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    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 246 - Do you need an HR system?

     HR Happy Hour 246 - Do You Need an HR System? What Leaders Need to Know

    Hosts: Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese

    Guest: Dave Fiacco, PeopleStrategy

    Listen HERE

    First, Steve and Trish are THRILLED to welcome our new partner and sponsor, Virgin Pulse to the HR Happy Hour show!  Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, designs technology that cultivates good lifestyle habits for your employees. Please visit them at www.VirginPulse.com for more information.  

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and Trish talked with Dave Fiacco, President and COO of PeopleStrategy. As President and Chief Operating Officer of PeopleStrategy, David Fiacco sets the bar high and ensures the company upholds its promise to deliver exceptional solutions coupled with extraordinary service.

    Dave talked with us about a topic that leaders everywhere struggle with.  Do you need a HR system?  Do you need to upgrade your system?  If so, how do you know and what are the steps?  Some of the issues we tackled on the show:

    -What considerations should HR think about during the process of moving from using Excel or other home grown tools to an actual HR system?

    -How do HR leaders (or other leaders) decide if a suite or point solution is what they need?

    -How does the type of solution you choose tie into pricing?

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

    This was a fun and interesting show, thanks again to Dave Fiacco for joining us this week.

    Remember to download and subscribe the the HR Happy Hour on iTunes, or using your favorite podcast app for iOS or Android - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to never miss an episode.


    The secret to buying software

    Indulge me, if you will, with a short quote from The Book of Basketball:

    (Isiah Thomas, NBA legend with the Detroit Pistons):

    "The secret of basketball is that it’s not about basketball."

    Here’s what Isiah Thomas meant: the guys who have the best numbers don’t always make the best team. There is more to winning than just the raw talent (although that plays a huge role).

    What Isiah learned while following those Lakers and Celtics teams around: it wasn’t about basketball.Those teams were loaded with talented players, yes, but that’s not the only reason they won. They won because they liked each other, knew their roles, ignored statistics, and valued winning over everything else." 

    What does the 'secret' of winning basketball have to do with 'real' work and more specifically, enterprise software?


    It is that more and more the 'secret' of making the right software solution purchase decision for your organization has less and less to do with the traditional measurements - system features, fit-gap analysis, and on-paper capability; and has more and more to do with the your mutual vision for the future, and the ability to execute on that shared vision by your potential software provider.


    Solution capabilities, certainly at the enterprise level, are evolving and expanding faster than ever. With cloud-based software deployment, shorter enhancement and upgrade cycles, and the comparative ease for organizations who wish to adopt new these capabilities to be able to derive value from them - the actual list of capabilities or 'yes' responses to an RFP questionnaire matter less than ever before.


    No, what matters today, and will likely matter even more in the next 5 years, is your ability to assess a potential software providers ability to 'see' around the corner, to articulate an idea of what will matter most for work, workplaces, and employees, and present more than just a list of software features, but rather expand upon a vision of how they (and you), will navigate the next few years of a working world that will almost certainly look much different than the one we live in today.


    Think I am wrong about this? That 'features' matter less than vision?


    Ok, think about this.


    If say three years ago you went out to collect bids for a new enterprise-wide performance management system, you would have challenged your potential vendors to show you features like goal alignment, cascading goal assignment, proportional competency evaluation, the connection of performance rating scores to compensation plans, and more. You would have made final evaluations not only on these points, but also on how easily you could migrate your existing annual performance management process to this new system.

    Fast forward to today, where we are entering into a new world of employee performance management.

    Today, if you were again to collect bids for a new enterprise-wide performance management system you likely would be looking for features like real-time feedback, peer-to-peer recognition, the ability to do 'scoreless' reviews, and a connection of the performance tool not to your comp system, but to your enterprise collaboration tools.

    The main features you would be chasing would be very, very different.

    That's why the secret to buying software for the organization is that it isn't about the software - at least not as it exists at a fixed point in time.

    If three years ago your chosen vendor for performance technology had the vision, and the ability to adapt to the new world of performance management, then you likely would not need to chase another new solution to meet your (and the workplace's) changing needs. But if they didn't? And they were really only or at least primarily concerned with checking 'yes' to every question on the RFP?

    Then three years later you are left with a technology that can really only support yesterday's process.

    Don't get caught up on features. At least don't make features the only thing you think about when evaluating technology.

    Features are cheap. They are easily copied. And they fall out of fashion faster than you think.


    Much harder to come by. And much more valuable.

    The secret to buying software is that it's not about the software.



    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 245 - Talking Talent, Culture, and Technology (on the Radio)

    HR Happy Hour 245 - Talking about Talent, Culture, and Technology (on the Radio)

    Recorded Friday, May 6, 2016

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Listen HERE

    This week on a fun twist on the HR Happy Hour Show, we are replaying/reposting an appearance Steve made recently on the Win-Win @ Work Radio Show that is broadcast weekly on WSCA FM, 106.1 in Portsmouth New Hampshire,

    Steve was interviewed by Win-Win @ Work host Kristi Baxter and Michael Cameron, (who are fantastic), and the conversation touched upon innovation in the HR technology marketplace, how technology is helping HR leaders and organizations with talent management, succession planning, and career development, and finally, on the ongoing debate of hiring for culture fit vs. hiring for raw talent.

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

    This was a really fun and interesting conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to share this interview with the HR Happy Hour Show community as well.

    Big thanks to Michael and Kristi for having Steve on the Win-Win @ Work show!

    Reminder: You can subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, or on all the major podcast apps for iOS and Android (I like Stitcher Radio). Just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to add the show to your subscriptions and you will never miss a show.


    HRE Column: Five Ways to Succeed with HR Technology

    Here is my semi-frequent reminder and pointer for blog readers that I also write a monthly column at Human Resource Executive Online called Inside HR Tech and that archives of which can be found here.

    As usual, the Inside HR Tech column is about, well, HR Tech, (sort of like I used to write about all the time on this blog), and it was inspired by the planning process for the upcoming HR Technology Conference, (October 4-7, 2016 in Chicago).

    A big part of the Conference program is set of sessions that we call "Customer Success", which we launched for the first time in 2015. The Customer Success content was so well-received and highly attended last year that we are bringing it back again in 2016 (stay tuned for more details, the full agenda for HR Tech 2016 will be posted soon). So as I sat down to write my latest HR Executive Magazine column, which I wanted to be about the Conference, I kept coming back to this content and the larger ideas of Customer Success with HR tech.

    Here is an excerpt of the HR Exec column titled 'Five Ways to Succeed with HR Tech'

    Thankfully for me, I have almost completed the program for the 19th annual HR Technology Conference and Expo®to be held Oct. 4 through 7 in Chicago. And, as an aside, I am really thrilled that the conference is returning to Chicago, as it will be great to be back in such a fantastic city after several years' absence.

    One question I always get during the program development for HR Tech is "What is the main theme for the conference this year?" And each year I usually give the same type of answer: There isn't a singular theme, but rather there are several sub-themes that seem to permeate and influence the development of the program, and thus become the "big ideas" for the overall event. But one idea that I know for sure will once again feature prominently at the event, (as it did in 2015), is the concept of "customer success," i.e., how organizations can make the most out of their HR technology investments. I'd like to talk about some of these ideas around customer success, as they have been on my mind quite a bit as I finalize the conference program.

    What are some of the key considerations for HR leaders and their organizations when attempting to make the best decisions to maximize their investments in HR tech? Here are five ideas that we will be talking about at the conference this year.

    Do your homework.

    A huge part of succeeding with HR technology is in knowing where to start, and that's where educating yourself about the HR-technology market and landscape factors in. There are numerous sources of information about HR technology for the HR leader -- attending the HR Tech Conference being one of them -- and investments you can make to prepare and research the market. Of course, there are plenty of other sources of HR tech market and solution information, and we will help conference-goers better understand these various information sources as well as the landscape of the HR tech marketplace overall. This market is moving so fast and has so many players that HR leaders need a plan and an approach to market education and research that we hope to provide.

    Make sure the numbers add up.

    For years, new HR-technology investments were justified by productivity gains and reduced HR-systems costs. But after many years of implementing HR systems, your organization could be at a crossroads, wondering what opportunities for savings and increased efficiency remain. You should also be aware there are additional opportunities for savings and it will take a new approach to serving the business and thinking about IT working together with HR that will drive strategic advantage. At the conference, HR leaders will have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons in how non-HR and boards of directors evaluate HR-technology-investment-capital decisions, the metrics that work in moving an HR-change initiative forward, how to get the funding for those big change initiatives that HR needs and how understanding the key HR technologies will propel your next HR business case.

    Read the rest at HR Executive online...

    You know you are intrigued about what ways 3 - 5 are, right? Well, hop over to HRE to find out.

    If you liked the piece you can sign up over at HRE to get the Inside HR Tech Column emailed to you each month. There is no cost to subscribe, in fact, I may even come over and take your dog out for a walk or re-seal your driveway if you do sign up for the monthly email.

    Have a great day!


    Things you should never say at work #1 - "I'm not technical"

    New series on the blog launching today called 'Things you should never say at work' - hopefully that will focus on the non-obvious but still highly damaging things you should never say on the job.

    Here goes...

    (Slightly) edited for purposes of clarity and anonymity story from a former colleague of mine who has been talking to a potential client about a new (largely) technical project - the implementation of some new, pretty large enterprise systems for a mid-size manufacturing company.

    My former colleague walks into a 'discovery' kind of meeting with the two ostensible subject matter experts in charge of the two most critical process areas of the project - let's call them Inventory Management and Supply Chain Optimization.  The two client folks that run these functional areas are pretty experienced, my colleague guessed they had at least 10 or 15 years each inside the company.

    When my colleague asked them how the early pilots of the new enterprise tech had been going, what the main challenges were, how the systems were being set up in order to support the organization's workflows, etc., both client subject matter experts responded similarly. Something along the lines of: "I really don't know - I'm not technical." 

    A huge red flag for my colleague for sure, as the two primary customers of the upcoming tech implementation were not only pretty disengaged from the process, they were seemingly proud of their lack of expertise and interest in what was going on with the new technology.

    Maybe these two experts are able to get away with this open apathy towards the technology, due to years of accrued expertise and perhaps some organizational stagnation, but you can be sure their (and their kind) days are numbered.

    I would bet that almost no one reading this post today would be able to proudly declare out loud in your shop something along the lines of "That new headcount trends dashboard? No, i have not looked at it. I'm not technical'. Or, "What do I think the 10% bonus pool reduction will do to voluntary turnover? I don't know. I'm not technical.'

    It doesn't matter if you don't know about a specific technology. Tech moves so fast anyway that what specific skills that are in demand now probably won't be the same ones in demand in 2 or 3 years.

    But the approach, the attitude, the willingness to 'be' technical?

    It doesn't matter what kind of job you have now, the 'I'm not technical' card is one no one can afford to play today.

    So you should never say it. I mean it. 'Cause if I find out you did...