Monday, 26 November 2012

Archie Norman at the #E4S Launch conference

DSCN4927.jpg  We're kicking off with Archie Norman talking about work in the production era from his time at McKinseys - firms paid people, measured them.  Everything was easy.  But you can't pay spot rates like that now.

We treated people as transactions and they treat their work and the people who work for them as transactions too.

Everything has changed, particularly people and their attitude to work.  The days when people come to work just to work have work have gone (err, well, to an extent).  When, where and how you work are voluntary.  We need to give them a fair wage, involve them and then entice them to perform.

Some of the changes:

  • Bonuses don't work - they create resentment and unfairness - they can support a culture but can't create a culture.
  • Hiearchies are dead - people don't assume a higher position on the org chart makes them superior or gives them the right to command
  • Offices and car parking spaces divide people - they all need to go
  • Job titles don't mean anything to people
  • Younger people in particular come to work in search of meaning - they want to be part of the change.


It's not just people who have changed - businesses have changed (err, well, to an extent - not yet enough!).  The difference between leading and failing businesses is their culture.

It's 22 years since Norman went to Asda as the FTSE 100's youngest CEO.  Their employees often had very low self-esteem - making a job at ASDA doesn't naturally make them think they've made it.  He saw his job as helping them develop this pride  All they had was their people and values so they set out to create values to die for.

When he went to ITV people weren't open about things - he started telling the truth about what he was seeing.  People are receptive to this and we don't help things by hiding it.  We need to be open about what's wrong with our businesses.

But people aren't always comfortable with this - you need to reach out to them and reward and recognise them for this.  He ran one of the UK's largest suggestion scheme and wrote out 4000 thank you letters - if people write to the boss, they want to hear back from the boss.  If you're not going to do this, don't do it.


Great presentation including loads of great lines (heavily tweeted).  My favourite: "People come to work to shine, and our job is to help them shine."


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