CEOs and other executives have plenty to keep them up at night: the possibility of shifting economic cycles (i.e., recession), trade concerns, cyber security, acquiring and keeping top talent, adapting to changing customer preferences, regulatory influences on their business, and more.Read More
The future of human resources (HR) lies at the intersection of strategy, data analytics, design thinking, and a new set of practices and mindsets ushered in by the world of agile methods and organizational agility writ large.
And the time is ripe for HR professionals to have the bandwidth necessary to devote themselves to such matters. Numerous HR services—particularly those that areRead More
It’s not just you; it’s not just me. The acronym VUCA is more popular than ever.
According to Google Trends, interest in the term is at an all-time high, following a distinct trend upward in the past several years.
Like many ideas, however, VUCA as a framework for understanding turbulence in one’s environment wasn’t an overnight sensation. The acronym—which stands forRead More
Exciting changes in the world of human resources (HR) abound. As noted by Stephen Barley (University of California Santa Barbara), Beth Bechky, and Frances Milliken (both of New York University) in their recent article in Academy of Management Discoveries,
“Few people would deny that the nature of work and employment has changed over the last four decades, not only in the United States but in many countries worldwide. Moreover, the nature of work is likely to continue to change as we move further into the 21st century.”
Such changes make HR work continually dynamic, with evolving practices with regard to new technologies, the increasing prevalence of contingent workers, and more. Barley and his coauthors also mention the rise of artificial intelligence and the rise of project-based work as fundamental shifts that will influence careers and even how people think about themselves in relation to their organizations and society.
These changes alone are enough to keep HR leaders and other executives up at night.
Yet I wonderRead More
Within the military, attention in recent years has been shifting among senior military leaders toward a model of health for service members that included the idea of resilience. Notably, in 2011, a whole special issue of the high-visibility journal American Psychologist focused on the U.S. Army’s idea of “Comprehensive Soldier Fitness,” or CSF. In the opening article, then U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey Jr. described it this way:
“… the Army is leveraging the science of psychology in order to improve our force’s resilience. More specifically, we are moving beyond a “treatment-centric” approach to one that focuses on prevention and on the enhancement of the psychological strengths already present in our soldiers. Rooted in recent work in positive psychology, CSF is a “strengths-based” resiliency program that shows promise for our workforce and its support network so our soldiers can “be” better before deploying to combat so they will not have to “get” better after they return.”[i]
Although I’m a Sailor (i.e., in the Navy; more specifically, the Navy Reserve) and not a Soldier, the notion of resilience has seeped across the branches of service. And while most of the personnel burden for the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan has fallen upon the Army, the Navy has also begun to appreciate the notion of resilience. That’s good, because resilient service members will be better equipped to handle the increasingly dynamic nature of their work, and, when they eventually leave military service, they’ll have yet another skill that transfers to the civilian workplace.
It’s also a concept that’s critical for leaders working in any industry that’s either beginning to experience—or is in the throes of—what’s becoming the turbulent, modern business environment. Work organizations that embraced a concept of “comprehensive employee fitness” would surely benefit through the more engaged, more motivated workforce that would result.Read More
I worry about many companies that are starting to use scrum for project management or product development.
I worry not because scrum doesn’t work. It surely can, and when done right, it can be a highly invigorating and effective process for all involved.
I worry about companies that are starting to use scrum for two reasons:Read More
Models for planning and executing organizational change abound—for example, Kotter’s eight steps, among many others. These models are helpful in highlighting many of the critical aspects of organizational change, and I highly recommend immersing yourself in them.
That being said, I find that such models often deal more with planned organizational change than with unplanned or continuous organizational change.
And in an increasingly turbulent world, it’s important for human resources (HR) professionals and the HR function overall toRead More
It’s easy to fall into patterns and comfortable routines.
Some of those are great. Take, for example, dental hygiene. Or strength training.
But if our routines too often keep us around the same people, we run the risk of stagnating. It’s even worse if we’re isolated—or insulated, depending on how you look at it—from other ideas.
That’s one reason why I enjoy professional conferences. Even if you’re around people in a similar area of expertise or interest, you’ll learn a great deal from their different perspectives and experiences.
Last week, I spent a few days at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) in Anaheim, Calif. And in between all of theRead More
That’s one key message I learned while writing the inaugural issue of The VUCA Report™, which outlines findings from an ongoing study I’m spearheading here through The Strategic Agility Institute.
This study essentially focuses on two elements: (a) the forces of change that executives face and (b) what they’re doing about it. We were fortunate to have had 280 responsesRead More