Change and Transformation
New Powerhouse Created in Canadian Human Capital Market
Two of Canada’s most respected professional services firms have come together to create a new strategic alliance to serve Canadian business leaders in meeting the challenges of transformational change and talent management.
“The Beacon Group’s program proved to be a transformational experience for our staff, and has created a new, more open culture of creativity and collaboration that has given The Globe and Mail a marked and measurable competitive advantage.”
— Phillip Crawley
“The Beacon Group was able to handle our 360 reviews across 9 offices in a manner that brought significant value to our partners, the firm and ultimately our clients.”
— Judson Whiteside
“The human capital programs provided by The Beacon Group are best in class.”
— Tye Burt
“The Beacon Group approaches very serious and difficult topics in an accessible and insightful way.”
— Eric Siegel
“The Beacon Group’s thought provoking curriculum utilizes best practice tools and interactive media for evaluation, assessment and overall learning. It has helped us raise the bar on our calibre of talent.”
— Ernst Lieb
“The Beacon Group delivered cutting edge perspectives on many human capital topics that were tailored and customized to our company in a way that we could not have obtained at more generic, cookie-cutter advising shops.”
— Doug Lord
“The Beacon Group acted as a strategic partner and was instrumental in helping us raise the bar on candid dialogue and team performance.”
— Robert Courteau
“We engaged The Beacon Group when we needed to bring two cultures together after our first major international acquisition: the evidence of their success lies in both the subsequent growth in our business and our presence in more than twelve countries on five continents.”
— Rupert Duchesne
“The Beacon Group excels in facilitating open & candid dialogue that has fostered superior team performance.”
— Mary Ellen Carlyle
“Top-level thought leadership, combined with practical, cost-effective solutions—that’s the real value the Beacon Group team brings to bear on Foresters talent challenges.”
— Suanne Nielsen
“Doug Williamson and his team were of invaluable assistance in helping our organization navigate through a completely new strategic planning process and emerge with a three year plan resoundingly endorsed by our Board. Doug’s global perspectives and ability to drive consensus was an integral part of our success.”
— Don Forgeron
“The Global HR & Communications senior team engaged the Beacon Group in shepherding us through a unique strategic planning process that involved an outside-in view of our current and future workforce and how this aligns to our business strategy. Thanks to Doug and his team it was a thought provoking process that sharpened our strategic thinking and, in the end, made our strategy stronger.”
— Sylvia Chrominska
“The Beacon Group’s customized and personalized approach fit our needs perfectly. From the initial self-discovery phase all the way to recommending solutions, the work they have done has been consistently world-class. They combine strong analytics with a wealth of real world experience. They are focused, targeted and are experts at taking theoretic concepts and making them real. We look forward to working with Doug and his team as we continue to elevate our business and improve our internal performance.”
— Don Romano
In the hyperactive and challenging world in which we all live, it is becoming harder and harder for business leaders to find time to read, reflect and gain insight from the many valuable sources at our disposal.
In "Provocative Propositions", The Beacon Group attempts to fill that void by offering our opinion, often rather pointed, on a wide array of issues we believe are relevant to leading a modern organization.
The articles are catalogued into 12 categories so you can quickly and easily find a topic of particular interest. We then offer three easy steps under the heading "In Our Opinion" to help business leaders take action on the key themes.
Simply click on the category and read away.
Technology has revolutionized and democratized the ability to transfer knowledge between people within an organisation; between organisations and even between organisations and their customer and suppliers etc. Unfortunately, most organisations are failing rather miserably in their efforts to keep pace with this revolution not only because they are not capitalising on the pure technology itself but also because of traditionally poor communication channels and practices.
We all know that communication is a vital component in today's work place and that it will increasingly become even more so. We also know that inside most organisations, the traditional means and effectiveness of communication has been a problem for years. The Knowledge Transfer revolution has, therefore, had the exact opposite of the desired effect. In short, we have built new channels of communication on top of a flawed foundation and it has done nothing to address the message itself. The result? Management and employees alike still feel they are not being listened to nor understood. In fact, a recent survey suggests that only "26% of employees were satisfied with their leader's performance in communicating in a direct and straightforward manner".
In their book "The Transparency Edge", authors Barbara and Elizabeth Pagano, remind us of the fact communication – whether analog or digital – still depends on the sincerity, believability and resonance of the message with the intended recipient. They support the earlier findings of David Ulrich, in his book Results Based Leadership, that links the implications of communication and talent management and points out how managers misdiagnose what their employee's really value. At the top of the managers' list of what they believe is important to employees were things like compensation, job security, and good working conditions. On the other hand, when asked, employees themselves answer quite differently. Their top selection for what really counts includes such things as interesting/challenging work, appreciation, and inclusion. The fact is, in far too many organisations, effective Knowledge Transfer and two-way communication is just not happening. Otherwise, there would be no difference at all in these two perspectives.
When these factors, which ultimately affect employee morale, loyalty, effectiveness and tenure, are not being met, ultimately the organization as a whole suffers. Interestingly enough, according to Ulrich's research, these factors cost virtually nothing to fix and are often a direct result of an overall cultural paradigm, as opposed to budgetary constraints. Developing a culture that thrives on open communication and knowledge transfer (read – no silos) is the key to success.
Steps to Improving Knowledge Transfer -Many companies make the mistake of believing they already have a robust communication system in place that operates fully and effectively on all levels. Truth is, more often than not, it doesn't. For your company to succeed, you must thoroughly examine your entire communication system and not just judge effectiveness by way of sheer volume or effort.
A Starting Point - A good way to begin is to develop a list of what are commonly believed to be the Knowledge Transfer (KT) and communication issues and/or roadblocks within the organization. Once created, conduct an Employee Survey that includes an area for specific commentary on the issue of KT. If the results from the survey differ from your list, it is recommended you conduct Focus Groups to accomplish two things, first, to address the issues that arise from the survey, and secondly to determine why these issues were not brought to light earlier.
Create an Open Environment - Most often, issues, ideas, and breakthroughs are overlooked, or not brought to the surface by employees due to a fear of reprisal. Good companies create a safe, open environment, free from fear and retribution. Author Jason Jennings would say "Celebrate great failures, and punish minor successes." You want your employees to speak up when they have a new idea, and not to be afraid even if the idea is radical. Having an open environment allows all employees to communicate effectively, and openly.
Listen, Understand and Act - It's been often said that in order to be an effective communicator, the majority of one's time is to be spent on the listening side of the conversation. Once your organization opens up, you had better be prepared to listen – to whatever comes your way. Everywhere you turn, employees are looking for reward and recognition, therefore, it is imperative that you recognize your employees' contribution for communicating, and reward them with solutions and action.
Follow-up - Remember, when you created your existing communication infrastructure you thought it was bulletproof. Don't forget that markets, needs, issues, and technologies change. Stamp this newly created strategy with an expiry date (or at least a 'to be reviewed on' date). The more often you revisit this issue, the faster the feedback loop, and ultimately the more fluid the dialogue. Conduct further assessments, it is the organization's responsibility to help their employees succeed.