In 1975, the world was emerging from a devastating oil embargo and stock market crash. Everyone wanted to do The Hustle, but no one wanted to go near the water, thanks to Jaws. The minimum wage in Atlantic Canada had just gone up to over $2.00 an hour and the RCMP had recently hired its first female member. Employers posted ads, received typed resumes via regular mail, did the interviews, made the decisions and held all the power in the process. The employees they hired were typically male and predominately white, and they could dismiss those employees virtually in the blink of an eye.
The following article previously appeared in the St. John's Board of Trade, Business News, August / September 2015 issue.
The search has begun for a new leader. Your team wants someone with presence and profile, someone charismatic who is widely revered, and maybe someone who knows their way around a golf course. The wish list is likely long, but is it the best list to ensure “the right fit” for your organization?
If you ask any HR Professional they’ll agree, recruitment and selection can be a time consuming process. Even if you are lucky enough to experience a flood of qualified candidates, you ultimately need to choose a single individual to best fill a role; a challenging task when you consider that studies suggest approximately 40% of leaders will fail within the first 18 months, at a substantial cost to productivity, moral, reputation – and the cost to do it all over again.
Business leaders know there’s more to success than intuition. It takes solid strategies, identifying opportunities, close observation of market trends and a concerted effort to recruit, retain and develop talent at all levels of the organization.
Imagine if, overnight, your CEO left the organization, how would your organization ensure continued success going forward? What about the other critical roles on your team, how would you manage with the loss of their experience and knowledge? It’s a frightening thought for most business leaders which is why organizations are taking a more proactive approach to succession planning.
This article was previously featured in The Chronicle Herald.
At the 2006 Celebrating Inspiration luncheon with the WNBA's All-Decade Team, Madeleine Albright said “There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I heard this as a call to action, one that has played over and over in my head as I have had the privilege over the years of mentoring, coaching, advising and talking with women leaders. I believe there are at least two reasons that Albright’s call to women to help other women is still relevant almost a decade later:
A colleague recently asked me, “Is it just me, or is everyone talking about diversity?” Interesting question and I guess it depends on who you ask. People have been talking about diversity for decades: the lack of it, the need for it, and the problems with it. I think my colleague is hearing an old conversation that has gone mainstream, perhaps even “viral”, and is gaining speed in our workplaces and communities.
Immigration has been talked about a lot lately. It has been cited as a vital ingredient to long-term prosperity in Atlantic Canada in the face of our aging population and shrinking workforce. According to the Ivany Report, Nova Scotia is projected to have 100,000 fewer working age people by 2036 than we did in 2010. That’s nearly a 20% decline in our labour pool. Clearly, a successful immigration program is no longer “nice-to-have”, it’s a must.
The Chairman finished speaking and sat down, arms crossed. He’d put forward an impassioned argument for the merger; a great deal, negotiated over many months, a capstone of his career.
Sam stood slowly, hands planted firmly on the boardroom table, looked the Chairman squarely in the eyes and said “I am opposed. This deal tears the company apart, will lead to massive lay-offs and will ruin the brand and reputation we have built over the past 50 years.”
Is Sam wearing pants or a skirt?