The work style magazine — distribuited by subscription — Europe 10 ¤, World 18 ¤
• Hr: a creative vision for organisations by W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne 8 • Strategy: people, motivation and committment by Jeffrey Pfeffer 10 • Meritocracy: family business contributor Guido Corbetta 14 • Art: Futurism by Matteo Bianchi 26 • Data transfer: dangerous Indiscretions 34 • Culture integration: merging and acquisition 38 • Great place to work institute founder Robert Levering: my overview 41 • Economic downturn: the slower pace of life 42 • Finance and nature: un unexpected affair by Simon A. Levin 48 • Work cities: outlook 50 • Change management: Obama style 59 • Performance: team is the value 60 • Coaching: Trust and outdoor training 62 • Joining the company: change in progress from head hunting by Egon Zehnder’s partners 69 • Moving: a green way 88 • Recognition: transparency 94 • After economic crash trends with Federico Rampini 97
The Work Style
# 1 issue, June 2009
Pe Partecipazioni editorali
Via GB Pioda 5, POBox, 6901 Lugano, Switzerland
T 0041 91 9101000
Foro Buonaparte 48, 20121 Milan, Italy
T 0039 02 80583151
Via Verbano 146, 28100 Novara, Italy
at the Milan’s Court
Thinking out of the box A dive in the blue ocean
W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne, authors of the book Blue Ocean Strategy.
10 Strategies Brain powered
Jeffrey Pfeffer, the most important assets of companies are its people, their motivation, commitment and their brains. 13 Strategies Committed to a more humane world
Jean-Paul Carteron, founder of the Crans Montana Forum.
14 Meritocracy Monitoring family business
Foreign Editor Fabian Uzaraga Sections Editor Paola Bettinelli Silvia Favasuli Graphic Designer
Colophon Summary 4 16 Facts & figures from the Usa to Australia 17 A family thing An interview with Guido
18 Workplace Wellbeing and workspaces The holistic approach 19 More technology, less labour 20 Singapore passion & style 21 The non-existent workplace 23 Sustainable design 25 Light, sound and nature 26 Art The history of Futurism
Chairman Mirko Nesurini Editor in Chief Giorgio Tedeschi
Holzer Elena Sassi
Maria Teresa Melodia
Corbetta, at Milan’s Luigi Bocconi University.
5 30 Internal communication Seeking transparency 31 Human interaction 32 Communications YouTube era 34 Data transfer Dangerous indiscretions The sensitivities of personal data. 36 Principles and values The road to corporate social responsibility 37 Beyond business reason 38 Culture integration Connected through values Sergio Marchionne’s challenge: to merge Fiat and Chrysler. 41 People Should companies care? 42 Economic downturn The slower pace of life 44 Coping the emotions 45 The power of relations 46 A glance on the future 47 Beyond individualism 48 Thinking outside the box An unexpected affair 50 A glance on the city Finding best location 53 Events Expo and work 54 Legal Meeting with the different 55 The expatriate 59 Change management All the president’s men 60 Peformance Team is the value 62 Coaching From group to team 64 Training A checklist saves lives 67 Career path Make money and have fun 69 Joining the company Change in progress 72 Appointments Movers and shakers 76 To be cool The business side of style 87 Attachment and pride Winning values 88 Moving A Bike-able workplace 90 Country guide Glocal success 92 Recognition Hr policies, employee attitudes and their workplace impact 93 Connecting people 94 Tranparency is the key 95 Book In trust we trust 96 Our selection 97 Why a good crisis should not go to waste
By MIRKO NESURINI
Note: The articles are signed. The authors are mentioned by Name and Surname in the first article and then by the acronym. The remaining articles have been written by Editorial Board members.
THIS IS THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE WORK STYLE MAGAZINE This publication was conceived in November 2008, at the start of the current global economic downturn. What was missing was a global editorial observatory over the all-changing world of work. I have been lucky enough to have shared the company of a diverse group of interesting and talented people who requested that I take on the role of Twsm’s Chairman of its Editorial Board.
In a few short months, Giorgio Tedeschi and me, we have put together a multidisciplinary team that is close to the heartbeat of global change. We have top-level experts: Prof. Pfeffer from Stanford University and Robert Levering from San Francisco to map out these changes. We have authors of the best-seller “Blue Ocean Strategy”, and the global network of dedicated professionals from the Great Place to Work® Institute.
We have the voices of entrepreneurs such as Vivek Pahwa from New Delhi, Gabriella Belli, from Trento, and Alejandro Ceballos Zuluaga from Medellin. There is the network of lawyers Benedetto Lonati, Jet Stinger and Michael Eisenstadt, as well as partners of Egon Zehnder to inform us of latest developments. Together with ExecutiveSurf, an executive talent recruiter, we have opened a wide vista on the workplace across the globe’s thirty-five countries.
This magazine is divided into two sections. One is devoted to the individual’s point of view; whilst the other is corporate. Theses two viewpoints are united by a philosophy based on respect for and the appreciation of diverse global human endeavours. There is but one missing item which we hope you can contribute to. This is our readers’ opinions and recommendations for improving the magazine.
Mirko Nesurini Chairman
Cristina Caramelo Gomes, Professor of It and Ergonomics at the Architecture Faculty of Universidade Lusiada, Portugal. Cristina’s present research interests focus on the sustainability of new methods of work.
Rosario Imperiali, gained professional experience at Ibm, is a columnist on Il Sole 24 Ore and he has authored several data protection manuals. At the moment he is a member of the European Privacy Association Committee.
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Jeffrey’s latest book, “Power: An Organizational Survival Guide” will be published in early 2010.
Robert Levering, Cofounder (with Amy Lyman) of the Great Place to Work Institute® (Gptw). Robert is best known as coauthor of Fortune’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.
Juan Carlos Carrillo, Professor for Work Environment, and Director of Gptw Institute
Colombia, and Sandra Estupiñán, Development Manager of the Gptw Institute in Colombia.
Asta Rossi, has been working for the Gptw Institute, Finland for the past five years. Her previous work history includes Hr development positions in both private and public sector organisations.
David Plink, Chief Operating Officer at Crf International. He has also been the Publisher and Associate Director at Reed Business.
Matteo Bianchi, Founder of Pagine d’Arte. He has organised several exhibitions on figurative cultures between 1800 and 1900.
Alia Malhotra, Senior Customer Service Rapresentative for Td Canada Trust. In the same company, Alia has been responsible for the training and development of new recruits. She is also a consultant for Great Place to Work Institute® India
Contributors around the world for The Work Style Magazine.
Jean-Paul Carteron, has been awarded the highest honours in France, Europe and around the world. In 1986, JeanPaul established the Fondation du Forum Universale at Crans Montana.
Marie Heuzé, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva. She has also worked for Unicef in Geneva and New York, and for the Food and Agriculture Organization (Fao) in Rome.
Guido Corbetta, Full Professor of Strategic Management and Aidaf-Alberto Falck Senior faculty member of the Sda Bocconi Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management Department. Fellow of Ifera (International Family Enterprise Research Academy).
Filippo de Bortoli, Head of the Press Office in the City of Milan. Filippo is also a curious consumer of metropolitan rhythms and energy.
W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne, Co-Directors of the Insead Blue Ocean Strategy Institute and The Boston Consulting Group. Mauborgne and Chan Kim received the Nobels Colloquia Prize for Leadership on Business and Economic Thinking 2008.
Gaku Nakagawa, was born in the temple Zuisenji, Kyoto in 1966, studied Buddhist art at university and worked as a copywriter after graduation. Since 1996 he has worked as an illustrator. He is also a monk.
Karim Rashid, has had over 3,000 designs in production and over 300 awards. He has worked in over 35 countries and is one of the most prolific designers of his generation.
Paul Shulman, Young & Rubicam Vice President and Global Director of Creative Operations, after having been the Managing Director of Creative at Saatchi & Saatchi.
On the sea
Giovanni Soldini, is a champion yachtsman who continues to take part in singlehanded regattas or leads crews in international sailing competition. Last year he succeeded in winning the Artemis Transatlantic crossing from the UK to the USA.
• Hong Kong
• New York
Egon Zehnder, is an international network of 385 consultants, operating from 63 wholly owned offices in 37 countries across the globe.
Marco della Fonte, is an independent filmmaker working between Europe and the United States. He has directed commercials and music videos for the last 10 years and has established a sound credibility in the European scene. He has also directed a number of short films and docudramas.
Paul Davis, is an illustrator born in 1962 at Somerset, England. His work is featured in Creative Review, Time Out, Graphics International, Print (Us) and many others. His recent works were exhibited in Tokyo, New York, Paris and London.
Rod Bailey, Ceo of ExecutiveSurf. Rod has spent most of his career creating or investing in innovation in the executive search field.
Muli Ravina, Ceo of Credit Suisse Financial Services (Israel). He is a highly qualified business executive with over twenty years of professional experience. He has worked for the Israel Ministry of Finance as Senior Assistant to the Director General and has an in-depth knowledge of the Israeli economy and foreign markets.
Saro Capozzoli, has 20 years of direct work experience in China. He supervised engineering projects for the construction of medium/large industrial parks. He has developed an extended network in Asia. After 9 years of working for the Eni Group, he founded Jesa in 1998.
Marco Gentili, has an Mba from Insead and an Msc in Development Economics from London University. He has more than 12 years of experience as an executive in China.
Federico Rampini, Italian journalist and writer. He was first Deputy Director of Il Sole 24 Ore, and then the US correspondent for La Republica. He is now based in Beijing observing China, the emerging economic giant on the global stage.
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Thinking out of the box Blue Ocean Strategy
A dive in the blue ocean
W.Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne outline their innovative point of view in the “oceanic” Hr world for a creative vision for organizations.
twsm In the current financial turmoil, many countries and companies are facing new crises and challenges.What are some characteristics and qualities that corporate leaders should have in leading and managing change?
Kim & Mauborgne (k&m) A time of crisis is typically accompanied by resources crunch and low organizational morale.
To achieve the strategic change that is needed to overcome the crisis, a leader needs not only vision and determination, but also strong execution capabilities.
The Blue Ocean Strategy, with its actionable frameworks and tools for both strategy formulation and execution, provides companies with a roadmap for strategic transformation. In particular, through tipping point leadership and fair process, a Blue Ocean Strategy may help companies overcome various obstacles to undergo transformation that is rapid and also relatively low lost.
twsm When it comes to tipping point leaders, how can Hr identify people with the potential to be these kinds of leaders, and to develop their skills? What motivates someone to be this kind of leader? Is it based on some kind of principle or belief system?
k&m Tipping Point Leadership ensures that leaders are able to overcome the four universal hurdles to strategy execution. The first is cognitive-waking employees up to the need for a strategic shift. Red oceans may not be the passage to future profitability, but they
feel comfortable to people particularly if these served the organization well in the past. At this point, many managers will still ask, why shake things up?
The second hurdle is limited resources. Most managers assume that the greater the shift in strategy, the greater the resources needed to execute it. In reality, by leveraging people, acts, and activities of disproportionate influence, change can be made very quickly.
Third is motivation. How do you motivate key players to move fast and tenaciously to carry out a break from the status quo?
The final hurdle is politics. The organizational politics is a fact of corporate and public sector life. The question is how do you identify and silence internal opponents to change?
As outlined in our book, tipping point leadership allows you to overcome the four hurdles fast and at low cost while winning employees’ backing in executing a break from the status quo.
Tipping point leadership can be taught extensively. Rather than seeking individuals with a profile for this type of leadership, we would advise Hr professionals to spend more time grooming people. Most managers and employees have the innate desire to want to be effective leaders but many lack an understanding of what this means in practical terms.
twsm You see Hr as a support function to managers driving through the changes. What does this mean in terms of Hr interventions? How should they be linked to change management?
k&m The first key Hr intervention is to motivate managers to mobilize their staff in addressing operational prob-
lems and deal directly with dissatisfied customers. Don’t let your managers rest on performance figures. The second key intervention is for Hr to work with managers to realign training, development, pay and reward practices with new behaviour expectations. Change management is demanding. To ask employees to act one way, but measure, reward, and train them to act another way will mean you go nowhere fast. Here Hr intervention is a key to success.
twsm What kinds of organizations are able to free their employees’ creativity and ideas?
k&m It isn’t the type of organization, but rather, the organization’s approach to strategy. In business, creativity has always been seen as the driving force behind innovation. The problem is that creativity, and therefore innovation, is seen as too random, too mercurial, and too unsystematic to base a company’s strategy on. Yet, it doesn’t have to be this way.
In our research we looked beyond reframing a company’s strategic logic towards value innovation. We asked whether there are identifiable patterns to the creativity behind new market space creation. Specifically, do systematic patterns exist to create new market space that both maximize the probabilities of commercial success and minimize the possibility of failure? And do they apply across all types of industry sectors?
The results of our research revealed six basic approaches. Instead of looking within the accepted boundaries that define how we compete, the six paths require that managers look systemati-
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W. CHAN KIM AND RéNEE MAUBORGNE are authors of the best-selling book, Blue Ocean Strategy. A Blue Ocean Strategy focuses on the three key conceptual building blocks of value innovation, tipping point leadership, and fair process. Twsm speaks to the book’s authors.
02-03 Josef Hoeflehner: Seeing the Calm. Bonni Benrubi Gallery, Inc. Josef Hoflehner: Seeing the calm, 4.16 -5.13. 2009 Serenity. Tonal black and white photographs, J. Hoflehner is the Nature Photographer of the year 2007.
cally across them to create new market space. None of these paths requires special vision or foresight about the future. All are based on looking at familiar data from a new perspective. We believe the frameworks we have developed make the formulation and execution of this type of creative reconstruction as systematic and actionable as competing in known market spaces.
Moreover, a Blue Ocean Strategy requires the management practice of fair process. We’ve found that there are three mutually reinforcing elements that define fair process. These are engagement, explanation, and expectations clarity.
Engagement means involving individuals in the strategic decisions that affect them by asking for their input and allowing them to refute the merits of one another’s ideas and assumptions.
Engagement communicates management’s respect for individuals and their ideas resulting in better strategic decisions and greater commitment from all involved to executing those decisions.
Explanation means that everyone involved and affected should understand why final strategic decisions are made as they are. Moreover, ex-
planation allows employees to trust managers’ intentions even if their own ideas have been rejected. It also serves as a powerful feedback loop that enhances learning. Expectation clarity requires that after a strategy is set, managers state clearly the new rules of the game. When people clearly understand what is expected of them, political jockeying and favouritism are minimized, and people can even go beyond the call of duty, exert energy and initiative to the best of their abilities. By exercising these three fair process principles, organizations are able to free their employees’ creativity and ideas.
twsm How much of the process of change could be led by Hr rather than a charismatic leader?
k&m First, exercising tipping point leadership does not rest on charisma. It rests on applying the actions needed to tip the four hurdles that block high performance. That having been said, the role of Hr professionals is not to lead per-se, but to support senior executives make changes happen quickly. Some ways to achieve this are to use their rich wealth of knowledge, for example, in identifying ‘influencers’ or the kingpins to motivate ongoing change, and in identifying ‘angels’ and ‘devils’ to knock over political hurdles.
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01 W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne Co-Directors of the Insead Blue Ocean Strategy Institute.
01 02 03
Strategies Brains to make money
STRATEGIES Is it possible for companies to achieve sustainable profitability in a time of economic crisis? If yes how? Ph.D. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at the Stanford Graduate School of Business suggests a formula. It is based on a simple principle: the most important assets of companies are people, their motivation, commitment and their brains.
An interview with Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer for a forward-looking message: people with their motivation and committment are the most important asset of companies.
twsm You wrote a book entitled Building Profits by Putting People First. How can people be considered an advantage towards sustainable profit?
jp In today’s world, particularly in advanced industrial economies, the drivers in almost every business, either manufacturing or service, are technology, innovation and customer service. This is true whether you are talking software, car or even fashion design, airlines, restaurants, hotels or healthcare. In businesses and industries that depend upon innovation and services, and basically brain power, the most important assets of companies are people, their motivation and commitment. The evidence is quite clear. If you manage people effectively, you will be more successful as measured by either profit or quality of service.
twsm How do you think it possible to ask a company to have this kind of approach?
jp The Great Place to Work® Institute has talked about what companies need to do. They need to invest in
their people by spending money in training and development. They need to share information with their employees so employees know what is going on. They need to decentralize decision making, so that anyone in the organization is able to use his/her gifts and skills towards the organisation’s success. They need to share in the success of the organisation through profit sharing or stock conversion. They need to select people into the organisation who are not only company oriented and collaborative, but are also selfmotivated. They also need to build trust between managers and workers.
twsm What do you think are probable business behaviours or conduct related to sustainable profits?
jp Sustainable profit means to build competitive advantage over a long time and this means doing things that really differentiate you and your organisation from others. It means not copying what everybody else is doing, but instead providing a real good value proposition to the market place.
Sustainable profit means to build competitive advantage over a long time and this means doing things that really differentiate you and your organization from others.
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twsm During a crisis companies would be oriented to a cutting cost strategy. How much can and must a company commit itself to keeping staff?
jp The worse trough of an economic downturn is when companies have the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition and gain market position. For example, Google emerged from the tech-crash of 2000 while Apple computers put itself back on top when it launched the iPod in 2001. You also need to take the long-term perspective. It has never made any sense to me for companies to lay people off at the same moment everyone else is doing the same. Later they have to go back and try to re-hire people, to rebuild their workforce at the very same moment when everyone else is doing likewise. To me this is buying high and selling low. Many of the most successful organisations are trying to retain their employees during the hard times because they are the company’s most important asset.
twsm When do you think is right to lay off a minimum part of employees in order to save bigger numbers?
jp I think it depends upon the situation. In general, it would be more desirable to reduce everyone’s wage proportionally than to start downsizing the numbers of people. Experience suggests that companies often make the least productive cuts. They often cut product development and innovation while keeping advertising. They cut people who provide the service that the customers demand and this in turn leads to even more revenue and customer loss.
twsm Do top managers need more courage in pursuing sustainable profits?
jp Yes, I think top managers often do what they think they should do or what business journalists say they should do. You can never achieve exceptional returns by following the crowd. The successful organisations have a true understanding of what makes them successful, and are willing to go their own way. So, yes, I think courage would be helpful.
twsm Moving on to your future projects, we are aware that your ‘Organizational Survival Guide’ will be published in 2010. What are the new key words that you will introduce to this guide as a result of this crisis?
jp What is important is not terminology, language or words used to describe the crisis. I think what is important is the substance of ideas. Keywords do not equate with enduring truth. •
It has never made any sense to me for companies to lay people off at the same moment everyone else is doing the same. Later they have to go back and try to re-hire people, to rebuild their workforce at the very same moment when everyone else is doing likewise. To me this is buying high and selling low.
Experience suggests that companies often make the least productive cuts. They often cut product development and innovation while keeping advertising. They cut people who provide the service that the customers demand and this in turn leads to even more revenue and customer loss.
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01 [W stanford.edu]
Ph.D. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Strategies Build a better world
Jean-Paul Carteron, Cmf Founder and Ceo, suggests that the crisis could be the opportunity of a real New Deal. Those awarded by the Prix de la Fondation, for their role in Peace, Liberty and Democracy: Abbé Pierre, Carla Del Ponte, Alain Deloche, Shirin Ebadi, or Jesse Jackson has received the Prix de la Fondation.
A more humane world is the clear aim of the Crans Montana Forum which takes place annually at Crans Montana, a ski resort in the heart of the Swiss Alps. The forum seeks to foster dialogues for global change. The work of fostering global dialogue is also supported through the publications and forums of the Graduate Institute of International Studies, based in Geneva.
twsm Can you tell us a little about the Crans Montana Forum?
jpc Since 1989, the world has widely accepted the market economy as its model. From that very moment at the end of the Cold War, the Crans Montana Forum has gathered decision makers from everywhere to meet and discuss ways to deal with this new globalized environment.
twsm Who are participants in these forums?
jpc We welcome heads of state, businessmen, experts from NGOs or academics, at our events to discuss critical topics in the fields of politics, geo-strategy, economics, culture, law and so on. As a matter of fact, the world economy has grown and developed fast, and today it is clear that we have not been strong enough to appraise this wild horse. Nevertheless, we gather people in order to find the paths to better cooperation. In this framework we try to make the world advance toward something that is more humane.
twsm Globalization is now a reality. Are we heading towards global sustainability? The crisis appears to demonstrate the opposite.
jpc On this issue, I can only affirm that the forums we organize are aimed to achieve our goals, step by step. The global crisis
The global crisis has made globalization even more obvious.There is not one country, company or region in the world that remains untouched by its effects. Globalization is not only a concept but a real and tough fact of life. It could also be the opportunity of a real New Deal.
has made globalization even more obvious. There is not one country, company or region in the world that remains untouched by its effects. Globalization is not only a concept but a real and tough fact of life. It could also be the opportunity of a real New Deal.
twsm If the opportunity for a new New Deal arose, what would be its elements?
jpc There are many areas that should be examined. The question of the global crisis is present in all the events the forums have organised from its inception.
twsm What about the long road of defending and spreading a positive culture such as attention to work life, the respect of human rights, equal opportunities and opportunities for women?
jpc To give you a concrete example, the 20th Crans Montana Forum will be dedicated to the international role of the European Union, and in particular, its strategies toward the East Africa and the Arab World.
Crans Montana ForumBrussels, Belgium, June, 24-27 Established in 1989, the Crans Montana Forum takes place every year in June. In 2009, the Crans Montana Forum celebrates its 20th anniversary. On this occasion, however, this major world meeting will take place axceitionally in Brussels to celebrate 20 years of deep involvement in the European construction process.
World Economic Forum on East Asia-Seoul, Republic of Korea, June,18-19, following the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 in Davos-Klosters and the G20 Summit in London. This meeting is regarded as the most important gathering of international leaders, especially as South Korea prepares to assume the chairmanship of the G20 in 2010.
I, for one believe that the European Union has been a positive force in this part of the world for human rights, equal opportunities and opportunities for women. The Forum will bring together people who have the capacity to continue and support each other in transforming these principles into practical reality.
Cape Town, South Africa, June, 10-12, the 19th World Economic Forum on Africa aims to provide an important platform for world leaders to address the global and regional implications of the crisis and develop a new roadmap for Africa’s future. The launch of the 2009 Africa Competitiveness Report will provide valuable insight for these
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CRANS MONTANA FORUM Contributing to sustainable global development is the mission of the Crans Montana Forum, through international meetings and the work of the Graduate Institute of International Studies. Twsm interviews Prof. Jean-Paul Carteron, Chairman and Founder of the Organisation.
Committed to a more humane world
Meritocracy The strength of family relationships
By AMINA HOLZER
THE RESEARCH What is the relevance of family businesses in today’s modern economy? Do certain cultures have higher proportionate shares of family businesses? To what extent are family businesses able to welcome managers from outside? These and other subjects have been the focus of the Family Business International Monitor.
Monitoring family business
The Monitor was commissioned by the Family Business Network, comprising 2,700 family-owned business members spread over five continents.
In 2007, the network undertook a survey of well over 1,000 firms in eight countries encompassing Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the Uk. The monitor found that family-owned businesses account for between 31% (in the Uk and The Netherlands) and 61% (in Sweden) of total employment across Europe.
Most of Europe’s family businesses are still in the hands of first generation owners. If the business had already been transferred within the family, it is most often the second generation that is currently owning and/or running the business. One in nine of family-owned businesses in
Europe are expected to be transferred within the next five years.
Governments are just beginning to pay attention to family-owned businesses as entities separate from SMEs or privately owned business. In most of the countries surveyed, some aspects of legal framework, particularly inheritance and gift taxes, seem to either favour or discourage the transfer of family-owned businesses from one generation to the next.
Do certain European cultures have higher proportionate shares of family-owned businesses? The survey found no consistent pattern and variations pertained to specific countries. While proportionate shares of family-owned businesses are very high in Scandinavian countries, such as Finland (91%), the same applies to Spain, France and Germany.
Regarding concentrations of ownership, family businesses with a single owner clearly dominate in Germany (83%), Sweden (70%) and The Netherlands (69%). In the majority of European countries, however, most of the participating businesses are owned by several family members.
But do families fully owning their business bring in non-family managers? In France this is rare with 44% of businesses being fully family-owned, and nearly the same proportion (42%) being familymanaged. In The Uk, by contrast, 51% of businesses are fully family-owned while 45% are family-managed.
Part of the handover process also involves a temporary period of joint ownership between generations. This is especially the case in Finland where
Transfers/sales to family versus non-family members
There are striking differences between the countries subject to the survey.
In Germany, Italy and the The Netherlands the large majority of families will transfer their business to other family members.
In France and Spain, at the other extreme, only around one in four family businesses are likely to be transferred within the family.
The figures on this page illustrate the percentage of European family-business ownership transfers which will take place within families.
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Contribution to employment
Over 30% of employment, in all the countries surveyed, is provided by family-owned businesses.
Total employment that is contributed by family-owned businesses Non family business and public sector.
The large majority of the family businesses surveyed are still in the control of the first generation. Where a business is transferred within the family, partial transfer is common such that there is a period of multi-generational ownership. This is especially the case in Finland and Sweden, where, 55% and 42% respectively, of those businesses that have been transferred are held by both the first and second generation.
% of family-owned businesses that are still held by the first generation
% of family-owned businesses that have been transferred within the family and are now jointly-held by the first and second generation.
55% of businesses that have been transferred are held by both the first and second generation family members. There also appears to be a shortage of potential successors within these owner-families. In only three of the eight countries surveyed will majority ownership be transferred to other family members. Moreover, family business owners do not always intend to pass their business on to their children.
In five of the eight countries, the majority of those who plan to transfer or sell their business do not have their own family members in mind for future ownership. In France and Spain, only around one in four family-owned businesses are likely to be transferred within the family (26% and 27% respectively), while this number was slightly higher in Finland (36%), Sweden (38%) and in the Uk 39%.
In Germany and Italy (both 78%) and The Netherlands (66%), ownership will be transferred largely within families. •
Family businesses are the backbone of the economy and are the most common form of business structure. Both ownership and management are largely in the hands of the family, and in some European countries there is a clear intention for the businesses to be passed down to the next generation.
These are only some of the results emerging from the Family Business International Monitor* conducted by the Family Business Network (www. fbn-i.org), a global network of business owning families which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.
The Fbn has grown to 24 national and associate chapters and comprise 2,700 family-owned business members. Its membership include mediumto-large sized companies in 45 countries across 5 continents.
The overall purpose of the international monitor is to provide comparable data on the number, structure, performance and operation of family businesses. The pilot monitor is the first of a continuing series of studies.
*To access the full report on the Pilot Family Business Monitor: www.fbn-i.org
The monitor provides a benchmark and compares data from eight European countries, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the Uk. The data was primarily gathered by Gallup Europe during 2007 through 1,352 telephone interviews using a common questionnaire.
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Meritocracy The strength of parental relations
Facts & figures from the Usa to Australia
UNITED STATES FEMALE POWER
• The greatest part of America’s wealth lies with family-owned businesses and these comprise 80-90% of all business enterprises in North America.
• More than 30% of all family-owned businesses survive into the second generation. Twelve percent will still be viable into the third generation, with 3% of all family businesses being run by the fourth-generation and beyond.
• The leadership of 39% of family-owned businesses will change hands within the next five years.
• 34% of family firms expect the next Ceo to be a woman.
• 85% of family-owned firms that have identified a successor say that business ownership will remain within the family.
CANADA’S FAMILY BUSINESS
•It is estimated that Canada’s family businesses employ 4.7 million full-time and 1.3 million part-time workers.
• 27% of Canada’s family business leaders will retire within the next five years.
Another 29% will retire in six to 10 years, and a further 22% will leave the family firm within 11 to 15 years.
• Despite such anticipated retirements, only 44% of Canadian family businesses have an exit strategy and only 29% have a succession plan.
• Unlike their U.S. counterparts, who generally view the family business as a legacy to succeeding generations, most Canadian family business owners seem more concerned about how the business will benefit them individually.
BRAZIL’S RURAL WORLD
• The majority of Brazilian businesses are family owned.
• In 1999, there were approximately four million registered family-owned businesses in Brazil.
• Brazil is home to twenty centuriesold family-owned firms that are now in their fourth or fifth generations.
• Brazilian family-owned farming enterprises employ 77% of the rural workforce and comprise 84% of rural enterprises in the country.
AUSTRALIA 50% OF TOTAL WORKFORCE
• Australian family businesses form a significant part of the Australian economy, that is 67% of all private sector firms, and employ more than 50% of the workforce.
• A comparison of 1997 and 2003 by the Australian Family and Private Business Surveys reveal that:
- 68% of Ceos want to retire within the next 10 years (up 8% from 60% in 1997);
- 44% of private family-owned businesses want to sell now or within 10 years (up 2% from 42%).
W ORLDWIDE The vast majority of business enterprises world wide are family firms. These are some relevant facts and figures compiled from the website of the Family Firm Institute.
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THE ANALYSIS To what extent has meritocracy taken root within family businesses? How is economic crises and competition making meritocracy essential to family-owned firms at all levels? We interview Guido Corbetta, Full Professor of Strategic Management and Aidaf-Alberto Falck Professor of Strategic Management in Family Business, at Milan’s Luigi Bocconi University.
A family thing
twsm Meritocracy and family business: what is the international trend?
gc I think that across the globe, many family-owned businesses are adopting a meritocratic logic. This trend was clearly noted by participants at the 2008 New Delhi conference organized by the Family Business Network.
twsm To what extent can familyowned companies overcome the issue of ‘hereditary rights’ in the area of managerial leadership?
gc They are able to do this when they reach a certain size and are able to attract talented managers. A second factor is the hard competitive setting which necessitates either, promoting the most talented family members to top management, or attracting talented managers who are not family members. A third factor is family culture which, if very protective of its members, is unlikely to give up managerial power to outsiders.
twsm Does meritocracy have a cost?
gc In the short term meritocracy means differentiating pay and giving different career paths to members of the same family, and potentially creating family disharmony. In the long term, however, it is a great benefit and all the more so during crisis situations. Difficulties drive the
Historical family imagines
01 Brown family from American Historical Society
02 Hoshi Grandfather from Japan 03 Mauritson Vine Family car 04 Mauritson Vine Family 05 Twinings Family, Uk 06 Bortolo Nardini Family Genenalogy
search for solutions, innovations and promotion of the best people to top management regardless of family status. Crisis also makes available surplus managerial talent from other firms or sectors across the economy.
twsm What are the main differences between the United States and Europe in the way family-owned businesses are managed?
gc The United States is a big economy and most of us are more familiar with their well-known corporate brands. Beyond these, the Us has an enormous number of family-owned companies that are similar to those in Italy. The only difference that I see is their relationships to equity capital. American firms are more willing to
hand over equity shares. Apart from the Uk, equity capital plays a much smaller role in the ownership and management of family-owned companies across Europe.
twsm Will meritocracy establish itself in future family companies?
gc Meritocracy is hard to introduce into many of these firms because it involves the skill of assessing people and being able to say yes or no. This is harder when people are also related to each other in and out of that business. Some family companies are able to be more meritocratic while others find this much harder. Over time, however, the logic of the marketplace and competition will necessitate promotion by merit. •
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02 03 04 05 06 01
Workplace Concepts, moods and styles
POINTS OF VIEW In this section, we deal with the topic of the workspace, the place where we spend a third of our day, to gain some insights on its evolution and latest trends.
Wellbeing and workspaces
We move from Renata Sias’ holistic approach where ‘the goal of a quality workplace must be to create a positive-emotional situation’ to Cristina Caramelo Gomes’ vision where ‘technology requires improved skills and the present workplace should be prepared to support different timetables’. From the Milan Furniture Fair with its curiosities and alternative materials that compose our workplaces, Karim Rashid underlines the concept of a ‘Happy Hoffice’. We also examine ‘the non-existent workplace’ in order to think about modular installation, and Matteo Thun’s concept of sustainable design.
01 Antonio Citterio, Zegna Office, Milano, Italy.
02 Riccardo Diotallevi, Elica Office, Fabriano, Italy.
03 Stocklands Corporation Ltd, Sydney, Australia.
THE INTERVIEW: Environmental quality is a key factor for worker’s physical and psychological health, and workplace environment is a complex system where several factors do interact. We ask Renata Sias, Us-Ufficio Stile’s Editor from Sole 24 business media to provide insights into trends in our wellbeing.
The holistic approach
twsm How much does workplace quality weigh on employees’ attitude and productivity?
rs The workspace must be considered a corporate asset, able to boost interaction, knowledge sharing and creativity. Environmental quality is a key factor for workers’ physical and psychological health. If a person is well, they will do the best they can and thanks to what psychologists call ‘emotional empathy’, the collective wellbeing creates a virtuous cycle within the firm.
twsm Which architectural and functional elements contribute to creating a good place to work?
rs The work environment must be designed with a holistic approach in order to create balance while at the same time be dynamic and flexible. Functionality, ergonomics and safety are at its base. A good place to work does not neglect engineering quality, acoustic comfort, air and
olfactory quality, chromatic balance, the presence of green areas and of eco-sustainability. A suitable layout must guarantee space for privacy and concentration, but also plan for communication and interaction. Spaces for relaxation and reflection are also highly desired by employees.
twsm Which trends can be identified in current design?
rs Furniture manufacturers have understood the workplace’s key role. All the fairs that exhibited pieces with high-quality ergonomics, are strongly design-oriented, have the capacity for customisation and are increasingly focused on sustainability.
The quality office must be created on the basis of new cultural and organizational corporate models that increase creativity, cooperation and the individual’s ‘entrepreneurial’ skill.
twsm Last February, Ufficiostile announced the winners of its first US Award for interior design. What is state of art in this field?
rs The quality office must be created on the basis of new cultural and organizational corporate models that increase creativity, cooperation and the individual’s ‘entrepreneurial’ skill. Important changes have taken place in the firms’ organizational
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antoniocitterioandpartners.it elica.it hellmann.net stockland.com ufficiostile-online.it unibocconi.eu]
By CRISTINA CARAMELO GOMES
WORKPLACE AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES The increasing technological requirement of space, its corresponding scarcity, coupled to the need for flexibility will continue to set the tone for workplaces.
More technology, less labour
structure. These include the lack of clear work categories, multiple roles and varying work locations. More enlightened firms have understood that a quality corporate office is also a valid communication instrument that conveys the brand to the external world while creating a sense of belonging within the firm.
twsm Could you give some concrete examples that best express these goals that you speak of?
rs The projects that entered our last US Awards were well represented by Italy’s best, including the winners, Antonio Citterio’s Zegna office, Riccardo Diotallevi’s Elica Office, and Grafton Architects and Dante Bonuccelli’s Bocconi home. These represented state of the art planning solutions. Other relevant examples abroad are given by Best Office Award, organized by the Colone Orgatec Fair, which, last year awarded Osnabrück’ services company, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, and Sydney’s real estate company Stockland.
Technologies and new methods of work influence office architectural design and facilities management in two apparently contradictory ways, the increasing technological requirement of the space and the potential physical reduction of it. Work is becoming more technology and less labour-intensive. Offices need to improve their ability to accommodate technology whilst reducing the number of their employees. Smaller sites and better locations can be chosen, with a corresponding impact on urban living.
This is already changing the balance between city centre and peripheral areas, and between historical cores and new development areas. Housing is returning to the city centre, corporations are moving to the peripheries and this means that eventually labour and capital are geographically converging in a sustainable way.
Quality and flexibility are keywords. Labour is changing and technology requires improved skills.
The rearranging of what may be called traditional housing and corporate locations has a strong impact on the real estate and labour markets, by changing the supply and demand for both space and labour. These trends apply equally to traditional and non traditional companies, with quality and flexibility being keywords. Labour is changing and technology requires improved skills. Improved skills are accompanied by higher qualifications and quality of life expectations.
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03 • •
Cristina Caramelo Gomes, Professor of It and Ergomomics at the Architecture Faculty of Universidade Lusiada, Portugal.
Singapore passion & style
able to improve the quality of work for workers?
kr I think that the office environment almost needs to be more inspiring than home, and needs to be softer and more flexible, more casual. This is the age of casualization, a digital age, an ecological age and a design age with new materials. Environments are more colourful, tactile and make you feel alive while you are at the office. This in turn makes you more productive.
A fusion of east and west business practices, dynamic design capabilities and versatile production resources, characterise Singapore’s Mozaic brand. It brings together a collection of Singapore furniture companies that offer a diverse portfolio of consumer, business and specially crafted products. Passion for improving the world people live and work in, combined with an experienced management, a skilled workforce and proven infrastructure help to generate consistent, progressive product ideas. It is a b2b brand that encapsulates the essence of Singaporean furniture as well as the attributes of the Singapore furniture industry. The brand encompasses more than 2,000 companies employing in excess of 14,600 people. There are currently 34 ambassadors for Singapore Mozaic, each possessing qualities synonymous with the strengths of the Singapore furniture industry.
LIVING IN A ‘PINKER OFFICE’ Karim Rashid, visited the Singapore Mozaic booth at the International Furniture Fair in Milan (April 09). The concept of the ‘Happy Hoffice’ perfectly blends with Rashid’s conviction that a happier future could be possible through better designed products.
twsm How important is it to make the working environment comfort -
twsm Which furniture elements have more influence in improving the welfare of workers?
kr We’ve all known this for many years: the chair itself is the most important object in the work environment because it needs to be very low-profile and ergonomic. The second element is the desk: it needs to have a more human and friendly relationship with its user.
twsm Which are the most utilised materials in creating a more comfortable working environment?
kr A lot of polymers, rubbers, all these kinds of soft, polished and smart materials are the wave of the future. We need sustainable, recyclable materials. Other materials like glass and wood are hard materials and they don’t really spice up the workplace. •
From insecurity to sustainability
If in our collective imagination, cardboard boxes are the equivalent to laid-off workers and insecurity, cardboard itself can otherwise link to another concept. Hopefully much more suitable to the future, is cardboard’s link to sustainability. This concept underpins FlexibleLove, experimental furniture which incorporates an accordionlike honeycomb structure to create durable and functional pieces produced from widelyavailable, low-cost recycled materials. FlexibleLove furniture pieces are made wholly from recycled paper and wood products, and are made using pre-existing manufacturing processes in order to reduce their overall impact on the environment. Flexiblelove’s designer is Chishen, a young designer based in Miao Li, Taiwan. The name ‘FlexibleLove’ was derived from the concept of a ‘flexible love-seat’seating that could hold from one to as many as sixteen individuals; changing length and shape with a simple pull at each end.
Ideas for the office from the Salone Internazionale del Mobile held in Milan 2009: Singapore Mozaic, Pinker and Flexible Love.
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01 Singapore photoshoot in Milan. Roberto Benzi (photographer), Pina Draskovich (Art Director), Paola Ratclif (journalist) portray tourists from different countries walking along the most important places of the city (in the picture the Teatro La Scala Place). The Sunday Armchair, distributed by Air Division, is designed by Nathan Yong 02 Flexyble Love is a paper armchair designed by Chishen, a young designer based in Miao Li, Taiwan.
(left) The newyorker designer Karim Rashid for Pinker.
[W airdivision.com flexible-love.it karimrashid.com singaporemozaic.com]
Workplace Concepts, moods and styles
DESIGN AND ACTUALITY An exhibition and an award to think about the current state of the working world. ‘The Non Existent Workplace’ is one of the main events during the week of Milan’s 2009 Furniture Fair.
The non-existent workplace
‘The non-existent workplace‘ turns the spotlights on the current economic crisis, its consequences for the working world, and also on how design can be a mean to face momentous changes. It is also a time when the job is less and less represented a ‘desk’ than by the connected concepts of steadiness and safety.
‘The Non Existent Workplace’ event sought to raise these questions through an award and an exhibition, during Milan’s design week. “Taunts, irony and criticism are fundamental tools for people like us” explains Aldo Petillo, Signum’s President and Curator of exhibition and awards. “I have to say that a lot of firms in the office furniture field are risking extinction, not only because of the economic situation, but also because they have not been able to read all those signals that are in a language different to their own” he added. •
Design can be a mean to face momentous changes in a time when the job is less and less represented by a ‘desk’ than by the connected concepts of steadiness and safety.
Building a harmonious environment is the goal of the ancient Chinese sense of aesthetics known as Feng Shui. Translated directly as “windwater”, Feng Shui is widely applied to commercial and office building, as well as homes across Greater China. Specialist Alex Stark has ‘oriented’ several buildings to let energies better flow by studying the building’s positioning to its surroundings.
“Feng Shui is a technique to increase opportunity”, explains Stark.We know that water always brings prosperity and that you should never put an elevator in front of the main doors or a door in front of a window. For the same reason a small doorway won’t let energy in and too big a door will let it all out. Feng Shui principles includes ensuring that the Ceo’s office should be protected and be as far away as possible from the entrance.“In all the major offices we make sure that everyone sits with their back to a solid wall”continues Stark.“If you don’t you become weaker and subject to manipulation”. “Eighty percent of orientation is about correction”, Stark further explains.“Feng Shui works through five elements encompassing earth, fire, water, metal and wood to ensure these corrections and adjustments.” What about the credit crunch and Wall Street problems as seen from a Feng Shui perspective?
01 The Condé Nast New York City building’s orientation and massing, as well as the layout and disposition of the main lobbies, corridors, and interiors all follow feng shui criteria.
02 A picture from the exibition “The Non Existent Workplace”, Milan, April, 22 -27 2009.
“Wall Street, as all Manhattan, is very dominated by a relevant line of energy, abused and traumatised”says Stark. In Europe we find a similar one in Barcelona’s, Paseo de Gracia, but they protect it to a greater extent. In New York they are overexposed and are now facing the consequences”.
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[W alexstark.com condenast.com]
Workplace Concepts, moods and styles
THE DESIGNER Matteo Thun was awarded the Compasso d’Oro thrice for first-class design; was creator of the Side Hotel in Hamburg which was ‘Hotel of the year in 2001’. In 2004 he was inducted into the Interior Hall of Fame in New York.
THE GENIUS LOCI
In each project I’ve designed as a workspace (the latest TORTONA 37 and Hugo Boss’ Colderio for example), I’ve always been driven by genius loci, the notion that each building must fit its location, and express the soul of the place. I generally choose a soft and adaptable design capable of adding distinction to every office need, shaped around different intensities of light and characterised by a high-tech under-skin softened by the warmth of natural finishes-wood, most of all.
HUGO BOSS INDUSTRIES
Start 2005 end 2006. The building rises in the middle of the surrounding environment, with its shell structure of intertwined wooden elements, covering a transparent structure of glass and steel. Transparency and lightness are the essential ingredients. Illumination enhances the essential forms of the interiors, the materiality of the surfaces, and guarantees visual cleanliness. Materials, light and air are key elements of wide, flexible and open workplaces.
MESSE FRANKFURT PRESSE CENTER
Start 2007 end 2008. The Press Center project involved the restructuring of an old space right down to the finest detail to create a very definite functional layout. The Press Center is
a space designed to accommodate every imaginable trade fair event. Inside, warm finishing touches combine with high-tech cabling and under-skin connectivity. Everything rests on an oak panelled floor, while the back wall is covered with climbing plants. This is a ‘vertical garden’ designed by the botanist Patrick Blanc.
Start 2005 end 2006. This is the executive pavilion of the Kösching wood mill to the north of Munich, Bavaria. It comprises a glass central structure and four lateral constructions made of wood and glass. An H-shaped construction is established around two quiet courtyards for administration offices, conferences and seminar spaces. A definite construction system exploits to the full, the innovative BBS wooden panels. The interiors duly follow suit, with dark shades
on the surfaces and clear colours for the furniture, depending on the area involved. The finishing comes in natural stone, felt, leather and wool, with custom-coatings for the office units.
Matteo Thun was born in Bozen, Italy, in 1952 and studied under Oskar Kokoschkas at the Salzburg Academy. After an architectural doctorate in Florence with Adolfo Natalini in 1978, he moved to Milan and made the acquaintance of Ettore Sottsass. Co-founding member of the Memphis Group and Sottsass Associati, from 1982-1996, he was appointed to the Chair of Product Design and Ceramics at the Vienna Academy for Applied Arts. In 1984 he founded the Matteo Thun Studio in Milan and from 1990–1993 was the Creative Director for Swatch. He has designed, for amongst others, Alessi, Memphis, Tiffany, and also for AEG and Campari. •
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Hugo Boss Industries, Colderio, Switzerland. Pictures by Klaus Frahm. 03-04 Messe Frankfurt Presse Center, Frankfurt, Germany. Pictures by Nina Baisch. 05-06 Binder Woodcenter, Kösching, Ingolstadt, Germany. Pictures by Jens Weber.
01 02 03 04 05 06 [W archiportale.com hugoboss.com matteothun.com]
Workplace Concepts, moods and styles
TRENDS Researchers have discovered more and more about the importance of light for human health and well being. Global warming also requires the search for more sustainable solutions to our energy use in lighting.
Light, sound and nature
The acronym LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and the organizers of Euroluce, the Biennial International Lighting Exhibition in Milan in April 2009, believe that this technology can very much be eco-friendly. An example of such a solution comes from manufacturer Artemide with four versions of its Tolomeo range of lamps featuring low energy consumption designed by Michele De Lucchi and Giancarlo Fassina.
From ‘human light’ to ‘responsible light’ was a theme that Artemide brought to Salone (April) 2009, through a project by Carlotta de Bevilacqua which considers light as a conscious actor of natural, social and civil responsibility. Light steers our biological rhythm, hormone system and metabolism and this project affirms a commitment to designs for Artemide that will require less energy consumption.
The notion of light as a seamless element that blends with other senses, including the olfactory, underpins “iOO6th Sense,” an interactive digital solution that was created by iO together with Oikos Fragrances. The computer program, integrated with aroma diffusers, allows the creation of multiple interactive digital lighting moods coupled with specific fragrance to create unique sensorial immersions.
An experimental and spectacular composition of temporary construction T-En-
ergy by Luca Trazzi, was also on display at Salone del Mobile 2009. The energy derived from power absorption during the day through solar panels is exploited at night to light luminous panels, thus creating plays on lights and shadows derived from the tower’s structure.
OLD MATERIAL, NEW DESIGN, NEW TECHNOLOGY
The search for ‘ancient wood’ from Europe’s old buildings and roofs and its re-cycling into unique pieces of (office) furniture is the mission of “Haute Material”, a ‘lab’ located in Valtellina just north of Milan. The result of collaboration between craftsman Joseph Pruneri, and designer Renato Geraci, Haute Material’s masterpiece includes its 12-seat meeting table “Genesis” crafted from antique raw pine that seamlessly conceals multiple power sources and necessary connections for computers and other electronic devices essential to today’s business meetings.
Unique pieces of ancient carpet styles were also exhibited by Nodus, a rug design project of Il Piccollo, a design company based in Milan. With a collection of 60 pieces created in 6 countries (Nepal, Pakistan, India, Turkmenistan, China and Turkey) these unique hand-woven rugs are based on exclusive patterns developed by major international designers. •
01 Michele de Lucchi e Giancarlo Fassina, Tolomeo XXL, byArtemide.
02 The meeting table ‘Genesis’ projected by Giuseppe Pruneri for Haute Material.
03 Some pieces of 60 unique hand-woven rugs created in 6 countries (from Nepal to Turkey) for Nodus.
04 T-Energy, the 15 meters metal tower made by Luca Trazzi during the exibition organised by Interni at the Università degli Studi in Milan, April, 21-30, 2009.
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internimagazine.it ioodesign.com oikosfragrances.com]
01 03 02 04
By MATTEO BIANCHI
A CRITICAL READING In 1909, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published the Futurist Manifesto in Paris. Somewhat predictable and vastly unrealistic, the manifesto includes two articles, 9 and 10, which were decidedly offensive. Futurism he, proclaimed, aimed “to glorify warfare, the sole means of cleansing the world, as well as militarism, patriotism, the destructive deeds of anarchists, fine and murderous ideas and contempt for women.” Moreover, Marinetti declared, “we aim to demolish museums and libraries, combat moralism, feminism and all opportunistic and utilitarian baseness”. In this article, Matteo Bianchi provides a critical reading of the futurist movement, its fascination for the triumph of technology and modernity, and whose centenary we are currently celebrating.
The history of Futurism
The current uncritical celebration of Futurism inspires us to reflect on the disparity between their declaring of evil intent and the resulting creation of undoubted works of quality. This analysis began many years ago and can be identified with the brilliant figure of Gian Pietro Lucini who, as early as 1913, wrote about “how I went beyond Futurism”. Lucini was the inventor of the free verse which preceded the freely flowing words of the futurists, the creator of the symbolist idea and also friend and unwitting role model for Marinetti.
Lucini maintained that Futurism was another label applied to stale art products and called for a respect for historic monuments and the wonderful works housed in museums. He wrote that “museums and libraries validate nature through art” and proclaimed principles of harmony, sincerity and liberty, in both art and life. Further criticism levelled by the aristocratic and revolutionary Lucini against the authoritarian and overbearing Marinetti gives us an understanding of how futurist ferment and feverish endeavour led a path to Mussolini’s fascist regime of which Marinetti was a part.
Lucini wrote in a letter to Marinetti,
again in 1913: “I am one of the little known deceased who remain in libraries, in those factories that you wish to demolish yet cannot, and to which, in a few years’ time, you will humbly request admittance. This is a fact: those who enter parliament as members of the extreme opposition leave it as ministers...”. This is a bitter parable which illustrates how the futurists lost their bearings. However, alongside this justified critical rationalising, there were also more interesting elements to the futurist project.
The symbolist roots of Futurism translated into the law of change, as proclaimed by Gustave Kahn, in the change from free verse to a free flow of words. It played out in the mobility of the strokes and via the subjects undergoing transformations. These shifts can be seen above all in works by Giacomo Balla and Umberto Boccioni. In the brief period during the early twentieth century, these artists speeded up and modified the form and content of their works. Boccioni, in particular, changed from a nineteenth-century painter in close contact with rural life into an artist focused on modern life.
The change is marked by a painting of a field with a cow later replaced by a locomotive. Boccioni, who brilliantly depicted the rhythm of ‘states of mind’, also deconstructed the forms of speed or instilled his own social awareness into the energy of “La Città che Sale” (“The City Which Rises”). The move from divisionism to Futurism was swift and far-reaching. There was a change in the symbolist mood and the idealistic élan shifted towards machinery. The technique adapted was accordingly, fast and synchro-
“I am one of the little known deceased who remain in libraries, in those factories that you wish to demolish yet cannot, and to which, in a few years’ time, you will humbly request admittance. This is a fact: those who enter parliament as members of the extreme opposition leave it as ministers...”
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Matteo Bianchi, Founder of Pagine d’Arte. He has organised several exhibitions on figurative cultures between 1800 and 1900.
nised. The symbolist heritage of “correspondences” was transformed in the applications of the different art idioms, also outside of Italy where avant-garde experiments were taking shape. The visual writing of the poet Corrado Govoni was an ideal complement to the figurative poems of Apollinaire.
In literature, the spontaneous research by futurists in the area of “the book as object” is particularly interesting, leading to the “tactile poem”, in the words of Giovanni Lista. The embracing of different idioms is successfully manifested in the works that
The best response to the noisy futurist environment, to its statements and departures comes from paintings linked to the classical tradition, an attempt to regain a sense of lost intimacy among the laws of the regime and from its bluster in the public sphere.
referenced the music of Francesco Cangiullo and Luigi Russolo, both engaging in colour and sound writing. The imaginary architectures of Sant’Elia are striking examples of the city “which rises”.
It is however difficult to map out Futurism outside of Italy, with the exception of Russia, the destination of a journey by Marinetti in 1914 which was, in its own way, legendary. Thus the analogies with Larionov and Goncharova come as no surprise, although the works of Malevich are of a totally different order.
01 Tullio d’Albisola, Cover of Marinetti’s book Parole in libertà Futuriste tattili termiche olfattive Tin with folded edge. 1932. 23.3x23.8 cm.
02 Antonio Sant’Elia, The New City, Terracing House, 1914 pencil and coloured ink on paper; 27,5x11,5 cm. Private Collection.
03 Giacomo Balla, Rhythms of The String (Violinist’s Hand).1912. Oil on canvas. 52x75 cm.
© Estorick Collection, London, Uk / The Bridgeman Art Library.
BEYOND THE “ISMS”
These avant-garde initiatives are interwoven through the different figurative cultures of Europe that did not always match. Dada in Zurich and Cubism in Paris expressed idioms with total independence yet at the same time interpreted common attitudes with regards to the break with tradition. Once the initial drive had died down, the fervour of the “isms” was quelled by convention and another artistic renewal took place elsewhere.
In Italy the belated futurist response was jaded and formal, while a return to figurative order took place
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via the Novecento School, and represented by the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio De Chirico. Carlo Carrà, Mario Sironi and Ardengo Soffici established its language, style and subject matter. Their strong and unusual images are reconstructed in the intensity of a poetic sphere which goes beyond experimentation and experiences, and via collective exhibitions. This was a significant outreach beyond national borders, Rossana Bossaglia explained. Boccioni still stands apart
The best response to the noisy futurist environment, to its statements and departures comes from the quiet of painting linked to the classical tradition, the attempt to regain a sense of lost intimacy among the laws of the regime and the shouting in public places.
and in a different world, in the critical account by Zeno Birolli. It is a synthesis of a unique body of work which encapsulates the qualities of change and is never limited to the outward signs of mere participation in a movement.
The best response to the noisy futurist environment, to its statements and departures comes from paintings linked to the classical tradition, an attempt to regain a sense of lost intimacy among the laws of the regime and
from its bluster in the public sphere. In this present time of crisis, there is a tendency towards unconditional acceptance of Futurism, and of its celebration by government bodies on the occasion of its centenary. The intent here is to apply a critical yardstick to the movement which should be interpreted with due restraint, in order to reject its official stance while drawing out those precious jewels which, despite everything, the best artists have given to us. •
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Futurism 04 05
04 Tato, Spiral Flying Over the Colosseo , 1930. Olio su tela; 80x80 cm., Rome, Ventura Collection.
05 Fortunato Depero, Study for “Vogue”, 1922. Tempera on paper; 36x22 cm. Private Collection.
06 Corrado Govoni. Selfportrait (published in Rarefazioni e Parole in libertà, 1915).
Futurism and the Fashion
Futurists considered fashion a major field of inquiry that broke with old balances as well as to overreach suffocating ‘bourgeois traditions’. As a first mover, they encouraged the unceasing allure of fashion, urging its continuous renewal. They attributed to fashion the task of reflecting ‘dynamism, energy and speed, typical of modern life’. Their scope was to express the relationship between art and daily life. Clothes were perfectly part of the futurist reconstruction of the universe and their intense interest in fashion was a key part of the movement.
“We need to colour the world, though having no money, even only wearing something cheap, but coloured”, wrote Corra in 1916.
“Modern man is inclined to colour”, added Balla.
“His hats do not make people turn”, claimed an observer in 1920.“Only the expert eye of an aesthete could have recognised it. Fashion must abandon ‘false flags of distinction and sobriety’. “We will start with abolishing symmetry. We’ll design zig-zag decolletés, sleeves that are different one from the other, shoes different in shape, colour and height”, writes Volt in the Female and Futurist Fashions Manifesto (1920).
Luca F. Garavaglia (Milano 1966) publisher, essayist and composer, is a descendant of a family that has given birth in the last two centuries to several artists (F. Pratesi, R. Marenco, G.C. Menotti, E. Pellini).
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During the Kofi Annan secretariat two years ago, the Un’s internal communications underwent a transformation. Now, when Un’s staff anywhere in the world switch on their computers and go online, they are automatically linked its I-Seek intranet.
“It is important for everybody to be tuned into what’s going on in the Un,” explains Marie Heuzè, Director of the United Nations Information Service.
“Today, for example, there are a lot of meetings to address swine flu, the global economic crisis, security concerns in North Korea and Pakistan, and climate change amongst others. These are subjects being discussed at global meeting at the Un headquarters in New York, offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna, or elsewhere across the globe.”
Heuzè explains that the intranet forms a permanent agenda network where staff can glance on the title, quickly read through the lead, or to peruse the full story. It can be used to interact with others ‘in the know’ on the issues concerned. This system for communication is proving itself increasingly important in a globe where a cacophony of events continuously unfolds in real time.
“When we have people from the Un that are abducted in one place, you know what the Un is doing and you do not need to be anxious about calling your friends,” stresses the Information Service Director. “When you have a new conflict happening in a country somewhere, you find can out instantly what the Un is doing about it” she added.
Another example was the recent conference on racism, with controversial
UN I-Seek intranet system for communication is proving itself increasingly important in a globe where a cacophony of events continuously unfolds in real time.
statements issued by the President of Iran and a very strong response by the Un General Secretary. On ISeek, there are explanation points on the positive and less than positive outcomes of conferences or of other meetings-a working reference for staff that will not necessarily appear on the Un’s official website. I-Seek allows Un staff to be well informed of events 24/7.
The intranet currently communicates in French and English, but the Un speaks six official languages. I-Seek’s regional section for Latin America is already in Spanish, and Heuzè believes that in the future new ‘local’ languages will also be adopted. The Un also takes great care of the cultural sensitivities of the people who work for it. Employees are obliged to learn about the cultural dimensions
of work, including an online diploma which can be done with the assistance of I-Seek. There are also five other obligatory training courses to be done, including one on gender issues and sexual harassment, as well as that on security.
From a managerial point of view, however, the Un’s internal communications has a long way to go.
“Though we have an extremely hierarchical structure, we also have a lot of people who will be retiring over the next two to three years” explains Heuzè. “What we expect is an infusion of younger people who will bring with them different management approaches. And I hope that I-Seek is one of those tools that will help usher in an even more exiting phase of transformation at the Un.” •
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Marie Heuzè, Director of the United Nations Information Service.
Internal communication Transparency
Keeping people informed in real time and overcoming cultural differences. These are some of the aims of the UN’s internal communication tool, its I-Seek intranet. We interview Marie Heuzè, Director of the United Nations Information Service, for more details.
Internal communication Without gerarchy
“Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. It is not just only about technology but about people working together,” says Frank Abbenhuijs, Senior Hr Director for Western Europe, Microsoft.
In Microsoft’s vision of the world of work, creativity is the result of asynchronous interaction without the necessary formalities of old. These may range from meeting face to face over coffee to multimedia conferencing over multiple time-zones and continents using the tools that are now familiar to everyone, including MSN Messenger or Windows Mobile powered devices. “The workplace of the past as defined by hierarchy, rules and directive from the top is rapidly disappearing. The workplace nowadays is not a fixed office, but rather a porous node within multiple networks of exchange and collaboration which telecommunication technologies can facilitate and enhance,” Abbenhuijs further adds.
From the Microsoft perspective, human interaction and collaboration fused
with telecommunication technologies is, however, not enough on their own.
“Trust is at the base of every kind of activity and does not come automatically. Trust has to be invested in and earned. Relying on the character, ability, strength or reputation of another human being is something that requires time and only strengthens with the experience of working together.”
With this in mind, Microsoft is driven to create inspiring environs in which its technologies are seamlessly integrated, and where people can proactively participate from any time or place. Abenhuijs is at pains to point
out that even for Microsoft, innovation is not just about better communication technologies.
“Microsoft’s HR Directors meet two to three times a year to discuss business as well as to undertake teambuilding. We have also adapted social innovations from the world of speed dating where people discuss one-to-one about specific topics, switching partners every thirty minutes. This is one way that people can communicate directly with each other and where hierarchy is flattened by eliminating information gatekeepers,” concludes Abbenhuijs. •
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People working together in Microsoft.
MR FRANK ABBENHUIJS from Human Resources in Microsoft, Western Europe, discusses the modern workplace where creativity is the outcome of people’s innate capacity to interact and collaborate, with communication technologies working to enhance networks of trust.
Another contribution on how to facilitate the process of internal communication at page 93. [W microsoft.com]
By MARCO DELLA FONTE
Over the years, communication’s terms and standards have changed. Today everything is faster, briefer and more concise. Also in the world of the corporate documentary, or industrial movie, the approach to communicating the firms’ potential has also totally changed: from the 60 minutes movie to the 3 minutes ‘web oriented’ message.
Today everything is quick, synthetic and offhanded…and creative. The internet has encouraged change in the production and fruition of company documentaries.
This article is a brief insight starting from the outset of industrial films, the so-called products that companies divulge to reveal themselves, right up to the topicality of YouTube.
In the past six years, the way we think, the way we produce and disseminate this communication tool, has radically changed. Timing has changed thanks to rapid internet connections which cast down each rind and go straight to the point. If industrial films were once an opportunity for companies to show-off at trade fairs or before conferences, what they only need now is a click to start the show.
In the fifties the industry started its path of visual communication by involving authors, cinema masters and intellectuals.
The beginning of promotional films was characterised both by an economic aspect, expedient to companies, and by a real testing of arts cinema.
In Italy, many film directors ventured into this new challenge. Amongst these : Ermanno Olmi with “La diga sul ghiacciaio, La pattuglia del Passo San Giacomo” with the script written by Pier Paolo Pasolini ; Michelangelo Antonioni with “Sette canne, un vestito” and Luciano Emmer with “Il pianeta acciaio” with the script written by Dino Buzzanti.
In the rest of the world similar dy-
namics were carried out. In the 8o’s Martin Scorsese produced a short film for an Armani perfume and Wim Wenders for designer Yamamoto with the film Tokyo Ga.
These artistic collaborations show how business cinema has always been focused on high quality products both in terms of fulfillment and in terms of communication style.
Cinematic products attained by companies have conformed themselves to new sensorial and emotional faculties: speed, synthesis and spectacularization. Fruition times have changed with the new Web language: just a few minutes (at times seconds) are enough compared to the half hours needed in the past. Messages are more fragmented, brief and abstract but definitely more creative and visually engaging.
In order to understand this context one must be sensitive to a new visual and creative mentality .Prejudice would be the worst weapon to pollute a process which is by now irreversible.
The internet, YouTube and the fad of viral communication, now drive every creative expression.
T WO POINTS OF VIEW IN TERMS OF CREATIVITY AND CONTEXT
From a content point of view, current affairs show companies inspired by their own philosophy and others by their products. What we see from one angle is an emotional approach whereas from another, a functional, product driven one.
Some fulfill an idea, a film, a documentary based on a corporate philoso-
phy, involving authors and writers to build transversal and indirect adverts. He who represents a product shows the company’s technical and productive potentials through a process of visual propaganda.
The internet, YouTube and the fad of viral communication, now drive every creative expression.
From a content point of view current affairs show companies inspired by their own philosophy and others by their products.
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Communications Corporate films
Tips to make a corporate video get noticed, borrowed from 25 years experienced director Thomas Clifford
Corporate film by the Aditya Birla Group A US $29.2 billion corporation, the Aditya Birla Group is in the league of Fortune 500. It is anchored by an extraordinary force of 130,000 employees, belonging to 30 different nationalities. In India, the Group has been judged “The Best Employer in India and among the top 20 in Asia” by the Hewitt-Economic Times and Wall Street Journal Study 2007. Over 50 per cent of its revenues flow from its overseas operations.
1. Tell a story, don’t talk about your corporate numbers. There is Excel for that 2. When making your video, just think of the person in front of the tube 3. A powerful story is timeless; magical; doesn’t get stale 4. People know a lie when they see one 5. Hire the most qualified producer and director you can 6. Emotional, energetic, enthusiastic, engaging 7. Let your customers tell the world how great you are 8. Capture some fun and playfulness of the company 9. Every 30 seconds change your pace, rhythm, content 10. Find your heroes. When given the chance, employees want to tell their story
Virals on the net
Virals are marketing techniques that use preexisting social networks to produce increased brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives through self-replicating viral processes. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.
By creating exciting and unusual content, companies influence consumer buying worldwide through subversive brand awareness.
A successful viral campaign hinges on great creative.
It relies on transforming a marketing brief into content so engaging that it helps forge a lasting or intense relationship between brand and audience.
The art of creating viral content is about knowing the difference between a good idea and an idea that’s likely to become viral. The technique of producing a successful viral marketing campaign is both an art and a science. Each project requires a delicate balance of intuition and analytics.
The trend towards using real content for advertising purposes is very strong in viral marketing-content that engages the target audience, and that which they will share with others to maintain or extend their social networks.
A recent example was a campaign around a disappearing camera trick using a new Samsung camera that was created by The Viral Factory. Using Youtube and the camera itself, a challenge went out to find viewers who were able to explain the trick.
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[W adityabirla.com directortom.com]
Data transfer The state of the art
THE RESEARCH In a global economy, the flow of information has no frontiers and this has become a major issue at all levels. Twsm investigates the sensitivities surrounding the use of employees’ personal data where workplaces often transcend national borders.
According to the Ilo 1996 Code of practice, ‘the gathering of a large number of data and the many different uses to which they are put multiply the risk of false or misunderstood information, permit close monitoring of the persons concerned and intensify tendencies to influence or manipulate their behaviour’.
Workers today risk losing control on their data and; in short, their dignity is at stake. According to Ilo general principles, data subject that is those who are identified by the data, are entitled to control the use of this personal information. Such right of control has been required through laws on obligatory transparency and the right of data subjects to express their consent.
Employers, however, do not have to collect their workers’ consent if such information is for the purpose of managing employment processes (see table n.1). In any case, employers must still inform their workers upon such collections, including the type of data gathered, its mode of internal and external communication, and the rights to which they are entitled. The workers right to be informed includes right to access the data relating to them. By exercising the right to personal data the employee can ascertain the accuracy of information.
In a global economy, however, the flow of information encompassing workers’ personal data has no frontier. Most companies have transnational operations based upon information freely transferred across borders. The management of a multinational company’s human resources is probably one of the best examples of the need for a binding corporate rules approach.
B INDING CORPORATE R ULES
The flow of personal data to countries outside the European Union, can, however, result in a circumvention of the relevant Eu directive through the establishment of offshore data havens. To prevent this, the Directive states that such transfers, including that between two companies within the same group, can take place only if the third countries ensure an ‘adequate’ level of protection (see table n.2).
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E XEMPTIONS APPLY TO
The contractual exemption, where employer and workers have entered into a contract and the transfer of data is necessary for the contract’s performance, does not apply to intercompany transfer of workers’ data (see table n.3). In this case, the intercompany data transaction, besides the trans-border issue, represents a communication of personal data, subject to the worker’s explicit consent. Under the Directive, in the absence of consent, these transfers are legitimate where the employer can guarantee adequate protection of privacy by entering into appropriate contractual provisions with the recipient of the data.
The management of a multinational company’s human resources is probably one of the best examples of the need for a ‘binding corporate rules’ approach (see table n.4).
Corporate policies covering this subject matter, signed by both corporations, can be taken as ‘binding corporate rules’ and the obligations to safeguard the workers’ privacy must be subject to scrutiny with the relevant data protection authorities. A contractual instrument can be the best solution for adapting data-protection regulations to specific aspects of employment relationship, and to respect the personal privacy and dignity of workers in enterprises. •
By ROSARIO IMPERIALI
Data protection International instruments
International instruments for worker protection include the Council of Europe’s 1981 Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, the Oecd’s 1980 Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data, and the 1995 European Union Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data. There are also international agreements such as Recommendation No. R(89)2 of the Council of Europe on the protection of personal data used for employment purposes. This outlines internationally accepted principles on data protection in the field of employment.
Rosario Imperiali, gained professional experience at Ibm, is a columnist on Il Sole 24 Ore and he has authored several data protection manuals. At the moment he is a member of the European Privacy Association Committee.
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[W edps.europa.eu imperiali.com]
Principles and values Tnt responsibility
Tnt and Abb aim to transform company and employee principles and values towards working for effective social action. They aim to build strong company reputations through better dialogue with the community. The notion of reputation is very relevant to systems where there is information asymmetry about quality and trust. An investment in reputation provides an incentive for firms to behave in a socially responsible way.
PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
Tnt Express is a global express services company delivering 4.4 millions packages and letters every week in over 200 countries.
The road to corporate social responsibility
Making its impact with more than 26,760 vehicles and 47 planes Tnt needed to adopt corporate social responsibility if it wanted the continued support of its customer base, stakeholders and its more than 163,000 employees.
“Being socially responsible is our Group mission and is part of Tnt’s reference values”, says Stefania Lallai, Communication and Csr Manager of Tnt Express Italy. “Italy is the first mover in Csr within the Group and we have made commitments to cement these values into our daily workplace.”
To facilitate this interaction, Tnt runs a series of projects based on respect and dialogue with the surrounding community, and has allocated resources and people working full time to make these happen.
An example is ‘Moving the World’, an initiative that partners with the Un World Food Program (Wfp), and ‘Planet Me’ which aims to reduce harmful emissions generated by the global transport giant.
Tnt Ceo Peter Bakker signed an Mou with former Wfp Executive Director James Morris at the World Summit in December 2002 and both parties committed to a minimum of five years for the partnership. In this partnership, Tnt offers four forms of support to the Wfp, including knowledge transfer, hands-on support in emergency operations, awareness and fundraising, and the transport of goods. Furthermore, what was essential was support from the highest levels of management for the partnership.
Commitment to Csr needs to start from within the Company. Tnt’s ambition is for its people to have a competitive advantage, and for Tnt Express to become recognised as a preferred employer within the transport industry. To create a competitive advantage from within, the company is developing its people through satisfaction, pride and social engagement. This in turn strengthens the firm’s core competencies.
“The gradual enlargement of Tnt commitment to Csr is directly proportional to the level of attention and involvement of its employees” observes Stefania Lallai.
“For example during the recent (April 2009) earthquake in Italy, our staff from all over Italy, absolutely and spontaneously, organized a collection of daily necessities, in coordination with the Civil Defence authorities. They collected 200 cubic meters of material in one day, outside of working hours, with perfect coordination between drivers and operations employees”.
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01 02 • [W tnt.com]
Abb corporate social responsibility
01-02 Tnt, some employees during Tnt operation convention and “Trofeo Tnt”, the company’s football tournament in 2008.
03 Abb, italian headquarters based in Sesto San Giovanni, Milan.
CSR Abb is a firm that keeps on demonstrating engagement and values sharing, with employees, a range of community goals that extend beyond closely business-linked reasons.
Beyond business reason
Tnt Human Resource Objectives
• Build a consistent approach to people management throughout the division;
• Provide aligned, business relevant and timely Hr management information at all levels;
• Improve effectiveness, efficiency and consistency of learning and development in the division;
• Develop express capability and competency at all levels of the division;
• Monitor and improve people management measurement and performance;
• Review and align compen sation and benefits;
• Support the implementation of the key central Hr projects as required.
“The economic crisis won’t stop Abb’s attention towards corporate social responsibility.” This is what Nicoletta Chiucchi, the firm’s Training and Csr Manager for Italy, said when Twsm spoke to her.
Abb has consolidated its Csr budget from mark up activities on Christmas card and corporate calendar sales, which it guarantees every year to its non profit partners. Internally, Abb also aims to transform its key values and create a solidarity culture centred on corporate volunteering and activities in specific field projects.
“In this way the company seeks to encourage contact with diversity and to create an open and multicultural working environment,” Nicoletta Chiucchi further emphasises. “Charity work is a strong way of motivating staff to affirm their values of social responsibility and community engagement.”
The company has created a portal completely devoted to sustainability with a section dedicated to social activities. It also has a newsletter dedicated to these projects, publishes news throughout its in-house communication vehicles, and organises internal corporate events such as the Volunteering Day. Moreover, in the lead up to and during these events, Abb provides space for its nonprofit partners to raise funds.
“All the employees who took part in one project, for example, received distance-learning material prepared by Aism (Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla) which planned and organized activities in partnership with
Abb. In this way we offer everyone the chance to get in contact with the association and gain direct knowledge of this disability’s harsh realities”, Chiucci further adds.
Internally, Abb aims to transform its key values and create a solidarity culture centred on corporate volunteering and activities in specific field projects.
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Abb’s employees have chosen all the non-profit organizations supported. The company also conducted a survey of its corporate climate, Abbiamo Voce (‘we have voices’). In 2006, 64% of staff supported the programs while by 2007 this figure had risen to 71%. The survey also found high levels of participation and pride in the program and willingness by staff to invest their own professional futures with the program. [W abb.com]
Culture integration Mergers
By ROD BAILEY
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Searching for the perfect synergy takes time, especially when differences threaten the partners being brought together. The success of mergers is not to be taken for granted and more often than not, many have proven unsuccessful. With Fiat and Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne faces both challenges and opportunities.
Connected through values
“Many managements apparently were overexposed in impressionable childhood years to the story in which the imprisoned handsome prince is released from a toad’s body by a kiss from a beautiful princess. Consequently, they are certain their managerial kiss will do wonders for the profitability of Company T(arget). [...] We’ve observed many kisses but very few miracles. Nevertheless, many managerial princesses remain serenely confident about the future potency of their kisses.” As Warren Buffett depicts in this 1982 letter to Berkshire’s shareholders, mergers are likely to destroy value. But for carmakers, they seem now to be the only strategic option to accelerate growth.
In the past, mergers have proven to be highly unsuccessful. BMW-Rover is a case in point. The merger burnt £2b and ended up with the break up of Rover. Some deals were luckier than others: Renault-Nissan, for example, struck in 1999 on the principle that each company would retain its own identity while sharing resources. On the contrary, the Daimler Benz-Chrysler merger was a failure.
In the case of the recently announced Fiat-Chrysler, and potentially Opel, merger, things just might be different. The successful turnaround of the Italian carmaker led by Sergio Marchionne is seen by most executives as the promise of further success.
According to Matteo Camesasca, Ceo of Maserati West Europe, headquartered in Paris, “since Marchio -
nne arrived, everything at Fiat has been much more reactive: processes are faster and the overriding principle is quality and teamwork.”
“Marchionne completed a so-called mission impossible”, says a senior executive at one of the leading manufacturers. “But his war-room approach could also be a limit when managing a global, more complex corporation.”
The main obstacle on Marchionne’s way to success could be a cultural one. Language and organizational background can hamper progress. Chrysler, in particular, which is another big failure of private equity funds (it had been taken over by Cerberus in 2007), experienced the imperial management style of Bob Nardelli. Stories of Nardelli’s blunt communication and dictatorial ways are legendary.
However, according to an anonymous source who is well placed to get inside knowledge of the deal, “the major difference in organizational styles exist between Fiat and Chrysler on the one side, and Opel on the other. Chrysler and Fiat are stand-alone operations whereas Opel, as part of the Gm matrix organisation, has never been operating on a stand-alone basis.”
According to Nicole Graf, Vice President in charge of Berufsakademie Campus at Bad Mergentheim, who worked fifteen years at Daimler and came across four generations of German leadership at Fiat in Heilbronn, “the organisational styles couldn’t be more different. At Daimler Chrysler the main lesson we learnt was that mergers generally fail.”
From the insider’s point of view “Fiat has demonstrated in the past from its engagement in the agricultural engines business with New Holland, that cross border mergers can be a success story.”
Marchionne’s international experience could minimize the cultural clash, as Camesasca points out. “Marchionne understands both cultures. With Daimler Chrysler there was always the doubt that Chrysler was receiving old technology from Mercedes. Fiat’s policy is the opposite. They’re looking to share their latest technology especially with regard to low emissions. They’re not interested in simply making a Us Fiat.”
A manager in after sales operations agrees that “the biggest organizational issue is the profound cultural gap that poisoned the Daimler Chrysler deal. The Germans attempted, without success, to colonize Chrysler. As it now emerges from Chapter 11, Chrysler should now be more reasonable, but we shouldn’t forget that no one has much experience in managing a company where unions own 55% of the shares.” In any case Fiat will need to retain the Chrysler management to handle the US market where it hasn’t had a presence for more than 20 years.
A critical issue will also be the global support available and Fiat’s capability to deploy its leadership in a multinational environment. Fiat has the most centralized and probably most powerful management, which is a strength when it comes to decision making and a weakness given the sudden growth of the organisation and the increased
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demand for management presence. The Ceo of Maserati West Europe points out that “according to Marchionne the challenge starts now. His Hr style of people empowerment will not be threatened by the merger. It is, after all, an American style. The real challenge for Fiat is to become global. For the company, this is a tremendous learning opportunity.”
Nicole Graf sees more risks than opportunities. “If the main reason is that each of the three is too small to survive as an independent,” she says “it sounds a bit like sending the Hindenburg to rescue the Titanic.”
01 Luca Cordero di Montezemolo Fiat Chairman.
02 Sergio Marchionne Fiat Ceo. 03 The economy car Fiat 500.
04 Chrysler multi-purpose vehicle Pt Cruiser
05 Chrysler off-roader jp008.
06-07 Chrysler Llc.
Headquarter Auburn Hills, Detroit, Michigan.
Culture integration The business case
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03 0405 07
[W chrysler.com executivesurf.com fiat.com]
Rod Bailey, Ceo of ExecutiveSurf. Rod has spent most of his career creating or investing in innovation in the executive search field.
Illustration by Gaku Nakagawa
By ROBERT LEVERING
Should companies care?
Why should a company try to be a great place to work these days in the midst of the worst economic crisis in three generations? This is an obvious question if one thinks that a good working environment is optional-like flying first class instead of economy. When times are tough, one does away with options. And in these tough times, companies are responding by cutting back nonessentials and laying off staff. Aren’t employees happy just having a job? Why bother trying to create a great workplace?
This line of thinking mistakenly assumes that a great place to work means paying higher salaries or offering extra benefits. It’s true that great workplaces often have special perks like the free meals in gourmet cafeterias at Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. Certainly when journalists write articles about the best workplaces, they usually focus on their unusual benefits and cultural practices.
But based on the tens of thousands of employees in great workplaces that our Institute has interviewed or surveyed over the past 25 years throughout the world, we have learned that the defining characteristic of a great place to work is trust between management and employees. In the very best workplaces, employees insist that what they most appreciate about their firms is that they can believe and have faith in the integrity of the management, are respected by them and feel that they are treated fairly.
Having a high level of trust is essential in a time of crisis for several reasons. First, employees are understandably concerned about the future of their companies and their own job security in difficult times. In the best workplaces, the leadership goes to great lengths to share information as openly and transparently as possible with employees. This is especially important if the company is forced to lay off people. We have found that the morale of an organization can remain high even when layoffs occur so long as management has been honest about the situation.
ple they don’t trust. That is, employees are more likely to be creative in a work environment where they feel respected and trust the people they are working for.
For these reasons, we can expect that the best workplaces will have an advantage during this crisis. •
Aren’t employees happy just having a job? Why bother trying to create a great workplace?
This line of thinking mistakenly assumes that a great place to work means paying higher salaries or offering extra benefits...The defining characteristic of a great place to work is trust between management and employees.
A second reason why trust matters is that cooperation requires that people trust each other. Because of the complexity of today’s business organizations, cooperation among people in different parts of an organization is the key to increasing productivity.
Finally, the companies that survive and become stronger in this economic crisis will be those that offer customers better solutions. Innovations occur best when there is an environment of trust. People simply do not offer their best ideas to peo -
The companies that survive and become stronger in this economic crisis will be those that offer customers better solutions. Innovations occur best when there is an environment of trust. People simply do not offer their best ideas to people they don’t trust.
Robert Levering is cofounder of Great Place to Work® Institute which produces lists of the Best Workplaces in 40 countries throughout the world.
t ws m — #1.09 41 People
Economic downturn A lesson of patience
The slower pace of life
Though the current economic crisis is being felt across the world, the nature of its impact varies, as are the responses by companies and governments within these disparate global locations.
In Colombia, Gptw experts Juan Carlos Carrillo and Sandra Estupiñán report that companies are adopting the ‘business-as-usual’ approach to Hr management. In Finland, Asta Rossi from Gptw notes a distinction between those firms that are simply focussed on cost-cutting, and those more engaged with their employees for more creative solutions.
David Plink from Crf stresses the continued importance of communication by management to employees of their
FOCUS The Great Place to Work® Institute has 40 affiliate offices throughout the world. It has listened to employees and has evaluated employers since 1980 to understand what makes a workplace great. •
restructuring plans. Alia Malhotra from Gptw India outlines the various cost-saving measures taking place amongst Mumbai’s IT and service outsourcing firms. Gptw Switzerland also reports on the outcomes of a recent survey which provides an insight on Swiss workers’ and management’s responses to the current economic crisis. Muli Ravina, Ceo of Credit Suisse, also provides his assessment of the regional cooperative opportunities for Israel. Finally, Marco Gentili and Saro Capozzoli provide an overview of the enormous but diverse Chinese economic landscape where economic regions and sectors are being impacted on in different ways.
It is sinister. It is subtle. It has come into the work-place environment of Indian companies like the fine dust that seeps in through closed windows and doors. Some who have not encountered the ghost scoff at it. Others who have been touched by its cold stranglehold on banks and easy loans are really scared. The most visible sign is lack of new employee hires and the freezes on existing salaries. Managements are reluctant to expand. All new projects are on hold. Money is scarce. Banks are flush with funds but are afraid to lend.
Alia Malhotra, Great Place to Work® Institute India.
Asta Rossi. Great Place To Work® Institute, Finland.
Juan Carlos Carrillo and Sandra Estupiñán, Great Place to Work® Institute Colombia.
Surviving the crisis through human capital
“Many organizations are cutting back on resources and this is impacting on studies of the work environment. Despite everything organizations know about attracting and retaining human capital, the main thing is surviving the work market these days”. This is the conviction of Juan Carlos Carrillo and Sandra Estupiñán, respectively, the Great Place to Work® Institute Colombia Director, and the Institute’s Development Department Manager. Human resource managers continue to promote the implementation of practices and politics, which not only attract talent but also their retention.
In Colombia, the current crisis is being met with a business-as-usual approach in Hr management “These strategies imply continued structural changes within organizations and the reassessing of paradigms.” continues Carrillo and Estupiñán. “Although Colombian organizations are experiencing difficult times, they agree that if companies pay attention to the work environment, productivity will continue to increase and so will the commitment of people towards their work,” they conclude.
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The polarised approach to insecurity
“In times of crisis, there seem to be two different approaches that are taken by management.” This is what Asta Rossi, from the Great Place To Work® Finland, notices. “Management in most, especially larger companies is focused on finding savings.”
At the other end of the spectrum Ceo’s and
managers are reaching out to discuss with employees, asking their ideas for savings and are working together to boost sales. According to Rossi, the best approach would be for managers to be available for employees, do rounds, organise opportunities for discussion, answer questions and thank employees for their efforts. “If management simply disappears, employees
will create their own interpretations of the situation and act accordingly”, she says.
“Sacrifices’ too could be more acceptable to workers, this way”.
Rosi further notes that in some companies’ agreements have been reached where everyone is out of the office one week every month, replacing lay offs with extra unpaid vacation time.
shunted to the suburbs. This move is a blessing in disguise for some workers living in the suburbs who were earlier commuting for hours to their downtown destinations. Others suddenly find their bosses more receptive to the idea of working from home and having flexible hours.
Simplicity and economy
In the workplace employees are bemused at the sudden disappearance of free pens, pencils and writing pads. One company has gone to the extent of putting a ration on toilet paper rolls. Petrol quotas are being reduced. The food in company canteens is taking a sudden turn towards simplicity and economy. India is on hold, with its IT manpower not being as much in demand as before. BPOs are vanishing back to the foreign shores they came from due to the Obama decree of providing jobs for US citizens and a tight leash on H1B visas. IT budgets have been slashed. There is no demand for new software because big spenders like giant banks and car manufacturers have either folded or are on a downward spiral and trying to keep their heads above water. Under these circumstances the more adventurous and enterprising workers are thinking of abandoning ship and starting their own projects. Many young entrepreneurs have turned to the internet to start their own online ventures in education and web retail. A visible example of cost cutting in Mumbai is the move towards the suburbs by a number of large securities and brokerage companies. Hdfc Securities has relocated a large chunk of its workers in retail from downtown Parel to suburban Kanjurmarg. Another brokerage house (Motilal Oswal) has moved a large number of its employees to Malad. Such companies are only retaining downtown offices which are necessary to service the large institutional financial hubs, while other components are being
Repairing the ‘broken part’ of economy, Hr bosses are working out new strategies to retain the talent they have working for them. Good workers are being handled with kid gloves. Companies like Adobe and Hewlett Packard in India are encouraging their employees to come up with innovative ideas forwarded to the global headquarters.
The cause of the sudden squeeze is the exit of massive institutional financial investing in India. Suddenly the call to sell more loans has halted. Lending has become unfashionable but the brunt of this credit squeeze is being felt by genuine businesses with profitable ventures which are now on hold because of the shortage of funds. This has also served to put a throttle hold on the necks of office workers.
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Economic downturn Head and heart
By DAVID PLINK
THE NETHERLAND The effect of restructuring on employees is profound and feeds negative feeling such as fear, guilt and anger that could lead to serious effects on the success of the organization. This is why, communication still remains fundamental in order to face and mitigate consequences of the crisis on the organisation. Interview with David Plink, Crf Coo.
Coping the emotions
“Since many organisations currently ask more from their staff, it is paramount to engage them in the organisation’s strategy and communicate clearly on the reasons for cost measures that affect them. The effect of any restructuring-whether expected or actually enforced-on employees is profound,” says David Plink, Coo of Crf (Corporate Research Foundation).
Some of the restructuring effects, according to Plink: are fear of losing one’s job; relief as well as guilt for being exempt from a restructure while others are laid off; anger over a (potential) restructure; the lack of control over the process within the organisation.
“These emotions often translate into negative effects on productivity; a limited commitment from the staff, overall decreased job satisfaction, and a heightened inclination to leave the organisation,” continues Plink. “Sometimes there is also ‘survivor envy’ where workers might wish they had been laid off because they now have to do all the work.”
INVESTING IN STAFF MEANS KEEPING ENGAGEMENT HIGH
Plink notes, however, that these effects can be mitigated by good communication that engage with and explain to staff these changes and their potential impact. The study by Crf also found that in those countries where unions are empowered in remuneration negotiations, workers are more likely to accept salary freezes and even cuts, if their jobs are guaranteed in return. In most of the markets that Crf was active, observes
Plink, spending cuts were falling on non-monetary benefits such as training and teambuilding events.
“The engagement of employees will determine their fit with the organisation they work for. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work. Given the emotions that surround the workplace in an economic crisis, the negative effects on employee engagement and the success of the organisation is obvious,” Plink further stresses.
“Engagement is possible when the identity, the mission, the vision and the goals of the employee themselves match those of the organisation. These will always require active communication on the part of management”, he concludes.
The engagement of employees will determine their fit with the organisation they work for. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work.
44 t ws m — #1.09
David Plink, Chief Operating Officer at Crf International. He has also been the Publisher and Associate Director at Reed Business.
Economic downturn Rights
ISRAEL How does the sense of uncertainty from the global financial crisis impact on a country which has, for decades, lived with military and civil insecurity? Is there an opportunity in this current crisis for Israel? We put these questions to Muli Ravina, Ceo of Credit Suisse in Israel.
The power of relations
Although the global financial crisis is affecting Israel as everywhere else, a word that seems to better reflect the Israeli mood is ‘relations’. This mood encompasses the opportunities for greater economic cooperation between Israel and its neighbours, at both the professional and the personal level. This is the assessment of Muli Ravina, who prior to being the Ceo of Credit Suisse in Israel in 2007, held leading position in the Israeli Ministry of Finance.
twsm After five years of growth and low unemployment rates, how has the global financial crisis impacted on Israeli work life?
mr Conditions have adversely affected the demand for Israeli exports in the high-tech sector which, after rapid growth over the last 4 years, has slowed significantly and are leading to redundancies. Personal wealth has decreased as a result of bearish international and local markets, restricting consumer demand. This is beginning to flow through to the rest of the Israeli economy.
twsm If not properly managed, could the crisis and its consequences on work life increase tensions generally?
On the contrary, could the crisis in any way be considered an opportunity?
mr I believe that the global economic downturn is unrelated to the tension in the region. In an economic sense
In an economic sense the biggest opportunity will cluster around any policy interventions that may encourage stronger economic relationships between Israel and its immediate neighbours.
the biggest opportunity will cluster around any policy interventions that may encourage stronger economic relationships between Israel and its immediate neighbours.
twsm To what extend can Hr management be helpful in this time of crisis? And how has Hr changed in Israel during the last few years? Which values and strategies would you characterise as Israeli nowadays?
mr Hr management is critically important at both an individual and corporate level. In recent times, Hr departments have played a critical role in advising companies on resourcing levels and strategic staffing decisions. Israel has a relatively advanced legislative framework around employee rights. Hr here is often rigorously tested by pressures associated with corporate restructuring, and I imagine this situation will continue with the current downturn.
HR management is critically important at both an individual and corporate level. In recent times HR departments have played a critical role in advising companies on resourcing levels and strategic staffing decisions. Israel has a relatively advanced legislative framework around employee rights. HR here is often rigorously tested by pressures associated with corporate restructuring, and I imagine this situation will continue with current downturn.
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01 Muli Ravina, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse in Israel.
SWISS workers facing the global economic crisis are more flexible about their workplace roles and are rediscovering solidarity while management appears to be more open, straightforward, consistent, and fair in their behaviour. This is what a recent survey by Switzerland’s Great Place to Work® Institute (Gptw) found in its “A Glance on the Future” survey.
Economic downturn Research Switzerland
A glance on the future
Towards the end of 2009, Gptw sent out more than 2600 survey questionnaires and received over 350 responses from Swiss workers on their perceptions of the workplace. Given that the period covered included the onset of the current economic crisis, analysis of responses still indicated a steadiness of perceptions when compared with survey results from previous year.
More than half of survey respondents said that that their work environment has remained unchanged in the last few months, and amongst those who perceived changes viewed these as improvements. There appears to be little change in the range of responsibilities that managers gave to employees, nor were there any changes for pride in their own company.
Amongst respondents management communication of changes and clarity regarding company goals were perceived to have improved. It appears that the looming economic crisis was also accompanied by management interactions with staff.
A SAMPLE OF DEMOCRACY
Threat of economic crisis did not necessarily create disparity in recognizing employee merit with only 18% of respondents reporting impartiality having decreased. The study also found that co-workers continued to help each other, with the willingness to provide discretionary contributions to work remaining unchanged for the 58% of respondents. For another 23%, this willingness increased.
With regard to company pride, the survey found that for 18% of respondents, it had increased, while for 64% it remained unchanged. 18% of respondents perceived company pride to be decreasing.
The survey also gained some insights regarding management quality in response to expected economic
troubles. Amongst respondents, 62% believed that management ethics remained unchanged with an expected crisis, while 58% of managers were perceived to be understanding of and were suitably responding to employee needs. There were very little variation between responses to the survey from managers and non managers. In summary, while Gptw’s ‘A Glance on the Future’ points to some measure of ambivalence towards the oncoming economic crisis, it also confirmed the positive mood toward Swiss management’s attitudes towards internal communication. One may also surmise a certain level immobility and dread, amongst respondents, that the full force of the economic crisis was yet to hit.
The research “A glance on the future” has been managed by C. Milani and A. Borgese from Great Place to Work® Switzerland
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Management’s impartiality in recognizing employees’ merits
Economic downturn Sacrifices for the common good
CHINA Sacrifice for the common good, proactive and intense involvement by employees are some factors that characterise China’s business world. Top executives from Jesa, a consultancy firm based in Shanghai speak to Twsm regarding China’s response to the current economic crisis.
With more than 1.3 billion inhabitants, or 20% of world population, and an immensely wide territory, China cannot be considered one indistinct country when discussing the consequences of and responses to economic crisis.
“To China’s south, the Pearl River Delta encompasses Guangzhou and is strongly linked to Hong Kong. The Delta is home to China’s export-oriented industries, in such areas as toys and textiles, and these are suffering because of the crisis. Up to 80% have experienced falls in their orders and many have already closed,” explain Saro Capozzoli, General Manager of Jesa, a firm headquartered in Shanghai and specialized in providing consulting services during the settlement phase of new plants.
“In the north, around Beijing and Tianjin, many firms belong to the so-called ‘heavy industry’ sectors where the market has not stopped and there is continued business growth” adds Marco Gentili, Partner in Jesa. “In the Yangtze River Delta where Shanghai is located, this economic region is geared towards China’s domestic market and the impact of the global crisis is less serious”.
Saro Capozzoli stresses, however, that the impact of the crisis is also uneven for different types of businesses even within these regions.
“The crisis is more evident for the 630,000 foreign companies operating in China where the source of economic insecurity is external with their markets undergoing downturn,” he added. “For another part of the business community, they still see infrastructure continue to be built. For example, some 36 bridges were built in China in just the last three years.”
At the end of 2008, China’s Central Gov-
ernment announced a massive $US750b stimulus spending package with a large proportion of funds going to expanding the country’s railway network and housing. China is where the globe’s fastest and arguably biggest rollout of 3G broadband services is currently taking place. “Chinese employees accept sacrifices for the ‘common good’ and everyone tries to work in a more effective way to obtain the best result”, Marco Gentili notes. “Many companies have reduced their expenses, especially on holiday festivities and everyone has accepted this situation, hoping for a change in the mid-term”.
To boost consumer spending, the Government has given some signals that it would extend reform to its VAT system while tax reductions already underway have put more money into the bank accounts of China’s consumers and households.
In China, personal connections or ‘guangxi’ is an important first step towards finding potential business partners, clients and friends. Both Saro Capazzoli and Marco Gentili are at pains to point out that only meritocracy will enable this relationship to develop beyond this important means of introduction.
“In modern China, people are managed in a flexible way and they feel free to move from one company to another one if their interests or ambitions are not met. A lot more young Chinese are exposed to the way the outside world works, and many of them have gone overseas to study” they add. “When they move up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people here are driven by status and that will determine which company they work for.” Regarding career matters, performance
In China, the difference between time dedicated to work and personal time is still not that clear. In part, this is a culture that has emerged from centuries of agricultural cooperation, though this may well change as China continues to rapidly modernize.
remains core to effective professional cooperation and people are rewarded in ways commensurate to achievements and outcomes.
“Like elsewhere in the modern world, companies need to pay a lot of attention to rewarding employees who are innovative, whether it is through finding solutions to problems or coming up with new and successful products for the marketplace.”
“Efficiency depends on transparency, leadership and participation by all in the company,” Capazzoli explains while noting some difference in the Chinese workplace.
“The difference between time dedicated to work and personal time is still not that clear in China. In part, this is a culture that has emerged from centuries of agricultural cooperation, though this may well change as China continues to rapidly modernize.” •
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Marco Gentili (L) Saro Capozzoli (R) Jesa Chairman and General Manager in Shanghai.
[W jesa.com.cn] 47
Thinking outside the box Animal spirits
By MARIA TERESA MELODIA
FINANCE DRAWS ON PSYCOLOGIC AND ETHOLOGIC MODELS Today everybody wants to know about the current economic and financial crisis. Governments all over the world are working to try to solve the crisis, even with sometimes unconventional but innovative approaches that draw attention to parallels between the financial and the natural world.
An unexpected affair
The global crisis has made clear that psychological forces are influencing the wealth of nations. As the economists George A. Akerlof and Robert J.Shiller stress in their book “Animal Spirits”, noneconomic motives are driving financial events worldwide. These two acclaimed experts highlight the fact that economic decisions are affected by people’s impulses and emotions, the so-called ‘animal spirits’. Five different examples of ‘animal spirits’ that they point out include confidence, corruption, money illusion, stories and fairness. It is not only the study of human psychology which offers useful lessons on how to manage systemic financial risk. The field of ethology may also prove useful. A few months ago Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, sought advice from Lord Robert May, a zoologist, Professor at Oxford University, a recent President of The Royal Society, as well as a past Chief Scientific Adviser to the Uk Government.
GOOD REASONS TO THINK ABOUT THE BIRDS AND BEES
Mervyn King was right in his thinking about ethology, the scientific study of animal behaviour alongside other subjects like zoology, epidemiology or ecology. “There is a common ground for analysing financial systems and ecosystems, especially in the need to identify conditions that dispose a system to be knocked from seeming stability into another, less happy state,” noted Nature, the international weekly journal of science. In February 2008, Nature published a paper “Ecology for Bankers”, co-authored by Lord Robert May, Simon A. Levin and George Sigihara who argued that the management of fishery stocks provides some ideas
on managing the financial system. According to Simon A. Levin, Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, the field of ecology might offer useful lessons about how to manage systemic financial risk. “The animal kingdomas professor Levin clarifies-gives us some tips about collective behaviour and about contagious spread. People, like other animals, imitate one another, leading to herd-like behaviour and the stock-market provides much evidence of this. Moreover, behaviours spread, like infectious diseases or forest fires.”
One lesson of the recent banking crisis is that too much attention was focused on monitoring individual banks, without considering how they might interact. As May, Levin and Sugihara note “for the past half-century, investments in fisheries science have focused on management on a species-by-species basis (analogous to single-firm risk analysis). Especially with collapses of some major fisheries, however, this approach is giving way to the view that such models may be fundamentally incomplete, and that the wider ecosystem and environmental context (by analogy, the full banking and market system) are required for informed decision-making.”
HOMOLOGATION MEANS EXTINCTION
The Bank, for its part, is already trying to extend the lesson about fish to contagious diseases and its implications to the banking system. In April 2009 in Amsterdam, Andrew Haldane, Executive Director of the Bank of England’s Financial Stability Unit, published a paper comparing the Sars (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic and
the recent collapse of Lehman Brothers. He noted that the dynamics of the modern financial network make it both ‘robust and fragile’, a property exhibited by other complex adaptive networks, such as tropical rainforests. While the financial network looked diversified, individual finance houses had pursued strategies uncannily similar to each other – meaning that all were vulnerable to collapse once the system reached a ‘tipping point’.
He concluded that if future systemic dislocations are to be averted, financial regulators might do well to examine three areas which were the cornerstones of the effort in responding to the Sars outbreak in 2003. The first initiative is to gain a better understanding of network dynamics, which in the banking field translates to a mapping of the global financial network and communicating to the public about how it works. The second response is to ensure appropriate control of the failure of large interconnected institutions. Thirdly, a restructuring of financial networks could learn from the experience of engineering networks. The widespread implementation of ‘central counterparties’ and ‘intra-system netting arrangements’ would artificially reduce the tendency towards system homogeneity or movement towards the tipping point. When interviewed by Twsm, Professor Levin further notes that the analogy between financial systems and fish, tropical trees or pestilent diseases might also be fitting to other aspects of social systems. “Collective behaviour and contagiousness lead to the rapid spread of fads and to changing attitudes towards things like smoking or birth control” says Levin. “We are in front of an umpteenth proof that we’d better listen more to nature” he concluded.
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Illustration by Paul Davis [W nature.com ox.ac.uk princeton.edu ucsd.edu]
A glance on the city Cities’ appeal
By FILIPPO DE BORTOLI
CITIES While governments at all levels worldwide compete to improve their cities’ quality of life, their planning agencies draw on experts who advise on those elements that determine a city’s ‘liveability’. Filippo de Bortoli gives Twsm readers a quick guided tour of the globe’s new lifestyle locations of choice.
Finding best location
Towards the end of May 2009, news went around the world that Times Square would become a traffic island. With a popularity-seeking decision, and elections approaching, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Broadway will be pedestrianized for five city blocks around the crossroads where 350,000 people pass through everyday. To the rest of the globe, this is where the Ball is dropped to mark New York’s celebration of every New Year. Bloomberg’s is a welltrodden path to make the Big Apple, ‘The City’ by definition in the modern collective imagination, even ‘greener’ and ‘people-friendlier’. A traffic ban along Broadway will allow restaurants and cafes to put tables on the sidewalks, significantly slowing the pace of an area that is already clustered with theatres, bars and other places devoted to leisure activities. In a metropolis that doesn’t’ really have the ‘square dimension’, the initiative’s goal is to give city dwellers a place of their own, enlivened by music, cultural and
artistic occasions, with events to be enjoyed with the due comfort.
Less noise, fewer risks for pedestrians (Times Square unfortunately has an average rate of car accidents which is 40 % higher than other areas of the city) and therefore the quality of life in this area will also bring an undisputed advantage to the whole city. The special placement of Broadway, which cuts diagonally across the orthogonal subdivisions of surrounding streets, often results in traffic gridlocks.
This new step made by Mayor Bloomberg’s administration for a greener New York includes, amongst other things, ambitious plans for the planting of a million trees across the city. It is emblematic of the positive competition which for some time has been underway between (aspiring) ‘world cities’.
The scale of the competition varies, involving governments at the local, metropolitan, provincial, regional as well as national levels. They encompass projects that are either catalysed by local business or community associations, and range through to integrated infrastructure and investment partnerships with giant national or multinational corporations.
Olympics where as much as $US40 billion was spent, Shanghai, China’s largest city is reportedly spending as much and using its hosting of the 2010 World Expo to catapult itself into Asia’s pre-eminent financial capital and world city. As the New York Times recently reported: “By the time the six-month-long exposition opens next May, Shanghai will have two new airport terminals, a subway
Cities transform at differing speeds but increasingly, many are being included in charts, tables and rankings developed globally from a range of consulting agencies such as Mercer to publications such as The Economist or Forbes magazines.
For example the European Union has allocated ¤ 6.3 million between 2007 and 2013 to the Wilhelmsburg area with the goal of renewing this part of Hamburg. For one week every year, entire areas of Milan are taken over by a diverse number of firms, trade exhibitors, promotion agencies, non-profit artistic and other community groups during its Furniture Fair which, during 2009, attracted more than 330,000 visitors from over 150 countries around the globe. Following on from the 2009 Beijing
system that is nearly as large as New York’s and a $700 million promenade in its historic riverfront district. New parks, roads and bridges are already opening.” (Nyt, 30 May 2009)
Cities transform at differing speeds but increasingly, many are being included in charts, tables and rankings developed globally from a range of consulting agencies such as Mercer to publications such as The Economist or Forbes magazines.
Surveys carried out by influential scientists, such as Peter Taylor and Saskia Sassen, also envelop more and more locations as they seek to understand economic professional, and increasingly non-economic factors that determine the desirability of regions and cities as places to visit, invest or live in.
50 01 t ws m — #1.09
Milan by choice
With a region enhancement plan with the ambitious goal of 2030, Milan has identified 15 big “comfort” indicators.
1. To create a new balance of functions between the centre and suburbs.
2. To modernise the public and private transport network.
3. To increase the amount of housing available
4. To encourage the presence of workers and creative people in the services sector.
5. To enhance the identity of neighbourhoods
6. To promote Milan as an agricultural city.
7. To connect existing environmental systems to new major parks.
8. To restore the environmental function of waterways and canals
9. To complete the redevelopment of contaminated or abandoned land.
10. To support the European Union’s “20-20 by 2020” energy-efficiency policy on a town-planning, building and logistical level.
11. To set up quality services for people on a neighbourhood scale.
12. To make the city liveable on a 24-hour basis.
13. To reinforce the landscaping system on a local scale and “slow” mobility
14. To guarantee the quality and maintenance of public spaces and service structures.
15. To encourage private services of public interest to the principle of full subsidiarity.
01 Baltimore Harbour Munster, Cork, Ireland.
02 The Dome, Milan, Italy.
03 Reykjavik lanscape and city, Island.
04 Reykjavik lake, Island.
05 Fashion window
Via Montenapoleone, Milan, Italy.
06 Teatro La Scala, Milan, Italy.
07 Reykjavik Cultural Night, Island.
08 Clifden, Connought, Galway.
09 The Burren, Munster, Clare, Ireland.
10 Aran, Connaught, Galway, Ireland.
11 North of Bantry
Munster, Cork, Ireland.
12 Clare Glen, Ulster, Armagh, Ireland.
© Many Thank’s: Tourism Ireland
12 09 10 08 07 06 05 04
01 Wilhelmsburg, the Worldneighbourhood.
© Courtesy of bloomimages
02 Oslofjord, Norway.
03 Oslo, Norway.
04 Smart Price Houses, Center of Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg, Germany.
05 Oslo city center, Norway
These qualities of attractiveness also extend to encompass the civic, cultural and the personal.
For most, one’s location in a country, region or city is still more or less determined by family history and circumstances of birth while for an increasing number, it is an expression of professional or personal preference, including those associated with identity politics. The more striking examples include the significance of San Francisco or Sydney to global gay identity,
or of Paris as a cultural hub for the diverse and multiple diasporas of (Francophone) Africa and the Middle East.
Amongst the different categories that make up our modern life, however, the factors making the difference is more often between the ‘small’ things that give us the biggest satisfaction. These are the borders along which we, along with work style, narrate our lives and are conscious that what we decide to do in our free time is what matters the most to us.
What does appeal a perfect city?
Do you have clear, objective information on quality of living differences between cities around the world?
Are your allowances based on significant international quality-of-living factors?
Based on 39 factors within ten categories, Mercer’s Quality-of-Living Reports contain all the key elements you need to calculate hardship allowances for transfers to over 420 cities worldwide. Here there are mercer,com 10 reference categories:
• Consumer goods
• Economic environment
• Medical and health considerations
• Natural environment
• Political and social environment
• Public services and transport
• Schools and education
• Socio-cultural environment
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© Kurt Hamann/Innovation Norway. [W mercer.com]
By PAOLO GLISENTI
At the end of March 2008, Milan was announced the winner in its bid, following Shanghai in 2010, to host the 2015 World Expo. With its theme of “Feeding the planet, energy for life”, Paolo Glisenti outlines to Twsm the exciting decade that is ahead for Milan.
Expo and work
Milan beat the other candidate Izmir, a city in Turkey for the chance to host what is arguably the third largest event in the world in terms of economic and cultural impact. On its bid website, the Milan submission to the BIE (International Exhibitions Bureau), reasoned that: “Milan and its territory represent the ideal candidate, in Italy and in the world, for Expo 2015 because together they: -are situated at the centre of an area of about 10 million inhabitants, the same as London or Paris; -produce 10% of Italy’s GDP, a lev-
tourists are expected to visit the event. For Milan to organise such a global event is a unique chance to create thousands of new jobs in the Expo area, to attract the most talented people from abroad and to raise the quality of its already globally-recognised skills base, particularly in the area of style and manufacturing design.
Human capital creation will be the most precious legacy of an Expo that can achieve the most enduring impact among other sport or cultural events because of its duration of six months
tects, designers, and urban developers will not only generate new innovations relevant to the Expo’s theme of energy and food sustainability. Participation in these competitive bidding processes will also infuse young professionals with a skill set which they will take with them in professional life well beyond the Expo and 2015. The Expo will also require skills in the organising and logistical support of events with its demand for a range of associated professions encompassing communications, advertising, market-
Photo from the book
“Expo before Expo”
1 Avenida de las palmera
3 Dutch pavilion
el equal to Brussels’ or Madrid’s, and have a per-capita income that is almost twice, and unemployment that is half that of Italy’s; -register 40% of new innovation patents equal to Boston’s; -sell 10 million tickets yearly for art, music and cinema, a proportion that is equivalent to Berlin, Amsterdam or Barcelona; -house 650 fashion show-rooms, in competition with Paris and New York, and is the Italian centre for voluntary services and tertiary industries.”
In preparing for Expo 2015, ¤ 2,300 million will be invested by the Italian and local governments, and the private sector to prepare the site and construct the necessary facilities. Moreover, investments in transportation infrastructure by public and private organisations are estimated to total ¤ 7,300 million while 21 million
and the permanent infrastructure that is require all over the city well beyond the exposition area.
Construction of the Expo site will generate many direct and indirect jobs. These are, to a great extent, ‘traditional’ engineering and building construction opportunities. The Expo also generates demand for more environmentally-friendly building techniques and materials and their integration with advanced energy-saving technologies and systems. These will provide contractors and suppliers with the chance to move up the technological ladder.
Expo will also offer extraordinary opportunities for architects, planners and designers to be indissolubly associated with the iconic architectural and other visual representations the Milan of 2015 (and beyond) will project to the globe.
The bidding process amongst archi-
ing, sales, accounting, legal and administration. During preparation, creative talent, technicians, clerks and interns will be recruited and trained and will be expected to join organizational committees and the events management teams. What is offered to new recruits is not only the chance of a (well-paid) job, but also the opportunity to gain an exciting lifetime experience. Current surveys point out that the local job market does not have enough professionals required for these projects. Milan, therefore, is now open to those, who are willing to move to seek these professional opportunities.
Finally, this talent cross-fertilisation works both ways. Experience in working in Milan in general and for the 2015 World Expo in particular will be an exciting opportunity in participants’ work and personal lives.
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Siviglia 1992 1
Suisse 2002 2 Hannover 2000 3
• [W bie-paris.org]
Meeting with the different
THINKING OVER Twenty African immigrant men of varying ages sit at a twelve metre long transparent table creating an image that is reminiscent of da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. These men are wearing elegant and formal black dinner jackets that are deliberately made dusty, ill fitting and torn. Some are inappropriately shod, or are not wearing shoes at all. They eat whole pieces of chicken without cutlery in complete silence. This piece of performance art conveys sacredness while directing us to the hash reality that these men experience every day. The turmoil of immigration is central to “VB65”, the name which Vanessa Beecroft sequentially gives to each of her performance art installations. VB65 took place at the Pavilion of Contemporary Art in Milan during March this year. The diners sit down silently during the three-hour performance, in front of an audience of invited guests. They are real immigrants-some legal, others not-who have arrived in Italy from Africa. They were asked to work for two full days and to take onboard the concept of the performance, imagery and metaphor which the artist sought to communicate. The performers do not break their silence, or the tension between them, as the sole means with which to engage the audience.
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*VB65 was produced by the Milan Commune Arts Office and MiArt (Milan’s International Modern and Contemporary Art Fair) exclusively for PAC, Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea.
By AMBROGIO VISCONTI
IMMIGRATION Despite the economic downturn, expatriate populations are still growing. In this section, legal experts analyse immigration issues within the world’s desirable recipient jurisdictions. Twsm crosses from Europe to the United States and China to find out more about the ongoing restrictions in a globe otherwise characterised by freer flows of investment and goods.
The current economic climate is causing many changes in the global market, and managing international employees often presents many challenges particularly with ever increasing pressures to manage assignments cost effectively and efficiently.
tion’ of its Immigration Law. However, intra-company transfers of non-Eu employees to an Eu country or of non-Eu worker hired by Eu firms within the Eu are still governed at a national level”, explains Benedetto Lonato, Associate in Lega Colucci e Associati.
The current economic climate is causing many changes in the global market, and managing international employees often presents many challenges particularly with ever increasing pressures to manage assignments cost effectively and efficiently. Today, among the most important destinations are China, the United States and to some extent Europe. Among difficulties faced by Hr managers and in house counsel managing expatriates assignments are difficulties in obtaining work permits and immigration formalities. We interview legal experts from Berry, Appleman & Leiden Llp-Bal Global and Lca Lega Colucci e Associati in order to better understand specific issues in these three key jurisdictions.
Today, among the most important destinations are China, the United States and to some extent Europe. Among difficulties faced by Hr managers and in house counsel managing expatriates assignments are difficulties in obtaining work permits and immigration formalities. We interview legal experts from Berry, Appleman & Leiden Llp-Bal Global and Lca Lega Colucci e Associati in order to better understand specific issues in these three key jurisdictions.
EUROPE MOVING TOWARDS
Eu rules regarding visas and checks at external borders were adopted to allow free internal movement of Eu citizens. “Since 1997, the Eu has made important steps towards the ‘communitariza-
National rules on these specific matters are often similar across the Eu, as European countries must comply with the general European provisions on the rights of foreigners. “The most usual and frequent error by many,” continues Lonato, “is to underestimate immigration law procedures and levels of complexity. When a Hr plan includes intra-company transfers or hiring of non-Eu workers within the Eu, the procedures for obtaining national visas and then work permits normally take several months.”
A timeframe of several months involving applications to multiple Eu jurisdictions is often incompatible with companies’ international strategies. As such, attention needs to focus on: (I) the internal analysis of the immigration procedures and due consideration in advance of the company’s Hr strategy; (II) a plan outlining potential immigration issues and solutions; and (III) the identification of all relevant documentation and their collection from all workers in due time.
USA/TAKE YOUR (LONG) TIME
As a general rule, explain Michael Eisenstadt, Attorney at Berry Appleman & Leiden Llp, temporary Us work visas must be sponsored by Us employers and do not provide unrestricted Us employment authorization. “All work visas have very specific eligibility criteria related to the type of work to be performed in the Us, the employee’s education and prior work history, and other factors”, he stresses. “Opportunities for the employment of non-degree, non-managerial foreign national employees are very limited. Extensive documentation may be required to demonstrate that both the employee and the company meet all the eligibility requirements for a particular visa”.
While most visa applications are processed within several business days, some applications may take weeks or even months. Extra delays are to be expected when an applicant originates from, or has a long history of residence in, certain countries. Work visas are given for a limited period of time and cannot be extended in perpetuity, and the total number for some categories of visas to be issued each year may be limited. Most notably, the Us Citizenship and Immigration Service (Uscis) recently introduced very restrictive standards on what would be considered ‘specialized knowledge’ required from non-managerial intra-company transferees. “Proper planning, and the issuing of advance notice, is essential,” continues Michael Eisenstadt. “No immigration benefits such as obtaining or extending work visas are guaranteed, and the delays in obtaining these may be substantial. To the extent possible, no business commitments, travel arrangements, or work plans should be finalized until
By PATRIZIA COMELLO
the visa is issued. Us immigration laws are not intuitive and companies should address potential issues, questions, or concerns as far in advance as possible”.
CHINA-CHOOSE YOUR SPONSOR CAREFULLY
According to Jet Stigter, Attorney at Berry Appleman & Leiden Llp, “in China, the current economic climate has not played a major role in any further restrictions imposed on work and residence permit application. The major changes in China occurred this time last year in the lead up to and during the 2008 Olympic Games. During that time, the Chinese authorities ceased issuing multiple-entry business visas”. Well after the Olympics in Beijing, restrictions of varying degrees continue to apply across the major Chinese cities. For example, in Shanghai procedures have returned to the ‘pre-Olympics’ process with the exception that the principal applicant is not able to change their status from visitor to one who authorised to work, from within China. Moreover, obtaining appropriate status in other cities, such as Shenzhen, remains a much more difficult endeavour.
In addition to changes in the laws imposed by the Chinese authorities, the other determining factor as to whether a company can transfer or hire a foreign national to work in China is the nature of the sponsoring Chinese entity. The corporate structure of the sponsoring entity in China is very significant for the work and residence permit process. Once the structure is determined, the assignee’s proposed job duties, in light of the corporate structure, may also determine whether the applicant qualifies for a work and residence permit.
“We can determine with the client the application process and the applicable requirements based on the host location. We strive to ensure that both the client and the assignee have a clear understanding of the process and the requirements, as well as the applicable timelines. We strongly advise anyone contemplating a move abroad to allow for sufficient time to obtain an assignee’s proper immigration status and documentation in China. A well-planned assignment is the most efficient and costeffective one”, concludes Stigter. •
Bringing culture around
Renato Miracco is the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York. Moving to Us he committed himself to changing American perception of Italy and Italians as a singular culture.
twsm What were your objectives when you accepted this job?
rm I was aware of the difficulties of promoting Italian culture in America, but I thought that knowing both cultures, I could definitely overcome the problem. It has been, and it is every day, a challenge. My objective has always been to foster an awareness of how much the Italian and American cultures have in common. I am working on a project that will portray some of the most influential artists of our time, both Italian and American, living and working between the United States and Italy. Not many people know of Cy Twombly who lived in Rome, as did Willem De Kooning or Robert Rauschenberg. On the other hand, Alberto Burri travelled to California and dedicated some paintings to that State, and Afro Basaldella who exhibited together with Renato Guttuso at the Viviano Gallery in New York.
twsm What is the American perception of Italy?
rm In my opinion the perception of Italy, even among thirdgeneration Italian-Americans, is still of the old easy iconographies, the spaghetti and pizza place, the little Sicilian chariot. Very few people know that Italy has the best designers in the world, that our medical technology is one of the most advanced. There are a lot of Italians who work and study here, but this excellence is not recognized. It is my job with the Institute, the Consulate, and other official Italian institutions in New York to make these introductions and to create these bridges.
twsm What have you learned from your time so far in the United States?
rm The Americans can teach us a lot about collaboration. Here projects are developed together, problems are solved together, and I discovered this while working with many American organisations here in New York. There is long-term planning and thinking in the cultural programs, especially in museums, often lasting five or six years. This is the way to develop and improve things, and it doesn’t depend on whichever political party is in power.
twsm What is the role of culture in a globalized space where people do not have a fixed locations?
rm Culture means identity. And cultures that seem further apart need to share and learn from each other to create common platforms to help us affirm our common humanity. This is the only way cultures can bring us together instead of pulling us apart. It is the only way to build a better future and live in a better world.
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Renato Miracco, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York
[W iicnewyork.esteri.it lcalex.it usabal.com]
Henry O. Dormann, Letters from Leaders, Lyons Press, 2009, pp. 264, ¤ 21.02
LETTERS FROM LEADERS
Henry O. Dormann, founder, Chairman, and Editor-in-Chief of Leaders magazine, brings together the first-ever exclusive collection of wisdom and inspiration addressed to young people from the world’s most influential leaders. Advice covers leadership, goal achievement, public service, and life journeys. From Muhammad Ali to the four Us Presidents, Mikhail Gorbachev, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and the Dalai Lama. From Cathie Black to T. Boone Pickens, Muriel Siebert, and Donald Trump, this book offers nearly eighty letters from those who have done so much to shape our world today.
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TEAM FOR CHANGE The change
in his team. A mix of
All the president’s men
Barack H. Obama’s administration well represents the America that is comprised of women, men, African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics and other cultures. It is an excellent team as the President has stressed and is made up of people with the best skills available.
Twsm interviews Maurizio Molinari, Us correspondent for the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
twsm What are the key distinctions between the Obama White House and its predecessors?
mm Barack Obama’s White House distinguishes itself in three main ways. First of all, the President has wanted a government made of his political rivals. These people include Department of State Secretary Hillary Clinton, who was his competitor in the Democrat primary elections, and Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was the head of The Pentagon under the Bush administration. For Obama, having a team of rivals means having more guarantees on being able to go in the right direction. Secondly, Obama’s White House is ‘connected and wired’ because it works online in a way that has never happened before. Thirdly, in the East Wing, Michelle Obama has brought in Desiree Rogers with the function of “Social Secretary” in order to open the White house to the American people. We already had an example of what this means with evenings featuring musicians, poets and writers.
twsm Amongst Obama’s nominees there is a combination of seasoned veterans and fresh new faces.What can Hr managers learn from this approach?
mm Obama needs veterans to man-
age the complex mechanism of the administration, as he needs young people in their twenties and thirties to innovate it. This is the team model that the President is putting forward: experience and renewal needs each other, even if it causes internal strains. What Obama doesn’t want is a team of people who always agree with him because, in his opinion, this was the biggest mistake made by the previous Bush administration.
twsm How does Obama extract the best value from his people?
mm Making them work hard. Jim Messina, the thirty-years-old Italian-American Cabinet Assistant Chief, called “fixer” for his ability to solve the most unforeseen and difficult issues, arrives in the office at 7 am and he nev-
er leaves before 9 pm. If Bush’ White house was closed every evening after 6.30pm, with Obama, people are working until late at night. What Obama doesn’t do is to make his coworkers appear too much in the public eye. He himself continues to be above all the face of the government.
twsm How do you think the Obama administration will continue to motivate its people?
mm Obama’s people are the result of an election campaign more designed around his charisma than a Democrat Party support base. The extreme loyalty of his following guarantees a remarkable political capacity to face down internal Democrat opposition and reveals how Obama’s leadership will be shaped by the force of his own personality. •
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Change management Obama Style
promised by Barack Obama for the Us’ future starts from the choice of the people
political rivals, veterans and, young people. A wired team for a pragmatic approach based on talent, experience and renewal.
The President confers with senior advisors in the Oval Office.
Canada. President Obama is welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd upon his arrival in Ottawa.
As Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel talks on his cell phone.
Vice President Joe Biden listens to Center for American Progress President John Podesta.
Perfomance Business-Sport men
FROM SPORT TO BUSINESS How does a professional sportsman parlay his skills to become a successful manager? Two stories give us some insight into the teamwork and self-discipline which both sports professionals and business managers require.
Team is the value
Training, persistence, preparation.
of Hikmet Ersek said to him: “Hey, I think it’s time that you look for other opportunities.” At age 26, this was a turning point which led Ersek to eventually become Western Union’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Asia Pacific. “Those words were really good for me!” Ersek recalls. “I had learned a lot from basketball but I also realized that this could not go on forever. It’s very impor-
tant to understand this at an early age. Otherwise you become aimless and forego important opportunities.” It was this suggestion that led Ersek to start his post-basketball career with Mastercard. Everyday Ersek brings to his work and his company the skills and values instilled from his time as a basketball player. The most important element, he believes, is teamwork. “I am responsible for 160 countries and if I don’t trust my team, this team will not work. In basketball you learn the same thing. You can be the best player in your team, but if nobody passes you the ball, you all loose. Everyone needs to be part of the team. If you want to be freed up, somebody needs to stand in for you. You learn that teamwork can make the difference. Teamwork is absolutely vital”.
OVERTAKE YOURSELF Ersek believes that the determination and self-discipline to exert beyond one’s current capabilities is a second strong value instilled by sports. “If you engage in sport, you learn to stretch yourself and want to be even better than you are currently. You learn to methodically overtake yourself and this is something that I did, and continue to do, as a manager,” he adds.
“A third value – which I touched on before – is trust. You have to trust people and be aware of the environment in which you operate, just like you need to know every part of the basketball court, and to know about members of the op-
“One doesn’t decide to go from sport to management. In my case I was just required to do it.” This is a very straight answer from Olimpio Pini, Managing Director of Pini & Associates, an engineering consultancy based in Lugano, Switzerland. Life and career, he stresses, leads one to take on certain responsibilities and he found himself being a manager after a certain age.“I think that you come to this point only after you are 30 years old, because experience connects up with the desire to work better than before,” he reflected.“And there is also the thrill of taking on bigger responsibilities.” Pini believes that competition is the essential link between sports and business.“The rules of the game push inevitably towards competition. After all competition is the physiological fuel in sport and is born from sport. Sport has given me self-discipline, to be strong-willed and to commit myself with persistence.”
The training of a sports team is exactly the same as investment in training for staff in any business.“Just like sports, proper training for members of a work team means the difference between loosing and winning,” added Pini.“If a sports team does not do any training, how can anyone expect them to win?”
Sport also teaches people how to lose gracefully, and to instil in them the sense that training and preparation
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matters, Pini believes.“Sport, generally, teaches you how to build a healthy team spirit, teaches you that training is important and how to prepare for competition. When you are beaten by the competition, you know you have no choice but to improve your own performance.”
Pini believes that there are values that can be transferred from business into sports. “Good information, financial management and costs control are valid in sport as well as in business,” he says.
Finally, Pini also believes that there is a strong link between sporting professionalism and creativity.“The sporting attitude is one that is ultimately creative. On the sport field as in business, you need to have a creative combination of competitive spirit, and selfdetermination that is finely balanced with a sense of fairplay, passion and enjoyment for the game,” he concluded.
Perfomance From the sportman
posing team.” Ersek further stresses. “I think that you have to empower your people to free them up. Otherwise, they will remain in the box with no initiative or motivation. These, I believe, are the values that I have brought with me from basketball and are ones that still shape my professional and personal life.” Ersek also believes that there are lessons that sports people can take from business. “For those sports people who think that performance enhancing drugs is their way to success, a stint in business will soon change their minds. In business you learn to make processes optimal. You learn that taking short-cuts and cheating will get you nowhere in the end. Your business relationships need to be for the long-term.”
“Sports people who go into business also rapidly learn how to adapt to their new environment,” continues Ersek, “because team members have no choice but to work with each other.” And lastly, he believes that sports people bring to business a sense of fun. “After all, in sports you know how to get pleasure from both playing and watching the game”, he concluded.
01 Hikmet Hersek, Western Union executive vice president and managing director, Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Asia Pacific.
02 Olimpio Pini, Managing Director of Pini & Associati Switzerland.
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• [W westernunion.com piniassociati.com]
Coaching Sailing mood
By ELENA SASSI
From group to team
Uncertainty, competition, cost-control, continuous renewal, stress management, excellence, innovation and speed to market are some of the key words that summarize the demand on firms. How do they solve these simultaneous challenges? The answer lies in ‘teamwork’. “Ideas often light up themselves mutually, like electric sparks”, said the German philosopher, Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Obstacles to the development of a team are individualism, the failed transfer of skills or the failed sharing of know-how, or the managers’ habit of trying to gain power through information control.
KNOWING ‘HOW TO BEHAVE’
A winning team firstly, has a clear and common vision for the results that the group has to achieve, and of the efforts that must be undertaken. It shares a way of working, has acknowledged its leadership while members are experts in their roles. A second factor is, however, ‘knowing how to behave in a certain way’ with every other member of the team. The human being is made not only of rationality but also of passion and emotions. It is this common denominator that allows every human being to know how to use their skills to the best of their ability, but how does one ‘know how to behave in a certain way’? How does one improve the emotional intelligence of team members?
Emotional intelligence is defined by Daniel Goleman as the ‘capability that defines how well we are able to use our skills’. “Emotional intelligence”, as explained by Tiziana Agazzi, Psychologist and Psychotherapist in Milan, “is a
metaskill made of different elements.” These include: 1) Self-awareness, the ability to read one’s emotions and recognize their impact while using gut feelings to guide decisions; 2) Self-management, the ability to control one’s emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances; 3) Social awareness, the ability to sense, understand, and react to others’ emotions while comprehending social networks; and 4) Relationship management, the ability to inspire, influence, and develop others while managing conflict.
What sort of training, can contribute to the transformation of a group of people into a team, and from knowledge and know-how to ‘knowing how to behave in a certain way?’ One way to enhance the emotional intelligence of team members can be found in outdoor training. Outdoor training was developed around 1940 by Karl Hahn, founder of the first accelerated ‘personality training school’ in Wales, which aimed to build a strong and ethically correct personality amongst young members of the English aristocracy for the purpose of conducting sea rescue operations. Hahn’s methods were later trialled and put to use in the Usa where it has been recognized as one of the foremost didactic methods of corporate training.
Over the last several decades this training has made its way back to Europe. Every participant is encouraged to make an active contribution. Through living with and sharing concrete experiences with colleagues, the individual unleashes their own positive energies and directly contribute to an improve-
ment of team belonging and identity. In this way, the training program is anchored to an emotionally fulfilling and evocative experience.
Giovanni Soldini, who has carried out several team building programs for a number of large corporate clients aboard sailing vessels points out that team strength and know-how can be maximized at sea. “During a sailing voyage, you have to face unforeseen events. Above all, the capriciousness of the sea with its immensity enables people to focus their cooperative energies in ways that more controlled environments cannot emulate.”
“Team sailing, is especially suitable for newly formed groups or for groups where there is a need to decrease the psychological distance between members. It allows sensitizing members to their roles, team working and leadership.” Soldini adds.
Soldini notes that participants must face difficulties and highly complex situations involving emotional risk. In this case the goal is the full emotional involvement of participants who are spurred to put at stake all their energies and personal capabilities. “Technical trust can be gained more easily, particularly if you are good at something, but to create a team, personal trust is essential,” he concluded.
The most poignant means, by which trust and ‘knowing how to behave’ is experienced intensively by participants, are nightly ones. The dark is an all-enveloping element that has required the group to be even more cohesive and
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OUTDOOR TRAINING Human capital development and trust nourish themselves mutually. The development of all aspects of human capital cannot take place without trust.
Coaching Sailing mood
has enhanced the trust factor within these team-building exercises. These workshops and several projects are run by Lab in the Dark, an initiative managed by blind people which, while originating in Germany, is now present in many countries.
Mr Franco Lisi, Managing Director of Lab in the Dark’s Italian headquarters in Milan, explains that “with teambuilding courses in the dark, anxiety management is lived in a totally different way.” Participants’ willingness and ability to develop means of cooperation and collaboration towards the final goal are especially amplified. Total darkness throws a focus, in the mind of participants, on all aspects of emotional intelligence.
Also essential to such group training exercises is the final period of debriefing, feedback and reflection. Participants are encouraged to recognize the critical success elements of a group both at an operational and at an emotional level.
As Doctor Agazzi further explains, “every debriefing comes to an end with the summary of some learning points that have to be applied to the next project and to the working context”.
So, why is outdoor training considered amongst the most effective learning methods? In responding, Dr Agazzi quotes Confucius: “If I hear, I forget; if I see, I remember; if I do, I understand.”•
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A winning team has a clear and common vision of the results that the group has to reach and of the efforts that must be undertaken
[W dialogue-in-the-dark.com soldini.it]
Team building: the power of the group and the trust-factor. From an experience at sea with Giovanni Soldini, to a walk in complete darkness with the blind in Germany
Training Smart approach
EXPERIENCES Safety and the sharing culture, coordinated action and team cohesion. These principles are valid for a corporate team and are borrowed from particular experiences ranging from submarines during wartime, to hospital emergency wards, and to racing car pit-stops. These experiences are also useful for coping with stress during the current economic crisis.
A checklist saves lives
FROM SUBMARINES TO OPERATING ROOM, PASSING
To check exactly the identity of a patient who is about to be operated on can be to most people a ‘no-brainer’. The same can be said of pre-emptively marking that part to be operated on with a felt-tip pen, or counting staff members in the surgical theatre at the beginning of the operation. Yet, precautions like these make a big difference to the success rates of surgical operations.
Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, recently co-wrote an article about check lists, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Quoting the outcomes of a World Health Organization project which started a year ago.
The adoption of a 19-item surgical safety checklist designed to improve team
communication and consistency of care would, the study concluded, reduce complications and deaths. More specifically, this initiative would half the death rates of patients in the operating room from 1.5% in hospitals that did not use it to 0.8 % in the hospitals that did.
The aviation industry has, likewise, verified that 70 percent of plane crashes involve human mistakes and for this reason has developed training and communication techniques that allows people from different professional backgrounds to work in a coordinated way. Also starting from this assumption, the European Institute of Oncology (Ieo), three years ago, started to compare patient’s safety with other complex systems, beginning with the aeronautics sector. As Ieo Managing Director Leonardo La Pietra explains, “These meetings
have highlighted the importance of creating a shared safety and teamwork culture. This is where control check-lists are used and where operational sequences are fully understood.”
“The more systematic the investigation and recommendations, the less likely will accidents occur” adds La Pietra. An element that must be defeated is the socalled ‘normalization of deviance’, which leads to acceptance of non-compliance with some policies or procedures, because of habit, time optimization and (fortuitous) lack of previous accidents. The same goal of reducing risks and improving staff work, lead Dr Martin Elliott and Dr Allan Goldman of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (London), to get in contact with Ferrari. They had seen a pit-stop crew work on a racing car in less than 7 sec-
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Giuseppe Bocci is a business consultant who made of his passion for World War II submersibles. He is going to publish a book on the issue.
U-Boat will make U-Strong by Giuseppe Bocci
The creation of a shared safety and team-play culture creates a system that is more than the sum of each individual member’s action.
onds. Their problem was how to face that critical moment for the patient right after the operation.
In another medical example, Mirabelle’s technicians were struck by the fact that surgeons operated on fixed tables with the patient tied to complex tools. Nurses then moved the patients on a stretcher before they reached the intensive care unit. The solution they suggested was simple but effective –creating an operating table with wheels and portable instrumentation. •
“I had been fascinated by that unique characteristic of the submarine service, which requires a submariner to stand on his own feet and sets him a task in the great spaces of the oceans, the fulfilment of which demands a stout heart and ready skill; I was fascinated by that unique spirit of comradeship engendered by destiny and hardship shared in the community of a U-boat’s crew, where every man’s well being was in the hands of all and where every single man was an indispensable part of the whole. Every submariner ... has experienced in his heart the glow of the open sea and the task entrusted to him, has felt himself to be as rich as a king and would trade places with no man”.
Hierarchical military organization stands as a pyramid-shaped structure, where the exercise of authority descends vertically from top down to the basic executors, by means of formally encoded behaviours. Yet the human and physical context of a submarine sets the relationship into a very peculiar light: a microcosm that enhances human factors and informal coordination.
01 Image from radiography.
02 Perfect example of team cohesion during a Ferrari pit-stop.
03 An image of German U-Boats in the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest battle of the Second World War.
04 — 05 Sean Connery playing the role of Captain Marko Ramius, the skipper of the Soviet Union’s newest nuclear submersible in The Hunt for Red October, 1990.
06 Coordinating actions in the Oncology European Institute surgical theater.
A U-boat’s cramped conditions, together with its horizontal architecture, allows each man an overall view on the situation, and gives him a full awareness of his contribution. The restriction of physical distance among crew members and their limited number bring about an overlap of roles, as well as the reduction of military formalism and a transparent insight into individual characters.
Common sharing of danger, dull routine and workplace hardships breed the perception of a collective identity. External symbolism visually underlines the affiliation to an élite group. The combination of all these factors leads to a spontaneous devotion to duty, which reduces the call for superior control or the adoption of disciplinary measures: men simply look out for each other.
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03 04 05 06 [W brighamandwomens.org ferrari.com ich.ucl.ac.uk who.int]
Career path Smart approach
A high degree of creativity and innovation through flat hierarchies and
Make money and have fun
Perhaps best known for its consumer products like Gore-Tex® fabric and Elixir® guitar strings, Gore is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products for the electronics, industrial, fabrics and medical markets. The company is headquartered in the United States, and employs approximately 8,000 associates at 45 facilities throughout the world in the Asia Pacific, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
The Gore world is based on a network of units each small enough to allow for direct communication. Such a concept requires some investment in infrastructure and the main benefit is the personal atmosphere at work. As Gore found out, a plant size in a range of 150 to 250 associates is the ‘magic’ limit up to which communication works most efficiently. Leadership at Gore thoroughly considers which size and structure is best in which market, and what remains flexible and responsive to customers’ needs, while keeping an eye on investments in infrastructure. The company follows four guiding principles: freedom, commitment, fairness and waterline. Work is organised in project groups, task forces and functional teams. The ‘waterline’ principle serves as the regulating force. Everyone is allowed to try new things, as long as the effects of a potential failure do not harm the long-term success or reputation of the company. Two questions have to be answered: is it worthwhile to invest the required energy and resources? If all goes wrong, could we live with the consequences? If the team answers ‘yes’ to both, the project can be launched.
It is much less promising to focus on correcting a person’s weaknesses, as this will merely lead to mediocre improvements, then concentrating on amplifying existing strengths and talents, in a sort of ‘job sculpting’ process.
FUNCTIONS OVER ALL
In such a culture, there is not much room for traditional job descriptions. It is not positions, but functions that count. The associates take on flexible commitments, depending on the business and organisational requirements, even if they are outside the scope of their main job. They are not specifically told what to do, but commit themselves to fulfilling their responsibilities in a self-motivated and team-orientated way. Also in the past, only people who had previously worked as normal members of a project group could become the leader of that team, and that process is still alive today.
However, it is also acceptable to hire external leaders nowadays. In both cases, leaders at Gore will have to behave as ‘primus inter pares’ (the first among equals): acting in and between changing teams. They communicate with all associates without being warded off by secretaries or intermediate reporting lines and can be addressed by everybody through an open door policy.
One of the key tasks is to create an atmosphere of trust. Each associate has a sponsor who helps him, or her, orientate within the ample field of options and who assesses his, or her, strengths and potentials for improvement. Once a year, the sponsor collects feedback from the people the ‘sponsee’ closely works with (technical competence, business performance and social skills are important), gives the sponsee feedback and
works out milestones for the next year. It is interesting that, for the company, it is much less promising to focus on correcting a person’s weaknesses, as this will merely lead to mediocre improvements, then concentrating on amplifying existing strengths and talents, in a sort of ‘job sculpting’ process. Weaknesses are only addressed if they seriously impede personal growth or interaction with others. •
Share the values, share the company.
This was Bill Gore’s vision when he left his position as a chemist at DuPont in 1958 to found his high-tech company in the Us-State of Delaware. He felt that it takes unorthodox organisations to make the most of people’s creativity and innovative potential. He was convinced that he could do without common methods of employee supervision and control and believed in a flexible team culture where the associates, as he called his employees, could grow in their individual strengths to create original solutions and inventions. The guiding principle remains Bill Gore’s conviction that people work best in a team where nobody feels superior and interactions take place in a flat, grid-like ´lattice´ structure. All employees were associates, acting as entrepreneurs and having a share in his enterprise.
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unorthodox leadership concepts is what Wl Gore & Associates points to as its successful organizational strategy. Four guiding principles valid for all associates (employees) are: Freedom, Commitment, Fairness and Waterline.
Joining the company Head hunting future
HOW TO BEHAVE AND GIVE THE BEST OF YOURSELF Human Resources Management has become a more and more important asset in business. Assessment and analysis are keywords and in the current economic turmoil who works for you makes the difference. Twsm provides an overview from Egon Zehnder, an international executive search company operating with 63 offices in 37 countries worldwide.
Change in progress
The current economic crisis has made people feel both insecure and careful when changing work and this is a direct consequence of greater economic uncertainty. This is what emerges from talking to one of the partners from Egon Zehnder. From New York to Hong Kong, across Zurich, Milan, Madrid and London, what characterizes the Hr world today is greater attention when selecting personnel.
Good Hr means having a competitive advantage in overcoming the crisis. The quality of the team is a critical factor for the success of the corporation, particularly where different cultures need to coordinate with the same headquarters. The human factor can really make the difference. What is crucial is a focus on the right people who are truly essential to the business.
The crisis has required a general reduction of costs. Decision makers need to know whom and how to let go from a resource optimization point of view. An example of this mindset is the fact that Ezi partners have reduced their personal bonuses in response to the economic downturn.
Generally speaking, Ezi’s experts agree with the statement that talent management and Hr functions have becoming more strategic and their role is central to the Ceos agenda. In a crisis scenario, where decision making is difficult, it is very important to be creative and innovative when managing key resources.
THE RIGHT MIX OF SKILLS IN THE CANDIDATE WANTED
Mr. James Martin, Ezi London Office Leader points out that what is needed is a combination of strategic and conceptual skills combined with a strong operational orientation. This is a mix of very high management competencies that can operate and deliver, and appears to be the right formula for the managers of today.
Pablo Sagnier, Head of Egon Zehnder’s Madrid and Barcelona Office notes that in this critical period, companies have been looking for precise executive profiles. A high level of change orientation, the ability to make decisions to control situations in the short to medium term, strong leadership skills, and team work ability all seem to be vital. This is with, of course, a base made up of values and standards such as transparency and honesty. What the market asks for, Sagnier points out, are very specialized people who are skilled in processes across different operational areas.
From the Zurich Office, Mr. Philippe Hertig stresses three absolutely crucial aspects, such as orientation to achieving goals, a focus on strategy and empathy, and the ability to delegate to others.
Dirk Mundorf, Office Leader in Hong Kong notes that clients are also requiring communication skills, in order to manage expectations of people. In these difficult times a lot of people are insecure and very transparent and credible company communication is essential.
A high level of flexibility is also a winning element in a candidate, as Gabri-
Human resources makes the difference. Finding a job is a job in itself: get in contact with your network, keep yourself updated, be honest with yourself, and never give up.
el Sànchez Zinny, Ezi’s New York Office Leader confirms. Even more than in the past, managers must be able to absorb the stress and handle external pressures. According to Sànchez Zinny, there are three key management characteristics required today. The first is experience in leading a turnaround or fixing a company in significant trouble. The second is resilience and being able to function in the face of a challenging external and internal environment. Third is the commitment to see the company through its current crisis and deliver the short term results without compromising long-term value creation opportunities.
Claudio Ceper, Ezi’s Milan Office Leader also notes that a clever manager also means a person gifted with emotional intelligence capable of building and managing a team that developes good entrepreneurial intuition.
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TIPS FOR JOB- HUNTING: A GOOD NETWORK, A RIGHT SELF EVALUATION, A CONSTANT STUDY
Looking forward to meeting the future, Egon Zehnder’s international management gives Twsm readers some advice on finding job more effectively.
Pablo Sagnier, Ezi Spain, suggests that the best practices are to be honest with yourself in self-assessment, to identify your unique selling proposition and also have a realistic view of your capabilities. Get in contact with people that can evaluate your profile quickly and easily, and also to get in contact with executive search firms who are looking for possible candidates. It is important be selective but not too selective in the sense of being too shy to contact professional decision makers that you don’t know yet.
Philippe Hertig from Ezi Zurich also suggests that a systematic approach is essential when you look for a job. For instance you should collect information about the company and then you should balance your own competences with what you can offer the company. An Mba always has an added value, especially if taken outside Europe. Travelling for a while for self-reflection can be useful to recharge batteries and to face the new coming work, even if this won’t happen soon.
A better way to find a job when you have lost one and when you are not that young anymore is firstly, trying to leverage your own network to see if there are opportunities and vacancies, advises Dirk Mundorf, Ezi Hong Kong. Secondly, you should encour-
age people to see what kind of person you are in order to gain additional opportunities to engage on jobs. Thirdly, find recommendations through friends in order to see if you might gain a job opportunity.
Claudio Ceper, Ezi Milan, stresses that finding a job these days is more and more a job in itself. The network of people you meet during your professional career is an impor-
tant source. Then you need to focus on the kinds of job you would like to do and on the company itself: “For those who are young I would not suggest a family company especially if you aspire to have an international career path,” he adds.
Another point is evaluation of the person you will work with. You should listen to your instinct, but also search for confirmation among people in
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your network. People should also keep in mind that nowadays involvement, strong will and continuous updating are crucial. It is also important to not be in a hurry and exploit the available time without a job doing something useful. This could include travelling, taking up or focussing on an existing hobby, learning a new language, or gaining an Mba. “In any case,” explains James Martin,
Joining the company Head hunting future
Ezi Uk, “the network is a very strategic tool. For example some people get a job because they tap into the Hr network. “The evaluation process goes deeper today than before,” explains Gabriel Sànchez Zinny, Ezi New York. “The most important thing is that people do not overestimate themselves. The search for a job should not only follow ambitions, but also real competencies”. •
Social networks: to use or not to use
Are social networks such as Linkedin or Twitter an important medium to find a job and to collect information about candidate profiles? According to Egon Zehnder’s experts, they may be of some help up to midlevel careers. For more senior level positions, they appear to be of little use, particularly for Hr professionals with extensive experience. Keeping alive one’s personal and professional networks continue to be important. Meeting one-to-one remains crucial for head-hunters and in any case, social networks need to be systematically evaluated. They remain, however, important means for introduction. In some cases, social networks can overestimate the candidate. As such, they remain an informal means to gauge the suitability of a candidate. For recruiters, they are one way through which to engage the employment market, but not one on which to base any concrete decisions.
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Appointments Global overview
BY “ExecutiveSurf is a leading web-based executive search firm.
Headquartered in London, with offices In Europe, Asia and opening in the Americas, the firm boasts one of the broadest based executive talent communities in the world”.
Movers and shakers
Toyota Motors is planning for Akio Toyoda, 52, grandson of the company’s founder, to take over from Katsuaki Watanabe, the current chief executive, following Toyota’s record 437 billion yen losses last financial year. The company also plans to replace 40 percent of its senior management.
Toyoda joined the carmaker in 1984, after getting an Mba at Babson College near Boston and working in London and New York as a banker and consultant. In the late 1990s, he led a Toyota venture called Gazoo.com, a web-based database for used cars, which became one of Japan’s most popular automotive websites. In 2001, he went to run Toyota in China and became the company’s youngest senior managing director in 2003. The return of a family member has been referred to as ‘taisei hoken’, a reference to the restoration of imperial rule in Japan in 1868. But Toyoda, a young (by Japanese standards) and international executive, seems to have earned the driver’s seat.
Stéphane Roussel will be appointed as Vivendi’s senior executive vice president, human resources. After working at Xerox for 12 years, Roussel was appointed Hr director for French Carrefour supermarkets in 1997, moving up within the company to become group Hr director for France in 2002. In 2004, he joined the second French mobile phone company Sfr, becoming the Hr Director for parent group Vivendi in 2009. In his new role, Roussel will manage Hr for around 44,000 employees of a media company owning, among others, Activision Blizzard (video games), Universal Music, SFR (telecom) and Canal+ (pay-Tv).
Bank of America Corp. shareholders voted to strip president and Ceo Kenneth Lewis of his duties as chairman. The bank named Walter E. Massey, a long time director and president emeritus at Atlanta’s Morehouse College, its new chairman. Massey has served on the boards of Us giants Bank of America, Bp Oil, Motorola, and McDonald’s. Massey will have to postpone his retirement to tackle the roles separation issue and support the board in deciding Lewis’ fate. Critics question whether Massey, a member of the board’s audit committee, is independent enough to make tough decisions. Massey’s public steps to accelerate the Ceo succession process could restore some of the Bank’s battered credibility.
Former vice president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (Rila), Paul Jones, has joined eBay as global director of retail partnerships. His brief will be to prevent stolen goods being traded on the site by forging partnerships with law enforcement and retailers. Paul Jones’ duties at Rila were to work with retailers to protect their merchandise, brands, operations and systems and to combat organised retail crime. With this hire, eBay is attempting to tackle head-on what is becoming one of the most critical issues in e-commerce.
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Toyota Motors Akio Toyoda
Vivendi Stéphane Roussel
Bank of America
Coca-Cola Great Britain has appointed senior Diageo marketer Nick Robinson as brand director of its sparkling drinks portfolio. Robinson has worked for Diageo since 1995, most recently as marketing director of global travel and the Middle East. He was previously previously marketing director for Guinness and marketing manager for Smirnoff.
Former Westpac executive and Suncorp Ceo contender Mike Pratt has landed a senior position at global bank Standard Chartered in Shanghai. He will run its northeast Asian and Chinese consumer banking businesses. Pratt formerly ran Westpac’s business and consumer banking division, and was consumer financial services group executive when he resigned in December 2007.
Kuwait and Dubai based low fare airline Jazeera Airways has appointed a new sales manager for the UAE. Suzanne Miller joins the airline with 13 years of experience in the industry, starting her career at Speedwing, a subsidiary of British Airways, which offered consultancy and systems installation to global airlines and involved working in Africa, Oman, Hong Kong and Europe. For the past eight years, she has worked in various sales roles in British Airways.
Alexey Farafontov has been elected director general and management committee chairman of Spetsgazavtotrans, subsidiary of Gazprom. Farafontov, 33, joined the company in 1999 after graduating from Izhevsk State Technical University (Udmurtia). Since 2002 he has been first deputy director, director of the construction directorate for contractual activities (2004), and since 2005 he was appointed deputy director general for production activities at Spetsgazavtotrans.
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Walter E. Massey Spetsgazavtotrans Alexey
Standard Chartered Bank Mike Pratt
eBay Paul Jones
Jazeera Airways Suzanne Miller
Coca Cola Nick Robinson
• [W executivesurf.com]
To be cool Idea!
Sal ring story
A restaurant/pizzeria on the Lower East side in Manhattan… My friend Sal is cooking. I’m keeping him company in his kitchen. He washes the vegetables and I play with the rubber bands that are used to hold the broccoli stems together. The SAL ring was born this way, between one word and another. It is an homage to friendship… Like friendship, the SAL ring has a certain elasticity and resistance to wear and tear (but treat it with care). Like friendship, it can be simple and precious, at the same time bonding rubber to silver. Like friendship, the Sal ring is very satisfying! Playing with its elastics eliminates stress.
Intelligent energy is recycling, as Italian born and New York based Patrizia Iacino does, taking everyday objects considered as trash to most, such as used contact lens cases and milk bottle caps, and juxtaposing them with precious metal, stone and pearls to create one of a kind hand crafted jewellery. As far as nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed.
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Photo credits • Roberto Benzi, Italy
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• Oscar Garces, Colombia • Sanjit Das, India To be cool Fashion in the world The Business side of style Crossing Italy, India and Colombia. Rovereto Italy Gabriella Belli Medellin Colombia Alejandro Ceballos Zuluaga New Dehli India Vivek Pahwa
Director, Gabriella Belli inside the Mart of Rovereto. This museum, in the north of Italy, was designed by the Swiss Architect Mario Botta and by the Italian engineer Giulio Andreoli. The Mart of Rovereto is one the best known european art museums in Italy, and is renowned for its extensive collections, exciting events and large number of visitors.
A walk through some artwork with Gabriella Belli, Director of Mart, Modern and Contemporary Art Museum of Trento and Rovereto.
Gabriella Belli is a mix of energy, determination and patience. In the picture, with an assistant, during the organisation of a recent art exhibition.
Accuracy and strictness are essential to managing the Mart.
01 v-neck knitwear, Lacoste (183 ¤). 02 suede mocassin with breathable sole, Geox (100 ¤).
03 women’s silk foulard, Conte of Florence (48 ¤). 04 t- shirt by artist Angéline Mélin, Alysi (99 ¤).
05 platform shoes, Paco Gil (195 ¤). 06 ladies Capri with belt, Paul&Shark (115 ¤ - 99 ¤)
19 man catwalk, Corneliani. 21 cuff-link with elephants, Villa Jewellery (3.000 ¤). 22 shirt, CIT Luxury (79 ¤). 23 straw hat, Borsalino (230 ¤). 24 women’s watch, Tommy Hilfiger watches (139 ¤). 25 shopping bag with sketches, Rodolphe Menudier (275 ¤).
04 03 25 05 06
19 24 22 21
To be cool Twsm advice
07 bag, Gianfranco Ferré (1.260 ¤). 08 high heeled shoes, John Richmond (235 ¤). 09 lace lingerie, La Perla (bra144 ¤-culotte 152 ¤).
10 woman foulard, Christian Dior (150 ¤). 11 motorbike, Harley Davidson (19.600 ¤). 12 cuff-link white shells, Villa Jewellery, 23 (1.900 ¤).13 classic man watch, Lorenz (290 ¤). 14 polycarbonate suitcase, Rv Roncato (209 ¤). 15 look out usb key, Swarovski (150 ¤). 16 leather shoes, Carlo Pignatelli (285 ¤). 17 Elettra ring, collection Bridal, Damiani (5.000 ¤). 18 gladiator flats, Banana Republic (71 ¤) 20 velvet shoes, Arfango (603 ¤).
07 08 17 16 15 18 20 14
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A day in Medellin, Colombia, with Alejandro Ceballos Zuluaga. He is an Economist at the Universidad de Antioquia, with an Mba from Eafit University. After a long career on the Board of Directors of several companies, he is today Executive Director of the Group for the Coordination of the International Relations of Colombia. He is also a member of the Superior Council of Eafit University and of the Directive Council of Corporación Universidad, Empresa, Estado.
Making a good start to the day. What else but drinking good coffee and reading a newspaper, at the Juan Valdez Cafe? This cafe is in the centre of Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city.
El hombre latino
Taking a taxi to his next business appointment. The day is still long and Medellin is a big busy city.
Alejandro Caballos Zuluaga in a new mall at San Fernando Plaza.
A passage to India
A few hours in an Indian market with Vivek Pahwa, 27 years old, and one of Asia’s Best Young Entrepreneurs in Business Week’s 2008 look at the top young Asian business people. With an eye for connecting people on the Internet, Pahwa first created DesiMartini.com, a social networking site in India. This was followed by SecondShaadi.com, a matrimonial site for people looking for a second marriage and has 70,000 registered users. His third site, Gaadi.com, is a research database for those who are looking to buy a new car. It is India’s No.2 automobile website.
[W desimartini.com gaadi.com secondshaadi.com]
We met Vivek Pahwa after his day’s work in the marketplace in a neighbourhood of Kapashera, an urban village straddling the border between New Delhi and Gurgaon, Haryana.
The young Indian entrepreneur’s office is in Gurgaon, close to the market. Gurgaon is one of Delhi’s four major satellite cities in the Indian State of Hiryana.
Attachment and pride Film learning
PRODUCT PLACEMENT In 2000 Robert Zemeckis directed Oscar winner, Tom Hanks, in a movie titled “Cast Away”. The film’s main character was a FedEx systems analyst, travelling
only the strength of his character to see him through.
The idea of a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes was reportedly conceived by Tom Hanks, the star and one of the film’s producers. Scriptwriter, William Broyles Jr. wrote FedEx into the storyline when the company agreed to participate in the film. FedEx Ceo Fred Smith also played himself in the scene where Chuck, the main character, is welcomed back at a ceremony in the company’s home facilities in Memphis, Tennessee. “FedEx was approached by Us film studio Dreamworks to be the featured company in Cast Away because of our standard of excellence and the spirit of the FedEx culture. FedEx did not pay to be a part of this film,” stresses Renato Carrara, FedEx Managing Director of Operations in Italy. “Cast Away gave FedEx unparalleled brand exposure across the globe and was shown in more than 50 countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America”.
Cast Away was an ideal vehicle with which to promote FedEx’ corporate values.
“Our ‘People-Service–Profit’ philosophy at the heart of our business is very simple and is communicated clearly,” adds Carrara. “Take care of our people; they, in turn, will deliver the impeccable service demanded by our customers, who will reward us with the profitability necessary to secure our future.”
The ‘People-Service-Profit’ principle is also at the core of the company’s recognition and development of its in-house talent. “A considerable number of FedEx senior executives have worked their way up through the business taking advantage of opportunities for both personal career development and company growth,” Carrara affirms.
01-02 Cast Away, Movie actor Tom Hanks
Outstanding strategic and conceptual skills combined with a strong operational orientation and a capacity to deliver. Highly flexible managers are what appear to be the profiles and skills required during this period of economic crises. More than before, managers must be able to absorb stress, handle external pressures and coordinate teams.
Change orientation, strong leadership, decisiveness and team building seem to be vital, in addition to standard values such as transparency and honesty.
What the market asks for are very specialized people who can operate across a range of different fields. Also required are communication skills, internally-in order to
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worldwide resolving productivity problems at FedEx depots. After a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean, he becomes the only survivor on a deserted island with
manage staff expectations, and externally-to protect shareholder value. A good manager is also a person gifted with emotional intelligence and is able to nurture the entrepreneurial intuitions of work teams. Finally, with restructuring, re-branding and the reinvention of corporations becoming the norm, managers, above all, require psychological toughness that is combined with the capacity to control costs. 02 [W dreamworks.com fedex.com ]
Moving A green way
By GIORGIO TEDESCHI and MTM
A bike-able workplace
Riding a bike is an active easy way to increase your fitness level, help reduce traffic congestion and minimize the production of global warming pollutants. From New York to LA, from Tokyo to London, cycling is enjoying a rebirth as a way to get to work. In the last few years, employers and office managers have been promoting cycling to employees or visitors in many ways, including providing facilities, information and incentives. There are two counter trends however. In the rapidly modernizing megacities of East Asia, the growth of consumption has been accompanied by increases in the number of privately owned cars. China continues to be the world’s fastest growing automobile market and the ‘bicycle kingdom’ could become a his-
torical artifice at some time in the near future. In the more established industrialised countries, however, there are trends towards reduced numbers of cars in favour of bike-sharing, car-sharing and greater use of public transport.
THE FIRST STEP IN FRANCE
In the summer of 2007, Vélib (vélo libre or vélo liberté) was launched by the Paris City Government as a free bicycle scheme and was met with immediate success. On the first anniversary of Vélib, statistics showed that riders took 27.5 million trips in the program’s first year, with that rate doubling to its current 120,000 trips per-day. The program includes 20,600 bikes and involves 1,450 self-service rental stations that are available every 300 metres. Such pro-
grams suggest that bike-sharing should not be oversold as a solution to climate change, but instead should be seen as part of the movement toward green, liveable cities that prioritize citizens over cars. Other similar initiatives have followed this French example such as Milan and Barcelona.
BIKES RULE SAN FRANCISCO STREETS
The San Francisco Bay Area’s 15th Annual Bike to Work Day took place on Thursday, 14 May 2009. Bike to Work Day is the premier bicycling event taking place in all of Northern California with all nine Bay Area counties participating in the celebration. The event is just one day of many taking place in May as part of National Bike Month. An estimated 150,000 commuters and students hopped
Bicycle Film Festival: two-wheeled Tribe
01 One of the murales realized during The Urban Velodrome Party, the special event that took place in Milan in the occasion of the 2008 Bicycle Film Festival.
Every year, bicycle fans get together for a special event, “The Bicycle Film Festival,” (Bff) a celebration of bicycles through film, art and music. The international festival was born in New York nine years ago under inspiration of its 30 year-old Founder and Director, Brendt Barbur. Bff takes place in New York in June but crosses all the most important cities in the world. It is a celebration of the bicycle, not only as a means of transport, but also of self-expression in a society overwhelmingly powered by fossil fuel.
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GREEN DAYS ON TWO WHEELS In the last few years, from America to Europe, two-wheels have become hip, especially for urban workers. Many companies seem to be aware of pedal power, joining policies of bike-sharing for their employees.
Bianchi bicycles. A name synonymous with cycling and bicycles for 120 years.
03 Via Delle Battaglie Sora 27sp Triple.
04 Spillo Rubino Lady TX 51 21 rigid.
05 Opale Lady-Y5B85.
on their bikes. The event promotes cycling as a form of exercise as well as a viable form of transportation.
The web search giant has provided staffers with a catalogue from which they can choose free bikes and a kit. Google is a huge supporter of bike commuting. At Google, cyclists can get Google-branded bike goodies such as monthly onsite bicycle tune-ups, classes on basic commuter skills, bike maintenance, touring, even tips on how to ride a bike. Googlers in 42 offices from around the world also celebrated the Bike to Work Day on 14 May 2009. Google’s participation in this national event began in 2003 with only a handful of participants. Through the years, this tradition has grown from a purely local event to one that involves numerous offices in competition to achieve goals that include the longest distance biked, the largest number of cyclists, or the highest rate of office participation. In addition to benefits of personal health and fitness, cyclists also spare the earth one day of pollution.
BNP PARIBAS: SHARED BICYCLES FOR A BETTER PLACE TO WORK
In Bnp Paribas’ Milan branch, ten bicycles have been bought and branded with
the Bnp Securities Services logo and are at the disposal of employees. Anybody can book one and use it ‘intraday’ for short journeys during lunch time, to attend a meeting, or visit clients. Bnp Securities Services is the first company in Milan offering this benefit and employee satisfaction has noticeably improved with all bicycles being used almost every day during summer. “Moreover the Bnp Paribas brand visibility has increased and is associated with respect for the environment,” say Dario Resnati, Head of Information Technology, and Roberta Fontana, Local Marketing and Communication Manager for Bnp Paribas Securities Services in Milan. The bikesharing initiative emerged as a proposal from an employee and this program has been implemented in the Lisbon and Frankfurt branches of Bnp Paribas. From the Lisbon branch, Bernardo Silva, Product Manager, informed Twsm that the bicycles were presented to the staff last Christmas and has been met with great success. “It has made Bnp Paribas in Lisbon a better place to work.” Silva further added that the company applied to be ranked by the Gptw Institute in Portugal and achieved a ranking of 30th spot amongst the best companies in which to work in Portugal. “I am sure the bicycles made a small contribution to this achievement” he reflected.
Upstream: China leaves the ‘bicycle kingdom’ to embrace cars
China’ status as the world’s ‘bicycle kingdom’ is coming to an end as its emerging middle class forgoes this clean, energy efficient means of transport in favour of the car or motorcycle. The bike has been downgraded in its status from being one of the most significant family purchases, some 20 years ago, to a cheap vehicle used mainly by the poor. Beijing’s bicycle lanes, once some of the safest and most generous in the world, are being transformed into motor vehicle lanes or parking areas. Yet, despite China’s leap into modernity, the bicycle is far from dead. For many in China, pedal power remains a mainstay for commuting, sending children to school or for making a living. Moreover, China alone is responsible for as much as two thirds of the globe’s bicycle manufacturing output – mostly for export to the Us, Eu and Japan. There is certainly no lack of capacity should the ‘bicycle kingdom’ be dramatically revived in the near future as a part of China’s response to global warming.
06 Despite China’s leap into modernity, the bicycle is far from dead.
07 One of the Bnp Paribas SS’ bicycle.
08 China: tricycle with allweather protection.
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[W bicyclefilmfestival.com bnpparibas.com]
06 07 08
Country guide companies’ features
By SILVIA FAVASULI
TWSM visited some of the most successful companies operating in Italy today in different fields. After interviewing their managers, it was notable that that the basis of their success is their employees.
BALANCING MARKET REQUIREMENTS
To enable companies of all sizes to become the best-run businesses, Sap Italy made customer orientation one of his founding values. It is a company where 250 employees ‘live’ from Monday to Thursday with their customers, only coming into Sap’s offices on Friday to plan the following week. “It is essential,” explains Tiberio Tesi, Sap Italy’s Organisation and Hr Director, “to let your employees feel the company’s support.” Thus, market orientation is balanced with special attention to employees, who receive a lot of personal support services such as laundry, kindergarten, and online shopping directly delivered to the workplace. In addition, Sap Italy‘s employees are continually enriching their skills and are promoted through rigorously meritocratic policies.
TAKING CARE OF COMMUNICATION
The business guideline in Fater, a joint venture between Angelini and Procter & Gamble in the supply of sanitary products, is respect for each person. The business believes that it can gain employee motivation and commitment just by giving them attention. “To do this,” suggests Roberto Marinucci, Fater General Manager, “you need to be clear with people, listen to them and create an honest dialogue between the various levels of the firm.”
Fater was so convinced about this approach that they created “Liad”, a laboratory where modern technology allows employees to experience and explore all aspects of communication with managers. Employees are evaluated, in addition to work performance, on their ability to create collaboration between people. “I’m sure that in a period of crisis you become more competitive just by having people who are strongly committed the company’s survival and you all feel even more like a team. This is a great source of energy for the company,” added Marinucci.
LET YOUR EMPLOYEES KNOW YOUR PROJECTS
“If you want to be competitive and excel you need to balance attention to the market with attention to employees”. This is what Alessandro Annese, Italy Hr Country Manager, believes makes a difference for Cisco Italy. The company’s vision of the market is clear and shared at all levels by all employees. Skills development is strongly supported in order to affirm employee’s belief in their ability to deliver on projects. To encourage all employees to be active participants in the company’s development, Cisco Italy created the “Human Network” project. This project is centred on the extensive use of communications technologies which integrates employees into an open net where,” as Annese says, “many heads are better than one”.
01 Sap Italy headquarter
02 One of Sara Lee products
03 Fater new headquarters designed by Massimiliano Fuxas
04 Alessandro Annese, Cisco Italy
HR Country Manager
05 A portraite of Sap Italy’s employees
06 Domenico Zaccone, Sara Lee Italy Managing Director
07 Roberto Marinucci, Fater General Manager
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4 ALESSI A “GALAXY” OF GIFTED DESIGNERS
To protect a designer’s freedom of creativity from the company’s influence, Italian design factory Alessi developed a special workplace that Managing Director, Alessandro Bonfiglioli, calls “a galaxy of designers”. This is a network of around 200 external and independent designers who are linked into the factory without being in-house employees. They can propose new concepts or work on already existing ideas coming from the factory and have no fixed deadlines for their projects.
“When we asked Richard Sapper to create a new kettle, he said that he could create a boiler that would sound like the boats on the River Rhine,” says Bonfiglioli. “He succeeded in finding the right sound just when his sister met some sounds producers. We had our kettle five years after we first asked Sapper to create it!” reflects Bonfiglioli.
5 SARA LEE
A COMMON INSPIRING GOAL TO RESTART A CREDIBLE BUSINESS
GREEN: A GLOBAL BUSINESS REVOLUTION
twsm How is it possible to reconcile Green principles with corporate profits?
fl Results in terms of business, growth, profit, are very clear. A real green business is more effective in these terms than the old grey or brown business. There are examples of businesses in every field that are thriving during this crisis because they are meeting what the market demands.The green approach seeks to make a profit without forgetting people and nature. It is a holistic approach.
twsm What impact will this green approach be for currently non-green business organisations?
fl We must reinvent everything and here are some examples: The long commuting required to reach the workplace can be slashed using web and communications technology.We give our best if we are spared this unnecessary and stressful commuting time.The firms that adopt these technologies would become more appealing.They can increase both their competitiveness and be greener at the same time.
Google has also chosen to have a flock of sheep to take care of the green spaces that surround its world headquarter in Mountain View, California.This example shows how a world leader can turn green while making gains at the same time, like a 70% cut in expenses for grounds machinery maintenance.
According to the latest companies’ survey, the rate of engagement amongst Sara Lee’s Italian employees is above the Italian national standard, and is in turn above other Sara Lee branches worldwide. After three years, in which it financially underperformed with low employee engagement levels, Sara Lee launched a program in 2005 that has improved these results. “We chose to build our credibility on aspirations of where we wanted to be in five years and finding common goals that was shared by all employees”, says Domenico Zaccone, Sara Lee Italy’s Managing Director. “Choosing new company assets, we transformed ourselves from a traditional manufacturing operation to an advanced enterprise where ‘intangibles’, including employee engagement, are now pillars of our success.
The best people want to work for companies that are able to change and give a meaning to their lives. Questions like:“What is the company doing for me or for the planet?” are the ones we ask today and are that which define our values.The manager must prove his or her abilities on all the three fronts: people, planet and profit.
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[W alessi.com cisco.com fater.it sap.com saralee.com] 01 03 04 05 06 07
Fabrice Leclerc firstname.lastname@example.org Ceo business farmers Switzerland Faculty & Professor of Green Management and Innovation Sda Bocconi, Professor Essec, Stern University Member of the National Board of French Foreign. Trade Advisors Former head of Innovation l’Oreal luxury Worldwide.
By FABIAN UZARAGA
Do ‘progressive’ Hr practices make any impact on workplace attitudes or shape actual employee behaviour within a firm? These were the questions which Gptw Italy, Kings College at the University of London, and the Luiss Business School in Rome sought to find out through extensive data modelling, which revealed some surprising results.
Hr policies, employee attitudes and their workplace impact
Rather than take the claims of ‘progressive’ Hr practitioners at face value, Ricardo Peccei*, from Kings College and Laura Innocenti**, from the Luiss Business School, wanted to more rigorously analyse the impact of these policies and practices on employee perceptions of their workplace, as well as on actual behavioural outcomes.
What were these ‘progressive’ Hr policies and practices? To address this question, Peccei and Innocenti constructed a Hrm15 index of sample companies which took into account their: workplace introduction/socialisation; training; personal development; job posting; town hall meetings; open door policies; opinion surveys; employee suggestions; decentralised job design; teamwork training; performance appraisal; management by objectives; monetary bonuses; employee awards and recognition; and nonmonetary benefits.
This Hrm15 index was developed with data obtained from the Gptw 2007 Italian Best Workplace Survey which covered over 48 companies and 9,000 em-
ployees. More specifically, Peccei and Innocenti examined the Survey’s Culture Audit questionnaire, to determine employee workplace perceptions, and the Survey’s Trust Index questionnaire to determine resulting behaviour and outcomes.
PROGRESSIVE HR PRACTICES AND THEIR OUTCOMES
Analysing the responses in total and across 184 occupational groups, Pecci and Innocenti found that progressive policies and practices did positively enhance the workplace with regard to employee perceptions of: management support; distributive justice; social integration as well as the quality of the overall work experience. Furthermore, they found that the more progressive these policies and practices, the resulting key employee attitudes and behaviours included: greater satisfaction / commitment; intentions of staying on; and increased discretionary effort in the workplace. They then analysed firm’s Hr policies and practices against survey respon-
* Riccardo Peccei is Professor of Organisational Behaviour (OB) and Human Resource Management (Hrm) at King’s College London.
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** Laura Innocenti coordinates training activities in the field of Human Resources Management, organized by LUISS Business School (Rome) where she also teaches.
The goal is to inspire ideas rather than limit them. We are paying attention to work flow in the process too, defining the scope of an assignment and the schedule: the end game is that everyone should understand his or her role and responsibility for creative development.
dents across the four main occupational groups defined in Italy: front-line production and service workers; clerical and administrative staff; specialist professional and technical staff; and supervisory and management staff. The surprising find from their data modelling, showed, that for managers and supervisors-as a distinct occupational group-these policies and practices had neither positive nor negative total effect on their attitudes to the workplace, nor of any behavioural outcomes. They reasoned that these findings further reinforce the importance of progressive Hr on employee perceptions, attitudes and behavioural outcomes. “Clearly, managers and supervisors set the tone, quality and outcomes of workplaces they control through the adoption of Hr policies and practices, as our data modelling affirms,” says Laura Innocenti. “These policies and practices do have an impact on the rest of the organisation and its employees, regardless of what these managers themselves think, of these practices or policies,” she concluded. •
Operations: Paul Shulman, Global Director of Creative Operations, has a daily mission: reaching the creative people of the Young & Rubicam Advertising Network in 90 different countries. His recipe is based on a simple premise: inspiring and developing ideas through building relationships.
twsm In today’s businesses, brands are often stretched across the globe as are their human resources. How do you reach the creative people of the Young & Rubicam advertising network in 90 different countries on a daily basis?
ps “The first thing I’m doing here is getting familiar with the businesses we have globally. It’s never just about managing creative people.There are lots of moving parts.The operating word is ‘simple’, because the goal is to inspire ideas rather than limit them.We are paying attention to workflow as well, defining the scope of an assign-
ment and the schedule.The end game is everyone understanding his or her role and responsibility for creative development. Allocation of creative talent and agreement around an assignment is critical to the success of an agency, so process really matters.
twsm How do you know what your clients want, and how do you know you have helped them effect a global result?
ps In my opinion ‘global results’ overstates what global clients are after.They are usually interested in different interpretations of the creative solution to their brand.This is a great thing for us. It allows us to stretch our creative muscles. And our new processes are entirely geared to making this do-able.We can tap into talent everywhere to make sure the work is great and culturally on the mark.
twsm How do you leverage and maximise this talent that Y&R has over such an extensive global network?
ps The challenge appears to be building relationships and getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of the talent. The flip side of this is huge opportunity, leveraging great talent all around the network. Also, thank God for technology! I can use conference calls and the computer to illustrate concepts in real time. A single format applies to all the countries, this way I can communicate with everybody without having to visit every office. And I’m developing the relationships and process for who delivers and who approves.Technology has also made the work environment much more democratic in the sense that ideas really come from every level and everyone works together to bring them to fruition.
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Paul Shulman Y&R Executive Vice President and Global Director of Creative Operations.
A recall from Internal communication, page 31 [W yr.com]
By NIGEL PHILLIPS
Transparency is the key
The bonus culture is a vexing issue. People are worried about their jobs, their pensions and their overall financial life.
Governments are using taxpayers’ money to save a system most see as corrupt and lining the pockets of the people who actually put us in this mess.
People feel a sense of injustice and know a rotten system needs to be overhauled, but how?
The definition of a bonus is “something given or paid in addition to what is usual or expected.” In banking, bonuses have become usual and expected.
The question of whether the pay structure will change is not a new one. The first traders in the City of London to earn over £100,000 caused a scandal and Michael Milken’s bonuses were spoken of in tones of awe; $100m was not unusual.
People accepted that bankers were overpaid, European bankers were allowed to steal from their bank, to prevent them moving to the competition and Forex brokers were allowed to get commission rebates in cash or paid to offshore accounts. This was considered acceptable, but many bosses simply did not know what their traders were doing.
The economist JK Galbraith wrote a book called The Economics of Innocent Fraud, where he argued that big pay settlements for executives, amounted to grand larceny, legitimised by the pretence that they were subject to shareholder, auditor and regulatory oversight.
Executive pay has raced ahead of average incomes and Galbraith said this reckless remuneration “was no more than a warm personal gesture by an individual to himself”, or in the case of bonuses by a group of individuals, to each other.
We frown on excessive pay because it has a negative social impact, as differentials grow between executives and blue collar workers. It also encourages managers to seek short-term gain, rather than corporate growth.
The American union, ALF-CIO, website says: “Outrageous executive pay is a symptom of a disease that has infected our entire economic system.
It is a disease of greed and corruption made worse by the Bush administration’s obsession with further deregulating Wall Street and ideological aversion to oversight and accountability in our financial system.”
There does not seem to be any demonstrable correlation between executive pay and corporate performance. Investors own a company and are entitled to have a say in what people should be paid, but they tend to look at the figures only after money has been lost.
A banker I spoke to, on the guarantee of anonymity, said: “Everyone agrees the crisis was, in part, due to inadequate regulation. People who don’t understand how the financial markets work, think we just need more regulation, but that could do more harm than good.”
He said that too much restrictive regulation will increase the incentive to come up with new complex products to hide leverage. “Good regulation should aim for transparency and the market can then price risk properly.”
He believes that regulation could not previously keep pace with innovation and that regulators lacked the necessary skills to police financial firms.
The reasonable side of bonus
“This year, our organization decided that certain divisions would not pay out the bonus, except for the individuals who had a contractual right. Of the others that did pay out, they were of lower amounts in almost all cases.”This was Sabrina Muheim, Director at one of the large European Banks in Nyc. She does not think that, in general, there will be a complete shift from how bonuses are being paid, but want to stress the difference between top managers’ bonuses and the 90% of employees’ bonuses.
“For top managers it is to be expected that things will go back to the ‘old times’ eventually, though it will take a while to do so and the additional scrutiny over this matter won’t allow for much excess. What happened in 2008 was a necessary readjustment to the market,” explains the Muheim.“New legislation is required and it is now the right moment to receive consensus from all parties involved”.
He comes up with a novel solution to the problem: “Regulators are not paid much as a basic salary, so they should receive a bonus from a wrongdoer’s crime.” Genius.
“Like with every regulation, a new bonus system would ‘fix a problem’, but it would also discourage some talents away. Hopefully, the ratio of benefits versus losses will be a positive one,” comments Muheim. “But to hope that losses can be avoided by a hundred percent is not realistic.”
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BONUS ExecutiveSurf provides an overview of the bonus system at a time when myths regarding its usefulness are shattered. They also suggest a provocative solution.
BOOKS A book on trust was recently published in The Netherlands, written by Tica Peeman, General Manager of VIStrainingen, a training company. The book aims to describe why times are ripe for so called hightrust organizations and why ‘traditional’ organizations fail to meet the challenges of the modern world.
In trust we trust
Why do we choose to belittle employees in organizations? Often, there are all kinds of ridiculous rules on how employees should act and behave. It is as if they were children, but they are not. They are competent, innovative, responsible adults when they are treated as such. We need to trust each other. This is Tica Peeman’s belief, as expressed in the introduction of ‘I Trust U’, a comprehensive and clearsighted book on trust written by the General Manager of a Dutch training company VIStrainingen.
The author starts with a question: “Why do we put a lot of emphasis on trust in our private lives and this seems to be the reverse for organizations?” Maybe it is because, traditional ‘planning and control’ organizations are too conservative, inflexible and most of all do not inspire employees, she argues. Why are high-trust organizations a far better alternative? It is because control is less and less possible in our modern world, while employees more and more want to work for companies they trust. This, argues Peeman, will become even more important as the new ‘Generation Einstein*’ enters the work place. ‘Generation Einstein’ refers to the those born after 1991, which, in contrast to so-called generations X and Y before them, has a collectivist rather than individualistic mindset.
Tica Peeman outlines three indicators of trust through involvement, influence and transparency. To build high-trust organizations, the author argues, we have to redesign our organizations dramatically in four ways: structural, cultural, managerial, and being transparent.
The book suggests that a high-trust organization has to be divided into small independent units or teams. The reason being, that trust can only grow between people who know each other well and in places where employees have a lot of influence on their work. To connect all the mini-companies, that is cells and teams, you have to build a strong culture, which, permeates the organization and reflects the way people act, think and dream in this organization.
An organisation also needs to dramatically change the way managers have to perform in order to build high-trust. First, they have to understand that the company does not serve them, but that employees are the core of organizations and have to be treated as such. Managers are facilitators. As we have traditionally selected dominant persons for position of manager, explains Peeman, we now have to select managers who are capable of facilitating, coaching and restraining their own egos.
As we have traditionally selected dominant persons for position of manager, explains Peeman, we now have to select managers who are capable of facilitating, coaching and restraining their own egos.
Managers have an important role to play however, Peeman argues, in introducing trust as the dominant organizational choice, building a strong culture and being role models in trustworthiness themselves.
Transparency is also needed in a hightrust organization, namely transparency in information and communication that has to be active, speedy and intentional. Peeman then proposes a five-stage program to build lasting trust in organizations. •
Book Twsm Selection
01 Tica Peeman, I Trust U, Nederlands, Pearson Education Uitgeverij (2009), 212 pp., ¤ 22.95
Mike Armour, Leadership and the Power of Trust: Creating a High-Trust, PeakPerformance Organization, LifeThemes Press (2008), 207 pp., ¤ 12,67 (image 02)
The last decade of corporate, government, and institutional scandals has led to widespread distrust of those in positions of leadership. Dozens of independent studies confirm that corporate America is running a serious trust deficit. It’s as glaring as our trade deficit and no less damaging to the bottom line. The antidote to this trust crisis, the author believes, is Trust-Centered Leadership. He illustrates eight basic principles of Trust-Centered Leadership by drawing on his own experience as president of a financially-troubled college.
* Generation Einstein is the title of a book introducing of a new name for the generation born after 1991. In contradiction with previous Generation X, G. Einstein does not have a individualistic, but a collectivistic mindset.
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Paul Krugman, The return of depression economics and the crisis of 2008, Norton (2008), 224 pp., ¤ 20.
In this a new, greatly updated edition of The Return of Depression Economics, Krugman shows how the failure of regulation to keep pace with an increasingly out-of-control financial system set the United States, and the world as a whole, up for the greatest financial crisis since the 1930s. He also lays out the steps that must be taken to contain the crisis, and turn around a world economy sliding into a deep recession.
Steve Kerr, Reward Systems: Does Yours Deliver?, Harvard Business Press (2008), 144 pp., ¤ 13.
In Reward Systems, Steve Kerr shows you how to get the most from employees. You don’t need to add headcount, upgrade your It capabilities, or hire consultants. You must take some specific steps in order to develop the right reward system: clarify what you mean by “performance” for your employees, devise an effective performance-measurement system, design a reward system that motivates people to do what you want them to do while also meeting their needs.
Brian E, Becker, Mark A. Huselid, Richard W. Beatty, The differentiated workforce, Harvard Business Press (2008), 272 pp, ¤ 25.
Do you think of your company’s talent as an investment to be managed like a portfolio? You should, according to authors Becker, Huselid, and Beatty. In The Differentiated Workforce, they outline ways to rise above talent management ‘best practice’ to create a differentiated workforce that cannot be easily copied by competitors. Based on two decades of academic research and experience working with hundreds of executives, The Differentiated Workforce gives you the tools to translate your talent into strategic impact.
Mark Huselid, Brian Becker and Dave Ulrich, HR Scorecard, Harvard Business Press (2008), 256 pp, ¤ 25.
Three experts in HR introduce a measurement system that convincingly showcases how HR impacts business performance. This book describes a seven-step process for embedding HR systems within the firm’s overall strategy, what the authors describe
as an HR Scorecard, and measuring its activities in terms that line managers and Ceos will find compelling.
V. Kumar, Managing customer for profit. Strategie sto increase profits and build loyalty, Wharton School Publishing (2009), 320 pp, ¤ 29.
Leading marketing expert V. Kumar shows how to use Customer Lifetime Value (Clv) to target customers with higher profit potential, manage and reward existing customers based on their profitability and invest in highprofit customers to prevent attrition and ensure future profitability. Drawing on his extensive experience in consulting, Kumar illuminates the challenges of transitioning from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach and presents proven solutions.
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: more equal societies almost always do better, Allen Lane (2009), 320 pp, ¤ 23.
This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years’ research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off as well as the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare the conditions of different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking.
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A. De Pascalis, V. Gioia, How to be successfully headhunted, Il Sole 24 Ore (2009), 158 pp., ¤ 21.
The book sums up the secrets to building a sustainable career and to cultivate your business reputation. According to the authors, head-hunters look for leaders and not for workaholics. So, what should you do, in case of a call from a head-hunter? The book gives you tips on how to take part in a selection, writing your CV, preparing for interviews and contract negotiations.
William P. Barnett, The Red Queen among Organizations, Princeton University Press (2008), 296 pp., ¤ 22.
Princeton Written by a leading organizational theorist, The Red Queen among organizations challenges the prevailing wisdom about competition, revealing it to be a force that can make—and break—even the most successful organizations.
Cynthia Shapiro, What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here?, Macmillan (2008), 304 pp., ¤ 11.
If you are looking for a job you need every advantage you can get. What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here? puts a former HR executive turned employee advocate in your corner. Cynthia Shapiro reveals the best-kept job secrets that employers don’t want you to know including: Secret No.8: A computer is deciding your job prospects. Secret No.12: Professional references are useless. Secret No.18: There is a ‘type’ that always gets the offer. Secret No.21: The Thank-You note is too late. Secret No.28: Always negotiate…and there are thirty-nine more!
Carol D. Hansen, Yih-Teen Lee, The Cultural Context of Human Resource Development, Palgrave MacMillan (2009), 288 pp., ¤ 73.
This volume presents an insight into the understanding of human resource development (Hrd) in various cultural contexts. This book looks at how culture shapes our expectations for what is appropriate in the workplace and aims to broaden the reader’s knowledge of HRD by exploring the boundaries of existing theories.
Why a good crisis should not go to waste
Federico Rampini, editorialist for La Repubblica newspaper, in his book entitled “Le dieci cose che non saranno più le stesse” (Ten things which will never be the same again), presents 10 points to keep in mind in order not to waste the current financial crisis.
twsm In your opinion, companies should log onto the outer World. Which ways and organization implications would make this possible?
fr What is at the base of this moment in time is that the first effect has been the fall of company legitimacy both in terms of human resources and in terms of all those aspects which involve governments, consumers, business relations and relations among States.
Over time wealth has been destroyed and it is now of such great importance that its legitimacy has to be rebuilt. This step can also be made thanks to a new vision of human capital and not only by a logical creation of value for companies. One of the main tools remains dialogue throughout companies and the valorisation of each company’s internal cohesion.
twsm Back to the future?
Starting from the United States and up to China, which are the key points to be considered after the
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fr China has speeded up processes which were under way. An example is that has managed to strengthen its global importance. China has never entered recession periods, it has increased foreign investments and, thanks to the western
twsm “This crisis can be the chance to speed up change”. From the energy choc to the respectable protectionism. Which are the highlights of environmental issues and of what you define as frugal consumption?
to saving thanks to a careful use of environmental and economic assets. The American middle and upper classes, which have always been role models to society in general, are also changing their standards of living. Change is also starting from here.
world’s loss of prestige has known how to strengthen its alternative system.
As for the USA, the verdict is still open, Obama’s government is still “young” and in its development cycle. We can say it’s a return to the future, an updated and modified re-edition of Roosvelt’s New Deal. The change has drawn in all sectors but also civil organization and the systems of conceiving value. The change has affected foreign politics, the financial markets up to health reforms and environmental issues. Having said this, nothing will never be the same.
fr Just as Obama’s counselors have underlined, a good crisis should not go to waste. Such a strong and intense crisis can only be generated every three generations. The past tells us that means of operating change were possible. Coalitions, political and social resistances however stopped change from becoming reality. The American establishment would never have accepted current the reforms which are now in act.
Environmental politics was put to a hold by lobbies ( why not take a glance on what happened to the car industry). The time has now also come for health care to be reformed and this will inevitably also rivet American companies. American competitiveness has diminished and insurance aspects cannot be of help in this way.
Frugal consumption mustn’t be understated. The current crisis has given back great credibility to environmental politics. The rise of oil prices and the lack of natural resources are issues which must be tackled. As a consequence new ways of consumption are born. We now have a strong attention
twsm What can the western World learn from China, which you define as victorious and why? fr China is victorious because its state capitalism has known how to put forward economic assets which are important to raise growth levels by public investments in infrastructure. Modernization has increased and has gone through testing of new “recipes” in which the environment is the main ingredient and so have renewable energies and green technologies. China is mobilizing all public investment levers thanks to a long term planning and a deep and lucid attention to innovation.
twsm Is the American empire really on the wane in spite of Obama’s messages and “teachings”? fr Obama is re-launching the USA’s prestige and its credibility. The American verve and democracy unfortunately won’t be enough to wane the fall of the USA’s global importance. It faces a bill of exchange which is expiring tied to the effect of the overshadowing public debt.
The heavy debts will lead to lowering standards of living meaning the USA will be forevermore dependent of its financial partners and China is at the top of the list. •
For publishers wishing to submit new books on HR and organizational issues, please send a summary of the book to: books@theworkstylemagazine
The first issue of The Work Style Magazine is also accompanied by a Best Companies to Work for in Europe ranking for 2009. In autumn 2009, we plan to publish an interesting insert dedicated to new frontiers of scientific research and of disease prevention, by the European Institute of Oncology.
The Editorial Board is eager to receive contributions and suggestions forsubjects to be covered in future issues. Please write to edbo@theworkstylemagazine
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