Corporate Disconnect

 A good friend of mine asked me the other day why I decided to go into business for myself, when we were talking about the business to business side of Coaching Combinations… It got me thinking as I have always been clear on why I wanted to work with individuals… It’s pretty simple, I have chosen to take the road less travelled for my whole life, always challenging the status quo.. This can make for quite a bit of heartache and frustration so if I can help others to be true to themselves with a bit of a plan rather than stumbling around as I used to , then this literally thrills me!

But the reason for the business to business part was less clear until I really thought about it. It wasn’t just because I had years of recruitment and HR experience so I could make good money consulting;  sure it was part of it but not the main motivator…..

The reason didn’t actually become a conscious and tangible aspect of the business set up process until I was in the middle of an interesting conversation with this friend who also happens to be an HR professional, and a very good one at that! He actually owns a firm called HR Wisdom, check it out

We were sitting down having an early Monday morning catch up…. I was feeling invigorated as I had just walked from home to meet with a company in the city and just happened to get there a lot faster than I had anticipated. I knew that my HR friend was not a morning person and so was most likely in the office starting slowly starting to familiarise himself with the meetings and work load he would have on for the coming week, he would potentially be free for a quick coffee… I was correct….

I was quite impressed with how on the ball he was for such an early start… I began explaining to him what I wanted to do with the business and being me, it was quite flowery and laborious and not very marketable in the current way I was explaining it to him.

He stopped me and asked me to pretend he was a client, why would he use my services, what was going to be in it for him? My brain suddenly turned into a sales tool and I began rattling off solutions to all the issues that I had encountered as a manager and an employee but from a business perspective.

I realised that my main motivation for starting Coaching Combinations from the business side was to become the connecting point between the organisation and the individuals who make that business what it is. In other words, to induce the people to work for the business as well as the business working for the people…. Let me explain further….

How many times do we start jobs and think, this is great, I can really make a difference here only to be quite disappointed and let down when the ideas we have are not heard, we work with people who don’t listen, get shut out of decisions we feel we should have a say in and are made to attend training that we feel is a complete waste of time? We have managers who don’t lead us, there is no buy in or comment sought for company direction and we basically feel quite frustrated and redundant, even when we have a job!

This is for you as individuals to ponder……

What about business owners and managers?

 How often do you employ someone with a feeling of satisfaction and excitement about what fantastic skills and experience they can bring to your team/organisation only to be left bitterly disappointed.  Perhaps they leave within 6-12 months of you having hired them so you can basically double the salary you have paid them in order to get a replacement or they are just not getting the results from their teams that you had anticipated and probably quite reasonably expected.

How often do you have people who want nothing more than to move up the ranks into management but when they are finally presented with an opportunity, they shy away from owning the job role they have so keenly sought and blame everyone else for not achieving KPI’s?

How much of your valuable time is wasted in sorting out team based issues, lack of communication between divisions, cultural awareness blunders or just plain gossiping?

I could go on and on with all the areas of disappointment that I have experienced as both a senior manager as well as a more junior member of staff in all organisations I have worked within,  but all I’m doing is simply making the point that there are frustrations on both sides of the fence but there are just so many things that can be done to change this situation.

People are people and we all have the same basic needs to avoid grief and sadness as we do in order to experience happiness. The key to success as people working together is to realise that we all see the world differently, not right or wrong, just differently. Those people who are the most flexible and take the time to learn just how their colleagues see the world are the ones who have the biggest opportunities to grow as individuals and to be the most successful financially.

I realised that the role I want to play in all of this was to assist organisations in recognising differences in their staff and to utilise these differences in order to maximise profits and results for their organisations.

In the movie Forrest Gump, Forrest says that “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”…… A box of chocolates generally contains a guide to the chocolate flavours on the underside of the lid… If not, you can always try it and find out…..Everyone will appreciate different flavours but they are all there and provide variety and satisfaction to the consumer.

Individuals are the same, the guide to know what’s going to allow you as managers to get the best out of your people and in turn maximise profits; is knowing what their motivation is, the way they like to learn as well as their communication preference. All people like recognition, but the way they want it to will depend on the above……I began this consulting practice to help businesses get it right so that they can enjoy the results!


  1. The enthusiasm shown by a new employee often dwindles away over time for a multitude of reasons. It could be a lack of guidance, a lack of opportunity or even a bad work ethic that starts the problem and ultimately makes the workplace an unfriendly and unproductive environment.
    The employee and managers are sometimes too close to the problem to realise what needs to be done.
    In these situations it will often take an external consultant to identify the issues and re-invigorate the workplace through motivating the managers and employees so that they all take ownership in the company and are working towards a common goal for both the good of the company and their own development.

    • Thanks Nick, it’s so true that we need to take a step back from time to time… I am sure the same could be said in people’s personal lives. We all need our own mediators from time to time :-)

  2. Hilton Hood says:

    Great piece Emma. Good luck with your new venture. I would imagine smart campanies out there would see the benefit in doing all they can to maximise their most important asset – their people!

    I work for a medium sized organisation in the community sector. We don’t have an HR section as it is deemed ‘not a priority’. We have a relatively low turnover of staff, but grumbles are always around… I reckon we could do with the sort of service you offer!

    • Hello there, I think many people, including myself over the years, have shared the frustrations of firms that ‘don’t see the need’ for HR. It can be very frustrating and appear to be a bit shortsighted. In fairness to these firms, I do think that companies also think that you have to either have HR as a full time or part time permanent resource or it will cost a fortune to get some help.. This is not the case at all but I think people will gain more and more awareness of the issues as time goes on


  3. I know from personal experience the great divide between what an employer and / or employee think they’re getting… and what they actually get. It’s hard for both parties to try and learn everything they need to know in order to make an informed decision during the often short interview process – which can lead to many issues down the track. Which is where I imagine a company such as yours would be essential to aid communication between the two parties, who are often by this stage disconnected, uninspired and disheartened. I think you’re going into this with a great concept of what is needed – good luck!

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