Transforming Organisations

In my experience, when you go into most companies what you find is good people and bad management. You can turn that around really quickly by starting with an inspirational dream, setting some challenges and getting everyone focussed.

So said Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchj & Saatchi in his book Lovemarks.

Unlike most CEO’s, when he took up the reigns he chose to not bring in his own management, didn’t shift people around or make other typical wholesale changes

Instead, HR inspired and demonstrated belief and respect.

Who’s Job Is It Anyway?


I was reminded today in a post by Denis Hitchens of an old fable that still today has a disturbing ring of truth in it in some organisations. 

Once Upon A Time,

in a very common enterprise, there were four people named Everyone, Someone, Anyone, and No-one who all had an important job to do.

  • Everyone was sure that Someone would do it.
  • Anyone could have done it but No-one did it.
  • Someone got angry because it was Everyone’s job.
  • Everyone thought Anyone could do it and that Someone would do it.
  • But No-one realised that Everyone wasn’t going to do it.

In the end Everyone blamed Someone when No-one did what Anyone could have done.

noone For me, the moral of the story is to take responsibility.

If something is important, either do it yourself, or if it’s possible for you, delegate it to someone else but never assume someone will do it without confirming. If you can’t delegate and you are unable to do it, ensure it’s brought up at a team meeting to make sure it’s dealt with by the most appropriate person.

“It’s not my job” or “it’s not in my job description” doesn’t cut it. 

I’ve seen people spend so much energy and time in skirting responsibility for a task that they could have had it done and dusted in a quarter of the time.

If it’s important, get it done and take the credit where it’s due.

ASTD Confidence in Learning for 2011

The American economy may be still bleak but the American Learning Executive’s confidence seems to be at an all-time high.

The ASTD  conducts an annual survey (The Learning Executives Confidence Index)  to assess expectations in the learning functions, specifically:

  • impact on corporate performance
  • ability to meet learning needs
  • status as a key strategic component
  • availability of resources

Overall, the growing optimism sees that the forecast for the next six months positive.  That’s a good sign.  Key findings in the report are demonstrated in this graph:

ASTD Learning Executives Confidence Index.

There is concern that the second lowest measure is an ability to meet the anticipated learning needs. Perhaps by using some external resources to make up the shortfall, the actual outcome could be a higher result. But then, that’s a consultant talking!

Read the full report:

employee life cycle

Employee Lifecycle Management

In Marketing the Product Life Cycle is well known. So, too, is the Project Life Cycle. Stands to reason these concepts would be appropriated by the HRM field.

employee life cycle

A good discussion on the stages of the life cycle are here:

The employment lifecycle is a real sequence but it does not complete quite as naturally as it sounds in theory. Still, it is a useful concept to facilitate the integration a.

Universal HR

These days, many of us are interacting on an international level. Sometimes that can provide challenges when the standard English translation dictionary doesn’t have  an equivalent for something like ‘learning curve’.


j0433165Problem now solved!


Here is a specific translator for Human Resources and Payroll terms.  It can be a godsend for those who are struggling to make sense of converting English.


You can even download the lexicon by alphabet letter if you need a physical reference at hand and can’t access the internet – may be handy to take on your next overseas jaunt.

Build Your Expertise… Fast

Key tips from Gihn Perera.

  1. Create your newsletter – short and sweet better but HAS to be high value content. Subscriptions to newsletters dropping but blog subscriptions increasing.
  2. Post to your blog – post at least weekly, prepare a batch of posts in one go and schedule their release dates, cut and paste from your newsletter, review videos or articles or books and summarise or comment on those, talk about what you know
  3. Create a podcast – audio mp3 file
  4. Produce a video – sit in your backyard with your webcam and knock it up. It’s about quality content more than high production values.
  5. Use tools to automatically update –, tell LinkedIn to update from your tweets, tell YouTube to post video to twitter and Facebook,
  6. Blogger or WordPress – either! Blogger is quicker to set up and get going. You can then export your posts to WordPress if you go that way. WordPress is good if you want to monetise.
  7. Blog because you’ve got something to say! Best time ever for experts right now so don’t do it just for promotion. Share what you know.
  8. Should your blog be on your site or not? Either. Arguments exist for both. Just do whatever is easiest to get going.

This was a great session to realise it doesn’t take time to demonstrate and share your expertise.

Change and Innovation


Those two words go so well together. To change, one has to adapt and evolve. Innovation is about adapting and evolving in a way. Viv Waters is an understated presenter who delivers the goods and I confess I don’t know Jonnie Moore but for $150 for the day this seems like a worthwhile investment. It may be more a practitioner’s event than a corporate one but all learning is learning! Sounds good and eventful. Check it out if you’re in Sydney. Click here –

Corporate Social Responsibility Demand

New research has revealed that females are influenced by the way a company approaches its corporate social responsibility (CSR). A poll conducted by The Heat Group found 90% of respondents considered corporate social responsibility when making purchasing and employment decisions. The environment factored in highly as an area of concern for women (37%) and gender equality (28%) was important in creating equal opportunities for women and providing them with support.

The findings suggest that organisations take corporate social responsibility seriously to attract female consumers and employees.  “All employers need to take into consideration the whole self of their employees and ensure they can provide a work environment that is aware of, and responds to, the needs to their life outside work” said Gillian Franklin of The Heat Group. (Sounds a lot like the focus of the programs we run!)

So, if you are an employer or business, making headway in this area could pay dividends in attracting half of the population demographic.

If you are an employee, here is an area of opportunity. If you are looking for a challenge, do some research on corporate social responsibility and become the local expert in this field. Then you can position yourself in the lead as this area becomes increasingly important. Or, perhaps you can create a position of leadership for your organisation to raise their level of corporate social responsibility above their competitors.

Leading the Police

If you’ve ever had anything to do with the Police, either directly or indirectly, you’ll know they have a reputation of being a strong, even closed, culture. The impression many of us have is that leadership is based on toughness, authority and possibly even mateship.

A recent talk I attended validated some of these thoughts. The traditional Police model of leadership is a heroic, male-oriented, command-and control environment.  There are even elements of some policing units being very close to the criminals they chase. The temptation for some police is great. As they say, the brighter the light, the darker the shade.  That kind of culture is supported and encouraged in some quarters.

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Big Issues for HR/L&D

At this time of the year lots of forecasting occurs. The L&D / HR space is no exception. Unfortunately it seems the predictions haven’t changed much over recent times. What are the top issues we’re dealing with this year?

  • Operating as a key organisational player
  • Finding workable solutions for the skills crisis
  • Changing the fundamentals of organisational life

HR and L&D have been on the fringes for way too long. A number of leading lights in our profession have shone through but not enough of them. Continue reading