Global businesses should follow the lead of celebrities, who
constantly reinvent themselves to successfully adapt to different locations, if
they are to meet the challenges of the future.
This was the message Richard Scase of the University of Kent
at Canterbury delivered to delegates attending Mercer Human Resource
Consulting’s global HR conference in London.
The need for continuous corporate reinvention, and
developing meaningful approaches to strategy in different locations, is among
the top challenges facing HR in Europe today, said Scase.
"Very few celebrities meet the challenge and equally so
with businesses," he said. "Companies are unable to spontaneously
Scase said HR faces a similar challenge in responding to the
demands of today’s young employees, who are non-conforming, individualistic and
cynical. He said the "restless employee" – who is mobile,
knowledgeable and assertive – is a fact of modern business life.
Ultimately, Scase said, the key to a company’s continuous improvement
is "employee excitement – excitement is what you get when you forget the
Associated with excitement are three principles of work
project success: being fit (agile and well-trained), fresh (constantly
experimenting) and fun (getting a buzz). "Businesses destroy the fun,
fitness, and freshness," he said in his conference speech.
Scase warned delegates about the dangers associated with the
trend for transnational companies to evolve into decentralised operating units.
This business model encourages inflated financial reporting, such as in the
case of Enron, he said.
Scase said: "Each unit is given performing targets and
key success indicators. Headquarters knows what everyone’s doing, but business
units don’t know what headquarters is doing." He said organisations must
improve accountability if they want to minimise regulatory risk.
By DeeDee Doke