Everyone knows the story of the NASA janitor who, upon meeting President Kennedy, said his job was “helping to put a man on the moon”. He understood the importance of his contribution and the context he was working in. He truly felt he was part of something bigger than himself, and his attitude created a feeling of self-confidence in his mission.
Whatever context they are placed in, some people just naturally flourish. They effortlessly build learning and vigour into their jobs, and inspire those around them. But most employees are influenced by their environment – and even those inclined to prosper can buckle under pressure.
Creating a culture that encourages employees to grow, remain energised and in turn, deliver long-term performance is crucial as we move into the so-called wisdom economy. But creating the conditions for thriving requires concerted attention.
It is this notion that fascinates Lynda Gratton in our big interview, where the professor urges you to identify your context and use this to steer behaviour – both inside and outside the organisation. This, she argues, will define successful leadership of the future (see pages 10-13).
Many of the HR directors I speak to are already on this journey, and while culture change has characterised the past few years, a key focus for many organisations in the year ahead is building on this, ensuring everyone understands the overall mission and how they personally can contribute to long-term success. This issue, we speak to HRDs from Dixons Carphone, Santander, Experian, Greenpeace and Travelex to find out how they are doing exactly that.
Meanwhile, at Changeboard we’re taking our own steps to enhance long-term performance. We’re about to relaunch the website, changeboard.com, to become the open platform, global HR community for sharing best practice, case studies and thought leadership. We’re expanding the range of content we serve you to include subjects like employment law, reward, global mobility and learning & development, and incorporating new features to help you seamlessly save, organise and share your favourite articles, authors and areas of interest.
We look forward to your feedback in the coming months.