Innovating with careers. Maximising the human asset.

Great people are as important as ever – but finding talent is arguably as hard as ever. Many today require a new sense of purpose and they need to be brought into a community. Reinvention can be for everybody but what support is there for people who lose their way?

It is said that we are living through a second industrial (digital) revolution which is changing work patterns and productivity just as much the original one. Finding talent is arguably as hard as ever and may get harder yet. Therefore it is important that we make the most of existing talent and help people that sometimes lose their way or becomes stale. Reinvention or simply adjusting and changing can renew a person’s sense of purpose.

It is argued that everybody will change as they travel along the career road. Careers today are journeys and there needs to be a focus on the development of the mind, thought processes and creativity. Too many boards are arguing that their people are too narrow in the focus and not helping create change agendas. Is it fair to suggest that it is not people but business processes that are the barrier? There needs to be greater innovation in terms of freeing up talent and supporting skills to change and adjust to conditions.

In April EP brought together many senior players from across the Hospitality and Sporting worlds to discuss Reinvention. During dinner at The May Fair in London, the core argument of people innovation was explored – the need to redevelop skills and maximise talent. It is now important that organisations plan and make the most of human assets that lie within their business. Often the talent is there but needs support. Is it time businesses innovate their people so they can change, reinvent themselves and add greater value?

From the evening the hard truth became clear – we all need to change as we travel along the career road. Careers today are journeys and there needs to be a focus on the development of the mind, thought processes and creativity. In an age where digitization is becoming increasingly controlling and important to the daily work life, the most important area of innovation lies with people. There are barriers to new leadership and new solutions. Hospitality especially possesses great people and now is the time to invest in their innovation and also reinvention.

Reinvention at London’s May Fair Hotel
Speakers on the night included Simon Halliday, a former England Rugby player (double Grand Slam winner in 1991 and 1992) but also a Director within Lehman Brothers at the time of the crash, who has reinvented himself and his career in a completely new direction.

All American Swimmer turned CNN reporter turned leadership coach Lynn Blades shared her passionate story and brought real truth into the conversation. Lynn is the Co-Founder of The F.E.A.S.T. Project – dedicated to the mission of finding excellence around a shared table.

Brian Deane provided an insight into what it is really like for footballers. The English football coach and former player whose most recent position was as the manager of the Norwegian side Sarpsborg 08, was inspiring for many.

Former GB swimmer turned entrepreneur, Angela Wilson, is now CEO of Angela’s Swim School. She shared her story of missing out on an Olympic dream and how she used it to pursue her company goals. Angela now has 18 franchises which teach over 3000 children a week and her story touched many.

Matt Church played cricket for Worcestershire and Gloucestershire and has reinvented himself by becoming a Strength and Conditioning Coach as a second career and owns Locker 27 – a specialist gym. Matt shared his views on the cricketing world and what needs to be done to ensure more are supported.

All shared stories and examples of reinvention and were passionate about the need to help others reinvent themselves. The evening included Champagne supplied by Gordon Dadds and wines from The Sporting Wine Club. Now it is time a structure is put in place which can help former sporting players and also those who need to reinvent themselves in any industry. Help that has not always existed.

Many industries, including hospitality, are beginning to measure food waste, the cost of recruitment, the cost of losing a good person. However, the amount gained by redeveloping existing talent is never measured. Now is the time to do so and the irony is that often it is not the complex skills that need redevelopment but the simple social skills:

  • Social competence
  • How to build strong professional relationships of value
  • The art of conversation and how to communicate effectively
  • How to network and open doors
  • How to present oneself
  • How to make others feel reassured and good
  • How to think laterally and creatively
  • How to be proactive and add value 
  • How to be problem solvers

It is all these traditional skills that can make a difference in a career and a life but not enough time is spent on these skills or invested in them. People may talk Hospitality but they need to breathe it too. Innovation is important but nothing is more important that freeing up talent so that it can express itself well and be effective. There are barriers to new leadership and new solutions. The sector possesses great people and now is the time to invest in their innovation and their reinvention.

EP has pulled together an experienced team of professionals that can work with those that need to change and find new direction. The talent exists for the Industry to thrive and prosper; there is just a greater need to focus on the development of skills sets and broaden thinking.