Friday, February 16, 2018

Interview with writer Daniel Hibbert

Writer Daniel Hibbert joins me today to talk about his applied psychology book, Thunder Cloud – Managing Reward in a Digital Age.

Daniel Hibbert has over 20 years of experience in advising businesses on reward and performance. For most of this time he has worked with global professional services firms and is now an independent consultant. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and previously qualified as an accountant and tax advisor.

Welcome, Daniel. Please tell us about your current release.
The way businesses reward their employees needs to adapt for the digital age. Jobs are changing fast and employees now expect more than just financial reward. Reward is part of a complex eco-system but is still managed as if it were predictable like a clock. Because it depends on human behaviour it is often dark and volatile like a thunder cloud.

This book sets out a new way of thinking about reward. It shows how financial reward can be integrated with the psychological rewards that employees get from their work. It also shows how reward should be connected with talent management and used toengage with employees. When this is done business performance improves and the thunder cloud disappears.

What inspired you to write this book?
I had completed a 30-year career in advising businesses on how to pay their employees. It was only when I stopped that I began to understand that getting the psychology of reward right was just as important as getting the numbers right. Few people in business seem to understand this so I thought I should write a book about it.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Look out for my new book about the psychology of business decision making. In business decisions are supposed to be rational, based on research and evidence. The reality is that they are not like this at all. The driver of business decision is human behaviour.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When Thunder Cloud was finished and I asked people who know a lot about the subject to have a look at it. When they said it was well written I started to think I could be a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I combine writing with my work as a Human Resources consultant. I try to write for a couple of hours each day – ideally first thing in the morning. But there is no typical day, and that’s a good thing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I hate business jargon and go out of my way to avoid it. This qualifies as a quirk because I have to use jargon in my work so my clients can understand me. Jargon seems especially silly when you are writing a book and have the time and space to explain what you really mean.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I spent most of my childhood hoping that I would never grow up. When I suddenly realised that I had grown up and would have to find a job my Mum said I should be an accountant because “there will always be work for accountants.” In the absence of anything better I took her advice.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I just finished reading Do No Harm – Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery written by Henry Marsh. It’s an astonishing insight into the triumphs and tragedies of a life as a neurosurgeon. Get hold of a copy and read it.


Thanks for joining me today, Daniel.

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