Wednesday 26 June 2013

#DebateHR: HR Raging Debates - please comment!

raging_promo_badge_250x250.png  I'm included as one of the 'experts in Halogen Software's latest round of HR Raging Debates, describing my views on:


Talent shortage - "In most businesses it's the team & community which provide performance, not just individuals."

Managing generations - "What we really need to do is to treat each individual, not just each generation, differently."

Corporate culture - "Culture isn’t just limited to executing strategy, it IS the strategy.

HR analytics - "I think there’s more nonsense written about HR analytics than any other topic in HR."


Other contributions are from China GormanHenryk Krajewski, Trish McFarlaneJon Ingham, Heather BussingDominique Jones Laurie Bassi and Robin Schooling.

As you may know, I'm not a great supporter of this idea about experts and hence, non-experts, and it's a shame that your comments on our comments have to packed into a tiny space on page 9.  (I'd much rather everyone has an equal chance to debate.)  Nevertheless, a comment is much better than no comment at all!, so please do!

See you over there!


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Monday 24 June 2013

#SHRM13 Why Your Talent aren't Talent

IMG_0318.JPG  I was in Chicago last week presenting on 'The New HR' at SHRM's Annual Conference in Chicago.

There were some great sessions going on, and it was wonderful to catch up with and meet lots of great HR people too, though I ended up working in my hotel room more than I'd wanted.

Key reflections:

  • It was big.  No, like really, really big!  (the biggest SHRM conference ever in fact with some 16,000 attendees.  I've got to get me on that main stage!
  • There was a lot more use of social media than at CIPD, and plenty of more powerful social events too.
  • I personally though there was an overkill of stuff on SHRM in the introductions before the main speakers.  That also made it feel very different to the CIPD's conferences, and not really in a good way.
  • Chicago still brings back memories of visiting on short escapes from 'Hard Code' COBOL programming school in St Charles.  I'm glad I made the shift over to HR.



IMG_0339.JPG  My favourite session, other than Hilary Clinton's keynote, was with David Rock speaking about talent and neuroscience.




So our talent often aren't talent because they're just the people who shout the loudest.  I made a similar case in my session - that we're much better at identifying talent who contribute through their own capability and engagement (i.e. from a human capital perspective) than we are at finding talent who create value through their support and impact on other people (a social capital one).


I'll also be attending, blogging and tweeting on David's EMEA NeuroLeadership Summit in September. Mind you, David also suggesting tweeting (and any multi-tasking) makes us less smart.  I'll have to try to avoid that happening to stay up with what I'm sure will be some great content! 


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Friday 7 June 2013

In Sensual Company

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 22.22.31.png  As well as Dave Ulrich, my other co-presenter in South America has been Jesus Vega de la Falla, former HRD at Inditex (Zara etc) and author of The Sensual Company in which he writes about how other companies can generate similar passion to Zara in their employees:

"What is Zara so that millions of people take to the streets every day with his clothes?  What does Google for tens of thousands of people respond to a selection process? Why some companies are desired and indifferent to other investors, customers or employees? Do you have to be handsome and powerful to be attractive?

We speak of a new power, that of those companies who pursue their appeal, they have managed to seem to be interesting and through very different actions, but with one common factor: the exercise of seduction, as a business strategy. Your successful guarantee. The company is the opportunity sensuous know what makes it desirable for a company to woo people as diverse as employees, customers or investment groups …"

Zara sounds like a very special (maverick) company - one in which there is real love for the company.  And I've written about love here several times before, and have just about got over my hangups about whether love is something we should strive for at work.  It is.  But now I've got a whole new paradigm to shift because for Jesus the opportunity is not just about love (ongoing comfortable love between a man and his wife, or even the ongoing conflict between two people who can't get on but can't do without each other either) but real, intense, sensual and passionate love between two lovers.  Ahem.  That's the first time I've written about this here!

But that's the sort of love Zara wants to create in its customers and it knows it can only do that if its employees feel intense love for its employees.  Blimey!


I talked about this with Jesus sharing a taxi from Bogata Sheraton to the airport.  But actually in his presentations he's been talking about something slightly different - the need to know ourselves.  To be able to overcome our own egos and become the people we have the potential to be.  Because it's only when we have this knowledge of ourselves that we can start to create deeper relationships with other people.  I've written about this here too - though again in rather less passionate language.  So I've suggested that we need to develop human capital - through organisations which values each employee, and helps each employee value themselves, before we can develop social capital - in which employees truly value each other.

But creating intensity and passion does sound better doesn't it!


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Wednesday 5 June 2013

Presenting with Dave Ulrich and Insights on Behaviour and Change

DSCN5240.JPG  I'm in Bogota, Colombia presenting later on after Dave Ulrich (he's my warm-up today and I'm returning the favour in Chile on Friday.)

There have been loads of great insights as usual, but I particularly like this one - that influencing someone to change, eg transforming the perception of HR, is about providing information, changing behaviour and reinforcement.

Changing behaviour is an interesting one - the idea is that by making someone behave as if they believed something they become more as if they believed it.  For example, one of the best ways to retain high performers is to involve them in recruiting new employees.  By getting them to behave as if they are committed makes them more committed.  I quite like that.


It's not that new of course and has been one of the most prevalent aspects of change management over the last 20 years.  The theory used to be that we should change peoples' attitudes because that would have deeper impact on them than simply changing the behaviour.  But about 20 years ago we started to understand this was just too much hard work and that changing behaviour was often the best we could do to change peoples' attitudes.

I thought Jamie Duck summed it up quite well in the Change Monster:

"According to conventional wisdom, change works like this: You start by getting people to buy into a new corporate vision, thereby changing the attitudes.  They will then automatically change their behaviour, which will result in improved corporate performance.  After seeing this improvement, they will confirm their commitment to the corporate change programme, and the success spiral will continue.

Unfortunately, it’s not realistic to expect that kind of response in most companies these days.  By now, the troops have been through so many of these programmes that they’re sceptical.  Companies today are full of ‘change survivors’, cynical people who’ve learned how to live through change programmes without really changing at all.  The new programme is just another management fad in an endless series of management fads.

In most companies, the real context for change is exactly the opposite.  Top management should start by requiring a change of behaviour, and when that yields improved performance, the excitement and belief will follow."


But I wonder if we're starting to progress beyond this again now though.  People are now much less receptive to being asked to do things they don't agree with or believe in.  Doing this has the potential to reinforce the individual's existing perspectives, and increase cynicism about the organisation too.

But I still thought the example was quite neat.


Anyway, that will do for today's session.  I would share more but Dave keeps saying he hopes his most interesting stories don't show up in the media, and I think he's talking about me.


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