Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Three Agile Aspects in Talent Management

Today’s workforce is more global, flexible and virtual as the world becomes so volatile, uncertain, and ambiguous, meanwhile, today’s employees value different things compared to previous generations of workers. Therefore, talent management as a business-critical process needs to be agile in adapt to the accelerated change facing in the organization.

1. Agile Workforce Management 

Employees are working anytime, anywhere, if companies are to become nimble enough to respond to unexpected changes, they should see their workforce as essentially borderless. A borderless workforce is also multi-generational, multicultural, multi-tasking with multi-devices.

  • Agile Workforces embrace culture or innovation, are empowered to make the right decision by accessing the right information at the right time. There needs to be broad management support for Agile talent management and an understanding that it means empowering staff to make data-based decisions. This is not always an easy transition for an organization but Agile is the right way to go. A culture of passionate people that embrace change and seek understanding will be paramount. Share early and share often, cross-functional collaboration and iterative communication are encouraged to optimize business processes and improve business agility. 
  • Focus on the fact that the fundamental nature of enterprise/business consists of human social systems, which are partially designed (or even architected), but are also grown, matured, and evolved. Not only that, the "components" of such systems include *aspects* of human beings who
    1) are not fully dedicated components (since they also participate in other social systems such as families, clubs, sports teams, churches, etc.), and 2). have purpose, intent, motivations, etc., and are perfectly capable of taking their skills and talents and finding a new game to play in -- at any time. 3) have attitude to openness; 4) take full responsibility for their activities and goals; 5).need to be willing to present their results as well as failures; 6) are motivated and their motivation must be spurred by radical change and the aim for breakthrough innovation; 7) Finally, you need an audience and organization with a focus on people and results, which celebrates small successful steps and but keep the focus on long-term objectives. 
  • Outside-in Customer Centricity: The clear directions need to be accompanied by continuous experimentation to ground-truth them. Do they reflect what customers really want? Proved      progress is being made and that progress is in the right direction. Eliminate risk as early as possible so alternatives can be explored. . No-one owns anything, we own it together. We share, we discuss, we debate and we move forward. You teach me and I teach you. We make good on our commitments. Agile workforces are more purposeful, productive and pleasant. 

2. Agile Analytics in Workforce Management 

Analytics-savvy organizations use a variety of internal and external data sources to make predictions about individual workers' actions and behaviors. Making decisions to identify, develop and retain talent relied on using data, analysis, and intuition. And the next generation of Agile analytics tools are web-based, self-service, to deliver the insight or foresight upon talent and performance management.

  • There are two ways to look at talent (people) analytics:
    1) Bring analytics people into HR - benefiting HR
    2) Bring people analytics out of HR - benefiting the business that talent analytics has the potential to make a difference, as far as strategic decision-making is concerned. However, humans are humans, and a mechanic approach to HRM will never work.  
  • Some most important driver for using workforce analytics in the organization today:
1)  Identifying when, where and what type of workers will be needed in the future
2) Identifying candidates that will assimilate and perform well in the organization
3) Increasing retention of critical workers
4) Identifying future leaders
5) Increasing workforce safety
6) HR analytics, accurate/secure personnel data, data-driven talent management 

3. Agile Project Team & Management 

It's essentially a trust exercise for many organizations who need to give Agile teams enough rope to execute and build trust. For many organizations, this is a hard sell, especially those who are only comfortable with a waterfall model, or require a huge investment in project analysis upfront.

  • A process or methodology like agile is people dependent, agility is all about people and change, some failure statistics shall not become the excuse to be No-Agile again. A mature Agile team should:  1). Adhere to the process (by not skipping "inconvenient" steps). 2). Buy into the Team concept (team wins, team losses - minimize personal ownership). 3). Show traceability (plan, execute, review). 4). Ensure everyone participates (full team participation, everyone contributes something useful). 5). Conduct early reviews, provide releases and gather early feedback (iterative, responsive, handle change)
  • Important things first. Focus on providing the most value you can. Get into the habit of delivering value as early as possible - even at the compromise of long-range planning. Agile PM inspires team democracy. We're in this together. Everyone has a voice and this voice should be used to collaborate, suggest, present outcomes (expected or unexpected), contribute to planning
Agile is the mind shift, the culture transformation, the management practice and the new way to manage talent and run the business today.

Read more about Agile Pillars: 


Perl, you are definetly on the right track here.
Agile Leadership requirese a very different approach than old school industrial world management.
I am writing my next book on the topic and would be interested in your throughts on the principles we are crystalizing.

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