How and why “the connective tissue between vision and execution is workforce analytics”
According to Carl Hoffmann, Eric Lesser, and Tim Ringo, “there is more measurable value in an organization than meets the eye – if it is sought out and quantified. Taking a structured approach – in this case our Six Step method – and combining it with the right expertise and sponsorship can unlock immense value.” Their book explains how to do that.
It is difficult (if not impossible) to manage what cannot be measured but, obviously, so much depends on selecting the correct metrics for the given situation. Hoffmann, Lesser, and Ringo focus on analytics that, they assert, are more appropriate to what they characterize as “the new workplace.” I am greatly indebted to Tom Davenport for what I have learned about analytics and consider it strange that there are no references to him and his pioneering research in Hoffmann, Lesser, and Ringo’s book. Competing on Analytics (2007), for example, and more recently, Analytics at Work (2010), in which Davenport and his co-authors develop in greater depth a five-stage model for analytical maturity (“God has decreed that all maturity models have five stages”) but supplement it with an abundance of “pragmatic suggestions” with regard to the design and implementation process.
Hoffmann, Lesser, and Ringo offer a process to achieve similar strategic objectives:
o Translate strategy into profitable action
o Balance talent supply and demand
o “Untangle” the drivers of workforce performance
o Measure the value of collaboration and knowledge capital
o Solve the “turnover mystery”
o Build a sustainable workforce analytics capability
Readers will appreciate the provision of mini-case studies that demonstrate various ways four quite different organizations have used new workplace analytics to revitalize themselves: Delta Airlines (Pages 13-23), “ABC” (an American manufacturing plant, 44-51), CORP Service Centers (117-135), and PHARMA (171-191). Leaders in each of these organizations used analytics to achieve specific objectives. Other exemplars are also identified and briefly discussed. Most change initiatives fail or fall far shirt of original (albeit unrealistic) expectations, especially organizational revitalization and transformation. I commend on their provision of the information. Hence the importance of the information, insights, and counsel that Hoffmann, Lesser, and Ringo provide in abundance.
Here are a few of several dozen passages that caught my eye:
o A Six step “common sense” approach to addressing workplace challenges (Pages 5-6)
o “The Six Step Analytical Process: The Intersections of Science and Industry” (18-27)
o Developing Workforce Stands: Luxottica Retail and IBM (57-62)
o Defining Action Steps to Implement the Solution (95-102)
o Using Social Networks to Measure Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing (142-148)
o Applying Wisdom of the Collective Organization (148- 150)
o Solving the Turnover Mystery: An Extended Look at the Workforce Analytics Process (167-190)
Business leaders who read and (hopefully) re-read this book and then begin to take a hard look at their own organization will corroborate Hoffmann, Lesser, and Ringo’s comment, “there is more measurable value in an organization than meets the eye – if it is sought out and quantified.” That is a HUGE “if,” of course. Fortunately, business leaders are provided with a Six Step method process to follow; also, the central involvement of Six Step method as their virtual mentors. It is essential to “make haste slowly,” to engage positive and collaborative involvement in the process from Day One (including, especially, residents of the C-suite), and combine persistence with patience when attempting to create “immense value” that might not otherwise be accessible. Game on!
I have just read and will soon review Peter Diamonds and Steven Kotler’s book, Abundance, in which they explain why the future is better than most people think.
Perhaps I need to re-read the book because I remain deeply concerned about abundances such as these:
o Federal, state, county, and municipal government debt
o Presses to print currency that only the federal government has
o U.S. citizens without any health insurance coverage
o ”Upside-down” residential mortgages
o Credit card debt
o Student loan debt
o U.S. trade debt
o Obese children
o Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 filings
o High school graduates who are functional illiterates
o Under-employed, unemployed, and unemployable
Diamonds and Kotler seem to have total confidence in what they predict will an abundance of progress during the next eight years when “three billion new individuals will be coming online, joining the global conversation, and contributing to the global economy.”
I do not share that confidence. What do you think? Read the book and decide for yourself.
Better yet, let’s all help to reduce the obscene abundance in one or more of the areas indicated earl
Here is an excerpt from the script for a program produced for CBS Sunday Morning by CBSNews.
* * *
The humble popsicle was invented – by mistake! – when some soda pop with a stick in it was accidentally allowed to freeze. We’re constantly making mistakes, lucky and unlucky ones, and to think we can avoid mistakes entirely is only compounding the error. Our Cover Story is reported now by Susan Spencer of 48 Hours.
* * *
Erasers … delete buttons … spot removers … that annoying woman on the GPS device (“Recalculating…”) … all depressing evidence of the obvious:
We’re destined to make mistakes.
Documentary filmmaker Ric Burns says it may be history’s greatest lesson: Mistakes happen … again and again … from missteps to miscues, to misadventures with happy outcomes.
“The great example being Henry Hudson looking for the Northwest Passage to China and discovering, whether it wasn’t the biggest mistake in the world or not, New York City,” said Burns. “So, you know, I love thinking of America as being really one of the grandest mistakes of navigation in the history of navigation.”
Luckily, our more frequent mistakes are on a much smaller scale.
“You know, a hand reaches across the table and hits the glass. We thought we were moving in the right direction, or the pencil point breaks,” said Burns. “All the trivial mistakes that kind of litter every day of all of our lives.
But “trivial mistakes” are no trivial matter for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Joseph T. Hallinan. His new book‘s call to action: banish blunders.
All right, what do we do to get better?
“Checklists: write things down,” Hallinan told Spencer. “Just last month the New England Journal of Medicine came out with a study, they looked at doctors at eight hospitals around the world and said, ‘Before you operate on a patient, just try a checklist. Write down the things you need to do.’ Really basic things, like ask the patient his name, so you know it’s the right person.
“They found that when doctors used these checklists, surgical death rates were cut by nearly in half.”
Hallinan (left) has his own checklist, tips to cut down on mistakes, things like: Get more sleep, and do one thing at a time.
“If your goal is not to make mistakes, I would avoid multitasking,” he said. “A group at Harvard just looked at talking on the cell phone while driving. They found that when people do that, they cause 636,000 accidents a year, six percent of the total of all accidents, and they cause 2,600 deaths a year.
“People think, ‘Oh, I’ve got a hands-free device, I don’t have to worry.’ Your hands aren’t the problem; it’s your brain. Your brain is clogged up trying to figure out all these messages. And it’s got limits. It can’t do it all.”
Even more disheartening, our limited brains seem to be hard-wired to make mistakes because of the way we process information.
“It’s a very highly efficient system which is not to say it’s always accurate,” Hallinan said. “And the trade-off we make is usually we’ll trade accuracy for speed.”
* * *
To read the complete article, please click here.