17 September 2014

Stay Curious!

IG_eventWhat's the one competency you are probably not actively seeking in candidates, but could be the most important characteristic for success with your company? Curiosity - according to Neal Bruce, Lumesse's SVP Product. Curiosity is vital because the nature of jobs within organisations is changing more rapidly than ever before. Curious employees are more likely to adapt positively to these changes.

Neal presented his thoughts on curiosity and other recruitment trends at the Lumesse i-GRasp customer event in London on 10th September. Deloitte joined us as well to provide an overview of the key HR trends for 2014. These insights and research are truly 'thought innovation' which is crucial to stay ahead in the 'war for talent'. It's one of the three ways Lumesse provides access to innovation alongside our product development roadmap and through integrated, innovative technology provided by Lumesse partners.

Hollaroo, one of these partners, who builds enterprise social networks, showed the audience the power of harnessing the good elements of social platforms with enterprise level privacy for recruitment and talent management. Their CTO, Hugh Fordham, actively encourages his clients to be curious, to imagine the possibilities enterprise social networking provides. "At workshops you can see their minds whirring!" he said. Customer ideas have led Hollaroo to explore many different uses for networks of referred candidates, contingent workers, alumni and more.

Customer feedback indicated that speakers were the main attraction and 'thought innovation' is absolutely key to future success. Customers I spoke with on the day were also enthusiastic about the idea of being able to access new recruiting technologies, such as Hollaroo, which are already integrated into the Lumesse platforms. Most were speaking to multiple suppliers of niche technology (on-demand video interviewing was mentioned a number of times) and planning to use them within a year.

The three areas of innovation - thought, product and partners - is something that makes sense to everyone I talked to. I'm curious to see where it will take us over the coming months.




10 September 2014

Silver at Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

Learning - Brandon Hall Silver AwardLumesse and Vodafone, with their partner Oxford SM, have been awarded Silver at the Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Awards 2014 in the category of Best Use of Blended Learning.

The blended programme helped to revolutionise the marketing function at Vodafone, across 21 countries. The project used E-magazine introductions to generate excitement. Workshops and Deep Dive sessions reinforced practical application of the learnings as well as bringing groups of marketers and leaders together. In addition to this, the transfer to work was then supported by a Bespoke Learning portal and webinars. 

Mohsin Ghafoor, group commercial learning lead, Group HR L&CD at Vodafone commented, “This award represents Vodafone’s commitment to empower our marketing community and to ensure that we develop world class marketers who are able to make fantastic connections with our customers.”

Andrea Miles, director of Bespoke Learning content at Lumesse, said “Working with Vodafone globally has been a real privilege. This programme was the result of great collaboration and teamwork, and this award is a great recognition of its impact and magnitude.”

 

About Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Awards

Now entering its 20th year, the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards Programme is the most prestigious awards programme in the industry. Often times called the “Academy Awards” by Learning, Talent and Business Executives, the programme was one of the first of its kind in the learning industry, which was pioneered in 1994.




02 September 2014

Congratulations on your adoption!

Blog pic 2When you say the word adoption, for most people the initial reaction is positive…no one cringes at the thought of adopting a new puppy or kitten and the adoption of a child is always greeted with smiles and well wishes.  

In business, when you use the word adoption it is often coupled with hesitation, fear and resistance.  A new technology rollout combined with these sentiments, can may negatively impact the business as well as the individual supporters of the proposed change.

When deploying a new technology, preparation and inclusion are key to avoiding these thoughts and feelings. It is also key to have a well thought out adoption management plan, a strong team to drive the process and the support of key stakeholders.  These things help to provide the foundation for new technology adoption success; no one is going to turn against their own baby or the leaders they respect.

To ensure a successful deployment, include the team from the beginning   Inform them of the benefits the technology provides and have this message reiterated over and over by the leadership team. As more and more converts see the benefits, share their stories and repeat the message; you will have everyone in your organization singing the praises of the new system.

For more information, download our complimentary Software Adoption Management e-Guide.




21 August 2014

When does HR start acting like a Business Partner?

LUM_Photography_Human_2011_133One of my team members recently told me that she learned a huge amount from me about the alternative ways on how you could approach Human Resources within a company instead of following the traditional HR role. Although hearing this had obviously already began to inflate my ego, I asked her to explain her point further. She told me that,. when she had worked in previous companies, she followed the guidelines and processes that had been set up in the company  in order to make sure that all of the HR topics were clear and everybody acts accordingly.

Although we don’t have guidelines for everything, I know these guidelines help the HR function and management for a large part but it’s true I don’t just follow the guidelines. I always assess the situation before I do anything else and then I talk with the different parties to make sure the guidelines or processes we have in place are a fit for the particular situation. If they are not suitable for the situation then we find a way without setting precedence nor using favoritism. It’s always backed with objectives and legitimate arguments as otherwise I still can go back to our guidelines. However, you can only do this when you truly know the business and the company’s objectives. This was the part the team member missed in previous companies; she was just working in the HR department, executing her HR role based on guidelines.

This was somewhat of a surprise to me. I know I’m not the typical HR professional, this may be due to my ten years of freelance experience, as I’m more organisation driven than HR driven. However, what I didn’t think about was that normality for me - acting as a true Business Partner, standing next to your senior management and making company decisions together - is (still) not true for a large part of my HR colleagues in other companies.

HR, start being a Business Partner today, by understanding the business, the business objectives and the challenges your managers (and employees) face every day.

Next time I’ll give some inside knowledge to situations where true HR Business Partnering can save a lot of money for companies when accepted by senior management. Look out for my next blog.




18 August 2014

Advances in Robot Technology

ASIMO_Conducting_Pose_on_4_14_2008In 1991, I completed a school science project in which I predicted the classroom of the future. I envisaged every student would have a laptop, the blackboard would be an interactive screen and the teacher would be a robot.

I didn't do too badly with some of my forecasts about IT in the classroom - but robot teachers are not commonplace, yet.

Robot technology is advancing more quickly than ever. Google's driverless cars and Amazon's delivery drones grab the headlines, but accelerating growth in smaller, cheaper robots that have applications outside of factories are likely to be more disruptive, the examples are many and diverse. Robotic arms that can automate small manufacturing tasks are being made in Denmark for less than €25,000. Japanese robots provide the nation’s ageing population with companionship in their homes and sell for €1,500.

For the first time outside of manufacturing, lower-skilled roles are being replaced by robots altogether.  TUG robots, created by Aethon (http://www.aethon.com/tug/benefits/), are now being used in 150 hospitals in the US to move around laundry, pharmaceuticals and beds. Logistics, transportation, retail and service sectors are likely to be transformed by automation in the near future.

What will be the impact on HR? A recent study by the Pew Research Centre concluded that expert opinion is divided whether new jobs will be created by the technology or unemployment will rise. In both scenarios, jobs and organisations will change - as they have done with previous disruptive technologies and HR will need to adapt to these changes.

Organisations will need to develop their human capital in order to maximise the potential productivity gains from improved technology. Demand for learning and development at work will increase; employees will have to adapt to changing roles or re-train completely. Individuals will need to continuously increase their skills to differentiate themselves from their peers and from advancing technology.

“Only the best-educated humans will compete with machines,” says internet sociologist Howard Rheingold.

Ultimately we're unlikely to have robot teachers in our classrooms any time soon because technology cannot yet replace the nuances of understanding and reactions between humans. But robots are definitely part of our future.




13 August 2014

The Big Bang Theory

Article-1051070-01AFBD460000044D-887_468x327I have recently had several conversations with customers about the roll-out strategy of their renewed talent management processes; some of them were moving from an old fashioned paper process to a new digital process, whilst others were just replacing old systems with new ones.

Systems involving Employee Self Service are a specific field of play when it comes to roll-out. The exposure of the system is huge and the risk of not being adopted is enormous. Often the deployment of the new system is supported by a business case based on labor savings and improved information.

Organisational DNA and phases

With this in mind we see completely different approaches when rolling out new systems depending on the client’s DNA. Harvard Business Review has written a great piece about The Secrets to Strategy Execution: The Idea in Practice, where the execution weaknesses of organisations are explained.

Passive-aggressive and over managed organisations tend to go for a phased roll-out based on the population that are using the system.  Often they start with a limited amount of departments which will start using the system. Typically these departments are considered to have a low risk roll-out and are not directly linked to any critical business processes. This approach enables them to have a small, defined and contained roll-out, limiting any (negative) exposure throughout the organisation. It gives the opportunity to fix any hiccups which might occur (or to even redesign a little if required), before rolling out to other parts of the organisation.

Centralised organisations

The downside of this approach is that it will not suit every organisation in terms of organisational structure and governance, although they might have the right DNA. For example, for organisations with centralised support units and centres of excellence (when deploying talent management), it might increase the burden of having to manage both the current processes, as well as the newly deployed ones; this risk is often overseen when building the business case for a new system. The increased required labor for the central organs is not always taken into account when calculating the required investments and efforts.

Big Bang and hourglass

But what about the alternative? If we take a closer look at a ‘big bang roll-out’, what would be the risks? As mentioned before, big bang roll-outs havegreat exposure. Thorough preparation is absolutely crucial for going live, either phased or via big bang. A big bang roll-out might, for example, increase pressure on your system’s performance; stress tests are crucial when deploying for a large population. You don’t want the first impression of your newly deployed system to be an hourglass in the middle of a non-responsive screen. 

In Memoriam: ‘Our dearest mainframe’

System performance is just one thing; also in this case any (centralised) support departments should be ready to deliver support in case it is needed. All these preparation activities might also lead to a higher cost of deployment.

But also be aware of how to communicate and announce the launch of the new system. Try to make transparent what the benefits are and how improvements are made by comparing to the old

situation. I even come across an organisation which held roadshows alongside the executive sponsor to announce the new system, but also wrote a memorial for the old mainframe to say a final farewell to the old system. 

Rollback or setback?

Naturally, you will always have a rollback plan. This plan contains the re-transition to your old systems in the event that the initial roll-out of the new systems has failed. You would then need your fallback scenario to ensure continuity. But having to fallback to it will also affect the delayed deployment of your new system. A new re- launch of the system would only be harder, as it is very likely to be welcomed with a dose of skepticism, because it has failed before.

I have even seen cases were organisations are so scared of a go-live failure, that they have parallel developed systems to take over when the actual systems fail thereby doubling the cost of their initial investment. It can happen that organisations become too focused on risk control that they forget the main goals in their project. Research conducted by McKinsey and the University of Oxford points out that a lack of focus and reactive planning are the main causes for cost overrun.

So what is a sensible approach in this manner? Well, there isn’t one right answer to it. No matter which approach you’d prefer, just make sure thatyou are well prepared and that you take all the effort into account. Cost of a new system is not just the time you spend designing and developing, it is also the time required for establishing and executing your launch. And, never forget to keep your eye on the goal!

 




12 August 2014

Less than 5% of companies use 70:20:10 as their learning mix

Untitled-3It’s the perfect blend that most experts say L&D professionals should be trying to deliver into the workplace, but for the vast majority of companies that have participated in our Learning Transformation study  so far, realise that 70:20:10 isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

 

50:26:24 is the average learning mix in most companies right now

It’s early days and we’ve got a long way to go, but when we crunched the first numbers on our new study, we could see that the current average mix of training in the L&D industry is actually:

  • 50% via ‘on the job learning’
  • 26% through ‘informal training’
  • 24% from ‘formal training’


What’s coming next?

It’s not just the absence of 70:20:10 in the workplace that is intriguing.  It’s the fact that most L&D professionals don’t seem to believe that providing learning support in these proportions is the priority for their particular business.

So far, the evidence that is coming out of our study suggests that:

  • Everyone agrees with the basic hierarchy established by 70:20:10
  • L&D professionals struggle to differentiate  between resources that will support formal learning outcomes and resources that will support informal learning outcomes
  • The actual training mix that exists  in organisations today differs dramatically between business sectors (some sectors are much closer to 70:20:10 than others)


Want to know more?

We’re gathering evidence from L&D professionals across the industry right now. If you’d like to find out how your organisation compares just click here  to take part in our simple survey. It genuinely takes under five minutes to complete.

To contribute to the Lumesse Summer 2014 Study, please click here.




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