Thursday, 31 May 2012

Living the Brand

I visited one of my regular clients, Scott Sports yesterday. It was the first time one of my visits had coincided with one of their famous lunchtime cycle rides and even as a 'supplier' I was encouraged to take part. GM Steve Carter tells me that these 3 times per week, 15 mile sessions serve to:
  • promote health and fitness in the team
  • build team connectivity
  • familiarise people with the products they are selling
  • give people the user experience and build empathy with customers
  • and, build credibility...we don't just talk about it we 'live' it!
The team face all the usual business pressures but most make time to take part - though some have to be dragged away from their desks! The post ride shower and mini-buffet for participants adds to the experience. Steve says, 'We don't make a fuss about it, it's just the way we do things here'.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Talent and Potential

So the important discussion relating to the role of practice in developing winners rages on. In this article from this week's Sunday Times, Adrian Furnham tells us that we are all getting carried away when we emphasise the role of structured, deliberate and consistent practice in developing talent in others. He argues that while practice is a critical requirement for excellent performance, when it is applied to someone with limited natural ability it does not necessarily deliver success.

Fellow journalist Matthew Syed suggests otherwise in his book Bounce of course. He posits that talent is under-rated and that it is practice and hard work that makes the difference. A strengths approach would surely argue that both are of equal importance - discover what you are good at and then grow that talent through learning and practice?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Power of Introverts

Former lawyer Susan Cain spent 7 years researching and writing her book, Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - you can find a clip of her talking about the process of writing and the key messages here. It's amazing that these simple concepts about how different people learn best and do their best work, are so readily overlooked by organisations and educational institutions.

While this is undoubtedly and important book, what struck me most having read it was the age old argument about whether labels of this type are helpful to us at all. What shines through the argument for being more accepting of introverts, is perhaps the need for all of us to see everyone as their own 'type'. Take the time to understand individuals strengths and weakness, how they love to learn and what excites them, and the need to label is surely removed and cannot get in the way learning and performance?