“The best stuff is falling between the cracks”

This was a phrase I found myself using a lot in 2017.

It was a year in which regular consultancy was mingled with interim assignments a fair amount of executive coaching and a lot of writing.

And it’s been an eye opener as a result.

The writing, as always, calls for a deal of reflection. And the single, most persistent observation from the business transformation space is that, on the back of short-termism, we’re at risk of forgetting hard-earned wisdom.

There can be little doubt that organisation culture change has probably been the most pressing and obvious need within corporate board rooms. Do I really have to “fly” through the depressing roll call of scandals and Uber brand implosions to convince you?

But there is so much talk and so little doing that there isn’t even a tab for culture change on this an HR blogging site!!

A decade of command/control, entrenchment and relentless cost cutting has meant that:

– the directors are part of the problem yet can’t see it

– they either won’t invest in support or won’t listen if they do

– culture change is an aspect of organisation development that falls between the cracks of the strategy, no-one owns it so it doesn’t happen.

There are one or two more notable exceptions, and you will hear much more about those visionary and inspirational CEOs in the new year, believe me.

But please, no more pathetic PR and virtue signalling advertising about values you don’t live or diversity you patently don’t value or customer care you don’t deliver..

No-one believes you outside of the organisation and they sure as hell don’t within.

Invest the money from the campaigns on driving real, joined-up, systemic change instead.

So, a shout out to all my contacts, my networks and the people still in there, slugging, here’s to a more enlightened 2018 and a more positive, engaging, people-focused and innovative leadership and change agenda on the back of it.

Given the rolling “shitstorm” of challenges ahead, these are qualities we’re all going to need.

Best as ever.

Ian Buckingham

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