Convincing decision makers to invest in Cyber Security According to Senior Technology Leader, Dan Crisp, there are several strategies which can be used to get past organisational resistance and convince decision makers to investment in Information and Cyber Security. Read his guest blog below to learn more... Dan Crisp, Senior Technology Leader About Dan CrispDan Crisp is the founder of Digital risk Insight, a technology risk strategic advisory consultancy. He began his career as a technology merger & acquisitions analyst at Citi. Subsequently, he led the technology risk, cyber risk, and Basel programs for JP Morgan Chase in the US. Dan went on to serve as Chief Operations Officer for Barclays Global Information Security in London.Dan also served as the CISO and Chief Technology Risk Officer for BNY Mellon with technology risk, cybersecurity and data privacy oversight responsibility at BNY Mellon Corporation and its affiliates and subsidiaries. While there, he led the innovation, development and deployment of a global technology risk regulatory controls and analytics system for technology and privacy risk. Many decision makers overestimate their company's cybersecurity defenses – ‘no news is good news’ and they may not be enthusiastic about allocating more budget to protect themselves. One of the biggest barriers experts in my line of work find is convincing executives that doing nothing allows cybercriminals to gain advantage and potentially is putting the company at peril. I believe that there are several strategies which can be used to get past organisational resistance and convince decision makers to investment in Information and Cyber Security: 1. Reframe success metrics - what worked before is no longer effective It is an arms race, what used to work doesn’t work six to twelve months later, you’ve constantly got to be thinking about upping your game and getting that across to non-technical people is essential. For want of a better analogy – executives need to understand that they can’t simply buy the car and then continue drive it for a decade - without servicing it - just because they don’t want to spend further money or buy a new one.Use problem statements to help push back on the status quo and facilitate conversations as to why what you’ve always done is no longer good enough. Here is an example:“Our information security management system requires reassessment and transformation to ensure continued effective protection for our clients and the company.” 2. Benchmark with peers to challenge assumptions about the adequacy of cybersecurity investmentsFor example, when the Travelex breach occurred in London other currency exchange companies wanted to make sure it didn’t happen to them. There were questions like – what was Travelex’s Cyber Security footprint? What was their approach to risk management? How did it compare to their own company and therefore, how likely was this to happen to them? 3. Follow the organisational expectationsUse provided expected financial templatesWork with finance in advance to ensure your budget can withstand challengeUse storytelling to illustrate the risk Although it’s important that you have done your homework, laid out a clear budget and you speak the language of finance – you want your conversations to be risk based- not dollars and cents based. 4. Refine your presentation approachKeep the focus on the risk to the organisation (operational, reputational, regulatory, litigation, etc.)Present in non-technical languageUse storytelling to illustrate the riskCreate a sense of urgency. Inaction is dangerous.Leave a strong document trail leading to the person(s) who grant budgetAlways provide a follow-up email regardless of the meeting outcomeYou want to leave a strong document trail, and I call that the smoking gun, where it’s been explained in layperson’s terms and is abundantly clear to the budget granter – this is what’s at stake... 5. Use the three-slide technique Problem statementRisk storytelling Solution with costingThe discovery of the three-slide technique is a defining moment in my career. When I was working for a bank, we had a Big 4 consultancy firm provided us with a 40-slide presentation deck, which we spent quite a bit of money on. We were to use these slides to present our justifications to the board for asking for exponentially more money. The CISO I worked with at the time said she didn’t want to use them. She only wanted three slides. One explaining what the problem was. The second was to be the scary slide – explaining what would happen if they didn’t address the problem. The third was the solution and cost. It was so powerful and effective that we got the funding we asked for. I have gone back and used this technique, incrementally, for projects and programme fund raising with great success. 6. Use narratives to illustrate the risk of inactionI have found the use of narratives incredibly powerful. We used to call those the scary slides i.e. here’s an example of something that has happened recently and here’s why it might happen to you.News headlines cause decision makers to take action — even if it's short lived Storytelling activates sensory centers in the brain that make people relate to the story on a personal level — it places them inside of the storyStorytelling is extremely powerful when it comes to marketing and other forms of communicationUse storytelling to demonstrate the risk, create a sense of urgency and leave them with the impression that you have laid this at their feet, with all of the risks and consequences outlined and now the decision is in their hands.You almost want to worm into a person’s thinking so that they wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what you’ve laid at their feet. You want them thinking - what if we have a cyber-attack and I’m the budget granter who said no? That said, it’s important to use storytelling to convey the drama for you- you want to portray yourself as the calm and collected person who has the plan.A helpful the trick for me with the storytelling is to make them as scared as you are and no more. If you’re stretching your own fear, it's going to be transparent. Remember...you are competing for finite resources and budget. The best storytelling wins the day and the funding! Download our insight paper For more insights from top CISOs download our recent insight paper. It features the key takeaways from our recent CISO virtual roundtable where the challenges of setting best practice for secure remote working and obtaining budget were discussed. Download Speak to a Cyber Security recruiting expert If you need help finding and hiring exceptional Cyber Security professionals or you are searching for your next opportunity, please get in touch to speak with a Cyber Security recruiting expert at Stanton House.
20 Oct 2020
Download your copy of our insight paperIn these times of great technological change, unlocking the power of Business Intelligence (BI) is vital to the strategic decision-making process of any organisation. Download our latest insight paper which features top tips on increasing your BI capability along with case studies from leading Business Intelligence experts operating in different sectors. Download
04 Sep 2020
Will the office exist in a post Covid-19 world?It’s fair to say that the world of work has changed forever as we enter a new era of remote working. But what is the sentiment to remote working amongst the professional working population now?The cost and time savings of not having to commute every day are hard to dismiss and as lockdown eases, employee expectations are bound to have changed when it comes to the ‘return to the office’.So, how many days in the office do working professionals really want - given their varied individual experiences over the past few months? Over 70% of professionals now want to work in the office less than two days per weekStanton House’s recent poll, taken by over 600 professionals, reveals that a large majority (72%) would prefer to work two days or less per week in the office going forward. Less than a third (29%) would prefer to work three days or more per week in the office and only 4% would like to go back to four days plus per week.One to two days in the office comes out on top, with over half, (54%) voting for this as their preference and 18% say they would prefer to work from home 100% of the time. These findings suggest that while some crave the return to an office environment the vast majority have come to the conclusion that they will never want to work in the office five days per week, ever again. 43% more men than women want to work remotely 100% of the timeInterestingly, when comparing sentiment to remote working between gender, our poll reveals that a higher proportion of men (20%) would prefer to work remotely all of the time - compared to only 14% of women – that’s a 43% increase. The opposite is true for one to two days in the office, where a higher proportion of women (58%) voted for this as their preference - compared to 51% of men.Our poll cements what we already know - that organisations will be required to rethink their approach to remote, agile, and flexible working - putting People and Culture teams, front and centre, to design and drive this change. But have employers really seen clear benefits from this forced change to a homeworking environment and how committed are they to expanding and extending remote working, organisation-wide, for the long term? Will new HR policies align to the consensus revealed by our poll, or indeed go even further and flex to the individual?Employers realise the benefits of remote working Many of the business leaders I speak to tell me, that they have had their eyes opened to the benefits of remote working, not least the tremendous cost savings that can be achieved with reduced real estate needs.Not including utilities, security and maintenance the rent per seat in the UK can range from *£150 to £1500 per month, depending on location and the amenities available. London’s West End tips the scales, where it can cost **£207 annually just to put your laptop down on a desk.If you consider the floor space some large corporates take in the expensive high-rise buildings in Canary Wharf and The City of London for example, these cost savings can amount to millions. There can be no doubt that employers across the country will be modelling different scenarios with reduced office space. Leadership teams within organisations, both large and small, will be debating not if, but how much and to what extent, their workforce will continue working remotely in the long-term.Just a few of the companies that have already announced intent to expand work-from-home in the UK include Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Thomson Reuters, Vodafone, HSBC, Twitter, Facebook and Unilever. “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint….I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home.” James Gorman, Morgan Stanley, CEOHowever, this commitment to expand remote working it is not just to save costs on office space. Most leaders I speak to tell me they have experienced increased productivity, better collaboration and teamwork, increased employee engagement and a significant reduction in absenteeism - dispelling the many concerns and misconceptions to homeworking pre-Covid-19. Having the right, secure technology and communication channels has been critical to achieving this, however, as has having managers, who don’t revert to micromanagement amidst uncertainty, but are able to trust and enable their teams.Training needs have also been highlighted and identified, particularly for middle management, where resilience, adaptability and agility are often cited as key competencies which are lacking. Additionally, the spotlight on employee wellbeing has only magnified through this crisis as has the continued importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The challenge for employers right nowAs many employers once again pivot their people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment, maintaining the benefits gained amidst lockdown and addressing the technology and talent issues identified will be critical to lasting innovation and growth. The ramifications of getting the technology, talent or operating model wrong will be catastrophic for the competitiveness of any business as we enter this new era of work. Employers now need to ask themselves - do they have the internal expertise needed to design, implement and sustain the huge culture shift that is required? And if big corporate offices are a thing of the past where and how will people come together to collaborate? How do individuals continue to nurture the ‘social equity’ they’ve built over the years with colleagues and customers - remotely? Can we ever really replicate the benefits of socialising after work, the corridor conversations and meeting someone face-to-face? The critical questions many business leaders and HR professionals are now trying to answer now are:1. How do we once again pivot our people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment?2. Do we have the right / secure technology and communication channels to support a hybrid (office/home) working model?3. How do we maintain the benefits gained from remote working amidst Covid-19? 4. How do we tackle the tech and training needs identified and truly enable our manager population? 5. How will we evolve our employee value proposition (EVP) to attract and retain the best talent, now that flexible and remote working is the ‘new norm’?6. What are the ramifications of getting any of these considerations wrong? *Instant Offices UK Commercial Market Summary 2019 ** Instant Offices Get in touchIf you need help finding talent with the necessary expertise to transform your business for the new era of remote working, please get in touch. About the pollThe poll was posted to Stanton House’s company LinkedIn network of over 25,000 followers. The poll was live for 1 week from the 27th June 2020 to the 4th July 2020. 611 people voted answering the question: “How many days in the office would you prefer to work per week?”
21 Jul 2020
Download our insight paperInclusion is critical to every aspect of any business that is about people and now more than ever, these challenging times call for business leaders to maintain focus on engaging and retaining their workforce. Undoubtedly, increased homeworking adds a new layer of complexity, but employees still need to feel secure in their connectivity to their organisation and be given the opportunity to contribute and participate in a meaningful way - albeit remotely. So how can leaders ensure that they are on the right path to being and becoming more inclusive? Download our insight paper, a culmination of our recent blog series, to discover top tips from diversity and inclusion expert Paul Anderson-Walsh, from the Centre of Inclusive Leadership. Download Share you insightsWe would love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies in this new era of work. Please get in touch to share your insights.
18 Jun 2020
In previous instalments of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he explained the I.D.E.A.S © model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them, part two explained the importance of developing employees rather than letting their value depreciate, part three looked at enabling managers rather than expecting them to know how to lead and part four discussed how to align talent rather than forcing people to assimilate. This week we take a look at the final element in the model, sustaining the shift to a culture or inclusion, rather than superficially ticking boxes. Paul Anderson-Walsh Sustaining the shift to a culture of inclusion The alchemic power of inclusion has been lost in the (critically important, but critically different) Equal Opportunity and Diversity agenda. Many of the initiatives that have been offered have produced superficial rather than sustained change. They have produced a change that failed to produce change. For instance, well intended or not one might reasonably ask how much lasting change Starbucks gained from shutting 8,000 stores for four hours recently to conduct racial bias training for its employees. Inclusion is aiming at something more sustainable. It is aiming at driving high performance through culture change. Charles Handy defined culture as “the way we do things around here”. Ultimately, it is how we do things that determines whether any change sticks and becomes a new habit. To sustain the behaviours consistent with an inclusive culture (one in which there is integration rather than induction; development rather than depreciation; managers being enabled rather than expected to know how; and where there is alignment rather than assimilation) leader-managers must be the embodiment of new habitual ways of being. They need to be able to lead in such a way that they inspire those who work for (and indeed with) them so that they are motivated to learn, grow and develop and become more adept at managing inclusion – their own and that of others. There are many barriers to inclusion, bias (in favour of, as well as against) being chief amongst them. Bias, as a result of stereotyping, assumptions and prejudgements is often the major cause of a shift to a more inclusive organisation culture not being sustained. We have developed a model that can enable individuals to embed new ways of “doing things around here” and thus support and sustain the organisation shift to inclusion by deliberately seeking to become bias interrupters. This is achieved when the organisation H.E.A.R.S. ™ An organisation that H.E.A.R.S. can be identified by the way in which all its staff interact with one another, with their clients, customers and other stakeholders. H.E.A.R.S. Top tips for sustaining the shift to inclusion Being our best selves & doing our best work Change entails new ways of thinking, being and doing, consequently, for change of any nature to be sustained it must be anchored in the culture. In order to do that we believe that you need to be intentional about inclusion so as to foster an environment where your people feel comfortable reaching out to all their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other's experiences and perspectives. You need to have ongoing dialogue but without tolerating any incongruence between behaviours and your inclusion values. You need to build trust encouraging compassion and open-mindedness and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusion. For information about the Centre for Inclusive Leadership’s Inclusive Leadership Programmes, please get in touch. Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
20 May 2020
In parts one, two and three of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he explained the I.D.E.A.S © model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them, part two explained the importance of developing employees rather than letting their value depreciate and part three looked at enabling managers rather than expecting them to know how to lead. This week he looks at how to align talent rather than forcing people to assimilate. Paul Anderson-Walsh Aligning your talent, rather than forcing them to assimilate One of the primary reasons that organisations, even those who really value diversity, don’t get value from diversity is that their culture is designed to assimilate people rather than align them. When people are assimilated they lose their essential identity. Their difference is homogenised. Over time the uniqueness of the individual (which goes way beyond their ethnic and gender identification differences) is lost as people ruthlessly edit themselves to adapt to the new culture. Where there is a dominant prevailing culture, assimilation, a one-way process, is the order of the day. The newbie adopts the majority culture and when fully adapted he or she becomes virtually indistinguishable from the dominant group. Quite apart from the tragic loss of individuality, assimilation creates the perfect conditions for groupthink to flourish. When that occurs all hope of creativity is lost as individual thought bows the knee to the most powerful person in the room as people set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group. Would-be detractors remain silent rather than disrupt the uniformity of the crowd.Aligning the talent to the organisation, and the organisation to the talent is an important building block of an inclusive organisation. Whilst it is vitally important, it isn’t easy. Alignment requires a high level of commitment to generating value from diversity as well as a willingness to flex and be supple in order to get that value. We often talk about aligning our talent to the organisation but we don’t so readily think about how the organisation could benefit from aligning itself to its talent. Consider for a moment how the English language, once a minor Germanic dialect has raised to the position it enjoys today as a, if not the, global language. How was that achieved? Well one reason, among many, is that it is a language that allows it to be infiltrated by other tongues and cultures (popular culture included). It embraces new words and consequently has an ever-expanding, ever-relevant vocabulary. The inclusion-savvy organisation knows only too well the value of “clean-eyes.” The management commentator Peter Drucker once remarked that ‘ignorance is the most important component for helping others to solve any problem in any industry.” And so, it is. Yet so keen are we to get people to see the world through the lens of our corporate spectacles that we miss the opportunity to see what they see, with clean eyes.Organisations where the talent is aligned to the organisation and the organisation is aligned to the talent, produce a very coherent signal to their customers. Top tips for aligning your talent 1. Think fitting together and not fitting in 2. Remember that it is about all of them not some of them 3. Value difference 4. Don't allow any disconnect between beliefs (values) and behaviour 5. Foster an environment where people feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other's experiences and perspectives. For information about the Centre for Inclusive Leadership’s Inclusive Leadership Programmes, please get in touch. Look out for my final blog in this series where I explain the last element of the I.D.E.A.S.© model ‘sustaining’.Share your insightsWe’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
15 May 2020
In part one and two of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he introduced the first two elements in the I.D.E.A.S © model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them and part two explained the importance of developing your employees rather than letting their value depreciate. This week we turn to the next crucial element enabling your managers rather than expecting them to know how to lead. Paul Anderson-Walsh Enabling your managersFar from being a confirmative short step, the transition from being an individual contributor (or producer) to a manager (or reproducer) is a journey. What makes people successful as individual contributors is different from that which makes them successful as leaders. The individual contributor (by and large) succeeds through his or her own efforts. Managers on the other hand succeed through the efforts of others. Being a manager calls for a different skill set. As well as maintaining their own performance, they must now focus on the development of others and the creation of an environment in which they can nurture and grow a high-performing team. In today’s complex, diverse and currently indefinitely home-based workforce that is a sophisticated ask which requires, agility, acuity and adaptability. My experience is that managers (often) feel ill-equipped to be able to support the learning growth and development of all their people. Sometimes, struggling with their own feelings of inadequacy, which can show up in, for example, the form of imposter syndrome and sometimes feeling inadequate because they did not have the benefit of seeing development modelled for them by their line manager and therefore despite wanting to develop others, they simply don’t know how to. The manager population tend to be the most under-resourced and under-invested-in cohort in the business. The number of managers I encounter who ‘make it up as they go along’ is concerning. At a minimum, managers must be helped to understand why inclusion matters; how to delegate; how to coach; how to have difficult conversations; how to manage change; how to give feedback and how to manage teams; how to manage conflict; how to manage up and how to carry-out mid-year and end-of-year reviews. This is a necessary investment for any organisation, seeking to get more from more of their people, more of the time.Organisations know that it is their leader-manager population who are the engine that drives the culture. Knowing this, inclusive organisations strategically and systematically invest in their enablement to ensure that they, the managers are fuelled to make sure the business is powered by inclusion. The leader-manager role can look different in different organisations. In some, they are expected to give up their individual production target/responsibility and are measured against the results of their team. For these managers the transition is from producer to leader-manager. (Model A). For others the leader-manager adds rather than sheds responsibility. They are still expected to produce whilst adding the leader-manager function to their list of responsibilities (Model B). In Model A the manager needs to be a Mentor, whilst in Model B the key feature of their role is to model the organisational values, behaviours and best-practice. Inclusive organisations don’t expect that good producers will automatically be good leader-managers.. Consequently, organisations may need to reimagine the support they need to offer their leader-manager population to enable them to be able to lead their organisation toward achieving its goals. The popularisation of Emotional Intelligence has shone a light on the fact that there is a link between self-awareness and empathy. For your leader-managers to develop and empower others you will need to invest in them to enable them to address the things that disempower them.The shape and form of the investment you will need to make in your leader-managers will differ depending on circumstances, but your reimagining may be helped if you ask yourself how your manager population is distributed across these possibilities: A) Leader-manager promoted from within B) Leader-manager hired externally C) Leader-manager/producer hired externally D) Leader-manager/producer promoted from within Whilst there will be development needs that are common to all your leader-managers, there will be needs that are particular to different groups. New hires will have different needs and opportunities to those internally promoted, in the same way, leader-managers will have different-needs and opportunities from leader-manager/producers. The more forensic you are in determining an individual’s particular needs the more likely you are to enable all your leader-managers to lead and support all your people. Top tips for enabling your managers 1. Role model inclusive leadership to them 2. Tailor an inclusive leadership programme to their needs 3. Provide them with a coach 4. Provide them with a mentor 5. Provide them with a learning resource including moment-of-need resources For information about the Centre for Inclusive Leadership’s Inclusive Leadership Programmes, please get in touch. Look out for my next blog where I explain the next element of the I.D.E.A.S.© model ‘Aligning’.Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
07 May 2020
In part one of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he introduced the I.D.E.A.S model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them. This week we turn to the next crucial element the development of your people. Paul Anderson-Walsh Developing all the peopleAttracting the world’s best talent is one thing, retaining it is another. In a previous article I spoke about the democratisation of quality customer treatment. Rather than treating everyone the same or, worse, discriminating against some based on their (perceived) lack of spending power, democratisation means treating everyone equally well; esteeming and honouring their self-worth not their net worth. In much the same way, when it comes to people development, treating everyone equally well is a key issue. In an inclusive environment there is a commitment to developing all of the people rather than ensuring that we are not discriminating against some of them. The goal is that everyone has the opportunity to be and become their best self and do their best work. Some call it the diversity cliff, others call it the diversity ceiling but whatever term they give it, the issue they are almost always focussed on is increasing diversity. However, the issue is managing inclusion because it is only when all our people feel included that they are able to be their authentic selves and organisations are able to benefit from their best work. All of us are unique and complex, so understanding who we are working with, why they are the way they are and why they respond the way they do, is key. If understanding this difference is important at the attraction stage, it becomes critical at the engagement, promotion, and succession planning stages.It might help us if we pursued the metaphor of talent as an asset. Assets can depreciate over time (some get written down all together) and other assets increase in value. Depreciation is an accountancy term and it refers to a reduction in the value of an asset over time, due in particular to wear and tear (think emotional well-being i.e. being worn out). When it comes to human capital, managing your people portfolio takes care and whilst each individual asset has its own performance profile, there are some interesting trends that we can point to which suggest what might contribute to a talent asset depreciating in value in an organisation. There is a saying that claims that people don’t leave their job, they leave their boss. That is a truism. Poor management is one of the main reasons people leave their jobs. However, they also leave because they plateau and find the work boring. Following closely behind is the fact that a lot of people leave their jobs because they either have poor relationships or no relationships with their co-workers. Some feel they’re not being stretched or challenged; they don’t get a chance to use, let alone develop, their skills; they are micro-managed, disempowered, and don’t have any autonomy; they don’t see how what they do, contributes to what the organisation is trying to do and their work is not appreciated. In an inclusive environment talent assets are more likely to increase over time because their managers coach them and take the time to frame their career journey with them based on three interconnecting needs: Organisational - What competencies has the business identified as critical to its future success: The What and the How; Career - What does each employee need to be have and do in order to be successful in their current role? And Motivational - What is each employee passionate about? What values, interests and goals are most important to him or her? Top tips for developing talent 1. Make it personal – Be a coach2. Make it meaningful to them3. Make sure you empower them by delegating, and giving feedback4. Make sure you treat them all equally well5. Make sure they have a sponsor Is your talent a flight risk? • In 2018 27% of employees voluntarily left their jobs• Voluntary turnover costs exceed $600 billion• Businesses lose productivity with $300 billion annually due to disengaged workers• By 2023 25% of employees will leave their jobs each year to go and work somewhere else• As many as 22 out of 100 employees left their jobs for career development• And 3 in 4 employees who quit their jobs could have been retained by their employers To find out about our about our NeuroTech® Tool, The TCFIL Retention Assessment, please get in touch. Look out for my next blog where I explain the next element of the I.D.E.A.S. model ‘Enable’.Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
30 Apr 2020
Navigating through the current crisis I read an interesting PwC article recently: “For years the discussion has raged about the pros and cons of flexible working – and now, suddenly, we’ve been dropped into a real-life field test. Covid-19 has forced employers out of their comfort zones and into a virtual working model at breakneck speed.”This got me thinking about the new challenges so many of the CFOs and FDs I speak to are having to get to grips with right now. Even without the commute, there is still a huge amount for any leader to think about when it comes to managing themselves and their team in lockdown. Many have been juggling parenting, home schooling and caring for elderly or vulnerable family relatives, as well as the added responsibility of leading a team from the front in this new virtual world. How easy is it to join a virtual PE Lesson with Joe wicks dressed as Spider man, then jump back to a Zoom board meeting to discuss cash flow analysis?So, how are leaders managing all of this and moving forward with the day-to-day of ensuring business continuity and motivating those reporting into them remotely? Insight from top CFOs and FDsTo get ‘real’ insight into this topic, I hosted our first virtual roundtable where we invited a small group of our top Media and Technology finance leaders to discuss the challenges they are currently facing when it comes to engaging with their teams remotely. Discussion quickly turned to the best ways of effectively collaborating to ensure productivity continues. Similar challenges and solutions were echoed around the virtual table, here are the key takeaways: 3 key insights from our virtual roundtable 1. Structured communication helps productivity In some cases, being isolated is leading to uncertainty about who to talk to on specific issues and when. This is causing team members to feel anxious and is affecting their productivity, leading to hold-ups and delays.Our roundtable participants are finding that providing a clear structure to their team meetings is helping to alleviate this. For example, many have set up a team video call at the beginning and at the end of each day to provide certainty about when and how their teams can communicate. On top of this many hold weekly or twice weekly company-wide video calls where, as senior leaders, they contribute and share top level messages to the whole company. One finance leader said, “Planning and structuring communication has been crucial in ensuring teams are working effectively. I find our morning and evening team video meetings help to keep productivity high. It’s also really clear from these who is less engaged, for example some don’t turn their cameras on or contribute to the conversations and some don’t even turn up. The challenge is how to address this remotely.”Many that are effectively planning and structuring company-wide communication are finding increased levels of staff engagement. One customer told me last week that they held their annual company meeting via Webex and that it had the highest attendance level they have ever had. Many of the finance leaders I speak to are sharing similar stories where they are finding employee engagement has in fact increased since lockdown. This may not only be because employees are keener than ever to know how they as individuals, teams or as an organisation are performing, but also because “there’s not much else to do”, “no dinner plans”, “no rushing home for child care”. Virtual company calls have evidently taken down several barriers. A CFO at our virtual roundtable said, “Our CEO now gives two half hour updates via video conference each week at the same time, company-wide and I think it’s the most engaged our staff have been with his updates ever.” 2. The importance of remaining humanIts easy to want to get straight down to business on calls but in these isolating times it more important than ever for employee engagement to remain human and make space for social activities and fun. It’s also important to remember that different personality types will behave differently through this situation and nothing should be assumed, for example you might find it’s the extroverts of the physical office who are now becoming more disengaged and vice versa. Our finance leaders agreed that taking the time to talk about things that are not always work related can help them understand how people are coping and what support they might need. Many are implementing social activities such as weekly virtual quizzes and coffee breaks where anyone can drop in and talk about anything non-work related.One leader of a shared service centre said, ‘We start the day off with a ten-question quiz to build comradery and add a fun element to our day before kicking in with the serious stuff.” 3. Choosing the right communication platform Choosing the right communication platform is also a concern for these finance leaders, many are using multiple platforms to communicate with their teams and they are conscious that there may be too many channels for employees to engage with. They are using everything from standard email through to text message, WhatsApp, Slack, Hangout, Microsoft Teams and Zoom.The group agreed that remote communication can distort the normal pace of our conversations as well as the intended delivery and interpretation of message. Therefore, choosing the right platform for their message is of great importance. Most agreed that they are still testing and learning which platforms work best for their different meetings and types of communication. One participant said, “I tend to jump onto Hangout rather than sending emails all the time to stay connected with my accounts payable team. But I’m still trying to work out the best channel as we also use Slack and I don’t want to overload people with information across multiple platforms all of the time.” I think a quote that sums up these insights perfectly comes from Mercer's 2020 Global Talent Trends study, “Balance empathy with economics”. Remaining human, managing communication and embracing technology is key.Like most, I’m interested to know what the new normal be in a week, a month and a years’ time. Will productivity of workforces remain high? Will annual meetings be held virtually? Will we continue with virtual quizzes and ‘hangouts’? Might some organisations adapt to working from home almost completely going forward? I’d like to thank our participants for such a fantastic debate and I look forward to hosting our next virtual round table very soon. If you’d like to join our next finance leader event please get in touch.
29 Apr 2020
What are the impacts of Covid-19 on diversity and inclusion at work?There can be no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic is fundamentally changing our political, economic, social and work structures at great pace. Along with wider adoption of remote working, the world-of-work is likely to be very different post Covid-19 and it is likely to transform in ways we might not yet fully appreciate.One important aspect to consider is the lasting impact on diversity and inclusion at work. What are the positive and negative impacts of Covid-19 and the increases in remote working, likely to be? Will the attraction and retention of diverse talent fall down employers’ priority lists? Will individuals from all backgrounds have greater or fewer opportunities for work and career progression after this is all over?We regularly partner with diversity and inclusion experts to bring our customers insight, advice and guidance. This week we interviewed Jenny Hinde, Executive Director of the Clear Company to explore these questions. Jenny Hinde, Executive Director of the Clear Company How is the current crisis affecting employers’ consideration of their diversity and inclusion agenda? “In the current circumstances, attracting and recruiting diverse talent may sink down the priority list. For some, there might be a need to recruit quickly to meet demand, for others, there may not be a necessity to recruit at all as business slows down. This rapidly changing crisis may lead to more reactive decision making and a neglect to considering the diversity agenda. For employers recruiting remotely, it is more important than ever to put diversity and inclusion at the top of the agenda.” Why is it dangerous to neglect commitments to diversity and inclusion?“Your decisions now will have a lasting impact on your business – for example, what will your Gender Pay Gap data say about this period next year?” “Equally, your decisions in this period will affect your future employer brand once we resume business as usual. Be sure to ask yourself, how do we ensure we continue to make inclusive consumer decisions that support our brand and not make rash decisions under pressure that cause damage?”“It is important for leaders to be thinking of the post pandemic impact. If inclusion has not been managed effectively during this period, there will be a significant amount of remedial work to do.” How might employers make the best of this situation? “Flexible and remote working is now being practiced across the country when it was once said to be ‘impossible’. Employers have now proven that it is possible and can now offer these adjustments to groups that may benefit from it such as disabled and neurodiverse people, and parents/carers, for example. These opportunities can also be rolled out into future recruitment practices to attract and retain more diverse talent.” How is remote working impacting on employers’ ability to ensure equal opportunities for career progression?“As the world around us rapidly changes, working life goes on and your employees will continue to look to the future, as you should to. It might not be at the top of the agenda at the moment but your employees will still be considering the impact this situation may have on their career progression in one year, two years or ten years time. Now is an opportunity to consider how diversity and inclusion intertwines with career progression.”“It may have seemed radical months ago to reshape your organisation to promote fairer opportunities for all, but that step has already been taken out of your control as flexible and remote working is enforced nationwide. Now, we have levelled the playing field and individuals who may not have had the same access to the steps on the career ladder are given a glimpse of hope that they can take the same steps as their colleagues.”Can you provide examples of specific groups whose careers may be positively impacted?“Parents, and statistically more likely to be women, with children who have taken significant career breaks and still need time at home to look after their children are now less likely to be scrutinised for working flexibly.”“Individuals who can’t get into work everyday because of accessibility barriers, mental health problems or personal challenge due to neurodiverse conditions, are now being given the flexibility to work around their routines and needs.”What one piece of advice would you give to employers right now?“With all this change going on around you, now is the time to make a change internally. Review your performance targets and promotion structures to cater for individuals whose needs are different, but when given the opportunity have every chance of success along with their colleagues.”About the Clear Company Continuously refined over 15 years of practice, the Clear Company is a diversity and inclusion consultancy which brings a balance of expertise, insight and a roadmap of actions to our clients. All supported by training and online products that enable them to drive meaningful, measurable change as they make D&I part of their everyday. For access to our online Covid-19 tool kit please get in touch.Share your insightsWe’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your diversity and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
28 Apr 2020
Inclusion is critical to every aspect of any business that is about peopleIn our last blog on this topic we explored the reasons why, in a world where most of us now live and work from home, inclusive practices matter now more than ever. Inclusion is a critical success factor for employee performance and retention, and this has never been so true now that so many people across the world are practicing varying degrees of self-isolation and social distancing. This week we bring you more expert insight from our guest blog author, Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership. Read on to learn about the I.D.E.A.S. © model on being and becoming more inclusive. Paul Anderson-WalshInclusion sits at the heart of creativity, innovation and productivity In truth, in almost every community there are groups that often feel vulnerable, afraid and sometimes isolated, because they don’t have a sense of belonging. They feel excluded. In organisational life, when people feel excluded there are huge implications for companies seeking to be more creative, innovative or wanting to maintain or increase productivity and reduce costs. We believe inclusion sits at the heart of creativity, innovation and productivity. Our research tells us that when people experience exclusion, they feel – isolated, depressed, misunderstood, ashamed, devalued, angry and frustrated. These emotions do not make for a great in store experience for anybody. Yet many organisations act as though inclusion was just a word to add on to the ‘equal opportunity and diversity’ agenda, which, they assume is about compliance, and miss the fact that inclusion is about performance. Whilst some organisations still perceive diversity as a problem to be solved, the inclusive organisation sees diversity as an asset that adds value and, moreover, knows how to manage inclusion in order to get the added value from diversity. We assert that the extent to which people are included is the extent to which you get value from diversity and can expect to drive profit and sustained performance along with enhanced brand reputation.At The Centre for Inclusive Leadership, we have developed a model that organisations can use to turbo-charge their journey towards being authentically inclusive. We call this model I.D.E.A.S.© The I.D.E.A.S.© modelThe I.D.E.A.S.© model provides a framework that enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Organisations need to be intentional if they are to create inclusive ecosystems in which everyone is integrated, developed, enabled, aligned, and able to work in a sustainable way with one another and guarantee that everyone gets the five-star treatment. In an inclusive organisation success is underwritten by... Integration, rather than…InductionDevelopment, rather than…DepreciationEnabling, rather than…Expecting Align, rather than…Assimilate Sustainable, rather than…Superficial In this first of a series of articles I will explain the first element of this model, ‘Integration’… Integrating all the talentIt is reported that between 30% and 50% of new hires off-board in the first two years (and at no small cost to the business, I might add). It is therefore worth asking how, in an inclusive organisation, on- boarding is an integral part of the development and retention process.In organisations that aren’t fully alive to inclusion the on-boarding practice typically takes the form of an induction “day”. This might take an hour, and pretty much consists of exchanging a few documents/bank details, P60 etc. In exchange for which, the newbie gets shown where their hot desk is, given an e-mail address, a log-in code, pointed in the general direction of the photocopier and the kitchen and given a staff handbook which she needs to familiarise herself with and subsequently confirm that she has understood and is prepared to adhere to the company’s rules and regulations and policies. Parody aside, in an inclusive organisation, the on-boarding process is about integration not induction. We call something (or someone) Integrated when it or in this case the new joiner is related to the new organisation in such a way that they form a new (expanded) united whole. I can recall that at a recent workshop for one of our retail clients that in the plenary feedback from an exercise that involved each of the participants sharing a story about a time when they felt different from others around them, that one participant began her recount by saying: “I’m new here. I’ve only been here two years…” after a predictable point of clarification from the facilitator she continued, “… and well, I found myself trying to fit in as you do.” Rather than becoming part of an integral entity, all too often “new” joiners are left with the unenviable problem of finding a way to fit in. Fitting in nearly always involves selective editing of the parts of ourselves and our stories that we don’t think will “fit” here. A meaningful EVP is key to integrationAny organisation that charts a course towards inclusion needs to have at its fingertips the forensic evidence that allows it to measure to what extent, if any, people who are different from “us” are having to edit or crunch themselves in order to survive in the roles.Inclusion is about fitting together. It is about true integration – rather than simple induction. The prize it’s aiming at is to unleash the extraordinary power that comes from fitting together rather than just fitting in... One of the features of an inclusive organisation where the goal is integration rather than induction is that they have a very clear and compelling narrative around their (Inclusive) Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Just like your customers, your top talent have choices. They don’t have to work for you. So, you need to be clear about What’s in it for them…? What will a person gain (that are more than merely hygiene factors, like salary) in return for their capability, creativity, know-how, advocacy and discretionary effort that they are going to bring to your organisation in order to help you achieve its objectives? Organisations have rightly focused their attention on developing compelling Customer Value Propositions CVPs. A couple of memorable examples being: L’Oreal’s “Because you’re worth it” no doubt your organisation will have its own CVP. But one of the key reasons that talent retention is so poor is that employers either don’t have a clear Employee Value Proposition (EVP) or worse, they do, but fail to live up to them and so message to their EVP rather than being core is tokenistic and susceptible to being compromised. A meaningful EVP is key to integration. There also needs to be a resonance between the EVP and the CVP. The two must be aligned. Neither can be compromised. To compromise on one of the statements is to put the other at risk. By enabling your customers to achieve what they want and to enable your employees to do the same is the surest way to achieve what you and your organisation want. 5 Top tips for integrating rather than inducting 1. First commandment of retail: Love thy customer. First rule of I.D.E.A.S. is love all your people2. Have and live out your company’s EVP3. Be clear about your why and theirs 4. Ensure that the working environment is psychologically safe5. Recognise that the on-boarding process might stretch itself to at least one (probably two) performance management cycle(s)Look out for my next blog where I explain the next element of the I.D.E.A.S. model ‘Development’. Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
23 Apr 2020
Inclusion matters now more than everThere’s a huge amount for business leaders to think about right now, amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, least of all maintaining business continuity. But now more than ever, leaders need to maintain focus on engaging and retaining their remote workforce and ensuring all of their employees, including those on furlough, feel secure in their connectivity to the organisation and that they are given the space to participate and contribute in a meaningful way - albeit remotely. At Stanton House, we are driven by the belief that diversity and inclusion is inextricably linked to business performance and employee engagement and retention. We are passionate about unlocking potential at the individual, team and leadership levels to drive high performance through inclusive practices. We regularly partner with Diversity and Inclusion experts to bring our customers insight, advice and guidance. This week we bring you expert insight from our guest blog author, Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership. Read on to discover the impact Covid-19 is having on inclusion strategies. Paul Anderson-Walsh Inclusion is a critical success factorCreating and maintaining a culture of inclusion is a critical success factor during normal trading conditions, so, how much more crucial is it when the entire world is in quarantine? Now that enforced social distancing has outlawed physical nearness, our inclusion strategies will be stress tested to ensure that they can serve a heightened need for psychological proximity. Inclusive organisations are concerned that those who must now be apart, still feel that they are a part. The primary human need is the need for certaintyWe need to feel in control and to know what's coming next to feel in control. For us to feel secure we need to feel confident that we are connected in relationships and can participate in groups in ways that give us meaning, security, and positive prospects. In short, we need to feel included. When a person is out of sight, it is not long before they are out of mind, and sadly not long before they begin to feel excluded from the team. How are our people really feeling?For the inclusive organisation the urgent question to be addressed is how are our people really feeling? What is their reality? When it comes to reality as people experience it, that can be a complex challenge to assess. When in the office (co-located) leaders might have measured the mood by reading the room, assessing body language and non-verbal communication. More formally, organisations have relied on asking people questions. But asking questions is only helpful if they know the answers and want to tell you or indeed are able to tell you. Neuroscience has shown that 95+% of our behaviour is driven by brain processes that operate below our conscious awareness. In the current crisis, the need for reliable people data could not be more acute If ever there was a time when we required accurate information before we act, it is now. As responsible leaders during this crisis we must turn to science and gather accurate meaningful data to support us in making the right decisions that will have critical impact on our people. Traditional methods that aim to measure what is happening in our teams use focus groups, direct questioning, or surveys but their greatest flaw is that they don’t go deep enough in terms of being able to access the multitude of deep-seated, motivational and emotional processes that ultimately influence the way we feel, especially in times of unprecedented change to our daily lives.The best methodologies use a combination of neuroscience, psychology, and data analytics to identify and understand how people really feel at any given time about any given thing that might inhibit performance and well-being. About the Centre for Inclusive LeadershipThe Centre for Inclusive Leadership is an Organisation Effectiveness Practice that exists to support governments, corporations, institutions and communities to enable people to be their best selves and do their best work. We work with leaders to help them create and sustain more effective organisations by enabling them to better support their people to be their best selves and do their best work. We work with organisations to help them manage inclusion to achieve added value from diversity and thereby improve organisational performance.In response to Covid-19 and the remote working world-of-work we now find ourselves in, we have developed a unique inclusion continuity assessment. We call it The Out of Office Covid-19 Impact Assessment. It provides rapid, anonymous and precise readings on how people are really feeling in terms of their sense of psychological safety; change readiness; mental well-being; the level of social isolation they feel comfortable with; their ability to do their best work in reordered circumstances and the anxiety levels around their financial stability. See demo or for more information contact The Out of Office Team. Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
15 Apr 2020