Tuesday, 16 July 2019

HR Masterclass: Innovating Performance Management



I've been working with Lighthouse / Human Resources Online in Singapore to deliver training there, and in Malaysia, and occasionally elsewhere for about five years now.

My main course is on HR business partnering where I review opportunities for truly strategic people management and organisation design, and we then apply these principles to looking at the HR organisation.

But I'm also going to begin delivering a new workshop, focusing on opportunities to re-engineer performance management, and based on sessions that I also deliver elsewhere.


If you're in Asia and want to increase the strategic impact you're making to your organisation, you may want to come along:


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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

HR Recognitions in first half 2019




Thanks to everyone who has seen fit to recognise this blog, my tweeting, or other HR work over the last six months. Most recently, thank you very much;



 



 








 


 







So if you feel you need a bit of strategic influence, get in touch:
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Monday, 8 July 2019

Hacking HR: Culture and the Future Workplace




I'll be joining this virtual panel for Hacking HR's Linkedin Live summit  next week, speaking about culture and the future workplace.

We're on at 8.30am ET on Wednesday 17th July, and you can catch other sessions on both the Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.


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Monday, 1 July 2019

How to redesign your organisation for people-centricity




This is the third of my articles on Making HR truly strategic on HR Zone: 
Employee experience and journey mapping are great, but can feel a bit like putting shiny engagement lipstick on a clunky organisational pig!


This was my first article in the series: People centricity vs business support

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The human focused workplace and competitive success



This is the second of my articles on Making HR truly strategic on HR Zone: 


HR is now not just a driver of competitive success in your business – it’s the driver.

So please do not call HR a support function. It is not helpful, as it just closes in our thinking. And it is not true.

In the days when our businesses competed on competitive positioning we were, by definition, a support function. But now that firms compete on organisation capability and health, we are by definition the most strategically important function your business has.


This isn't just me saying this, but the world's pre-eminent firm of business strategy consultants too (sort of).



This was my first article in the series: People centricity vs business support.


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Saturday, 22 June 2019

Digital HR Transformation training




I'll be running this session on digital HR transformation in Dubai at the end of October.

We'll be talking about use of digital technology in HR, but I'll also be emphasising that the bigger shift is down to changing business models, with businesses finding new ways to get closer to customers, developing ecosystems, and yes, using new digital technologies, data and analytics to do this. And also the changing workforce, with people being more proactive in asking for what they want, working in new relationships with organisations, and also using digital technologies themselves. This means our organisation models need to change, developing horizontal teams, communities and networks.

HR in the digital world, as opposed to pure digital HR, is then responding to all of these changes too.

It's a big agenda and I'm pleased I get three days to cover it all.

Contact info-mea@informa.com for details.


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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Speaking at Business Process Management




And the next conference after that is this one, because I love spending time at the periphery of our profession, and also because I do quite a lot of process design and management work (including this training session).

But even so, attending the other speakers' sessions is going to be a really interesting experience for me, and should hopefully result in some great learning.

I'll be tweeting and posting here as normal.



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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

HR's Strategic Value and the Connected WorkSpace




I'm featured in an excellent article on HR's role in organisational collaboration published by the new WorkSpace Connect conference in Dallas (where I'll be keynoting this September), also featuring comments from Harald Schirmer from Continental.

"IT and facilities may seem the natural cohorts for driving and overseeing connected workspace initiatives, but HR leaders have a vital leadership role to play, tooif they’re willing to step up to the challenge. Not only can HR help foster a culture of collaboration, but it can turn itself from a support organization to a true value-driver in the process.

In HR parlance, what Ingham and Schirmer are talking about is social connectedness. Just as the group, or team, relationship is at the center of the modern, collaborative business today, so too must it be at the center of HR 'Lots of people still talk about the primacy of knowledge workers in today's business, but actually knowledge is going the way of the dodoyou know, robots, artificial intelligence... can do knowledge much better than us,' he says. The real opportunity or, rather, requirement, he adds, 'is to create the right connections, relationships, or conversations.'"

The Continental case is about the successful migration from an IBM enterprise social network to the Microsoft Office 365 platform for 150,000 employees by facilitating 1,400 volunteer change agents and 350 cross-functional teams including HR, IT and communications. 

I also talk about Microsoft 365 linking their inner and outer loops framework to centralised, decentralised and distributed organisations and suggesting the missing piece from Microsoft's framework is community.

"The second approach to decentralized work is more of a 'volunteer' nature. Perhaps Joe in Accounting, Sue in Marketing, and Paul in Sales are all passionate about wellness in the workplace. They can work as part of a decentralized group dedicated to wellness projects. 'This taps people’s intrinsic motivation rather than needing to extrinsically motivate them, which tends to be the case in teams. [Work] gets done in communities, traditionally communities of interest or communities of practice, but increasingly more proactive ones, which I call communities of performance, as they can achieve important outputs for a business,' Ingham explains. 

At some organizations, communities of expertise have begun replacing centers of excellence. 'These can be around the same size as teams but operate from a different basis and with a different dynamic,' Ingham says."

The article is well worth reading, both for insights on social collaboration, and also HR's strategic, value creating role in developing this, and you can download it here (the whitepaper at the top right).

And of course you can read more in The Social Organization too.

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Monday, 17 June 2019

Speaking at Teneo HRcoreACADEMY




I'll be speaking about social HR and The Social Organization in a session titled 'Creating Value through Relationships' at Teneo's HRcoreAcademy in Amsterdam on 16 October.

There are some other really interesting speakers there to, so do come along and look us up.





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Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Overall Reflections on Creating Inspirational Business from WOBI




I really enjoyed WOBI (World of Business Ideas) last week, and it's definitely had me thinking. I don't think I've changed my mind on anything, but I've connected a few things together a bit differently.

So what were my main insights? Firstly, that there wasn't a lot of focus around the conference's non-social media tagline, Exponential. I might go for something like Inspirational. I'm not saying it was, though I wouldn't say it wasn't, but I'm not one of those who look for inspiration from speakers, I look for insight. But there was a lot of focus on running business in a way that will inspire employees (Hamel, David, Sinek and SMR Covey) customers (Lindstrom) and society (Porter).

So how do you create an inspirational business and / or organisation? Well, I think in a number of ways Hamel got very close. I do think becoming more human is the key. I just don't agree that eliminating bureaucracy, especially managers and management layers, is the main way to achieve this. Managers do add costs and layers do make businesses inefficient, but they're not the biggest thing to point at. Using Porter's ideas they're part of operational effectiveness or execution, they don't impact strategy. Using my terminology, they're value for money, not adding or creating value.

Layers are becoming more important with an increasing focus on being more human, and on employee experience, etc. And I accept that if you were to design an organisation just to develop a compelling experience, you probably wouldn't invent hierarchy to do it. But hierarchy doesn't really get in the way of experience that much. I don't agree with Hamel that being 8 layers down in an organisation feels like being buried under the other 7. I accept that organisational life is often awful and we do need to be more ambitious the way we sort that. But do we really need to start with layers to do that. In my view, not so much. For one thing, hierarchy provides some really useful benefits that it's still difficult to provide as easily through other means. Eg I thought Porter made a very good case for a hierarchical aspect to strategy in our interview.

I'm absolutely not saying that we don't need to redesign our organisations. As Hamel says, our business models have changed but our organisation models haven't done so to anything like the same extent. They now need to do so. That's why I think the opportunity of applying Porter's thinking about business strategy to our organisations is so important.

I loved the way he described this in our interview: "Competition is about what you actually do in the marketplace to achieve value for the customer. Then you back up and that’s where the resources are. There is a cause and effect. We can keep on going further and further back up, keep going upstream to look at cause and causes. Supporting every piece of the value chain there’s another value chain like activity which are the steps you take to get there. And as get more about insight about management we have more insight into what some of those things are. What’s helpful is that we’re getting up the causal chain. Business strategy is about what you do in the marketplace but how you get to doing that is a fascinating question. That’s why I’m interested in the dynamic view of strategy."

We need to start thinking about creating unique and differentiated organisational strategies by developing best fit activities in the organisation value chain. These activities then need to provide the right outcomes which will add and create value for the business. Porter seemed to agree with this perspective too, saying: "if they’re good resources they can be an advantage, part of doing it better."
 
But as well as what our organisation needs to provide, we also need to think about how it is going to do this. So Hamel is absolutely right in suggesting that we need to set clear organisation principles. These provide an additional driver for our organisation design.

And because employees are now more important we need to include their expectations as the third main driver, so that we don't just end up trying to make horrible organisations less awful for people through things like journey mapping (putting experience lipstick on a nasty pig). Or, and this may be the one change I have come away with, we introduce more of a shared value perspective by focusing on societal expectations here.

If these three objectives indicate that we need to reduce hierarchy then so be it, but in my experience that's not the main result most of the time. What I think is a more common result is that we align our organisational groups with the business that needs to get done, including through the use of horizontal teams, networks and, as Hamel mentioned, communities. Doing this ensures that people can get their work done easily and provides a much better basis for their engagement than worrying about bureaucracy.

I think the above steps need to take place before we do anything else, but they're not the most important thing. Hierarchical thinking is a bigger problem than hierarchical structure. And sorting this is about developing David's emotional agility, Sinek's infinite game or Covey's trust and inspiration. Which could of course be principles for  the organisation design. Or simply deeply embedded leadership behaviours getting people to act differently and to provide time and attention for themselves and each other. My worry is that this is difficult to achieve unless you've got the right organisation in place first, so again, I think redesigning the organisation is the most urgent thing. But then you can move on to the most important (I admit I was inspired by SMR Covey's father) and ensure people are acting in a human way in the newly human organisation. (In The Social Organization I call this these the organisational society and architecture).


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