Great first guest blog by Phil Nash
“Today it’s less about structures, more about capability… You can’t manage change; it manages you. Focus on outcomes”
Chris Bones, Professor of Creativity and Leadership at MBS and the Dean of Henley Business School, offered the above insight on the challenges facing leaders in these fast changing times during a fascinating talk at the Copthorne Hotel on Salford’s Clippers Quay on Wednesday, October 22nd. Professor Bones argued persuasively about how our capacity to learn new things has now been outstripped by the pace of change. The award winning author of The Cult of the Leader said that our ability to “focus on outcomes” is therefore crucial.
His message was reassuring and positive, assuming that changes are based on data not assumptions. And, crucially, that data are used intelligently. He cited the example of how The Economist had been able to greatly increase its readership by taking on customers’ feedback. Professor Bones lamented the culture of misorganization, “the twenty-first century malaise” as he dubbed it, which afflicts some employers.
The lead for strategic alignment for Good Growth challenged his audience to think about: “what do I want?”; “how do I want it” and, finally, “how do I measure it?”
A one-time English as a foreign language teacher, Professor Bones is fascinated by words and what we associate with them. Two really interested him; trust and confidence. The former, he elicited, is bound up with the individual, whereas the latter should be associated with management and organizations. Critically, trust as a concept is something we bestow on a person and can strip from them if we feel let down. The implication for managers who lost their team’s trust was clear.
The final issue that Professor Bones raised was that of integrity, which like confidence and trust matters to all of us on a personal and organizational level. Professor Bones drew on personal experience of his time in a senior HR role at Cadbury Schweppes. The tragic death of a well-respected young colleague, whose handful of personal core values which informed his behaviour were found on his computer, led Professor Bones to challenge everyone to decide their core values.
Professor Bones recommended William Bridges’ Managing Transitions, which was first published in 1995, for further reading.
I enjoyed my first Manchester CIPD branch meeting. Everyone was friendly and eager to share their knowledge and expertise. If you are interested in tweeting about the Manchester branch please use the hashtag #CIPDmcr
Currently, I am doing a Masters in HRM at MMU. If you would like to find out more about me please see my blog ‘The Eastern Wing’
https://theeasternwing.wordpress.com/ or follow me on Twitter @philnashuk