You might have heard different versions of the following analogy - let me share my version, which has been really unforgettable for me ever since I heard it: “If you take one of the most fertile and delicious banana tree from Alanya and plant it in Rize, it will not bear fruit; and if you take the most fertile and delicious tea plant from Rize and plant it in Alanya, it will not bloom”. One might ask: “Is it the fault of the banana or the tea, or even the soil where it has been planted if it does not bear fruit or bloom?”
Does this story sound familiar to you? I am sure many of you have experienced such a story - maybe even in your private life - or for sure in your professional career!
Have you ever felt like the banana or the tea plant? Have you ever heard: “You are not the right person for the job? Or you are not performing well in your role? Or you are not a good leader, team player, salesperson etc.”? If you have heard such sentences, you might also have thought in that moment - I am absolutely fine and doing well, but maybe this is not the “right place” for me.
I want to challenge organizations and their decision makers by asking the following: “Every time you laid off, did not promote or gave a low performance score to your employees, instead of pointing a finger at them with the words ‘you are not the right person’, did you ever consider whether this person simply may not have been “planted” in the right place?
We truly believe that there is no “right or wrong person”
Every person is unique by nature and seeks the right place where they can unleash their full potential. We, at PeopleAtRightPlace, have a deep understanding that every single employment position requires the right mix of talents, interests, and experiences. Therefore, recruitment and promotion processes should go beyond job descriptions and competency sets. The alignment of People and Place is an essential step for objective decisions and should be incorporated into recruitment, performance management, promotion processes and development initiatives.
Our customized approach and well proven methods enable organizations to remove unconscious obstacles and make objective decisions for their internal promotions, key position appointments, successor selection, performance management processes and development needs in a more efficient and sustainable manner. It is therefore important to consider the “able to”, “willing to” and, “allowed to” factors of our ParP concept into the decision-making process.
Most organizations are well trained in the “able to” part - especially in checking people’s capability and potential. Thus, most of the development, recruitment or promotion decisions are made according to performance and potential. However, there is another important point which is the “willing to” factor. Although some organizations have already started to consider this factor in their development initiatives, there is still room for improvement - meaning an equal emphasis on “able to” and “willing to” need to be put in consideration.
But what about the “allowed to” factor? According to our experience, organizations tend to, consciously or unconsciously, overlook this crucial factor. Quite often we see employees who want to be better leaders and even start innovative and creative initiatives but then find there is no permission within the company structure and therefore fail. Yes, this is the unfortunate consequence! Organizations expect their people to be the most competent, talented, and motivated people around, but then forget to allow room for them to bring their uniqueness to the table, to allow room for them to shine. Where is the acceptance for individuality?
True transformation only occurs when organizations ensure “PeopleAtRightPlace”
In our concept, the “Place” side consists of the “structure, process and practice” factors of an organization. We consider these three factors as the backbone of every organization - from small scale start-up to big scale holdings. Essentially, these three factors are the reason your people will either stay with you with full commitment or lose engagement or ultimately leave.
Although organizations are well trained in setting up fancy and impressive “structures“ and “processes” on paper, they mainly end up only creating best practice templates or theoretical work. Please do not get me wrong - taking best practices and recent academic work as a base for your concept is a good idea. Very often though, the problem is that these theories have only been copy and pasted without checking if it is applicable or even actually fits the DNA of the organization.
Let’s come to the last factor of the “Place” side which is “practice”. This is the heart of the organization. Here is where the “structures” and “processes" are implemented properly or not. In our opinion this area needs special attention as it is here that the culture of an organization is shaped. Furthermore, we fully agree with Peter Drucker’s famous statement: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
No matter how well designed your structure and processes are, without integration in your working culture and if not applied in daily interaction, they will only exist on paper. Thus, in order to make organizations the “right place to work”, structure and processes should be tailor-made, and the specific needs of the organization and its workforce should be considered.
Over the years, we have introduced this kind of effective development programs to leaders. Let me share some feedback we have received:
This is mind-blowing. This is the best workshop ever. I have learned so many things. I will immediately apply what I have discovered here!
The impact we want to create, is for every participant to be able to go back to their organization with the inspiration to apply what has been learned so they and their organization can develop and thrive.
Sadly, in some past experiences our observations were more like the following example:
One of our clients sought to create an open and constant feedback culture for the organizations leaders after being introduced to different topics from global HQ. According to their wishes we developed a new strategy for their leaders’ behaviour and mind-set so that they would be able to live out an open and constant feedback culture. Unfortunately, the plan (strategy) backfired as the structure, processes and practices of the organization did not allow such an open and constant feedback culture. Structure did not support the new way of communication as the company’s hierarchy demanded that feedback should only be given from top to bottom. Feedback was only seen as a periodical performance evaluation tool rather than a development tool and even more significantly, their practices did not support transparency between the levels of hierarchy. Without permission to speak up boldly in practice, there can be no culture to voice and share open, direct feedback to top management. The result? Unmotivated and highly irritated leaders!
Consequently, after observing such cases, we can confidently say that it does not matter whether either a one-day workshop or a one-year development program is used. The thing that is essential for our work is to first check if the structures, processes and practices are aligned with the strategies and goals of the organization to develop and empower their people to peak performance.
Successful organizational transformation requires out-of-the-box thinking to deliver tangible and long-lasting impact. Our ParP model “repairs” an organization’s DNA in the same way as PARP, a protein in the human body - repairs errors in the human DNA structure. What is true in nature is also true for an organization.
Returning to the banana & tea plant analogy - the soil and climate of your organization, which is the “Place”, should feed your “People”. If you want your people to perform with their full potential and motivation, your structure, processes and practices should support them. True transformation only occurs when organizations ensure “People at Right Place” by aligning both “People & Place”. We truly believe that people who are released to unleash their full potential in the right place will transform organizations and our society as a whole!