By now you’re aware that we’ve entered a New Year. The flurry of posts that flood blogs encouraging resolutions, new attitudes, new approaches, etc. have died down. I love to see the positive launch into a new year because I think people are eager to start clean and move forward.
A new start is true for companies as well as it is for individuals. Going into 2014, our company is taking an approach that most don’t – and I dig it. Instead of piling on layers and layers of more goals and objectives, we’re stripping things down and asking people to focus. In fact, it’s becoming so engrained in who we are that the CEO is sitting down individually with his leadership team to review what they’re focusing on each month throughout the year.
This intentional move is a bit uncomfortable because it takes “accountability” away from being something that you hope will happen to something that is EXPECTED to happen !! I had my first meeting with the CEO, and it was so cool to see not only the individual approach to a collective whole, but that HR is supposed to be involved and have focus as much as all of the business units of the company.
So, what am I focusing on ?? The answer may seem obvious, but it’s . . . . people.
This is a bigger challenge than you think. Most companies thrive and build on processes and things in spite of people. We all claim that people are our most valued asset, but the reality is that companies focus on revenue. That’s not wrong in the least. The question is do you work through your employees to allow them to truly perform, or do you just make sure things “get done” regardless of who’s handling the work.
The other aspect of this focus that is challenging is – people are typically focused on themselves and not others. People are selfish. They want to make sure they’re taken care of first and that their needs are being addressed. This isn’t “wrong”, it’s human nature.
I want to see HR be a contrarian force in this challenge and be focused intentionally on others first.
This throws people (even people in HR). Why would you put others first? What if they take advantage of you? What if they disappoint you? What if they aren’t committed to this approach and it affects you?
All those things may come true (and probably will). That shouldn’t dissuade us at all. If HR truly puts others ahead of themselves, then actual cultural change will take root and blossom. This isn’t some theory, it’s fact. It’s just incredibly hard because it requires an incremental approach that evolves over time . . . and never stops.
I’m geeked about being able to practice this focus at my workplace. I’ve been trying to do it all of my life. To be able to have it permeate through a company’s culture is extraordinary and exciting !!
How about you? Can you adopt this focus yourself? Think about it. What would happen to you in your life and in your HR role if others came first? I think you’d like the result !!
3 thoughts on “Focus.”
It’s great to read that your CEO is meeting individually with each member of the leadership team to discuss focus! That drives home the message no one may hide in the crowd to avoid accountability…as well as emphasizes the fact that each person is critical to the success of the organization.
Your focus on people should result in some exciting outcomes. Your company is lucky to have you, Steve!
It is admirable that your leadership team is buying in to concept and philosophy. Without that buy-in, I don’t think the culture change would stand a chance.
The approach is critical to improving “engagement” with your people and the people with the organization.
I feel Larosa’s is lucky to have you in your role and support you in your task.
Steve, great challenge. I look forward to hearing about some of the ideas you get as you actually do put others first. Interesting challenge to prove the statement that we should consider others more important than ourselves and to look out for others as we would look out for ourselves. I believe having one person like you taking on a challenge like this in ANY organization can transform that organization. Since you have some executive buy-in, you most definitely WILL transform it. Mike…
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