Thursday, 6 December 2007

InfoHRM European conference

I’ve spent most of the last two days at InfoHRM’s European conference. It was a great event, well organised, well attended and with some great speakers. My highlights included Tony Rucci talking about his experience developing models linking people management, customer experience and financial results at Sears and elsewhere. And practical examples of organisations undertaking this journey themselves, particularly BAA and Standard Chartered.

My keynote focused on the use of the value triangle and related models (which coincidentally I’ve been posting on recently to support the first of a number of posts I will be making on my key beliefs about people management). I think my session went well – I’d be interested in comments from any existing or previous readers who were there.

I know I didn’t give a very strong example of actually using the HCM value matrix, and visualisation in practice. I do use these on a regular basis, but not always together. In fact most of the time I use them in the way I demonstrated, it’s as part of a programme to develop the strategic capability of HR teams. We spend a half, or even a full-day, on the content I described in my keynote, and therefore the ideas participants develop for how they can create value through human capital are generally a bit more advanced than those we came up with yesterday – partly because of having longer time, and partly because these participants all work for the same organisation, and the exercise is a little more practical and contextualised as a result. But even then, these ideas always need to be taken away for more work.

And actually, the main benefit of the exercise, I believe, is having undertaken the exercise, not necessarily, the ideas that result. My aim isn’t so much about participants going away with a new idea which is going to guarantee an organisation’s success for the next 10 years, it’s about them developing a mindset that I would like to hope everyone who experiences the exercise, takes away and applies to everything they do in people management for the rest of their career. And it doesn’t really matter whether they ever come up with something that creates value. It’s about continually pushing activities up the value triangle as far as they will go. Continually asking, ‘how can I add and create more value through this?’.

I also hope that I didn’t depart too far from the conference’s clear focus on HCM analytics. As long as you promise not to tell anyone, dear reader, I will admit that in my blog posts, I do sometimes over-state my criticism of those who I feel sometimes over-exaggerate the role of measurement and analytics in HCM.

InfoHRM’s capabilities, and the great case studies described at the conference illustrate beyond doubt just how powerful HCM analytics can be.