Tuesday, December 18, 2018

What are the 3 capabilities of highly effective HR leadership in the future?

Learned a lot lending an editorial hand here:

Inside HR, December 14, 2018

by Jeff Mike

It’s an exciting and challenging time to be in HR leadership. Elemental forces are driving HR out of its long-established functional orbit around the business and pulling it into the core value drivers. Leaders who can effectively navigate this positional shift will have an unprecedented opportunity to bolster business outcomes and worker productivity as well as their own careers.

The forces behind this opportunity include a fundamental shift in the character of companies and a related shift in the nature of work itself. Changing demographics, particularly the attitudes of Millennials and Gen Xers, are pushing companies to embrace and act on purposes that are broader and more fulfilling than profit alone. Witness the rising incidence of employee activism in Silicon Valley and the emergence of the social enterprise.

Digital technologies are not only amplifying the demands of employees (and indeed, all corporate stakeholders), but they also hold out the tantalising promise of a more collaborative and productive workplace. As the tools of data-driven decision-making become more available to employees at all levels, work itself can be reimagined and the role of management fundamentally reshaped.

Instead of command-and-control hierarchies, companies can perform more like symphonies. We are already seeing this trend manifesting in the emergence of what we call the symphonic C-suite, in which siloes are torn down and top leaders play together as a team while also leading their own functional teams, all in harmony.

The above developments are people-centered, and that’s why HR is being pulled into the core of the business. To be able to successfully occupy that space, HR leadership will need three important capabilities that have been revealed and confirmed by Bersin’s high-impact HR research. Read the rest here

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Are You Paying Lip Service to Work-Life Balance?

Impakter.com, December 13, 2018

by Theodore Kinni

The statistics on paid time off in the U.S. are bewildering. In 2017, American workers didn’t take 704 million paid vacation days, according to Project: Time Off. That’s $62.2 billion in unpaid benefits, and a lot of neglected families.

You might think these data points would have CEOs everywhere chortling with glee. But it seems like they are chained to their desks, too. Witness the standard CEO memoir, which pays lip service to any semblance of a life outside of work.

In the 365 or so pages of Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?, his chronicle of his years at the helm of IBM in the 1990s, Lou Gerstner, Jr. devoted a mere couple of sentences to his family. Apparently, they were aware he had been asked to take on the massive IBM turnaround. But he says he agreed to take the job during a recruiting meeting and then, went home to announce his decision. “My wife, who had been quite wary of the idea originally, supported my decision and was excited about it,” Gerstner writes, almost as an afterthought at the end of Chapter 1. If the rest of the book is any indication, he disappeared into the corporate maw immediately thereafter and didn’t pop back up in the living room until a decade later.

The similarly-lengthy memoir of Harold Burson, the co-founder of the one of the world’s largest PR agencies, is another case in point. Burson wrote a 10-page postscript titled “The Role of Family” in The Business of Persuasion, the memoir he published last year. “As I reflect on the sixty-plus years since the formation of Burson-Marsteller,” he says, “I have come to realize that, for more than fifty of those years, I deprived my family of my companionship almost half the time.” I can’t help but think this is a conservative estimate, because Burson notes that he invariably traveled during 45 or more weeks each year, including over 100 trips to Europe for 10-14 days at a clip, as well as trips to Asia for a minimum of two weeks each. Sadder yet, Burson devotes less space in the memoir to his wife, whom he admits contributed much to his career and the success of his company, than he does to his love for West Highland white terriers.

Of course, CEOs such as Gerstner and Burson are of an older generation whose standard version of work-life balance looked like Leave It to Beaver (which is the version on which I cut my teeth). But I suspect that Gen X and Millennial CEOs may not be any better...Read the rest here

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Grow Faster by Changing Your Innovation Narrative

Learned a lot editing this one:

MIT Sloan Management Review, December 10, 2018

by George S. Day and Gregory P. Shea

Business people jumping on growth diagram bars with the leading center bar topped by a lightbulb indicating innovation
Managers have no shortage of advice on how to achieve organic sales growth through innovation. Prescriptions range from emulating the best practices of innovative companies like Amazon, Starbucks, and 3M to adopting popular concepts such as design thinking, lean startup principles, innovation boot camps, and cocreation with customers. While this well-meant advice has merit, following it without first understanding your company’s innovation narrative is tantamount to going from symptoms to surgery without a diagnosis.

An innovation narrative is an oft-overlooked facet of organizational culture that encapsulates employees’ beliefs about a company’s ability to innovate. It serves as a powerful motivator of action or inaction. We find innovation narratives in two basic flavors: growth-affirming and growth-denying, or some combination thereof.

Companies that lead — or aspire to lead — their industries in organic growth need to have a coherent, growth-affirming innovation narrative in place, and we will discuss why that’s important and what it can look like. But what actions support the development and maintenance of such a narrative? To answer that question, we tested 18 possible innovation levers and identified the four that are most relied upon by organic growth leaders to stay ahead of their competitors: (1) invest in innovation talent, (2) encourage prudent risk-taking, (3) adopt a customer-centric innovation process, and (4) align metrics and incentives with innovation activity. We will look at each one in turn.

These four levers will be familiar to innovation practitioners, but their effects intensify with managerial focus. They serve as so-called simple rules. That is, they avoid the confusion and dilution of effort that result from trying to pull too many levers at once or in an uncoordinated manner, and they channel and prioritize leaders’ efforts to embed a growth-affirming innovation narrative in their companies. Read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Predictions for 2019: People analytics will augment the workforce and the workplace

Learned a lot lending an editorial hand here:

Deloitte Capital H Blog, December 4, 2018

by Kathi Enderes

Ninety percent of the data in the world has been created within the last two years alone, and the continued emergence of new technologies will likely increase that rate even more. HR leaders have been attempting for years to use people analytics to turn this vast amount of data into actionable insights, but many still struggle with how and where to apply people analytics to maximize the return on investment. In the coming year, more and more organizations will start to apply people analytics in a new way, with a direct focus on the individual, rather than through HR or leaders—a bottom-up approach, as opposed to just top-down.

Going forward, we predict people analytics will become a principal supporting factor in the growing autonomy (and productivity) of the individual, empowering each person with the insights to help them do their best work. Last year, Bersin’s High-Impact People Analytics research revealed that only 2 percent of surveyed organizations are highly mature in people analytics. That tiny percentage has granted us an advance look at how to put people analytics to work. The most mature functions not only integrate it throughout their enterprises but also focus it on addressing business problems, enhancing the quality of day-to-day decision-making, and expanding its accessibility and use through robust insight delivery systems. The purpose of people analytics in these few high-performing companies? Enhanced workforce productivity and performance. Read the rest here.