Picture this: 30 of your employees are on a trip. But this is no ordinary trip – they are on board a ship bound for Russia to protest against oil exploration. Four of the shipmates try to board a Russian oil platform. Then, the Russian authorities forcibly take control of the ship. What do you do?
This was the exact leadership challenge faced by executives at international environmental charity Greenpeace in September 2013. The case drew international attention – and the ‘Arctic 30’ were detained for more than three months before being freed in the wake of more than 800 protests worldwide.
For Janet Dalziell, global HR director, encouraging well-judged risk-taking is a key part of the organisation’s talent strategy. “We do things deliberately that can have serious consequences, which requires a particular mindset and behaviour on the part of our leaders,” she explains.
“We recognise that the management behaviours of the future will differ from those of old, and as we grow, we’ve got to ensure the organisation remains strong, vibrant and daring.”