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Dan Pink

5 Takeaways From The Talent Summit

Dan Pink

 

Kate Feeney is a Learning and Development Consultant at Insights who was amongst 600 guests who attended The Talent Summit on March 1st 2017 at the Convention Centre Dublin. See her original post on LinkedIn

 

Here are her 5 takeaways from the event:

 

1.     Sinead Kane is a Visionary

”I could choose to be blind, or I could choose to be a visionary. I chose to be a visionary.”

 

You might know Sinead as the Cork woman, with 5% vision, who ran 7 marathons on 7 continents, in 7 days. What you might not know about Sinead, is that she studied for her law degree 3 words at a time –painstakingly– using a magnifying glass. What you may also not know is that Sinead couldn’t secure a job as a solicitor after graduation because – employers were blinded to her potential, by her white cane.

 

Sinead Kane Talent Summit 2017

 

Sinead took a voluntary position, and commuted from Cork to Dublin – a casual 6-hour daily commute – for 6 months. The takeaway for me here was: we’re kidding ourselves if we think we’ve cracked diversity and inclusion, and the time has come to address it. This message was reinforced by Director of Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Services, EY – Olivia McEvoy who eloquently noted:

“millennials are intolerant of intolerance, and they ought to be”.

 

 

2.     Allow for Leaders in the Pack

Rather than being leaders of the pack, managers who facilitate a team’s development of leadership capability – win out. Bernard Brogan, Dublin superstar and Commercial Director of Pep Talk, put the success of the Dublin team, in part, down to the fact that management have encouraged the team to lead from within. In reviewing their success, or failure on the pitch – Brogan noted that the Dublin team are encouraged to come up with their own solutions and recommendations. New squad members are encouraged to lead training exercises, whilst more established players are asked to follow the lead of the newbies. Perhaps it’s this player empowerment that has nudged the Dubs to repeated All-Ireland success (perhaps it’s also influenced in part by our disproportionately large talent pool/population – before someone trolls me!).

Pep-Talk founder Michelle Fogarty and former HR Leader at Twitter EMEA, also emphasized the need for leaders to be honest about the challenges they’re facing in the recruitment process – and to invite candidates to come and help solve them. Later in the day, author, Dan Pink, sang from the same hymn sheet – reminding us that no one has ever sung the praises of a manager who: “watched my every move”.

 

Bernard Brogan Talent Summit 2017

 

3.     Be a Culture Crafter (and Keeper)

Clodagh Logue shared her experience of crafting the culture at Fitbit, EMEA. It was very compelling to hear how the mission of Fitbit, to empower and inspire you to live a healthier, more active life, has been translated into an organisational culture by Clodagh and her colleagues. The mission, for example, is reflected in the goals of employees (everyone’s working towards a wellness goal of some description); the flexibility of working hours, and in the office fit out here in Dublin (yep, there is a meeting room with treadmills lined up opposite each other).

A particularly timely takeaway from Clodagh was in the importance of not just signalling the culture you want through signs, policies and symbols, but also protecting that culture by addressing behaviour that runs counter to the promise of that culture.

(I say timely because: Uber).

The type of culture that gets crafted of course is influenced in large part by who’s at the helm. We heard from Darrell Hughes, Deputy HR Director at Ryanair, that they don’t do slogans on the wall. It’s easy to conjure an image of Michael O’Leary rolling his eyes at such a thing.

Finally, culture is heavily influenced by the long-term strategy those in leadership employ. Jonathan Campbell of Social Talent shared compelling research on the model of organisational design / strategy that yields the best results. Exec summary: the commitment model, which employees are invested in and partnered with over as long a period as possible, is by far the most successful.

 

 

 

4.     Know Thy Organisation

Shane McCauley, Director of People Systems and Analytics at Twitter, shared the outcome of organisational research that they’ve conducted into what their people want from their employee experience. By Shane’s own admission – there was nothing ground breaking in the research output. People want: to learn and grow, a great manager, challenging work, team work, great co-workers, and total reward.

What is potentially ground breaking is that Shane and his team at Twitter are endeavoring to put their research into action to fight attrition. Therein lies the art and science of organisational development.

Alison Hodgson, Country HR Director for McDonald’s, also called out how studying their own workforce has shaped their strategy regarding recruitment. Research revealed that working-mothers, for example, really like working at McDonald’s because of the flexibility it affords. Knowing this means McDonald’s know who to target, with their recruitment ads – to find people who will thrive in their organisation.

 

 

5.     Do – Learn – Re-Do

In 2016, Lieutenant Commander Darragh Kirwan, and his crew, rescued 14,000 people whilst deployed on a humanitarian mission to the Mediterranean. In explaining the preparation involved for such a mission, the Commander referenced the defence forces learning philosophy which is: train for the known and educate for the unknown.

My takeaway regarding the approach the Defence Forces takes to education is: the recognition of the importance of reflection – in tackling the unknown. After every element of the operation, the crew conducted a wash-up session to codify what worked, what didn’t, and what to do next time. How often do we do this with precision in corporate learning?

Posted by Kate Feeney, Learning and Development Consultant at Insights on 7 March 2017

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Irish jobs market reaches 20-year high, as office re-entry drives unprecedented levels of recruitment activity

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Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements over April, May, and June 2021. The number of placements during this period is higher than any other quarter in the recruitment company’s 20-year history. Current figures are up 6% on the previous record set in 2019 before the pandemic. As one of the largest recruiters in Ireland, Sigmar has offices across the country and is present in all professional sectors. The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements breaking all records in the month of May, with June accounting for the second-highest month ever. Commenting on the rebound of the labour market, Sigmar founding Director, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “The jobs market in Ireland has never been stronger or more buoyant than it currently is. We’re seeing several macro trends converge all at once, which is creating significant churn in the market. Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunities no longer bound by location. This is coupled with a rising tide of consumer confidence, as many professionals find themselves in a stronger financial position than before the pandemic. “The last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, and the humdrum of lockdown has created a desire for change which is now resulting in unprecedented numbers of people moving jobs. Employee loyalty is increasingly under question, with remote work being less enjoyable, many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.” IT accounted for one-third of all job placements throughout the quarter, followed in order by Financial Services, Sales & Marketing, Accountancy, Life Science & Manufacturing, Office Support, Public Sector, Construction, Professional Services. Business confidence has also grown steadily over the course of the year, as vaccination gathered momentum. The “low-touch economy” is booming is sectors such as e-commerce, digital, and logistics. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: “The resurgence of permanent recruitment is somewhat unique to how we’ve rebounded from previous downturns, where we typically saw flexible work return quicker.” Although the vast majority of job placement in Q2 were understandably remote, Sigmar reports that the tide is beginning to change with the majority of employers now committing to hybrid work over the coming three months. Mac Giolla Phádraig advises: “As we now choose our workplaces, at a time when the power dynamic has shifted to the employee, employers need to ensure adequate work practices to reconnect the workforce with the workplace equitably. There is an inherent risk that new workforce inequities may emerge, such as “proximity bias”, where those closest to the centre of influence get greater recognition and therefore promotion opportunities as opposed to remote workers. When it comes to individual contribution the opposite could be argued that remote workers get the benefit of having less in-office distractions and their output is therefore greater.” Mac Giolla Phádraig likens remote work to long-distance relationships, which in many cases don’t work out. “We’ve gone from “living” with our employees in an office environment to long-distance relationships, which often sees commitment recede over time. The context of location also opens up new experiences and possibilities, which are now being explored on a scale never before seen.” He adds, “if we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. It’s now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”