Imagine the future of your organization. Your company is brimming with the potential found within each of your employees. Developing this potential is a way to strengthen your employees and your company in the same move. After all, it is people that make up a company and can drive it toward success.
Competencies are the glue that holds together the pieces and parts of a talent management system. They can be used as the basis for behavioral interviewing, as guides for development and succession planning, and as a component of a thorough performance evaluation.
National Public Radio recently published an article regarding what makes a workplace innovative. The author detailed what sets a Google or a Facebook apart from their competitors. It is not just the open atmosphere of their campus headquarters where games of volleyball, soccer, or Frisbee can break out over lunch, but a specific design of their offices to ensure interaction with employees across divisions and functions. This “serendipitous interaction” allows Google employees to learn by “interactions, collaborations, and fun,” and directly impacts the bottom line with Google being named the best place to work according to Fortune magazine for the past 2 years. Google “attracts some of the brightest minds and earns close to $1 million in revenue for every single person it employs.”
According to Dan Pink in his new book "To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others," most of us, even if we realize it or not, are in the business of sales. In his research, he found that 1 in 9 Americans are technically in the profession of sales, but 8 in 9 Americans perform selling activities in their daily work. Whatever the job title, the majority of Americans spend their days persuading, influencing, and convincing others to part with resources. Workers are in the business of moving others; it spans across industries and every level of the organization. Dan Pink’s research found that we spend roughly 24 minutes of each hour moving others at work.
In general, thinking is a good thing. After all, rational thought is one of the hallmarks of being human. Being thoughtful means having considered something thoroughly, while thoughtlessness implies careless or rash behavior. This is especially true at work. Thinking is often equated with intelligence: smart people think more and better than others, and therefore have greater insight and make better decisions.
Recent articles have once again raised the question of how much corporate training actually adds value, and how much just goes to waste—something for which we coined the term “learning scrap” to draw the analogy to manufacturing scrap. Both kinds of scrap waste time, materials, and opportunity; both undermine a company’s competitiveness.
Company culture is the shared values and practices of the company's employees. It has been shown that those with an adaptive culture which is aligned to business goals routinely outperform competitors. But why is that? And how difficult is it to manage your company’s culture? There shouldn’t be any dispute to the fact that an organization is a living, breathing organism. Logically as employees leave, replacements are hired, some are promoted, etc… the climate changes. If left unattended it can grow into any number of possible outcomes. Some outcomes could be good, and some detrimental to the overall business mission.
According to recent reports, contingent or contract talent may make up between 20% and 30% of the U.S. workforce and is predicted to continue to grow. The growth of this type of work has been driven not only by recent global economic instability, but also by longer-term trends like the aging populations in developed countries, the increased desire for flexibility and life balance among workers, and the general mismatch between the current supply of skills and the demand for them in the marketplace.
As few as 6% of organizations have future leaders identified for critical roles, according to a recent study of global companies conducted at Right Management. And strikingly, less than one in five respondents said they have no one slated to take over any key positions. Yet, most organizations tell us that building a pipeline of global leaders that is both deep and wide is a top priority.
“Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.” - Bill Gates
As the co-founder and current Chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates is a proven authority on the topic of innovation. He acknowledges that over the years Microsoft has had huge hits and misses in product innovation.
Entering the fifth year of diminished emphasis (aka budgets) on leader development, many organizations are running dangerously close to the trip wire where bad things start to happen as a result of having a less aware, less skilled management team.
From an outside perspective, it may be hard to understand why employers are reporting that they can’t find the right people to hire. The amount of resumes and applications that organizations are receiving from individuals looking for work can be daunting. So, interest in an open position isn’t the problem. It’s the quality of candidates applying who aren’t educated or qualified enough for the role that frustrates employers and creates a situation where only one in two are saying they can find the right talent.
To this day, adorning the windowsill of my parent’s dining room is a triangular (okay, wannabe triangular) clay jar I created at the ripe age of 9 in grade school art class. Its shape, swirled blue/pink/purple color, and enormous hand-crafted clay flower on the lid is a potent reminder of my questionable taste at the time, while also acting as a witness to endurance. After all this time, it’s still standing strong.
Last year Adobe Systems’ SVP of HR, Donna Morris, announced that the company was abolishing performance reviews. Employee complaints about the existing appraisal process coupled with Adobe’s need to retool its talent management practices to compete in the digital marketing space were reasons given for this bold move.
The 2012 Manpower Talent Shortage Survey states that 49% of U.S. employers are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions within their organizations. Why? A lack of available candidates with the right technical expertise and employability skills continues to elude employers. More specifically, the top reason employers say they can’t fill roles is simply an overall lack of applicants; the second is the candidate-based factor that applicants lack the technical competencies, or hard skills, required for the role.
Next time you’re out to dinner at a restaurant, sneak a peek at your fellow diners. Chances are, more than half will be staring at their smartphones (even those on dates!) We live in an information-saturated world. We crave the information. We love it so much that we carry it in our pockets and pull it out to consume it at any opportunity. This reality is even more salient at work, thanks to “Big Data.”
Picking new supervisors is a crapshoot in most companies. It doesn't have to be that way. In many companies, selecting individual contributors to become supervisors is a crapshoot. It doesn't have to be that way. Start by understanding two basic facts.
I am a fan of the principles that underlie the game of duplicate bridge. The players rotate between each table and are given the opportunity to compete with others playing the identical cards. By scoring relative performance, the element of skill is enhanced while the element of chance is reduced. In the end, the person who plays the hands best wins. Head-to-head competition - no hints, no gimmicks, no cheats.
The Fiscal Times recently ran a piece, “Why This Nerd Has the Sexiest Job in Science,” detailing the coming prevalence of data scientists as, “the sexy job of the next 10 years.” Source The ability to merge science, analytics, and the bottom line leads to a capable and select talent pool with a demand currently outpacing the supply. Firms have seen successes in big data applications like Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics or Nate Silver’s US Presidential Election forecasting and will look to do the same with their fiscal performance.
The other day I was watching ‘The Big Game’ (along with about 109 million other viewers) and, as I watched, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something very familiar about the interaction and execution style of the teams, coaches, etc. It struck me that the dynamic I was witnessing was similar to the winning behavior I have seen in many effective Human Resource service organizations. The more I watched, the more fascinated I became with what I saw. Let me explain.