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.
Committed to Leadership
"I don't know about this…" he said looking at himself in the mirror.
"Trust me, we've all been doing it wrong for a long time" replied the salesperson.
"This isn't going to turn out to be another one of those wacky fads is it?"
"No, not at all, this isn't the next big thing; it's going to be the only true thing."
"I'm still not sure about this, um, what kind of leadership did you say this was again?"
"I'll take it."
The first time anyone tries on a new style of clothes, there is a point at which it feels awkward. This feeling of awkwardness is often accompanied by a sense of self-consciousness. At this point, it can go one of two ways.
First, the self-consciousness wins, and the person reverts back to their "comfy" clothes, waiting for the style to catch on with more people. Or, possibly, the person's confidence in the style dominates, and everyone looks up to them for their bold, forward-looking style.
Someone has to go for it. It might as well be you.
David Dotlich and Peter Cairo debuted a new style of leadership detailed in their book "Unnatural Leadership". The trouble is, they did it in 2002, and nobody has been brave enough to try it on.
Sure it feels awkward, sure it's "haute leadership", but it's the way business is moving, and you'd better get on this runway.
Unnatural leadership is by no means any sort of pre-fab, manufactured, processed leadership. It is about being the opposite of just about everything that people have imagined a leader is. The model of leadership changed years ago, and it is time to truly change the practice of leadership.
Developing new leadership habits and behaviours may take some time to get used to, so attacking what you've believed in the past may be the quickest way to start practicing unnatural leadership. Leaders are not perfect, not to be idolized, and not fail-proof. This humility will position leaders to develop stronger bonds with the secret of their success, their employees.
Three Dimensional Leadership
To further illustrate how Unnatural Leadership is different from the dominant style of leadership, Dotlich and Cairo break what they call "Leadership Instincts" into three categories called "Challenges":
Personal Challenges - leaders must challenge themselves
Team Challenges - leaders must challenge those around them
Organizational Challenges - leaders must challenge the boundaries of their industry
By understanding that leadership is no longer a singular entity, the likelihood of an organization being successful is increased exponentially.
Speed and execution is the name of the game in business today. Therefore, there is no time to let Unnatural leadership develop organically. The mandate is again, unnatural; learn the components of Unnatural Leadership and put them into practice immediately.
In Our Opinion
The Beacon Group's Keys to Becoming an Unnatural Leader
Lie to yourself - You will find yourself questioning your choice to become this new (and improved) type of leader. Tell yourself that "everyone is doing it", although the reality is that the majority of people in business are not prepared to step up to this challenge.
Bad Habits - Old habits are hard to break. If, however, you want to succeed as a leader, break them quickly. Develop some "bad habits" that work against your old Leadership Habits.
Beg, Borrow or Steal - Make a list of Dotlich and Cairo's 10 Unnatural Instincts, and find leaders that have already chosen to lead using one or more of the instincts. Immediately "steal" and copy what they are doing.
Exert Peer Pressure - The worst thing that could happen once you have committed to Unnatural Leadership is to let it fall out of fashion. Your job is to use some "peer pressure" to ensure that it takes hold for years to come within your organization.
Our Monthly Rant
Sled Dog Leadership
In many cases, Leadership is practiced with a sled dog mentality, in other words, do exactly what the dog ahead of you does. Rarely does anyone try to actually get to the front of the pack.
This nearsightedness can be a critical flaw within an organization. If one's leadership style doesn't evolve, and quickly, it will eventually be so out of sync from what one's employees are looking for that all credibility will be lost.
Why then is this lack of evolution present in most cases of leadership?
Why, because it's easy. It's the path of least resistance. The "old" leadership style worked for the last guy, so it's bound to work for me. As Dotlich and Cairo write, however, the world has moved from "Great Man Theory" to "Chaos Theory". Change in leadership style is only natural.
Adapting one's leadership style to match the "new" style of unnatural leadership can unlock new enthusiasm in employees, uncover new synergies, and create a strong foundation for the future of the organization.