You’ve reached this page because you’ve found some of what I’ve written elsewhere of use, you are thinking of hiring me to work alongside you and your team, or are intrigued as to why I’d post a values page.
Let me set out the influences that have driven this value set.
- I’ve been lucky. I’ve worked in and for diverse organisations, from Manila and Jeddah in the East and Middle East to Bogota and Denver in South and North America. From Moscow in the North to Khartoum in Africa. In so doing I’ve been exposed to many cultures, creeds and behavioural let alone working styles.
- During 25 years in finance I was proud of being a banker; ‘my’ clients were predominantly in what was then the rapidly emerging Middle East, they trusted me and respected the advice I gave. They knew they could count on my impartiality as well as my total commitment. I came to realise how important it is to be mindful of very different cultures and the nuances that go with that.
- As I found a world beyond finance, becoming an early adopter of home office working, I built up a portfolio of roles in a few countries and discovered that business is quite like sport. Managing teams and businesses is about creating an environment (physical and mental) where people want to perform and a clear understanding of the role they are expected to play. They value honesty, consistency and leaders who they respect; if they are going to be ‘let go’ they’d rather be told in a way that gives them a fighting chance of finding something else and of recognising the contribution they’ve made. They want assessment models that are transparent and meritocritous and they need to know that its ok to fail (occasionally) provided steps are taken to learn from mistakes.
- I’ve watched as economic necessity has shifted family life to the point where it is now the norm for most relationships to comprise two working adults. Most people work to live, few are fortunate enough to choose yet the dramatic growth of social business tools has made traditional carrot and stick management methods redundant.
- I’ve seen my children (both under 35) grow up in an age where geographical boundaries have been eroded by the internet; they have aspirations to work in places that mirror their values. My generation of baby boomers are the last to enjoy a pensioned proof retirement and everyone from Columbia to China is worried about how they will provide for aged parents who are quite likely to live longer often in a climate of vulnerability with less deference paid to them.
- Every act wherever committed is capable of being caught on a mobile device and the strength of networks and community is the driver behind many innovations and change.
- Disruptive technologies appear at an increasing rate and people struggle to embrace and accommodate them let alone consider the long term implication of what they post. Facebook, Skype and Twitter have impacted our social fabric. An online presence is no longer optional and it needs constant monitoring and maintaining.
- There is a relentless pressure to drive down cost with scant regard to the socioeconomic implications and the global information and media industry has an appetite that is never satiated. Investment decisions tend to be focused on the short term and driven by brand considerations.
- Organisations have become adroit at erecting barriers to keep people out and data/information in; legislation often stretches across geographical boundaries. Reflection time is at a premium; being at the top table is as lonely as its ever been.
Those experiences helped shaped the five values and beliefs I bring to any piece of work I am involved in or advice I am asked for. My intention is always to:
- demonstrate commitment: to involve people and to pass on ‘stuff’ that can be reused.
- act with impartiality: to always make the best recommendations/give the best advice irrespective of the impact it might have on a future relationship.
- show respect: for the organisation, the team, the individual and recognise their right to an opinion.
- display passion: for the work and the role.
- provide value: by only undertaking work that is meaningful to the client and those I work alongside.
2017 and beyond
2017 is the year I resolve to work with those I want to work with, to work on what I want to work on and when I want to do it. No time wasted on tenders or devoted to organisations who take and don’t give or dangle a carrot they never intend to give you. I encourage clients to make more of their networks and follow a “3 strikes and out” approach to working with others: show them how to do it; be with them while they do it; let them do it solo and comment on it afterwards. I am practising what I ‘preach’. So I am counting my blessings and getting on with doing ‘stuff’ I think will make a difference in different parts of the globe and where less is definitely more.