As companies recognize that the timeline for moving past the impact of COVID-19 may lengthen into 2021 and maybe even beyond, key structures and processes within global organizations are coming under great strain.
Before the pandemic, centralized experts within organizations could easily travel across the globe to where they were needed. Global talent development and culture strategies relied on sending experts between home country and international assignments, and on developing local talent that was subsequently deployed in other regions in order to develop a true global mindset.(more…)
The COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly and dramatically upended the working world, creating unanticipated business and leadership challenges. Some organizations are pivoting hard to new delivery channels, new products, and new operating models without having enough time to manage the impact of these changes thoughtfully. As a result, many executives currently find themselves shooting from the hip, bereft of their usual channels to engage deeply with stakeholders and gain agreement on the path forward.(more…)
We are in the middle of a historic rupture in the economic fabric of our society. The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a pervasive impact on the United States, and economic and financial market experts are hotly debating how quickly the economy will recover once we get “on the other side” of the contagion and the enormous pressures it has placed on our health care system. Although it is too early to estimate the exact economic impact, it is likely that full recovery of economic activity, including GDP growth, jobs, and unemployment, will take at least a year, and likely much longer.(more…)
A winning brand strategy is essential for a successful business strategy. Done right, the brand strategy clearly articulates the customer value proposition – why our customers pick us over the competition. Leaders know this and strive for the clarity of purpose a winning brand strategy provides. A simple and compelling brand strategy can focus everyone’s attention on a very small number of strategic priorities that define strategic success, providing a “true north” to focus on.
Yet when it comes to implementing the brand strategy through the operating model, that same sense of clarity and purpose is often lost. An enormous amount of complexity has to be addressed to bring it to life in the areas of organization design, staffing, developing capabilities, goal setting, accountability for performance, operational excellence, and so much more. That complexity is why organizations struggle with many aspects of strategy execution.(more…)
We live in a world of constantly evolving technology and ways to organize work. This means that people are in constant threat of their skills becoming less relevant or even obsolete. At the same time, organizations face the challenge of building new capabilities internally to take advantage of new technologies that will transform what they produce and how they produce it.
Organizations today take two different approaches to align their employees’ developmental needs with the business’ human capital needs: the laissez faire model and the planning model. Here I propose a third way, the strategic human capital operating model. It is currently used in a rare number of cases, and should become the standard all large companies strive to meet. It can reduce turnover and adoption costs for new technology, while improving employee morale, engagement and productivity.(more…)
I have spent the better part of two decades helping organizations solve big, complex challenges that hold back performance and create problems with strategy execution. The problems have varied from talent to teams to the operating model and workforce management. And the solutions have ranged from compensation, to communication, to work redesign, matrix decision making, leadership behaviors, and much more. But the one thing that has been a critical part of the diagnosis and finding solutions in all cases has been systems thinking.
Systems thinking has roots that trace back over six decades ago to Kurt Lewin (1951), and include approaches promoted by prominent authors including Leavitt (1965), Galbraith (1977), Tichy (1983), and many more. At its most fundamental, this approach demands that we look at the entire organizational system when diagnosing the sources of performance problems to identify solutions that work.
People analytics in organizations is at a crossroads today. Analytics and data science are the hottest buzzwords in management since re-engineering and core competencies two decades ago. Companies are rushing to build analytic capabilities, both outward facing for customer engagement and inward facing for workforce management. There has never been a better time to be on the sales side of enterprise IT systems that offer business and workforce data solutions, sometimes integrated, other times separate.
Judging by all the activity and attention being paid to workforce analytics, you would think the profession had struck gold. The insights that are emerging from these new workforce data systems, especially when matched with leading data science skills by the people implementing them, appear to be very revolutionary, useful, and practical. Whether it’s insights about employee turnover, careers, workforce planning, and more, the blogs and marketing documents from consulting companies provide a steady stream of morsels for your dining pleasure.
Everyone knows what talent management means, right? Yet despite widely accepted common practice, most talent management approaches fall way short of the mark when it comes to improved strategy execution and organizational effectiveness.
When we talk about accomplishing business objectives and achieving strategic success, the talent that’s embodied in people plays a critical role: without the contributions of individuals, nothing would ever happen. Yet this traditional way of defining and focusing on talent leaves a gaping hole in what we need to know: there are other major components of work design that must be included to optimize organizational performance and achieve strategic success. No one is an island, and that applies in spades at work.
Most workforce planning efforts are fairly short sighted and narrow, and could more accurately be called 12 month hiring plans. Strategic workforce planning promises to deliver greater value by using a longer time horizon and a talent supply chain approach. The problem, however, is that even then it’s still too narrowly focused on the low hanging fruit of butts in seats. In order for HR to really raise its game, workforce planning has to be much more focused on addressing holistically the systemic talent issues that impede business performance. (more…)
“We have met the enemy and they are us” – Commodore Oliver Perry, 1813
I am truly impressed at the explosion of interest in HR analytics in recent years. It seems like almost every week there is another conference somewhere in the world where people come together to share war stories and compare best practices. The excitement about what people are working on and what might be accomplished is palpable, and I don’t want to be a buzz kill. However …