Thursday, 26 May 2016

#ATD2016 Talent and HR Planning

So one last post from ATD ICE, or at least from Denver airport.  I'd actually forgotten I'd committed to participants in my own session that I'd explain the above slide, which I didn't get to cover in the 75 minutes we had together (and only really had in my slideset to respond to the agenda I'd submitted to get included in the programme).  And although it's not really part of the evaluation agenda we discussed, after explaining and demonstrating the  framework, it seemed a shame not to fully explain its potential.

But apologies - if you didn't attend the presentation / workshop then the following probably won't make much sense, unless you've seen me elsewhere or are a regular reader of the blog etc.

So basically there are 8 different elements to HR planning which should be included on the value matrix plotting out a people and organisation strategy.  This doesn't mean there needs to be eight separate planning processes, just that each of these eight different approaches should be included somewhere within one integrated activity to create the plan.

Part of my reason for using it is that I worry about too many organisations either not completing each different type of plan, or completing each stage but not having the effectively co-ordinated.   AXA thinking that workforce planning was an appropriate response to their digital transformation is a good example.  There should be one activity, and the sequence is also important:
  1. Adding value - connecting HR to the business agenda
  2. Creating value - providing additional opportunities through people
  3. Talent planning - this can't be done until AV and CV are completed as talent groups will depend upon these two forms of planning
  4. Workforce planning - longer-term, sustainability oriented planning
  5. Succession planning - also value for money unless the objective is to raise the bar (successors are always better than their predecessors)
  6. Value for money - other improvements in activities
  7. HR process planning - tying all the activities resulting from the previous six steps together
  8. HR function planning - ensuring HR has the people, relationships, capabilities and technologies etc to deliver the above.

Each of these need objectives and measures too, though I sometimes gather all the different sub-plans together and then do the measures for the whole (as long as you can remember where the objectives came from - remember the secret sauce of evaluation is being clear about what you're trying to do.

Hope that sort of made sense and do check out my other ATD posts before you leave as well:


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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

#ATD2016 Looming Productivity Crisis

One of the most provoking sessions at ATD ICE was the Conference Board's presentation on their research into productivity.  As shown in the above chart, productivity around the world in terms of outputs has decreased substantially since the GFC.  That applies particularly to the Euro area (Brexit anyone?).

But the Conference Board then split this into labour productivity and numbers of workers / worker hours, and labour productivity down again into increases in contribution of capital, contribution of human capital and the increase in overall efficiency of production, or total factor productivity ie everything that helps people contribute more effectively.

It's TFP which provides the greatest opportunity to improve overall outputs and means that there's a range of factors which could support this, including better leadership and line management, innovation and the use of technology. 

Ie it is not that workers per se are losing productivity momentum, but that there's a lack of tools, methods and skills that would make them more productive.  Or that management and skills are adapting too slowly to the requirement of new technology, innovation and business model.

There seems to be a particularly issue around this in the UK in the use of digital:

The Conference Board suggesting improving this will need to include: 
  • Realising that innovation isn’t free - investment in intangible assets require alignment of business objectives, organisational capabilities and long-term strategy
  • Understand that the workforce matters most - not working harder, but working smarter; continued skill improvement is critical; employee engagement is positively correlated to productivity
  • Systematic management practices lead productivity - clear target setting, performance tracking, and rewards will be needed for high performance support productivity growth.

I'd add on collaboration - it's about creating organisations which actually act as organisations rather than just groups of individuals going about their own jobs relatively independently, or often in fact getting in each others' way.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

#ATD2016 #LeadLikeAGirl

One of my favourite sessions yesterday was with DDI’s CEO Tracy Byham on women in leadership.  As Tacy suggested, women in leadership is a business issue, not a women's issue.  However given the low number of attendees in the room it doesn't seem to stand out  as a men's issue - which might, of course, be part of the reason for the problem?  As Tacy suggested, this should be something which concerns mentors, leaders, fathers of this generation of women and the next.

We started with the #LikeAGirl video and then looked at some of the evidence for why this type of sterotyping is a problem in leadership as well.  Eg Barclays find that in the bottom 20% of businesses by financial performance just 19% of leaders are women.  In the top 20% 37% are women.  DDI and the Conference Board found that in the bottom 20% 16% of hi-pos are women.  In the top 20% 28% are women.  How re we going to populate the ranks of leadership if don’t change our high potential pools?  Companies receiving investments in the Shark Tank (the US Dragon's Den) do better when they're led by women rather than by men.  There's also the pay gap with the World Economic Forum suggesting it will take 118 years for the gap to be closed  -and we're currently receding from closing it.  (See my posts / TV interviews on this as well.)

Have we reached the turning point or is the glass ceiling a thing of the past? (loud 'no!' from audience).

In the Fortune500 just 5% of CEOs are women.  There are more CEOs named John than are women.  But there are a higher proportion of women than men in the general workforce, they're just not progressing up to the top.

We then moved onto skills with Tacy asking what women are better than men at… (a loud ‘everything!’ from the audience).  Or not - DDI's research suggests there are no differences in skills between men and women.  I'm not convinced by that.  There are certainly differences between men's and women's behaviours.  Perhaps that's what Tacy was getting at when she said there are differences in application - women are better at putting their heads down and focusing and men are better at throwing themselves into challenges which help them grow and develop. 

It's about confidence - men say they got a new job because they earned it, women will say it’s because they got lucky.  One stat Tacy shared with us was from Carnegie Mellon University and is that 57% of men but just 7% of women negotiate their first job salaries.  And the impact of this is going to ripple up through men's and women's careers.  There's also the findings from HP men apply for their next job when they have 60% of the required skills, women only when they have 100%

DDI's advice for women in correcting this imbalance is for women to:
  • Declare yourself
  • Radiate confidence
  • Fail forward
  • Super-power your network.

All good stuff though I'm still left with a slight concern, about like with Leaning In, that actually what we really need, from an organisational and societal perspective at least, is for business leaders to act more like women than the women to act like men.

Tacy suggested DDI's advice isn't about getting women to act like men, it's about how we all become the best version of ourselves - especially as the attributes of the best leaders  are about EQ not IQ - things which can be developed.

But it is.  If women start to think more like men, they'll start to act more like men as well.  And if more women start doing power poses and stop apologising it's not going to have a helpful impact on our organisations.  Businesses are already far too confident about their own futures.  We need more questioning, not less.

But the biggest issue for me is about 'We' and 'I'.  DDI want women to say 'I' rather than 'we' to make themselves more powerful.  But actually if we're serious about teaming and collaboration, we all need to get a lot more focused on 'we'.  Not the royal we that Brene Brown was suggesting people use to avoid accountability, but the real we that suggests we recognise our performance isn't solely informed through our own performance.  That recognises, as Simon Sinek suggested, that none of us are smarter than all of us.

That's not just about our words, but the words are an indication of our thinking.  And the thinking has to change.  See for example my post on 'what's in it for us?'.

It's a difficult one, and I'm not suggesting that women shouldn't follow DDI's suggestions.  I encourage my wife and daughters to use some of this and if I was working in an organisation I'd encourage my female colleagues to do so too.  I just don't think it's the end of the story.

It's a bit like HR's challenge in the business too - HR needs to act more like the rest of the business to gain credibility but a more important goal is to change the business, to be a bit more like HR (see my previous posts on Simon Sinek and Dan Pontefract for more explanation on this).

Women need to learn from how men progress in organisations.  But we need to make our organisations more adaptive to traditionally female behaviours as well.

See my post on the feminisation of work too.

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#ATD2016 The Purpose Effect

I'm looking forward to a session from Dan Pontefract at ATD ICE later on today.  Dan's also got his book The Purpose Effect in the ATD bookstore.

The purpose effect suggests that there's a sweet spot based on an overlap between someone's personal purpose, their role purpose and the organisational purpose:

The organisational purpose should go beyond making money.  I like Dan's write up of Paul Polman at Unilever informing analysts he wasn't going to provide them with short-term guidance on business performance to ensure they could focus on a mature discussion with the market about the company's long-term strategy.  (Note to self - including a CEO comments in your book is a great way to get their endoresement for it too!)

Personally I'd like to see company purposes which put employees, not just customers or their communities first.  As then the rest follows.  But probably anything other than just money will work.

Role purpose encourages people to find meaning in their work, and makes it more likely that they will be able to feel commitment to their organisation.  A lot of this is about having control over your own working environment.

Individual purpose is probably the hardest of these and Dan notes that fewer than 20% of leaders have a good understanding of their own purpose (they need to view Simon Sinek's TED video!).

My purpose is to help reduce the number of people experiencing the same poor organisational management and leadership that I've experienced through most of my career.

I think we face bigger problems - particularly with the environment - but organisational management is the one I'm most able to influence so this is where I've chosen to focus.

For me, this is the key reason I work for myself rather than for an organisation - it's the easiest way to ensure the three purposes are aligned.  I'd guess the same is true for many other independent contributors too.  Which of course adds to the need for organisations to find ways to make this alignment happen too.

And I guess that's the area I'd have liked to have seen more of in Dan's book - what are the HR processes organisations can use to help people find their purpose and ensure these are aligned with the others, or not.

But proportionate pay differentials are going to have to be a major part of this - see my comments on reward from the ATD's Talent Management Handbook, which is available in the bookstore here too.

But the best example I've come across was probably this case study on Visa Europe from a few years back - you might like to check that post out as well.

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