Conference Notes

Notes on SW101 Building a Smarter Workforce

Three speakers are talking about building a smarter workforce:
– Denis Brousseau, VP, Global HR Practice Leader, IBM
– Josh Bersin, CEO, Bersin & Associates
– Ralf Larsson

Josh Bersin, The Case for a Smarter Workforce
– Some perspectives on what’s happening in the world of talent.
– There’s a whole system of talent problems – businesses are moving faster, are shifting towards emerging markets, there’s a borderless workplace team model of work, increased specialization and contigent work, 21st Century Models of Leadership, and competition for talent.
– … people need to keep learning, and learn fast – in order to stay in the game.
– workforce challenges:
– … (1) finding the right people with the right skills. Talent and leadership shortages are a major challenge. Specialization and skills drive competitive advantage. The shelf-life of skills are shrinking.
– … (2) the workforce is getting younger. By 2013, 47% of employees will be those born after 1977. 30% of employees are “no collar” – free-agent, tech-savvy culture of 21st century labor pool, freelancing.
– … (3) low levels of engagement among workers. More employees are planning to leave their employees today, compared to two years ago.
– … (4) the global talent imbalance – surplus of younger workers flooding the marketplace, but who are weak in business skills. Combined with a deficit of mid-level leaders.
– highly important priorities, that companies are ill-prepared for – mostly around learning.
– in the agile organization, traditional HR practices don’t work.
– data and science are coming to HR – getting away from gut feel, beliefs, and philosophies for making talent decisions.
– … eg., Kenexa – what makes someone fit into the right job?
– need to shift to a continuous learning model – leveraging coaching & mentoring, career curriculum, communities of practice, social networking, etc.
– … capability development – a learning culture, with expertise sharing is level 4 of how to learn.
– wrap up comments:
– … attract employees, don’t seek to recruit.
– … offer learning and career, not training
– … create passion, not just engagement
– … use science and data, not just beliefs.

Denis Brousseau, Moving to a Social Workforce
– (1) there’s a business imperative; winning in the market through great employees.
– … leading organizations are using social to re-thinking core processes.
– … enable them to better serve their customers.
– … IBM’s CEO study – 1700 participants – the ability to collaborate externally is critical (issue 1), and #2 is how people collaborate internally.
– … is my company internally integrated, to offer the best value end-to-end for customers. Can I capture ideas from the wider community, for innovation.
– (2) organizations see people as their most valuable resource. Three imperatives from the CHRO study – cultivating creative leaders, mobilize for speed and flexibility, and capitailie on collective intelligence.
– … eg., AMC Theatres – a cultural assessment of AMC, employee profile for choosing the right recruits, etc … theatres with a good approach here earn more than theatres without on.
– … eg., VCC – 40% increase in salse for new constriction. Due to leveraging collective intelligence.
– … eg., Cabela’s – wanted to motivate employees to do better.

Ralf Lasson, Director of Employee Engagement & Diversity, Electrolux.
– Has business in 60 countries with 60,000 employees.
– The social journey – launched Connections in 2011. Have now integrated Connections into the internet.
– leadership is the biggest influence on employee attitudes and behavors. Eg., open invitation management meetings shared agenda between communications and HR, asking for help, etc.
– senior executives are living the walk – eg., inviting people into their spaces, to make it a valid way of working. See the Executive Support strategy, in User Adoption Strategies (availale at the IBM Connect bookstore).
– breaking up silos to speed time to market.
– user adoption approach – kick off with top managers, mobile and social drivers user adoption, hired students to visit 800 people for one-to-one coaching, story telling.

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