Human and values in the focus. How to build innovative teams

As part of “Conversations in Olivia” series, we met with Krzysztof Herdzik – a leader, innovator, speaker at the “Let’s talk business 2” conference. Read the interview conducted by Monika Bogdanowicz from Olivia.


Monika Bogdanowicz (Olivia Business Centre Communication): Why should so much attention be paid to trainings within the scope of treating other team members individually by managers? Why are these competencies so important in modern business, which aspires to achieve great things?

Krzysztof Herdzik: 20th century was the age of standardisation and any deviations from the standards were treated as statistical error. Whereas 21st century is the age of individualisation. We want to be ourselves and want to be treated like that in every dimension of life and interactions with other people. Companies understand this approach very well when it comes to clients, but in case of employees, solutions from 20th century are still being implemented and used, that is standard appraisal procedures, periodical talks, etc. In the same way and according to the same pattern, they give feedback, promote employee and recruit – the same rules for everybody. That is the way standardisation looks like and is doing well in the scope of treating employees in companies. Today, also students notice such a situation. I had a meeting with students and when I asked them how they perceive corporations, they answered: “On the left there is the same man as on the right”.

Individualisation makes it possible to disenchant these stereotypes.

Monika Bogdanowicz: Challenges, which managers have to face now, are very often connected with low involvement of employees, high rotation, war for talents, multicultural diversity at workplace, global and remotely based teams, automation, robotisation, etc. Who should you be, apart from the roles of superheroes or action films, to meet these challenges? Is today in Poland the role of manager in business one of the most difficult missions, which we could call “impossible” to fulfil?

Krzysztof Herdzik: Once I heard that if you want to help people, you should become a leader. This is a very responsible task. Only 8% of people have dream jobs. It is defined as a job, in which you can use your strengths, have a chance to develop and feel that what you do serves a higher purpose. That is why, basic responsibility of a leader is to create such conditions: for dream job. An employee has the right or is obliged to use this opportunity or not. 

This is a very responsible and demanding task. That is why, not everyone is able to face such responsibilities. However, equipping a leader in tools, which help him approach every employee individually, surely makes this task easier. As it turns out, employees who are treated individually, are much more engaged in their work. In such conditions you can manage multicultural and global team or keep an employee in a company in a more effective way.

Photo by Paweł Banaszak

Monika Bogdanowicz: The theory of “Management by values”, based on the works of professor Clare W. Graves, gives organisations opportunity and tools to quickly recognise employees’ individual needs and, consequently, changes in the area of managing, also a team. I mean, for example, the range of trainings, giving feedback, choosing the best style of communication… Do you think that this theory has a chance to be implemented and developed in Polish companies of various types?

Krzysztof Herdzik: The work of professor Graves was the foundation for creating the concept of turquoise organisations. In many companies it was difficult to implement and it remained in the sphere of ideology. But the idea of management by values is based on the rule that we can find motivation in ourselves on the level of values, we don’t have to search for it outside. When a leader understands his or her employee’s and team’s values, he or she can reach the most important areas of human, their individuality. The ability to understand these areas makes it possible to communicate clearly, in a way tailored to individual values of an employee and thereby to create the basics, conditions, in which a people mobilise their real potential. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small company, from technological, service or traditional industry. Finally, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Polish, local or global company because in each of these aspects a human is in the focus together with their values.

Monika Bogdanowicz: The vision presented by you and your approach to employees’ development in companies should be, in my opinion, more and more broadly used in Polish business and should contribute to a real change in the quality of management.

Krzysztof Herdzik: I completely agree with this opinion. I think that active implementation of strategic practices from the scope of management by values and good communication in teams guarantee the optimal development of business. Leaders who understand it, will win and achieve success in the companies of 21st century. 

Monika Bogdanowicz: Thank you for the interview.


Krzysztof Herdzik – managing partner in You Can Business project. He helps organisations implement innovative business models (disruptive business models), he specialises in future trends and modern ways of managing people, which support 4.0. technological change. He is a Senior Manager with more than 16 years of experience in managing international and multicultural organisations. He was a founder and manager of BPO centre in Tricity and helped global clients manage processes. He was awarded as the best Manager in Central and Eastern Europe in Outsourcing industry.

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