I’ve just returned from a vacation to Rome, the capital of Italy, and the ancient capital of the Roman Empire. It is a fascinating city where you can be sat enjoying a cappuccino in one of the many piazzas and then, within a few paces see a Roman villa that was built over 2,000 years ago, looking like it was built only last week.
Without a shadow of doubt, the Roman Empire was one of the most successful ancient civilisations to develop and its growth both economically and in terms of how many countries it ruled over was astonishing. Its success was due to a number of factors however below are some that still make good business sense in business today.
Whether in political life or in the army, the Romans ensured that they had leaders that were able to inspire and motivate the populous. As their Empire expanded at pace, the importance of strong leadership grew in importance.
Do you have leaders in your organisation that are recognised as visionary and able to inspire and motivate the workforce to achieve organisational goals?
Derived from the Latin word strategia, it means command of the general. The Romans understood the importance of having a plan of action or goal that would be communicated to their people so that everyone knew what they were trying to achieve. They had a passion for planning and organising things effectively.
Does everyone know what your organisation is trying to achieve and what part their job plays in achieving this?
The Romans were keen observers of others’ battlefield innovations. They quickly adopted key elements, but made their versions even better than those they copied. Rome became a naval power by copying Greek/Carthaginian ship designs, then adding the corvus, their innovation that allowed them to deploy land battle tactics on the high seas.
How much time does your team set aside to review what you do and discuss new ideas that can be implemented to make you even more effective?
Teamwork was extremely important in Ancient Rome and great importance was placed on the accountability of individuals for successfully delivering their part of the team goal. So much so that when their engineers constructed an arch, as the capstone was hoisted into place, the engineer assumed accountability for his work in the most profound way possible: he stood under the arch.”
Are members of your team accountable for delivering their part of the solution?
Values & Behaviours
Discipline was of vital importance in Ancient Roman culture, whether in everyday life or in the army. There were codes of conduct that were expected to be demonstrated and adhered to. Those individuals who demonstrated these were rewarded. The most famous of these awards were the coronae or crowns. They were made from different materials like grass, oak or gold, depending on the level of the award.
Are staff rewarded for not just what they do but also how they do it? A balance of the achievement of objectives as well as the behaviours exhibited whilst doing so.
Learning & Development
An integral part of life was continuous learning and development. Whether it was the development of manual, technical or behavioural and philosophical skills, it was ingrained in the culture to better yourself throughout your life.
Do you have individual training plans that are reviewed and updated on a regular basis to support the growth and development of individuals?
Yours behaviourally, Nick