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HCI Webinar: Accessing the Unused Human Capacity in Your Organization, with Bob Borcherdt

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Bob Borcherdt about accessing the unused human capacity in your organization. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Quick Recap


Bob and Jonathan discussed the importance of utilizing human capacity within organizations, addressing issues such as burnout, confusion, and employee disengagement. They emphasized the need for clear and consistent communication, and the significance of personalized development for team members. They also shared their own experiences and perspectives on leadership, stressing the importance of authenticity, consistency, and one-on-one interactions.


Balancing Leadership, Practical Expertise, and Employee Development


Jonathan and Bob Orchard discussed the importance of internal motivation, practical expertise, and experimentation in leadership. They emphasized the need for a balanced approach between academic theory and practical experience, and highlighted the significance of understanding and respecting the unique elements of each business context. They also discussed the concept of human capacity, with Bob pointing out the untapped potential within organizations, and the importance of balancing employee fulfillment and business profitability. They agreed on the need to articulate the business case for investing in employee development and the challenges of ensuring employees are in suitable roles to avoid burnout.


Addressing Burnout, Confusion, and Disengagement


Bob and Jonathan discussed the issues of burnout, confusion, and employee disengagement within organizations. Bob emphasized that these problems stem from a lack of clarity and effective communication, as well as unmet expectations. He suggested that employee disengagement is a significant issue, costing businesses between $1 trillion and $1.9 trillion in lost productivity. Bob proposed a shift in focus, suggesting that instead of measuring employee engagement, leaders should be trained to effectively engage with their teams. This, they believe, is where development and fulfillment for both employees and leaders can occur.


Improving Communication for Organizational Success


Bob and Jonathan discussed the importance of consistent and transparent communication within an organization. Jonathan emphasized the need for leaders to adopt disciplined communication habits to ensure messages are conveyed effectively, especially to frontline workers. Bob agreed, pointing out the four primary communication styles and the potential for misunderstandings when only one style is used. They recognized the communication issue as a common source of confusion, disengagement, and other challenges in organizations.


Addressing Communication Breakdown and Misunderstandings


Jonathan and Bob discussed a communication breakdown that occurred between them, which led to a misunderstanding about their respective roles and expectations. They acknowledged that their initial assumptions and expectations had caused misinterpretations and conflict. The incident highlighted for them the importance of clear communication, understanding individual differences, and being mindful of how personal experiences shape one's interpretation of situations. Bob emphasized the need for leaders to regularly check in with their team members to keep abreast of changes in their needs, wants, and circumstances. Both agreed on the importance of being proactive in understanding and engaging with team members to avoid miscommunications and build more productive relationships.


Personalized Development for Leadership Growth


Bob emphasized that leaders should prioritize the personalized development of their team members, focusing on apprenticeship and one-on-one meetings. He advocated for a "development by design" approach that nurtures individual leadership potential rather than trying to fit employees into specific roles. Jonathan agreed with Bob's perspective, stressing the importance of fostering better leadership at all levels to unlock potential and improve performance. Both highlighted the need to integrate these concepts into the regular workflow.


Leadership, Trust, and Redefining Success


Jonathan and Bob discussed the importance of leadership and developing trust in relationships. Jonathan emphasized the need for authenticity and consistency in leadership. Bob shared ways to connect with his team and furthered the discussion by redefining success as doing what one was designed to do.


Listen to the webinar here:



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