Business Performance

The Loan System Concept

At my most recent keynote, the future of work, I discussed 8 concepts that could be considered and rolled out within the business world, especially in the next one to five years.

Introducing the loan concept:

Big brands never struggle for brilliant applicants. 

Big brands never struggle to have an abundance of talent.  

The issue these brands can have, developing staff and enabling them to progress within the company. 

Or set them up to succeed at another company. 

To balance this a little, big brand employees are always attractive hires for middle and upper management, it can be seen as the hire of intent, it can do wonders for the hiring managers internal cred (never a reason to hire unless far better fit and performer than other candidates) and can be a PR and brand moment. 

Rethink Turnover

Some brilliant team members will look to leave pretty quickly if they have a bad boss, their development path is not mapped out or there is no clear path for their progression. 

For many smaller businesses they struggle to attract top talent or unable to the best candidates or the talent they require to go up a level or two. 

This situation has been an age old problem but one many don’t have a fair chance on, wages, packages and brand prestige all factors. 

Concept 4 from The Future Of Work Keynote

Introducing The Loan System

In sports, particularly in professional football (soccer), there is a loan system where talented younger players or top class players struggling with form or to break into the team go out on loan to a lower division team or an international team. 

Many talented players go out on loan, they drop down two tiers and build up their experiences. 

Replace players with employees and question:
Why wouldn’t this approach work for larger and smaller businesses? 

Some professional clubs have feeder clubs where their players are trusted to develop and play regular football. 

This could be something many brands consider.
Or collaborate on. 


For large tech giants, there are a number of team members who openly admit they do not learn from those around them and rarely get the opportunity to work on large projects or deliver campaigns away from an agency. 

This is an issue for many and could be addressed by a smart loan. 

Time For Better Coaching

Although I used to see myself as a coach more than a manager, there were occasions where there were one too many layers in the way and the team member wouldn’t get the opportunity to develop or learn from others around them quickly enough or the team was not set up for the talented individual to learn or had to get hands-on too early without the support and development they needed or the right coach around them. 

In the loan system this could be considered, the loan network could place team members based on skill set, requirements and developmental requirements. 

Great Leaders & Coaches In Smaller Orgs

There are some brilliant leaders in small and mid sized companies who will nurture brilliant talent and be able to add another skill set onto their repertoire. 

There will be huge opportunities for smaller companies to learn from bigger companies practises (although there will be NDA’s and agreements in place) and be able to try and then apply within their business. 

Rethink Finance & Spreadsheet Business Strategy

Headcount and workload will always be a question from upper management and finance leads. However, developing those around you, improving and learning processes from other companies will be vital. 

One of the worlds worst kept business secrets: 

The CFO often runs businesses and change does not happen because it’s hard for the most senior finance lead to change their process or have the confidence in modelling the change. This has to be revisited to fix the broken world of work. 

A loan could be for a quarter, it could be for the year, often this happens informally, some employees leave a large brand, go and work in a different organisation or a startup and end back at a large brand with vital lessons and a new experience level to tackle another role within the company. 

Slick onboarding, slick processes and agreed principles will help this to succeed and many talented staff to hit their level quickly and excel for a longer period of time. 

There have been many instances where loan systems could be developed and would enable top talent to develop, great work to be delivered and a new breed of company evolution. 

Return The Office Rethink & Reposition 

With the return to the office being such a hot topic and a topic of contention, Apple’s 3 day a week return to the office will likely alone see a higher than average turn over, we are likely to see a high turn over of staff who will want to consider a different approach. 

Talented individuals and managers will want to see what other companies are offering and be able to learn and evolve away from the traditional group learning and online learning options, there will be opportunities for larger brands to consider the development of their staff and potentially introduce a loan system. 

Internal Loan Could Be A Positive Influence 

I know there have been successful internal loan systems in the past, maybe this is time to truly consider a way to build your business on a deeper level of partnership and development. 

There is an opportunity to collaborate and learn from other businesses, you can see many upstarts and startups helping to evolve the status quo of thinking within large stagnant organisations. 

Learn From Proven Disciplines

In lean and six sigma moving around a business to progress through your belt development is a key factor and takes a set period of time, this could also be a foundational layer of the loan system. 

The question to ponder for this month:

Would you and your business be in a place to consider a loan system? 

Can you be a better leader and consider how you could improve your business and improve your people by evolving your thinking and operations?