Today if your hear the name Apple, Tata Motors, 5 Guys or Pixar your first thought is “I just don’t like what they do. I Love what they do.” You; laughed during Cars, were awe inspired by the iPod. drove 15 miles to get that burger, and were fascinated by a profitable $2000 mass-produce car. You also didn’t just experience them once… Cars 2, iPad, second third fourth burger, Range Rover. They have brought and defined Innovation for our generation and possible the next several.
Does this mean you have to be innovative to be like Apple or 5 Guys or to compete against them? Absolutely. Just ask Palm, GM, In n Out Burgers or Disney Studios. In fact, based on a survey from the Conference Board, innovation is the #4 priority for CEOs in 2011. Innovation impacts your business in more ways than you can possibly imagine. Bill Gates once said “Microsoft’s top 10% is impactful, but if I lose my 20 most innovative software engineers Microsoft will go out of business within 12 months.”
You can’t quantify innovation by looking at a person or giving them a test. Innovation sometimes only happens when the right-mix of people get together in a team setting. So how do you identify your “innovators”? Does your company have enough of them? Does the innovation increase profitability?
You can determine who the innovators are by determining the following;
- How much does a person or team produce? - Does this team or person deliver on what ever they are given or is it hit and miss?
- Did they produce a new thing? – Is it a completely never before seen product, drug or process? Was it the next generation of something? Was it something that was a copy of another product?
- What impact did it have on the market? – Did what they produce change the market place? Did it displace a competitor? Did it define a new category of products? Did it make the company better? Do analysts, customers or the press say what was produced was innovative?
- What was the profit contribution? – How much profit did it bring the company? Did it raise the stock price? Innovation is important to success. But it shouldn’t cost so much that you never recoup the costs.
- Do they repeat? – Anybody can get lucky once. But delivering innovative things 2, 3 or 4 times in a timely manner means the producers are Innovators.
With this you can then identify and put policies in place to further foster your innovators or have a business case to hire them.
A lack of innovators within a company may not bankrupt it. But as we have seen time and time again a company with the right amount of innovators will make more profit, have a more engaged workforce and take the customers of those that don't.
I am dating myself here, but for the past 18 years I have been a user, builder, practitioner, consultant and teacher of Workforce Planning. Over these almost 2 decades I have learned that the primary barrier to adoption has been that Human Resources attempts to replace an already existing, core and engrained Workforce Planning solution with their own. It’s not that Human Resources does this intentionally or think they can offer a better solution and overlooks the current one. They just do not have deep enough domain in the various Lines of Business to recognize that there are supporting structures and processes in place that the Lines of Business use to plan work for their employees. Examples of these already existing Workforce Planning processes are:
- Sales has territory management, territory optimization, etc.
- Engineering has several processes to choose from such as Waterfall, Agile, etc.
- Manufacturing, just like Engineering, also has a few to choose from like “Just In Time” Manufacturing.
- Call Centers have commonly adopted Workforce Optimization as their solution.
- Corporations can also adopt companywide processes, such as Six Sigma or Total Quality Management.
Overcoming the Adoption Barrier
It’s natural that the Lines of Business would and will continue to reject HR’s own solution to Workforce Planning. They will never believe nor could Human Resources show that they have a greater domain than they do in their own business. However they do need HR’s help to make it dramatically more effective than it is today. So how does HR overcome this barrier?
- Understand HR’s Role: Human Resources should absolutely play a role in Workforce Planning. But that role should not be the lead role. The Lines of Business know their business best, is already doing workforce planning and Human Resources should work with them to determine how they can support an already existing process. Not telling them how to do Workforce Planning for their business.
- New Solutions not Needed: There are lots of Workforce Planning vendors, consultants and methodology out there. The first place to look for providing your Lines of Businesses with a solution for Workforce Planning is not here. For the most part, the Lines of Businesses already have some solution they are using and need to figure out how to embed already existing Human Resources solutions into their processes. For example, yearly Performance reviews do not work effectively for customer facing Professional Services teams. Performance Reviews should be done either at the end of every engagement or for extremely long engagement, at the end of every milestone. Either way, Professional Service teams want to fit in Performance Reviews in order to determine who should role onto the next project and who should get some additional training.
If Human Resources follow the above, not lead and not replace, they will be able to successfully partner with the business and will have a much easier time getting subsequent initiatives adopted. Best of luck….
Interesting article on how Predictive Analytics is being used by the police to prevent crimes. Just another sign that this technology is becoming main streamed and is worth adding to your HCM Analytics/Optimization tool shed.
To say I love the ease and convenience of mobile devices would be a dramatic understatement. I had a pager in high school (lame, I know), got a big ‘ol Motorola flip phone when it was obsessed about like today’s iPads, and I bought one of the first consumer Personal Data Assistants, Sony Magic, way back in. Even though I definitely wanted to throw them all in the trash at some point, my fervor for the freedom of mobility has only gotten stronger.
I currently have 8 mobile devices and use them all 3 times a week at the minimum. For example, I have already used 5 mobile devices today and it’s just the afternoon. I am currently overlooking the ocean on a great stormy California day writing this blog on my personal laptop (not included in the total), playing with an analytics demo on my iPad and waiting for my phone to ring for a meeting. Earlier this morning I went for a run and used my GPS/heart rate monitor and my iPod. After the run, I did a ride on an indoor trainer with my bike’s GPS/Heart Rate Monitor/Cadence computer and watched a movie on my phone (movie was Restrepo and I highly recommend it). Even using my high-tech friends as a baseline, I am still one of the very few who have these many devices or who use them this actively.
Similarly, you should never build a mobile HCM Analytics Dashboard or Mobile HCM Applications for us few fanatics. It’d be over kill for everyday line managers and workers. However, before you or your company seriously pursues a Mobile HCM Analytics initiative, the following questions should be answered:
- Does your company support mobile devices? I.e. do you already have corporate accounts with providers (AT&T/ Verison et al), decided what mobile devices to standardize on (e.g. iPhone vs BlackBerry) and are all these programs accessible to your targeted workers.
- Can your company support mobile devices? Emailing and calendaring support will now be just one facet of your mobile strategy, not your entire mobile strategy. Some things, like support processes can be leveraged but analytical applications will require new capabilities and possibly the hiring of new people to build and maintain them.
- Can your company afford mobile devices? Emailing and calendaring for a worker on a mobile device is relatively low data usage and costs the company a few dollars per month. If you add analytical applications to this, a worker’s data usage and costs could jump through the roof. One large enterprise company in Europe did a pilot program on HCM Analytics/Apps and the data costs jumped from a few Euros to over 100 Euros per month per worker. In the U.S. we are lucky to have cheaper “all you can eat” data plans and on average costs $49 per month domestically or $69 per month globally.
- Are your mobile devices secure and compliant? With analytical applications you are forced to potentially publish and locally store worker and organizational data such as headcount, compensation, performance ratings, etc. on the mobile device (if you want offline capabilities). Not only will you have to have deploy a multi-level security scheme (e.g. password upon entry, VPN, encryption of local data, if device lost-recovery or remote wipe capabilities), but you will also have to ensure whether you are being compliant with Federal and local regulatory rules (e.g. Is passing employee data on a mobile device outside the corporate domain across international boundaries and then stored locally, compliant?).
- Is your HCM Analytics actionable? The reality is that a worker, 95% of the times, will only go to an HCM Analytic if they need to take some sort of an action. Example could be; a Manager is trying to retain a worker while traveling. The manager would go into a mobile HCM Analytic to review the salary of their team, then looks at their department’s salary budget to determine if there is room in the budget to allow a salary increase, and then give an out of cycle increase to that worker. The other 5% of the time the worker will be looking at changes to Analytics that are updated from someone or something other than themselves (e.g. Finance releasing Quarterly Headcount budgets).
- Can your actions be completed in 5 minutes or less? HCM analytic driven actions should be similar to how you would take an action on Facebook. Quick glance at an analytic, one or two thumb presses to take an action or at most one or two thumb presses followed by a quick one line write up of a note or justification. Workers have a hard time writing long emails on the iPhone or a BlackBerry. Would you really want them to fill out a performance review on one of those devices? A tablet, like the iPad, is a bit better but I have tried writing documents on it and it still takes twice as long.
- Can your HCM Analytics be mashed with other Functional Analytics? For ease of use and adoption, analytics should be “mashed” with other functional areas like Sales. HCM-only mobile initiatives generally have a hard time getting off the ground and providing mashed up views of functional analytics linked to actions, stand a much better chance of being funded and will provide a complete offering to workers.
- Do you know which workers need mobile tools? Not everybody should be provided with a mobile device, let alone mobile HCM Analytics. The standard workers who need mobile analytics are executives, road warriors, sales, and workers always in the field (e.g. geologist looking for oil deposits, on-site project managers at a construction site, or consultants). This roughly means about 20% of your total workforce needs it and they all may need a different view and actions of HCM Analytics.
If you answered “no” to any of the 8, then you should wait until you get to a yes to all. If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then your company is definitely ready to roll out mobile HCM Analytics. What are you waiting for?
P.S. No need to worry about this code...it's for a blog aggregrator. JBBPTXD82PS4
I read lots of magazines during the month and a few years back I had to limit the number I get to 5 - not because it takes up too much time but because I didn’t have the room to keep them all. After a month or two, my side of the bed looks like a recycling center. The Fortune here, 4 Economists’ there, 50 or so Wall Street Journals’ inching onto my wives side, etc, etc. My fantastic and understanding wife would then lay down the law and say it’s time to clean up the fire hazard.
So I go through the stack of magazines and I'd keep the one or two I think I’ll use down the road. It’s not the Times magazine with the “Person of the Year” or the interesting Harvard Business Review on Product Strategy. It is always the Triathlete Magazine and Bicycling Magazine. (Hey they have great food recipes, training guides and a picture of a Specialized Shiv is way more interesting to look at then a picture of Warren Buffet). The best thing about this stack of magazines and newspapers is that it gave me the justification I needed to buy an iPad the day it came out.
The iPad is amazing. It has allowed me to; go from reading 5 magazines a month to 14, save the magazines for as long as I have gigabits, prevent my wife from worring about the fire hazard, and I can share articles with anybody I want. Which is what I am doing .
I read an article in CIO Magazine that had a great article on “The New Role of IT”, written by the Editor in Chief of the MIT Sloan Management Review. It’s a great article which talks about how the new IT will be focused, not on delivering traditional back off applications, but delivering answers through analytics. Enjoy….Full Article
“Ten years ago, executives looked to IT for technical solutions to support business units. Today, analytics has dramatically changed that function, says Beth Holmes, IT Analytics Lead for Monsanto. Now IT managers are sought after for the answers they can provideto build competitive advantage and guide strategic decision making.”
P.S. I can’t wait for the 2nd generation of iPad coming out in April. My birthday is also in April. I am just saying, if you need a gift idea for my birthday…