Summer’s lease hath all too short a date

Sadly, Shakespeare in his famous sonnet was never more on the money than when talking about this summer. Last weekend's final blast of sunny weather and the closing of the Paralympics felt like the end to an incredible summer of sport and celebration. Media commentators are talking of the hangover, whilst politicians are thinking about how to carry on the collective sense of bonhomie. 

I think we have all learned a lot about ourselves and as a nation, and there are many lessons and parallels to be drawn with the world of work

People have been engaged and often to their own surprise. Uniting behind a common purpose is perhaps lesson number 1 in the engagement manual. In the context of business, understanding and connecting to the common purpose of the enterprise is vital, and sometimes we need to reflect whether our purpose is properly understood, engaging, and reflective of what we really want to be.

We have also learned a lot about respect for the individual. The Paralympics in particular showed us so clearly that everyone is different, with different abilities and challenges, not all of which are visible. Treating and managing employees as individuals is critical to getting the most out of people, and that also means being able to tailor our talent management propositions.

High performance teams were in copious evidence, and how to get different people to work harmoniously together with common goals and recognition of each others areas of knowledge and expertise.

I think also the idea of practice and mastery, underpinned by measurement of progress and recognition of achievement were good reminders for us of motivating and improving outcomes. PBs can be just as fulfilling as winning.

I am delighted we have secured several people involved with running the Olympics, and our teams, for the CIPD annual conference in November, so we can hear the stories first hand.

To find out more about the CIPD Annual Conference 2012 programme, click here.

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