I’m listening to the opening keynote at CIPD13 by Gareth Jones and Rob Goffee, who are talking about creating great places to work.
They argue that effective leadership excites people to exceptional performance, and exceptional performance is not a luxury for organisations, but a necessity for survival.
People want effective leaders, and they want those leaders to be authentic. But authentic leadership needs authentic organisations. The new task of leadership is to create organisations in which employees can find their authentic selves, and follow their dreams. People spend most of their lives at work – so employees need to be able to be themselves there.
Leaders must be able to answer the question: ‘why would anyone want to work here?’
Goffee and Jones believe that employees want these things, in their dreams.
– Difference. Not just diversity, but a chance to be different, to celebrate difference. Cohesion without homogenisation.
– Radical honesty. To know what is really going on. No spin. No sanitisation. Share information, don’t hoard it. Tell the truth before someone else does.
– Extra value. To be able to work in an organisation in which your strengths are magnified. Employers and employees adding value to each other. Letting people grow through what they do.
– Authenticity. To know what the organisation stands for. Not a wordy mission statement sitting unread on the corporate intranet but a real sense of where the company has come from and where it is going.
– Meaning. To do work that really means something. Meaning comes from many sources; connections, community, cause.
– Simple rules. To work somewhere free from stupid rules. Have good rules. Simple and agreed ones that make sense to people, and feel fair.
So, could you answer the first question: why would someone want to work in your organisation? And if you are a leader, why would anyone want to work for you.
How does the organisation you work stack up against these criteria?
Can we DREAM of creating a great place to work?
Let HR lead the way.