Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Importance versus Effectiveness Gap...Closing...Slowly

I attended and presented at the Human Resource Management Institute 25-27 July. It was a great opportunity to engage with senior HR executives representing the areas of talent, diversity, learning and compensation.
It also presented the chance to validate of key findings from the IBM 2009 study I have referenced in previous blog posts.

I asked the group, using Turning Technologies audience response system (great tool to engage the audience and collect data), to rank the nine human capital challenges from the study by voting for their top three challenges.

The voting came out this way...

#1 - Defining skills, knowlegde and capabilities to execute business strategy.
#2 - Developing succession plans and career paths
#3 - Sourcing and recruiting individuals.
#3 - Retaining valued talent within the organization.

I then asked the group to rate their organizations on a 1-5 scale regarding importance and effectiveness....

1. Defining knowledge, skills and capability requirements for executing business strategy is an important need for my organization.

2. My organization is effective at defining knowledge, skills and capability requirements to execute business strategy.

Importance rated a score of 92 out of 100 and effectiveness rated 51 out of 100. This provided an Importance vs. Effectiveness gap of 41%. This compared favorably to the IBM study gap of 48%, but still a pretty big gap.

So what does it mean? For starters, I was pleasantly surprised at what was #1. While the other eight human capital challenges in the study are important, organizations will have a difficult time negating these challenges without knowing what human capital capabilities are required now and in the future.

My concerns continue that there is such a wide gap between importance and effectiveness. There could be some good reasons for it. There has been such volatility and uncertainty since the financial meltdown starting in 2008, that attempting to identify skills, knowledge and capabilities was a bridge too far. Many organizations were making strategic decisions on a week-to-week and month-to-month basis and couldn't focus much more strategic than that. That kind of environment is not good for anything other than reacting.

The message for Human Capital Management (HCM) is the time to position your organizations for future success. A number of HCM leaders of prominent organizations are successful at defining the workforce capabilities needed for their future strategy...IBM, Cisco, and Google are a few. If you don't spend time with your customers understanding where they want to drive the business and culture, you have a difficult road ahead. If, on the other hand, you have a sound approach in place to work with organizational leadership to define current and future are ready to play an important role for your organization and our profession.


Twitter: JKeithDunbar
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1 comment:

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