities can be lost.
All in all it was a great experience- and a standard that Beyond Consulting Limited will achieve and maintain on all of its client interventions.