The Global Leadership Dilemma: To Be Inclusive Or Not To Be Inclusive?

By Kevin Cashman, originally posted on Forbes.com

We are witnessing an impassioned debate playing out in our political and cultural worlds. Should we serve our own interests or the broader interests? Should we put America first or the world?  Should we place our company interests first, our customers’ interests, or the environment? Should we place our career success as primary or our team’s success? The answer to these and other salient questions is obvious. “Yes.” We need to do it all.

However, today’s debate tries to force a decision—one or the other— on issues that call for dynamic and tough reconciliation.  All our leadership research spanning millions of senior leaders globally suggests that leadership involves the constant reconciliation of the “I” and the “We” domains of leadership. When do we push and drive for our own way, excluding the views of others, and when do we involve others: listen, collaborate, and synthesize their insights for a more diverse and inclusive view?

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Why Purpose Should Be A Pivotal Part Of Your Business Strategy

By William Vanderbloemen, originally posted on Forbes.com.

The secret to better and bigger work may not be better and bigger numbers. A recent study from Korn Ferry showed that companies with teams focused on their organization’s purpose had annual growth rates nearly three times the annual rate for their entire industry.

According to the survey, 90% of people who worked in a purpose-driven organization reported feeling engaged in their work. In companies that aren’t as focused on purpose, only 32 percent of employees reported feelings of engagement and connectedness with the work they were doing.

But practically, how do you accomplish this? In a sales-driven world, it can be hard to shift focus without feeling like you might suffer in your business. Here’s some ways we’ve focused on driving purpose and increasing work engagement at Vanderbloemen.

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The Trillion Dollar Difference

Although organizations obsess over technology and its promise, people hold huge, measurable value, and they can’t be neglected in the future of work, Korn Ferry research finds.

Visit Korn Ferry Institute for an interactive exploration of The Trillion Dollar Difference whitepaper, as well as the whole Future of Work study.

Authentic Influence

By Kevin Cashman

This article was originally published in Caring Magazine; volume 22, no. 04, Winter 2016/2017. 

What is authentic influence?  It is the true voice of the leader, and when we speak it from our character, it creates trust, synergy, and connection with everyone around us.  Authentic influence is not simply refining our presentation style; it’s deeper than that.  Some of the most authentic leaders I know stumble around a bit in their delivery, but their words come right from their hearts and experiences.  You feel their conviction and the integral connection of who they are and what they say.  As Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”

Authentic influence is about straight talk that creates value.  It’s not about hurting people with bluntness or insensitivity.  Expressing yourself authentically is sharing your real thoughts and feelings in a manner that opens up possibilities, and sometimes it’s the most difficult messages that can open up the most possibilities if shared in a thoughtful, compassionate manner.  Influencing authentically is what one CEO I know calls “caring confrontation”– the unique blend of straight talk with genuine concern for people.  Like many leaders, my CEO friend had been uncomfortable with such interaction for years.  As his career progressed, he realized, “Real caring involves giving people the tough feedback they need to grow.”

Carl Jung said it this way:  “To confront a person in his shadow is to show him the light.”

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Purpose-Powered Success

By Korn Ferry Contributors, originally posted on the Korn Ferry Institute on December 6, 2016. 

It turns out in a growing number of industries, purpose has a purpose.

According to a new Korn Ferry study, consumer companies that focused their employees on the organization’s purpose boasted annual growth rates that were nearly triple the annual rate for the whole sector. And the benefits go beyond financial. The study also found that having an authentic purpose can help create and retain talent, win over customers, and have positive impacts on broader society.

The study, called “People on a Mission,” examined a broad set of purpose-driven organizations, including interviews with 30 founders, CEOs, and senior executives at consumer companies with visible and authentic purposes, engaged employees, customer-oriented cultures, and strong financial results. “We have found that organizations that take the challenging steps to define their core purpose and values, and integrate these throughout their operations—beyond slogans or advertising gimmicks—see not only strong bottom-line results, they also find this approach transforms all aspects of their business,” said Elaine Dinos, principal of Korn Ferry’s Global Consumer Market practice. “When an organization has a clear purpose, it unleashes the power and drive of the entire workforce, harnessing and focusing that combined effort in one aligned direction.” Indeed, the study found that companies with the proper focus posted compounded annual growth rates of 9.85% compared to a 2.4% for the whole S&P 500 Consumer Sector.

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Follow these links to download the People on a Mission study, as well as the Consumer Market Study Summary of this report.

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The trillion-dollar difference

By Korn Ferry Contributors, originally posted on the Korn Ferry Institute on December 1, 2016. 

Although organizations put technology in the spotlight in the future of work, it is, in fact, human capital that holds the greatest value for organizations now and in future, new Korn Ferry Hay Group research finds.

An economic analysis commissioned by the firm and conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research finds that human capital represents to the global economy a potential value of $1,215 trillion. It is 2.33 times that of physical capital, which includes tangible assets like technology, real estate, and inventory. Physical capital, the analysis performed for Korn Ferry indicates, should be valued at $521 trillion today. Nothing can match the greatest asset of any organization: its people, says Gary Burnison, CEO of Korn Ferry (read “People Are No Longer The CEO’s Most Important Asset” for more of Burnison’s insights).

“Leaders are placing a high emphasis on technical skills, technological prowess, and the ability to drive innovation in their new senior recruits–elements critical for modern organizations,” says Korn Ferry’s Alan Guarino, vice chairman CEO services. “However, the financial reality proven by this study–that the value of people outstrips that of machines by a considerable distance–must give CEOs pause for thought. So-called ‘soft skills,’ such as the ability to lead and manage culture, will become critical factors of success for companies in the future of work as they seek to maximize their value through their people.”

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Cashman Consults: On Leaders

Cashman Consults: On Growth

Cashman Consults: On Leadership

8 Steps For Helping Your Employees Accept Change

Article by Brent Gleeson, originally posted to Forbes.com on October 17, 2016.

Organizations of all sizes are in a constant state of change now more than ever. External and internal factors include but aren’t limited to growth, lack of growth, economic cycles, emerging technologies, shifts in the competitive landscape, figuring out how to best lead this generational workforce, cultural gaps and communication challenges.

One of the most important roles a leader has is to drive necessary change and evangelize its importance. Obtaining buy-in and protecting the company culture are critical and this can only be done with clear and consistent communication and follow-through.

I’ve taken my companies through periods of change and it isn’t easy. I have definitely made mistakes along the way and applied those lessons in order to do it right the next time.

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