Tuesday, June 12, 2007

AHRI Conference 2007 - Main Learning Points

I attended the AHRI conference last week and listened in on an array of exciting local and international speakers.
Here are some of the main points that I picked up on during the presentations.

Fons Trompenaars
Riding the Wave of culture: Understanding Diversity in Global Business

How do we create resourceful humans and not necessarily human resources?
  • Diversity is linked to innovation and our HR tools are generally linear-based. The Myers-Briggs measurements for example imply that if we score high on one side, we are low on the other side. It categorises us as thinkers or feelers. Why can we not be both? And if we can be both, which tool could we use to measure this.
  • If we are looking for a balance, this implies compromise and there is nothing worse than that. We need to develop workplaces that are BOTH inclusive and diverse and innovative. We need to take advantage of diversity, of people and things that are unlike us and reconcile this with things that are like us. We don't need balance - we do need integration. It is not a question of either/or. It is And..and.
  • Organisations are made up out of explicit culture and deeper norms and values - values become norms and basic assumptions. We only talk about values when they are not yet norms
  • A dilemma - you are in a car being driven by your close friend. He is speeding and hits a pedestrian and has to go to court. He asks you to lie for him in court and say that he was traveling slowly. Does he have the right to ask you to testify?
  • Our culture determines how we would respond to this dilemma. Our values come in to play when we need to make choices to solve dilemmas. We have 'integrity' as a value - but how does this value help us to answer the dilemma? Different cultures would propose different solutions. One solution might be to influence the driver to respond appropriately in court and place the onus back on him.
  • Leaders use objectivity = the guest point of view and subjectivity = the host point of view. Leadership allows us to connect the opposites.
  • Are you a peach or a coconut culture? - is your culture private or public?
  • Create an environment that encourages innovation through diversity - how can I help you to overcome the obstacles to your ideas?

Dave Ulrich

The Future of HR

What will drive the future of HR? What is the most critical HR decision you could make? "Send your worst performing employee to your competitor!"

  • In HR for the past 40 years we have looked at the things we do, but not at the outcome of what we do - was what we did any good? Are we creating value? And if we don't create value, how can we be a partner in the business?
  • Value is defined by the receiver more than by the giver
  • Some things are so important to do, that they are worth doing badly
  • To create value, start with what the business leaders want - find out what they are worried about and link what we do into what they want. HR is then an enabler to the business agenda and will create value
  • The 4 stakeholders of HR - the employees; the customers; the investors and the line managers. Our focus has tended to be on the employees but now we need to look outside at the investors and the customers and assist line managers to execute their strategy.
  • We build an employee value proposition by - giving the employees a sense of pride in the business; a budget; learning and development opportunities; a good set of peers to work with and good leaders
  • We help line managers by building organisational capacity and by moving the business from the current state to a future state. It is worth doing an organisational audit.
  • We target customers by defining their goals and we build connections with targeted customers - we use their ideas and involve them. We check our L and D curriculum with them to ensure that it is what they would want
  • We create intangible value for investors - the intangible worth of a business is defined by the amount of confidence that investors have in the value of the business. We assist in building a reputation and in ensuring that there values in talent, speed of delivery and efficiency and also goodwill.
  • At every meeting, talk about why HR creates value for these 4 key customers of HR. Run the HR function as though it was a business. Become a human capital developer. There cannot simply be activity in the HR department - it has to lead to an outcome.

No comments: