Sunday 22 November 2009

CIPD conference summary: Authenticity


   Authenticity was also at the heart of many of the presentations.

Rebecca McIntosh and Claire Jelley, working for Indi Seehra at the University of Cambridge explained that authenticity is about substance, being knowledge-led, inner satisfaction, serving others, gratification from sustainability, multi-focus and outcome objectives.  It’s not about style charisma, ego, self-interest or even greed, instant gratification, singe focus or output objectives.

My favourite presentation in this area was given by Normal Pickavance from Wm Morrison.  Pickavance explained that for Morrisons, authenticity is about dealing with reality as it really is.  It’s not about the ‘Best companies to work for’ criteria!

And for him, it something that marks the end of an era – the ‘fast company era’, with its associated ‘fast company mindset’ (in which talent is seen as scarce – and can be, and needs to be singled out; in which talent can be bought; and in which talent should and does command a massive premium in rewards) – also see my post on the global reset and differentiation / inclusivity.

At Morrisons, authenticity is built upon the following four pillars:

  • Authenticity begins with your own people
  • Grow your own people your own unique way
  • Top performance comes when everyone works together
  • Everyone’s got talent = sustainable performance.


Other organisations seeking to act authentically need to:

  • Be clear about who they are (linking and aligning core capabilities, operations, culture and competence to create a sustainable point of difference)
  • Understand what makes them different (which Helen Rosethorn from Bernard Hodes referred to as their cultural strengths and weaknesses, and Allan Leighton, former CEO at ASDA used to call “the stuff other buggers don’t do”!)
  • Be proud of what they do
  • Consistently align employee and customer experience (being true to themselves)
  • Communicate extensively.



See my previous post on Transparency.

See my other conference posts.


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