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We got a quick update on his latest thinking and what Verne Harnish has been seeing as trends for entrepreneurs in the US at the Vegas event.

There is much conversation about the shortage of great people around the globe. He posed the question ‘what can we do to do more with less?’ Develop the people we have, pay them more and keep them longer. Basically, the challenge is to double the size of the business, with the same number of people whilst increasing your wage bill by 50%.

I personally believe it also has a lot to do with how flexible we are as an employer. It is not just generation Y that are looking for flexible workplaces, nor parents, many who are older would love to be able to work just a few days a week. The organisations that deliver flexibility will be the ones that win the talent race.

Verne challenged us as leaders or managers to explore what is it we do that gets in the way of our people, ie what demotivates people? Do we know what they are?

Core values should provide an emotional connection to the core purpose of the business. People remember stories, not lists. The role of the leader is to keep going on about values and vision until they ‘scream’ at us ‘enough – we’ve got it’ that is when values take on a life of their own.

To continue to be successful – focus on what made you successful and do more of it. What worked best in your organisation when you were starting out – go back to basics and keep doing it. (Study the past to create the future).

Verne also really stressed the power of a positive environment. Stop asking about problems, ask about achievements and then stopping points. It is our job as leaders to remove any barriers that hinder our people from feeling like winners every day.

He finished up by quoting:

“Follow your heart – with your head” Steve Jobs

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