Right People, Right Place, Right Time – Wrong Mantra? A followup

Back in November, I wrote about how most people in the Strategic Workforce Planning space define it as having the right people, in the right place, at the right time – and that I felt that definition was misleading.  The original post is below, but what surprised me was two-fold:

1. It sparked a long discussion over on LinkedIn from people in the Strategic Workforce Planning space; and

2. It is by far the most visited post on a blog that has been around since 2007, despite having only been published in November.

Some of the key observations from people in the LinkedIn discussion for me were these: Continue reading


Future of Work Trends: Crowdsourcing a Liquid Workforce

Strategic Workforce Planning involves not only extrapolating existing trends, but a process called Environment Scanning.  Environment Scanning is a process of carefully monitoring both the internal and external environment, and detecting early signs of opportunities and threats that might influence current and future tactics.  In conjunction with segmentation, it’s a powerful tool for preparing for your best future workforce. Continue reading

Emotional Contagion in the Workplace – Part II

Sneeze vector

Sneeze vector (Photo credit: 729:512)

In Emotional Contagion in the Workplace – Part I, I wrote about the existence of patterns that can affect productivity in ways that can’t be accurately forecast, and that emotional contagion is one of these patterns. In research published in 2010, researchers from Harvard formally demonstrated that emotions can be thought of as infectious diseases spreading across social networks, including at work.  The study looked at being “content” and “discontent” as two viruses, and found that these emotions could be “caught” from others in the social network. Continue reading

Emotional Contagion in the Workplace – Part I

Sneeze vector

Sneeze vector (Photo credit: 729:512)

Much of the work we do in Strategic Workforce Planning involves taking both internal and external trends, and determining how they might play out for your organisation.  Once you’ve done that, you can determine tactics to harness or address these trends to prepare for the best possible future workforce.

Sometimes, there are clear trends happening inside the organisation that are unsustainable – high performers turning over, key skills being lost, etc.  Identifying those trends through workforce analytics lets you understand the nature and extent of the problem, and determine strategies for addressing them.  By targeting these initiatives to where you need them most, you can ensure that your HR and Talent Management strategies are effective and efficient.

On the other side of the coin, workforce analytics and environment scanning help you to recognise opportunities and areas that the organisation is doing well in, so that you can capitalise on those.  People who are trained in a particular skillset are 20% more productive?  There’s your ROI for the training initiative right there.

One of the key things to recognise in any kind of workforce futuring is that it’s not just about headcount – you need to take into account the skillset and the productivity of the workforce too… and some trends can effect productivity in ways that just can’t be predicted.  Key among these is engagement.  The good news is that engagement (like many emotions in the workplace) is contagious.  The bad news is that disengagement is twice as contagious.  Further, trends that are subject to “contagion” have multiplier effects that can’t be accurately forecast. In a coming post, I’ll be talking about the research that supports emotional contagion in the workplace, the implications of this, and what you can do about it.  Stay tuned.


Strategic Workforce Planning Masterclasses – Perth and Wellington

In partnership with HCMS, I’ll be running 2-day Strategic Workforce Planning Masterclasses in Perth and Wellington in May.

Organisations are reporting that they see the link between Strategic Workforce Planning and profitability; yet at the same time reporting that they don’t know how to start a Strategic Workforce Planning program in their own organisation. This course equips participants with the framework and tools to begin a best practice Strategic Workforce Planning initiative in their organisation.

Please follow these links for more information, bookings for Perth on Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th May 2013, or for Wellington on Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st May 2013.

You can also see a list of my other speaking engagements and workshops here.

Please comment if you’d be interested in a Strategic Workforce Planning Masterclass in your city!


5 Things Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness can teach us about Strategy and Metrics

“I am not so much interested in gross national product. I am more interested in gross national happiness.” – Jigme Singye Wangchuck, 4th King of Bhutan, 1972

Haa Valley looking north, September, 2006

Haa Valley looking north, September, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1972, the fourth king of Bhutan said in a seemingly off-the-cuff comment to a journalist: “I am not so much interested in gross national product. I am more interested in gross national happiness.”  That’s a great sound bite, but perhaps not that remarkable.  How many times have you heard an organisational leader use a platitude such as “our people are our greatest asset” in an off-the-cuff comment?  How many times did you expect them to back it up with action? Continue reading

The Office is Dying, According to Esselte

Tickler file

Tickler file (Photo credit: dahnielson)

To mark the 100-year anniversary of the company, Esselte Corporation teamed up with Futures House Europe, and has this week released a white paper examining the Future of Work.

I was going to put together a more detailed summary about the key points in the paper, but the “key points” ended up being pretty much a copy of the paper itself.  It’s not often that I (or anyone, I suspect) reads a whitepaper and gets excited by it, but truly this is a fantastic resource.  Do yourself a favour and take a read – a link to the press release is below.  In the meantime, here are some “tweet-worthy” sections: Continue reading