Saturday, July 18, 2015
“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.” —
A no holds barred discussionalways enjoyed at my former companies was to walk around the floor at 10 am every morning and around 3 in the afternoon. Each day I would stop by someone’s desk to see what they were working on. This created a bond, and if they did not see me they would seek me out.
“MBWA” is not new
Posted by Ron Thomas at 3:34 AM
I am a big fan of Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks. In reading this statement above, Schultz described how his company faltered and lost its way. It strayed from coffee into a host of activities which basically begin the slow drip of non-profitability.
This statement is kind of a back to basics approach, but it would make a great mission statement. It would also make a great leader’s mandate.
How is that, you may ask? How many times have you spoken to a senior leader, and in the midst of that conversation, they were checking email, fiddling with their phone, or basically doing something else? Yes, they pride themselves on multi-tasking, but are they really listening?
Posted by Ron Thomas at 3:26 AM
Friday, July 3, 2015
“This may sound crazy, but it’s hard for us when someone turns down a raise,”
That was a recent comment from the Board President at the University of Cincinnati. Not only that, but it’s the third year in a row the university chief, President Santa Ono, has donated his bonus.
Since 2013, he has turned down his six-figure bonus and declined a raise. His reasoning is that he donates it to various funds and to help the college students.
What does leadership look like?
Posted by Ron Thomas at 6:32 AM
This is a question that I am hit with as I intro my presentation. It literally takes my breath away. My response is we can discuss that after I am finished.
But, I need a change in mindset from cost to expense. If you look at employee development as an expense, I may be wasting both of our times.
This approach took courage, but after a while, I realized that if that is the way that executives look at engagement, I know that I am in the wrong place.
A few statistics we all need to consider
This takes me back the notion that employees are our “greatest or most important asset.” Are they really? Those buzzwords should be outlawed.
Posted by Ron Thomas at 4:03 AM
Thursday, June 18, 2015
“Can I see a show of hands of people that watch CNBC or any other business channel? Can I also see a show of hands of those that read the business section of your newspaper?”
Both those questions were asked over the past two weeks at different HR conferences [the HR Leaders Africa Summit held in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Lebanon HR Summit]. I decided to ask those questions and I was shocked by the number of responses. Maybe two or three hands went up, and there were at least 50 people in the room in both cases.
And you want a seat where?
My response was, “and you want to be strategic business partners?” My next question was, “what are the major discussions within your industry?” Again, the response was blank stares.
Posted by Ron Thomas at 3:16 AM
“No, that will not work. I leave for holiday on the 8th of June and will not return till around the 15thof July.”
That was the response from a Chief Learning Officer who we have been trying to get together for a meeting. However, it hit me as he told me this that yes, this was vacation season. But more importantly, he would be taking close to five (5) weeks off.
The summer holiday season is upon us and this is a common refrain from expats throughout this region (I work in Dubai, in the Middle East). This is a common practice here, and the only people who it gives pause to are people like me.
Vacation is no big deal
Posted by Ron Thomas at 2:57 AM
This past week I participated as conference chair for the first ever workforce analytics conference in the Workforce Analytics Forum that was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.the Middle East —
It was amazing to see the various industries from telecom to health care, privately owned to multi-nationals, presenting their analytics and wrapping it into a business case.
I remarked in my closing statement that this level of rigor and alignment would not have been possible even a few years back. But now, to have a conference dedicated to this new level of HR was astounding.
Welcome to the club
Posted by Ron Thomas at 2:46 AM
Monday, June 1, 2015
“We challenge you to find a consumer mobile offer available in the UAE that is better than the offersyou can get with Etisalat,”read the company’s website. “We promise to match or beat any offer, guaranteeing you that with Etisalat, you will always get the best prices.”
The “big brother” here in the Middle East recently has been the marketing campaign by our local telecom Etisilat [In the U.S., think ATT or Verizon]. Their marketing campaign was called the #Etisilat Challenge, and it challenged consumers to find a better deal than their offerings.
However, what happened next was not what they expected.
The pendulum has swung
Posted by Ron Thomas at 8:18 AM
"I arrived early excited about my first day and my first real job from college. I just could not believe how disorganized they were. It was like nothing you said. As a matter of fact, they were not expecting me until the following week. When I showed her the letter, she had to make phone calls to HR. It was a total mess. I knew then that I would not be here long.”
That short message was told to me by my daughter, who after finishing college, got her first “real” job. Because of my background in HR, I told her what the first day would probably be like since this was a well-known brand.
I had flashbacks of that encounter a few weeks back as I gave a presentation around that theme at the Global HR Summit in Doha, Qatara last week.
Going on that first date
Posted by Ron Thomas at 7:59 AM