Tuesday 28 August 2018

Interview on Employee Engagement

I've been interviewed by Smarp on 'creating a culture of employee engagement'.

The article is here.

For more information:
  • 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

Monday 20 August 2018

Top 100 HR Influencers for 2018

Thanks to Engagedly (performance management system) for including me in their list of top 100 HR Influencers for 2018.

The list of 100 was narrowed down by Engagedly's industry research from nearly 300 candidates and nominations. The research team closely researched the industry and considered HR professionals from all divisions and sub-specialties within the broader HR community to encompass the entire industry, including HR Generals, HR Tech, Talent Management, and more. "This year, we took a data-driven approach to the Top 100 List. We analyzed professionals on their social media following, blogging activity, presence at conferences, work in academia, and innovative contributions. We put an emphasis on recency, frequency, and relevance of engagement over the past year."

 For more information:
  • 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

Monday 13 August 2018

Interpersonal relationships in the digital workplace

I'm included in this article on developing interpersonal relationships in the digital workplace published on the UNLEASH conference site.

Despite what the article suggests, I didn’t actually say that the US is behind the rest of the world - simply that each country / region experiences it’s own unique challenges.

Here’s the full interview:

Tell me a little about your professional background and organization

I am a consultant at The Social Organization and focus on helping companies develop innovative people strategies, often based on ensuring people are able to work together effectively.

I started my career in engineering and IT and when I came into HR started with an engineer’s perspective on designing and managing HR processes. But I was fortunate to get a job as HR Director for EY which even then was a very people focused, progressive firm. That experience led to a growing interest in organisation development and a desire to really understand people and the way we learn, become engaged, work together and perform. I still think that it is really important for HR professionals - understanding 'the business' is vital but our real difference comes from our understanding of the people within in. Technology is important too and I’ve maintained an interest in this since my days in IT (including an early involvement in UNLEASH’s original format, HR Tech Europe). Today’s digital workplace provides a major opportunity for HR to impact the business through people.

What are the biggest benefits and challenges of today's digital workplace?

The digital workplace enables us to get work done differently and better, and most importantly, work done that we would not have been able to do before. This applies particularly strongly to communication and collaboration, analytics and AI. For example, in organisation design, the digital workplace is now one of the most important elements of an organisation, and can have as much if not more impact on people’s ability to work, as the structure and processes we use.

The most common challenge in using the digital workplace is that unlike most IT systems people generally do not need to use it to get their jobs done, as the benefits are often organisational rather than individual. People have therefore got to understand the needs and broader benefits in using it, and to be engaged in supporting their organisation by doing the right thing. This means that the digital workplace needs to be designed for people, meaning that we now need to be very serious about the employee experience resulting from its use. An area that often gets missed is that the digital workplace needs to align with, ie to support and inform, the rest of the organisation. The physical workplace is particularly important and the digital and physical workplaces need to encourage the same type of behaviours and provide a similar type of experience.

Why are interpersonal relationships important as teams grow more digital and/or remote?

Relationships have always been important. The most fundamental idea behind organisations is that a number of people working together can achieve more than the same number of people working on their own. But this will only be the case if their relationships enable them to do so. More recently, relationships have become even more important. The amount of knowledge available and being generated is leading to greater specialisation in people’s roles. At the same time, the issues confronting organisations are becoming increasingly complex. This leads to growing demands to bring various people with different skills and perspectives together in teams, other groups and networks.

These demands are only going to increase. As AI takes over a lot of work currently performed by people, the main area that will be left as our competitive advantage is the ability to have relationships with each other. Virtual and remote working make it more difficult to develop the quality relationships we need and therefore make this resource even more important. Put all of this together and we'll soon need to start thinking less about people as knowledge workers, and more about ourselves as relationship workers, where relationships are the core aspect of what we do.

What tools or best practices can leaders employ to foster good interpersonal relationships in their digital workplace?

I think the key is to manage the implementation and maintenance of digital workplaces as organisation development interventions, not as IT. It is really critical to involve people, and to design for people. HR’s increasing interest in design thinking and its use of personas and journey mapping is really useful here. The implementation also needs to be supported by broader OD activities as, for example, it is easier for people to collaborate online if they know the people they are collaborating with offline too.

Other simple, human actions can make a big difference too, for example giving the workplace a human name that people can relate to. Community management is vital and is a great role for people in HR to take on. In many ways community management is the new HR - as in, traditional HR has been about individuals and human capital, the new HR is about relationships, communities and social capital.

Aside from the U.S., do you see any particular region or industry doing an especially good job at cultivating these relationships?

I am not so sure the US is doing a (particularly) good job actually. I think Americans' sense of personal identify means that communities often end up as groups of people shouting at each other and it can be really difficult to get people to cooperate and collaborate with each other to their full extent. True community needs a sense of what’s in it for us, not just of what’s in it for me. I also think there is this strange thing where HR excellence is a power law whereas it is a normal distribution curve elsewhere. Ie there are a small number of truly excellent organisations but an awful lot of mediocre ones focused on hiring and firing too. Those from the later group are going to find developing relationships, and therefore getting the best out of their digital workplaces really hard to do.

Asia has the opposite problem in that there is a lot of focus on groups but there is the downside that people can also disappear and lose their sense of identify within them. Out of all the countries where I have worked, I would say that South Africa is the best placed. They have enormous technological challenges but once these are sorted, their culture of allowing people to sit around and talk things through will act as a huge advantage there.

Cross posted at The Social Organization

Friday 3 August 2018

Social Connections Keynote Organising Connection

I'll also be doing another keynote at Social Connections in Berlin.

The keynote will be on Organising Social Connection (the title may change to make sure people don't think the session is about organising the conference!, though organising / influencing / enabling the social connections within an organisation is absolutely what the session will be about).

The conference is run by / for the IBM Connections and social business products user group so I'll also be speaking about how the use of these products need to be aligned with the broader organisation and its 'culture':
Even great social collaboration systems, like IBM’s, will not work well without the right ‘culture’. This is about the alignment of different areas of the organisation. And this means that organisation design provides a useful basis for supplementing the implementation and adoption of social collaboration systems.

A particularly critical requirement is to define the most important type of organisational group, so that the systems can deliver a quality experience to these, as well as to individual employees. For example, Watson Workspace is not going to work effectively unless there is a strong organizational basis for working in teams. Connections is not going to be used well, unless the organization understands the basis for, and supports, working in networks.

This session will review the potential groups in an organisation and how they can be best supported by HR processes, internal communications, the physical workplace and the digital workspace.

Get in touch for more information, or to develop your organisation's social connections:
  • 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 2 August 2018

Presenting at Symposium Future of Work

I'll also be presenting at Symposium's Future of Work summit in October.

I'm doing the final slot and will be taking the suggestions of the other presenters and helping attendees understand what to do with them to make the best impact in their own organisations:

Designing a Best Fit Future of Work Strategy
  • The need for best fit in a strategic approach to capture the full potential of the future of work
  • Focusing on employee experience through design thinking including future focused personas and increasing personalisation
  • Selecting organisational, staffing and technological options to meet objectives and principles
  • The role of data, analytics and change agent networks in supporting and leading the transformation

If you'd like a free pass to attend with me I may be able to provide one (to just one person) - in which case, let me know why you'd like to attend and how many drinks you'll buy me later.

Get in touch for more information, or to develop your organisation's response to the future of work:
  • 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

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Enterprise Digital Keynote: Role of HR in the Social Organization

I'll also be delivering a keynote at Enterprise Digital in London in November.

Get in touch for more information, or to develop your organisation's digital workplace, particularly if you work in HR:
  • 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