Friday, 9 November 2007

S Curves - Evidence

A couple of reports I have been reading recently support my view that we are moving to a new sigmoid curve for people management. I'll post more fully on these reports later, but I note the key points that relate to S curves below:

Firstly, Tower Perrin's 2007 Global Workforce Study, 'Winning Strategies for the Global Workforce'.

Noting that "the fundamental element required to thrive and grow in today's business environment is people - the energy, ingenuity and engagement of your workforce", Towers' report proposes that "senior leaders need to make the leap to a more inspirational and engaging style of leadership".

I think a ‘leap’ suggests a move from one S curve to another.

Why a leap? Well, it's clear that leaders are not "walking the talk" when only 37% of employees believe that "senior management treats them as valued and respected contributors".

The potential to engage employees is clearly there - "employees are eager to invest more of themselves to help the company succeed (and will do so if they see the personal ROI)". So why aren’t we leveraging this?

Well, Watson Wyatt’s global strategic rewards report 2007/08, ‘Playing to Win in the Global Economy' suggests that many employers are being slow to wake up to the changing demands of the workplace and employment. Too many remain wedded to traditional assumptions.

Thirdly, IBM's Global Human Capital Study 2008, ‘Unlocking the DNA of the Adaptable Workforce', quotes IDC analysis which states “With low unemployment, aging population, and employees’ weakening allegiance to the workplace in many economies, companies are expected to look to revamping their human resources and talent systems, and 2007 could emerge as the turning point for these changes.”

They conclude that “The Human Resources function has a unique window to make a strategic business contribution by shaping the adaptable workforce. If there ever was a time and an opportunity for HR to prove its strategic mettle, it has arrived.”

So are we at the turning point? Can you see the window of opportunity? And have you made the leap yet?