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.
Cultures of Hesitancy
You can see it now, the anxious 2-year old on the swimming pool deck, mother waiting in the water, gently prodding... "You can do it. Go ahead. Jump..."
He's sitting in the restaurant, the engagement ring in his pocket, waiting for her to arrive. Tonight's the night. "You can do it. Go ahead. Propose..."
She is wrapping up the Annual Board Meeting, when a Shareholder asks to take the floor. Trouble is brewing "You can do it. Go ahead. Let him speak..."
Youíre looking at the prototype, the financials have been projected, the team is proud, but is the market ready for this? "You can do it. Go ahead. Decide..."
Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE feels that GE has a problem - decisiveness. In reality, many organizations suffer from what author Ram Charan has called "A Culture of Indecision". Organizations around the world have, at their fingertips, all of the best processes and facilities to make decisions: Offsite Planning Sessions, Team Meetings, Product Meetings, and Design Meetings. As well, once a decision is made, countless resources are available to implement it: Six-Sigma Teams, Project Teams, Design Shops.
The one thing that many organizations lack is the crucial piece in the middle - the ability to actually make high quality decisions.
This is the very essence of "the go point", in the book "The Go Point" by Professor Michael Useem.
The key is understanding that the business world is moving at lightning speed, customers are being wooed away by competitors that seem to pop up over night, and it is imperative to continually increase the tempo of your organization.
If you want to be around tomorrow, your organization has to realize one thing - itís go time. The days of flip-chart mania are over. Analysis-paralysis is now a lethal disease.
Successful executives will be measured, in large part, on their ability to make tough decisions, and ultimately to turn ideas into action.
Decide to Learn to Decide
Being decisive is a learnable skill.
What it requires is an understanding that the more you put yourself into situations where you are called upon to make a decision, the more you will gain the experience and knowledge required to embrace that special moment - the moment when the decision is made.
Once you are comfortable with your ability to be decisive, you can then "mentor" those around you to make tough decisions as well.
As a leader, you must become more aware of team members who display the symptoms of decidophobia. The affliction may be related to the actual disorder - hypengyophobia: the fear of responsibility.
Often, one of the major factors causing a fear of making decisions, is the fear that there won't be an adequate support system for them on the other side, whether the outcome is good, or bad. Your job is to ensure that individuals know there is two-sided accountability; they are responsible for achieving results, and you are responsible for providing all things necessary to help them achieve the results.
Although there are several approaches to decision making, one fact remains - to make better decisions, use a process, any process. By following a process, there is a greater likelihood that, when it is time to "go", there will be an ability to pinpoint any holes in judgment, and the commitment of the team will be greater.
As well, an additional benefit of using a decision template is the transparency of the decision process to all participants.
Yes, No, Maybe
The pursuit of decisiveness, in many cases, is upended by organizational culture.
Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, noted that when he first came on board, he was presented with a culture of "no". Fear, infighting and misalignment had caused an organizational response that stifled creativity, innovation and, ultimately, morale. Every idea was promptly shot down, with one swift - no.
Another unfortunate situation arises when office politics come into play. This is the culture of "yes". To impress the boss, team members rally around the boss' initial decision and, once itís approved, they promptly start doing something else.
Lastly, and often most costly, is a culture of "maybe". In this case, the cautious, analytical organization takes every suggestion put forth by team members, and grinds all of the life out of them by spending countless hours analyzing the ideas.
In any organization, the focus should be on balancing the responses. Once a decision is made, the decision is final and the action is carried out. If the answer is yes, it is off the table once and for all. If the answer is maybe, the idea is given its due process through an agreed upon decision template, to produce either a yes or no.
In Our Opinion
The Beacon Groupís Keys to Developing a "GO" Culture
Ready - Fostering a culture that rewards action while simultaneously celebrating the unforeseeable failure is crucial. Ensure your employees are enthused about making decisions, not fearful.
Set - Although decisiveness is the key, having a rehearsed game plan is a must. To ensure the decision is an educated one, it is important to scenario plan what will happen once the decision is actually made.
Go - As a leader, this is the most crucial stage. When it is time to go, it is your responsibility to unleash your decision with full confidence. Showing your confidence will help build increased support from your team.
Watch Film - Understanding the correlation between the process you used to make the decision, and the eventual outcome is an often-overlooked step. In most cases the "review" happens when something fails; be sure to review in good cases as well.