Blog Hiring How-To Inclusion & Diversity Recruiting Thought Leadership

Rough Seas Ahead

Do you need an HR or Marketing Octopus or Shark for Year End? 

Fewer resources. Less stress. Those two variables don’t usually go together. 

The business year-end and looming holiday season have us thinking about how to stress less and get creative by hitting our goals without frustration or exhaustion. It is possible, as you will see in a moment. 

The tricky thing about HR is it doesn’t stay static. H is for human, after all. 

On top of that, not all HR (or “People Operations”) needs are created equal. Sometimes you need talent with shark-like laser focus…cue Jaws music in your head!

Sometimes you need a person who can dodge, weave and juggle like an octopus. 

When times are good, it’s easier to hire the HR shark to zero in on comp, performance management, and other tasks that need focused expertise. 

In today’s economic uncertainty, companies may need to consider an octopus-like generalist approach to get through year-end without added stress. 

The added bonus is that going with a generalist over a shark doesn’t have to be a trade-off in terms of value.

David Epstein, author of Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, challenges the conventional wisdom that specialization is the best path to success. It turns out that the generalists’ varied experiences lead to valuable expertise in being flexible, rather than only getting better at a narrow range of skills associated with traditional practice. 

Here is an example of the octopus approach in action.

The Chief People Officer in one of our favorite biotech clients had an organization of specialized leaders. When several of the key players exited, the CPO reached out to Forshay for help. Instead of replacing the team of specialists,  we offered a multi-talented generalist expert (can those two words go together? We think so!) who could support a business unit AND oversee HR functions. As a generalist with strong coaching acumen, she hit the ground running and solved multiple HR issues. Now, she’s part of the succession plan and a highly valued member of the leadership team.

So if you need to augment your team to reach the 2022 finish line, we are here for you. 

Whether you need a shark’s intensity or an octopus’ broad range, we have consultants who can help you navigate today’s dicey waters (yes, we’re sweet on this metaphor).  

The right solution will take some creative thinking. Every situation has a different solution because each context is different. That is why we take a broad view of creativity at Forshay. Which leads us to the broader question – how can we maximize creativity in today’s evolving teams?

Foundations for Maximizing Creativity in Remote, Hybrid & In-Person Teams

Ask 100 people about the future of work and you will likely get 100 different opinions. In talking with experts, Sally worked with Stanford on Redesigning, Redefining Work, (and it expanded across business leaders and academia over the last 10 years), about maximizing creativity in teams, and she found a wide variance. 

So we distilled the swirling questions around the future of work into one central question:

What will remain true and important in the future of *team* work?

Sally’s findings illuminate the fact that where work gets done is not as important as the intangible threads that make up how teams do their best work. She sees it as a future of teamwork DNA – an interconnected strand that combines essential elements of creativity, well-being, DEI and belonging, and shared stories via ongoing learning.

The elements are fluid, and if team leaders pay attention to those strands, incredible work can flow from any new “where we work” situation.

Sally presented the future of teamwork DNA and more in her keynote talk at the Running Remote Conference in Montreal. She talked about the four strands above:

  • Creativity is essential for all knowledge professionals
  • Well-being is our “oxygen mask first” that allows us to do our highest thinking
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging create the conditions for the best outcomes as a team  through optimal contribution by all voices
  • Learning and a growth mindset keep us on the edge, inspire our brains, and allow teams to not slip into resting on old ideas 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting a series of blogs and videos based on this talk which focuses on the science of how we do our best work, as well as the questions that will keep us adaptable in the future.

Let’s start with the first concept –  creativity is key.

Creativity is Key for Team Performance (Especially in Hybrid & Remote Collaborations)

Creativity is key and the key is to get creative in how we think about creativity! (Deep breath here…). Team creativity is not about limiting creative thinking to “traditional” creatives, such as designers or artists, although they certainly spark a lot of creativity.

Think about *your* creativity – where do you generate and recognize novel ideas, alternatives, and possibilities? 

At Forshay, we use Balloon (@Balloonplatform) to get team ideas without the range of biases that show up without a little help from technology (also we find it saves time – and full disclosure, Sally is an Advisor to Balloon). 

Here is another example from our team @Forshay. Our company didn’t start as an executive search firm. Our client, Pixar, saw the benefits of how we innovated on the traditional recruiting process with our interim experts (and we always had a diverse slate), and they suggested we expand our scope of services to do both interim & Executive Search. Novel, creative ideas can come from inside or outside when we’re intentional about cultivating it in our cultures (and Pixar is pretty creative…).

Moving Ahead 

Nurturing your creativity, as well as your team’s creativity is essential for peak performance in work, and can feel especially challenging in changing work dynamics such as hybrid or remote. If you’re interested in maximizing creativity on your team, we’ve got your back. Ping us to help you complete key projects by year-end!

Prefer to watch? Here is the video on Creativity is Key from Running Remote