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    Entries in talent (58)

    Friday
    Feb162018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 311 - Creating a Culture of Performance Based on Feedback

    HR Happy Hour 311 - Creating a Culture of Performance Based on Feedback

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Marie-Claire Barker, Global Chief Talent Officer, Wavemaker

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Marie-Claire Barker, Global Chief Talent Officer at Wavemaker. a  global media, content, and technology agency to talk about modern approaches to performance management and creating a culture of feedback.

    Wavemaker is a 8,500 person strong, global organization serving many of the world's leading brands, and recruits and develops talented people across many domains - creative, technical, and people who can envision and develop a shared future with their clients. 

    On the show, Marie-Claire shared how at Wavemaker they have developed and implemented an intentional, performance-driven culture, where organizational and individual goals are visible and shared, feedback (both public and private), is a point of emphasis and leveraged for professional measurement as well as personal growth, and how this culture of feedback and transparency contributes to organizational and client success. This is one of the best examples of how a traditional 'HR' process like performance management has been re-imagined and turned into not just an 'HR' program, but rather a key driver of business and operational success. 

    Marie-Claire shared how this culture has and is impacting the organization positively, as well as some advice for HR leaders who want to re-invent performance management too.

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

    This was an interesting and informative show - thanks Marie-Claire for joining us.

    And thanks to HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com.

    Reminder to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherver you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

     

    Postscript: On the show, Marie-Claire mentioned Reflextive, the software tool they use at Wavemaker for employee goals and feedback. Refelktive has been an HR tech startup success story and just announced new funding this week.

    Monday
    Jan292018

    Knowing where to optimize your talent

    Over the weekend I caught this pretty interesting discussion on the Marginal Revolution site, 'Where is talent opimized?', a discussion of what industries (or more accurately job roles), have the ideal or 'best' talent suited for their roles actually doing those roles.

    It makes more sense to think about this idea of talent optimization, a state where the very best people who could perform a job are actually in that job by looking at a couple of examples where the difference is pretty clear. For example, professional basketball players, who are subject to years or training, competition, evaluation, and measurable performance metrics are probably the 'optimal' group of folks to actually be playing pro basketball. Said differently, it isn't likely there is a large untapped, undiscovered group of people who really should be playing pro basketball, but for some reason (or some labor market inefficiency), they are doing some other job instead.

    Compare that to a job like mid-level management or perhaps many governmental jobs. In many of these roles performance is harder to quantify and measure, compensation levels are either opaque or set on criteria other than performance, barriers to entry to the profession exist, (lots of 'referral' hiring for example), and finally many of these jobs have been closed off to under represented groups for a long time. When you think about it, it seems really unlikely that talent in these kinds of roles, in any organization, will be the 'best' or 'optimal'. It is just too hard to even figure out what 'optimal' even means I would argue. Finally, roles that once you 'get in' it is almost impossible to get removed from for poor performance or incompetence should also be added to this group of sub-optimized talent profiles.

    Why is this interesting (at least to me?)

    Because I think often while we know that some roles in the organization are more important/strategic to the organization than other roles, we don't always acknowledge that there also exists this difference in the ability to 'optimize' talent across different roles as well. Although the distinction may be subtle, these two are not actually the same thing.

    Finally, understanding how (or I suppose if), an organization can exploit these kinds of selection/sorting inefficiencies and get 'better' or more optimal talent attracted to roles that typically are less likely to be optimized, could result in a competitive advantage through talent that is usually unrealized.

    In other words, if your organization could truly have the 'best' front-line managers wouldn't that make a huge difference in business and talent outcomes?

    I will leave you with this one link to think about this more - In-N-Out Managers make $160,000 annually.

    Have a great week!

    Thursday
    Oct192017

    Digital Talent Profiles and the Blockchain

    I'm still unwinding a bit from last week's HR Tech Conference, and one of the things I like to think about after the event is more of a question I suppose. Namely, 'Where there any trends or new technologies that we should have paid more attention to at the event, and should be featured next time?'

    About a two or three weeks before the event, a friend of mine contacted me to inquire if we (the Conference), was going to showcase any Blockchain technology, and how this developing tech can or will be used in HR, Talent, or Recruiting. My short answer was 'no', as I had not really seen or heard much on that front in 2017, no one (that I can recall), specifically pitched me any blockchain powered tools to review, and frankly, I only kind of understand what the whole thing is about myself.

    For folks who may have no idea what I am talking about, from our pals at Wikipedia on the Blockchain:

    A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography.Each block typically contains a hash pointer as a link to a previous block,a timestamp and transaction data. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. A blockchain can serve as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. 

    This makes blockchains suitable for the recording of events, medical records, and other records management activities, such as identity management,transaction processing, documenting provenance, or food traceability

    That doesn't seem too tough to understand, right?

    A data repository that is secure, verifiable, can record and store all kinds of data types, and can be widely distributed and shared.

    Thinking about it that way, there certainly seems like their would be or could be some applications of this technology in HR and talent technologies.

    Before we jump to that, check out this example of how a form of Blockchain is being applied in the Higher Ed space - as a way to electronically distribute and validate student credentials and degrees:

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is offering some students the option to be awarded tamper-free digital degree certificates when they graduate, in partnership with Learning Machine. Selected students can now choose to download a digital version of their degree certificate to their smartphones when they graduate, in addition to receiving a paper diploma.

    Using a free, open-source app called Blockcerts Wallet, students can quickly access a digital diploma that can be shared on social media and verified by employers to ensure its authenticity. The digital credential is protected using block-chain technology. The block chain is a public ledger that offers a secure way of making and recording transactions, and is best known as the underlying technology of digital currency Bitcoin

    An interesting application of Blockchain to share and allow the verification of student degrees by employers, banks, and whomever else would need access to a student's degree information.

    To jump back to HR/Talent, it makes perfect sense then that a similar Blockchain protected employee talent profile could be created for an individual person that could include not only the degree and academic information like in the MIT example, but also work products, verifiable job histories, certifications and skills assessments, and maybe even things like recommendations and testimonials. And all stored in a secure and distributed way - perhaps a way for a candidate to share their profiles with a number of companies at once without having to go through tedious and repetitive job applications for each one. Or maybe in some kind of talent repository for temp, gig, and contract workers to submit their availability and credentials in talent marketplaces.

    There are probably going to be lots more applications of Blockchain in enterprises coming soon, and I will be on the lookout for innovative HR and talent applications for next year's HR Tech.

    If you are a provider doing something interesting in this 'Blockchain for HR' space, get in touch, I'd be interested in learning more.

    Have a great day!

    Wednesday
    Oct042017

    The sometimes fine line between retention and regrettable turnover

    Your pal Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine passed away last week at the age of 91.

    While you probably now plenty (maybe more than you care to know) about the Playboy brand and Hef's pretty remarkable life, you might not know the impetus for him setting off to create Playboy magazine and launch 294,295 'I only subscribe for the articles' gimmicks.

    According to the Chicago Tribune's accounting of Hef's long life, at 26 years old Hef left his copy writing job at Esquire Magazine to launch Playboy after the prescient folks at Esquire denied his request for a $5 per week wage raise.

    After being rebuffed by the thrifty team at Esquire, Hef cobbled together about $8,000 of investment and borrowed funds to debut Playboy in 1953 and the rest, as they say, is bunny-eared history.

    No one is likely around who was in the meeting at Esquire when the 'We can't give him $5 more a week' decision came down, so the rest of this is pure speculation. But that kind of decision really reeks of process, politics, salary review periods formalities, and a bunch of other formal HR and talent management 'rules' that can often get in the way of managers and leaders doing right by the business.

    Hef does not get the extra fiver per week, and out the door he goes and eventually, (actually it happened pretty quickly), becomes a legend in the magazine industry. 

    Oh yeah, the same industry he was working in that thought he was not worth a sawbuck every pay periiod.

    It can be a fine line, a really fine line, sometimes between what good, valuable, productive, and 'want to be loyal' people want and what might send them out the door.

    In this case it was $5.

    In your case, it could be your best support person wanting to flex her hours once a week, or your third-best salesperson not wanting to show up at the office if he doesn't have outside calls one morning, or the 3rd year pro who is killing it in the marketing team and that you know you seriously low balled when you brought her in in 2014.

    RIP Hef. I am kind of glad Esquire wouldn't pay up back in 1953.

    I mean, if they had paid up, I would have missed LOTS of great articles...

    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.