Taking a Moment to Grow

Taking a Moment to Grow: with thanks to the KR Conference

When last did I take time to intentionally reflect on the value I bring to my organization and my clients? This was the question that came up time and time again with me over the 2 days at the Knowledge Resources HRD Conference in Cape Town recently. We inspire our clients to do just that. Take time, pause, reflect and find new paths forward.  It was good to take the opportunity myself.

Inspiring a Humane Economy (our purpose at CONTRACT) is a strong driver for me. I am clear that the value I bring to my clients, both human and business, is present, but we are often caught up in the detail and are not often given the opportunity to step back and look at how. ‘How do we bring value’ was living in the room at the conference. In the presentations that ranged from a State of the Economy Keynote Address to What does a Living Wage mean and how can we approach this in a moral and ethical way. From the Macro, to the Micro.  It was wonderful to do the journey from the external Big Picture into inner Moral Attitude.

So, what were the keys take aways for me? None of them actually new ideas, just good reminders that we must be more intentional about the way we show up in this human space.

Firstly. Get close to the business. You cannot support your people and build a humane business landscape unless you understand and can support the business problem first. It requires you not only to understand what the business is trying to achieve (the business strategy) but also the language that is needed to argue the case of people and culture in the interests of the growth of the business. The payroll accounts for 60-70% of the company’s bill. It is an obvious critical risk to the organization. But if we are not speaking the language to link it into the strategy, we are not doing our job to bring this risk into focus. We need to be translators of the human impact on business performance.

Second. The shifting landscape around us changes quickly. We all know this! Since the end of the pandemic, full time work employed is down by over a million, part time up by 15%.  The contingent workforce rises at a robust pace. This needs us to be nimble and wider skilled.  Part of this thinking was covered in my own Agile Workforce Planning masterclass, but it was echoed by many of the presenters. New skills in our HR families (think data analysts, tech developers, etc) are need, and a more agile approach to the way we work. Create a rhythm that allows us to adjust course to match the shifting landscape need. 

Third. Move from compliance to moral integrity.  This was clearly articulated in Prof Ines Meyers’ call to action in her Creation of Decent Work and a Sustainable Livelihood focus around a living wage.  And her belief that it would be detrimental for it to be mandated.  We need to return to a moral integrity for doing the right thing.

Thank you, Knowledge Resources, Wilhelm and Katie, for a moment of pause, reflection and learning. Thank you for a reminder about our value, our impact for our organizations and on the world, and how we can inspire ourselves to do the right thing.

Brian Heydenrych – Senior Consultant