3 tips for attracting and retaining talent

Each week GGC Principal Gail Golden lets us take a look at her open tabs to see what’s going on in the world of workplace psychology. Here are her insights on the week’s news….

You run a business in an industry where competition for top talent is gruesome. Not only that, but your industry is being disrupted from several directions. How do you attract and retain the best people so you can innovate quickly? According to Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky, the key is to listen – to your employees and to your clients. It sounds simple, but his article shows how demanding it really is. It means getting out of your office to engage with employees at all levels of the company. It means road trips to spend time with key clients. And it means keeping an open mind to others’ priorities and perspectives. GGC is proud to have partnered with Weber Shandwick through the past decade of turbulence, and we applaud Polansky’s vision and his emphasis on creating the right culture to make magic happen.

5 tips for winning a negotiation

Each week GGC Principal Gail Golden lets us take a look at her open tabs to see what’s going on in the world of workplace psychology. Here are her insights on the week’s news….

This week I thought I’d let my colleagues answer two pressing management questions. The first comes from Molex CEO Martin Slark, who spoke to the Executives’ Club of Chicago last week. The key responsibility of a business leader is to create value for the company and the customers he or she serves. And how do you create that value? According to Slark, there are four essential elements:

  • a foundation of integrity
  • clear vision
  • a focus on satisfying customers’ desires
  • creative destruction

Slark pointed to three companies as examples of creative destruction. The world’s largest transportation company owns no vehicles (Uber). The world’s largest hospitality company owns no properties (Airbnb). And the world’s largest retail company owns no stores (Amazon). By providing value to their customers, these businesses have built a new world!

Gail Golden

This week in the workplace: Management pitfalls

Each week GGC Principal Gail Golden lets us take a look at her open tabs to see what’s going on in the world of workplace psychology. Here are her insights on the week’s news….

I spent Tuesday at the Emerson Exchange in Denver, where I spoke on the subject of women and innovation. It was stimulating and challenging to engage with an audience of 250 high-powered technical professionals, most of them women engineers. My presentation focused on how encouraging innovation requires three different skill sets:

  • Creating an environment where people are empowered to imagine and communicate innovative ideas often
  • Using a rigorous process to edit out most of the ideas and concentrate on the ones which will add the most value
  • Gaining alignment with key decision-makers, so the company will pursue winning innovations

This week in the workplace: Oct. 9

Each week GGC Principal Gail Golden lets us take a look at her open tabs to see what’s going on in the world of workplace psychology. Here are her insights on the week’s news….

The big news this week is the Cubs’ postseason run, but it’s not just changes on the field that brought them there. Behind the scenes, the Human Resources staff has been transforming the organization. The department polled employees to develop “The Cubs Way,” a set of values that determines whether someone will be a good fit. Then they used it for hiring: replacing generalists with specialists, finding “strategic doers” who can get the job done, and seeking out young talent to groom and promote — just like the team itself. Throughout the process, the VP of HR, Bryan Robinson, has kept his eye on the prize: “To win a World Series, preserve Wrigley Field and be a good neighbor.” Go Cubs!

This week in the workplace: Oct. 2

Each week GGC Principal Gail Golden lets us take a look at her open tabs to see what’s going on in the world of workplace psychology. Here are her insights on the week’s news….

The big number this week: $12 trillion. If women were equal in the workplace it would add 19 percent to the U.S. GDP by 2025, according to McKinsey, and $12 trillion to $28 trillion across the world. Check out these fascinating tables.

Why Boomers and Millennials should join forces at work

The clash of generations in the workplace is so clichéd at this point it’s even getting its own movie — The Intern premiered last weekend, with Anne Hathaway as a young CEO and Robert de Niro as her new intern. The premise is highly improbable, but due to a thoughtful script and some fine acting, the movie succeeds in provoking us to think about the challenges and successes of a 70-year-old man and his young colleagues learning to work together.  

Journalists and consultants are making a ton of money talking about vast generational differences. Boomers are supposed to be hard-working, loyal, old-fashioned and resistant to change. Millennials are typecast as self-centered, entitled and incapable of meaningful face-to-face relationships. Most of these alleged differences are supported by little or no research. But that doesn’t seem to stop us from repeating them – and allowing these prejudices to distort our perceptions of each other.

“Women in Innovation” October 13

Gail Golden will be speaking on “Women in Innovation” at The Emerson Exchange in Denver on October 13.

As industry and technology continue to advance, companies are focusing on how to create competitive advantage. There is wide-spread consensus that one of the keys to this competitive advantage is to foster innovation and creativity – finding new solutions to old problems as well as pushing forward the boundaries of what we think and do. The challenge is that many companies have a culture and a leadership style which actually stifles innovation, making it challenging to engage, attract, and retain a diverse and innovative workforce.

Gail’s workshop will identify barriers to innovation and and strengthen skills in cultivating a diverse workforce that leads women and men to engage in an innovative business climate.

Driving Cultural Change to Drive Business Results

A global retailer was facing increased competition and was fighting to maintain and grow its market share.  The senior team realized they needed to fundamentally restructure the relationship between the corporate leadership and the store personnel.  Their goal was to empower the people who were closest to the customers, so that their change initiatives were clearly linked to customers’ needs and wants.  

Developing Interpersonal Finesse

Dan (not his real name), an Executive Vice President in a professional services firm, was under consideration for promotion to President of the company. As a leader of one of the firm’s largest territories, he had been highly successful in increasing revenues and growing his team. He had a reputation as a tough, aggressive, competitive leader who knew how to get the job done. In order to move from a regional to an enterprise-wide leadership role, Dan needed to build strong strategic relationships with peers across the company. This required him to modify his leadership style, emphasizing collaborative skills and softening his competitive style.

Developing High Potential Leaders

The senior leaders of a major financial services institution wanted to ensure that the next generation of leaders was adequately prepared to step into senior leadership roles.  They knew that it is usually more economical and effective for companies to grow their internal talent rather than compete for top talent from the external market.  Each senior leader had identified high potential talent within his or her division of the company, and a psychological assessment company had provided profiles of each of the identified high potential leaders.  The senior team wanted to provide a targeted, challenging leadership development program to accelerate the growth of the identified cohort.  

A Faltering Executive

An executive in a financial services organization was experiencing conflict with her peers, who saw her as arrogant and domineering. They perceived her as over-stepping her authority and felt she was willing to step on others to further her own career. They experienced her interpersonal style as rude, abrasive, and condescending. Others felt she did not listen to their point of view and took credit for their work. Her manager was tired of people coming into his office to complain about her. The company leaders wanted to retain her because of her technical expertise and business acumen. However, they were considering terminating her because of the negativity she aroused.

Executive Presence

A talented young director in a large, global packaged goods company had been selected to participate in the company’s high-potential leadership development program. The first step in the program was an initial assessment with a consultant from Gail Golden Consulting. In the interview, it was clear that the director exhibited many leadership strengths, including high intelligence, strong analytic abilities, and a drive for execution. However, her interpersonal impact led others to underestimate her leadership abilities. Her dress was very casual, her posture and eye contact did not convey confidence, and her voice was quiet and lacked enthusiasm.

Improving the Relationship between the CEO and the Board in a Non-Profit Company

The Board of Directors of a large, national non-profit organization was dissatisfied with the performance of the CEO. Two years earlier, the Board had determined that the rapid growth of the organization required a CEO who could demonstrate a new skill set that was beyond the capabilities of the then CEO. They elevated their COO to CEO and the former CEO became a Board member.

The new CEO demonstrated strong leadership in a number of areas. Not surprisingly, he was a highly effective operational leader, as well as an effective external voice for the organization. However, the Board found him to be overly timid, lacking initiative, and weak in his strategic thinking. They were concerned that he did not have the vision and forcefulness to take the organization to the next stage of its development.