In Full Flight

Over the weekend, while I was enjoying the sunshine and cool seasonal breezes we've been getting, relieved that the heavy rains had stopped – a petit careme that would bring some more relief to the flood victims across the islands – I looked up and noticed an impressive flock of birds. They flew together in unison, dipped and then made a sudden change in a new direction. It made me think of those hypnotically beautiful Starling murmurations. A flock of hundreds or sometimes thousands of birds flying together in an ever-changing pattern of dips and turns.

No one quite understands the physics of the murmuration, but it has been likened to crystals forming into sudden avalanches or metals becoming magnetised – of being on the edge of change and transition, a phase transition. This well choreographed, unified movement, where each bird seems connected almost instinctively to the movement of its neighbour, results in a choreographed movement of the entire organism. The movement is so fast that scientists, like Wayne Potts, describe the phenomenon, less as one of connection and more of anticipation. The sudden change in the direction of the flock, has been likened to a well-manoeuvred wave, that rises slowly and then as it begins to crest, picks-up speed, almost exponentially. The result is breath-taking.

It is perhaps this ability to change direction in unison, while remaining connected to the whole, as well as the ability to take an active role in the process, that I find so intriguing. Not unlike the initiatives in our field of Human Resource Management where we need to stay in tune with our neighbours and colleagues, anticipate their needs according to changes in our community and the socio-economic climate around us, and learn to adapt quickly and effectively so that the entire organisation benefits.

Similarly, our Republic Bank logo is also based on navigation and unification; the coming together to bring about change, the interlocking arrows. As an internationally recognised financial institution that spans many regions, cultures and political landscapes, embracing and managing change has been our greatest asset. We have seen opportunities at home, in the Caribbean and further abroad as far as Africa and been able to retain our core values of customer focus, integrity, professionalism, results orientation and respect for the individual, while serving the various communities which we serve. It's an on-going challenge, but one we embrace fully.

It's no secret that our strength is our people: innovative, determined, talented and focused. Our continued success depends on our ability to understand our intricacies, strengths and talents; we must work together, share information and expertise throughout the Group.

In HR we are committed to gaining key information on the needs of our team members, ensuring that we understand and document these issues, consult with all relevant stakeholders and then draft effective policies and procedures that are not only dynamic, but well-suited, relevant and timely.

So, tell me, what are your needs? Which direction do you want your organisation to take in the new year? What's your contribution to making this a reality? I’d love to hear from you about your path forward.

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