I read this article in the National Post, Leaders matter written by Mary Teresa Bitte, Tuesday, January 11, 2011.

I totally align with what she writes and having a human resources and marketing background I feel that she is on the “right” track as far as where we need to be corporately and with regard to our “human capital” – our people!

She starts with saying that if “anything positive has come from the financial meltdown, it is the realization that in the build-up to the crisis, the wrong type of leadership was rewarded and nurtured.”

Sussannah Kelly, executive vice-president at international recruiting firm DHR International comments, “fifty people caused the global markets to collapse. They had that much power and arrogance and the systems and processes we have in place valued that arrogance and compensated it.”

That is quite the profound statement. We did, we valued greed and manipulation. That is changing and fast.

The article goes on to say something that I am working on with our youth – the next leaders – “the next generation of leaders have to challenge the status quo, lead by example and inspire others to do the right thing. It sounds so simple, but so many of our performance management systems are about fitting in, on behaving as one of the fold – but that is exactly what has to change“.

Many youth today, especially in there 20s and early 30s have been described as lazy, entitled, and not willing to work. Perhaps these youth are “uninspired” by the hierarchical way corporations and businesses are set up; they do not agree with status quo and learn to just live with it or do what they have to do. The millenium children will challenge the status quo and force change however they must be guided to lead by example and walk their talk.

The article then focuses on changes that we will hopefully begin to see in boardrooms and that is the presence of a HR committee/team that goes beyond top executive and CEO compensation. According to Dan Ondrack, academic director fro executing programs at Rotman, there is a shift in the corporate boardrooms and within organizations – It’s all part of a shift that’s taking place in the dynamics of business where human capital is more valued than physical capital. “To produce that human capital,” he says, “companies have to have good systems, good management and a lot of that burden falls on the HR function. To this point, many corporate boards took it for granted that the necessary people would be in place or maybe they didn’t appreciate the leverage you can get in performance by having good management of human capital.”

I have spoke about corporate culture and how critical it is to a company’s success both internally and externally – with meeting the needs and desires of their employees and customers. I am glad that we are all starting to get on the same page.

Boards failed for they were too preoccupied with shareholder value and spreadsheets and that’s it. The Rotman School of Management and the Toronto Human Resources Professionals Association joined forces and created a three-day program for directors and executives in April/11. This program will take a look at the following:
The Board Human Resources Committee Program:
strategic approach to leveraging performance, succession planning, diversity, retention of talent and organizational culture and learning, among other areas.

It’s a good start. We also need to hear from our youth and move away from the “old school of thinking and being”. This does not work today and companies will not succeed or reach their full potential until they open themselves up to looking within and seeing if their own corporations/companies are walking their talk – are their vision and mission statement aligned within and with their employees also is their on-line presence clearly stating this?

Food for thought.

Ms. Kelly states, “A successful organization holds people accountable not only for short-term growth but for sustainable growth and building cultures tolerant to debate and dissent, for understanding complex systems.”

The author ends with the bottom line:

The status quo simply doesn’t cut it in a hyper-connected world where information and knowledge trump commodities when it comes to value. The fact is a new type of leader is needed – one who builds learning environments where people are free and encouraged to question and debate.

I love it! This is exactly where my work with youth fits in! Voices of Youth

Together we will make changes in our world!

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