Category Archives: David Hockney

Why you might be losing your Hockneys

If you suspect you are one of those who are inviting your Hockneys to paint your shed (see last blog!) this may help to explain.

An Institute of Leadership & Management document dropping out of some interesting research says:

“There are few other occupational areas where it would be considered normal to appoint someone to a role without any training before or immediately afterwards. The research suggests that the majority of managers receive no training before or immediately after their appointment, causing a skills gap as applicants step up to first line manager level. The research identified three key skills that were desired at all levels of management – communication, people management, and organisation and planning. Developing these skills in all employees will prepare them for management and assist them in their day-to-day work. It will improve communication with colleagues and management, help them manage suppliers and contractors, and help them organise their own workload”.

The bold highlights are mine

Source –

of respondents say low levels of management skills are impacting on their business

of employers cite lack of internal staff capability as the biggest barrier to an effective management pipeline

of employers have a plan in place to ensure a pool of future leaders and managers

of UK employers expect managers to have received any management training prior to appointment

I don’t think I need to add anything……………………


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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