As we come to the end of our Barometer on Change 2018-19 campaign, we have been reflecting on our findings and the discussions we have had with our clients. So, what have we learnt?
The Moorhouse Barometer has been running since 2012, and this year we have taken our campaign further than ever before. In October 2018, we welcomed 125 clients to a successful launch event at the OXO tower, for a discussion focussing on Courage, Agility and Talent.
Since then, we have hosted nine round-table seminars, enabling our clients and other senior professionals from different organisations to come together, deep-diving into specific industry challenges related to the three themes. Through these discussions we have engaged with over 200 senior professionals, covering a range of topics on how different industries and departments can encourage courageous leadership, adopt enterprise agility, and harness and develop talent at all levels.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn
Courage comes in many shapes and sizes and means different things to different people, but we found this was a topic that truly resonated with lots of our clients. One of the elements discussed under the theme of courageous leadership was the ability to make bold decisions. Sometimes being courageous means stopping something and walking away when you know it is not working, rather than fighting a losing battle. However, many of our clients highlighted the importance of learning from mistakes and sharing the learning in order to continue to improve. This needs to be balanced as there are some areas of operations in various industries such as transport and health that cannot fail, therefore organisations need to identify areas where the learning can be done safely.
To embed courage across an organisation it needs to be modelled by leaders and celebrated when the opportunity arises. Our conversations centred around how each individual can take some simple steps to being more courageous and drive the right behaviours to ensure courage becomes an organisational asset
The approach to adopting agile needs to be done in an agile way!
Many of our clients stressed the difficulties in being agile when operating in complex environments, something shared across industries from Telecommunications to Financial Services and the Health sector. Despite this, most clients agreed that striking a balance between agility and structure is crucial to being able to adapt to the increasing pace of change.
Our research showed that 57% of companies take longer than nine months to respond to change, while only 18% can react within a financial quarter. Our clients suggested that organisations can increase agility by starting small and encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship, allowing people to fail as long as learning and growth was obtained along the way. Once benefits have been recognised at the small scale, the culture and ways of working should be rolled out across organisations. A number of our clients across sectors including Transport and Financial Services, have started this journey by introducing innovation hubs, allowing people to develop and progress ideas and then rolling out successful projects and approaches to the wider organisation.
Leaders need to equip people with a compass, not a map
With technology strongly influencing ways of working across all sectors, much of our discussions on harnessing talent centred around recognising that the skills required by organisations are changing. The ability of an organisation to be courageous and agile is dependent on its people, highlighting the importance of attracting and retaining the very best people.
Honesty and transparency play a crucial role in securing the best people for the job. Once a resource is onboard it is important to continue to challenge and engage by allowing them to play to their strengths and interests. This is particularly the case for organisations undergoing mergers and acquisitions, where individuals need to be engaged and excited about the changes and opportunities that are created. Many organisations stressed the importance of making their roles attractive in order to interest new graduates and rethinking their recruitment processes in order to do so. Enabling flexible working, both in terms of hours and location, along with offering other perks, is crucial. Employees are more discerning than ever before and working patterns, along with the modern workforce, are changing and organisations need to stay competitive.
Reflecting on the campaign, we have highlighted the importance for organisations to allow space for people to be courageous, by encouraging the right behaviour as well as developing the processes which allow agility no matter the size of the organisation. As part of this, there is a need for leaders to develop strong relationships with their people and supporting them to be their best, in an environment which allows, and even encourages, them to fail fast and adapt quickly. Our clients have found that these are essential considerations to ensure their organisations are set up for success.
Visit our Barometer web page to read our report or any of our follow up perspectives for a specific industry focused view. Please also look out for future announcements as we start to prepare for our next barometer campaign in 2020!
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