Would Hockney Paint Your Shed?

If, by some fabulously lucky turn of events, David Hockney fetched up on your doorstep and offered to paint you a picture, would you say “no, ta, but the shed needs a lick of taupe, so off you go, son”? I thought not. So why do so many organisations do just that with their people? There is a richness of talent out there sitting in offices being dimmed by the indifference of the organisation, shrinking from the sides of their role for want of a bit of watering. Walk through any organisation and you will see wilting branches, and execs wondering out loud why their workforce is not more motivated. Those same execs may well spend a fortune on motivational exercises or exec training in “Motivation and Modern Man” or some equally painful title, and still wonder why the workforce slips sideways in its chair.

Well, to be blunt, it’s you.

Those wilting shrinking violets will thrive on a conversation, good use of their talents acknowledged and rewarded, and good, solid, old fashioned engagement. You remember, before we all had to grab the latest buzzwords and trends, when we talked to people, took an interest in them as individuals, noticed their talents and enabled them to achieve.

There is little doubt that Hockney, if faced with the blundering disempowerment of having to paint your shed a nice shade of taupe, would find a way to creatively subvert that and create something better. Your teams are probably doing the same in their own way and within the limits you have imposed on them. Free them from those shackles of under-estimation and your own fear of being exposed as having areas of weakness and let them paint their masterpieces and practice their etchings. Nurture and release them and they will come back to you with riches and rewards, smiles and friendship, and a genuine gratitude that no money could ever buy.

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