Article (February-2017)


2017 - A CHRO World

Dr. Ganesh Shermon

Designation : -   Managing Partner for

Organization : -  KPMG LLP


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Wave 1 Configuration CHROs
achieve mobilization - 

Today, a CHRO is dependent on a next generation of employee engagement. Not driven by power or control, but those that help your staff to connect with one another. A solution that is "Digital" - built around mobility - (anytime anywhere, anyway), Social Collaboration, Cloud Enabled, SaaS, Embedded Analytics, Artificial Intelligence -  Smart Thinking Machines, that are going to be focused on how easy it is for employees to engage with one another as leaders, contributors, teams or friend and foes. CHRO need to build integrated workforce planning systems that brings together business, processes, technology with strategy, competence, human potential and structure. Staffing will continue to be a critical CHRO priority; A mandate to continuously provide a steady stream of top talent who can with minimal learning curve commence their contribution towards their role. HR needs to find ways to bridge competence and competency gaps. Knowing is not good enough, knowing "How To" is more critical.

CHROs build vision while acting on speeches
What of course is a consistent pattern in several poorly managed organizations is the near pathetic - deplorable quality of their business managers and leaders mandated to lead people. These cultures pontificate, in engineering and business schools' recruitment drives, the need for world class employees in their institutions telling their customers of the several thousands of talent staff that they have at their disposal to offer for deployment on to customer site, yet their leadership and talent management processes would barely reflect good practices in managing such talent. Effective leaders recognize that what they know is very little in comparison to what they still need to learn. To be more proficient in pursuing and achieving objectives, one should be open to new ideas, insights, and revelations that can lead to better ways to accomplishing goals. CHRO has to put a stop to exhorting people to do things. Instead should spent time and focus on setting an example in building a purpose in a statement. This continuous learning process can be exercised, in particular, through engaging in a constant dialogue with your peers, advisers, consultants, team members, suppliers, customers, and competitors. Leading others is not simply a matter of style, or following some how-to guides or recipes. Ineffectiveness of leaders seldom results from a lack of know-how or how-to, nor is it typically due to inadequate managerial skills. HR Leadership is even not about creating a great vision. It is about creating conditions under which all people followers can perform independently and effectively toward a common objective. For the CEO at KPMG, for example, 50% of his time is spent in coaching his high potential talent to learn leading people! If that is the way his time is spent, a CHRO perhaps need to be spending 90% of their time on inspiring talent, connecting with people, not politically, but meaningfully, not establishing dangerous liaisons but constructive relationships, but when this does not happen people exit!

CHROs find measurement system is control in our hands 
This new gen staff are called the MTV - New Founders generation, wanting to take control of their lives......assimilate, internalize, institutionalize, commercialize and effortlessly will it fit into their daily workflows. CHRO's have now to cope with employees for who work and social life has inextricably mingled and become inter related. And today's HR actions are used by managers, employees, candidates, vendors, trainers, consultants, family, trusted assistant, recruiters, social media, part time, temps and part time or full time contractors, so everyone "uses" them. CHRO is no longer just a CHRO for full time FTE. But all employment types and contracts.  As the needs of talent changes so do processes that help manage talent and disruptive ideas and best practices come to market to bring a solution to managing talent. It's an exciting space, and every year it surprises us with new directions. 

Wave 2 Revitalization CHROs
redesign business - HR interface models 

That sometimes through new, not experimented before or significantly enhanced value propositions for customers, staff, vendors sometimes through reimagined business models, tech systems, social strategies and sometimes through hyper-scale platforms at the center of entirely new value chains and ecosystems disruptions are identified, understood and managed. It also reiterates the fact that when attempting to develop an accurate assessment of firm value, capital or intellectual respect, must incorporate a comprehensive view of the firm's value chain. Post understanding and through active interpretation, delivering these new value propositions in turn requires renewal, revitalization rethinking, or reimagining, the business processes, mechanisms, activities and systems underlying them. Incumbent players, current or new that have long focused on perfecting their industry value chains are often stunned beyond their own realm of reality, to find new entrants introducing, products, processes, systems, models, completely different ways to make money. "What are the indicators of potential disruption in this position on the matrix, as companies offer enhanced value propositions to deepen and advance their customers' expectations? You may be vulnerable if any of the following is true: Information or social media could greatly enrich your product or service.; You offer a physical product, such as thermostats, that's not yet "connected"; There's significant lag time between the point when customers purchase your product or service and when they receive it; The customer has to go and get the product-for instance, rental cars and groceries. These factors indicate opportunities for improving the connectivity of physical devices, layering social media on top of products and services, and extending those products and services through digital features, digital or automated distribution approaches, and new delivery and distribution models", conclude, Angus Dawson, Martin Hirt Jay Scanlon, McKinsey Consultants in McKinsey Quarterly.

CHROs establish market focus and customer connect principles with people
"What makes global companies great? Great customer solutions! And who makes great solutions? Great people!" But great people struggle, when by contrast, we have learned that they fail to identify exactly who in the business of people management effort they intended to serve - meaning if you don't know your customer you are unlikely to have them actively engaged. You need to know your talent to engage them! If they have no plan, or "blueprint", for how their people and the communities of practice to which they belong, should work to share, develop and apply know-how to achieve their goals, they are back to understanding basics.

CHROs create new ways to work - simulates cultures
CHROs would need to find ways to simulate their Organizational Culture. They need to predict cultural issues and challenges as their institutions globalize, acquire companies, merge or demerge. "I don't think Peter Drucker ever actually said, Culture eats strategy for breakfast." says Kinni in SMR (Using Predictive Analytics to Enhance Your Company Culture - MITSMR 2016 Theodore Kinni). But he certainly recognized the influential role that culture plays in corporate success and failure. The problem is that nobody really knows how to measure culture's effects, let alone what levers to pull and how hard to pull them to get a great one. But today's APPs are finding ways to study employee pulse through real time surveys. So it is not as complicated as a CHRO may think. The don't need to deploy once a year engagement surveys which are passé - Instead, one can now obtain that same analytics through the deployment of a CULURE AMP or TINY Pulse APP.

Wave 3 Renewal CHROs 
redesign processes - not just system of record

Sure enough the days of record managed HR function is passé. There was a time, not too long ago, when it was still a time keeping and personnel function, when a CHRO was dependent on a non-digital talent - HRIS management solution, (clipper/excel/Dbase) those that first came to market 30 years ago, where the solution was built around being a system of record, document management, automating, storing, retrieving, and managing HR and business processes and information administrated by HR staff. These forms of HR Management Systems (HRMS) are now largely focus on self-maintaining and used as a self-service tool for employees. CHRO's were happy with a control centric system, a tool that provided employee information, complex programming to generate long reports, disjointed processes delivered payroll, with minimal errors, rarely first time right but life moved on.  It is a system of networks, connections and Internet of things.

CHROs adapt to digital asset talent technology landscape
Which is now more than a $15 billion market, is exploding with growth and innovation and a CHRO needs to know what is out there in the market (On boarding solutions, succession simulated org design tools, competency linkages to all HRM processes, real time scorecards, video on demand learning, content consolidation, multi device adaptability, continuous learning, digital assessments, APPs etc), that become useful for her to make her talent engagement effective. Fueled by this new cycle of innovation, private equity and venture capital firms are investing heavily in the space, so why not CHROs through their time, learning and effort?

CHROs optimize resources - talent issues 
Continue to dominate enterprise leadership. Institutions are working, with engagement levels as low as 15%, a poor motivation index, short term mindset, Quick Fixes, Self-Aggrandizement, fulfillment mindset, (I Want that) attrition levels at all time high and a continuing war for talent. From baby boomers to Gen X to Gen Y or Millennials.But a caveat! Just because organizations have a digital talent management solution does not surely mean that CHROs manage their talent effectively. But it is a starting point.

CHROs create an economic model - simplification 
For many traditional CHROs, complex, long winded policies, programs, several HR staff deployed as Business HR Partners or Shared Services HR, complex and long processes, several levels of approvals, centralized decision making have been a way of their life. But today, Simplification is a starting point in employee experience -"Companies are forced to rethink the way they are deploying HR processes - For example, performance management. In a study we did at KPMG, (Mark Spears - Global Lead - People & Change), we found only 40 per cent of employees were satisfied with the bell curve system and thought it fair. Another 98 per cent of HR managers thought the yearly evaluation process wasn't useful and were considering simplification and new ways of doing the evaluations. Companies are experimenting with different ways of doing things. For instance, they're saying, 'Let's have a guided distribution, an economic model that works for people, instead of a forced distribution of reward'. And let us do an integrated talent system that embodies goals, achievement, feedback, coaching, learning and rewards.

Wave 4 - Consolidation
CHROs adapt and envision - scalability is a reality 

CHRO's need to appreciate the fact that HR Technology is Scaling rapidly and digitization is disrupting many talent management technologies and processes. For example, PeopleSoft, once a market leader is fast being replaced by Workday or Success factors and to that extent Oracle Fusion (Cloud) is meant to cannibalize its own PeopleSoft solution.  One of the most disruptive changes is the trend toward automating HR culture, attitude, embedded practices and integrating systems, making them so easy to use that people think of them as part of their daily life. 

CHROs find new work ways - build embedded and internalized analytics
 By embedding, built in modules, automating HR processes, policies, practices into people management applications employees use every day, HR 'actions for record' are becoming 'actions for engagement. That makes it digital as it integrates with social collaboration, employee engagement; people use methods, culture and predictive analytics and SaaS enablement.  At the same time, these cloud based talent platforms give CHROs the real-time information, embedded analytics (not a binary - X and Y axis graphics but scenario predicting outcomes) they need to adapt to changing business and labor conditions.

CHRO's align people - digitalizing succession and careers
Sponsor a Soccer team! Become Chelsea! And compete against Man U! Metaphorically, find those thousands who will follow you thereafter. CHRO's have this unenviable job to find those factors that help align people. Factors that differentiate the Cricket lovers from that of Soccer or Football. All are great games, fast sports, yet followers are different. Careers are not built by bosses but by a staff engaging with a mentor and designing a career path for herself with digitized information, wisdom and on line interactivity. "HR technology is in a state of disruptive innovation. Multiple & significant market forces (talent expectation, boss reskilling, social revolutions, war for talent, learning style changes, top talent retention pressures, lack of specialist skills, acquihiring) are keeping HR functions on their toes; and at the same time, these market shifts are providing great opportunities for HR departments to deliver more value. (See Disruptive innovation in HR - Adapting to survive and thrive - PwC 2013 Research Study). Teaching bosses how to be a boss is perhaps more important than teaching colleagues how to perform effectively! Leaders need to find ways to get the best out of people, whether such team members are trained or not. Great leaders work with what they have and the make the best out of that.

CHROs go state of art - machine learning - neural networks a reality
 It may come as a surprise to many that it is possible to run advanced simulations, learning programs and skill development through effective us of Machine Learning as a reality of today's market place. Significant investments of over $ 1 billion of private equity of 2015/2016 (YTD) has been made only in making learning systems more adaptive to the change learner profiles, learner behaviors, content filters, E Experiences, Real Time Encounter Groups, APP based learning, peer learning forums, Case based learning, Near shore virtual transfers, virtual learning teams etc. 

McKinsey said in 2013 that automation of knowledge work is going to have the one of the largest economic impacts around the world of any of the most disruptive technologies over the next 10 years, impacting the $9 trillion dollars that makes up 27% of global employment costs that go to knowledge workers. Interestingly, at least as of 2 years ago, the hype-to-potential discrepancy that McKinsey saw was intense. McKinsey: "Advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural user interfaces (e.g., voice recognition) are making it possible to automate many knowledge worker tasks that have long been regarded as impossible or impractical for machines to perform. 

For instance, some computers can answer 'unstructured' questions (i.e., those posed in ordinary language, rather than precisely written as software queries), so employees or customers without specialized training can get information on their own. This opens up possibilities for sweeping change in how knowledge work is organized and performed. Sophisticated analytics tools can be used to augment the talents of highly skilled employees and as more knowledge worker tasks can be done by machine, it is also possible that some types of jobs could become fully automated." 

CHROs make organizations work - compress learning 
This particular approach to HRD (Working on hard issues, work outside of classrooms, multi-cultural, real problems, global issues, cross functional - global teams. Experimental, experiential) was based on the work of Tichy (1994). He terms it 'compressed action learning' as it seeks to use shorter cycle-times rather than traditional training in accordance with the need for reduced cycle times in other areas as a consequence of globalization. It seeks to blend management and organization development and transfer learning directly to the workplace, Deutsche Aerospace AE (DASA) has used this mode to develop its transnational capabilities, viewing cross-cultural HRD as a core skill, to be developed through a variety of transnational management, team and organizational development programs. 

These include recruiting and developing high potentials, exchange programs, conferences and meetings, and cultural awareness and intercultural skills programs. Learning is tied to corporate strategy and integrated into ongoing business activities (Sattelberger, 1994). Following this line of argument, in order to achieve team and organizational development, not just individual development, and in order to achieve fundamental change, not just awareness and cognitive understanding, organizations need to move their HRD efforts further along the path from individual-oriented cognitive methods to corporately-oriented transforming methods using many of the methods described as 'experiential' For example, one management development initiative using a culturally diverse team assessing community and conservation projects for Operation Raleigh employed a multi-cultural, multi-national (though not obviously multi-lingual) team working on a 'real' project with 'real' consequences for Operation Raleigh. It also involved team building and outdoor development activities as preparation, and the team focused on hard issues (business planning, opportunity assignment) as well as soft issues (leadership, communication, teamwork, cross-cultural skills, etc.). 

It seemed to have been an important developmental experience for many of the participants personally (Iles, 1995a). However, though the participants were operating in a situation of some risk to themselves, it would appear to be one of only moderate risk - would their careers 'back home' really suffer if they failed? And how much is the sponsoring organization getting out of this? Ideally, according to Tichy (1994), a team from the same organization would produce greater transfer of learning to the workplace.