Women! Like men, only cheaper

gender pay gap 3People who are passionate about their work come up with new ideas. Research shows they also stay longer in a business – and work harder. But a passionate, engaged workforce only happens in an organisational culture that’s fair.

For this reason, alarm bells should be ringing in board rooms across the country.

Latest figures show women in the UK earn a whopping 19% less than men. Up to the age of 40, there’s little difference between pay packets. But beyond 40, when more women are likely to have taken time out to raise families and work part-time, there is a very big gap. In skills-based roles men enjoy a pay premium of nearly 25%.

That’s huge. And this embarrassing skeleton may well soon be kicked out of the closet and into the glaring sunlight.

The British government intends to bring in regulations in the first half of this year to force larger employers to publish the amount awarded to men and women in bonuses. They’ll also have to come clean about the difference between average pay.

If successful, this is going to cause a lot of red faces.

What many female executives long suspected will be demonstrated very clearly indeed. I’m guessing, when they find out, whatever passion they had for their business will be severely dampened.

Treating half of your employees worse than the other half just isn’t fair. And, with this new level of transparency, companies will no longer be able to hide it away like a guilty secret.  If any business wants to retain the vital edge an engaged workforce offers, they need to act now.

It’s time to clean out the closet.

If you like this try my bookThe Spark: How to Ignite and Lead Business Creativity’ (FT Publishing)  available on Amazon

Copyright © 2016 Greg Orme. All Rights Reserved.

Don’t be like Donald, it doesn’t work

Republican presidential candidate Trump gestures and declares "You're fired!" at a rally in ManchesterWhy copying Mr Trump kills innovation

The US presidential campaign has catapulted Donald Trump to global significance. The world now holds its breath to see if he can win the Republican nomination.

Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure.

Trump has become the undisputed poster boy for directive leadership. “Follow me, without question, and I will crush your enemies” is the key message. Donald needs you to believe he knows where he’s going.

If Trump’s style feels like a throw-back to another era, it’s because it is. My 10-step model for business creativity in The Spark, based on insights from the world’s most innovative organisations, shows his approach is old-fashioned and unfit for purpose.

Nobody knows it all

The business world is changing at dizzying speed. To win, you have to be more nimble than the competition. Innovation requires that you engage the innate creativity of staff. This is where Trump’s know-it-all leadership style fails miserably.

In a world of accelerating change nobody knows it all. The days when the leader came up with all the ideas and then handed them down on tablets of stone is ancient history. If your people are waiting for you to come up with the solution, I guarantee innovation will grind to a halt. Directive leadership might gain some traction in a carrot-and-stick world of external motivation – but it doesn’t inspire people’s inner motivation where new ideas happen.

Innovative leaders facilitate a culture and process in which other people are heard and supported. Ed Catmull, the CEO of the animation studio Pixar, talks of a “town hall” culture in which anyone feels secure enough to raise their hand and challenge the status quo.

Being an innovative leader is:

Not about telling, it’s about listening.

Not about ordering, but enabling.

Not about “me”, but about “you”.

Trump’s style might work in the fiefdom of his self-aggrandizing business. It might sadly even win through in America’s febrile political mood. But transplanted into a modern global business it’s a liability.

If you want to win in the modern business world, don’t be like Donald.

Not just because he’s a ludicrous bully. Don’t do it because it doesn’t work.

If you like this try my bookThe Spark: How to Ignite and Lead Business Creativity’ (FT Publishing)  available on Amazon

Copyright © 2016 Greg Orme All Rights Reserved