AIMS International Partnered CEEHR '09

Author: Maria Shishkova, Managing Partner AIMS Human Capital, Bulgaria and Macedonia An unusual year 2009 is. A year that will set the tone at least for the next decade if not much longer. We will keep reading about it; the lessons derived from the experience of thousands of companies will be the war stories in the future textbooks on Strategy, Leadership and certainly Human Resources. Therefore, AIMS International partnered Stamford Global and sponsored the 5th edition of CEEHR in Vienna in October. In events of this caliber one learns a lot by listening to the presenters and interacting with other participants. No wonder that this key event attracted professionals from 17 different countries from the region. The agenda boasted close to legendary names and celebrity speakers like Dr. Gareth Jones (Visiting Professor: INSEAD, IE Business School, London Business School), Dr. Paul Turner (Professor of Management Practice, Ashrcoft International Business School, Cambridge), Dr. Adrian Furnham (Professor of Psychology, University College London) and key HR Strategists and corporate speakers from Microsoft, Ericsson, British American Tobacco, Telenor, General Electric Healthcare and of course ? AIMS International. This is an exclusive report for the readers of Global HR Magazine, pointing out the key messages from the Conference: ? The world will never be the same ? the lessons from the recession point out that leadership has its dark side as well. Usually professionals preach about the skill set of resonant leaders, study the secrets of success and dive into the depths of discovering what the overt and hidden benefits are of the genuine leaders. However, the world economy was brought to where it is today by some of the very same leaders who were acclaimed for their brave risk taking, daring entrepreneurship, endless strive to outstanding results. When these qualities are excessively present they lead to what is now called many different names among which: destructive, toxic, derailed, despotic, anti-social, tyrannical (leaders). ? Emerging markets are extremely meaningful to world economy despite the sound of the term ?emerging?. They have provided over 50% of global GDP from 2000BC until 1805 AD and research says that they are likely to account for more than half of world?s GDP for the next 2000 years again. Yet, they require specific management approach and applying a copy-paste of what works well in the developed economies will not yield the expected positive outcome. In the emerging markets it is extremely important to flex your approaches to the local reality, to try to build long-term relationships with all stakeholders, not to jump in and out of the market (local people have good memory!), matrix structures are essential but learning but every country is different is essential. Further advice: Do not back-office functions like sales and marketing; it is crucial that the CEO and the top 10 executives are fully on board and committed; keep the HQ close and yet do not allow them to meddle in your everyday operations. ? Generation Y ? your future leaders, tend to share similar characteristics and aspirations worldwide. ?The Millennials? as they are also called will account for close to 40% of the global workforce by 2011! Here are some of their differentiators: they are high achievement-oriented and are focused on business goals. Yet they are high-maintenance employees and need a lot of feedback and clear direction. They can work equally well in teams and independently; they are creative, innovative and technologically savvy. The Millennials expect to change jobs frequently ? they consider it normal to change between 8-20 jobs in their lifetime. Not surprisingly they are reluctant to perform low-impact or administrative jobs. Managing them is both a stretching exercise and fun. Here a just a few tips: show them that they truly matter; accept autonomy; communicate values and outcomes, and mentor them honestly. Set their expectations right from the very beginning to avoid trouble later. Create a culture of connectedness that will allow them to feel part of a bigger and meaningful corporate society. ? One of the most important things that must worry business people today is the number of unemployed on their payroll! Understanding what triggers engagement and what can turn it off can be the crucial factor differentiating positively any company in this highly competitive market. Research on the importance of engagement states that highly engaged employees perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave the organization. ? The admirable company or what it takes to be ranked amongst the best. Why is reputation so important? Well, excellent reputation translates to: ?loyal customers?, ?engaged employees?, ?content shareholders?, ?respect and assistance from the local community?, ?suppliers will be true partners?. And this is by far not all: share price directly relates to corporate reputation scores. The gimmick is to have a strong and charismatic leader who also cares both about the reputation of the company and his/her own. And one more crucial characteristic: people management in the admired companies is as important as other business characteristics. ? Leading clever people can be a nerve breaking exercise if you are not up to it. Clever people can both generate value and destroy it; they don?t like organizations but they need them; they are smarter than you and do not want to be lead; they are still scarce although their numbers are growing; 7 in 10 news jobs are cut out for clever people. Still want to read on? Well, here is more: the economies of scale do not seem to work properly when it comes to clever and creative people. Even if the organization doubles the number of creative people, it doesn?t mean it will be twice as creative. In research industries: you could spend double on scientific research but will not get twice as much in terms of results. Leaders already face the fact that many industries have half the talent they need. Here are few tips if you have clever people in your team: acknowledge their knowledge; win resources for them and give them space; provide opportunities for external recognition; recruit other clevers; encourage failure… Chose the management style that will work with them, offer them ?tough love? and see them blossom in your organization. Where can you meet them and hence do clever people matter to your organization? Well, here are some of their likely whereabouts: techie business, creative team

s, board level managers, professional teams (legal, advisory, and consultancy business), problem solving teams. Bottom-line: In the clever economy, only the curious will thrive. Have we intrigued you? I bet we have if you are challenged by the ever increasing speed of change in the global and local economy and insist to be in the leading ranks of your business. We would be happy to meet you in person and talk more about how your organization can achieve its goals via people.