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How Silicon Valley Works…Ecosystems Breaking Traditions for Transformations

Many business leaders don’t get Silicon Valley. They know the reputation, the high-tech giants, the casual dress, the innovation that fails and succeeds in SV and the unicorns. But the common theme among the SV innovation labs, venture capitalists, and start-ups at The Conference Board’s 6th Annual Innovation Master Class hosted at the storied Xerox… Read More

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Strategy Shift: Innovation and risk as the foundation for strategy and financial success.

In Strategy Shift, my colleague, C. Brooke Dobni Ph.D. with co-author  Christopher Sand, Ph.D. assert that organizations that want to be innovative need a strategy shift. To innovate and pivot quickly, firms must continually nurture their culture to innovate and adapt and evolve with their ever-evolving business context. Human Resources leaders have a role at the… Read More

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Six strategies to recruit a Veteran workforce of 240,000

This week the US recognizes and thanks veterans for their sacrifice and service to the United States. It is a great time to assess your own veteran recruiting program, or if you don’t have one, to start one up. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the unemployment rate for veterans in October 2018 was… Read More

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Digitizing Your Company? Success Depends Largely on One Factor…

Empirical evidence has long shown that transparent, collaborative and adaptive cultures empower business and financial success by enabling innovation.[i] Now companies are learning that if they do not have innovative cultures their digitization strategies languish. According to McKinsey’s 2018 Global Survey on digital transformation, 80% of the nearly 1800 respondents have launched digitization efforts in… Read More

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30% Discount for San Francisco Innovation Master Class

Would you like to connect with more innovation experts? Are you ready to expand your role as an innovation leader? If so, then I encourage you to join us for the 6th Annual Innovation Master Class on December 6-7, 2018 in Palo Alto at George E. Pake Auditorium at PARC, A Xerox Company. We have partnered with The Conference… Read More

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Technology geek, mission, and business ethics

The irony could not have been stronger. On my news feed, I saw that legendary Medtronic founder and technology geek Earl Bakken died at age 94. Then, just below, I spotted another headline reading, “Will Silicon Valley Ever Act Ethically?” For 12 years as the leader of human resources for various Medtronic business divisions, I… Read More

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Try the No. 1 non-pay benefit that saves you money!

A CEO exclaimed that she could not compete with the higher-than-average pay and benefits of large employers. “What can I do?” she asked. I told her she should offer flexible work arrangements to her employees who did most of their work through a computer. This would help her attract more employees, increase productivity, improve employee… Read More

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10 Talent Strategies to Support Cultures of Innovation

Companies large and small are racing to digitize their operations and to find the new technology in their domain that will allow them to disrupt their competition and find new markets. The companies that succeed in this race are agile ones that also spend the time nurturing and developing transparent, collaborative and aligned cultures. Human… Read More

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Time to tap 70 million forgotten workers

Shelley Winner had an extraordinary and courageous story to tell about herself in her five minutes of speaking at DisruptHR San Francisco Bay Area last May 31. Shelley is a lovely, tall, slender, young, white woman who had the air of confidence and invincibility I find among many young women in Silicon Valley, but with… Read More

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5 leadership lessons from the maverick of the Senate

Arizona Senator John McCain, known as a genuine war hero, a political maverick, straight talker, champion of bipartisanship in service to America, and two-time candidate for the Presidency, died over the weekend after a long fight with brain cancer. His passing is feared to be end of political era of bipartisanship and selfless service to… Read More

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Do you know the benefit preferences of your workforce?

I am always delighted when clients, in the middle of an HR audit, are curious about what additional benefits they should offer to attract and retain workers for their fast-growing firms. “Should I provide more paid-time off?” they ask. “What about setting up a ping pong table by the break area?” I always respond by… Read More

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Attract Millennial Job Seekers Without Breaking the Bank

A client recently asked me about the best perks to offer Millennial and Generation Z employees. “Do they want more free food? Or is it more paid time off?” they wondered. “We already offer health care,” they added. I told them to offer competitive pay and benefits in this time of full employment. Surveys consistently… Read More

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Talent Strategies Needed to Support Cultures of Innovation

I was honored to present and be part of a panel discussion at one of Silicon Valley’s legacy innovation centers, PARC, a Xerox Company in Palo Alto, July 26, 2018. I began my presentation by asking if everyone believes that culture can be measured and managed? Not everyone understands this, despite overwhelming evidence from InnovationOne… Read More

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New case study links InnovationOne Health Index and innovation implementation framework to improved innovation. Nine lessons from case study…

In their experience as academics and consultants, Dr. C. Brooke Dobni and Dr. Mark Klassen have concluded that many organizations need something to improve their organization’s innovation, but they are not quite sure what. Through their research, they have learned much about assessing an organization’s culture of innovation and the practice and implementation of innovation.… Read More

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Don’t manage to an employee engagement score. Instead, drive business value.

The $74 billion employment engagement industry has a serious problem. After nearly 18 years, it is not driving sufficient business value to justify its costs. Instead, values, business purpose, organizational learning, and culture are the true factors that drive business value. Employee engagement is an outdated idea that needs to be overhauled. Gallup’s State of… Read More

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9 Strategies to Avoid Reorganization and M&A Failure

New findings from an online survey of 2,500 reorganizations show that only 11% of reorganizations driven by Mergers and Acquisitions achieve total success. Worse, 28% have a negative impact on the business as compared with 17% of other types of reorganizations. That is a horrible track record. But there are ways to increase the success… Read More

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Why it doesn’t matter that the gig workforce may be shrinking…

The percentage of Americans working in alternative work arrangements — such as independent contractors, on-call workers, and those who contract through a third party — has shrunk 0.6% since 2005.  According to a US Labor Department report, the total of people working in such alternative arrangements now is 10.1% According to the survey, this change… Read More

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It is full employment. Time to change recruiting strategies.

The US government announced a 3.8% unemployment rate on Friday, June 1, the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.[i] It is virtually full employment. As a result, to attract new hires, you need to recruit passive job candidates who already have a job or new entrants such as graduates from technical programs or colleges. There are… Read More

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It is time to face the truth about employee engagement.

Employee engagement is an outdated idea that, by itself, does not significantly improve business performance. The truth is, employee engagement can improve the relationship between managers and employees, but will take your organization only so far. Companies are realizing that employee engagement alone is not providing actionable items and that the employee engagement survey is… Read More

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Seven Steps to Improve Employee Retention

Concern over employee retention has increased sharply in the US — where unemployment is now below 4% — but, also, around the world. A 2017 study by Towers Watson uncovered that more than 50% of all organizations globally struggle to retain their most valuable employees.[i]  More than 80% of HR leaders believe improving retention is… Read More

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Five Steps for Managers to Improve Their Coaching Success

Companies want managers who will build relationships with their employees, give them feedback, coach and develop them and continually recognize them for their achievements.  The once-a-year performance discussion is not sufficient in a business world of constant change. The problem for managers is that they are too busy with the constant change and pressures of… Read More

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California Supreme Court’s New Legal Standard Makes It Difficult to Classify Workers as Contractors

Yesterday the California Supreme Court adopted a new legal standard that will make it much more difficult for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors, drastically changing the legal landscape across the golden state. The misclassification of workers can result in significant legal exposure concerning wage and hour compliance and fines. Although the court case… Read More

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9 Steps to Assure Success of Global Teams

Establishing a global team is always a daunting task. How do you get people on time zones around the world on a video conference together, knowing someone will be up in the middle of the night? How do you motivate them to perform on your strategic initiative when their local management already has them busy… Read More

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Eliminating Performance Ratings? Managers Ability to Deliver Feedback Is Essential!

When we removed performance rankings from our performance review process at Medtronic Coronary and Peripheral in 2012, some executive leaders and managers warned that employees would lose the competitive edge to perform. They didn’t. Our changes included holding weekly or biweekly meetings between managers and employees as well as formal quarterly updates to goals and… Read More

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The number of lies on resumes is increasing. Who is telling the truth and who is lying?

The number of lies on resumes is increasing and could be as high as 85%. An Office Team survey found that 46% of workers said they know someone who lied on a resume — a 25-point increase from its 2011 survey.[i] HireRight’s 2017 employment screening benchmark report (which surveyed nearly 4000 HR professionals) states that… Read More

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New Research Shows How Stable Schedules Increases Productivity

When I worked with factory leaders in the US in the 1980s, I provided them research showing that factory worker productivity declined heavily after 11 hours and after sustained days of constant overtime. They used the research to schedule more sane and stable manufacturing hours and to maximize productivity and worker health. Now, new research… Read More

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Newly Promoted to VP? Your Learning Has Just Begun.

A new vice president reached out to me recently to discuss how to prepare for her new role. “What do I need to do differently?” she asked. Every promotion is a passage to a new level of leadership I told her. “Are you ready to stop doing what led to your promotion, and begin learning… Read More

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Blockchain is here. Is HR ready?

As a recruiter, wouldn’t you like to receive 100% accurate and verifiable resumes and conduct instantaneous background checks? That technology is here. And it is called blockchain. Blockchain technology is a secure decentralized network of computers that verifies and automates the flow of information. It now can be trustworthy and eliminates intermediaries. It is best… Read More

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Seven Traits of Agile and Innovative Leaders

Dominance used to be the main criteria CEOs and Chief Human Resources Officers used to determine who would make a great leader. Dominance and achievement were the most reliable characteristics CEOs looked for to determine who would be their successors. Dominant leaders are the ones who speak first in meetings, most frequently interrupt others, and… Read More

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Achieve a zero-day job opening fill rate even with 4% unemployment

If your recruiters are spending hours or days hunting through job postings and social media looking for job candidates and handing resumes to hiring managers — you are wasting your time. Affordable technology now exists to replace the days of hunting online. Your recruiters can now up their game and spend more time developing relationships… Read More

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Suffering from a lax work culture? The answer is in the numbers.

A business executive complained to me about the lax work culture shown by his employees. “Everyone leaves the office by 4:30,” he said. “Where is their commitment to our mission? Where is their commitment to our customers and to get new products out on time?” he asked. He carried with him in his briefcase an… Read More

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Dramatically improve your recruiting with this one solution

We recently found more than 30 new, qualified hard-to-find candidates for a client in mere seconds. The client could not have found these people after posting the job on Indeed and Career Builder and searching on LinkedIn. How did we do it? We used a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform created for recruiting. By using AI, we can find job candidates in seconds,… Read More

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Four studies identify the critical dynamics that contribute to team success.

When putting teams together, who do you pick to lead them? The individual with the highest IQ? The most extroverted? Or, the most dominant “driver”? New studies will have you rethink the characteristics of great team members and allow you to have effective and innovative teams and improve employee retention and company performance. The Massachusetts… Read More

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6 Tips to Focus Employees on What to Do—And What to Stop

One of the toughest challenges facing any CEO is rallying the organization to effectively execute new strategies. Many business pundits wisely encourage CEOs to use the company’s mission and higher purpose to appeal to the intrinsic motivation of their employees. Employees, to be sure, will commit their discretionary effort and innovation to a cause they… Read More

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7 Steps for Recruiting Success in Tight Labor Markets

Two obstacles stood before the business and the release of a new game-changing product. The first was achieving the technology milestones required to develop and manufacture the product. The second was hiring the 650 employees needed over 18 months to accomplish the technical, marketing and sales milestones to commercialize the product. This task fell to… Read More

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Six Steps for 2018 to Overcome Small Salary Increase Budgets and New Pay Equity Laws

  Two compensation issues are giving workforce leaders fits at the beginning of 2018. The first is the continued small budgets for pay increases which causes challenges for retaining your best workers in a tight labor market. The second is gender pay equity laws being enacted in many cities and states. Salary increase predictions from… Read More

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3 Ways Talent Executives Can Accelerate Innovation in 2018

Managing culture, embracing metrics and pursuing evolving technologies are among the top priorities talent leaders should focus on in the New Year. By Victor Assad and Ataman Ozyildirim, Talent Economy Influencers. Published in Talent Economy, December 20th, 2017 As 2017 winds down, a new survey provides tips for how talent executives can prioritize innovation in the… Read More

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Has the #MeToo Movement shocked your complacency? Take these 7 steps!

The frightened employee called our ethics hotline 17 years ago to report that her former boss, a Vice President, was harassing her at her apartment building. He would show up at her apartment building, despite it being halfway across the US, and hide outside the entrance. He would appear as she approached the entrance to… Read More

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Is It Time to Let Artificial Intelligence Improve Recruiting?

Can human resources leaders use Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to manage recruiting in the same way marketing executives use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to find, nurture and win over new clients? We have heard the hype about AI.  Now we are learning more about its capabilities to be a game changer in recruiting. While… Read More

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CEOs Must Do These 3 Things To Turbocharge Innovation

Check out my article in Chief Executive Magazine, with Ataman Ozyildirim of The Conference Board, “CEOs Must Do These 3 Things to Turbocharge Innovation”.  Across the globe, one business challenge has the ear of CEOs like few others: innovation. Six in 10 surveyed executives think the chance to avoid falling behind their competitors has passed. Much… Read More

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New Research Shows Five Insights from Highly Innovative Companies

Businesses have come to recognize that innovating is no longer an option. Rather, it is an imperative for survival. This year, The Conference Board and InnovationOne have just completed a valuable report: “Insights from Highly Innovative Companies: Results from The Conference Boards and InnovationOne’s Global State of Innovation Survey 2017.” The Survey was designed to… Read More

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The Key to Succession Planning Is Three Components of Leadership Potential!

Your organization can’t afford to stumble with leadership at the CEO, senior management, or middle management levels. But when you look at the top of organizations, 39% of companies today have no viable candidate to replace their current CEO; and only 54% of company Board of Directors are grooming a specific CEO successor.[i] The labor… Read More

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Can we face the truth about employee engagement?

That was the best training I ever had for team leadership, the director told me, after a half-day employee engagement training. The objective of the program was to improve the relationship building skills of leaders with each of their team members—and employee retention. The director went on to explain that he always achieved his goals,… Read More

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Airbnb’s Hyper-growth, HR and AI, The Truth About Gender Bias in Leadership

Are you ready for the disruptive spirit of HR? If you have never experienced a DisruptHR event, expect high energy, fast pace, fresh and leading content like you have never heard before. Food, wine, and beer. The audience is encouraged to holler, text and tweet. DisruptHR is an information exchange of 12 speakers presenting fresh… Read More

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Can we face the truth? HR doesn’t have Big Data. Now what?

Every time I hear a presentation from a Silicon Valley based human resources organization about its Big Data analysis of the workforce, I remember Peter Cappelli’s article in the Harvard Business Review, “There’s No Such Thing as Big Data in HR.” Most organizations, Cappelli observes, have thousands of employees, not millions. And the documented performance… Read More

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How AI can improve your employee inclusion and engagement!

The traditional approaches to diversity and inclusion are not moving the needle. Whether its “the letter” at Google or sensational headlines about bad behavior at companies such as Uber or Fox News, diversity and inclusion remain a hot topic. Can Artificial Intelligence help? Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining wide acceptance for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)… Read More

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Reinvented talent management guides GE’s transformation

I have long felt that nothing is worse than a big company that can’t grow organically. So, writes retiring GE CEO, Jeff Immelt in a piece for the Harvard Business Review on the eve of the transition of GE’s leadership. What a difference the Internet of Everything and a CEO make! I remember his predecessor,… Read More

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Implementing new H R technology? Remember, it is about the relationship…

The implementation of Human Resources digital technology “is about the relationship.” I was delighted to hear these words from Charlene Li, Principal Analyst at Altimeter. She is the author of five books, including The New York Times best seller Groundswell and her latest, The Engaged Leader. Ms. Li advocates that CEOs and Human Resources leaders… Read More

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Use your data to improve sales force recruiting, skills, diversity, and sales!

The goal was to double the sales force of a medical device company that was launching a game-changing product, by hiring more than 100 sales representatives across the U.S. We needed to accomplish this in roughly six months. And, by the way, the new sales reps had to have technical skills our current sales force… Read More

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Seven Ways to Assure High Performance with Global Teams

The new general manager of a recently acquired, innovative global business asked me if his new staff, which spanned seven countries and four continents, could understand English. “Yes, they can,” I responded with a smile. “But it doesn’t mean they can understand you, or will follow your direction.” They had all learned English, as taught… Read More