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Showing posts from May, 2011

Organizational Strategy Mapping: Part Deaux

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Last week we discussed starting with organizational strategy when creating HR metrics that matter to your organization. That blog received the most feedback, I have ever received since writing Profitability Through Human Capital.
I had many requests for a larger version of the strategy map and many questions about definitions that we use when mapping strategy.
So, I thought I would do a follow up due to all the feedback.
First, I would like to clear up a few definitions we use:
1) Strategic Goals-An organizational statement that communicates where your organization is going. It is directional. It can be called different names.
2) Business Results-These are clear directions & measures of success in achieving the strategic goals.
3) Performance Objectives-Think of these as business KPI’s or what needs to be done to achieve the business results. People begin to see what needs to be done & how they can fit in.
4) Performance Metrics-Metrics are designed solely to drive improvement &…

Google, Newspaper Archives, and the Business of Cultural Heritage

Google announced this month that it is ending its ambitious project to digitally archive newspapers. The project to scan the archives of the nation’s newspapers and make them available online as a searchable historical record was announced in 2008 with the level of hubris only found in online enterprises.

"Our objective is to bring all the world's historical newspaper information online,” said Adam Smith, director of product management at Google, announcing the project. Those lofty aims were echoed by Punit Soni, manager of the newspaper initiative: “As we work with more and more publishers, we'll move closer towards our goal of making those billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable, and accessible online…."Over time, as we scan more articles and our index grows, we'll also start blending these archives into our main search results so that when you search Google.com, you'll be searching the full text of these newspapers as w…

Ready, Set, Measure?

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So, you have decided you need HR metrics. You know it's important. You know your CEO is craving data to see how the investment in people is paying off.
You then begin to develop metrics. What is your first step?
So many times I hear the following answers to the above question:
1) I start with turnover and cost per hire 2) I google "HR Metrics" and pick some that look good 3) I ask another HR colleague 4) I go to a conference 5) I just measure anything and everything
"NOT!" to all of the above. The key to determining your HR Metrics that matter to your organization is to start with your organization's strategy. A company that is in growth mode has very different metrics than a company that is in survival mode. The growth oriented company is going to focus on goal attainment and revenue growth and the company trying to survive is going to be more cost conscience.
So the proper game plan would be: READY, SET, MAP YOUR STRATEGY and then MEASURE.
A strategy map …

In the Midst of Change, What Needs to Stay the Same

Everywhere we hear re-occurring descriptions about how the workplace has changed to keep up with continuously changing business conditions and business strategy. Examples include throwing out job descriptions and the old org charts, and rapid deployment onto multi-disciplinary teams who learn through real-time collaboration about how to solve emerging challenges and problems. 
A new report from Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Creative Leadership, "Leading for Employee Motivation, Implications for Leaders in Turbulent Times," discusses changes in how people see their roles at work, from being "mission-focused" (aligned with the mission and strategy) or alternatively, "career focused" (staying for developmental opportunities that will be good for one's career) and a third group of people who stay feeling they are "out of options." Clearly the latter group are those people who quit but still show up most days, and they will follow a proce…

A Word to Those Looking - FUTURE VIEW

In the past 2 years I have had many friends lose jobs through reductions in force, forced retirements, and other methods of exiting those in the older age brackets. This has made way for more workers who have a longer corporate life span in a job and also freed up fixed expenses to invest in other areas. 


I have said this over and over even in the best of business climates that you always have to look forward and think that today could be your last day at your work. Why would I think that way well here are a couple of reasons you should really think about:

it keeps you focused on the future, not the past; you are never comfortable in your job, which makes you anxious;you continue to keep up with the times that way .In a recent presentation to a WIND community group I heard people talking about the past; I was going to retire there and look what happened to me;  I didn't keep up with my network;  I missed a great opportunity; and lastly technology passed me by. All valid and all sad …

High Potentials vs. High Performers

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Recently, I went to the Performance Conference in Chicago, where I had many interesting discussions regarding HIPO's. In HR slang HIPO's are defined as an organization's high performers. But as I delivered a presentation with my colleague Sue Bond from Halogen Software, it became crystal clear that high performers and high potentials are two very different types of employees. I am a fan of segmenting employee populations just like we do consumers as I think you can really gain insights on employee behavior and employee needs by analyzing segments versus all employees.
So what about high performers and high potentials?
According to me, (for what it's worth) a high performer has a track record of delivering results to the organization.
A high potential has the ABILITY to deliver results (at a future date) to the organization minus the track record. The high potential just needs to gain more experience and possibly skills to become a high performer.
So, how do we move…

LinkedIn IPO Now To Raise $274M

San Francisco Business TimesDate: Monday, May 9, 2011, 7:15am PDT



Linkedin has been a great social business and professional site for many years. Having been one of the first 100 people to sign up way back when I am sure that you have heard the news on its' impending IPO. Here is the latest.


LinkedIn Corp. on Monday said it now plans to sell 7.84 million shares in its initial public offering at between $32 and $35 each.



The IPO could raise proceeds of up to $274 million.
Mountain View-based LinkedIn is offering 4.8 million shares, while selling stockholders are offering 3 million shares. The company expects to receive net proceeds of approximately $146.6 million from the shares it is offering in the IPO.
LinkedIn in January filed for an IPO to issue up to $175 million of public stock.

It's All About Performance

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I am sitting here at a Performance Conference hosted by ASMI and I can't help but to think about performance and the importance it plays in our organizations. After all, after the Great Recession isn't performance on top of everyone's list? CEO's want to outperform their competition. Managers want their departments to out perform other departments. And HR? Well...what is HR's relationship with performance?
Isn't performance the desired outcome of everything we do in HR? Compensation is designed to motivate higher performance. Our performance management systems are designed to measure, track and develop performance. Training programs are designed to increase skills thus increasing performance. So why in the world do I hear a statement like the following from several attendees at this conference: (I have not ran into 1 HR person yet, FYI) "Our HR department won't share their performance metrics with the rest of the organization. I can't get pe…

SuccessFactors Buys Enterprise Learning Management Software Plateau For $290M

April 26, 2011 from Venture Loop On the heels of buying enterprise learning startup Jambok,the company has acquired another learning management software developer-Plateau Systems. SuccessFactors will pay $145 million in cash plus $145 million in stock for Plateau, for a total of $290 million. Plateau Systems’ Learning Management Systems is generally usually used by Human Resources departments for the management and delivery of learning and training across organizations. Plateau Systems’s Talent Management Suite includes applications for learning management, performance management, career and succession planning and compensation management. Plateau currently brings more than 350 customers to SuccessFactors, including General Electric, the U.S. Air Force and Capital One. Based on initial estimates, the combined companies will have more than 15 million users. After the deal closes, Plateau’s SaaS based LMS will be integrated directly into SuccessFactors’ BizX suite. The acquisition price is …

Tasking Out of Control

I am sure a lot of HR practicioners have had the issue of having too much on their plate at one time. I know over the years I had. What a sinking feeling wanting to excel at each task and wondering how you would balance them. Most HR VP's would task out specific elements of a task or the whole task to a subordinate. That is the practical thing to do. But, what about the things that that person has on his or her plate? Did you think of that? 


Well, I know that people have a tendency to task out projects and the like and then manage them from afar. The micro managers of course manage the projects and really hinder the subordinates ability to manage and complete the task feeling like he or she really did contribute. I call that managing out of control and it is a problem when you have a micro manager managing a task that you have been assigned to complete. So what do you do? 


Here are a couple of ideas and they helped me over the years:

make sure you understand the task and ask question…

HRevolution 2011: Why You Should Go

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I had the pleasure of attending HRevolution this weekend in Atlanta. It was the third time the "unconference" took place and my first time to attend. "I will be back." I attend many conferences every year, and they are basically the same. There is a Keynote, then workshops, with PowerPoints. I feel very thrown up on when I leave. I am guilty as I usually am doing some of the throwing up.
I didn't feel that way late Saturday when I left HRevolution. I felt like I was a part of the conference. I did not attend workshops. I attended live discussions on interesting topics. Here is a sample of the discussions I participated in:
1) Pop Culture, Politics, and HR – Laurie Ruettimann and Matt Stollak-We discussed if bringing a discussion of pop culture and politics into the work environment is a positive or negative. We also talked about "that guy" that is the top seller but is a huge asshole. What do you do with that guy? And to finish up the chat, w…