Would you comment on the latest public draft of this ANSI standard?

I’d like to ask you to read through the latest draft of Guidelines for Reporting Human Capital to Investors and submit a comment ( not here, but on the link provided. )  A few notes:

1. The team that developed it was 160 people strong, with economists, financial folks, hr analytics folks, generalists, and risk managers.

2. We know that it’s impossible to factor every critical HC metric for every type of business into a standard. The ANSI method discourages this. It looks for a minimally effective standard. If we knew more today about a company than yesterday, would these be the 6 items we would choose?

3. In a world far removed from most of our everyday lives, this type of disclosure has already been written, but without HRs perspective. The intangibles and sustainability community are already releasing data like this. But we can help make it better with more expertise in human capital.

And finally, the most critical.. ANSI standards are voluntary. No one is forcing us to disclose data we wish not to.

Please do shoot me questions or post them below!

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Ya Can’t See the Forest Through the Trees


I was talking with a doctor on the train the other day who was complaining about the current state of medicine. It wasn’t  a complaint about insurance fees – it was actually about evidence-based medicine.  His complaint, ” Doctors today just run tests, and ignore the patient’s feedback. My father was a doctor too – and he always told me that the person who knew the patient the best was the patient. Today, we ignore what they say and just use the test results. It misses a lot.”

I didn’t engage him heavily, it was after all, a stranger on a train… but, what I was thinking was, ” Wow, that would be a terrible doctor that only relied on the evidence provided from a specific set of tests he/she ordered.” Would you keep going to a doctor that looked past your feedback and just used the results of a test?

This, to me, is one of the fundamental misunderstandings of any evidence-based decision.  I don’t know if it’s more a fear by people who don’t use the data more than a reality of inexperienced practitioners, but proper consumption of evidence certainly merits discussion.

Good consumers of data are interested in both the digital and the analog – they know that you can’t see the whole picture through either one. Digital results can skew your opinion just as easily as analog ones.

When dealing with decisions regarding humans (medicine, marketing, talent management) – we ignore anecdotes at our peril.  A friend of mine just told me an (unvalidated by me) story on a marketing campaign for an air freshener. They had loads of data about customer perceptions of the product, but it wasn’t until they followed around the product’s #1 fan for a day that they realized what the marketing hook was. They couldn’t see her son’s stinky socks in the data, and apparently, for this decision, that’s what they needed.

Any time we’re dealing with data about human behavior, I always find it helpful to stop for a moment and recognize that behind the numbers are people with feelings, with kids ( their socks), and certainly with their own free will.

That’s how you see the forest through the trees and make the right decision.

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We don’t need no stinkin’ offices

Haas School of Business Researcher Henry Chesbrough talking about Open Innovation.

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HR technology + corn chips, perfect together

I was listening to a random piece on NPR, which I admit is where I frequently come up with ideas for posts, when I heard a CEO of a gaming company talk about their shift in strategy. They, like many in gaming, are shifting from writing long-form games meant to be played for hours (or at least tens of minutes) to games for our iPads, pods, phones, etc. They are hardly alone in this… Open up the app store on your favorite device, and thousands of companies you’ve never heard of are trying to make it big in the new world of games.

But in this interview, the CEO used a word to describe his games that I’d not heard before. He wants to make his games, “snacky”. What a great description of how we play games on mobile devices, right? We pick them up, play for a few seconds or minutes. Put it down, and pick it up again in a few minutes. Designing games like this is actually quite hard, but when done right, they can be big hits. (now, if this idea isn’t familiar to you yet, please, stop reading and go directly to your mobile device and download Fruit Ninja. I apologize in advance for getting you hooked.) “Snacky” games are played for seconds or minutes. Other games are played much longer.

So now let’s talk HR tech, where all of the buzz is about, “gamification”. Software developers want to make our HR software more useable, and dare we say…. Fun. This is welcome news, since much of what has existed in the past has needed an owners manual the size of my Dad’s Buick to operate.  There are more and more excellent iPad apps for HR and managers to use. User interfaces are improving.

Here’s my question. Are we in HR Tech rushing to gamification, when we should be rushing to not just make our software easier to use, but also, “Snacky”? Are we building based on the last idea (gamification), and not leaping ahead to how users want to use software today?  (I’m really asking this as a question, would love to hear your thoughts.)
What would a snack-sized HR system even look like? How would managers uses it?

The possibilities are enormous.  Real time feedback on employees based on 2 swipes of the thumb. Posting a job to the world by pushing it into a cloud.  The boring stuff could be fun.
If you’re in the software side of HR, please… Cut the Rope, slash some fruit with a sword, take a Jungle Run, and come on back to tell us if there’s room in HR for some snacks.

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Mercer’s Infographics on internal mobility

Talent on the move
Infographic by Mercer Insights

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Creating Shared Value Video from FSG

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How do you get close to Jerry Seinfeld?

Apparently, you just have to have the fortune of alphabetical order.  I’m next to Jerry on the SHRM speaker’s list. I think he is recommended as a speaker more than I am, however.  http://annual.shrm.org/complete-speaker-listing#S

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50% of Jeremy

Talent metrics and human capital analytics galore.                                                                        

Upcoming Presentations
Cornell ILR, Metrics that Matter: How HR Analytics Impact the Bottom Line, June 3-4, 2014 or November 13-14, New York, NY

HBR Webinar (Recording) - Competing on Talent Analytics November, 2011

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