All posts tagged: HR Transformation

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 …

Disrupting HR: start thinking of HR Customer Service


After many years of discussion and implementation of the HR Transformation framework developed by Dave Ulrich, very few organizations have been really “able” to undertake one of the key challenges posed by that concept: evolving into a true service organization. Many organizations declare to have successfully implemented the model. The key is of course how is success measured. Very often the issue is that HR transformation has been solely pursued with a cost-saving goal, and thus success has been eventually measured by the dollars the HR organization has saved. But at what cost? Way too often the result is a service organization that is distant (not only physically) from the needs of the employees. Managers have effectively to undertake too many HR tasks designed by HR for HR, not really having in mind the different approach a line manager would have. HR Business Partners that maintain the HR generalist mindset, not having evolved in terms of competencies through the transformation, and that continue to pursue HR tasks instead of being actor of the business support. Failing to …

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 …

Getting rid of the word “Talent” – A Six Post Series on People Management


(This post was modified on March 11th to accomodate links to other post in the series). In the world of Human Resources there are few words to which I have become really allergic. One of them is for sure talent. Why? For a very simple reason: it is usually used as a shortcut, to justify or cover facts that are not always fully understood. This way Talent has been constantly used instead of more “proper” words. Sometime it identifies a set of skills that certain specific have… so why not simply call them competencies? In other cases it is used to identify group of employees that are “gifted” with the prospective of achieving great results in their work. It is therefore a way to refer to People, and btw wasn’t this why they were once defined High Potentials? Sometime the word is used to identify a group of people that share, instead, a common set of competencies, and that are organized into pools to enable succession within the organisation. Yet again I don’t see the …

Are you ready for Generation Z?


Ok, you may wonder why we should already start thinking about the Z Generation, when we have not yet learnt to cope with Generation Y. I believe the answer is easy. As HR experts, we need to interpret the world that is forming in terms of talents, competencies, values, attitudes, lifestyles. If we really want to be able to interpret our role in today’s organisations, we need to help the new generation form itself. Well, ok, I hear what some of you are thinking. “Helping a generation to form” is not exactly what you find in a typical HR job description. But let’s face it. Recent times have shown that private companies are, in many ways, the real frontline to the needs and desires of a new generation. In many countries, the schooling system has ceased to offer a real strong support to the evolution of a generation, constrained by continuous budget cuts and an aging teaching body. Family is so challenged by today’s economic crisis, that it also cannot offer a real consolidation effort …

Stop selling services to your employees


I just read an article on HBR by Michael Schrage titled “Invest in your customers more than your brand“. Very revealing about a winning attitude that organisations should have when addressing the customer challenge through advertising. Way too often we concentrate on product sales, or on the overall Brand, and forget the daily needs of the customers. I observed that also often a similar attitude happens within HR organisations well through their HR transformation pattern. The objectives of efficiency gains that similar projects support are key to the relevance itself of the HR function in modern organisations. However sometime it is easy to assist to a “commoditization” of HR services. These get packaged, put into nice wrapping, and “sold” to customers, these being employees or managers within the Organisation. Issue is that along this all the defects of commoditized products come in, with their fair issues of the “one size fits all” approach. Similarly, a lot of recycled bad marketing practices have contaminated internal communication. Often the “Change Management” programme meant to speed up the …