We are in a situation where the world chances significantly. But organisations are not adapting that fast. “One reason is that we have the amazing ability to make things more complicated than they really need to be”, says Chris Roebuck, Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership at Cass Business School in London. He has held senior roles at UBS, HSBC and KPMG, has served in the British Army, and is one of the top Human Resources (HR) thinkers in Europe. He is the author of the Lead to Succeed: The Only Leadership Book You Need, and a sought after advisor and the developer of “Mach 2 leadership” – “twice the speed of sound, going to the limits of what’s possible”.

We talked to Chris Roebuck ahead of his keynote speech on “Mach 2 leadership” at the HRM Expo in Cologne, on the 16th September

As soon as you start listening to Chris Roebuck, he has your full attention, and gets his points across in a very simple, yet incredibly compelling way. One of his points is exactly about this: why do we make things overly and unnecessarily complicated in organisations? Organisations are no longer run by the Board, but by the complicated management systems and processes they put in place. It becomes an exercise in self-frustration, the chances of anybody doing the actual work they are supposed to be doing are reduced.

Experiences at the British Army

Based on his experiences at the British Army, he draws inspiration from some of the key principles in the military: any additional step you introduce in the process, which is not necessary, enhances the risk of it not working. When I ask him about the role he sees for HR, he illustrates his point by talking about the military in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan and that we never see a person in the first line of fire running next to the soldiers with “HR” written on their backs, and that’s because the leadership in the Army is fully equipped with the key skills to inspire and lead the team, take decisions and organise combat.

In most of the organisations however, there are these critical skills shortages at line-managers’ level of time-management, delegation and prioritisation, and thus HR is constantly picking up the pieces of disasters that have occurred at operational level, so HR is distracted from what it is supposed to be doing.

This is just the way we do things

Organisations will reach their full potential, if its employees are inspired and want to give their best performance to the company. Data on engagement shows, if you get it right, you could get 30 percent more effort from 60 percent of people, but organisations are not doing anything about this. And not only that, since the crisis many of the organisations have reduced their headcount, and less people are performing the same amount, or even more work, so people are overworked.

These are far from the ideal conditions, which we know would drive performance, yet most of the companies are stuck, because “this is just the way we do things”.

In his presentation, Chris Roebuck will share with you his powerful Mach 1 and Mach 2 method for leadership, and what are the steps necessary to achieve higher performance in organisations.

So to end our conversation, I ask Chris his advice to CEOs and leaders to make a difference in the lives of their people and the organisation. His advice: “Show you care and give people a compelling vision of the future that you can work towards to together.”

This is where you can reach Chris Roebuck: http://www.chrisroebuck.co/
Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Chris__Roebuck
Meet him in Cologne at the HRM Expo! 16 September 2015, 2:30 pm, Forum 1 | Keynote Forum – Hall 2.1