Okay, so as I’m writing this, it is occuring to me just how much of my mind and time are focused on issues of human capital and organizational development… and perhaps it’s not exactly healthy.
Anyhow, as I read this article about Detroit’s plan to restore their communities by destroying homes, I couldn’t help but relate this to the corporate renewal we are all facing as we fight to push the recession behind us. This bit stood out in particular:
The notion of “bringing Detroit back” has always focused on several square miles of partially occupied office buildings, luxury-boxed sports stadiums, and casinos—and on keeping solvent the city’s most iconic contemporary-era building, the Renaissance Center, which looks like seven stacks of obscenely waxed tires. (It has been the headquarters of both Ford and General Motors.) Meanwhile the neighborhoods, the places where the people actually live, have been almost uniformly scrubbed from public awareness. This neglect left everywhere but Downtown withered and has long set the rest of the city up for a comeback.
It’s not much of a stretch to see the correlationg between how Detroit has dealt with their economic struggles and how organizations have weathered the recession. Consider the “office buildings, luxury-boxed sports stadiums, and casinos” to be the public facing images and marketing and sales structures of the organization, while the neighborhoods represent the employees and employee programs.
Has your organization cut back on staffing, reduced the support for employee initiatives or programs? I’ve lived through this before, as an organization cut back on the support of volunteer programs, employee lead initiatives, and internal employee perks, all the while keeping these programs front and center on the career page and corporate face of the company.
Perhaps right now is a good time to look around at your organization and ask yourself- is it time to destroy the vacant homes to save the community?
Over the years, it has become blindingly clear that there is often a major disconnect between the HR and non-HR management within organizations. At it’s best, an HR office can help organizations increase productivity, decrease turnover, increase skills and knowledge, prevent law suits, and provide a safe, healthy, and inclusive workplace. It is my distinct belief that HR has the ability to affect more areas of a business than any other single department. So why the disconnect?
I guess to answer that I would need to amend that last statement. It is my distinct belief that HR has the ability to affect more areas of a business than any other single department, provided there is support from the top and buy in from the other departments. This is where breakdowns often begin. I wonder how many of us attended an HR conference last year, and came back to our offices energized and motivated, bringing a new idea with us that we believed would positively impact our company. And how many of us were able to successfully implement those new ideas? I hope it was more than a few, but I am certain that it was not the majority.
This year, which will likely be my last on the Board for the Granite State HR Conference, I am urging Human Resource professionals to do whatever it takes to bring along a business partner to your annual HR conference, no matter where you are. I’ve included a couple of the program write-ups below as examples, and as you’ll see, there is truly valuable content available for anyone who runs a business or manages people. Fundamentally, EVERY manager in an organization works with human resources every day and can benefit from the skills and knowledge shared at these annual events.
Peter Hughes Strategic Planning for Operational Transformation
This dynamic and highly interactive session will bring focus and insight into the fundamental planning strategies and behaviors operational and HR professionals can use to create a new dimension of success within their organizations. You will leave with a deeper understanding of the Positive Change Transformational Planning Model and how this planning model can create a sustainable level of operational success within your operating departments. This session is designed for operational and HR managers who want to make a strategic difference by transforming their functions and departments into higher performing organizations. Call it strategic planning or transformational leadership, this workshop is about creating a state of operational excellence through strategies and behaviors that any leader can use and any HR partner can help drive through the organization. Annabel Beerel New Realities: Responding to the Critical Signals of Change
New realities arrive at the doorstep everyday. Some are very challenging, while others are quite manageable. Whatever the circumstance, organizations must adapt to the change. The ability to identify and respond to change is a hallmark of effective leadership. Reality never disappears, even when people ignore it or create a pseudo environment they find more palatable. Now more than ever, managers and HR professionals need to hone the skills necessary to identify and adapt to new realities in the workplace. Participants in this session will learn about the importance of reading new realities, the reasons why people defer reality or create ones of their own making, and the skills needed to mobilize others to respond to the changing circumstances of our time.
Margaret Morford Workplace Trends: Survival Secrets for the Next Decade
The workforce of the future looks dramatically different than today. Employee demographics, attitudes, and needs are evolving as fast as technological innovation can support. For managers and HR professionals, this requires a radical shift in the way you conduct business and manage talent. You need to prepare now for the seismic shifts coming soon, so you are not caught unaware and so your organization remains viable into the future. Management expert Margaret Morford will discuss the dramatic changes in store for the HR profession, some of which are happening right now and some of which are still in their infancy. The practical advice offered in this presentation will teach you what to do today to prepare for the workplace of tomorrow.
JobsInTheUS.com to Provide HR Services to Employers Through Strategic Partnership With HRSentry
WESTBROOK, ME–(Marketwire – September 30, 2009) – JobsInTheUS is proud to announce the addition of a new suite of services powered by HRSentry, a Vermont-based company. HRSentry’s mission is to create, deliver, and support services that empower
organizations to be self-sufficient in administration of Human Resource policies, practices, and procedures. HRSentry services enable employers to locate Human Resource forms, policies, and procedures and link to federal and state laws, regulations, and resources.
Through this partnership, JobsInTheUS.com will offer subscribers access to these tools as part of their new JobsInTheUS Human Resources Center. Not only will this new service help businesses better understand and stay current on state and federal regulations, but it also provides tools to manage human resources functions more efficiently.
Jason Blais, Director of Business Development for JobsInTheUS, on the new strategic partnership: “Many employers simply don’t have the resources or experience to fully understand many of the state and federal regulations surrounding Human Resource management. In addition to providing a simple to use library of knowledge, HR Made Simple provides content related to HR Training, Best Practices, and much, much more.”
JobsInTheUS.com (JiUS) operates state specific online recruitment resources, including www.JobsInME.com, www.JobsInNH.com, www.JobsInVT.com and www.JobsInRI.com. In each of their four markets, they are the number one recruitment resource, offering both employer and job seeker services. From building a resume to building an employment brand, JobsInTheUS.com’s large inventory of services includes HRCI accredited webinars and a continually growing archive of employment-related site content.
JobsInTheUS.com has been operating state specific job internet sites since 1999 and remains at the forefront of the industry through innovation, solid sales, distinguished marketing techniques and there-when-you-need-us customer service.
For more information about this program, please contact:
Jason C. Blais Email Contact
toll free: 877-374-1088 ext 2069
With the rollout last week of our new service powered by HRSentry, we gained two invaluable assets: A strategic partner who is engaged and innovative, and a new offering to clients that will build long term brand loyalty and help reposition our company as a valued recruitment resource.
In a previous post, I outlined a key to the negotiation with HRSentry, and shared what I believed were some key considerations that came from that process. But that was only the beginning. As a professional with more than15 years in the business development arena, I know the perils that befall those who focus their attention on “the deal”, then lose momentum or interest once the pen has been put to paper. While the agreements were signed previously, the real work began on September 28, the day we had HRSentry lead a web conference to our sales, marketing, and customer service staff. That day represented the beginning of building engagement and buy-in internally to support this new service.
You see, it really does take a village to raise a healthy, competent, confident, and successful child. In my world, it takes a village to develop a new business initiative to maturity and lasting success. While you may be thinking of the old adage, many hands make light work, there’s much more to it than that. A new business initiative must receive nurturing and attention from many different people and departments within the organization to truly thrive. And long term success in business development is reliant on the maturation and lasting success of each new initiative.
When you are working on an implementation plan or rollout for a new business initiative, be thoughtful about who will help in it’s development, and how. That is, don’t look for the shortest distance between signed contract and abandonment.
As an aside, the ultimate goal of a business development professional is to abandon every new business initiative some day- to push it out of the nest. As it matures and becomes integrated as part of your business, it no longer needs you, and will no longer be viewed as a new initiative.
That shortest distance will normally lead to a lack of nourishment, as you’re not actively seeking out a variety of sources for input and assistance. Here are a few questions you should always consider when developing the implementation plan for a new business initiative- these questions are specific to who should be involved, and to what extent. There are obviously other questions to be considered regarding other aspects of the deal:
What 5 ways could each department help this initiative develop? (Make a list for EVERY dept!)
Which departments/people will care the most about the success of this initiative?
How high up in the company can I count on for support? (Will your CEO lend a hand?)
At each stage of the process, who can I ask for assistance? (Again, list this out)
How will I engage people/departments enough to care about this new initiative?
When asking yourself these questions, write out your answers. Also, be sure to consider answers both from within your company, and from without. By going through this exercise, you will uncover new opportunities to nourish and support the development and maturity of your initiative. These are the key to long term success of the initiative, and to your long term success in business developments.
When all parties involved in a negotiation walk away in a better position then when they arrived, and when the terms agreed upon are better for each than they would have accepted as their bottom line, you have successfully completed a winning negotiation. Additionally, this archetype leads to long term goodwill amongst the parties, and, more often than not, to future collaboration. At least, that’s been my experience, and the ideal of success I’ve set out as my goal as a negotiator. An agreement I negotiated was signed today by both parties, and I believe serves as an example of the pinnacle of negotiation success.
(Re)Framing the Paradigm.
The agreement signed today sealed a new strategic partnership between HRSentry and JobsInTheUS. What started as a discussion between like-minded parties, quickly blossomed into a shared vision of potential mutual benefits. While the most important factors that lead to the consummation of this deal were the like-mindedness of the parties involved, and the clarity of the shared vision, the point that I will store in my memory, was the need to re-frame the paradigm to find a common ground for the terms.
Though initially we both felt very confident about our ability to work together, we later found that we were quite far apart on the stipulations we would require. At one point, this chasm appeared to be wide enough to either suspend or possibly terminate the negotiation. Each of us had an excellent argument for our side, and we both felt we did not want to degrade the value of our interest in the relationship. I can now admit out loud that I really, really wanted to make this work. I believe strongly in the long term value of this affiliation, and am excited by how well their service aligns with my company’s mission and vision. At the same time, however, I had to ensure that financially this would be worth the level of engagement we would need to provide.
Peace and Quiet Through Low-Tech.
I was attending a conference during the negotiation, and had been acutely tuned in to my Blackberry, monitoring the desires and concerns of both my General Manager and the folks at HR Sentry. Further delay at this time, I felt, would show a lack of commitment and engagement to HR Sentry that I was unwilling to risk. Between sessions at the conference, I went to my hotel room, turned off my phone, shut down my laptop, and pulled out a pad of hotel stationery and a pen. I began drawing diagrams, scribbling notes, and recording my stream of consciousness. Through this exercise, it occurred to me that at it’s core, the crux of this issue was very similar to a model I had used when working for a travel broker over a decade ago. From this realization, I re-framed the paradigm and offered a completely new solution, which was subsequently accepted.
At the beginning of any negotiation, particularly when in regard to strategic partnerships, alliances, or collaboration, it’s natural to conceptualize the entire process in advance, based on previous experience and your knowledge of what’s most likely to occur. This can be dangerous. When you think you know the answer to a question, it affects not only how you ask it, but also how you hear the response. As Deepak Chopra would say, we mustn’t become slaves of our own experience, but rather stay open to infinite possibilities. One way to do this in the negotiation process is to actively re-frame your paradigm, in search of new solutions.