I'm spending an interesting day with Dave Ulrich (and about 500 HR leaders in the Middle East) at IIR's Middle East HR Summit where I'll be presenting tomorrow and Tuesday, and running a masterclass on Wednesday.
The focus so far has been largely the outside-in approach that you may already know I'm not a great fan of.
Having said that, Ulrich has provided a couple of great examples of where outside-in adds value. For example one of his ideas that I've not come across before is that HR should spend 2-4 hours per week doing sales calls. HR can go out with a sales manager and at the end of the sales meeting affirm the sales manager and explain to the client that their job is to build the talent and organisation that will ensure the company will gain 90% of the client's spend over the next ten years. It helps HR be focused on the customer and cements the client's relationship with the company too.
The outside-in idea is built on one of Ulrich's long-standing concepts that value is defined by the receiver more than the giver. So HR needs to listen, to understand, and to provide the value the receivers want. For Ulrich we've now gone past this e.g. instead of just knowing the business we've got to develop the business in the context we work within.
I'm still not sold on this - for me, the future needs to be about providing the value we know the receiver needs. We need to create new, not just add to existing, value.
This means the need to influence our stakeholders is even greater than Ulrich has been describing. But I still like his suggestions for the three ways to do this:
- Give them information (e.g. that's the role of the new E4S report I've posted on recently)
- Get them to behave as if they're committed (cognitive dissonance - people become committed to something after they've done it rather than before - e.g. get best talent to do referral hiring)
- Reinforce it - financially and non-financially.
So a bit more friendly criticism, but I will say this morning has included a barrage of great insights, and this post simply can't do all of that justice. So also see -
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- Contact me to create more value for your business
- jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com