Our Senior Consultant, Sophia Man, connected with the aspiring university students last week as part of our social outreach effort. Insights and discussions were sparked on how to excel in interviews and find their own edge in the emerging workforce.
The key take-way? Our Gen Z are eager and hopeful to embark on their careers, yet they feel equally anxious about entering the future of work. “Even though we’re surrounded by many career resources at university, an insider’s perspective on navigating through career planning is so valuable.”
We heard you, students. We were enthused by your enthusiasm, and were honoured to help you make a leap in your career journey!
BOLDLY is here to work with students for the long term of their careers. Set up your free account today, and start accessing the resources you need for the career you want! https://www.boldly.app/citizen/
The size of the coaching market globally is still relatively unknown. So many people call themselves 'Coaches', and buyers don't always require accreditations, so there's no one source of 'truth' when it comes to this industry.
We're working to change that - collaborating with experienced and qualified Professional Coaches to establish industry benchmarks, and cement the coaching offering as a cornerstone of any development initiative.
Here's just a few of the Coaches we work with. Get in touch if you have a specific coaching requirement - we specialise in niche locations, skills, and excellence in engagement management: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever found yourself seeking out reliable data on coaching rates? Want to know how much supervision coaches take on? These are the kind of insights we typically need to build a strong business case for coaching within an organisation, and yet it's so hard to come by!
Lanterne Rouge has the research. Through our coaching platform BOLDLY, we've collected thousands of data points globally regarding Coach rates and other industry benchmarks. Get in touch and we'll be happy to collaborate: email@example.com
The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards were held in San Francisco last week. Several months of hard work, business planning, pitching and finessing on the part of the Finalists came to a glorious finale at the awards ceremony, including TED talks and Q&A with Leaders from all walks of life: Cyrille Vigneron (President & CEO of Cartier), Hillary Kerr (Co-Founder of Clique Brands), Karen Lloyd (Microbiologist), Ashweetha Shetty (Bodhi Tree Foundation), Kotchakorn Voraakhom (Landprocess), Maria Shriver (Journalist, Author, and NBC News Special Anchor), Ilian Mihov (Dean of INSEAD), Kelsey P. Robinson (Partner in McKinsey), Lupita Nyong'o (Actor), Oulimata Sarr (Deputy Regional Director for West & Central Africa of UN Women) and many, many more!
A huge congratulations to each of the finalists, as well as the 7 Laurette's who won $100K USD each towards their businesses. Each business leader pitched and represented their businesses with courage and confidence - it was infectious.
Lanterne Rouge was hugely privileged to be a Coaching partner to the initiative, with our Chief Exec, Alexandra Lamb participating as a Business Coach. We look forward to next year!
Our Chief Exec, Alexandra Lamb, pitched BOLDLY at the #HRTechTank in SanFrancisco last week. A great event with HR buyers, investors, and entrepreneurs alike!
The feedback on BOLDLY? The audience liked the B2C opportunities, the scope of our Coach pool, our measure of RODI, and the innovation we're bringing to the careers space. Several great product partnerships were kindled at the event - watch this space!
If you'd like to check out BOLDLY for yourself:
Our Managing Director, Sam Buttle, was recently interviewed on moneyfm 89.3 in Singapore about the future of work and how BOLDLY enables careers.
Listen to the podcast here and check out BOLDLY for yourself here!
By Rachel Kee
As of May 2018, only 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women (See Fortune's MPW List for 2018 here). To explore this phenomenon from an education standpoint, the recent Women’s Forum Singapore 2018 brought together a strong panel of representatives from university institutions such as Evelyne Kuoh, President of HEC au Feminin, Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD, Kevyn Yong, Associate Dean of Execution Education from ESSEC Business School APAC; and also from McKinsey & Company – Diaan-Yi Lin, Managing Partner and Zenaida C. Maglaya, Undersecretary from Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines.
The panelists started by sharing a few factors behind this under-representation of females in corporate CEO roles. Firstly, it is about the roles that women play within the organisations. As females are overrepresented in clerical and support or functional roles without significant P&L responsibilities, they don’t gain exposure to career pathways to CEO positions as readily as their male counterparts do. Without the exposure to large line management responsibilities and business P&L responsibilities, women trend towards roles as CHRO, CMO or CFO in the few instances (all still admirable and influential leadership posts), but are not filling the ‘top of the funnel’ for CEO succession specifically.
The other reason is the number of women in senior management roles which has a direct impact on the probability for more women CEOs. In Japan, less than 1% of senior managers are women. In India, it is 5%, and in Philippines, Australia and Singapore, the number increases to 20% to 30%. There are unique societal norms that tend to impact women, meaning there’s a variety of different factors causing this trend in each Nation or sector. For example, women tend to be less prominent in industries like ICT and STEM, as educational institutions have not prepared a pipeline of females in these sectors since kindergarten, and consequently, if they do arrive as qualified professionals in these sectors, such high-growth business environment are typically less supportive to women’s motivators and lifestyle considerations.
Lastly, women themselves also play a part. There are many highly talented women who choose to opt out from senior roles due to personal lifestyle choices which they don't believe they can balance with the demands of a senior role, or because they simply lack the confidence to take on CEO roles. It is also highlighted that women tend to hold back from relocating to other countries due to family priorities, and this indirectly affected their business understanding, exposure, worldview and vision, which are all essential competencies for a successful CEO. Also, women are very good at negotiating and supporting others who work for them, but not for themselves.
There was a rich conversation about the complex combination of all these factors above that results in the low percentage of women CEO’s. So what can be done to improve this situation at the system level?
Firstly, companies can start by educating everyone, especially Leaders and Managers, about the unconscious biases that lie within us. Here, companies should take a creative and experiential approach, as typical bias training is woefully missing the mark. They can also be more determined to support women in their workplace by setting up fair processes in the recruitment, appraisal and career progression systems, and setting clear targets to ensure women are given equal opportunities within the organization.
Second, set up structures for female role modelling to take place, both within companies as well as business education programs. As there are fewer women in leadership to start with, it is crucial to have such role modelling programs in place to intentionally build younger female executives up to be confident and successful in their work and life. For example, within the HEC alumni network, there are 450 mentoring groups to help support women executives to grow in their career.
Third, most of the top education institutions now have designed executive programs targeting women and men in businesses and society that seeks to empower women leaders with positive impact on their organisations and community. For example, INSEAD has a Women Leaders program that equip influential female executives to increase their leadership impact and create lasting personal and professional change.
Companies can also tap on programs like INSEAD’s online Gender Diversity Program which would help business leaders develop strategic and practice plan to reach gender balance.
Finally, as a society, we can start educating our next generation from early childhood to reduce any unconscious biases setting in from a young age, and increasing their awareness of gender equality.
As a HR practitioner, I agree that there is much more that can be done within the organisations to increase the awareness of unconscious biases and rethink our management and leadership decisions so that women can be given more equal opportunities. This remain an important topic today, as equality in society should be represented in the workplace, and vice versa, creating a balance of perspectives and therefore more sustainability for our businesses as we reach the next industrial revolution. Conferences such as the Women’s Forum Singapore 2018 are fantastic for opening dialogue amongst key leaders of various sectors (like governmental, large corporations, social enterprises, entertainment), demonstrating the business case for equal gender access, and networking highly capable people with the latest thinking and collaborations. And yet this is only the tip of the iceberg – the real change happens in our organisations, and leaders have to be committed to this agenda.
By Alexandra Lamb
Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging may well be the buzzwords guiding 21st century human capital best-practices. There's no shortage of articles and research espousing the positive impact a diverse team can have on business outcomes. Leaders looking to build more diverse teams typically start by looking into the Big 5 indicators - age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity – and if they dare to make a quick enquiry into the market, they may be bombarded with a slew of doomsday recommendations around the imperative of improving their hiring and promotion processes on each of these 5 metrics, the importance of implicit bias trainings and even tailored quotas and KPIs.
However, if these surface-level interests in building diversity are not supported by a corresponding cultural shift within the organisation, Managers and Colleagues can become resentful of the bureaucracy and the newly imposed 'rules' that they’ve never had to be watchful of before. This culture shift necessitates not only training and development, but also some high-visibility choices.
To consider diversity within such a narrow conceptual framework does a great disservice to diversity itself and prohibits an organisation from enjoying all the benefits and highlights a truly diverse team has within itis grasp. In fact, recruiting and nurturing a 'diverse' team based on the Big 5 indicators alone is likely to do more harm to a team than good, particularly where the skills required to make diversity pay dividends are not being nurtured..
So what makes a team diverse? Before we answer that question let's take a step back and think about what diversity really is. The trouble with the true concept of diversity is that it is almost entirely unquantifiable, which makes any empirical research into its efficacy quite challenging. Nonetheless, INSEAD along with the Adecco Group and Tata Communications conducted a study into the subject where they went well beyond the mere cosmetic measures that define diversity to understand how inclusion can fuel the future workplace across Nations.
INSEAD's report - now known as the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) – defined diversity as 'collaboration between people with different personalities, knowledge sets, experiences, and perspectives'. The value of adopting this definition lies in how it brings us into the space of 'diversity of thought’. While 'thought' cannot be expressed as a number and is therefore not an easy variable to measure, the thesis that diversity of thought breeds innovation, thereby providing an organisation with a competitive advantage, is compelling. Differing opinions challenge the status quo, push teams to think of more wide-ranging solutions, and enable them to consider mitigating strategies for risks they might not otherwise have thought of. This variety of opinions and challenges to set ways of thinking forces a team to evolve, becoming stronger and more resistant.
INSEAD's launch event - Singapore.
Measuring diversity of thought is difficult, but not impossible. Some companies rely on psychometric assessments and select team members specifically for their perspectives when assigning roles within a project or a team. These may include the rabble-rouser, the pacifier, or the devil's advocate. Although ‘personality type’ indicators are widely misused and discouraged by the research community, in broad-strokes we can see that each team member selected with a framework like this in mind, brings something valuable and unique to the table. By providing the resulting team with support in the form of group dynamics coaching, we nurture its collective consciousness. Then, when conflicts arise, as they inevitably will, a Coach or Mentor can come to the forefront to steer the team through their differences, encouraging them to embrace their respective strengths without being affected by the resultant friction.
The question that naturally emerges is - once we've hired and developed for diversity, do we actually work hard enough to develop and nurture it? Existing processes for bias training are notoriously flawed, and can often be critiqued as risk mitigation strategies or emergency response campaigns, rather than a true diversity initiatives. Striving for individual self-awareness and higher EQ across an organisation is a noble goal, but while it’s easy to demonstrate effort and input in effecting this kind of change, showing a measurable and sustainable impact or output is another story. Much like thoughts, emotional capacity is subjective and difficult to measure at the organisational level. Dare we say it, but without the right data we’re simply measuring hearsay and public relations rather than capability.
So why aren't organisations looking towards the skills they need to nurture to make diversity work for them? Why invest in hiring and rotating staff just to leave them out in the cold, without the requisite competencies to make diversity work for them?
INSEAD's report is thick with insights, one of which is a review of performance distributions between diverse groups and homogeneous groups. We're often led to believe that a more diverse group will necessarily show improved performance, however the results, in fact, revealed a 'double hump' in the performance of diverse groups (see image below). This means that a large proportion of diverse groups actually perform worse that homogeneous groups while a small proportion of diverse groups attain high performance.
How could this happen? Imagine you’re in a team where everyone is different in some way – not just the Big 5, but upbringing, beliefs, family make-up, motivations, functional and technical skills, language skills, and traits. You’ve purposely been brought together as a team because the Big Boss has heard that diversity breeds innovation and performance. But small misunderstandings become gross offences, and soon the relationships across the group are fractured beyond repair. Work output goes down, because you’re too preoccupied with the frustrations and distractions happening around you. What do you do? Quit? Grin and bear it, and try to focus on your work? Or perhaps you get caught up and decide to weigh in on the politics? Either way, diversity has been detrimental to you personally, your team, and the business.
A brighter outcome might take place if, under the same scenario, and at the forming stage of the team, skills development and coaching were brought into play. True skills around communication, empathy, informing, negotiation, celebrating, ambiguity tolerance, curiosity… these are the essential keys of a high performing and diverse team. Only with these skills does a team have the keys to unlock the range of perspectives available to them, and truly reach the gestalt ideal, where the sum of all their parts is equal to greater than the whole.
Sounds simple? And how often does it purposefully happen? Even when hiring, we often see businesses assume these skills come part-and-parcel with an experienced professional, but a simple behavioural interview will give a better read on the competency levels required to make diversity work.
This doesn't mean we stop hiring for the Big 5 diversity indicators across the organisation – it’s imperative that people from all backgrounds and perspectives get more exposure and experiences so we have the chance to breed up more diverse leadership teams together at the exec and board levels. This is a simple ‘top of funnel’ logic. But we do need to look beyond tokenism when creating a truly diverse team..
Diversity in the workplace is not a checklist that managers need to tick off. Diversity comes from collaboration, communication and strength based coaching, all of which enable both Leaders and Colleagues to transcend the everyday and create teams capable of the exceptional.
The INSEAD study is a trove of insights that deserve review beyond the scope of this blog. Take a look!
With Sophia Man & Alexandra Lamb
Revisiting an earlier blog post which stimulated some good conversation amongst our clients in Hong Kong, Sophia Man set about to further explore the critical elements of manager engagement as a means to staff engagement here.
Another year, and the RISE conference has showcased some great HRTech in Hong Kong. Here's some of our musings on the event!