- Subscribe in a reader
About Edith Onderick-Harvey
Change agent. Consultant. Advisor. Speaker.
Since founding Factor In Talent in 1999, I have become nationally recognized for developing leaders, executive teams and organizations that achieve exceptional performance. I work with innovation sector clients -- high tech, life sciences, higher ed, and financial services. I’m regularly quoted in the media and have appeared in The New York Times, CNN.com, HR Executives and many others. My passion is helping you STRATEGICALLY think about HUMAN CAPITAL, develop, engage and retain THE BEST people, DESIGN your organizations and ACHIEVE RESULTS.
Blog Tagsbrand business results business success career development career growth change clear expectations compelling clarity conflict and innovation corporate culture Edith Onderick-Harvey engagement strategy Factor In Talent followership GenY idea generators innovation Leader leaders leadership leadership development leadership Performance leadership pipeline leadership trust leading change life-long learners Millennials organizational change performance performance management personal and professional goals purpose Retention drivers talent talent management unresolved conflict vision
Tag Archives: followership
Earlier in my career, I was interviewing with the SVP, the chief people officer, for a senior role in a large organization. He was still fresh to the company, having been there about 6 months. I asked him where the firm was going and what made him get up in the morning and go to work. He looked at me and with a shrug said, “Edith, it’s insurance,” like it was the craziest question in the world. How silly to expect that a senior leader, six months into his job would be able to articulate a compelling picture of the place he worked. He had a golden opportunity to communicate his vision of what this organization was about and where it was going and he came up with nothing. There was no second interview.
This story is not meant to reflect badly on the insurance company. I know plenty of executives in insurance companies who would answer that question very differently.
This SVP obviously wasn’t able to communicate a vision. Over the past 18 months, many of our organizations have been lacking in “the vision thing.” We’ve been focused on a lot of things that were important but that people perceive as negative — cutting costs, losing sales and revenues, reducing headcount. But as the recovery starts, we need to think about where we want to go from here, because it won’t be where we were before 2008.
Whether you are hiring to rebuild your team, developing employees, or trying to retain or more fully engage your talent, the first step for taking performance to the next level and creating competitive advantage is to develop Compelling Clarity. Compelling Clarity is about creating a vision and expectations that are so clear it is difficult to say ‘where are we going?’ or ‘what should I be doing?’and so compelling no one needs to ask ‘why am I doing this?’ Instead, they say ‘I need to be a part of this.’
Ask yourself these questions:
- Where does my organization (or division or group or…) need to go?
- Why are we going in that direction?
- What will we look like a year from now?
- What top priorities will get us there?
- How will we know we’re successful?
- Why do I want to be a part of this? Why would someone else want to be a part of this?
If your answer is “I don’t know” to any of these you’re going to be less able to attract or retain top talent as you move forward. You’ll be appealing to people who want a job but not attractive to people who want to make an impact. Without a sense of where they’re going, you’re people can’t perform at the high levels you need.
Be ready to talk about your vision. Gauge the reactions to it. After all, you don’t want to find yourself saying, with a shrug, “Edith it’s…”