Fabrice tells it like it is. And this straight-talking coupled with a deep caring for people makes him the expert he is. Leaders need to hear the uncomfortable truth and people need a champion who understands their fundamental human needs at work. As Fabrice tells us, in this incredibly volatile and uncertain world businesses are operating in, the methodologies and ways of working of the last century just don't cut it anymore.
I particularly appreciated our conversation, because on the one hand it is getting harder and harder to impart advice on employees who work in IT enabled office environments, for the majority of whom flexible working is becoming the norm, and it is absolutely vital we also consider the work experience of people on the shop-floors. Secondly, as Fabrice is passionately driven by the belief of creating human-centred organisations, the points he gets across are the hard truths and inspiration we need to transform not just individual organisations, but the entire employment landscape.
Venturing deeper and deeper into understanding how to craft and transform organisations, one of the aspects that continuously comes up as one of the bottlenecks is Leadership, and as Fabrice imparts, in particularly the inability of senior leadership and middle management to unlearn old ways of working. Having been educated in a particular system, and rising through the ranks of Leadership in top-down or pyramid structure type organisations, their developed leadership style is that of control and micro-management. However, this no longer fits the purpose. So unless Leaders can unlearn these management behaviours and become facilitators of decision making processes, enablers of creative problem solving and empowering the hearts and brains of the people employed at their organisations - no major change can happen.
Content vs. Packaging
With the abundance of HR service providers, from massage to fruit-bowls, yoga and mindfulness, people managers have a lot to chose from to improve the working environment and experience for workers and employees. But as we dive further into the topic, we agree that a lot of this is just window dressing, in particular if the structure or system is a rather toxic one.
So what are the two things organisations need to get right, if they want to engage all the talent and passion that is already inside their organisation?
1. the direct attention and care people receive from their direct manager, who respects them and really listens to their needs, ideas to align their work to the organisational objectives
2. the sense that people feel they have the ability to change, or influence the change to their direct work environment, so that they can have the opportunity to change or improve a boring job by making it more interesting and challenging.
Organisations that can strike the balance between getting people engaged in improving their day-to-day work, and ensuring their leaders are there for them with humility to enable them to bring the best of themselves to work will win long-term.
Fabrice Le Garrec is a senior executive and people leader with 20 years experience in product development and manufacturing transformations, he is supporting COOs and CEOs embarked in large turnaround challenges. He is also a recognized lean management expert and brings a unique experience of cultural transformation, quality improvements and cost cutting programmes with proven successes in many industries and in large complex corporations.