What is inclusion, exactly?
One-sentence summary of the response: Inclusivity refers to the state of being empowered to achieve at their highest level and to experience a feeling of belonging in an organization, regardless of one's background.
Can you discuss the program that Ian Dodds implemented at ICI and its results?
In order to include the entire workers in turning a struggling factory in Huddersfield into one of ICI's best, Ian Dodds, the HR director, created a program. To do this, he gave all the managers training in inclusive leadership, diversity appreciation, and employee empowerment. The factory, which is still in operation today, rose to prominence within ICI as a result of the program's success.
What characteristics should one look for in a potential manager?
A future manager should be able to take a long-term perspective, actively and sympathetically listen to others, empower others, and assist others in identifying and developing their skills.
How does creating an inclusive culture impact a company's effectiveness and expenses?
Creating an inclusive culture may transform a company from one of the poorest performers to one of the greatest performers by increasing efficiency and expenses by tens of percent.
Marcus Cauchi: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome back to The Inquisitor Podcast with me, Marcus Cauchi. Today, I'm delighted to have Ian Dodds with me as my guest. Ian is a very successful CEO and senior executive who has been responsible for driving massive culture change within very large organizations over many years. Ian, welcome.
Ian Dodds: Welcome.
90 seconds on your background
Marcus Cauchi: Would you mind giving the audience 90 seconds on your background? I, I suspect that's probably not enough time to give it justice, but let's give it a go.
Ian Dodds: Yeah, sure. I grew up in a council state in, uh, north Yorkshire and, uh, I was lucky enough to win a place at Oxford, uh, which it was a really outstanding thing to happen for a council house pupil.
And, uh, there was ano- another thing that happened at Oxford, which was significant. That was that I'd realized when I heard school, I was attracted [00:01:00] to the girl, the boys, as well as the girls, but I hadn't said anything anyway, just so it happened. So Morris Bower, who was the head of the college, I was at Wadham college.
Everyone knew that Morris was a homosexual and yet we all had great respect for him. And I thought that if Morris can say, he's a homosexual. I can tell people I'm a bisexual and I came out as a bisexual and now I give talks and I give one NatWest Bank recently on being a bisexual. After Oxford, I did a PhD in meteorology because I was very interested.
I've always been very interested in the weather and I had the most eminent supervisor meteorologist who was ever lived as my supervisor, professor Reggie. When I finished the PhD, Reggie wanted me to join his group and I'd realized that I wanted to work with people. And in particular, I wanted [00:02:00] to help people succeed because of my experience of going to Oxford.
So I didn't become a meteorologist I joined ICI and in ICI, I ultimately ended up org change management and organization development. And subsequent to that, I set up my own business.
So would you mind explaining what inclusivity is and what it isn't?
Marcus Cauchi: That's a really fascinating history and there's so much that one can explore in that, but it then raises some insight into why you might have moved into the area of inclusivity.
So would you mind explaining what inclusivity is and what it isn't? Because I suspect there's an awful lot of misunderstanding around.
Ian Dodds: Inclusivity means that if people, a person feels valued and respected whatever their diversity, they feel that they're listened to, they feel that they're empowered and they feel that they're helped perform to their best.
And they [00:03:00] also have a great sense of belonging to that organization.
Common questions people ask you about trying to implement inclusivity within their business
Marcus Cauchi: So what are the most foremost, common questions people ask you about trying to implement inclusivity within their business?
Ian Dodds: Does it seem feasible from your experience is one of them, how long will it take? Because instantly these aren't things you do overnight.
It takes several months. If not years, have you handled a change like this before and obviously how much will it cost?
What are the criteria that you use in order to assess whether it's feasible?
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. And in terms of feasibility, let's explore that. What are the criteria that you use in order to assess whether it's feasible?
Ian Dodds: Well, to be honest, I, I just do it from my experience. I don't, I don't do, I don't have any criteria.
So I know that if in fact, uh, the leadership team is fairly capable, that's going to make a big difference. [00:04:00] In fact, they're prepared to develop a vision of future success and communicate that across the organization. I know that that that will help. So those are the kind of things.
What happened in ICI program and its impact
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So I, if we look at the kind of programs that you've run, I know that the one you did at ICI in particular or the many programs, but the first one that you did at ICI was a, a watershed moment in their, uh, history.
Can you talk us through what the happened? And what impact that program had.
Ian Dodds: Okay. Well, at an only part of, uh, my career with ICI, I was made, what would nowadays be called HR directors, then personnel director for a large chemical factory in Huddersfield. It had awful employee relations, awful productivity. Team had a branch with a communist party that used to meet on the factory.
and it had been like that for many years [00:05:00] and it was in danger of closing. And yet it was a major employer in Huddersfield. So I initially did what my previous had done. I worked with the managers to try and change things. We made a bit of progress, but not much. Anyway, one day I was driving home and I'd had a particularly gruesome day.
And I was thinking, you know, when my mom and dad came home from work and remember I grew in a council state. They often spend time in the evening saying if only our managers would do this and if only our managers would do that, and it made me realize that there must be a couple of thousand people going on from that factory and saying something like that.
So the next morning I went in the factory directors, obviously I said, Bill, what we need to do here is to engage the whole of the workforce in making this the best factory in ICI. We talked about it for a while. And then he said, okay, and we'll go for that, but you'll have to show us how to do it now at that stage, I must admit I had no idea [00:06:00] anyway, I contacted my contact in ICIS group personnel department, and I was informed that there was a professor Dick Beckhard working with a board of ICI Dick Bahar is the most eminent behavioral change scientist that's ever existed.
And they, it was agreed that I would meet up with Dick to be coached by him, what to do on that factory, in between his meetings with the board. And so Dick got me, first of all, to sit down with the leadership team on the factory and help them develop a vision of success for the factory, by being one of the best factories in ICI in five years time.
And then we communicated that right across the whole factory. And every team and unit had to tell us what they thought would help and hin- hinder the achievement of that vision. I then sat down with the leadership team and we developed a strategy [00:07:00] for delivering the vision, taking account of the feedback that we got on what would help and hinder it.
And then I did the thing, which I think is most significant. And the thing that distinguishes me from all other people. I trained all the managers. This was because Dick Beckhard persuaded me do this, trained all the managers, right from the whole senior manager, right down the front line to be inclusive leaders who valued and respected a person's diversity listened, actively and empathetically to people, help people identify their talents and develop them and empower them.
Anyway, five years later. John Harvey Jones, who was then the chief executive of ICI came to congratulate late the factory on becoming one of the best in ICI. And it's still there to this very day, not an ICI factory. It belongs to someone else [00:08:00] now, but it's still giving lots of employment in Huddersfield.
And one of the other interesting things that occurred on, on that was that the senior shop Stewart Reggie cross. Was a member of the communist party and had the communist party meetings on the factory. He developed a great respect for what I was doing because I was engaging the whole of the workforce.
And as a trade union leader, he saw that as very important. And he and I became, uh, very good friends. And ultimately, would you believe it, Reggie got an OBE for his services to that factory.
Marcus Cauchi: Well, that must have been an interesting conversation in Reggie's house.
Ian Dodds: Um, absolutely.
Marcus Cauchi: You should take it from the queen.
How do you teach people to listen empathically?
Marcus Cauchi: So tell me this. Then the skill of listening is something that I find woefully lacking across the board, whether it's in sales, in management, in marketing and teams, [00:09:00] how do you teach people to listen empathically?
Ian Dodds: That's a very good question. I actually have an inter interactive behaviors tool. It has 15 interactive behaviors on it.
There are telling behaviors and there are listening behaviors. And what I do is I, I sit in and I coach the managers on the use of these, these interactive behaviors. And what I usually find is that initially they use a lot of telling behaviors and not very many listening behaviors. So I, I then managed to train them in how to use listening behaviors.
And one of the things that they very weak at is checking their understanding. So when, uh, someone gives a suggestion of, of doing something, then the manager should check their understanding of what that suggestion is.
Marcus Cauchi: How can one get hold of [00:10:00] this list of 15? Is, is that published publicly or is that something that's proprietary?
Ian Dodds: It's something that I have. I, I, I, I could make it available.
Marcus Cauchi: I would be extremely grateful if you could, because I think there are a number of obstacles to, um, barriers to success, which stem from lack of listening. I firmly believe that that's something that should be taught in schools. It should be taught at universities as part of every curriculum and every business should have it and certainly manages cuz one, one of the things that strikes me that happens far too frequently is someone is good operationally or in producer role.
Did you implement anything? Like a runway so that people were identified and earmarked for a management role
Marcus Cauchi: And then they get promoted into management with next to no training and development as head of personnel at ICI. Did you implement anything? Like a, a runway, uh, so that people were identified and earmarked for a management role and they learned how to do it before they became [00:11:00] managers.
Ian Dodds: Oh yes. That was most important.
We, uh, put a lot of effort into defining what were the talents that, uh, the qualities that successful managers required and then looking, looking for these and then helping people develop them. And when I was on the factory, for example, We made sure that we identified people who were shop floor workers and not just people who were in the low levels of management.
And we managed to promote several shop floor workers to the management positions. And this was very important.
What are the qualities that one looks for in a future manager?
Marcus Cauchi: So what are the qualities that one looks for in a future manager?
Ian Dodds: Well, I mean, I've already given a hint on, on them to, to some extent. One is they should be able to look at things in a long term.
They should be able to analyze what issues they should be able to [00:12:00] actively and empathetically, listen to people. They should be able to empower people and they should be able to help people identify their talents and develop.
Marcus Cauchi: And on that note, that's another really interesting aspect that I'd like to go into a little bit more detail on.
Is there a process that one goes through in order to identify those talents and then ensure that you are playing to people's strengths?
Marcus Cauchi: So in terms of talent development and career pathing, is there a process that one goes through in order to identify those talents and then ensure that you are playing to people's strengths?
Ian Dodds: Well, what I've already done in the organizations I've been involved with is to may have a method for training the manager managers, to be able to, I look for these and identify these when they're doing performance appraisals
Marcus Cauchi: and how often should of performance appraisals be done?
Because typically they're only once a year and I think, well,
Ian Dodds: formally once a year, but of course people are on something. Not exactly a monthly [00:13:00] basis, but every three or four weeks, people need to be giving feedback, both positive and negative feedback. The negative feedback of course, has to be given in a way, which doesn't discourage the person.
Marcus Cauchi: So if you're giving negative feedback, focus on the behavior, not their identity.
Ian Dodds: Absolutely. Absolutely. You focus on the behavior and what they need, what they need to change. To do to change that behavior.
How do we help managers raise another person's level of self awareness?
Marcus Cauchi: One of the limiting factors to that is people's level of self awareness. So how do we, um, help managers raise another person's level of self awareness?
Ian Dodds: Well, it's based on the ability to, first of all, look for people's talents and also weaknesses in their abilities. And giving managers, the ability to actually discuss these with people in a, a positive and developmental way. [00:14:00]
Marcus Cauchi: So when we're looking at that career pathing, are you helping them put in clear milestones and objectives that people need to work towards and coach them through that process?
Ian Dodds: Yes, absolutely.
So what does coaching involve?
Marcus Cauchi: So what does coaching involve? Because again, this is a skill that I think to a large degree has been lost. And though a lot of people confuse telling with coaching and coaching is about getting other people to the, the other person to work out most of the problem, uh, the solution themselves.
Ian Dodds: Yes, it is.
I mean, uh, coaching very much involves getting the coachee to really identify and own what are the issues that they, they, they need to work on. And then beginning to have a discussion with them about how they actually addressed the issues they needed to work on. And that means getting [00:15:00] ideas from them and helping them develop those ideas from the knowledge that I have as a coach.
Marcus Cauchi: One of the really important factors is making sure that the person being coached feels safe.
And what I teach my clients is the three Ps of potency protection and permission, making sure that both sides have the right to have their voice heard that nothing will be said that will cause them to be punished for saying it. So we want them to feel safe in expressing their opinions and creating a framework of equal stature, different roles, but equal stature in that.
How do you teach your trainees in coaching to make sure that those conditions are met?
Marcus Cauchi: So you're being inclusive that you're being, you're allowing them to feel confident that they can say what they need to, how they need to say it. How do you teach your trainees in [00:16:00] coaching to make sure that those conditions are met?
Ian Dodds: I don't use the route that you do, which I I'm assuming. I, I rather, like, I simply make sure that I gave them plenty of positive feedback.
That they realize that I'm listening actively and empathetically to them. And I think it's my behavior, which makes them feel, um, confident and willing to, uh, able to progress their development.
How do you deliver bad news in a way that's nurturing and inclusive?
Marcus Cauchi: And how do you deliver bad news in a way that's nurturing and inclusive?
Ian Dodds: Well, the way I do it is I always start with a positive factor.
So I might say Bill, you know how much I admire the way you do such and such. However, I really have observed. And I know from feedback that there's an area here that you need to improve and we need to work on that.
Marcus Cauchi: And it sounds to me like [00:17:00] there's quite a lot of verbal contracting between the coach and the coachee.
Is there a structure or framework that you teach people in order to be able to deliver those?
Ian Dodds: No, I, I just do it inform. I develop it for each difficulty
How do you teach people to replicate that?
Marcus Cauchi: okay. So the obvious question there is, how do you teach people to replicate that? Because if that's innate in you, then that it's, is that an easily transferable skill?
Ian Dodds: Oh yes, it is.
Marcus Cauchi: Could you explain how you've done it?
Ian Dodds: Well, I mean, when I'm training people to be coaches, I train them in, in my interactive behaviors using interactive behaviors, too. I train them how it's so important that to, uh, build up, uh, coachee's confidence and not undermine their confidence. I train them how to problem solve and really explore issues and how [00:18:00] to agree actions that the coachee might take and ways of the coachee getting feedback on how successful they're being in taking those actions.
What are the three questions that people should ask
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. So let's move on to questions that people should ask, but don't what are the three questions that people should ask, but don't about creating inclusivity and, uh, a safe environment for people to speak to the truth.
Ian Dodds: Well, the three questions that I hope they would ask is have you experienced Ian of handling a change like this before?
What do you think will be the key challenges for us? And then of course, What will it require in terms of leadership and how much will it cost?
What are the questions they're not asking that if they were to ask it would help them progress faster.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. What are the questions they're not asking that if they were to ask it would help them progress faster.
Ian Dodds: Well, I mean, the questions I've just said there, they're often not asking.
Marcus Cauchi: Really? [00:19:00]
Ian Dodds: Yeah. Yeah.
When there's clearly a lack of trust, how do you break down those barriers?
Marcus Cauchi: So, help me understand this. When you were working in an environment which was heavily unionized, where there was conflict, how do you manage to ameliorate that in a way that when there's clearly a lack of trust, how do you break down those barriers? I, in a way where there's bound to be a pushback and resistance,
Ian Dodds: well, you see on that particular factory, No one had actually engaged the workforce in really having to identify and deliver a vision of future success for that factory.
When we actually offered a vision of that factory being successful in becoming one of the best in ICI in five years time, that really inspired people. And because we'd ask people what would help and hinder us from doing. They realized that we were going to actually [00:20:00] address the issues that, uh, were going to need to be overcome to succeed.
How did that affect things like recruitment, retention, productivity?
Marcus Cauchi: And how did that affect things like recruitment, retention, productivity?
Ian Dodds: Well, it was interesting actually because, um, Huddersfield has a big Afro Caribbean population. When we first started, we had no African Caribbeans. On the factory, but once we'd actually trained the managers to value and respect, person's diversity to listen actively and empathetically to people we started, would you believe to actually bring in African Caribbeans onto the factory and what small, they really enjoyed working there and progress in the organization.
How did that change the culture?
Marcus Cauchi: And how did that change the culture?
Ian Dodds: Well, you see the culture changed because you are actually changing it from being a command [00:21:00] control culture to one where it was high engagement, where people were asked their views, asked what the issues are, and they were listened to what they'd said was fed back to them.
So they knew it had been understood.
How do you create an environment where conflict is constructive?
Marcus Cauchi: Very interesting. So again, in my experience where you are creating change within an organization, often that can lead to conflict. How do you create an environment where conflict is constructive? Because I think one of the worst things you can do is avoid conflict. How do you make sure that you have constructive conflict where opinions are heard, but even though not everyone may agree.
Then everyone that once the decision has been made, everybody supports it.
Ian Dodds: Well, basically we did have areas of conflict and we are always doing in big change programs, but the critical thing is [00:22:00] making sure that people are listened to they're given an opportunity to express their views. And then, and it's it, it's made clear that these views are heard and then they get explained to them why it's important to do things differently.
And their help in doing this is actually sought.
Marcus Cauchi: So I think a really interesting point you've made there is that people, uh, know that they've been heard. So they get feedback. I think one of the things that I see happen a lot is companies, uh, do employee surveys, but they don't really get any sense that they've been listened to.
What change needs to happen at a senior level for them to really buy into that whole piece, about listening to their employees, listening to their suppliers, listening to their customers?
Marcus Cauchi: And it's more of a tick in the box exercise. What change needs to happen at a senior level for them to really buy into that whole piece, about listening to their employees, listening to their suppliers, listening to their customers.
Ian Dodds: Well, when they realize that in the modern world, the most [00:23:00] successful is going to come from building an engaging and inclusive culture.
And obviously that means listening to people. And respecting their diversity and respecting different views and opinions.
How do you then challenge that and break through that kind of implicit bias?
Marcus Cauchi: Interesting. Okay. So what if there is a surface level desire to create improvement, but management only pays lip service to being inclusive. How do you then challenge that and break through that kind of implicit bias?
Ian Dodds: What I do is I make sure that the managers get coaching one way or another, or they attend training programs about how to manage and lead in an inclusive manner where everyone feels their diversity is respected and they feel actively and empathetically listened to.
If you have people who are not really willing to buy into that message
Marcus Cauchi: And if you have people who are [00:24:00] not really willing to buy into that message?
Ian Dodds: Well, I mean, at the end of the day, obviously they've got to be, uh, removed from, from the role, if they're really, really, really not going to change.
I'm assuming I experienced that very little in my, my career.
What was the aftermath of having removed those people?
Marcus Cauchi: And when you did, what was the impact? What was the aftermath of having removed those people?
Ian Dodds: Well, I mean, we have brought people who are. Operated more inclusive and engaging way in. And so that was very positive in relation to their teams. And to be honest, uh, the people we'd, we'd actually removed from the roles.
And although we'd give them other positions, which didn't involve managing, they often left.
When you start implementing more inclusivity, I'm assuming it improves
Marcus Cauchi: And in terms of morale, when you start implementing more inclusivity, I'm assuming it improves.
Ian Dodds: Um, it, it, it goes up massively.
What changes do you see in demeanor and communication?
Marcus Cauchi: And so how does that manifest. What changes do you see [00:25:00] in demeanor and communication?
Ian Dodds: Another change that I was involved with was with the largest tax office in the inland revenue. And it was one of the worst performers of the inland revenue. And I did all the things that I I've explained already. And three years later, it was the best performer in the inland re in, in the inland revenue.
And it meant that, um, people on in that office, we were very committed to helping it succeed. Whereas previously, when it's been running a command and control manner, they hadn't been committed to helping it succeed
Did you see that kind of improvement where you trained your managers to be more inclusive, that the team members were actively recruiting people to join the team?
Marcus Cauchi: in Google, they ran a project called project oxygen to look for what makes a great manager
great. And the number one criteria was that the people in the team would recommend it to people they knew and liked to join. And [00:26:00] did you see that kind of improvement where you trained your managers to be more inclusive, that the team members were actively recruiting people to join the team?
Ian Dodds: Oh, yes. I mean, I explained earlier, um, how, uh, that factory in Huddersfield had not had any African Caribbeans.
Yet they were a significant proportion of the population in Huddersfield and once we built, built an inclusive culture, they began to join the factory and enjoy working there.
How does that affect the efficiency and costs of the business?
Marcus Cauchi: And how does that affect the efficiency and costs of the business?
Ian Dodds: Well, I mean, a natural factory benefits, the efficiency and cost. If you building inclusive culture, people are more engaged and active and are more, are more focused.
Helping the organization succeed.
Marcus Cauchi: And so, I mean, you, you don't have to give specifics, but in round numbers where you move a business from being exclusive to inclusive and where managers are [00:27:00] listening, what sort of efficiencies are you? Were you able to witness?
Ian Dodds: Oh, I mean, you you're really seeing improvements of tens of percent.
I mean, were really enabling them to, uh, change from being one of the worst performers in the group that they're involved in to becoming one of the best performers.
In terms of a change program, what causes them to fail?
Marcus Cauchi: So I, if you are creating that sort of change, then one of the things that I've observed is that often change programs look at one particular aspect, but it's a bit like taking a photograph.
There are three factors that affect the quality of the photograph. There's the shutter speed, the aperture and the speed of the film or the, uh, the chip. And if you change one without changing the other, um, then what you tend to find is the photo looks either washed out or too dark. So in terms of a change program, what causes them to fail?
Ian Dodds: Well, what causes them to fail? And instantly I've [00:28:00] never had one that's failed, but I would think what causes them to fail is not having a vision of success. Which people have bought into and been consulted about and them feeling that people feeling that they're not, they've not included and engaged.
Marcus Cauchi: So to summarize, if I understand it correctly, clarity of vision, which has buy-in from every level where you engage people at every level in the organization for their input, their input is valued and. heard
And, uh, where appropriate it's implemented. You encourage an environment where people, uh, discuss robustly their perspective. You then come to a clear conclusion as to what action needs to be taken. Clear. Responsibility is assigned at each level and at each stage, people are held to account for their [00:29:00] contribution and there's constant coaching throughout that process.
In order to ensure that you can make the small adjustments along the way at a macro level and a ma uh, a personal level to ensure that you're working towards that common purpose. And you're constantly reviewing how you're progressing in order to ensure that, uh, you're still on target and what you are trying to achieve is being achieved and it's still relevant.
Ian Dodds: That's excellent. Uh, cuz I agree with that. There's only one small thing. I would. That is people being held to account means that they need to get positive feedback.
Marcus Cauchi: Absolutely. Accountability, I believe is an internal force. It's not external. You don't hold people to account people hold themselves to account.
Ian Dodds: I agree with that.
What are the influences that you have been significantly moved by? What would you suggest people read what? Listen to, to get insight into how to create successful change?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. Okay. Ian, let's wrap up on influences. What are the influences that you have been significantly moved by? What would you suggest people [00:30:00] read what? Listen to, to get insight into how to create successful change?
Ian Dodds: That's a very, very good question. I'm not sure my experience, uh, is the same, uh, that other people would have.
You see what influenced me was a as a working class boy, going to Oxford and realizing that I really wanted to help people who came from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in the world. And of course I was coached by professor Dick Beckhard. So, I mean, you wouldn't be get that coaching, but he has published books.
I can't remember the titles, so I'd actually make sure I read some of those.
Marcus Cauchi: And Beckhard is B E C K H A R D.
Ian Dodds: That's correct.
What advice would you give him that may have made his life slightly easier or help him prevent some of the mistakes you've made along the way?
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. And if you had a golden ticket and you could whisper into Ian's ear age summer 23. What advice would you give him that may have made his life slightly easier or help him [00:31:00] prevent, uh, some of the mistakes you've made along the way?
Ian Dodds: Right? Uh, the thing I would actually whisper his here is the importance of developing inclusive leaders because the change program, the one thing which, uh, distinguishes my approach to change from most o- other people's approach to change is I develop train all the managers to be inclusive leaders. And I think that's the thing that I hadn't realized at 25 or whatever age you said.
And it was only on that factory, uh, when I was coached by, uh, professor Dick Beckhard that I actually did that before, before I, I got involved in, in Dick coaching. I'd not done that. And therefore we'd not made any progress.
Marcus Cauchi: There is an interesting book that people could read called Revel Ideas by Matthew Syed S Y E D.
And that's all about creating diverse teams because without [00:32:00] diversity, you only get one perspective. So a, a good analogy he uses is if you show a fish tank to an American or a Western audience, the tendency will be to focus on the fish. If you show it to a Japanese audience, they will focus on the aesthetics of the tank, the gravel, the seaweed, the bubbles.
But if you don't have both, you don't get the whole picture. And I think what's really key. That's coming from this conversation is that through inclusivity, you have a much broader picture of what's going on and you actually see reality rather than through a blinker, uh, perspective.
Ian Dodds: Yes. I mean, if you build an inclusive culture, it's a key driver of innovation.
What type of innovations were driven out of the factory in Huddersfield?
Marcus Cauchi: So on that note, what type of innovations were driven out of the factory in Huddersfield? I'd love to, uh, find out about that.
Ian Dodds: Yeah. On the, on the factory in Huddersfield, well innovations, uh, such as being able to set up teams [00:33:00] to solve problems, being able to putting effort into really understanding what the customers needed from that factory.
Being able to. Figure out how to actually deliver what the customers needed.
Evidence of competencies and qualities
Marcus Cauchi: Again, this is really interesting. David Epstein wrote a fascinating book called Range and his posit is that people with a diverse background tend to thrive and be more successful in specialist areas that require creativity. Um, yes.
And one of the things that I see happen very often in recruitment is. The typical job specification is around skills experience and historical results. And what that does is it limits the variety of people who they tend to recruit. So you get, uh, people recruiting in their own image, often only weaker.
Um, so again, I'm really curious to see whether or not that was [00:34:00] an aspect that, uh, you saw significant improvement in.
Ian Dodds: Oh, very definitely. But managers, uh, were, were, were trained to really, uh, seek out out qualities and competencies in candidates. Look for evidence of these competencies and, and qualities.
Even if the candidates have been doing very different things in the past.
Marcus Cauchi: So that points to one of the predictors of success that we use in our recruitment activity, which is looking for habits. So repeated past performance. Is a good indicator of future performance, but having a skill as a one off for only being able to give one example is a red flag in the recruitment process.
Because what that tends to do is you hear what you want to hear, and you think you've got somebody who can do the job, but often you think you've hired James Bond and you end up with Mr. Bean instead. And the reason for that [00:35:00] is that they're looking for the wrong leading indicators. What they tend to do is look for lag indicators in the recruitment process.
Have you seen that as well?
Ian Dodds: Yes. I agree with that. And that's a very good way of putting it, Marcus.
If there was one thing that you could look back on and say there was a blind spot. What would you look back on and maybe approached differently?
Marcus Cauchi: Thank you. Okay. So tell me something, if there was one thing that you could look back on and say, you know, there was a blind spot. I missed that. What would you look back on and say, you know, if, if I had my time again, that would be something that I'd have maybe approached differently.
Ian Dodds: Oh, well, I've, I've already explained that. And, uh, the, the blind spot, uh, was in driving change programs, not realizing until I got involved with professor Dick Beckhard that I needed to train all the managers to be inclusive leaders.
Marcus Cauchi: Okay. Excellent. Ian, this has been a really fascinating and insightful conversation.
I can't thank you enough.
Ian Dodds: Okay. Thank you.
Marcus Cauchi: Thank you. How can people get hold of you?
Ian Dodds: I'm on LinkedIn.
Marcus Cauchi: Excellent. [00:36:00] Okay, Ian, thank you so much, much appreciated.
Ian Dodds: Yes, you too, Marcus. Thank you.
Marcus Cauchi: So my pleasure, this is Marcus Cauchi signing off from the Inquisitor podcast once again, if you found this, an insightful conversation, then please like comment, share, and subscribe.
And if you've got questions or you feel that you'd be a good guest. There's someone that you would like to have as a guest on the podcast, then please email me at email@example.com in the meantime, stay safe and happy selling. Bye-bye.