Business is not natural! No wonder we have so many staff issues By Robyn Moyle

It never surprises me when people outline their current staffing issues:

  • Staff retention
  • Lack of clarity
  • Struggling with implementation plans
  • Lack of accountability and responsibility
  • Poor business culture
  • Poor employee communications

Businesses must understand that the concept of ‘Business’ and ‘boss and subordinates’ is not a natural occurrence, instead it is an invention, and it ‘works’ to varying degrees depending on how businesses understand this fact.

In my workshops, I undertake what I call the “BBQ Experiment” where I split the group into two and in the first I have a small group of say 5 people and I ask them to work together to organise a BBQ for a friend.  The other usually larger group; let’s say 10, I assign a leadership team of two and they go off and ‘plan’ the BBQ, they then come back and assign jobs to the others in their team.

It’s always one of those Ah-Ha moments when people actually see the implications of organising a BBQ in the same manner as many people run their businesses.

The small group enjoy the very natural process of gathering ideas, volunteering for jobs and tasks, and in every instance a leader emerges; this occurs because they have natural leadership abilities and there is merit in what they are saying and the group is happy to follow … i.e. the leader is ‘elected’ by the group and should he/she begin to not demonstrate merit, a new leader emerges.

The small group’s BBQ plan sounds logical, every circumstance has been addressed, and the whole team is happy with the result and were very happy to contribute.

On the other hand the team that were operating like many businesses … well they were not happy with the jobs they were given, there were discussions between some about how they were not happy (but not with the appointed leaders!).  Many, if not most, of the key components were not addressed and the whole process felt uncomfortable for all concerned and no-one felt connected to the project at all – leaders or followers!

Some would argue that the larger group could not operate in the natural consultative way that the smaller group did, and to this I say rubbish!  That is an excuse that businesses have been using for far too long.

When businesses learn natural human desires and behaviours and learn to make that work for them, not against them, then and only then, will business Transform and we begin to humanise business.

Robyn Moyle

Robyn has had 20+ years experience in Corporate HR and has developed an understanding of what works and what doesn’t in inspiring people to achieve the highest performance and contribution.  If you would like to learn more about increased performance, inspiration, and engagement, contact Robyn at, give her a call on 0402 232 946, or visit her facebook page or website

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