Thursday 31 May 2012

Innovative talent management - financial services example


   June tomorrow and only a couple of weeks to the Economist Talent Management conference on the 14th where I will acting as a media partner (ie I’ll be blogging a lot) and moderator (interviewing Ryan Blair).

I’ve been asking for innovative example of talent management in return for offering two tickets to go along to the Summit with me.  There are two leading entries to date – this is the first, from Alan in a financial services firm:

“Hi Jon. We have a few things which I think wouldn't count as very revolutionary (web based recruitment tools, etc) but the thing we are doing which is my 'entry' for your ticket competition is to massively extend the notion of leadership for change to everyone in the company. Its been done before in a few places, but not many. The issue is this - we have 4000 people worldwide. We have lots of things we want to achieve, lots of changes we want to make, but it will be too slow if we try to manage and control everything through some central process. We could spend forever analysing the changes required, assessing who we think our talented people are to go on the teams, creating plans, coordinating thru a programme office, etc, etc.

You know the picture because we've all seen it many times before. It works to a degree, but its inefficient, regularly underdelivers and often creates new management controls which stifle the business.

So we're heading in the other direction. We have a few projects for things like IT systems that need to be built, but almost everything else is up for grabs. There's an overall direction in terms of aspirations for the company, but the changes required are defined locally by people who have the energy to do something about it and can convince other people to get involved. Anyone can volunteer to identify something that's holding us back and get rid of it, or something that's an opportunity and go for it.

This way our talented people are not the ones who pass a conceptual assessment, but the people who step up and move the company forward. Its early days but in a few months we are on the way to millions of dollars of new business, simplified processes and the beginnings of a new buzz in the place.
And all of this is being done with no managers/leaders controlling what we do, no additional budget and no extra resources. It won't stay that way forever, but its an interesting journey as we explore what's possible.

Technically this is not a 'talent management initiative', in that its not being directed by HR and no-one is using the word talent, but it is developing people, it is changing the business, and it is delivering real results in line with our strategy, so I'd argue that counts :-)”


Me too – I think it also resonates very strongly with the concept of lowerarchy we’re been discussing at ConnectingHR.

But think you can do better? – there’s still time to post your entry (the deadline has been extended till the end of the weekend).

But if you don’t make it you can still get a 15% discount by quoting SHCM when you book.



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Wednesday 30 May 2012

Creating Customer Centricity

Employee Customer Centricity.png  I recently chaired a panel on customer centricity: 'Internal v External - promoting innovation in HR to build a consistent leadership brand'.

The panal featured Ben Bengougam from Hilton Worldwide, Jill Brady from Virgin Atlantic, Simon Lloyd from Santander, Lynne Weedall from Carphone Warehouse and Angela Williams from British Gas.

We were under Chatham House rules so there's a limit to how much I can post about the event, but it was a really interesting session, and I thought I should pull out some highlights for you.

Firstly, the points I made in my opening up:

What are you trying to do?

  • The most important thing is for an organisation to be clear about what it's trying to do e.g. how much customer alignment does it want.  As I've blogged previously, I think you can take things too far e.g. innovation is more likely to come from unusual sources, not from customers.
  • Secondly I think organisations need to be clear which they want alignment to work, e.g. whether they believe in customers first, or employees first customers second? (also Virgin boss Richard Branson's perspective, I believe)


How to do it?

  • You probably need a mix of levers: people, culture, leadership, technology and measurement.
  • There will need to be a link between your candidate / employer brand and your corporate / customer brand.


Additional challenges to deal with?

  • Good customer service increasingly relies on personality and emotional resonance - all more difficult to provide in a call centre environment, particularly if its off shored or outsourced etc.
  • All this is becoming more important as everything becomes more social, e.g. as customers talk more about their experience using social media (see Josh Bernoff's Empowered).  I mentioned United Breaks Guitars for Jill's benefit, and Twelpforce for Lynne's.


 Then we were off.  The main insights for me from the conversation between the panel and the audience I was facilitating were:

  • There was a lot of support for the people first idea.  I really wish I could post more on what the panel members were saying.  And I wish even more strongly that this was a more broadly accepted paradigm.  But basically we need to create the right culture and environment (human, social and organisational capital) internally to create the right relationships with customers.
  • I was surprised how much social media came up.  HR people may not be using social media themselves (I was the only person to check-in to Altitude 360 at the Millbank Tower on Foursquare, nobody was using Twitter - hard I know when there are Chatham House rules) but many do understand how much social media has changed things.
  • Measurement got a lot of attention too, for example several members of the panel were using the Net Promoter Score for employees as well as customers, and we also referenced Gallup's Human Sigma.


A great session - well done TEN (The Executive Network), panelists and attendees! 


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Friday 25 May 2012

Making meetings more exciting?


    There was some interesting research out a few weeks ago from Epson and CEBR suggesting that the average UK office worker wastes 2 hours and 39 minutes in meetings every week.

  • £26 billion: the amount lost from UK economy through time wasted in meetings in 2011
  • 2 hours 39 minutes: the number of hours workers feel are wasted in meetings during an average week
  • 49 minutes: the number of wasted minutes in meetings not made up for later
  • 10 hours or over: the amount of time one in five senior managers and directors say they spend in meetings per week
  • 11 minutes: the average amount of time it takes for people’s attention to drift in a meeting.


Nothing too surprising about any of this, other than perhaps how low some of them are (people concentrate in meetings for 11 minutes at a stretch – really???).

Anyway, I’ve got an article in Management Today providing some suggestions for dealing with this problem.  The last one’s my favourite!

  • Dispense with chairs
  • Get social
  • Opting out
  • Avoid technology blunders
  • Water cooler culture
  • Be bold with timings
  • Get creative with locations
  • Weapons of mass distraction
  • Use professional facilitation
  • Better biscuits


There’s a bit more detail on Management Today.


Picture credit: Crowne Plaza lays fresh grass carpets


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Tuesday 22 May 2012

#SAPForum Doing Ulrich – or a return to the flexible resource pool?


   Today I was at SAP Forum in London.   There were a couple of interesting technology oriented sessions (which to me, more than anything, showed the similarity of issues faced by IT and HR departments) and a few good HR ones (with a couple of less good ones too).

The best of these I thought was one on Ulrich – and beyond, presented by Accenture and providing some early insights into some research they’re doing currently (there’ll be a book).

Let me come clean on my perspectives before I start my review- I think Ulrich’s work largely makes a lot of sense (though I don’t agree with outside-in) and am looking forward to seeing him in Dubai and at HR Performance.  But I also think ‘doing Ulrich’ is an awful idea and that organisations that do this have only themselves to blame when things don’t work out.  More on my perspectives at the end of the report…


So, Accenture do see an issue in the model (or in execution of the model).  Those clients looking to stay with Ulrich are seeking to refine and optimise it as follows:

  • Joining up, connecting and providing more governance across the model
  • Assessing and developing business partners – often the weakest link
  • Bringing in a COO as an overlay on top of the model to make HR more commercial
  • Tailoring the model as one size does not fit all, eg using concierge services for investment bankers who aren’t going to do employee self-service are they? (just getting them behaving like decent human beings would seem to be enough of a challenge for most)
  • Unfudging global / regional / local activity splits
  • Moving more work into shared services and offshore to increase efficiency
  • Making hybrid the new market, eg a company might outsource to support growth in emerging markets but keep activities in-house elsewhere, or develop other, lower services to support the rising contingent workforce.


But how can it be that everybody is implementing the model badly?  Perhaps the model itself needs to change.  Accenture suspect the next new model will involve:

  • Focusing more strongly on operational excellence to deliver lower quartile costs
  • Keeping numbers of business partners to a very small number
  • Putting everybody else into a flexible, agile resource pool
  • Making all this work through ‘ruthless measurement and analytics’.


The last point seemed to get a lot of stress (this is Accenture!).  So for example:

“If HR can’t measure what it does and prove the value of what it does then it shouldn’t be doing it.”


This to me is absolute garbage – worse than that in fact as it’s not just useless, it’s also hugely dangerous as it’s just going to drive HR’s focus to more measurable activities which are generally less valuable.


I was pleased to see, however, that Accenture is stressing the need for HR to help their organisations rather than just support general austerity in their organisations by cutting their own numbers (which XpertHR suggests is what’s happening currently), so:

“HR can have a lot more impact by improving sales performance even 0.002% than it can through functional operational improvement.”


The biggest point for me though is that actually the whole debate is a red herring.  Ulrich never proposed ‘his’ model as a solution organisations should implement.  And it should never be one.  All organisational transformation, including HR’s, should begin with clear organisational principles, the identification of potential options and the comparison of the pros and cons of these options against the organisational principles.  The best solution may end up looking like Urich’s straw model or it may not.

So to me, it’s Accenture’s finding that “blanket ratios and sizing of the function were applied” that is pretty much the root cause of the problem – not the model nor the execution actually.



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Monday 21 May 2012

HR Performance 2012


   Straight after that I’m following Dave Ulrich back to London for another session on HR supporting social media in the business at HR Performance in London.

Other speakers include:

  • Sandy Begbie, Group People and Operations Director at Standard Life
  • Binna Kandola, Senior Partner and co-founder, Pearn Kandola
  • Vance Kearney, Vice President Human Resources, Oracle Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Jez Lanhorn, Vice President People, McDonald’s UK
  • Darren Newman, Consultant Editor, XpertHR and writer, Equal Opportunities Review
  • Dean Shoesmith, Executive Head of Human Resources, London Boroughs of Sutton and Merton.
  • Liz Bramley, Employee Engagement and Diversity strategy, The Co-operative Group
  • Esther O'Halloran, Managing Director, Paul UK
  • Denis Barnard, founder of


I hope to see you there too.



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Middle East HR Summit


   I’ve got more great conferences coming up later in the year.  One of these I’m really looking forward to is IIR’s HR Summit in Dubai in November.

Dave Ulrich kicks the conference off with a full day on HR from the outside-in and leadership (the why of work).

The rest of the programme is the split into sections based upon Ulrich’s HR competencies.  You may remember that one of these is ‘technology proponent’ and I’ll be presenting on social media in HR, and HR’s role in supporting the use of social media in business.

I’ll then be wrapping the programme up with a workshop on HR measurement.


Other speakers include:

  • Christel Heydemann, EVP Corporate Human Resources & Transformation, Alcatel‐Lucent, France
  • Ehab Hassan, Group Chief HR Officer and Executive Vice President, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Hussain Al Obaidly, Chief Human Resources Officer, Mubadala – GE, UAE
  • Thomas Bartridge, Director of Human Resource, Masdar, UAE
  • Wayne Davies, HR Director – Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, GE, UAE
  • Craig Deaves, Organisational Capability Manager, BP, Iraq
  • Maryam Al Falahi, HR Consultant and Former VP ‐ HR Strategy & Planning, Etisalat, UAE
  • Maha Al Mansouri, Associate Director – HR and Emiratisation, Masdar, UAE
  • Cora Koppe‐Stahrenberg, Chief Human Resources Officer, Emirates Investment Authority, UAE
  • Akif Tashkandi, HR Director, Boeing International, Saudi Arabia
  • Jalal Al‐Khaled, Chief Human Resources Officer, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company, UAE
  • Salwa Al Nuaimi, Vice President Talent Acquisition, Etihad Airways, UAE
  • Charlie Sampson, Former Regional Head of Talent Management, HSBC Bank, UAE
  • Othman Haddi, Associate Director, CEEMEA HR Headquarters, Procter & Gamble, Switzerland
  • Tamer Elewa, Regional HR Business Partner ‐ Global Operations, Merck Serono, UAE
  • Jonathan Budden, HR Business Partner, Microsoft, UAE
  • Dilpreet Singh, HR Leader ‐ Middle East & Africa, IBM, UAE
  • Salem Baabdullah, General Manager ‐ Talent Management, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudi Arabia
  • David Capozzalo, Lead ‐ Executive Leadership & Development, SABIC, Saudi Arabia
  • Veronica Munro, Head of Leadership Effectiveness – West, Standard Chartered, UAE
  • Matthew Mee, Vice President – Human Resources, Jumeirah Group, UAE
  • Colin Gow, Group Head of HR Shared Services, Al Futtaim, UAE
  • Khaled Helaly, Director ‐ Strategy and Business Planning HR, Qatar Foundation, Qatar
  • Indi Seehra, Director of Human Resources, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Khalil Cotran, Managing Director – Human Resources, NBK Capital, Kuwait
  • Assaf Al‐Quraishi, Vice President ‐ Human Resources MENA, Unilever, UAE
  • Lee‐Anna Nussbaumer, Corporate Director of Human Resources, Emaar Hospitality Group, UAE


If you’re in the region I hope I’ll see you there.



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Sunday 20 May 2012

Interviewing Ryan Blair at the Economist’s Talent Management Summit


   Less than a month now until the Economist’s Talent Management Summit on 14th June…

As well as acting as the summit’s social media partner, I’m going to be moderating a panel “THE NET GENERATION—capitalising on unique characteristics” with Ryan Blair, CEO of ViSalus and author of "Nothing To Lose".

Aged 36 now I think, Ryan isn’t quite in the net generation I think we’re supposed to be discussing.  But then he did start his first company aged 21 and became a millionaire soon after, so he certainly capitalised on his own unique characteristics!

Anyway, we’re also supported by Lucian Tarnowski (28?) from Brave New Talent, who as CEO of the social recruiting platform, Brave New Talent, certainly fits the bill.

And of course, both of them lead organisations predominantly staffed by net gen employees.


Any thoughts on what I should be asking Ryan?


Also, I’m still taking entries for a free ticket to the summit – you just need to submit an idea for an HR innovation.  This can be a big one – a radically different HR architecture would be great – but it could be quite a small one if it’s interesting enough (perhaps like Ryan’s own innovation in asking interviewees to play Connect 4 with him so that he can understand the way they think!???).

More details here:




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Friday 18 May 2012

Why Ed Lawler is Completely Wrong about performance management!


   You know I’m a fan of Ed Lawler, right? (see 1,2,3).  We’re not talking John Boudreau or Peter Cappelli here (though of course Boudreau is Lawler’s colleague at USC).

But I’m afraid I think Lawler’s article in the Executive Guide to Integrated Talent Management (featuring me, Dave Ulrich, Marshall Goldsmith – plus Peter Cappelli etc) has got everything pretty much completely the wrong way round.

It all starts off OK:

“The existence of an effective performance management system is often the major differentiator between organisations that produce adequate results and those that excel.  Without a focus on performance management at all levels of an organisation, it is hard to see how an organisation can find a talent-based competitive advantage.

It is far from easy to get performance management right in an organisation.  The corporate world is littered with companies whose employees never receive an effective performance appraisal.  People at all organisational levels go through the motions of formulaic performance appraisals with astonishing insincerity and have little to show for it.  There also are numerous examples of situations where individuals thought they were going the right thing and performing well only to find out that they were mistaken when they had their annual appraisals.  Finally, in many organisations, performance appraisals simply aren’t done, either because of employee resistance or because managers ‘dry lab’ (fake) them.”


Agreed.  And I think these reasons are why an increasing number of organisations are jettisoning their performance management processes and doing something more innovative and resonant instead.

But if you are going to do it, it’s important to know the best practices which will tend to stack the odds as far in your favour as much as you can.

To me, Lawler’s suggestions are more part of the problem than they are part of the solution.  Here’s why:


1.   Start at the top

Lawler: “In the best of all possible worlds, goals are first set at the top and then cascaded down so that individuals at each level have goals that are tied to the overall strategic direction of the organisation.”

Me: Well, I understand the logic for this – I’ve even led large projects (£1m+) based upon this principle, and shouted about the case studies which result.  But increasingly I see organisations which are just to complicated and complex for this to work.  You can’t just start with the top level goals and slice and dice till you end up with every individual taking on their own teeny little bit.  Things don’t work like that.  So as long as everyone is clear about the overall business strategy, and their own role requirements, they and their managers, and increasingly those other people working around them, are the best people to decide on their goals.  Plus of course doing this makes the whole process much quicker and more agile, and less tedious all round.


2.   HR should support, not own, the system

Lawler: “HR managers should not act as the conscience of the organisation or drive and sell performance management.  These should be the responsibilities of the top managers.”

Me: If HR can’t own this, what can it own? (nothing!).  It depends on what you want HR to be – if it’s just an administrative side attraction, then fine, just tell it to operate the logistics of the appraisal round.  But if you want HR to drive competitive success but ensuring you have the people you need, you’ve got to give HR ownership of some of the key tools.

Some of this comes down to the difference between accountability and responsibility.  HR can’t be responsible for managing peoples’ performance – that’s got to rest with the line.  But HR can be accountable for good performance management taking place across the organisation.  And owning the system which enables managers to own the performance of the people in their teams is a key part of enabling this to happen.


3.   Cascade strategy and goals to all levels

Lawler: “The starting point for an effective performance management process should be the business strategy of the organisation.  It should guide a goal-setting process that leads to individuals, teams and business units having transparent goals and objective sthat are directly tied to the strategy of the business.  For this to be effective, the goal-setting process needs to begin at the top of the organisation and cascade down.”

Me: I would ignore the fact that this is really just a repeat of Lawler’s principle 1 except that my challenge is largely the same as my earlier one too.  Not everything can be dictated from the top.  If nothing else, it’s not very compelling to be treated like this ie as a small cog in part of the big organisational wheel.  It’s often better to  let people come up with objectives they’re going to be committed too, even if they’re not directly aligned with those of the top cheese.  See my post on performance leadership for more on this.


4.   Set measurable goals

Lawler: “Measurable goals need to be set, and individuals should be assessed in relation to them.  This applies to both the skills and competencies that individuals need to develop and also, of course, their performance deliverables – the how and the outcomes of their performance.”

Me: Yeah, measurable’s nice, as it helps understand how people are doing and how much to pay them.  But this is about performance assessment, not improvement.  And improvement comes, once again, from making goals compelling, not merely measureable.  See my earlier post on making objectives MUSICal, not just SMART.


5.   Set talent development objectives

Oh good grief – get people to set these themselves.  Then they may actually own them and do something about meeting them.


6.   Rate outcomes and performance, don’t rank people

Lawler: “Some organisations (for example, ExxonMobil) rank-order hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of people from first to last, numbering them from one to whatever the total number of individuals is in the part of the organisation that is being appraised.  This effort is like trying to measure the length of an objective to the closest thousandth of an inch using an ordinary straight ruler; the information needed to measure performance so precisely just isn’t available.”

Me: Yes, but you can’t accurately compare people’s performance at higher levels either.  Nobody’s performance, goals or their job is the same, so you’re comparing apples with oranges whatever you try and do.  Anyway, it’s not the ‘information’ that’s important here, it’s the conversation.  The value of ranking, and why I suggest organisations do it, is the conversations between managers about what they value in different people and why they perceive some as more valuable than others.  I’ve never seen the same quality of discussion take place over simply rating people.  I4CP can show that it’s apparently less popular, but personally, I’d still do it.



Lawler: “Another seriously flawed rating practice is forced distribution. Some organisations (for example, GE, EDS and Accenture) require their managers to identify a certain proportion of their reports who are failing, often 5 to 10 percent, and a certain proportion who are doing particularly well, often 15 to 20 percent. The forced distribution approach ignores the reality that some work groups have no poor performers and other have no good performers.”

Me: Yes, that’s probably true, though GE never forced this to the extent that the story was spun. Anyway, you get round the problem by rating and ranking people. So they get rated based upon their objectives, and ranked against everyone else. If they’re performed well against their objectives but their colleagues have done even better (ie the bar has been raised) they’ll get a good rating but be ranked rather lower. I can’t see the problem in this.


7. Train managers and employees

I almost have to agree to this one, but there is a way round doing so. Recognise the need for emergence – if you have to train people (on the system, not just having good quality conversations) then the system is too complex. keep the bureaucracy light and just let it happen. Managers and employees will find their own ways to manage and improve their performance.


8. Link rewards to performance, but discuss development separately

Lawler: “Principle 8 is to link rewards to performance, but to discuss development separately. An important feature of an effective performance management system is the degree to which it affects the reward system; in other words, the degree to which it leads to pay increases, bonuses, stock options and promotions. Over the years, articles and books have claimed that performance management processes should separate the appraisal of performance from discussion about salary increases and promotions. This may indeed make some of the discussion easier, but it is not the way to make money and other tangible rewards effective motivators.”

Me: I certainly agree that there’s a problem here – put simply, if money’s involved, people won’t discuss their development needs (weaknesses) because they think it’s going to result in them being paid less. So they pretend they don’t have any needs, only strengths, so no, or at least less, development needs get identified. But I think Lawler is completely wrong to go with the reward vs the development aspect. Firstly because we know reward doesn’t motivate that much. And secondly, because it definitely doesn’t improve performance (by very much).

So use performance management to drive learning and development – both key drivers of improvement in any organsiation. And figure out something else (like this) to provide a basis for reward.


9. Appraise the appraisers

Again, a bit more of a difficult one to object too, but it’d be a shame to give up now…. so of course I need to note that simply appraising managers isn’t really going to be anything like enough.  More important is finding people to work as managers who are motivated and competent to manage.  And then you won’t have to worry about appraising them.


10. Consider having review discussions online

For a while I thought this would be the hardest principle of the ten to challenge – but then I saw my way through it.  Don’t consider – just do it!  This isn’t so much for the sake of being more ‘functional’ (“it gives individuals a chance to think a bit before they make their responses”) however, as Lawler suggests – it’s because online provides better clarity, sharing and memory than doing it any other way.  Simps.


There you go – sorry Ed!


Also see



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Friday 11 May 2012

#ASTD2012 - integrating learning and development with compensation and rewards


   It’s been ASTD’s annual conference this week which has reminded me that I never completed my review of the ASTD / I4CP’s 2011 book, The Executive Guide to Integrated Talent Management to which I contributed a chapter (alongside Dave Ulrich, Ed Lawler, Marshall Goldsmith, Peter Cappelli and others).

Mine is actually the next chapter after the earlier ones I have already reviewed outlining the general benefits of integrated talent management, and on the integration of learning with recruiting.

My chapter is on the integration of learning and compensation and rewards, and starts of with…

“Ensuring the alignment and integration of L&D and reward as well as other management policies, processes and practices is an important enabler to effective talent management. There is firstly a need for horizontal alignment – ensuring that both L&D and reward, along with other elements of the HR and management architecture, are linked together and support each other.

However, it is even more important for an organization to ensure vertical alignment, which it achieves from having both L&D and reward, and other processes, aligned with the overall business strategy, and its mission, vision, values and so on.

These vertical and horizontal linkages can help build HR, L&D and other processes around what an organization believes about people management and development – for example, what it thinks works in motivating and upskilling people and how these strategies can best be implemented…

For example… some organizations believe strongly in formal systems and structures whereas others prefer informal and social ways of operating. The first form of organization is likely to have set learning curricula for each grade and level supported by a Learning Management System. Organizations subscribing to more informal approaches are likely to put greater emphasis on opportunities for connecting with others in the organization and for self managed learning. An organization’s reward strategy should also be aligned with these approaches to learning. For example, a formal learning system is likely to work best when supported by a formal incentive programme and an informal or social approach to learning may work best when linked to a looser recognition programme allowing and encouraging managers and employees to express their appreciation for exceptional effort, skills and performance.


Karl-Heinz Oehler, VP Global Talent Management at Hertz then provides an example of the sort of problem which occurs when there isn’t this type of intgration in a more structured type of firm:




“Compensation & Rewards is interrelated with almost every functional HR domain, but its relationships with L&D is special, yet underestimated.  It is special because L&D’s role is to enhance employee competence, to bring about behavioural change, and to develop employees’ ability to work more effectively.  Yet development programs all too often fall short in producing the desired change – and not because these programs are badly designed or delivered.  In fact, many of them receive very high ratings.  So what was the problem?

Reviewing development programs at Hertz, especially those aimed at improving business results, highlighted the fact that employees were convinced that what they learned was right for the business.  However, the C&R system was contrary to the principles learned and thus drove a different ehaviour.  New behaviours can only be encouraged, implemented, and sustained if the employees practicing them are properly compensated and rewarded.  This was one of the formidable challenges that Hertz L&D faced.”


Karl-Heinz goes on to describe some great example of how Hertz has tried to ensure better integration from this point.

However, despite what Karl-Heinz states, I don’t think C&R does have much of a special relationships with L&D – certainly not to the same extent as between C&R and Performance Management, and PM and L&D.

I’m going to continue (and this time, complete) reviewing / providing extracts from these other relationships / the other chapters of the book over the next couple of weeks.




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Tuesday 8 May 2012

At ‘lunch’ with Drive Thru HR


   Next Monday, 14th May, I’ll be talking on Bryan Wempen and William Tincup’s blogtalk radio show, DriveThruHR - and I’d love for you to call in or listen online.


The show is at noon central time – which is 6.00pm here in the UK, so it’s a tea-time show really.  And it lasts thirty minutes.  If you miss the show, you can listen to the archive afterward.

If you’ve not listened before, the show’s format is to ask guests about “What’s keeping you up at night?”…

I’m not sure what I’m going to be talking about yet…  and the truth is, I don’t have problems sleeping.

However, here are some of the things I’m currently working on, so I guess I need to pick on of these…


  • Clients (All UK and Ireland at the moment)
    • Measurement scorecard
    • HR Business Partner training
    • Change process support
    • Career development
    • Support for an HR technology vendor


  • Workshops (UK, Barcelona, Bangkok)
    • Measurement
    • HR Business Partnering
    • Change management
    • Advances in Recruitment, Learning
    • Social Media for HR


  • Other paid (and unpaid) activities


    • Writing a couple of guides which are well past their due date.


Do let me know if there’s something particular that you’d like to hear me talk about.  If not, I’ll probably end up choosing one of the above topics when the hosts ask the question..




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  • Strategy - Talent - Engagement - Change and OD
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  • jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com


Friday 4 May 2012

The Talent Management Summit – how to win your free tickets!


   I’ve been promising you the opportunity to win a free place to the Economist’s talent management summit on 14th June.

Well, the sub-title for the 2012 summit is ‘the next generation of leaders’ (global, female, net generation and so on) and one of the things I’m hoping to see evidence of is some ‘next generation of talent management strategies’.

I believe that if we’re trying to create something different – and we certainly need to – then we need to think, act and behave in different ways as well.  This means we need substantially different HR / HCM / talent management processes and practices to be put in place.

So, this year’s ticket competition, open to all talent management practitioners, is going to be pretty simple – what are you doing / what are you already planning to do (/ I might even be prepared to take a look at what you’d love to do if…) – in order to recruit, manage or develop your next generate talent – that involves a degree of uniqueness, creativity and innovation?

The best two entries get to go along with me to the summit.


How to enter?

Well, you can either email me at: info [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com.  Or you can add your entry in the comments below.  The advantage of doing this is that other readers may comment on your entries to – and if there’s a sufficient groundwell I’ll decide on the winning entries based upon these comments as well as my own judgements.  But I will need to know how to contact you.

No word limits or anything like that, and creativity in how you submit your entries, as well as their content, will be welcomed!

I’ll include the winning two entries as posts on my blog, and if possible, would like to encourage the two winners to add posts on their reflections on the summit too.

The deadline for entries will be 31st May.

Any questions? – ask below.


Oh, and if you don’t win, or for some reason don’t want to enter (and I might add that odds of winning a £1,300 prize, and great one day learning and networking experience, are probably going to be amazingly good!) then do remember that you can still get a 15% discount by quoting SHCM when you book.



  • Consulting - Research - Speaking - Training - Writing
  • Strategy - Talent - Engagement - Change and OD
  • Contact me to create more value for your business
  • jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com


Thursday 3 May 2012

Challenges & Opportunities for Talent Managers 7: The Talent Management Summit


   Right, to finish this little mini-series of posts on talent management, here is further advance warning of the Economist’s 2012 Talent Management Summit, www.­thetalentmanagem­entsummit.­com.

This was one of my favourite events last year, and you can check out the posts at:


  This blog is once again acting as a media partner for the Summit, meaning that I’ll be back again, posting furiously.  The actual number of posts I’ll do will depend on a number of things – firstly, decent technology (I remember the hotel being rather short of power sockets last year!) – and obviously the quality and resonance of the presentations too.  But that shouldn’t be a problem, as there are quite a few topics which I’m pretty passionate about, and post on quite frequently here, eg:

Doug Baillie, Chief Human Resources Officer, Unilever


STRATEGIC WORKFORCE PLANNING—insights into what, who, when and how
Moderator: Chris Webber, Senior Editor, Economist Intelligence Unit
Christopher Benko, Vice-president, Global Talent Management, Merck
Sharron Gunn, Executive Director, ICAEW
Melanie Long, Managing Consultant, SHL


WORK GROUP: ENGAGEMENT—does your CEO know what makes your organisation tick?
Andrew Kakabadse, Professor of International Management Development, Cranfield University School of Management


However, I’ll probably post most on the stuff I don’t agree with.  For example:

Sally Boyle, Partner, Head of Human Capital Management Division EMEA, Goldman Sachs
James Cullens, Group Human Resources Director, Hays; Advisory Board Member, OUBS
Budaraju Sudhakar, Chief Human Resources Officer, Tata Chemicals


Looks fine, and I certainly agree with the need to reposition HR, but the sub-text is about business-driven HR – and personally, I think there’s a better way!

That’s fine too.  It’s a point I’ve been meaning to make in response to one of the most interesting articles I’ve read this week – which has been a piece by HR Magazine on HR’s evolution.  There are a couple of calls in here for HR to unify its sense of direction, eg Diageo’s Christian Horne suggests: "The more I work in HR, the more I discover a distinct lack of common definitions."  To me, that’s a good thing (see The Head of Talent Role: Challenges and Opportunities for talent Managers /4).


I should also mention another two things, in case you’re not yet convinced you need to attend the summit:

1.   This year, I’ll also be on the programme (now, if that’s not a reason to attend!!!…):

INTERVIEW: THE NET GENERATION—capitalising on unique characteristics

Moderator: Jon Ingham, Executive Consultant, Strategic HCM

Lucian Tarnowski, Co-Founder, Brave New Talent

Kirsty Russell, Vice-president, Markets HR, Nokia


2.   As a valued follower of Strategic HCM blog you are entitled to a 15% discount. Simply quote "SHCM" when booking.


You’ve also got a chance to win one of two free tickets to attend the Summit and I’ll be posting details on this here tomorrow!



  • Consulting - Research - Speaking - Training - Writing
  • Strategy - Talent - Engagement - Change and OD
  • Contact me to create more value for your business
  • jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com