Human Capital Management
IS A GLOBAL NEED
GLOBAL terrorism. The continued manufacturing shift to China. An anemic economic recovery in the
U.S. Wherever you look, you see problems.
You see trends and events that can have
significant impacts on your business. You
see risks…and you’re not the only one seeing these things, so are all the people in
How do you react? As a leader, people
watch your every move. They study you,
looking for clues to help them determine
what to think and what to do. They look
to you for answers…especially during
times of uncertainty. Rudyard Kipling
once wrote that the most critical attribute
of a successful person is the ability to keep
your head about you when those around
you are losing theirs, and some are even
blaming it on you.
Now it’s up to you to keep your head on
straight and provide leadership your organization needs to deal with uncertainty
and continue to prosper for years to come.
Here are a few best practices to help you.
Brainstorm contingencies for the fears on your worst-case scenario list.
Patrick B. Ropella is president &
Patrick B. Ropella
CEO of Ropella, the leading executive search and consulting firm specializing in the
chemical and consumer products industries. Ropella
grows great companies through executive search,
leadership transformation and organizational improvement. For more information, visit
or call (850) 983-4777.
His book, The Right Hire - How to Master the
Art of SMART Talent Management, is available at
Take Stock of Your Situation
Franklin Roosevelt once said, “We have
nothing to fear, but fear itself.” Left
unchecked, fear leads to disastrous consequences. In the absence of information,
people will invent data. It often starts
around the water cooler—or these days,
online or over e-mail.
One person suggests his ideas about
how the company will react to some issue
(and as human beings we tend to take very
pessimistic guesses). These suppositions
quickly become rumors. The rumors become unspoken truths, and suddenly people in your organization are basing their
decisions and actions on false data. And if
the data is negative enough, attrition of
your top talent is likely to occur. So how do
you combat fear?
Step 1: Articulate worst-case scenarios.
Perhaps you fear the import threat that
China poses, or that rising R&D costs mean
your firm won’t remain competitive. Or
maybe your fears are more localized, relating to specific problems in your department
or the threat of layoffs coming down from
corporate. Your fears may even be personal—what if I get laid off? How can I afford to send my kids to college?
Whether global, local or personal, fear
shakes our confidence, causes stress and
keeps us awake at night. Yet as scary as
these situations may be, we often over-es-
timate the negatives and under-estimate
our ability to deal with them.