Quantcast
Subscribe!

 

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

 

E-mail Steve
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Listen to internet radio with Steve Boese on Blog Talk Radio

    free counters

    Twitter Feed

    Entries in HR (357)

    Monday
    Aug072017

    A quick reminder that your employer probably won't help you stay employable

    The belief that employees have to own their own development, career planning, and future employability, and that no employer can truly invest/care that much about its employees in the modern world to do those things is not a new one. I am pretty sure I heard it from an employer myself back in the 90s.

    But while the idea of employees being (more or less) solely responsible for ongoing development and learning, and as in the case with most jobs now, keeping up with and remaining/becoming proficient in the latest and most relevant new technologies is generally accepted these days, it isn't often that we see senior execs of big companies going on record stating this as a fact or condition of employment. No, usually C-suiters like to talk about 'people being our most important asset' and like to tout investments in employee learning and development and other ways they portend to be a 'people' organization.

    That disconnect between what leaders of large companies like to say, and the generally accepted premise that all employees, even 'permanent' employees, are just temps that get a few more benefits, was really crystallized for us all by the (kind of surprisingly), frank comments on employee development attributed to Dell and VMWare CIO Bask Iyer, in a recent interview and as reported in the Economic Times of India

    Check these comments then a quick comment of my own...

    Bask Iyer, CIO and Executive Vice-President of Dell and VMware, has sounded a warning for information technology (IT) employees: surf the oncoming technology waves all the time and upskill yourself, otherwise be prepared to leave IT. 

    "I am making sure that all my IT folks are best equipped to generate revenues rather than lay them off. People without the skill-sets to go ahead to the next level in a company will go anyway, that’s just the way it is," Iyer said in an interview to

    Iyer said the onus for upskilling lies with the employees themselves and not the organisations. "As for reskilling, no organisation provides for that because even they don’t know what to train employees on," he said. The IT employees themselves must figure out the future and upgrade their skills accordingly, Iyer said.

    Pretty frank, and seemingly honest observations from a tech leader at one of the world's most well-known tech companies. Iyer tries to couch or position his comments less as 'the organization won't make sure your skills are up to date because it is solely your responsibility as an employee to do that' and more of a 'we as an organization just can't predict what skills will be needed, and therefore are unable to train our staff to remain relevant and current.'

    But that is kind of a cop-out as well as probably not being 100% honest if you dig in a little.

    If the CIO of Dell claims that he and the rest of Dell's leadership can't predict what skills will be needed, then truly what is the reasonable expectation that the average software engineer or designer at Dell would be able to make that call him or herself?

    And wouldn't it be reasonable for that software engineer at Dell to think that the technical and business leadership at Dell (or insert any company name here), would in fact be able to have that kind of foresight and strategy, and be able to help develop workforce plans and associated technical skills and competencies needed with at least some advance warning?

    My guess is this - Dell probably has some idea of where they want to go in the next few years, but since no one can really be sure what technologies will dominate and be needed outside of a year or so, they want to hedge and offload at least some of their responsibility to their employees.

    I will wrap with this last comment. If we, all of us, are all truly temporary workers, (we are), then we need to break down lots more assumptions - legal, regulatory, social, ethical, of what it means to be an employee anywhere. I am kind of glad to see the frank comments from Iyer about employee development. He finally said what lots of us have been thinking for a long time.

    Have a great week!

    Friday
    Aug042017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 291 - HR and the Internet Trends Report 2017

    HR Happy Hour 291 - HR and the Internet Trends Report 2017

    Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish review Mary Meeker from Kleiner Perkins influential Internet Trends Report for 2017 and discuss what some of these big trends in technology mean for HR and HR Technology. Ms. Meeker's report is an annual 'must-read' for any organizational leader and always offers some enlightening insights into the important global technology trends.

    In the show, Steve and Trish break down a few of the big trends, (mobile technology adoption and usage, 'voice' interfaces and devices like Amazon Echo, and the continued rise of all types of gaming), and offer some ideas and recommendations for HR and HR tech leaders on how to translate these trends into actions and strategies.

    Additionally, we talked about the recent Amazon Jobs Day, and what their plans to hire 50,000 new employees in one day say about work, workplaces, and changing employee expectations of work.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a really fun and interesting show, we hope you enjoy it.

    Tweet the show with ideas and comments @HRHappyHour

    Thanks as always to show sponsor Virgin Pulse, check them out at www.virginpulse.com.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    Wednesday
    Aug022017

    Defining the competition

    There are two schools of thought on how an organization should think about its competition - for customers, market share, talent, brand awareness, etc.

    One approach is to study your competitors closely, monitor their strategies, actions and decisions, and devote a lot of resources and energy to roles like competitive intelligence gathering, market analysis, and the development of specific playbooks focused on your main competitors to prepare your salespeople for what they are likely to encounter in the field. I'd say that in enterprise tech, HR tech for sure, this is the approach that most medium-to-large providers take.

    The alternate approach is to largely ignore specific competitors and spend the vast majority of your time working on product, message, and lots of internal and specific capabilities like implementation, service, support and the like. This is often the approach startup tech companies take as they likely have to spend most of their time trying to define their own message, communicate their unique value proposition, and if they are truly innovating in the market their competition may not even actually exist. Or said differently, they often are competing against 'doing nothing' and not against a competing product or service. 

    And truly most companies probably exist somewhere in between these two extremes - thinking about the competition some, and other times taking a more internal focus. And this focus usually skews towards former as the company grows, enters new markets, or begins to attract new competitors (success breeds competition). 

    I thought about this 'competition continuum' when I caught this piece on Venture Beat - Amazon's name pops up on 10% of U.S. earnings conference calls, a nod to the retail/tech/distribution giant's outsize reach in the US economy right now.

    From the VB piece:

    Almost 700 U.S. companies have reported quarterly results so far this earnings season, and the e-commerce titan’s name has popped up on roughly one of every 10 earnings conference calls so far. And the retailers whose lunch has long been eaten by Amazon.com Inc haven’t even reported yet.

    In all, Amazon has been raised either in passing or with some urgency on 75 calls hosted by corporate chieftains in the past several weeks, according to a Reuters analysis of call transcripts from components of the S&P 1500. That’s well more than twice as many mentions as Google or its parent Alphabet Inc and over three times as many as Apple Inc.

    Everyone from traditional retailers to 'big tech' companies like Microsoft and IBM all the way to Dow Jones stalwarts like 3M and Johnson & Johnson all have at least one eye on what Amazon is doing.

    It is kind of incredible to think that Amazon is now a real (or imagined) competitive threat across such a wide range of industries and companies.

    But here's what at least I thought was the really interesting thing about the piece, and the reason for the post in the first place.

    Most organizations spend lots and lots of time, (maybe too much time), thinking about the competition. I get the feeling that truly amazing, game changing companies like Amazon don't spend all that much time doing that. No, they focus on doing the things that make others worry about them instead.

    And that is a much, much better place to be.

    Postscript - I am totally obsessed with the Amazon Echo and really annoyed at every other piece of technology I own that will not yet respond to voice commands. I think this is going to be a really big deal in workplace tech and sooner than we think.

    Friday
    Jul282017

    Summer updates

    Happy Friday!

    Apologies for the slow pace of posts on the blog of late. Between time off, some business travel, some personal stuff, and the fact that, well, it's the dead of summer and just about everything seems to slow down around this time, I have not been as focused on the blog of late.

    But I did want to just shoot out a quick update about a few things that are either interesting or important to me these days (making the huge assumption some or all might be important to folks who read this blog).

    So here goes...

    1. The HR Tech Conference early registration savings of $500 is only good until July 31 (Monday). Combine that with my discount code STEVE200 and get an additional $200 off your registration. But act fast because after Monday, rates start creeping up.

    2. I am really excited about all the great HR Happy Hour Network podcasts that have been released in the last few months. Head over to the HR Happy Hour home page to check out the latest HR Happy Hour shows, We're Only Human with Ben Eubanks, and HR MarketWatch with George LaRocque. And big thanks to HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulse.

    3. I finally got on board with the Amazon Echo and have had fun figuring out what I can do with it and the Alexa ecosystem. It is a pretty cool piece of technology, even if most of the folks that have them are not doing much more than setting timers and playing music. But in only a week I find myself frustrated with the other bits of technology that I have to interact with can't all respond to voice commands. Once you get started with the voice as the input paradigm, you don't want to go back to typing, or swiping, or pressing buttons. I am looking forward to seeing which HR tech vendor starts to really advance voice interaction with their tech this year.

    4. I offered a few ideas and thoughts on the impact to HR of increased usage of enterprise drones and other unmanned aircraft in a piece for SHRM. Thanks to Aliah Wright for asking for my opinions on this.

    5. And one more plug/link, I was a guest on the Strong Suit podcast a couple of weeks ago talking about the HR Tech that growing companies need, and what kinds of HR tech they may not need. It was fun to be a guest instead of the host, thanks Jeff Hyman for inviting me.

    6. Some random links of things I probably would have written about this week, (and my still write about)

    Effects of McDonald's (and other big companies) abandoing old suburban HQ locations for the city

    A Wisconsin Company is implanting workers with microchips to buy snacks and open doors

    Pharell and Adidas collaboration to drop soon

    AI May Soon Replace the Most Elite Consultants

    China Plans to use AI to Gain Global Dominance by 2030

    Ok, that's it for the Friday randomness. Will try to get back to the normal nonsense around here next week.

    Have a great weekend!

    Thursday
    Jul202017

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 290 - Sports, HR, and the NBA Summer League

    HR Happy Hour 290 - Sports, HR, and the NBA Summer League

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Matt 'akaBruno' Stollak

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Matt 'akaBruno' Stollak to talk about the connections between HR, talent management, careers, the workplace and sports, through the lens of the NBA Summer League 2017.

    Matt and Steve are charter members of 'The 8 Man Rotation' and co-authors of a series of E-books that take a deep dive into the lessons that HR and business leaders can take from pro, college, and truly all levels of sports.

    On this show, Matt and Steve examine hiring biases, the importance of leadership setting an example and tone for the organization, (especially important for new leaders), and how sports and the Summer League in particular are a great metaphor and example for the 'always on' and 'always auditioning' tendencies of the growing gig economy.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a really fun show, we hope you enjoy it.

    Thanks to HR Happy Hour show sponsor Virgin Pulse - learn more about them at www.virginpulse.com.

     

    And when in Vegas, the 8 Man Rotation recommends:

    Lotus of Siam

    Manta Ramen

    El Dorado Cantina

    Westgate SuperBook