Month: October 2018

Beyond Generation Stereotypes


In a recent article by Gillian Tett under the title “It’s time to stop talking about Millennials“, the author highlights an important lesson we often face everyday at work: talking of generations in terms of “absolute identities” is not only wrong, but can result in pure discriminations. We’ve got all used to think in terms of distinct generational cohorts, especially thanks to the Advertising Industry. However, this has quickly expanded also to a lot of HR domains, with Recruiting, performance, and the “world of management” trying to make sense of the new generation inflow into the workforce. It all started about half a century ago, when economists first started to talk about “baby boomers” to refer to people born after World War II. Then came Generation X, then the “Millennials” and now the next one: often called Generation Z, although other descriptors exist. However, the Millennial label is the one that tends to generate most tensions (although I believe the Gen Z one will, eventually, be even worse). Baby boomers and Gen Xs grumble that …

A Book Review: 02.02.2020: La notte che uscimmo dall’Euro


When I started this blog I took the decision to keep it linked to the professional side of my life, whereas others areas of my interests (politics, broader topics) are something that I normally cover in other domains. However this book by Italian journalist Sergio Rizzo, deserves some attention. For the non Italian readers, Sergio Rizzo is editor at La Repubblica, and author of numerous books on the issues that Italy has been facing over the past years. He has never been soft or careful with politicians, but with this book he goes full steam against the danger of just letting things “happen”. In the book he tells the story of a dystopian future where the two current parties leading the Italian Government, perpetrate the so called “Plan B” and force the exit of Italy from Euro over a weekend. The results are a disaster for the economy, obviously, despite the warnings of many, especially one part of the government persists in the plan. It’s not a story of the “good” and the “bad”, all …

What should HR be?


One of the most interesting concepts that I’ve been able to capture at UNLEASH18 in Amsterdam this week, relates to the constant discussion about the role of HR. In a presentation held by Bersin by Deloitte, a new concept has been presented that I can relate a lot to. The idea of Ambient HR. Imagine that HR is the electrical wiring in the walls. It’s essential, and the product of thoughtful design & craft. But when we need light to do work, we don’t waste time wondering about the wiring in the walls. Definitely an interesting concept. That puts into question the current assumption of HR as “Business Partner”, challenging the idea that it should have “a special seat” at the table, one of the long-time discussions that marked HR practitioners calls for the last few years. The idea is that HR is vital (like electricity in our modern era), but it should not be treated as a “special” guest or as an addition to normal business processes. Way to often the tendency is to …

Building Digital Transformation: a Role for HR


In a very interesting article just appeared on the McKinsey Quarterly, Tanguy Catlin and his collaborators address four “key fights” that organisations need to address to be able to achieve a real Digital transformation. If there’s one thing a digital strategy can’t be, it’s incremental. The mismatch between most incumbents’ business models and digital futures is too great—and the environment is changing too quickly—for anything but bold, inventive strategic plans to work. And yet seems too many organisations are just focused on short-term incremental approaches. Digital is seems invariably as just “one portion” or “one addition” to elements we already do, not a strategic choice that need to permeate the entire organisation. Which result in Digital being seen just as a “channel“, or as a new “form of communication”, or as a “new ways of servicing”, or just as a way to do product innovation. Often this recalls me a metaphor that my first mentor, Franco D’Egidio, used to recall the attitude of many organisations to just pursue incremental change, often landing on the opposite …