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Showing posts from September, 2011

Decision Outliers- Their Impact on Team and Organizational Effectiveness

 guest post from Beth Armknecht Miller


In the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, many of the stories focus on those outliers who were successful, often due to circumstances and luck. What if you have an outlying preference that holds you back? A behavior that if modified, moves you closer to the norm and makes you more effective?

Let’s take a look at Decision Outliers. We’ve all experienced someone who either makes decisions too quickly or too slowly and for some of us we actually may have one of these tendencies ourselves.

Some of us are quick to decide while others take a much longer time to decide. In either case, our personality preferences and past experiences have a strong influence on how we make decisions. If we tend to be an outlier on either side of the bell curve, decision making can be holding us back from being successful and getting to the next level of leadership. Do you know if you’re a Decision Outlier? And if you are one, how is your decision making style impacting you…

Data Based Decision Making: HR You're Up

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I have noticed a by-product of the recession is the way C-Level executives make decisions. The decisions can be about investments, people, markets, pricing, marketing, well just about anything. I believe the reasons for this shift is that the C-Suite is a lot more risk adverse than pre-recession. Gone are the days where decisions are made by "gut-feel" and "by the seat of the pants."
Boards of Director's and consumers have demanded more and more fiscal responsibility and ethical behavior.
What does this shift mean to HR?
1) HR must be able to make a business case for people related investments. Just as marketing outlines it's expected ROI for marketing related spends, HR must do the same thing. For example, if HR proposes organizational wide training, what is the expected return in terms of sales, productivity and performance.
2) HR needs to get its HR data house in order. Historically in HR we have stored data in many disparate systems. I see this i…

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How to Destroy Your Customer Base and Investor Confidence

Netflix used to have a charmed life.

This year, however, poorly thought out strategy and lurching decisions are stripping away many of its advantages and making it vulnerable to competitors.

Established in 1997, its founders saw opportunities in creating an Internet-based DVD-by-mail distribution system. It was designed to be a competitor to physical video stores, making it more attractive by offering a larger selection and using a unique IT driven distribution system that combined distribution centers across the country to serve customers within 24 hours at highly attractive prices.

The DVD-by-mail service became a hit, ultimately devastating the market of physical stores such as Blockbuster. By 2007 it had delivered more than 1 billion DVDs to customers. That same year it launched on-demand video streaming service so customers could also select a video and stream it to a PC (and later other platforms) for immediate viewing. The company allowed viewers a highly popular choice of physica…

8 Stats and Facts - Jobless Recovery Here to Stay?

It seems that on this Labor Day weekend, the jobless recovery is here to stay. 14 million people remain unemployed. The unemployment rate remains at 9.1%. Politics aside, should we be surprised? It seems that many signs pointed to such a recovery starting with previous recessions and slow job creation since 2000.1.It took roughly 6 months for employment to recover to its pre-recession level after each postwar recession through the 1980s. 2.It took 15 months after the 1990-91 recession and 39 months after the 2001 recession. 3.Between 2000 and 2007, the U.S. posted a weaker record of job creation than during any decade since the Great Depression. 4.Total employment increased by 9.2 million, or 7%, less than 1/2 the rate of increase in preceding decades. 5.At the current pace of job creation, it will take a minimum of 5 years for employment to recover. (That calculation is based on total net job creation of 117,000 jobs per month.) More and more forecasts look to 2018 or later until we retu…

Is Your Talent Pipeline at Risk? Engaging High Potentials

Organizations that effectively engage employees realize a significant advantage over competitors — including performance gains that lead directly to improved financial results. Without a strategic approach to talent that includes a focus on employee engagement, many companies fail to ensure employees are satisfied in their roles and committed to achieving key strategic goals — risking turnover of key players and the inability to meet overall business objectives. Adding to this challenge is the fact that many disengaged workers are actively seeking new opportunities as the economy grows, while competitors are looking for ways to gain an edge by actively pursuing your high performers.


a reprint from the Human Capital Institute

Day 1: Halogen Conference Recap

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Halogen's User's Conference kicked off last night at the Atlanta Hyatt. With over 300 attendees, the conference was off to a great start.


This morning we heard opening remarks from Paul Loucks, CEO of Halogen. He spoke of his customer focus. Paul was just not saying "nice to hear words." He was actually giving examples of their customer intimacy strategy citing examples of user advisory boards, customer account managers and actually giving customers their product development person's name. It was refreshing. This strategy has certainly paid off as Halogen has been growing at 40% per year.


Paul also discussed Big Picture Talent Management. The idea is that by linking your typically siloed HR functions like compensation, recruiting, onboarding, succession planning, to your organizational strategy you will have the platform to build a world-class workforce. Halogen gets linkage and their software is built in a way that allows their company to leverage talent in a worl…

Global CXO Global Strategies Outlook for 2012

Over the past decade, the art of doing business has changed. Companies are re-shaping strategies to innovate and compete globally. New methodologies, new opportunities, new markets, new technologies, and new practices are being brought into play with an eye on boosting profits and curbing costs.



Forbes Insights, in association with Wipro, conducted an exclusive survey of more than 300 CEOs and other C-level executives at global enterprises ($500M-plus in annual revenue). The key findings of this survey include:


• Strategic innovation is more important than ever to driving growth. This commitment to innovation will impact how companies approach environmentally friendly, or green, business practices, as well as how they manage their expansion into global emerging markets. For example, in some cases, companies are using so-called reverse-innovation, taking innovative products and services from their emerging market efforts (such as in China) and commercializing them elsewhere in the world.


Are You In The Cloud?

Everyone is getting their heads in the Cloud and HR should be no exception. It may be the Cloud buzz (Cloud computing), and SaaS (software-as-a-service) and a host of other reasons, mostly to reduce expenses and increase IT department efficiency. The two major changes noted above are making inroads the way employees, individuals, and companies manage their processes critical to meet the competitive and innovative demands that businesses are challenged with daily.

For those not current on what the Cloud is here is a tactical definition: the Cloud is where data and apps ca be stored remotely and accessed via the web.

Human Resources is no exception and should not put their heads in the sand over Cloud computing. SaaS and iCloud are changing the way businesses operate and HR is no exception to this change.  These technology changes are driving traditional IT departments to rethink how they operate, save data, and utilize manpower and the constant fixed costs of software updates and securit…

How 9/11 Changed HR

I am sure that there will be some HR practitioners who will not agree with me here but I have been struggling to put this piece together for 10 years. We will "Never Forget" and our hearts go out to the victims families as they continue to grieve every day.

The tragic events of 9/11 have changed us as a nation and individually forever. Life has not been the same since. Some will say for the better, and I mean being more safe domestically. Some will say that there has been over precautions taken that have slowed down our ability to move freely throughout the world. I agree with the former, I would rather be safe than not.

HR played a key role in the events following 9/11. I know from my own direct experience, facing the loss of two key employees on Flight 11 (Jeff Mladenik & Andrew Curry Green) and having to account for 50+ employees scattered from Battery Park to Brooklyn and to help move those 50+ employees from the devastation of the Ground Zero area from Rector Street a…

Every Challenge is A New Opportunity for Change!!

Find this hard to believe?  Stay with me for a few minutes and just open your mind to the possibilities that there is a new opportunity regardless of the challenge you are facing today!
Now my head is not in the sand…I read the newspaper, listen to my friends, family, coaching clients and colleagues all facing insurmountable challenges in their life with major loss such as job, income, decline in their 401k, lost homes to foreclosure, serious illness, loss of a loved one, divorce…you name it…it is not good news!  Hopelessness, sadness, depression, fear, doubt and obstacles keeping us stuck!
Then you have some “optimist” that says…there is an opportunity here really!!!   Think about it-what goes up must come down, without success there is no failure, no pain- no gain, without bad you don’t experience good…you get it!  These things are the same just opposite sides of the spectrum and it is all how we perceive them…without one, we wouldn’t have the other! This is not the view of an optimist…

7 Deadliest Sins of HR Metrics

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When it comes to HR Metrics these days there is no shortage of information, opinions and blogs like this one. What I have learned after reading, teaching and presenting on the subject for almost 10 years is that in order for HR to be considered a player and a rock star, you must measure your impact. All the other functions measure, so why not HR?
In my travels I have heard many excuses, and even written on that subject here. But, I have also seen some really BAD practices when it comes to HR Metrics. Please don't commit these deadly sins:
1) Thou shall not measure meaningless crap (not measuring what is tied to impact) 2) Thou shall not measure endless crap (measuring too many things that don't matter) 3) Thou shall use valid, reliable and clean data (enough said) 4) Thou shall display the data in a meaningful way to those that use the data (stop with the rows an columns, it's boring) 5) Thou shall tell a compelling data story that leaves managers and leaders wanting more (t…

Remembering 9/11 Ten Years Later

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Our thoughts are with all the families who lost loved ones on that terrible day.

Unplugged and Loving It!

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I went to the beach this past week for Labor Day and I made a conscience decision to leave my work at home. This situation as a business owner is one that is very difficult as you think you (I) must be connected at all times.
I did take my Iphone of course, but I didn't go to my LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare or email accounts. I did post some cool places I visited on the beach on my Facebook account so my friends and family knew I was still breathing.
It was by far one of the best, stress free vacations I had been on in a long time and I was in the middle of a hurricane!
Here are the lessons I learned from all of this:
1) I am not that important...and as I watched the other A Types in restaurants on their phones and checking emails it just made me LOL. There was one dude on the beach with his laptop, I am not making this up.
2) If you are good at what you do, it will be there when you get back. No one got mad or upset that it took me 3-4 days to respond...work still went on.
3) Y…

Crowdbooster Makes Social Media Campaigns Smarter

Brands are flocking to social media to extend and strengthen their relationships with consumers. But while many are happy to work with the flood of analytics information coming from their activity on social networks, some want more than just data and web monitoring tools. They want guidance and recommendations. That’s the bet of Crowdbooster, a Y Combinator start-up, which is publicly launching a new social media optimization platform today that pairs analytics with tailored recommendations about how to employ social media. The company, which counts the Los Angeles Times, JetBlue and Ben and Jerry’s as customers, is looking to stand out by telling customers what to do and when. And it just raised an undisclosed seed round from some respectable names to expand its business. Crowdbooster, which has been in private beta since November, will now surface the most popular links and find the best content for cross-posting based on content and fit for a certain audience. And it will tell custom…

There's A Salesman In Every HR Professional

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There's a salesman in all of us.  I downloaded this pic for another post and, in a desire to not offend all the sales representatives in the space, elected not to use it. It's been  in my picture folder sitting and waiting for just the right time. That time is now. Give me the best sales line you've used on a friend, child, colleague, boss or other HR professional. You were selling, they weren't buying and you were looking to close a deal. What stops did you pull out? Here are a few of mine: To a community colleague discussing the pros of a local HR department, "It's a very progressive human resource department." What?! Tell me what organizational HR department is progressive.
To my young daughter at the top of a water park body slide,"Just slide nd you'll be out and in the pool before you even know it. Nope, it's not too dark in there at all." Successfully hiding my own claustrophobic fears, this backfired on me as the 4 year old went down an…