Tag Archives: China Gorman

Are You Ready for AI?

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) is a pretty high falutin’ outfit. It’s the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Company. Not focused so much on middle-market HR folks, it publishes a wealth of well-researched papers that focus on the evolving global economy. Highly scientific in their approach and academic in their tone, they publish some great content. It’s tough slogging from an average professional’s reading perspective, but if you hang in, it’s worth it.  It’s McKinsey, for Pete’s sake.

A June 2017 publication caught my eye:  Artificial Intelligence, The Next Digital Frontier? is a long (80 pages) read, but a fascinating read. And it takes a deep dive into the investment in artificial intelligence (AI), how it is being deployed, and its potential to disrupt organizations and business. I like MGI research because it isn’t sponsored by any other institution, which fits MGI’s mission which is “to help business and policy leaders understand the forces transforming the global economy identify strategic imperatives, and prepare for the next wave of growth.”

The brief of this “discussion paper” includes:

  • AI investment is growing fast, dominated by digital giants such as Google and Baidu.

  • AI adoption outside the tech sector is at an early, experimental stage.

  • Adoption patterns show a growing gap between early adopters and others.

  • Early evidence suggests that AI can deliver real value to serious adopters and can be a powerful force for disruption.

  • Companies cannot delay advancing their digital journeys, including AI.

  • AI promises benefits, but also poses urgent challenges that cut across firms, developers, government, and workers.

By looking at the contents page, you can see the flow of the information and delve first into the parts that are most interesting to you. The paper has 3 sections and 2 appendices:

  1. Artificial intelligence is getting ready for business, but are businesses ready for AI?

  2. Artificial intelligence promises to boost profits and transform industries

  3. Businesses, developers and governments need to act now to realize AI’s full potential.

Appendix A: Five case studies

  • Retail
  • Electric utility
  • Manufacturing
  • Health care
  • Education

Appendix B: Technical appendix

I’m personally fascinated that in picking 5 sectors, Education made the grade. But truly, if ever there was a sector ripe for disruption, it’s the Education sector.

The following is one of the very interesting graphs/charts included in the paper:

It’s fascinating to see the level of current AI adoption compared with the AI demand trajectory. Of particular interest is MGI’s opinion that “variation of adoption within industries will be even larger than between industries.” That means, I think, that the AI divide – the haves and have nots – won’t be so much defined by industry as by early adoption status and investment. I can see a future bifurcated by this variable. This means that every organization, regardless of industry, has the ability now to decide to on the side of early adoption and industry disruption.

This is a fascinating paper. You might not read every word, but the whole AI discussion will be framed for you in a way that will allow you to participate – and even lead – in a meaningful way.

It’s a good discussion paper. It’s McKinsey. Read it.

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Filed under AI, Artficial Intelligence, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, McKinsey, McKinsey Global Institute

Compensation Transparency

Ben Eubanks over at Lighthouse Research and Advisory has written a fascinating white paper on transparency. Transparency in Compensation:  Trends and Best Practices, underwritten by salary.com, is a thoughtful and interesting discussion of the impact of different levels of transparency in the workplace – from too little to too much. It presents an interesting model and some terrific takeaways.

If you’re struggling with – or merely thinking about – how much salary information you should be sharing, this discussion could be very helpful. The following model might be helpful in identifying the pressure points with which you may be dealing:

Of course, your organization values may be a driver as well. More and more organizations are committing to greater transparency as a cultural imperative as well as a competitive differentiator.

The report also provides a process framework to follow as you consider making changes in your level of compensation openness:

This framework is simple and contains the most important advice in the report:  “Remember, default to transparency unless there’s a compelling reason not to.”

Conversations around transparency are important. As we move away from the cultural norms managed by the Baby Boomers, values like transparency are beginning to take hold. As a Baby Boomer myself, I particularly favor this development. Being more forthcoming with our employees – and not just on compensation practices – will help us win the War for Talent.

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Filed under Ben Eubanks, China Gorman, Compensation, Data Point Tuesday, Lighthouse Research and Advisory, salary.com, transparency

The Value of Purpose

I’m seeing a trend in the Human Capital Management space wherein vendors/consulting firms are creating mini white papers rather than big research reports. The continuation of “Snack Nation,” I guess. But I like it. For those among us who just don’t have the time to sit down and focus on a lengthy research report, these snackable bits of relevant research and content are helpful. And pwc does a better job than most of serving up helpful content based on current research and analysis.

Take Putting Purpose to Work:  A study of purpose in the workplace (published a year ago). It’s a 14 page, easy to read document that walks the reader through a discussion of the meaning of your organization’s purpose for your employees and what it can mean for your business. As we learn more and more about what drives the younger generations in our economy, there’s no denying that purpose is discussed a great deal in the C-Suite as the War for Talent wages around us.

Data in the report are based on a survey conducted by pwc that included 1,510 full- and part-time employees and 502 U.S. business leaders from 39 industries – from both public and private companies, as well as partnerships, government/state-owned agencies, and non-profits.

“The current era of disengaged, transient talent impacts every aspect of the business, and the need to activate purpose at work has never been more urgent.”

This is the thesis of the report. And it’s hard to argue against it.

The reports argues that the following commitments are critical as leaders create a purpose driven culture:

  • Make purpose accessible
  • Emphasize the human element of purpose
  • Include purpose at the center of your talent strategy

For leaders – including those in HR – the following graphic provides interesting food for thought.

This is a striking disconnect, and one that HR leaders could take the lead in eliminating. It shows that, while there is understanding in the C-Suite regarding the criticality of purpose in business success, there is a lack of will in operationalizing purpose in the business.

What’s the story in your organization? Does the C-Suite believe that your organization’s purpose is central to its success? And if it does, how is it manifested in your employees’ day-to-day lives on the job? Good questions for all leaders whether or not they’re in HR.

Of the five key insights itemized at the beginning of the report, the second really resonates and is a bit of a warning:

“Business leaders tend to focus on the value in defining and illuminating purpose for commercial success. For employees, purpose represents an avenue by which they find personal fulfillment. This disconnect is preventing companies from reaping the comprehensive potential benefit of defining what they stand for as an organization.”

Some food for thought…

 

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Filed under Business Success, China Gorman, Company Culture, Culture, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Engagement, Purpose at Work, pwc, Talent Management, Uncategorized

Are HR And Finance Finally Going To Be Friends?

How on earth can it be August 1st? For that matter, how on earth can it be 2017? After taking off three weeks for vacation and business travel commitments, it’s time to be back considering new research and data of interest to the HR community. And here’s an interesting report from Oracle and MIT Technology Review.

My friends at Oracle sent it to me, and I’m glad they did. The report might signal the start of a new era of respect, cooperation, and, dare we say, organizational friendship between HR and Finance. Finance and HR: The Cloud’s New Power Partnership is a recent publication providing interesting data, analysis, and commentary about the Cloud’s opportunity to drive greater partnership, cost savings and actionable data through a strong HR and Finance relationship. It’s a quick read at 14 pages, and it’s based on survey data collected from 700 respondents that included senior managers and their mid-level management counterparts from Finance, HR, and IT, as well as more holistically inclined C-level executives. Organizations participating were from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia. About 75% of the participating companies generate annual revenue between $250 million and $1 billion from a range or industries. So a global sample of large employers. Just the segment that would be wrestling with the Cloud opportunities. And just the segment that would see value in a closer relationship between HR and Finance.

Among businesses that participated in the survey, 35% plan to create a shared finance and HR function within a year… 42% of respondents say they are motivated by improvements in productivity and performance. Respondents view closer finance and HR collaboration in the cloud as a strategic necessity, promoting operation excellence and accelerating innovation.

Wait a minute. I think I felt the ground move! Shared Finance and HR function? Within a year? That’s an eye popper right there. Not because it doesn’t make sense:  it really does. HR is becoming more data driven every day. And Finance has been data driven for years. Getting them together to analyze people data’s impact on the business and its growth plans is critical. And getting HR and Finance together through a technology bridge makes sense. Both HR and Finance need more and more data to manage the business. More and more analytics capabilities. More and more ability to predict the future based on today’s data. It’s fascinating to me that technology may be the puzzle piece that finally brings HR and Finance together. And the results – so far – look substantial:

These outcomes, though pretty generic, show an enormous upside opportunity for HR and Finance to migrate jointly to the Cloud. When do we ever get these kinds of outcome ratings on large-scale organization change initiatives? Or just on HR projects? Or just on Finance projects? It seems as if organizations are succeeding in generating real benefits from moving to the Cloud by creating teams from natural adversaries. And how interesting it is that the IT team is the attractor beam bringing HR and Finance together.

The report shares a few short case studies – from the education, energy, and financial services sectors – that underscore the benefits of integrated ERP-HCM Cloud systems deployments. (Note: this is a white paper. Underwritten by Oracle.) There are a number of interesting graphs in the report all underscoring these benefits. And they’re interesting to think about.

This is a quick read and it could help inform your thoughts about moving more HR functions to the Cloud. And to get you thinking about the inevitability of working more closely with your colleagues over in Finance. Better to have some informed opinions before your CEO, CHRO, CFO, or CTO starts asking questions…

 

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Filed under Analytics, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Cloud Migration, Data Point Tuesday, HR Data, HR Technology, MIT Technology Review, Oracle, Technology Implementation, Workforce Management

One Internet Trend To Watch

As I’ve written in the past, Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report is a treasure trove of data that most HR professionals miss. That’s because the report isn’t about HR trends, it’s about internet trends. But almost any way you look at it, HR is impacted significantly by the trends she presents. I wrote about her take on the U.S. Income Statement in the Macro Thoughts section of the report a couple of weeks ago. This week, I’m going to start at the beginning.

It’s simple, really. In the first section on Global Internet Trends = Solid User Growth, Slowing Smartphone Growth, this chart appears:

This looks to me like adults spend 5.6 hours per day on the Internet:

  • 1 hours on devices (smartphones and tablets)
  • 2 hours on desktop/laptop computers
  • 20 minutes on other connected devices

Now to be clear, this is a mixture of work and personal time. But, Holy Moly, the average adult spends almost 6 hours per day connected to the Internet! Even if half of it isn’t at work, that still means that half of it is at work! That’s 3 hours a day. 3 hours a work day.

Tell me this doesn’t impact HR. Tell me this doesn’t impact productivity on the job. Tell me this doesn’t create less collaboration, less teamwork, less effectiveness on the job. And my first question is, how much of that time is spent researching and applying for new jobs? Yikes!

This is one data point. Just one. But if it’s true, and your productivity numbers are slipping, maybe this is an area to explore. Or if your turnover is rising, maybe other employers are making it super easy to learn about their businesses, their cultures, and their job openings — all on the Internet. And making it super easy to apply via smartphone.

I’m not saying that the Internet is evil or that Smartphones are the devil’s work (although I did hear an investor at a huge business conference opine both of those points of view a year ago…). I’m merely pointing out that it is unlikely that all that time being spent on the Internet is work-related, or project-related, or business-related, or customer-related.

What are you doing to re-harness this time and energy?

 

 

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Filed under Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Internet Trends, Internet Usage at Work, Mary Meeker

The Woodstock For HR

The competitive world of HR Conferences may be changing forever. And that’s not a bad thing, in my opinion. Innovation is happening in this space – from stronger SHRM state conference offerings, to an additional HR technology-related conference (HR Tech World) being introduced in the U.S,, to other new entries – all designed to disrupt the usual HR conference offerings and deliver greater value to attendees.

The best example of this is the WorkHuman conference, held last month in Phoenix. With well over 1,700 attendees and almost no corporate sponsors (except for the organizer, Globoforce), the focus was on engaging, useful, envelope-edge pushing content and nurturing/inspiring attendee experiences. Described as “the Woodstock for HR” by Globoforce CEO, Eric Mosley, WorkHuman isn’t our parents’ HR conference. Heck, it isn’t even our HR conference.

Re-certification credit opportunities abounded, but the focus of WorkHuman – unlike many of the really large HR conferences – was on the attendee experience. From early morning yoga and runs or walks, to healthy snack breaks, to half-hour content blocks (how many one-hour sessions can you attend in a two-day conference?), to lobby-area snackable content presentations, to blockbuster keynote speakers:  this conference is changing how HR does conferences and I see its impact on almost every other HR-related conference I attend.

It’s true that I advised the organizers on their first two conferences, but I came as an attendee this year and was thrilled to see that, despite its rapid growth (year one:  300+ attendees; year two: 600+ attendees), its focus on engaging the full human attendee has not wavered. Any time you get more than 1,500 conference attendees, the organizers tend to focus on 1) logistics, 2) schedules, and 3) sponsors/exhibitors. The people who attend become “blocks” that need to be moved around, That hasn’t happened at WorkHuman. Attendees arrive as humans and leave as engaged and inspired humans.

  • Logistics

While the conference space was large, every thought was given to the humanity of the attendees. One didn’t need to walk far to get a drink of water. The signage was easily read. The venue provided rooms of appropriate size located in close proximity for the audiences – so that session sampling was possible. The “center aisle” held snack stations, a “spotlight” stage with indoor amphitheater seating for shorter more informal presentations, comfortable chairs for congregating and conversations, info stations, and cheerful, easily identified staff to answer questions and provide directions. It’s clear that the attendee was not relegated to “steerage” status at WorkHuman. They were front and center at all times.

  • Schedules

It’s true that activities started very early – but the early agenda entries were healthy and focused on strengthening the body as well as the mind, as opposed to cramming in more re-cert credits. Starting a conference day with yoga or a group run followed by a healthy breakfast seems a smart way to start a day of learning, regeneration, and inspiration.

  • Sponsors/exhibitors

The short description is that there weren’t any. Well, outside of Globoforce, the conference organizer. It’s a rather remarkable conference experience, to be focused on new ideas, on new connections, and new ways of leading rather than being sold by vendors at every step of the way. Don’t get me wrong:  I’m not anti-sponsor/exhibitor. This is just a new way of organizing. It is fitting for a conference focused on bringing humanity into our everyday organizational life to create an exhibitor-free experience. It makes sense. As the conference gets bigger and bigger, it may make business sense to bring on a few selected sponsors, but don’t look for a major exhibition hall any time soon. Attendees take away value far greater than cheap exhibitor tchotchkes at WorkHuman.

Globoforce upends the usual HR conference calculus. By investing in the WorkHuman movement, by engaging the most current speakers and content, by prioritizing the attendee experience as the most important component of an HR conference, the WorkHuman team has created – and strengthened – one of the most compelling business conference events currently available.

Next year’s conference will be in Austin, TX (April 3-5) and keynoter Brené Brown has already been announced. I hope I see you there!

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Filed under China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Employee Recognition, Engagement, Globoforce, Humanity in the workplace, WorkHuman

Internet Trends and the USA’s Income Statement

Every year, I look forward to two reports:  The Deloitte Human Capital Trends report and the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends report. I’ve written about the Deloitte report here and here; and the Internet Trends report here and here. The 2017 Internet Trends report was published last week and it’s a doozy!

Ever year Mary Meeker, from Kleiner Perkins, takes a vast look at what the Internet is doing to the world. How it is changing everything. While it’s never about HR, per se, HR is in most nooks and crannies of the data that are shared. And it really should be required reading for all business leaders. Including HR. This year, at 355 pages, the report is a blockbuster. And worthy of more than one Data Point Tuesday post.

This year’s report looks at these areas:

  • Global internet trends
  • Online advertising (and commerce)
  • Interactive games
  • Media
  • The cloud
  • China Internet
  • India Internet
  • Healthcare
  • Global public/private Internet companies
  • Some macro thoughts
  • Closing thoughts

To be honest, I always start with the macro thoughts section. This is where she drops the aha! moments. Well, at least for me. And this year was no different. Part of the macro thoughts are about USA, Inc. and she leads off with the USA’s income statement comparing F1986 through F2016. If you think of the USA as a business, this is eye popping.

What does this have to do with HR? Well, nothing and everything. Understanding income statements is a requirement for any business leader today. Including those in HR. Understanding how our businesses spend and make money is key to being able to successfully lead and invest in people.

Understanding our nation’s income statement should be a requirement for every citizen. Knowing how the taxes we pay are used, where our money is being invested, and the state of our debt are all important things for us to know. Be honest:  have you ever really thought about our nation’s finances from an income statement perspective? Even if you have, this ought to be under a magnet on your refrigerator door!

Knowing the state of our nation’s finances will put into perspective the state of your employer’s finances – and the choices that are being made nationally as well as at work. This is called perspective and it’s a valuable thing to have.

Next week, we’ll take a look at another aspect of the Internet Trends Report for 2017 that may have a more direct connection to the world of HR. In the meantime, you might take a look at it here. (And the 355 pages are PowerPoint pages, so they’re pretty easy to move through.)

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Filed under Analytics, Big Data and HR, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Deloitte, Demographics, HR Trends, Internet Trends, KPCB, Mary Meeker