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.
This is what businesses are looking for today - Clever people. There is no time to waste, and the old ways of doing things seem archaic in the new reality of business.
As a leader, you have an obligation to your organization to recruit and retain as many of these prized commodities before your competitors take all of them.
The Fact is - business recruiting and development programs have focused on IQ alone as a predictor of future success.
The Problem is - many ďsmartĒ people think along linear paths, and use proven models to come to their conclusions.
The Outcome is - organization after organization full of linear thinkers running tired out-dated programs into the ground.
The Solution is - to find people who challenge the status quo, and have the ability to think in new ways, in order to create a future that includes your organization. The solution is to hire clever people.
Not Just Smart
Rob Goffee and Gaeeth Jones in their book "Clever" state that "Clever people are famous fast. Their impact is more profound and spreads more quickly than ever before. The global economy amplifies their influence".
Being clever isnít just about being smart. While in many cases your organizationís most clever people may also be on the smarter end of the IQ scale, there are many other components to be on the look out for.
The bottom line is that not only do clever people add value, they seek it out. Clever people are always on the lookout for new and exciting things. They are self motivated, and this is one of their key differentiators.
What Clevers Want
Clever people need to work in clever environments and, if possible, for a clever boss. The major difference managers and leaders within organizations have to understand is that clevers respond to expertise, not hierarchy. Therefore, your position alone isnít going to get you anywhere with Clever people. In the end, this leads to a two-fold benefit to having a Clever-friendly culture - you get innovative and creative thinkers, and your managers must constantly develop themselves in order to keep one step ahead of the Clevers.
Another cultural expectation Clevers have is freedom. At Google, a Clever-haven, their corporate culture has been developed in a way that enables Clevers to spend a percentage of their time working on anything that is of personal interest to them. This freedom fulfills a fundamental need in the Clever and, therefore, results in a greater ability to focus on other corporate driven initiatives.
Leading Clever People
Herding cats may seem like a a perfect analogy for Clevers. The immediate picture is a room full of self-absorbed, creative thinkers with high ambition.
As a manager, it may seem virtually impossible to approach them, let alone lead them. However, they, as with all other people, are just that - people, and they need you.
In terms of specifics, the first thing they need is context setting. Clever people may have a great ability to solve a problem, however leaders must spend a great amount of time ensuring that the Clevers understand the context in which to solve the problem. In other words, tell them the What and the Why of the problem, let them come up with the How.
Secondly, and probably more importantly than the first, is the fact that Clevers need rewards and recognition for their accomplishments. While they may be self-motivated in terms of picking up the next project, they need the satisfaction of knowing that they impressed you, and that you value their contribution.
In Our Opinion
The Beacon Groupís Keys to building a Clever Culture
Freedom - Apple CEO Steve Jobs has it right. He hires clever people, and gives them the freedom to work on great things for the company. As a leader, you must trust your people, and let the answers come to them.
Context - Clever people need to know where they are going. While they may actually choose the final destination, it is the role of the leader to determine the direction the company is going.
Encouragement - Not what you think. Encourage an ability to fail. This allows clevers to test new limits, and to take a few more risks. Once success is achieved, you can encourage clevers to tackle the next problem.