Investors want to see better. Talent too.
So what happens next?
It is a fair question. Many say they want strong values but are unprepared themselves to give trust to others without it being earned. How do you earn the respect of others if you are not prepared to give trust yourself? In recent years, openness and a desire to collaborate has been viewed as a weakness rather than a strength, so to achieve the landscape that so many say they want as we rebuild, is going to take a lot of change and work.
The irony, which has often been noted, is that it is those who dismiss the need to give trust and be collaborative who were themselves given trust and opportunity at an earlier age than they give to emerging talent today. The average age of a person reaching board level has increased by over a decade in the last ten years. The argument cited is increased expectation and risk; so, of course, it is ironic that investors are asking for greater change, not just emerging talent.
Research tells us that the majority of people – over 60% – expect trust to be earned before they give and yet also state they want their companies and people to have strong values. It has become a tension and contradiction which is ever more spoken about as it naturally leads, in business, to a lack of trust existing between partners as neither is prepared to give it, a lack of collaboration and a lack of openness. It is naturally nigh on impossible to have strong values with such a background.
It is not too hard to understand why it is estimated that 63% of employees do not trust their own leadership teams.
It is now about leaders investing back in order to create change and this will be challenging.
It has become a discussion as many are understanding that, to create the change that so many desire, then that change has to start with how one behaves on trust; that it is a choice to give it and for others to lose it. It is now about leaders investing back in order to create change and this will be challenging. The hard reality is that the best talent today expect:
· Companies to develop stronger sustainable strategies for in their economic models and with their people, let alone environment. Companies to be far more inclusive and work harder to appeal to engage to minority groups
· Companies to invest back into L&D to far higher levels.
· Companies to invest into their communities as a core philosophy rather than something to provide a platform for profiling the company
· For leaders to build stronger values and trust back into the business.
Of course, all this can be easily dismissed but it is worth noting that it is estimated that less than 15% of companies meet the above bar and it will be the expectation which will attract the best talent – and investors too are asking for better.
Without great talent and investors, it is of course harder to remain competitive and also shows a lack of understanding in the changes that many are calling for, which in turn, also erodes competitiveness.
Things are changing and the speed of change is moving faster than many realise.