Month: March 2013

Are you really too busy to innovate?


It is really incredible how much time each of us spends everyday in useless or low value activities, instead of concentrating on what your company would need the most: innovation. To a certain extent we have become too “efficient”. So we do not put enough attention to the thinking process that is at the basis of creativity and innovation. We are simply too busy to innovate, and what’s worse, we seem to enjoy the busyness over the contemplation necessary for innovation. Like a man who starves to death in a bountiful land because he is too busy to plant, many businesses will wither because they were too busy to innovate. This is what Jeffrey Phillips writes on his blog. And I believe he is really right. We spend endless hours into meetings for the sole purpose of being present (I will come back on this, but for the moment you can read this great article on how to avoid being dragged in too many meetings), endless call conferences, tons of email whose relevance is all …

Start from the basics: make your Payroll Work


Yesterday I read a post by Laurie Ruettimann that would get many “HR Professionals” quite nervous The most important part of Human Resources isn’t talent management or talent acquisition. It doesn’t matter if you hire for culture or competency. And nobody cares about your learning management systems or your diversity and inclusion programs. The most important part of Human Resources is your payroll department. A very bold statement, that goes directly to the heart of a problem at many HR departments of the organisations. So concentrated in developing their latest Talent Management programme, they have forgotten the basics of personnel management, the administrative stuff that actually makes your employee work for your company. Being able to pay your employee on time, without errors, and with the right amounts is not rocket science (despite the efforts that basically any country around the world does in making its payroll regulations as complex as possible). But it involves a lot of technical knowledge, not just limited to a calculation spreadsheet, or to a payroll software, but also linked to key elements …

A Basic Skill for Managers: Decision Making


What is that makes a good manager? Good decisions, many would say. Issue is that, apparently, many managers find it more and more difficult to take decisions. Of course the ubiquitous phrase “go with your gut” tells us a lot about the importance of instinct and intuition in decision-making. But… not everybody is ready to go this way. And elements such as reason and experience need to come into scope. The key issue of decision-making is making sure it comes at the right time. This means that a key skill needed for managers, is taking decision by balancing the need of detailed knowledge and the timeliness of the decision. There are many Decision-Making tools that can help different people to sustain their decision-making approach. However, I’d like to recap what a good decision should be about. First of all decision-making is a process that needs to involve various steps: Identify the purpose of your decision. What is exactly the problem that needs to be solved? Why should it be solved? Is there a need at all for a …

A New Paradigm for People Management


HR is fighting a battle for its relevance in tomorrow’s organisation. If it wants to become something more than just an entity dealing with compliance and payroll administration, a serious paradigm shift is needed. Large HR Transformation efforts, based on the so-called Ulrich Model, have tried to bring efficiency into HR organisation, trying also to integrate technology and process automation. But their results have to a large extent failed to reach their goals. Even with the introduction of the so-called HR Business Partner role, in many organisation the satisfaction of business management towards the HR organisation has swiftly declined. The effort of regaining a business relevance by trying to impose a Business agenda through Talent Management, is also failing because it is proving to be the “wrong” answer to the problem. Facing a structural problem one would argue that a structural change would be necessary, not just a simple make-up effort. Is there a solution then? In my opinion yes, and the success that many professionals in this domain endeavor every day shows that a lot can be achieved. What …

Doing some Cleaning


Weekends (at least the few ones I spend in Luxembourg) is cleaning time! A protracted effort to find a sense of order in my home (always challenged by my three cats, constantly running around while I try to put things in order). Anyway, after the “hard-core” cleaning, I decided to spend some time also on some more “virtual” cleanings online. I have readjusted the theme of my online notepad on tumblr EcletticaMente (mainly in Italian), which now has its own sub domain: io.sergiocaredda.eu. I have readjusted my “about.me” page, as well as my Twitter one, trying to synch my profiles (don’t know why, but I have the tendency to always reinvent the wheel when I have to describe myself…). Also tried to set up a new “claim” for myself: Trying to bring back People at the core of the human enterprise. Please throw stones at it… Eventually, after the implementation of my Hr Thinker list, I have created a magazine version, called Knowledge Nomad thanks to the free service of paper.li. Every day it will serve you a fresh …

Need number 4: Enhance Creativity and Innovation


What is the real contribution that HR should be giving into an organisation? In my opinion there is one concrete answer to this: enhance Creativity and Innovation. These two elements are not just “side” effects of HR policies, or limited to the contribution of some learning specialist. In my opinion these two key elements are the real added value that HR can bring into an organisation. Too often people in HR think their contribution should be to the culture of the organisation, to the motivation of employees, to the productivity of people, to the efficiency of the organisation. All these elements are of course valuable ones, and are probably some very important results of a good HR action. But are they really the Purpose of HR? In many companies there is an idea that Innovation simply “happens”. Or, maybe, that should be delegated to the R&D department, where people are paid to actually innovate. Nothing more wrong than this. Innovation needs to be continually nurtured and fostered across all levels of the organisation. Because very …