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Behaviours we don’t want to repeat!
If anything underpins the importance of behaviours on the effectiveness of business we need only to look at recent events which have sent the Global Economy into decline.

January 2010
Mary Hanson

The Recession that we having been wrestling with for the last 18months has been fuelled by the actions taken in some areas of the business sector, and overheating of the economy in general.  If we look at how we got to this stage it is clear that the way in which business leaders have acted or behaved have contributed to a large extent to the position we now find ourselves in - so let us have a look at what those behaviours have been and why going forward we must make sure that they are eradicated.

Some of the behaviours that come to mind are:-

Adverse Risk Taking - taking risks without proper consideration of the potential consequences of those actions.

Lack of Compliance - failure to follow policies and procedures either as laid down by their organisations or indeed within proper Corporate Governance.

Poor Leadership - failure to take actions which ensured the long term viability of their organisations. - focussing their staff on short-term gains to increase top line performance and consequently payment of enhanced bonuses based on inappropriate measures.

Lack of Customer Focus / Poor Customer Service - poor advice for clients leading customers to over extend.

The result of this has led to a loss of credibility and a lack of trust by customers and shareholders.

Every day in Ireland as we pick up the paper, listen to the news, we hear of more stories where again poor and negative behaviours have led the country into the critical Financial situation it finds itself in - the public have lost faith and belief in those institutions that should be above board in their moral and social responsibilities.  We continue to read about practices that verge on corruption, dishonesty, greed and a complete lack of accountability or anyone really standing up and taking responsibility for their mismanagement. 

So, where to we go from here, how do Companies and Public Bodies restore peoples faith in them;  at what point will Joe Public have enough belief to risk their savings in investing in Companies and believing that our Governing Institutions are putting our interests first?
The road will be long and hard - when trust has been broken it takes a long time to heal and that is what has to happen to get Ireland back on its feet.  So how to you restore that trust - what behaviours do we need to see? 

Looking at recent studies that are examining what will help companies pull through the recession you will see the words and phrases….

Integrity, Leadership, Transparency, Involvement, Communication, Honesty, Customer Focus

These are not new - Business Leaders, Business Advisors, Psychologists have been championing these as key indicators of successful Business Leadership for years and we need to get them back to the forefront of how we conduct business.

 “When asked which capabilities of organizations as a whole are most important for managing companies through the crisis, respondents choose two more often than any others: leadership, so that leaders inspire others and shape their actions, and direction, so that it’s clear where companies are going and that people are aligned on how to get there.”

“When things are good, most employees are motivated; when things turn bad, people need to know what’s happening, so clear communication is vital.  ..Leaders should be managing by walking around, reassuring and inspiring trust.”
Source - Suzanne Rosselet-McCauley, Deputy Director, World Competitiveness Centre, IMD - article published in CIPD People Management Magazine - October 2009.

We are interested to hear back from business leaders, managers, HR Pracitioners on this matter and have put together a list of competencies / capabilities which we are asking people to prioritise which they believe will be the most critical competencies to take us through the recession and out the other side - hopefully still intact!

If this is useful to you and your organisation, and you would like more information then Please Contact Us, we would be delighted to hear from you


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