Incorporating: Eloquence Languages and Translations

How to stimulate and successfully manage diversity and create value for your company?

Judy with Sophie de Lorenzo of the IUM office of career services & corporate relations at the MCD two day event on 15 and 16 April at the Hotel Novotel in Monaco.The event was a combination of conference, employer branding, networking spaces, HR workshops and panel discussions, giving IUM MBA students the opportunity to meet with potential employers and experts in their fields. Judy acted as an assessor in the Finance Focus Group Interactive Assessment Workshop, a four step simulation game where teams needed to perform four related tasks and present the final outcome in front of the other participants and assessors. Said Judy: "The Monaco career days is not only a fantastic initiative but also a very definite need. In the current war of "talent", companies are re-thinking their definition of "talent", enlarging the concept to middle managers and staff members. They are questioning the approach focused on the "high Po" (high potential) and redefining the criteria of performance and company expectations." Over the two days much discussion took place and new ground was broken with both MBA students and HR managers rewriting the rule book. Sessions were held on new approaches to Rewarding Performances, Aligning HR Strategy with Diversity , Talent Diversity in Luxury, Keys for successful integration of foreign workers, alongside hands-on workshops where theory was put into practice. 


The corporate conclusions to be drawn from the two days were mind blowing to say the least. The message to both employers and employees is: wake up and smell the "new brand" of coffee or perish. Change your spectacles or at least clean your old ones and see the business world through "new" eyes and these are not just metaphors. In the Ferragamo employer branding session we learned the importance of:

  • Communication : towards a unified and compassionate workplace culture
  • Anticipatory Talent Sourcing
  • Training staff in building rapport (Trust being at the crux of business mantras)
  • Buying/developing talent to place key people in key roles
  • Changing leadership behaviours (need to stimulate intellect, inspire, allow participative decision making)
  • Changing face of expectations and rewards

From the ING group we heard the clear message about the need to develop people in a climate where  big compensation packages are no longer allowed. Key points were:

  • cross feedback used throughout company
  • 98% employees appraised
  • Objectives setting at 95%
  • Training to help people manage change
  • Searching organisation for talent -culture is changing : need for in-house preparation and training

Changing Assessment criteria :

  • Assessing emotional maturity
  • Eagerness to learn
  • Breakthrough thinking
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Achievement in all areas
  • Leadership

Therefore selling your skills and  being coached or trained to do this to be able to fit the new criteria will be essential. Due to the current financial crisis companies are taking risks on different profiles regardless of age, nationality or qualifications. ING are looking for managers who will act as catalysts and bring change to the organisation. Whereas previously in France they were recruiting managers with predominantly French profiles, they are now taking on people from a wider international network.  Diversity is another current selection criteria factor. Banking is historically a male environment but is now requiring a higher representation of women to reflect their changing customer profile which is becoming increasingly populated by the young professional female.

The age of the communicator has dawned. 

Roberto Boscia from Orange Business Services emphasised the need for managers to know their staff well, to concentrate on building rapport to be able to understand their career development needs. The unexplored opportunity is 'attitude'. How do you measure and manage it? What are Orange looking for?

  • People who can define their motivators: Dreams/Values
  • Accountability (What are the first three things you think about when you get up in the morning? Do you really want to do this job?)
  • Looking for people who are passionate about their profession
  • Managers need ability to see the invisible and achieve the impossible
  • Setting no limits and working hard are key assets sought

All opinion polls seem to come to the same conclusion that the number one motivator is  receiving " FULL APPRECIATION OF JOB DONE"

When as in the case of Roberto you are managing people in 32 different countries you need the ability to think fast and evaluate different points of view both from a cultural and legal stand point and then MANAGE this.


From Ken Cogger from CISCO we heard that a great emphasis was placed on Language - adapting and speaking the language of the customer particularly in Asia.

On the Asian continent companies are looking for managers with hybrid talent. They need to be able to work both in performance driven environments while operating in a seniority based system such as Japan. There is a premium for English language ability when companies are searching talent pools. In Japan widespread use of interpreters is favoured for those who are good at what they do but don't speak the language and there is also a move to localise expertise through training to avoid having to import specialists. Ken emphasised the need to prepare people to understand what others do and how they do it.

From Nestlé Jonathan Rennotte reminded us that Nestlé grew through acquisition and has become an amalgamation of very diverse cultures. It is an old company with many assumptions that need to be challenged. How do you stimulate a solid and reliable environment. Are you seen as forward thinking or just reinventing the wheel? 

Today Nestlé sees implementation of a proactive process to help people make quantum leaps in their careers  as crucial to helping the company constantly update its thinking. Today everyone in the company is seen as talent and managers must draw this out. Once again we are reminded that people don't leave companies they leave managers.

Managers should be able to assess people across a spectrum: Where are they and what do we need to do to move them to a better place? Case studies show that it can be as simple as that. If you have the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time then fix it and make it right or risk losing talent that could be very productive in another area.

Keep challenging rules and assumptions - move upwards and onwards. The traditional paternalistic attitude has to change if  we want to have an energised working population. Emphasis is on taking the initiative. Leverage yourself. Train yourself. Don't wait for others to do it. Think out of the box! Attitude will make the difference and give you the competitive edge.

From StepStone we were reminded:

Never stop learning - try to learn something new everyday


On the subject of rewards Roberto Boscia of Orange Business Services stresses the need for managers to be educated in the fact that rewards should be:

  • Fair
  • Relevant
  • Motivating
  • Adjusted to market

Gallup poll reveal that the top three motivators are:

  • Being fully appreciated for a good job done
  • Feeling"in" on things
  • Having a manager with a sympathetic understanding of personal problems

I would however slightly challenge this poll in that it appears to favour Anglo-Saxon motivators. In other cultures such as France where people come from an error avoidance culture, positive feedback may be viewed with suspicion at best but most probably disbelief or insincerity. This culture has negative feedback at its grass roots. Job security or proximity to the workplace, training or a generous holiday allowance may be far greater motivators.

Final words...

The message was clear from these two days that new international management is advocating an inclusion policy with diversity at its heart not so much for the politically correct mix of sex and colour but more for the potential of having a melting pot of different points of view. Asikki Walker from Cisco reminded us, disengagement comes more from the micro inequities rather than from the larger issues. When people feel their point of view has been excluded, they give up. StepStone reminded us that HR strategy should align itself with diversity.

The final word must be that wherever you are working and whatever you are doing never stop learning or being trained. Learn the language-learn the culture. LEARN LEARN LEARN! You are a new breed of manager! in the Finance focus assessment workshop