It’s all about culture – guest blog by Chris Ricketts

How do I attract the best talent? How do I hang on to my best people? How do I grow a pipeline of talent to help scale my business?

Virtually all the Owners, MD’s and Directors of tech/digital SME’s I’ve met over the past year in Brighton & Hove have been asking themselves these questions….

When I spoke at Talent2017 I shared what I had learnt at eBay about how they attract, retain and develop top talent across their European platforms and classified businesses. One of my key learnings was that top tech talent essentially looks for a few key things:

  • A cool brand they’re proud to work for
  • A leadership team they believe in and trust to do the right thing
  • A talented manager who really invests in them
  • A talented team that stretches them to do their best work
  • A successful business where they feel they ‘fit’ and where they would like to build a career

One of the hardest and most important things to get right on that list is the fit because that’s all about your culture and the experience of working in your business.

For me culture is like trust – it takes real time and effort to develop but you can lose it all with one poor decision.

My experience at eBay and Telefonica Europe has taught me that there are no golden rules for growing a great company culture as every businesses history and context is unique but I believe there are some guiding principles for leadership teams:

  • Align around a compelling vision of the future business – with clear commercial targets/measures
  • Invest the time to agree what kind of culture you’ll need to deliver this
  • Agree what this means for you as leaders – how will you own it and live it
  • Plan what support your managers and teams will need to go on this journey
  • Develop a comms, engagement and implementation plan but bear in mind most cultural change programmes can take 3 years – yes 3 years!! – so you’re in it for the long haul..

A few leadership teams I’ve worked have initially shied away from culture because it can appear intangible and amorphous – it’s not. What it is – is a fundamental driver of your success, the key to attracting and retaining your best people and scaling your business.


Chris Ricketts will speak more on this topic at his Talent2018: Skills Summit talk, “It’s all about culture”, alongside one of his clients Rob Verheul, Managing Director of digital agency Graphite Digital. 

Talent2018: Skills Summit is a one-day conference on 6th June; bringing people together to explore how we can develop a sustainable talent pool that will benefit both individual organisations and the wider digital sector in Sussex. Find out more and grab your ticket here.

About the author

Chris Ricketts, Director of Turn10 Consulting

Chris set up Turn10 Consulting in 2017, a Brighton based talent and organisational development consultancy that works with leaders in the digital and tech sector. He was Director of Talent & Organisational Development for eBay’s businesses in EMEA and has 20 years’ experience in this field working both in-house and in consulting roles across a range of sector.

 

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