What are some common business practices you think are ineffective or wrong and why?

By: Bill Van Eron Monday January 6, 2020 0 comments Tags: Bill Van Eron

Van-Eron-graphic.1.2 By Bill Van Eron

Chief Stakeholder Relevance Officer

Headwaters Marketing and Innovation, LLC

For decades, management valued the practice of isolating a need to fix it. That is obsolete where the needs are human, such as culture, greater employee enablement, a true stakeholder-wide system of accountability, how diversity and inclusion are applied and more. 

Of many highly visible examples:

  1. Look at how many decades innovation has been on most CEOs’ Top Ten List without progress as true Innovation is connected to an open, diverse, enabling culture to synthesize what matters and act on it.
  2. The majority of large companies state employee recruitment as a top priority, while a huge percentage of younger and talented candidates strongly prefer being or working in entrepreneurial environs. Yes, it is easy to criticize leaders that just “expect” success, younger gens can also shape it as I did, versus just expecting it.
  3. Too few leaders have yet to care to see, enable or master systems thinking and creativity, as everything human is interconnected. Just as CEOs get stuck, so do CMO, CTO, CHRO and others who fail to accept change also offers major benefits for those that do adapt to thrive collectively. I created and applied an agile values-based model across a range of often missed needs in HP's stakeholder ecosystem as far back as 1990. All seamless, not the "totally disruptive" concern leaders feel about transformation. Revenues well exceeded all the highest expectations. Teams & influencers felt inclusive and enabled.                       

Why? Because the work I was able to synthesize with a conscious designer’s view earned the highest internal effectiveness, welcomed additional ideas and it also earned the highest stakeholder regard -- channels, market analysts, editors, customers. Success follows true significance. Any superficiality is seen with full transparency.

  1. The historically entrenched value about All-knowing CEOs has long shifted to the greater reality that only people-powered firms succeed. Yet, we often hear how today's CEOs are paid over a thousand times more than the average employee. I hear firms state they "pay for performance" and see how they equivocate each employee’s cost against how much they return in revenues. When you fail to assess all contributing value the same way, the system is broken. When I worked in HP across a wide variety of creative & relationship positions in marketing and brands I cared to earn trust, credibility & emotional & logical relevance. As internal & external teams got behind the values I was able to put forth, the contrast between that and how Gallup states 70% of today's employees are emotionally detached, clearly shows success follows significance. As I reflect back at my 25 years helping HP and spinoff Agilent, while I was paid reasonably well and content, my employee ROI was at least $50M each of 12 years as a designer and easily over $2B a year each of my last 13 years there. Had they cared to master these proven methods before I left, with great respect to their technology, I & all experiencing enablement, should feel positive they would still be a top 3 ranked company. 
  2. With great respect to technologists and scientists, I see way too many orgs allowing their core left brain skills to dominate their culture. So yes, they inadvertently become closed, internally focused cultures. I totally embrace the value engineers provide and understand why they get the brunt of the rewards as expected. But in times of exponential change, we all have to understand what matters beyond our own long held beliefs. Right brain contributions often create that bridge of greater trust, and on up to contagious relevance we earned repeatedly to create a living brand.

       5. As one that left my beloved design comfort zones to immerse myself into the HP Stakeholder ecosystem, my exposure synthesized what matters well beyond corporate agendas, revealed far greater                         contributions a conscious designer can make than waiting for others to see that need, which was and is truly rare. I risked leaving design, marketing & PR as I knew my long-term success created a foundation                  that is essential to enabling the best from a wide array of talented people I respect. As we all run when we think we are being marketed or sold something well before any trust or relevance has been                                    established, I saw the same with HR. I have since remodeled my own success so more can emulate it at the top as Chief Stakeholder Relevance Officer, in the BOD and within the ranks as 1000 points of                            contributing lights in effect.

I lament, as a practitioner of continuous enlightenment and solution reflection, that even the top headhunters, workforce of the future, consultants, experts and core functions -- leadership, sales, marketing, R&D, HR -- all hold on to the past versus embracing the future to shape it as true leaders should. That may be the possibility thinker in me as I have great faith in the decency within all who feel connected to a purpose, values and new realities we all can make positive forces for beneficial gains to all. Let's make 2020 the year of  "woke" stakeholder savvy systems.

Bill Van Eron

About the Author: Bill Van Eron

Bill Van Eron cares less about growing his own business than leveraging his truly rare, highest impact experience earning stakeholder trust, inclusion, contagious relevance & unprecedented revenues growth as the result of earned & shared significance. Bill sees the true solution system because he evolved into this from a designer’s perspective with advanced systems thinking & possibility thinking skills connected by rare insights most miss. His goal to truly help those: A. On this path to realize how to see & act bolder on a solid foundation of shared meaning. Your efforts now integrate with the proven factors only one who has done this well many times, can validate faster at lower risk.  B. Or partner with a technology, media or future workforce firm that seeks to be part of one of the highest growth market system solutions now, versus waiting five to ten years more for others to figure parts of it out. The Yin and Yang of change related uncertainties are less of a concern when you have a foundation, such as Bill can advise you on in the most agile or phased manner. Master the mindset and skills essential to adapt to thrive in the 21st century. Whether you lead orgs or functions, the unique & agile advice from one that has extensive and rare experience on tap, is a fresh & proven approach few others can offer, unless you prefer to pay a million bucks, accept slow disruptive approaches that eventually may pay off. If one opts to climb a steep mountain or stay in the cave of risk aversion, the logic and emotional IQ of a proven guide gets you on that path to achieve greater success through greater significance. Are you a CEO, C-Suite Staff, BOD, longtime “expert”, agency or professional connected by a desire to shape work that matters as aligned to your stakeholder ecosystem? Bill’s rare experience applying and advancing all the principles you can build on will get you across that bridge to greater significance. As HP’s former top ranked stakeholder strategist, founder of Headwaters Marketing & Innovation and architect of Nav360, soon a collaborator to your shared advantages, his passion & proven abilities enable people, leaders, organizations & communities to see the value systems that shape lives, careers & orgs that prove worthy.