In 2002, we met at a coffee shop as old friends who wanted to do something to help organisations get better at growing the leaders they need.
Both of us had worked for big corporates in management roles and noticed the same thing: Large organisations were struggling to deliver on the promise of their graduate and future leader schemes. They took on the best and brightest but something then went wrong. The tried and true tactics from the past of rotational graduate schemes developing leaders of the future simply weren’t effective anymore.
So this is where we decided to start, to create business that would deliver better graduate programmes.
And it worked. We had the opportunity to help graduates get closer to their true potential in Banks, Commodity brokers, Retailers, Law firms, Engineers, Utilities FMCG companies and Technology companies. But here was a problem. It didn’t matter how good a job we did at helping the graduates develop, if there was no strategy for Talent or a coherent end to end Talent system, it was in vain! It felt like, too often, we were pushing water up hill.
So after much thinking, and working with some great clients who allowed us to try out new things and expand our approach we came to the simple observation:
It is the system that is broken not the people. Talent needs to catch up with what is going on in the real world it if it is to be relevant going forwards and deliver on its promise of having the right people, with the right skills in the right roles.
It was time to for us to move beyond graduates and to engage with the real challenge of getting the end to end system to work. Time to help our clients see where the ways of thinking that worked 10 years ago are being challenged by changes in technology, expectations and career paths. Time to find solutions for the challenge that organisations can only grow if the people in them are growing too.
We called it, The Greenhouse project.