Change and Transformation
“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.
Confidence in Organizations
For many of us, one story from our childhood stands the test of time in our memories. We may forget stories of bears or castles or animals. None of us forget the little engine that could.
"I think I can, I think I can."
This essence of perseverance sticks with us throughout out lives. Overcoming setbacks, clawing our way up through adversity. We think we can, we think we can.
Once we reach the top, the mantra changes to - "I know I can."
This level of confidence is one crucial element that must be in play in order to ensure an organization's future success. The role of the leader must ultimately be to help instil a sense of confidence in their organization.
Author of the book titled "Confidence", Rosabeth Moss Kanter, former Editor of The Harvard Business Review, and currently a Harvard Professor claims that:
"Confidence helps people take control of circumstances rather than be dragged along by them." Confidence is a self-propagating mixture of accountability, collaboration, and initiative.
Confidence accomplishes what renowned author Edward Deming stressed for years - confidence drives out fear.
Do you have the confidence to pull this off?
Winning and Losing
Confidence is based on a cumulative set of events. As a leader, the focus of your effort should be to look at the "wins" and the "losses" in a historical context. Many times, leaders focus on the next win only and, while this is important, they must also consider their team's overall track record - especially in crucial games.
The ultimate and most important goal is to develop a series of wins. To be able to create serial success. This "winning streak" mentality is what ultimately translates into higher confidence for the team which, in turn, helps "psyche" them up for the next event. The resulting confidence not only enhances your team's self-starting ability and sense of empowerment, but also allows you to look further out into the future for even more challenging goals for the team.
In the same way, when your team is in the midst of a losing streak, your focus must be on analyzing missed opportunities, and developing a strategy to keep them from happening again.
Remember that momentum can shift either way with respect to confidence. In sports and in business, winning teams have temporary setbacks to be sure, but they are able to keep the overall momentum moving in the right direction because they have an ability to recall the taste of confidence.
Benefits of Winning Streaks
Confidence is self-propagating. It is contagious. Once an organization gets it right, there can be several benefits that ultimately lead to enhanced levels of confidence, including:
- an emotional climate of high expectations
- positive, supportive, team-oriented behaviour
- organizational structures and routines reinforcing accountability, collaboration and innovation
- a network to provide supportive resources
The cycle goes on and on. Winning builds confidence and this confidence builds more winning.
Beware of Arrogance
In the case of confidence, leaders must, at all times, beware of overconfidence. Moss Kanter puts its well when she states that "confidence is the sweet spot between arrogance and despair."
Your team must be kept in check. Arrogance is the downfall of a confident organization. Arrogance tends to instil a god complex in the "mind" of the organization, and the organization may fall victim to believing it can do no wrong. Arrogance also drives - complacency. As a leader, you must constantly remind your team of the hard work, discipline and focus it took to get them to this point, as well as the amount that will be required to maintain their upward trajectory.
Quitting on the Coach
Although, ultimately, confidence is an intrinsic motivator in each member of the organization, there can be instances where the leader loses touch with their team. In hockey, a coach may pull the goalie after they let in a series of goals. This is done not to punish the goalie, rather to send a message to the team that they have let the goalie down. In another analogy, sports teams that lose respect for the coach for one reason or another "quit on the coach." They do this to send the coach a message that something must be done to restore the relationship.
Therefore, when youíre assessing your team's recent negative track record, take note of the fact that they may have underperformed to send you a message. If this sounds cruel and unusual, the reality is that itís part of the role of a leader.
Organizations that can capitalize on their winning streaks also find themselves in a position where they attract better talent. In his book The One Thing You Need to Know, author Marcus Buckingham states that to be effective, leaders must create winning conditions for their team, but also understand the individual strengths of each team member, and place them in a role that plays to these strengths.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter agrees. Her belief is that effective leaders are "connectors". First they have the ability to connect tasks to people, and then they connect these people to each other. This builds a common understanding of what is to be accomplished, and what everyone's role in the accomplishment is to be.
In Our Opinion
The Beacon Groupís Keys to Instilling Confidence in an Organization
Give Pep-talks - Whenever you can, gather the whole team together, remind them of their hard work, commitment, and dedication, and what itís brought them to date. Build the excitement to perform, and they will.
Pat helmets - Personal recognition for individual performance is crucial to remind everyone that their own piece of the overall accomplishment is important. It doesnít cost anything, but the pride and confidence it builds is priceless.
Shout from the sidelines - When something great happens "on the field" be loud. Draw attention to the event so everyone can share in the enthusiasm. When a mistake happens, use your voice again to encourage a better performance next time.
Refocus the team - At the end of the "game", after the celebratory speech, be sure to let the team know that there is another game in the future, and they must assess their performance to date and devise a plan to build upon their current talent.