Author: Sergio Caredda

Book Review: The Employee Experience Advantage by Jacob Morgan

In today’s business world, experiential organizations are far and away the most successful when measured by almost every metric. The key to their success is that they provide their employees with optimal physical, technological and cultural workplace environments. These environments, in turn, are fine-tuned by infinite design loops, fueled by a focus on teamwork and driven by a strong sense of purpose, which provides an experiential organization with its reason for being. This in a nutshell the summary of the book by Jacob Morgan. His focus on Experience descends from one of the key ideas of the book: the recent business focus on employee engagement has not exactly led anywhere. He maintains that relevant statistics, for example engagement as measured by the Gallup Institute is stalling. Instead he proposes that organisations focusing on employee experience rather than employee engagement have an actual competitive advantage. Experience, in his view, requires a more holistic, all encompassing view of work than ‘mere’ engagement. Through a number of interviews with HR leaders, he has established a scorecard of 17 factors, grouped into three …

What’s new about Digital Leadership?

Understanding the concept of Digital Leadership is not an easy tasks. Multiple points of view, different approaches, a lot of partial answers, all contribute to a scattered scenario. If we want to really focus on digital maturity though, we need to approach this concept as the fundamental component of Culture Change. Digital Leadership is another concept, together with of Transformation, that is really “hot” in the most recent managerial literature and debate. The debate goes between the two extremes of who tries to redefine entirely the concept of Leadership applied to digital, and those that instead minimize its impact to just a new technology variable, not altering the fundamentals of traditional Leadership models. In this post I will try to reframe the topic starting from suggesting that the perspective of what is a digital leader already creates complexity in giving an answer. I will then assess three possible models of answer in the framework of Digital Transformation. What is a Digital Leader? Most traditional organizations are challenged constantly in defining what is digital, and this …

Book Review: What Works: Gender Equality By Design by Iris Bohnet

The topic of Gender Inequality has been addressed by several books in recent years, often coming from different theoretical and ideological backgrounds. Broadly we can find two extremes: a) the corporate self-help strategies of leaning in and b) the revolutionary defiance of leaning out. The work of Iris Bohnet finds a place for itself based on a vast and comprehensive review of research across the social sciences. Focusing on inequalities primarily within workplaces and schools, she does not try to position herself into one or the other ideological fields. Instead, she emphasises the complementarity of a behaviourally-based and empirically-driven approach with broader feminist strategies. The author focuses on de-biasing environments rather than individuals as a solution to tackle gender inequality. By identifying behaviours and processes that take root in institutions and explicating how they impede gender equality, it may be possible to intervene and design around the point at which bias is most likely to take hold. This approach, often identified as ‘Nudging’, allows for faster achievements, moving the needle through quick wins in faster …

Design Thinking for HR

Design Thinking has already been identified as a key transformation element for HR, in its quest to improve Employee Experience. However I argue that in many cases this is just used as a make-up methodology, without a full understanding of the potential for change. Design Thinking is one of the key components of the “Digital DNA” that I suggest based on the Three Mindsets of development (together with Lean and Agile). As HR professionals we often seem to worry about how to apply new principles to the rest of the organisation, but how would this be applied to our function? A methodology that imbues the full spectrum of innovation activities with a human-centered design ethos. By this, I mean that innovation is powered by a thorough understanding, through direct observation, of what people want and need in their lives and what they like or dislike about the way particular products are made, packaged, marketed, sold, and supported. Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, Design Thinking, HBR This core concept is transformational for HR. It will involve …

Digital Transformation in Store

As the role of the physical store gets redesigned by the impact of technology, there’s more evidence of the centrality of retail associates in delivering successful experiences and drive sales across channels. Simply plunging technology in stores has failed in accelerating this: to succeed employees in store need to be at the core of the Digital Cultural Transformation of the company. Perhaps no other industry has been impacted by changing customer demand like retail. People want to have 24/7 shopping experiences, and they want it now. However this trend did not crystallize into one channel taking dominance over the others, rather the expectation is to be consistent across all channels in the value chain. Which is why a lot of the Retail Apocalypse proponents, have found out that also traditional brick and mortar retail still has a meaning. I have already addressed how I believe the work in retail is changing. And have also more recently argued that the expectations put on Retail Associates need to be compensated adequately. What I want to focus today, …

Book Review: Kids These Days, by Malcom Harris

A book about Millennials written about a Millennial. Demonstrates that many of the stereotypes of this generation are incorrect. But then falls short in theorizing a global conjure that is pushing the risk of Human Capital formation from organizations to individuals. A strong j’accuse of modern America, with sound evidence, fails to show a global outlook of this generation. Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris is a bit of an unusual work of social and economic criticism. Like many books in its genre, it tours the current status of human misery and exploitation. But, on the contrary to many other similar works, it doesn’t end on the bright side offering potential solutions. When we talk about generations, we always assume that the world is split upon into them, which leads to continuous assumptions about characters and stereotypes of generations, which we have seen already have not real basis. However, if you build a big enough cluster of people, you start discerning a number of characteristics that people belonging to …