STRATEGIC TALENT MANAGEMENT BLOG

Human Resources Vision, Strategy and Execution: We’re with you all the way.

Jonathan Grafft

Jonathan comes to Black Box Consulting with significant background as a strategic and technical consultant and a proven track record working with Global Fortune 500 and emerging new economy clients. Jonathan brings a unique combination of talent management knowledge and technical skills to clients. He has developed industry knowledge and project management experience to help organizations evaluate best practices and implement process and technology for success.

In talent and business, you have to fight the fires that are burning right now. Talent decision-makers struggle with new issues every day as they navigate the demands of leadership, evolving technologies, and the competitive market for scarce talent.

The conditions of the present also put pressure on larger efforts that should be focused on the future. For example, initiatives to implement new HR technologies or processes tend to focus on the needs and conditions of the present, even when known events in the near future would demand re-work soon after go-live. This flawed approach could be called, “present-tense planning.”

Whether you’re implementing an applicant tracking system, managing changes in organizational structure or geography, or supporting a corporate initiative, getting stuck in the present can be risky. With a technology implementation, you may find yourself deploying a system that needs to be changed, expanded or updated immediately after go-live — an expensive prospect.

 

“Why can’t we even get this data out of our systems?  I want to start measuring this, now! Why isn’t this information at my fingertips?”  If these questions or comments sound familiar, you’re not alone. Data, metrics and reporting create some of the most vexing challenges in talent management. People often don’t agree on what to measure or have the systems in place to measure it — or they simply don’t know what to do about the data they do track. How do you solve this? Do you need more technology? Do you need more data?

If you’re a talent decision maker, you probably have a love / hate relationship with your job. You might feel like you’ve been given the keys to a powerful but very temperamental car. The job is interesting and multi-faceted, but there’s also simply too much work, and something can go wrong at any moment. And so you triage your demands into usual categories: must do now, must do this week, and “get around to it” (which never seems to come). Nevertheless, the car keeps managing to roll forward — until it doesn’t. Why?

 

You’re standing in front of the conference room. The people at the table are listening, mostly.  Sometimes they glance at their phones or sip at their coffee. You’re here to make a technology recommendation. Get this right, and you’ll have the budget for that long overdue HR technology initiative.  Get this “not quite right,” and they’ll thank you for your thoughts and promise to “keep this as an option for further consideration moving forward.” 

Human Capital Management covers a wide array of offerings that are designed to take care of employees. With the variety of items that are contained in HCM, there is no surprise that silos have emerged. These have been built and reinforced as more and more employee-support functions come under one larger umbrella, but continue to operate as separate entities. The question that we are trying to address is how do we tear down these walls and make HCM more synergistic?

It’s time for your first project sponsor update. You’ve spent hours getting the deck just right. You’ve meticulously prepared the slides, used every SmartArt® in the toolkit to ensure your point is made, refined the slide transitions and practiced your delivery in the mirror to make sure it is just right. You start the web meeting knowing that you are going to knock it out of the park.

Now that I am home from Las Vegas and fully recovered, I have a little time to reflect on the 16th Annual HR Technology Conference. It has been a couple of years since I’ve attended but have been to many including a 5 year consecutive run. This is by far my favorite conference, and this was by far the biggest ever.

As always it was great to see former colleagues and client and vendor friends. I had a few observations about the event. Here are some of my initial take-aways: