As well as Dave Ulrich, my other co-presenter in South America has been Jesus Vega de la Falla, former HRD at Inditex (Zara etc) and author of The Sensual Company in which he writes about how other companies can generate similar passion to Zara in their employees:
"What is Zara so that millions of people take to the streets every day with his clothes? What does Google for tens of thousands of people respond to a selection process? Why some companies are desired and indifferent to other investors, customers or employees? Do you have to be handsome and powerful to be attractive?
We speak of a new power, that of those companies who pursue their appeal, they have managed to seem to be interesting and through very different actions, but with one common factor: the exercise of seduction, as a business strategy. Your successful guarantee. The company is the opportunity sensuous know what makes it desirable for a company to woo people as diverse as employees, customers or investment groups …"
Zara sounds like a very special (maverick) company - one in which there is real love for the company. And I've written about love here several times before, and have just about got over my hangups about whether love is something we should strive for at work. It is. But now I've got a whole new paradigm to shift because for Jesus the opportunity is not just about love (ongoing comfortable love between a man and his wife, or even the ongoing conflict between two people who can't get on but can't do without each other either) but real, intense, sensual and passionate love between two lovers. Ahem. That's the first time I've written about this here!
But that's the sort of love Zara wants to create in its customers and it knows it can only do that if its employees feel intense love for its employees. Blimey!
I talked about this with Jesus sharing a taxi from Bogata Sheraton to the airport. But actually in his presentations he's been talking about something slightly different - the need to know ourselves. To be able to overcome our own egos and become the people we have the potential to be. Because it's only when we have this knowledge of ourselves that we can start to create deeper relationships with other people. I've written about this here too - though again in rather less passionate language. So I've suggested that we need to develop human capital - through organisations which values each employee, and helps each employee value themselves, before we can develop social capital - in which employees truly value each other.
But creating intensity and passion does sound better doesn't it!
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