Feb 24, 2021
Jim Hemerling is a leader in Boston Consulting Group’s People
& Organization and Transformation practices. He has co-authored
numerous publications on transformation, organization
effectiveness, and culture including, TRANSFORMATION: Delivering
and Sustaining Breakthrough Performance, and Globality: Competing
with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything. Jim is also a
coauthor of BCG’s book, “Beyond Great,”
which describes how the world has
been transformed due to social tension, economic nationalism, and
technological revolution. Business leaders are encouraged to go
beyond great and “adopt a radical new playbook—one
that helps their companies become resilient in the face of even the
most volatile situations.” On this episode, Jim discusses
9 Strategies for Thriving in an
Era of Social Tension, Economic Nationalism, and Technological
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[2:55] Leaders are
well-intentioned, but these intentions can get squeezed out by
metrics, the need for profit, and more.
[5:40] With a lot of disruption
happening in our lives, people need purpose; people need to feel
like they’re working towards a fulfilling future.
[8:05] It’s true that during
hard times, there have to be layoffs, which sounds contradictory
when you “put people first.” Jim explains how people-focused
companies think about letting people go.
[12:15] There are three forces
that are disrupting the world.
- The force of social tension.
- Economic nationalism.
- Technological revolution.
[17:20] Great is no longer good
[19:25] Investors are going to
demand more than just returns from the companies they invest
[23:25] Consumers want to put
their money where their mouth is and support companies that are
[27:45] Capitalism is still a
force for good, but it has to be directed properly.
[30:35] Companies are going
beyond just the “superficial purpose.” They’re walking the walk,
and proving it.
[34:15] It’s a tough balance for
a leader to stretch people’s talents without breaking them. Jim
shares what leaders need to be thinking about when managing this
[40:45] Leaders need to commit
to really understanding the day-to-day lived experiences of their
[42:40] Transformation is no
longer an one-off event. In today’s world, it’s “always
[44:45] Listener challenge:
Celebrate your wins today and then think about action steps on how
you can go beyond great.
- “If you think about putting people first,
you’re going to think about not just that employee showing up at
work, but what does their full life look like and how do we help
them cope with the full-life experience.”
- “The very fundamental thing that businesses
thrive on is the basis of capitalism, but what we’re seeing over
the last few years are major forces against that.”
- “The term ‘globalist’ now in many circles is
actually viewed as a negative term.”
- “Employees are increasingly saying, ‘It’s not
enough. I’m not going to work for a company that isn’t delivering
on a real, tangible purpose.’”
- “We used to think of transformation as a
one-off event. Those days are gone. Companies need to embrace