All posts tagged: HR organisation

Book Review: Agile People by Pia-Maria Thoren

Book Review: Agile People by Pia-Maria Thoren

Agile People by Pia-Maria Thoren is one of those books that you wonder why it wasn’t written already. It’s a straightforward book in the way it is written, full of easy to grasp concepts, concrete examples and real-life experiences. And while you read it, you really wonder why is HR not working this way already? This work is high on the experience of the author, a People Management consultant that has turned to Agile (and its various practices) to find concrete answers to the needs that HR has. And the book subtitle doesn’t leave anything out from the fact that what is being proposed is a radical approach. Agile is a way of moving forward and creating value. It’s a mentality that allows people and groups to meet challenges, learn quickly, and respond to change. It’s a different and new way of managing teams, individuals, projects, and development. Pia-Maria Thoren Agile People, page 16 Agile above all. The book talks of Agile, from its principle as a discipline up to its more recent developments. And then addresses several typical …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Need number 3: Retain your people

Retaining your existing employee is the best cost effective strategy for improving your HR performances. Yet, even if Retention has always been a mantra for many HR executives for years now, when it comes to showing up results, not many companies have been really capable to demonstrate how good they are at retaining people. If the logic of retention is always valid. Keeping a person is more efficient than having to hire and retrain a new recruit. Easy. However, getting to a point where there is 100% retention is not really feasible, and probably not even desirable. Modern companies need to carefully balance the efficiencies gained by retaining their people and the need for new fresh ideas that external recruits can bring. Whom to retain? So the key challenge for a people manager is: whom to retain? If your first answer is “Top Talents”, please go back to article one of this series and then try again. Why? Simple: whatever category of people you associate to the word “talent”, this is the most difficult portion …