A conversation with #rmia2016 speaker Rick Gilmore

This week we caught up with Rick Gilmore, Founder Good Company Coaching, who spoke with us about why personal reputational risk management is the core career challenge of our time. Rick will be a speaker on day three of the RMIA National Conference.

 Q: Your presentation is called: “Reputational Risk Never Sleeps: How to Stay Relevant, Avoid Reputational Risk and Realise Your Potential”. It focuses on something most of us can relate to, something not just dear to our hearts and minds but our hip pockets as well. Are you able to tell us why remaining relevant is so important these days? 

A: Well I’d say it’s not just important, it’s absolutely critical. 

Because you see, reputation is everything. It always has been and always will be. 

It’s just that the pressure to remain relevant is much more intense and less forgiving now than ever before. 

Just as many companies and industries are struggling with high profile socio-political pressures to improve their reputation, regulatory position and commercial advantage, so too are many individuals facing the same reputational and relevance risks. 

Long gone are the days of working for a company for life. That’s not the way of the world anymore, and certainly not the way of the work world. In today’s competitive job market, career building tends not to be a team sport – it’s almost certain that at some point you’ll need to re position yourself professionally. 

The fact of the matter is, many of us are grappling with the growing gap between the rapid rate of change and our ability to remain relevant. 

It’s fair to say that while some professionals are thriving, some are feeling confused and frustrated and others even devalued & diminished. And that’s why in the face of all this uncertainty & ambiguity, staying relevant, avoiding reputational risk and realising your potential, are critical contemporary career questions.

So, given that reality, I think most risk professionals would understand why it’s so critical to assess their current degree of reputational risk tolerance and relevance readiness. But understanding why it’s so important to remain relevant is one thing, what to do about it is another matter altogether. How to do that is what I will be talking about at the RMIA Conference.

Q: You just mentioned it seems to be getting harder to stay relevant compared to the past. Could you tell us more about that? 

A: There’s an old saying coined by McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, which is often narrated by consultants and speakers which I believe meets the mark more than ever. It goes something like – “either you are green and growing or ripe and rotting”. Now the truth of the matter is, we never have had the luxury of simply standing still. The choice has always been ours as to whether to embrace change and grow, or resist it and get left behind.

Now since Ray’s time though, it’s all been amplified. The reality is, in this age of disruption, it’s not a matter of “if “ you’ll need to reposition your career to stay relevant, it’s a matter of “when”. Either you learn how to reposition out of choice now or get repositioned out of circumstance later. 

But don’t just take my word for it. I mention in my presentation that a recent survey by Oxford Economics found employees’ top concern is that they believe they are in a high risk category and their position might be endangered. Apparently half of them believed their current skills and competencies won’t be needed in three years. Similar research by Adobe found that a staggering 40% of executives feel the need to reinvent themselves, but only 14% feel they know how. 

And I’d like to add to that, that after working with numerous executives, business leaders and professionals for over 26 years, especially in the last six years, I can vouch that the fear of becoming obsolete, and not needed anymore, without a doubt is a real and warranted concern. 

The truth is, behind closed doors, many of them tell me their secret fear is that their career has flat lined, or, is not advancing as fast or as far as they expected. Learning how to take ownership of that is actually now a top shelf priority and critical success factor. For many just as or even more crucial than performing in their high powered & high pressure roles.

Photograph Rick Gilmore

Rick Gilmore, Founder, Good Company Coaching will be a speaker at the RMIA National Conference on 16-18 November 2016.
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