Interviewed by Tom:
I met with Jonathan Winter of Career Innovation last week. Jonathan and his organisation’s mission is to improve the way people work within businesses and I greatly enjoyed the, albeit all-too-brief, chat we had in the fleeting English summer sunshine.
Here are some of Jonathan’s enlightened answers to some of the big questions I fired at him:
1) You mention you had a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ for Career
Innovation. Tell us a little bit more about that and why you think it’s
important and how it will change the world.
We need a step-change in the way organisations and workers connect.
Our research shows that over half of all highly-educated workers feel
their skills & abilities are not well used. This is a huge waste of
talent. It suggests to me there is not a shortage of talent at all –
just a shortage of motivation! So our goal is not only to help some of
today’s best known companies to adapt, in our role as a research-led
“innovation lab”, but also to model some of the new structures for
tomorrow’s best companies. Ultimately our goal is to “be the change”.
2) Your organisation has studied people in the workplace for over a
decade, if you could pass on 3 pieces of advice to a new manager, what
would they be?
I think there would be only one piece of advice: Never mind the
structures and processes for managing people, just make sure you invest
the time to listen to what your team members are really looking for in
life and work, and then have an honest conversation about what’s
possible, and act on it uniquely for each person. Contrary to popular
belief, fairness is not about doing the same thing for everyone, it’s
about listening to everyone and treating them uniquely.
3) What world issue keeps you up at night and how might an
organisation go about mitigating this sleeplessness?
What a big question! For me, poverty comes first. This means poverty
of spirit and relationships as well as body. But the priority has to be
on the obvious places where – on a huge scale – people are suffering
materially. Each of us has a different role to play in addressing this.
My own passion and commitment is around business and enterprise, and the
role of enterprise (including both private and “social” enterprise, and
blends of the two) in creating wealth, raising levels of education, and
offering purposeful work. So what do I think all organisations can do? A
good start is to do build a good business, a healthy organisation, and
make sure our products & services (and by-products) do more good than
harm. Those are the kind of organisations tomorrow’s best (and
greenest?) talent will want to work for. That’s why Career Innovation
invests our time and energies helping companies to “make work more
inspiring” through our research, innovation events and interactive
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