Where is the Soul?

A while back I received the email equivalent of a slap in the face with a wet fish, when the good people at McKinsey wrote to me, and doubtless many others, with this note:

Mobilizing your C-suite for big-data analytics.
Leadership-capacity constraints are undermining many companies’ efforts. New management structures, roles, and divisions of labor can all be part of the solution.

I was then encouraged to click ‘more’, yet I could take no more, my own ‘capacity constraint’ having been breached.

I moved on, at least I thought I did. Whilst working in the office recently I came across a card my late Father wrote to me a few years ago. Inside the card are these simple words:

Dear Doug, I am so very pleased that your change in direction job-wise is working out. As a job for life civil servant I wouldn’t have had the balls. You have my utmost regard and admiration. With my love – Dad xx.

What a sharply gentle, wonderful contrast to the hyper convoluted management mumbo jumbo that had so recently burned my eyes and soul. That folks is how you inspire, move and motivate people, not through buzzwords and other corporate flim flam, but through simple love and sincerity. The very next chance you get to interact with other humans, instead of pondering how you might collectively mobilize your C-suite, instead try finding clear, simple ways to appreciate and tell each other about the good stuff happening around you. Be the human in Human Resources.

When did it become OK to check your heart and soul in with security on arrival at work? I don’t think I got that memo.

This post was originally published on HRExaminer in November 2013.

3 thoughts on “Where is the Soul?

  1. Julia Briggs

    McKinsey eh? Weren’t they the ones who have tried to set up their own tech companies (like the ones they advise) and failed? And aren’t they the ones who have an ‘organisational health’ product much beloved of CEOs and HRDs?

    As someone who has head-hunted out of McKinsey’s these chaps are amazing (mainly male) but, seriously, have never even stacked shelves in a supermarket. So why are CxOs so in thrall to them? One client I worked at had been told by McKinsey they were not a utilities company but a Customer database organisation. They went on a great acquisition trail, built a bank and lost it, and spent zillions with Accenture on a CRM programme that I’m not sure was ever completed. I think they are a utilities company now.

    A lovely comparison between consulting speak bollocks and some real warmth and humanity. Thank you.

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  2. Shereen

    I agree Doug, sadly all too often we do check our hearts, minds and souls at the front desk. Organizations have become allergic to any real ‘human’ interaction. I’ve been reading Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” and I’m determined to make 2014 more human, more joyful and more sincere. We can start by being the change we want to see in the world.

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