Agile HR: Trends and Opportunities

Agile HR: Trends and Opportunities

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 are

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On Learning Strategic Thinking

On Learning Strategic Thinking

Some people, it seems, just “get it” better and faster than other people. They understand how what other people do influences their options, they consider what incentives are at work in complex situations, and they think through the possible consequences—intended or unintended—of numerous scenarios. 

They think critically. They challenge assumptions, including their own. They do all of these types of thinking, which roughly fall under the umbrella of “strategic thinking.” 

These strategic thinkers, we hope, are among those leading our organizations. 

We hope that leaders think strategically because our world is continually changing. Many argue that the pace of change continues to accelerate, and increasingly rapid technological innovation combined with globalization suggest that this is the case. 

We need leaders who think strategically because the success of their organizations in the long term depends upon it. 

Therefore, many are investing in developing the capacity for strategic thinking within their organizations. They wonder, with good reason,

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The Death Star Aimed at Your Scrum Team

The Death Star Aimed at Your Scrum Team

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:

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What Everyone in HR Needs to Know About Change

What Everyone in HR Needs to Know About Change

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 to

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Two Ways HR Can Rise Up

Two Ways HR Can Rise Up

I spend a fair amount of time around the human resources (HR) profession. Sometimes, that’s in the form of consulting and problem-solving alongside HR leaders; other times it’s through research or teaching graduate students. I’m also an HR officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and I maintain my HR certifications like thousands of other HR people. 

But I’m often critical of HR. That’s not at all because I think HR people aren’t doing good work; rather, I think every profession should be critical of itself in an attempt to improve continually and stay relevant. We should all be on the lookout for how we can get better at what we do and how we do it. 

In particular for HR, I see two areas in which HR could improve substantially.

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The Agile Crimson Tide

The Agile Crimson Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide lost on Monday evening, giving the Clemson Tigers their first national college football championship in 35 years.

But within the world of American college football, it’s undeniable that the University of Alabama’s football program—under head coach Nick Saban—is a powerhouse.

So despite the fact that Crimson Tide fans everywhere are in a state of mourning this week, there’s an interesting lesson to be learned from how Alabama has adapted its approach to the game of football during the past five years. It’s a lesson in

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When Drowning Prevention Meets Business Strategy

When Drowning Prevention Meets Business Strategy

My children love the water. They swim, they splash, they laugh. 

My children, like most children, are fast. They dart, they scurry, they hide. 

Therefore, when my children encounter water, it can be an exhausting experience for my wife and me. We must be vigilant. 

The pool we frequent has lifeguards. But their vigilance will never match mine. 

Unless, of course, we’re talking about

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Why CEOs (Might) Hate HR

Why CEOs (Might) Hate HR

In the American television comedy series "The Office," the hostility between Michael Scott, regional manager of the mythical paper company Dunder Mifflin’s branch in Scranton, Pa., and Toby Flenderson, the branch’s human resources director, is a recurring theme.

During one particularly humorous scene, Michael learns suddenly that Toby—who had left the office previously—has returned.

Michael’s reaction?

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