1. Zappos Says Goodbye to Bosses

    October 23, 2015 by ahmed

    Originally posted on The Washington Post by Jena McGregor

    Online retailer Zappos has long been known to do things its own way. The customer-service obsessed company calls its executives “monkeys,” has staffers ring cowbells to greet guests, and offers new employees cash to quit as a way to test their loyalty.

    The Las Vegas-based retailer is now going even more radical, introducing a new approach to organizing the company. It will eliminate traditional managers, do away with the typical corporate hierarchy and get rid of job titles, at least internally. The company told employees of the change at a year-end meeting, Quartz first reported.

    The unusual approach is called a “holacracy.” Developed by a former software entrepreneur, the idea is to replace the traditional corporate chain of command with a series of overlapping, self-governing “circles.” In theory, this gives employees more of a voice in the way the company is run.

    According to Zappos executives, the move is an effort to keep the 1,500-person company from becoming too rigid, too unwieldy and too bureaucratic as it grows.

    “As we scaled, we noticed that the bureaucracy we were all used to was getting in the way of adaptability,” says Zappos’s John Bunch, who is helping lead the transition to the new structure. The company has become a force in online shopping as it expanded beyond shoes into apparel, housewares and cosmetics. Amazon, which acquired it in 2009 for $1.2 billion but allows it to be run as a mostly independent unit, does not break out sales for Zappos.

    The holacracy concept is the brainchild of management consultant Brian Robertson, a serial software entrepreneur who says he launched the idea after realizing he was “more interested in how we worked together” than in his own job. The concept has a couple of high-profile devotees — Twitter cofounder Evan Williams uses it at his new company, Medium, and time management guru David Allen uses it run his firm — but Zappos is by far the largest company to adopt the idea.

    At its core, a holacracy aims to organize a company around the work that needs to be done instead of around the people who do it. As a result, employees do not have job titles. They are typically assigned to several roles that have explicit expectations. Rather than working on a single team, employees are usually part of multiple circles that each perform certain functions.

    In addition, there are no managers in the classically defined sense. Instead, there are people known as “lead links” who have the ability to assign employees to roles or remove them from them, but who are not in a position to actually tell people what to do. Decisions about what each role entails and how various teams should function are instead made by a governing process of people from each circle. Bunch does note, however, that at Zappos the broadest circles can to some extent tell sub-groups what they’re accountable for doing.

    Zappos and Robertson are careful to note that while a holacracy may get rid of traditional managers (those who both manage others’ work and hold the keys to their career success), there is still structure and employees’ work is still watched. Poor performers, Robertson says, stand out when they don’t have enough “roles” to fill their time, or when a group of employees charged with monitoring the company’s culture decide they’re not a good fit.

    Bunch, meanwhile, says that while people have latched on to the idea that Zappos is getting rid of managers, what the company is actually doing is “decoupling the professional development side of the business from the technical getting-the-work-done side.”

    Both also say that while the system lacks traditional managers, it does not mean that leaders won’t emerge. If anything, the goal is to get more people to take charge.

    Still, truly stamping out the corporate hierarchy may be much more difficult than it seems. Bob Sutton, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and author of the forthcoming book “Scaling Up Excellence“, says “show me any group of five human beings or five apes or five dogs, and I want to see the one where a status difference does not emerge. It’s who we are as creatures.”

    While Sutton says that the instinct to remove as much friction and internal competition is the right idea, “creating situations where you’re clear who has decision authority is important.” Without that, he says, “you get more politics.”

    Since April, Zappos has moved 10 percent of its employees to the new system. Now that it’s official, Bunch expects that the rest of the company’s employees will transition by the end of 2014. He acknowledges that it could take up to six additional months, though, for people to fully understand its complexity. “There’s no two ways around it — this is a difficult system to grasp. We’re so ingrained in the traditional work paradigm.”


  2. When Employee Engagement Delivers Great Customer Service

    October 14, 2015 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Beyond Theory by Paul Beesley

    It’s central London. It’s 9.05 am on a Tuesday, October morning. It’s busy. I have arrived at Victoria station via the Tube. My meeting starts at 10.00 am.

    Amazingly for me I have time to kill and I need a coffee. I want to tune in to my emails and be available to take the call that I’m expecting.

    I walk past at least eight cafés and coffee points. My destination is Pret A Manger. I’ve been there before. I know that he coffee is good and the service is fast.

    I arrive at Pret A Manger and it’s heaving – people almost queuing out the door. I almost abort the idea. But I notice that the queue is moving – and moving fast. Within a couple of minutes I am at the counter and being greeted by a smiling face, wishing me good morning and asking what I would like.

    My order is taken. There are six people serving and three people operating the baristas. Everyone is smart and everyone is extremely busy. Everyone looks like they want to be there. The different coloured shirts show who does what, the teams work like clockwork. A multi-lingual team serving multi-lingual customers. Some people might even call this choreography. My coffee is served and is exactly what I expected. The price is too and I am wished a good day.

    Despite ordering a coffee to go I decided to stay a while. What I observed was fantastic. The speed at which people were being served is incredible. But the team still had time for manners. They realised what their customers wanted and the speed at which they needed it.

    Another member of the team was merchandising, making sure that shelves were stocked and easy to select from. She skillfully manoeuvred around the customers who were phoning, texting and dragging their luggage.

    From downstairs, other employees were frequently appearing, restocking the shelves with freshly made baguettes and croissants. The concept of teamwork was being displayed.

    As I look around the coffee shop the company’s vision and purpose statement was visible to see. Those working behind the counter could not miss it.

    So what did I learn from this organised chaos, this choreography? Here are my learning points:

    • Employees need to know what they’re doing. They need training to equip them to do the job they are expected to do.
    • Employees need to be clear on their roles, working in unison. To achieve this, they also need to know the roles of others.
    • Employees need to have the equipment to use, serviced and in working order. It needs to be ergonomically designed – for the employees and the customers alike.
    • Employees need to be smart in appearance and smart in attitude – courtesy costs nothing but makes money.
    • Employees need managers to give direction yet be observant to give support when necessary.
    • Employees need to see the vision and connect with how their performance impacts the business strategy.

    I could go on but I am sure you get the picture. Employee engagement and customer excellence are intrinsically linked. Congratulations to Pret A Manger for making it happen. And it’s not just happening in Victoria – I am a loyal customer to Pret A Manger in Central Milton Keynes too.


  3. 6 ways to overhaul your company’s meetings

    October 11, 2015 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Mashable by Eric Hanson

    This article is part of DBA, a series on Mashable about running a business that features insights from leaders in entrepreneurship, venture capital and management.

    Think about the last business meeting you held. Was it dynamic and engaging? Did your employees furiously scribble key takeaways in their notebooks and leave fired up about their projects? Did everyone get a chance to contribute to a meaningful discussion?

    If your meetings look like something out of an “online productivity” stock photo, then well done. For many of us though, our meeting reality looks a little more like resentful employees hunched over laptops, multitasking during a half hour of unstructured conversation. If that sounds familiar, read on.

    In the face of productivity hacks and new apps that promise to save us time, we’re often overwhelmed by one more thing to check or track, and we become distracted during all-important face-time with teams and employees. Further, many managers are simply not taught how to run meetings well.

    It’s no wonder that meetings get such a bad rap. Yet the executives in Mad Men wouldn’t have been able to come up with nearly as many potent or entertaining ideas if their brainstorms took place via messaging apps or over instant message.

    With the right mindset, meetings can be the most efficient way to make a decision and the most productive part of your day. Here are six tips for putting your meetings into overdrive.

    1. Define the purpose of the meeting and have clear, desired outcomes

    Meetings should have a clear, defined purpose, and everyone attending them should know the goal in advance. With goals in mind, employees have a sense of purpose and won’t think of the meeting as “losing” 30 minutes of their day. For example, revamp your “weekly project check-in” meeting to address specific tasks.

    Is this week’s meeting about finalizing the project timeline? Tell employees in advance, and ask them to come prepared with questions and deliverables that will help you clearly map out the project timeline by the end of the meeting.

    2. Be thoughtful of required attendees

    If the purpose is clear, it is easier to determine who really needs to be there. Does everyone on the leadership team need to come to a staffing update meeting, or just those who serve as direct managers?

    Think about who you need and who will contribute to and benefit from the meeting. Let people know if attendance is optional, or encourage those who aren’t required to attend to send notes in advance via email.

    3. Make it interactive

    Avoid monologues (and hunched-over-laptop multitasking) by requiring people to come prepared for the discussion. Include any related materials in the invite and be clear that you expect them to review information prior to the meeting. When you stop doing all the talking, you’ll be surprised how others become more engaged.

    4. Take notes and don’t forget to share them

    Many jobs move at a breakneck speed. Amid the multitasking, it’s easy to forget specific actions and next steps that come out of a meeting. It’s an obvious and crucial tip: Designate someone in the meeting to capture key decisions and action items. Designate someone in the meeting to capture key decisions and action items.

    Information-sharing doesn’t stop there, though. Notes can be quickly forgotten or only shared with the meeting leader. Make sure to share with all attendees, so people are aligned on outcomes and next steps. Well-structured notes can also quickly update those who did not attend and serve as an outline for the next discussion.

    5. Squash unrelated topics

    A good meeting should foster collaborative conversation. But, as with any good conversation, it’s easy to get off track. Keep an eye out for time sucks.

    A 2014 study by Robert Half Management Resources showed that people think 25% of the time they spend in meetings is useless. About one-third of the time, the survey adds, the agenda is thrown by the wayside.

    If you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of budget conversations during a staffing meeting, suggest to move digression to the end of the agenda or discuss it separately.

    6. Start and end on time (or early)

    Lead by example. If you consistently start late, people will know they don’t need to show up until a few minutes after the hour. Show up early and kick things off on time. Sticking to the time frame and managing the conversation around the agenda shows people you respect their time — and sets an example so they’ll respect yours. If you can end early, do it. Your employees will appreciate a few more minutes back in their day.

    While these meeting tips may not seem like rocket science, it’s surprising how often we forget the basics and end up with meetings that don’t move us forward. Take a step back and evaluate how you run meetings and where you can improve. Chances are you can make precious face-time with your team count even more.


  4. 10 Tips on Getting the Most out of Business Meetings

    September 27, 2015 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Entrepreneur by Stan popovich

    Meetings can be time suckers, and if nothing gets accomplished during them, frustration may ensue. Not only does a company waste valuable time and money conducting business meetings that don’t produce results but employees will begin to loathe attending these functions.

    Here are 10 suggestions on how to get the most out of your business gatherings.

    1. Know what you want to accomplish. It is important to know why you are scheduling a business meeting. Write down a list of goals you want accomplished before your meeting and then present this to the attending members. Do not leave the meeting until you get the answers you’re looking for.

    2. Develop a plan. Once you decide what you need to accomplish, you need to create a plan on how you will communicate your goals to employees. Avoid using complicated or “jargony” words when trying to explain new ideas and be willing to answer any questions that are asked by members of the group. If someone doesn’t understand what you are saying, don’t lose patience. Instead try to rephrase your communication, so everyone is on board.

    3. Write a one-page summary of your meeting. Before the meeting begins, create a one-page summary of the major points that you want to cover during your meeting. This lets your employees know what to expect, which will result in them having a better understanding of what to expect in the meeting. Also, this will help reduce any anxieties or fears among your workers and prevent any rumors from spreading before the meeting begins.

    4. Make sure you stay on topic. When there is a lot of people in a meeting it can be difficult to stay on topic so prepare accordingly. If you find that the meeting isn’t going anywhere or someone is off on a tangent, then politely circle back to the important topic that needs to be addressed.

    5. Ask the right questions. Always ask the right questions when talking to your employees and colleagues. To prepare, write a list of questions that relates to your current business concerns. If you ask a question and someone beats around the bush, make sure you ask for clarification or push to get an answer that resolves your issues.

    6. Encourage participation. Do not let a few people take control of your meetings. Instead, create a friendly atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable expressing their opinions.

    7. Determine a timeline. Make sure you have specific deadlines of when you would like your objectives to get accomplished – otherwise, not everyone may be on the same page.

    8. Don’t leave the meeting right away. Don’t just finish your presentation and then leave. Chances are some topics may need to be further explained or someone will not fully understand the presentation. Again, be patient and ensure that everyone understands your business goals.

    9. Learn from your mistakes. Learn how to improve your company’s business meetings by reviewing past presentations. Focusing on what you did wrong the last time can go a long way in having productive meetings in the future. Another idea is to ask for feedback from the people that attended the meeting and follow through on their suggestions.

    10. Change things up. Add some variety to your meetings and do not do the same thing all of the time. This will prevent your employees from getting bored and may also encourage participation. Be flexible when taking suggestions on improving your business meetings.


  5. Why People Management Is Replacing Talent Management: Part 2

    September 13, 2015 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Bersin by Josh Bersin

    Integrated Talent Management Software Market Defined Itself

    Over these 10 years this market “defined itself.” Vendors grew and many went public (most were acquired). The ones remaining are still looking for exit strategies to become acquired, go public, or find ways to keep growing. In a sense what happened to “talent management software” is identical to what happened to CRM software – the original markets of “sales force automation” and “marketing automation” were converged into a new category, which eventually became dominated by major players.

    I firmly believe, by the way, that the evolution of this market has been very good for business. Today, while the market is more commodity like than ever, companies can buy an integrated talent suite quite easily and most of it will work pretty well (still lots of little holes here and there).

    As the core features of these systems have commoditized, innovation is threatening the space again. Today vendors are building embedded analytics, mobile tools, time and labor management, and soon employee engagement monitoring and management tools embedded into the suite. (Read my article on the Ten Disruptions in HR Technology for more.) I expect another ten years of innovation, with new billion dollar vendors to be created.

    Today The World Has Changed: Integrated Talent Management Is No Longer The Problem

    As we reflect on the last ten years, its clear the world has changed. While integration is still a big topic in HR (particularly in technology) and most bigger companies are moving toward building more integrated HR technology strategies, this whole market has shifted. Integration of the core HR processes, once considered the nirvana of talent management, is not the top of mind issue today.

    In fact today, whether we like it or not, everything in HR is connected. Since those early days we now have ubiquitious social networking, total connectivity across all people and systems, and a porous talent system that leaks and collects data from the outside world like never before. Our recruitment, employment brand, and even employee engagement is extended into the public internet, so our internal systems and data no longer stand alone.

    Today, while core talent programs must still work together, we need to consider the whole “ecosystem” of talent issues in our strategies, programs, and systems.

    talent8

    And there are some new, even more important things to consider.

    Engagement, The Overwhelmed Employee, Analytics, Work Simplification, and The Quantified Employee

    And those original building blocks of talent management are no longer enough. Today companies not only face leadership and skills gaps, they face new challenges: employee engagement is at an all time low, retention scares everyone, and companies are just now starting to grapple with the issue of what we call The Overwhelmed Employee. Companies are struggling to figure out how to make work “easy” and “humane” given the fact that the barriers between work and life are all but gone.

    Also, as I mentioned earlier, the topics of diversity and inclusion are top of mind. Silicon valley firms are now embarrassed at their male, youth-dominated culture – yet it’s very hard to change. Today businesses need to focus on building a diverse, inclusive, and humane work environment – topics we never talked about ten years ago.

    Performance management, once considered the core of all this, is now being totally redesigned – with a focus on much more simplicity, coaching, agile goal management, and developmental feedback. And I firmly believe that real-time engagement monitoring and what I call “The Quantified Employee” is going to become a huge topic in the next year or two.

    What about talent analytics? We thought about it a little in 2008 but now it’s the #1 new program on the mind of most HR teams. Today’s analytics, as we have written about extensively, is far more than the “HR Analytics” talked about in the 1990s and 2000s – this is a brand new “people analytics center of excellence” that looks at all aspects of people and how we hire, manage, recruit, and retain people based on hundreds of data attributes. And I believe people analytics will rapidly integrate with financial and other business analytics, letting businesses understand the people issues behind all major business challenges (ie. sales productivity, product quality, customer retention, etc.).

    So my point is that the original idea of “integrated talent management” is really no longer the problem. We have to accept that everything is related – and now, rather than think about “integration” we need to focus on how we “drive talent outcomes.” We have shifted away from thinking about all the internal HR issues we have toward an outward focus on “solving the talent problems in my company.”

    Executives and Business Leaders Want Results. This is HR’s New Job.

    Here’s what we see. Today, as the economy picks up and companies are competing for people again, businesses want HR tools and systems that directly drive employee engagement, help improve employment brand, and platforms that harness and reach out into the internet to find, source, and attract candidates. They want learning software that builds a compelling self-directed digital learning environment, and they want goal management tools that are agile, easy to use, and help people develop.

    talent9

    I would suggest that most of the big issues you face in your company fall into one of the 9 boxes above (with the bottom box there to define some of the environmental issues to address). Today CEOs and business leaders just want you to address these topics – and do it in an “integrated way” with a modern and high-impact HR service delivery model.

    And on that topic, our research clearly shows that HR has to “get out of the way” and spend more time in the business giving business leaders simple and effective tools, not building complex multi-step business processes which nobody has time to do. (Only 8% of the companies in our Global Human Capital Trends research think their performance management process, for example, is worth the time they put in!).

    Talent Management Software Drivers Have Changed Too.

    Companies still want integrated HR systems, but what they don’t want is complex, integrated ERP software that makes everyone’s life more complicated. In fact, they want life to be more simple. More than 40% of the companies we just surveyed in our upcoming Human Capital Trends study are embarking on projects to “simplify the work environment.” 47% of the people we surveyed who are buying new HR software systems cite “ease of use” and “integrated user experience” as one of their top two buying criteria.

    How About The Word Talent Itself: I Suggest We Change to “People”

    Finally, as we consider how talent management has changed, let’s talk about the word “talent.” I remember when we first started using the word, HR staff used to say “we don’t recruit talent, that’s what Hollywood does.” Well now everything in HR is about the “talent” and the word has started to become a little meaningless.

    Are we all just “talent” to be used by our employers? Are we defined entirely by our skills and ability to drive results or do work for the organization?

    While everyone is here to drive results in some fashion, I would suggest that thinking of people entirely as “talent” has become a limiting concept. Of course we want to hire, train, develop, and lead people so they deliver results – but today we have to reflect on the fact that each individual who works for us (and many more are contingent each day) are actually individual people, coming to work for their own particular reasons.

    For example, most companies no longer think about people from “prehire to retire” any more. As Reid Hoffman discusses in his book The Alliance, we hire people like we hire professional athletes. They work for our organization as long as it is valuable for both parties, and then people move on. If you’re highly skilled and successful in your career, you’re getting job offers in your in-box, so you’re always an “active candidate.” You are definitely “talent” – but you may or may not feel committed to your employer over a long period of time.

    And unlike professional athletes, most of us don’t “sell our skills” to employers, we volunteer our efforts at work every day. We come to work because we like it (hopefully), and the compensation and benefits we receive is only one of the many reasons we show up. We have outside lives, personal career goals, individual passions, and we want to be creative. I would suggest we are more than just “talent,” from a management perspective – we are simply “people” – just like our customers are “consumers.”

    We know this shift has happened because all our research shows that engagement and retention has become one of the biggest issues in business today (followed very closely by the need to give people education, training, and development). If we can’t create an environment that attracts you and others to the organization, you go elsewhere. This is why new tools to understand the drivers of engagement, analyze and predict retention, and manage flight risk are among the hottest new areas of HR. (The annual engagement survey is rapidly becoming obsolete.)

    So I would suggest that we, in HR, start to think about employees as “people” – and this is why more and more companies are starting to rename their HR organizations things like “People Operations” or “People Management.” Sure we have to do HR administration, but ultimately our job is to make sure “people” are engaged, trained, in the right jobs, aligned, and supported.

    Think About Employees as Consumers or Customers

    If we start to think of their employees as “people” or consumers (ie. they can always go elsewhere), then all of a sudden we think about “talent management” in a new way. It’s not just a way to integrate HR processes, it’s a series of strategies, programs, investments, and promises that make everyone’s life, work, and career better for them (not just the company). This is where work is going – we now work in a world of independent free agents, each of which is like a voluntary “consumer” who may choose to stay or leave.

    Bill Jensen, an entrepreneur who has written on work simplification, just finished a large study of work he calls “The Future of Work – Search for a Simpler Way.” It’s a great read, and what he talks most about is how passion is the new driver of employment success.

    The Deloitte Center for the Edge recently publishes a series of papers on worker passion, and they also explain that only around 13% of the world is truly “passionate” about their work. These “passionate explorers” absolutely love their work, and they are responsible for many of the most innovative products and services we have.

    BCG’s Rainer Strack did research on 200,000 employees over the last few years to look at drivers of engagement. As he states in his TED video:

    What are the job preferences of these 200,000 people? So, what are they looking for? Out of a list of 26 topics, salary is only number eight. The top four topics are all around culture. Number four, having a great relationship with the boss; three, enjoying a great work-life balance; two, having a great relationship with colleagues; and the top priority worldwide is being appreciated for your work. So, do I get a thank you? Not only once a year with the annual bonus payment, but every day. Our global workforce crisis becomes very personal. People are looking for recognition.

    Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, in their new book How Google Works, call this group “smart creatives” – people who are intelligently connected to their work and they constantly learn, study, experiment, and create. Most of Google’s products are created this way, and the company actively incents people to create and re-create every day.

    This is not the “talent management” or “integrated talent management” we’ve been talking about in the past. This is something more. We may call it “people management” or maybe even “creating a people environment.” The company creates a definable culture (driven from leadership), hires against that culture, empowers people to deliver, and holds them accountable to results. And the scaffolding around this includes a great work environment, lots of development opportunities, great benefits and pay, and a culture of inclusion and coaching. These are all things which HR talks about, but they go well beyond “integrated talent management.”

    I am not sure what to call the “next stage” of talent management, but for want of a better phrase I think it’s something simple like “People Management.” (I would love your ideas for a new phrase). It means building an organization that is designed for “people” not “talent,” one which is forgiving, transparent, developmental, and still holds people accountable. It’s not an “up or out” culture, but rather one of “we can all succeed here if we are all on the same page.”

    The Traditional Talent Management model vs. People Management Concepts

    Is “Talent Management” dead? Of course not. The concepts and principles are not going away. But as an area of focus, we in HR have to think more broadly. “Talent Management” is now “People Management” and it has to take on a much broader perspective and holistic approach.

    We need a much more holistic view of how we manage people, one focused on each individual as a voluntary consumer, and a strategy which builds a culture of focus, inclusion, support, and results.

    • In “talent management” we think about lifetime career management and “pre-hire to retirement. In “people management” we focus on mobility, job to job transitions, and constant and regular movement of people to new projects and assignments.
    • In “talent management” we focus on the integration of HR practices across the lifecycle of an employee. In “people management” we focus on making employees happy, giving them a highly engaging and enjoyable work experience, and giving them software tools that make their work easier, not just tools for HR.
    • In “talent management” we focus on identifying the “top talent” and segmenting, ranking, and rating people based on performance and potential. In “people management” we focus on everyone’s strengths and find roles that help people leverage their skills, empowering them to add value wherever we can.
    • In “talent management” we put together career ladders and progressive training programs that take you from place to place. In “people management” we assume that people want to learn all the time and in their own way, so we create an entire “learning environment” to help people continuously develop and learn at work.
    • In “talent management” we segment people and reward them based on performance, with narrow bands of compensation. In “people management” we reward hyper performers with tremendous rewards and try to make sure everyone is rewarded based on their potential market value, not just their performance rating.
    • In “talent management” we think about people in terms of the way they add value to the company, training and focusing them on what the business needs. In “people management” we focus on each individual as an “owner” and try to create an environment where they feel part of the mission and give them flexibility to add value in unique and special ways.
    • In “talent management” we create talent pools and try to group people into segments and clusters to manage them better. In “people management” we embrace and honor diversity and realize that every person is unique and try to remove unconscious bias and empower people to thrive in their own way.
    • In “talent management” we buy software that integrates all of HR together into an “integrated data platform.” In “people management” we buy software that empowers people to do their jobs better, is very easy to use, and is a “system of engagement.”

    The shifts are profound and subtle at the same time. Ultimately what has happened is that employees are now “in charge” and we as HR or business leaders have to think about building a company or organization that honors and empowers everyone. Sure some people won’t fit, so we need to assess and focus on fit more than ever – but once we hire someone into the company, we want to build an organization that engages and empowers them to succeed.

    talent10

    Key to today’s working world is a focus on the team: hands-on managers who empower small teams, teams who work well together, and people who fit and want to be part of the team mission.

    Finally, about Employee Engagement: Becoming Simply Irresistible(tm)

    I”ve had the opportunity to think about this for quite some time now, and the best way I have been able to explain it is to rethink the organization as one that “attracts” and “engages” people as its mission. We still set goals and hold people accountable for results, but we do it in an empowering way, with a focus on finding the right people who fit our mission, environment, and goals.

    One of the tools I’ve been working on and sharing with you over the last year is what we call building the “Simply Irresistible” organization, a company which appeals to each individual in their own special way. (A book on this topic will be coming in 2015/2016.) As this chart shows, there are a lot of interconnected “people issues” to consider as we build organizations which thrive.

    talent11

    We can look back over the last ten years and see amazing progress in business, technology and HR. Today leaders face new people challenges, forcing us to redefine and extend what the original “integrated talent management” tried to accomplish.

    talent12

    So is “talent management” dead? As defined in 2004, I’d say it is – but rather than throw it all away, let’s take what we’ve learned and evolve it into something even better. Whether you are a leader, manager, or HR professional, we need our organizations to succeed. Building on what we’ve learned and focusing on the new topics of fit, engagement, empowerment, and culture will help us move our teams forward. It’s and exciting time to work in the people side of business – I hope you continue to share your thoughts with me as we all move into a new year.

    I look forward to your thoughts and comments, and I look forward to sharing much more on this topic in the coming months.