ISSUE October 2019| TOPIC personal versus digital

Dear readers,

The more digital our world becomes the more important the personal approach of specialized coaching for business and career development becomes.

Coaching is a relatively new discipline that is increasingly popular in different areas of our
lives. Many companies consider it as one of the most powerful ways to learn and develop.
It is a major support in the world of digital disruption where emerging digital technologies
and business models create new challenges for us.

With the current development working tools and communication are becoming more and
more digital. Technology is changing the world fast. If we want to be relevant we have to
upgrade ourselves just the way we upgrade the applications we use.

What does this mean for us as human beings? We have to constantly learn, unlearn, and
relearn despite our age and experience. Being able to continuously re-imagine and reinvent
your reality influences the way you interact with people around you, businesses you run,
customers you support.

Thus coaching is a powerful means to change, move fast and have impact on individual, team
and organizational level. People change by personal interaction. Coaching supports people
to rediscover themselves, re-imagine their reality, come up with strategies, be responsible to
achieve what they want and keep going.

Coaching is one of the best ways to adapt to the rapid changes, find a personal challenge in
the professional world and to engage for the results. Enjoy reading this newsletter.


Best regards,

Mark Richter
ACF Europe

MARK RICHTER - CEO at OTP, Switzerland, Board Member of ACF Europe and Member Swiss ACF Chapter - Dr. Mark Richter is managing director of the consulting firm OTP Organization & Training Partners AG and has been involved in outplacement for more than 25 years. With more than 60 consultants, OTP is active in outplacement in the areas of talent management, change management and restructuring. He is on the board of the ACF (Association of Swiss Outplacement Companies). OTP was founded as a consulting company for outplacement, newplacement, assessment, coaching and training. OTP is a Swiss HR consulting group with a team of more than 80 dedicated professionals and 9 locations in Switzerland. Global collaboration with the strong local partners of Career Partners International. Clients include listed companies as well as small and mid-size organizations from the finance, service and manufacturing industries and public institutions.
STAFFAN KURTÉN - Founding partner of HRM Partners Oy in Finland and co-chair of Arbora -Global Career Partners - At this stage of his career he concentrates on supporting managers and executives in the customer organisations of HRM Partners. Which involves mainly executive coaching combined with mentoring. Working with whole management groups has his focus as well. The most common themes are leadership, business management, change and self leadership. With management groups, it is often about developing the group to become an efficient team. His role in HRM Partners is divided into three areas: executive chairman, founding partner and entrepreneur. He has written four books relating to our work (2002-2015). The latest one, published November 2015, deals with downsizing and termination, and acts as a handbook for managers and HR professionals. In Finnish, the title is ”Kun joudut irtisanomaan”, publisher Talentum. Helsingin Sanomat called me ”Mr Outplacement in Finland” in an interview in 2005. Before establishing HRM Partners in 1993, Staffan Kurtén was managing director at DBM Outplacement Scandinavia Oy and before that he spent several years in recruitmentrelated positions. Staffan Kurtén holds a BSc from Hanken Business School and continues professional development and training in Finland and abroad – Certified Outplacement Counselor (USA 1994), Leading Professional Service Firms (Harvard Business School 2005) and Certified Coach by International Coaching Federation 2010 (ACC level). The text is based on long experience in outplacement, career- and leadership development, maybe to some extent with a Nordic bias. Is more about white-collar work and business than blue collar.

The changing world of work

The traditional way of working and the way people traditionally value their work, combined with their work-life is fundamentally changing.
Position, role or money are not enough anymore to attract and retain competent talents. People are looking for purpose and meaning in both
their work and individual career paths – a personally fulfilling work-life. This means new challenges and opportunities also for our industry – the people business.

Work breaks away from time, place and contracts. The pace in work and life in general is not only accelerating but also crossing borders leading to more international cooperation and global teamwork. We work and communicate more and more over the Internet and e-mail. Long established, fixed working hours are blurred, and so are work and leisure boundaries. Companies are looking for new agile organizational structures, networks and platforms, or organize themselves around projects and productions. Start-ups and SMI´s are working in clusters, companies are bought and sold or organized in ecosystems and networks. Human creativity and service is combined with robots, process automation and AI. Entrepreneurship mindsets are in demand and people are seeing their careers more as portfolios and a journey, not so much as paths with determined goals.

How do we in our own businesses (people and change, (ACF)) adapt to these fundamental changes? In Finland we changed our strategy some three years ago and put more effort on service design among other things.

New capabilities and skills needed
In addition to securing strategic capabilities of the company, also organizational renewal and change capabilities are emphasized. An agile or even experimental culture is needed, organizational and individual speed of learning is crucial. All individual knowledge, competence and potential must be utilized within an organization. This means that everyone is (or should be) an important talent for the company in his or her own way.

What knowledge or competencies do we recruit or buy to up-grade the capabilities and professional services in our firms?

We recruited strategic capabilities and next generation Talent Management knowhow from the academic world.
Leadership reforms Culture and values, purpose of the company, sustainable business and meaningful work on an individual level are starting points when planning for leadership development and upgrade. Hierarchies are reduced, management is partly automated, and coaching as a leadership style will dominate. People need to be more self-directed and self-going. Leadership is already seen as a service from an individual point-of view and supported by technical solutions (LaaS – leadership as a service).

So, how do we lead and manage our own organizations? Is our leadership good and modern enough to serve as an example for our customers and clients? We skipped hierarchies and went for a flat organization with a high degree of self-leadership and self-management authority. We make sure that we practice what we preach. The final breakthrough of self-leadership. A good knowledge and understanding of oneself, own visions and goals, realistic ambition level, strengths and weaknesses, drivers, values, physical and mental well-being – ultimately to find harmony in work as well as personal life. Not to mention the more self-management aspects like planning and organizing own work and work load, use of time
and energy, building and nurturing networks, and securing ongoing learning and development.

Are we ready to really “let go” as managers and business owners? Delegate authority and decision-making power and let our people shine? Our people call our organization a “Tribe”. Is the outplacement-business vanishing? Recruiting, developing, retaining, leading and exit are and will remain central focus areas in every company when it comes to people. Companies are, after all, still made up of people to the most part. If we do not adapt and develop our businesses and our service offerings to meet the customer (HR and C-level) and client expectations in this new changing world of work, we will probably run into a serious business challenge. On the other hand, if we do, we can generate a lot of opportunities for new business.
Outplacement will not disappear. It will only change its shape.

Building a resilient organisation

In an ever-connected, high demand and increasingly turbulent world, building employee resilience and safeguarding their well-being is a
significant business priority, and if it’s not, it should be. However, how to do this successfully is a question that is very much front of mind for many HR Leaders. INTOO recently hosted an event in the UK around Health and Wellbeing and we were delighted to have a group of senior HR professionals share their views.

Employee resilience and well-being

The benefits of a resilient workforce have been discussed in great detail with employees who demonstrate high levels of resilience often having a greater ability to adapt to change with ease, quickly bounce back after stressful situations, have a greater sense of control and focus on positive outcomes as opposed to negative ones. Key traits any employer would want in an employee, however they are now more important than ever given the ever-changing nature of business and ongoing organisational uncertainty.

But it’s not just linked to coping with uncertainty, investing in resilience and well-being can also have a direct impact on an organisations ability to attract and retain top talent. This is particularly true of younger generations who place greater importance on work-life balance, CSR, career breaks and employee support, and will often look to websites such as Glassdoor to read first-hand what other employees had to say about their experience.

Initiatives to promote employee resilience and well-being.

During our recent event, attendees discussed the many initiatives they had put in place within their organisation to improve the resilience and well-being of employees, from mental health first aiders, to sleep experts, to breakout areas and healthy snacks, as well as introducing work-life balance programmes such as working from home or taking sabbaticals. All great initiatives on the surface, however attendees were in agreement that in order to ensure the success of these initiatives there must be a culture of resilience and well-being embedded in the workplace and that it must be championed by leaders throughout the business.

One HR Director in attendance explained how feedback from employees regarding weekend emails had led to a new well-being initiative within their organisation, encouraging employees to switch off during weekends and holidays by only sending emails during the week and not taking their phones on holiday. Others detailed how their organisation had developed a culture of complete flexibility to suit all employees, with less focus on being present from 9-5, instead focusing on outputs and achieving results.

The importance of organisational culture on well-being
When developing resilience and well-being in the workplace it’s important to promote the correct initiatives, however if the culture of the organisation does not fully support these initiatives and employees still feel over-worked and undervalued then workplace stress will continue to be an issue. Before putting any resilience and well-being initiative in place it is important to review your current organisational culture in the context of whether it promotes or negatively affects well-being.

To begin ask yourself these key questions:
• Organisation – Does it promote a culture of health, well-being and work-life balance?
• Leaders and Managers – Are they able to identify, address and support issues employees raise regarding stress and work overload?
• Employees – How are they managing their own well-being and resilience and what more can be done?

Generally, the consensus throughout the event was that we are currently seeing a culture shift in the world of work, with people demanding flexibility and expecting a better, more flexible work-life balance, which organisations will need to provide to build resilience and safeguard well being. Initiatives such as mental health first-aiders and yoga lessons are all good, however organisations need to have the right culture in place to support this, one that is championed by all leaders throughout the business and where employees feel empowered to challenge any behaviors that negatively affect well-being.

Contact to request a copy of our Resilience and Well-being infographic.

Owen Morgan
OWEN MORGAN - Managing Director for Intoo UK & Ireland. His key focus is to ensure all the organisation functions run smoothly and efficiently. He also has ultimate responsibility for ensuring that Intoo’s portfolio of services reflect current and future market needs, and are continually delivered to the highest standards. Having worked in the HR space for over 15 years, Owen understands the challenges organisations face with regards to their talent. A natural people developer, he firmly believes that supporting people to realise their full potential is the key to long-term business success. Owen started his career in the Oil & Gas sector with Petrofina SA, before moving to Total where he held a number of management positions encompassing: Logistics, Retail Management, Aviation Sales and Refinery Operations. In 2001 he joined Penna plc, contributing to its growth through his appointment to a number of senior management roles, including Director of Penna plc. Owen holds a BSC Hons in Geography, an MBA and is an NLP practioner.


– July 10. Schiphol, the Netherlands –

Every month the ACF board meets via conference calls. Twice a year (summer and winter) a one-day meeting is always scheduled in which the board to discuss more detailed strategy and other developments. July 10., just before the start of the summer vacations, the ACF summer board meeting took take place in the Netherlands, Schiphol. Topics on the agenda included the updating of the ACF bylaws and quality criteria, ACF marketing and promotion activities and developments in the various markets. A more detailed report of theresults of this meeting will be available in the next newsletter.