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ideas@work vol. 5


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The latest volume of ideas@work explores critical issues and best practices in talent management.
Two of our papers focus on today’s volatile and constantly changing business environment. Developing Leaders in a VUCA Environment provides talent managers with ideas, guidance, and examples on how to address the shift needed in leadership development to adapt to the new normal, while Building a Resilient Organizational Culture focuses on how to cultivate and nurture a culture of resilience at all levels of the organization.
This volume also features a chapter from what’s been called the “talent management bible” - Marc Effron’s and Miriam Ort’s “One Page Talent Management”. This practical, science based guide to accelerating talent growth has become a best seller in talent management circles, and the chapter we’ve included outlines the barriers to building talent and the philosophy for successful talent development based on simplicity, accountability, and transparency.
The other two white papers included in this volume examine new trends in talent development. Got Game? The Use of Gaming in Learning and Development takes a serious look at how gaming technology can be used to develop organizational talent. The Big Data Talent Gap explores the talent implications of the big data revolution.

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ideas@work vol. 5

  1. 1. B U S I N E S S I N S I G H T S F R O M U N C E X E C U T I V E D E V E L O P M E N TWHITE PAPERSFEATURED:VOLUME5Developing Leaders in aVUCA EnvironmentGot Game? The Use ofGaming in Learning andDevelopmentBuilding A ResilientOrganizational CultureThe Big Data Talent GapBONUS SECTION!Reprinted from the bestselling book “One PageTalent Management”
  2. 2. 2 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comA message from thePresident of Executive Developmentat UNC Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolConsistently ranked one ofthe world’s best businessschools, UNC Kenan-FlaglerBusiness School is knownfor experiential learningand teamwork, superiorteaching, innovativeresearch, and a collaborativeculture. Our commitmentto developing sociallyresponsible, results-drivenleaders distinguishes ourprograms. We educatepeople at every stage oftheir careers and preparethem to lead successfullyin the global businessenvironment.At UNC ExecutiveDevelopment, we arecommitted to providingnew, impactful learningexperiences to help ourpartners successfullymanage and develop theiremployee talent.Greetings again from the University of North Carolina atChapel Hill. We have had a productive year in executivedevelopment, and I am excited to share with you that ourefforts were reflected in the annual Financial Times rankingof executive education providers. UNC Kenan-Flagler wasranked 8thin the world for custom executive education and4thamong U.S. institutions. We also ranked highly in manyindividual categories, notably 2ndin the world for value, 1stamong our U.S.-based competitors. We are very pleased tobe recognized by our partners for the value we bring to theirorganizations through their talent development efforts.In addition to this news, I am also happy to share with youthe latest volume of ideas@work, our white paper journaldedicated to exploring critical issues and best practices intalent management.Two of our papers focus on today’s volatile and constantlychanging business environment. Developing Leaders in aVUCA Environment provides talent managers with ideas,guidance, and examples on how to address the shift neededin leadership development to adapt to the new normal,while Building a Resilient Organizational Culture focuses onhow to cultivate and nurture a culture of resilience at alllevels of the organization.This volume also features a chapter from what’s been calledthe “talent management bible” - Marc Effron’s and MiriamOrt’s “One Page Talent Management”. This practical, science-based guide to accelerating talent growth has become abest seller in talent management circles, and the chapterwe’ve included outlines the barriers to building talent andthe philosophy for successful talent development based onsimplicity, accountability, and transparency.The other two white papers included in this volume examinenew trends in talent development. Got Game? The Useof Gaming in Learning and Development takes a seriouslook at how gaming technology can be used to developorganizational talent. The Big Data Talent Gap explores thetalent implications of the big data revolution.I hope that this journal provides value to you and that youfind some useful, actionable ideas within it that you can applyin your own organization. All of our white papers, researchprojects, and webinars are available in the resource library onour website ( always, thank you for your support of UNC ExecutiveDevelopment.Susan
  3. 3. 3V UC ADeveloping Leaders in a VUCA Environmentpage 4Got Game? The Use of Gaming in Learning and Developmentpage 14Building A Resilient Organizational Culturepage 22The Big Data Talent Gappage 32One Page Talent Managementpage 42Inside this issue(Note: The information or conclusions expressed in the following white papers are the authors’ review of findings expressed by theorganizations. All brand representations are registered trademarks owned by the respective companies or organizations.)
  4. 4. 4 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comDeveloping Leaders in aVUCA EnvironmentKirk LawrenceProgram DirectorUNC Executive DevelopmentIntroductionIn “The World Is Flat”, Thomas Friedman notes thatthe rate of change today is much different than in thepast. “Whenever civilization has gone through one ofthese disruptive, dislocating technical revolutions—likeGutenberg’s introduction of the printing press—thewhole world has changed in profound ways,” he writes.“But there is something different about the flattening ofthe world that is going to be qualitatively different fromother such profound changes: the speed and breadthwith which it is taking hold….This flattening processis happening at warp speed and directly or indirectlytouching a lot more people on the planet at once. Thefaster and broader this transition to a new era, the morelikely is the potential of disruption.”“To put it another way, the experiences of high-techcompanies in the last few decades who failed to navigatethe rapid changes brought about in their marketplaceby these types of forces may be a warning to all thebusinesses, institutions and nation states that are nowfacing these inevitable, even predictable, changes butlack the leadership, flexibility and imagination to adapt—not because they are not smart or aware, but becausethe speed of change is simply overwhelming them.”This rapid flattening, as Friedman calls it, is creating anew environment that strategic business leaders areincreasingly calling a “VUCA” environment. Coined in thelate 1990’s, the military-derived acronym stands for thevolatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity—termsthat reflect an increasingly unstable and rapidly changingbusiness world. This new VUCA environment will requireHR and talent management professionals to change thefocus and methods of leadership development.PromiseThis white paper:• Discusses the history of VUCA and how it applies tobusiness strategy and development.• Explores how VUCA is relevant to leadershipdevelopment.• Discusses the “VUCA Prime,” which flips the acronymto focus on vision, understanding, clarity, and agility.• Offers suggestions on what HR and talent managersmust do to change their leadership developmentapproach to foster leadership vision, understanding,clarity, and agility.
  5. 5. DEVELOPING LEADERS IN A VUCA ENVIRONMENT5The Origins of VUCAThe notion of VUCA was introduced by the U.S. ArmyWar College to describe the more volatile, uncertain,complex, and ambiguous, multilateral world whichresulted from the end of the Cold War (Kinsinger Walch, 2012). The acronym itself was not created untilthe late 1990s, and it was not until the terrorist attacksof September 11, 2001, that notion and acronym reallytook hold. VUCA was subsequently adopted by strategicbusiness leaders to describe the chaotic, turbulent, andrapidly changing business environment that has becomethe “new normal.”By all accounts, the chaotic “new normal” in businessis real. The financial crisis of 2008-2009, for example,rendered many business models obsolete, asorganizations throughout the world were plungedinto turbulent environments similar to those faced bythe military. At the same time, rapid changes marchedforward as technological developments like socialmedia exploded, the world’s population continuedto simultaneously grow and age, and global disastersdisrupted lives, economies, and businesses.
  6. 6. 6 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comIn 2010, Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, pledged to doublethe size of their business in the next 10 years while reducing its environmental footprint andincreasing its social impact. Sustainability became a central component of their new businessmodel, one based on VUCA principles. When asked by Forbes contributor Avi Dan why theychanged their business model, Keith Weed, chief marketing and communication officer forUnilever, responded:“We look at the world through a lens, which we call VUCA, which stands for ‘Volatile,Unstable, Complex, and Ambiguous.’ So you can say, ‘It’s a very tough world,’ or youcan say, ‘It’s a world that’s changing fast, and we can help consumers navigate throughit.’ Two-and-a-half billion more people will be added to the planet between now and2050, of which 2 billion will be added in developing countries. The digital revolution,the shift in consumer spending, all this suggests that companies have to reinvent theway they do business.” (Dan, 2012.)To meet that VUCA challenge, Unilever has also changed its leadership development model.Source: Sullivan, 2012 January.Example: UnileverVUCA and Leadership DevelopmentThis new VUCA environment, as Friedman notes, is taxingeven the most able of leaders who may find their skillsgrowing obsolete as quickly as their organizations changein this volatile, unpredictable landscape. Leadership agilityand adaptability are now required skills if organizationsare to succeed in this VUCA world. As Horney, Pasmore,and O’Shea, authors of “Leadership Agility: A BusinessImperative for a VUCA World” note, to succeed,“leaders must make continuous shifts in people, process,technology, and structure. This requires flexibility andquickness in decision making.” (Horney, Pasmore, O’Shea,2010). (For additional insights on a new approach fordeveloping leadership agility, refer to the UNC ExecutiveDevelopment white paper: Leadership Agility: UsingImprov to Build Critical Skills.)The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) concurs. A recentBCG study concluded that organizations today must shifttheir business models—and their leadership skills—tobecome “adaptive firms.” Adaptive firms can adjust andlearn better, faster, and more economically than theirpeers, giving them an “adaptive advantage.” Adaptivefirms, the study notes, include Apple, Google, 3M, Target,and Amazon.A report by the Center for Creative Leadership (Petrie,2011) also notes that today’s VUCA business environmentrequires leaders to possess more complex and adaptivethinking abilities. It also notes that the methods usedto develop these new skill requirements (like on-the-jobtraining, coaching, and mentoring) have not changedmuch, and as a result, leaders are not developing fastenough or in the right ways to keep up with the “newnormal” for business.HR and talent management professionals must positiontheir organizations to succeed in today’s turbulentbusiness environment by developing agile leaders.Applying the VUCA model as a framework to re-toolleadership development models may enable HR and talentmanagement professionals to identify and foster theleaders their organizations need now and in the future.
  7. 7. DEVELOPING LEADERS IN A VUCA ENVIRONMENT7VUCA DefinedV The “V” in the VUCA acronym stands for volatility. Itmeans the nature, speed, volume, and magnitude ofchange that is not in a predictable pattern (Sullivan,2012 January 16). Volatility is turbulence, a pheno-menon that is occurring more frequently than in thepast. The BCG study found that half of the mostturbulent financial quarters during the past 30 yearshave occurred since 2002. The study also concludedthat financial turbulence has increased in intensityand persists longer than in the past. (Sullivan, 2012October 22). Other drivers of turbulence in businesstoday include digitization, connectivity, tradeliberalization, global competition, and business modelinnovation (Reeves Love, 2012).U The “U” in the VUCA acronym stands for uncertainty,or the lack of predictability in issues and events(Kinsinger Walch, 2012). These volatile times makeit difficult for leaders to use past issues and events aspredictors of future outcomes, making forecastingextremely difficult and decision-making challenging(Sullivan, 2012 January 16).C The “C” in VUCA stands for complexity. As HRthought leader John Sullivan notes (2012 January 16),there are often numerous and difficult-to-understandcauses and mitigating factors (both inside and outsidethe organization) involved in a problem. This layer ofcomplexity, added to the turbulence of change andthe absence of past predictors, adds to the difficultyof decision making. It also leads to confusion, whichcan cause ambiguity, the last letter in the acronym.A Ambiguity is the lack of clarity about the meaningof an event (Caron, 2009), or, as Sullivan writes, the“causes and the ‘who, what, where, how, and why’behind the things that are happening (that) areunclear and hard to ascertain.” (2012 January 16).Col. Eric G. Kail defines ambiguity in the VUCAmodel as the “inability to accurately conceptualizethreats and opportunities before they become lethal.”(Kail, 2010 December 3). A symptom of organizationalambiguity, according to Kail, is the frustration thatresults when compartmentalized accomplishmentsfail to add up to a comprehensive or enduring success.
  8. 8. 8 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comThe VUCA PrimeThe VUCA model identifies the internal and externalconditions affecting organizations today. The VUCA Primewas developed by Bob Johansen, distinguished fellow atthe Institute for the Future and the author of “LeadersMake the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for anUncertain World”. Johansen proposes that the best VUCAleaders are characterized by vision, understanding, clarity,and agility - the “flips” to the VUCA model.The VUCA Prime can be seen as the continuum of skillsleaders can develop to help make sense of leading in aVUCA world. HR and talent management professionalscan use the VUCA Prime as a “skills and abilities”blueprint when creating leadership development plans.In the VUCA Prime, volatility can be countered withvision because vision is even more vital in turbulenttimes. Leaders with a clear vision of where they wanttheir organizations to be in three to five years can betterweather volatile environmental changes such as economicdownturns or new competition in their markets, forexample, by making business decisions to counter theturbulence while keeping the organization’s visionin mind.Uncertainty can be countered with understanding, theability of a leader to stop, look, and listen. To be effectivein a VUCA environment, leaders must learn to look andlisten beyond their functional areas of expertise to makesense of the volatility and to lead with vision. This requiresleaders to communicate with all levels of employeesin their organization, and to develop and demonstrateteamwork and collaboration skills.Complexity can be countered with clarity, the delibera-tive process to make sense of the chaos. In a VUCAworld, chaos comes swift and hard. Leaders, who canquickly and clearly tune into all of the minutiaeassociated with the chaos, can make better, moreinformed business decisions.Finally, ambiguity can be countered with the ability tocommunicate across the organization and to movequickly to apply solutions (Kinsinger and Walch, 2012).Vision, understanding, clarity, and agility are notmutually exclusive in the VUCA prime. Rather, theyare intertwined elements that help managers becomestronger VUCA leaders.VUCA leaders must have foresight to see where they aregoing but must also remain flexible about how they getthere (Apollo Research Institute staff, 2012). They mustbe self-aware about their strengths and weaknesses asleaders, adaptable, open to change, and, according tothe Center for Creative Leadership, knowledgeable abouttheir organization beyond their function (ManagementEducation Group staff, 2011). Finally, they must workcollaboratively and be excellent communicators to thrivein a complex VUCA environment (Kail, 2010 December3). Above all, VUCA learners must be able to learn fastbecause change is constant.These skills and abilities are a far cry from the morefunction-specific skills and abilities leaders needed in thepast to succeed. HR and talent management professionalsmust refocus their leadership development efforts to honethese more strategic, complex critical-thinking skills.VUCA PrimeV ision U nderstanding C larity A gility
  9. 9. DEVELOPING LEADERS IN A VUCA ENVIRONMENT9Steps Talent Managers Can TakeNick Petrie, senior faculty member at the Center forCreative Leadership writes in a 2011 study, Future Trendsin Leadership Development, that there is a growing beliefamong senior leaders that the more traditional leadershipdevelopment methods such as on-the-job training, jobassignments, coaching, and mentoring, are falling shortin helping them develop the capabilities they need tosucceed in a VUCA environment. These methods are oftenat odds with the leadership demands in a VUCA world,where knowledge across the organization and the speedof learning outpace these slower and more job-specificlearning methods.HR and talent management professionals must reframeleadership development activities to accommodate thefaster-paced VUCA world and to focus less on behavioralcompetencies and more on complex thinking abilities andmindsets. Leadership development should be focused onlearning agility, self-awareness, comfort with ambiguity, andstrategic thinking (Petrie, 2011). To do so, HR and talentmanagers may want to begin at the selection process.Fast-food giant McDonald’s was a frontrunner in adapting VUCA and VUCA Primeprinciples in its leadership development programs. In 2001, the company launched a newleadership development program for high-potential Regional Manager candidates. Thecompany realized that there was a need for a specialized leadership development programfor this position because the expectations and challenges for the role had changedsignificantly over the previous decade. These expectations and challenges includedheightened competition, the increased challenge of a growing market share, increased jobautonomy as the organization became more decentralized, and the increased expectationfor regional managers to act strategically as well as tactically.The new leadership development program included the following goals:1. To help participants take a critical look at themselves and their current managementcapabilities and to develop a personal learning plan that could help them increase thelikelihood of success in a regional manager role.2. To provide participants with action-learning assignments that would help them increasetheir understanding of the business while also contributing to the development ofpractical solutions to address significant business issues they worked on.3. To give participants the opportunity to build relationships with peers from across theorganization.4. To demonstrate the power of action learning as a model to accelerate the developmentof leaders.The goals of this program acknowledge some key VUCA Prime skills and abilities,including self-awareness, knowledge of the business beyond the functional area,innovative and critical-thinking skills, collaboration, and the importance of rapid learningwithin the organization.Source: Intagliata Small, 2005.Example: McDonald’s
  10. 10. 10 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comStep 1: Hire Agile Leaders.Horney, Pasmore, and O’Shea (2011) recommend thatHR and talent management professionals assess agilityand complex thinking skills during the selection processby using a structured interview format designed to evokefrom the examples of past agility on the job.Some sample questions they recommend include:• Give an example of when you performed well in awork environment that featured rapid change and/orambiguity. Did you enjoy this environment? What didyou learn?• Give an example of when your ability to be decisivewas put to the test—when you had to convey a senseof urgency in decision making. What was the situation,what factors did you consider when making thedecision, and what was the outcome?• How do you determine when you need to gather moreinformation before making a decision versus making adecision based on the information you have at hand?Give recent examples of when you made a quickdecision based on the information you had immediatelyavailable and a situation where you opted to collectmore information before making a decision. Whichdecision-making style was more comfortable for youand why?• Give an example of when you modified your personalstyle to achieve an important work objective. What wasthe situation, how did you change your approach, andwhat was the outcome?HR and talent management professionals can formulateother questions that can assess a candidate’s strategicthinking skills, self-awareness, openness to change, abilityto collaborate and communicate across functions, andother skills required in a VUCA environment. The key isto attract leaders into the organization who already havethese skills and abilities.Step 2: Develop Existing Leaders toBe Agile Leaders.On-the-job training, job assignments, coaching, andmentoring will still have a place in the training anddevelopment of employees, but to develop VUCAleaders, HR and talent development professionals mustfocus on programs that help develop agility, adaptability,innovation, collaboration, communication, openness tochange, and other, higher-order critical thinking skills.And they need to deliver those programs faster (via socialmedia and other technology) to keep up with the paceof change. (For additional insights on using technologyto deliver LD programs, refer to the UNC ExecutiveDevelopment white paper: Wired to Learn: How NewTechnologies are Changing LD Delivery.)Horney, Pasmore, and O’Shea recommend that HR andtalent management professionals engage in scenarioplanning about possible futures when developingleadership programs. Scenario planning about futuresinvolves projecting possible situations and deciding howthe organization would or would not react. Scenarioplanning can help identify the knowledge, skills, and
  11. 11. DEVELOPING LEADERS IN A VUCA ENVIRONMENT11other attributes leaders may need in future businessenvironments.Leadership development programs based on VUCAprinciples can also include scenario training whereparticipants can anticipate possible future challenges anddevise possible solutions. This can make leaders moreconfident when they actually encounter a new situation.Scenario training should be conducted frequently so thatreactions become part of the leader’s “muscle memory.”(Sullivan, 2012 January 16).Simulations are also powerful learning tools whendeveloping VUCA leaders because they give participantsa chance to practice skills in a safe, non-threateningenvironment. Simulations can range from classroomrole plays, to day-in-the-life assessment centers, tovirtual simulations. Simulations can also help leadersassess their strengths and weaknesses, making themmore aware of their own skills and gaps (Lanik Eurick,2012). Simulations are appealing across generations, butthey have particular appeal to younger high potentials.This generation has learned many of the desired VUCAleadership skills by playing video games.To develop collaboration and to encourage thinkingoutside the box, HR and talent managers should alsoconsider the use of job rotation to help leaders thinkbeyond their functional areas.HR and talent development professionals who can fosteradaptability, innovation, and agility in their leaders willrealize tangible rewards. The Adaptive Advantage Indexdeveloped by BCG measures how well organizationsadapt to turbulence. They calculated the adaptabilityscores for 2,500 companies in the United States over a30-year period and found that the ability to adapt createsvalue over the short and long-term (Reeves Love, 2012).In 2010, Supply Chain Quarterly staff reported that consumer goods giant Procter Gamble (PG) was revising its supply chain to reflect changes it expects in aVUCA world. Global Product Supply Officer R. Keith Harrison reported on thesteps the company was taking to ensure that the company’s supply chain couldaccommodate the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of today’s businessworlds. “VUCA is the reality for the foreseeable future, and it affects how we thinkabout supply chains and design,” he told attendees at the 2010 Supply Chain andLogistics conference (Supply Chain Quarterly staff, 2010).PG has applied the VUCA concept beyond its supply chain. During a visit withstudents at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, PG CEOBob McDonald discussed values-based leadership in an increasingly VUCA world.During the speech, he shared his ten rules of successful leadership, among them: Rule #7: Ineffective strategies, systems, and cultures are bigger barriersto achievement than the talents of people. Recruiting and training are toppriorities. Rule # 9: Organizations must renew themselves. Only nine of the originalFortune 50 companies are still on the list today. The majority of successful companiesdon’t realize that the world is changing around them. What differentiates thosewho succeed from those who don’t is the ability to learn.Source: Knight, 2011.Example: Procter Gamble
  12. 12. 12 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comApollo Research Institute staff (2012March). The VUCA world: From building forstrength to building for resiliency. ApolloResearch Institute. Retrieved from default/files/future-of-work-report-the-vuca-world.pdf.Caron, D. (2009 February 08). It’s a VUCAworld. CIPS. Retrieved from, A. (2012 October 14). In a VUCAworld, Unilever bets on “sustainable living”as a transformative business model. Forbes.Retrieved from staff (2010). Speed in a VUCA world:How leaders of the future will executestrategy. Forum. Retrieved from, N., Pasmore, B. O’Shea, T. (2010).Leadership agility: A business imperative for aVUCA world. People Strategy, 33, 4.Intagliata, J. Small, D. (2005). McDonald’sCorporation: A Customized LeadershipDevelopment Program Targeted to PrepareFuture Regional Managers. Best PracticeChampions in Organization Developmentand Change (Eds. Lou Carter, Dave Ulrich,Marshall Goldsmith and Jim Bolt), JosseyBass.Kingsinger, P. Walch, K. (2012 July9). Living and leading in a VUCA world.Thunderbird University. Retrieved from, E. (2010 December 3). Leadingeffectively in a VUCA environment: C is forcomplexity. HBR Blog Network. Retrievedfrom, E. (2011 January 6). Leading effectivelyin a VUCA environment: A is for ambiguity.HBR Blog Network. Retrieved from, S. Strecker, G. (2012September 20). Leading learning in VUCAtimes: How does a volatile uncertain complexambiguous context impact strategy? ChiefLearning Officer. Retrieved from, B. (2011 September 7). PG CEOBob McDonald on values-based Retrieved from, M. Eurich, T. (2012 June 28).Simulate leadership for success. ChiefLearning Officer. Retrieved from Education Group staff(2011 November 1). It’s a VUCAWorld. Management EducationGroups, Inc. Retrieved from, N. (2011 December). Future Trends inLeadership Development. Greensboro, NC:Center for Creative Leadership.Reeves, M. Love, C. (2012 August 21).The most adaptive companies 2012. Bcg.perspectives. Retrieved from management_future_of_strategy_most_adaptive_companies_2012/.Sullivan, J. (2012 January 16). VUCA: Thenew normal for talent management andworkforce planning. Retrieved from, J. (2012 October 22). Talentstrategies for a turbulent VUCA world—shifting to an adaptive approach. Retrieved from Chain Quarterly staff (2010December 20). PG readies its supplychain for a “VUCA” world. Supply ChainQuarterly. Retrieved from staff (n.d.). Navigationskills for thriving in “VUCA” times. Wisdomat Work. Retrieved from volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguityinherent in today’s business world is the “new normal”,and it is profoundly changing not only how organizationsdo business, but how business leaders lead. The skills andabilities leaders once needed to help their organizationsthrive are no longer sufficient. Today, more strategic,V UC Acomplex critical-thinking skills are required of businessleaders. HR and talent management professionalscan help their organizations succeed in today’s VUCAenvironment by developing leaders who can countervolatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity withvision, understanding, clarity, and agility.Step 3: Foster an OrganizationalCulture that Rewards VUCA PrimeBehaviors and Retains Agile Employees.To survive in a VUCA world, organizations must do morethan hire and develop agile leaders; they must create anorganizational culture that rewards the desired behavior.HR and talent management professionals can play anintegral role in developing a VUCA culture by rewardinginnovation, agile behavior, and calculated risk-taking.Performance management systems should reflect VUCAPrime values and attributes.Rewards for desired behaviors could include differentincentives including job perks, additional compensation,promotions, and preferred work assignments. A key to thebest rewards systems in a VUCA environment is to not berigid and to offer successful leaders rewards that appeal tothem the most—in other words, be adaptable and agile.The organizational culture that promotes and rewards agileleaders will begin to perpetuate itself and attract and retainthe type of innovative and agile talent that businesses todayare seeking. It will also provide businesses a competitiveadvantage in our ever-changing global marketplace—whichis the ultimate VUCA environment.
  13. 13. 13To learn more, visit UNC’s Executive Development Institute,you’ll gain the core knowledge of an MBA programwithout the long-term time commitment. You’llalso learn how to view the business world from asenior executive’s perspective. And you’ll develop thekey leadership characteristics that lead to effectivestrategic performance. The result? In two weeks,you’ll be fully prepared for that next step.If you’re ready to take thenext step in your career,make a quick trip back tothe classroom first.If you’re ready to take thenext step in your career,make a quick trip back tothe classroom first.If you’re ready to take thenext step in your career,make a quick trip back tothe classroom first.UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENTThe Power of Experience.E X E C U T I V E D E V E L O P M E N T I N S T I T U T EIf you’re ready to take thenext step in your career,make a quick trip back tothe classroom first.
  14. 14. 14 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comGot Game?The Use of Gaming inLearning and DevelopmentKip KellyDirectorUNC Executive Development
  15. 15. G A M I N G I N L E A R N I N G A N D D E V E L O P M E N T15IntroductionThe first patented video game, the “Cathode RayTube Amusement Device,” is celebrating its 65thbirthday this year (Gettler, n.d.). This may come as asurprise to many, because people usually place thebirth of video games in the 1970s or 1980s, whencoin-operated video games became a mainstay inarcades, and the first game consoles appeared inAmerican homes.Video games—and the people who play them—havechanged dramatically since 1948. Generations ofgamers have grown up and entered the workplace,and video games have made the same transition,extending their influence into companies aroundthe globe. Many organizations are increasingly usinggaming technology in their learning and developmentprograms to help build the next generation ofbusiness leaders.PromiseThis white paper:• Explores the popularity of video games and thecharacteristics of the people who play them.• Reviews different types of games and defines somevideo game terminology.• Discusses how serious games can be used todevelop organizational talent.• Provides examples of companies using seriousgames to develop skills and behaviors.• Examines the future of serious games in learningand development.Games Are Big BusinessVideo games today are ubiquitous. Just about everyelectronic device with a screen–TVs, PCs, tablets, andsmart phones–have games installed and ready to play,and people are taking advantage of their accessibility.A recent study by the NPD Group, a market trackingGaming Terms DefinedGame: A competitive activity that involves skill,chance, or endurance.Video game: A game played by electronicallymanipulating images produced by a computerprogram on a television screen or display.Simulation game: A game that attempts torepresent real or hypothetical processes, mechanisms,or systems.Serious game: Computer or video games designedfor a primary purpose other than pure entertainment;often designed for the purpose of education and/orsolving a problem.Alternate reality game: An interactive game thatuses the real world as a platform, often involvingmultiple media to tell a story.MMORPGs: Massively multi-player online role-playing games.firm, found that 211.5 million—or two-thirds—ofAmericans play video games (Boorstin, 2012).Americans aren’t just playing the free, preloadedgames; they are buying them in droves. Accordingto the Entertainment Software Association (ESA),consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games in2011 (ESA staff, 2012).Puzzle games, board games, trivia, and card gamesare the most commonly played games (42 percent),but 25 percent of gamers also play action, sports,strategy, and role-playing games. The ESA also foundthat 62 percent of gamers play with others, eitherin-person or online, and most do so for at least anhour a week.Online simulation (sim) games have also grown inpopularity, thanks in large part to the explosionof social media. Facebook, for example, boastsmore than 100 sim games, among them Farmville2, Airport City, and FrontierVille. These popularsim games were designed to entertain but have
  16. 16. 16 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.coman educational component and are sometimes callededutainment games. In Farmville 2, for example, playerscreate and manage their own farms; in Airport City,gamers manage a busy city airport; and in FrontierVille,players “tame the wilderness and build a town.”As video games grow in popularity and sophistication,an increasing number of organizations and governmentagencies have embraced them to support learning anddevelopment efforts. A recent ESA study found that 70percent of major U.S. employers use interactive software andgames for LD purposes, and nearly eight out of 10 U.S.employers plan on doing so in 2013 (Steinberg, 2012).Who Plays Video Games?Video games have changed and matured over the years,and so have users. The average game player today is 30years old. Sixty-eight percent of gamers are 18 years ofage or older, and 37 percent are over the age of 35. Justover half of gamers are men, according to the ESA, butwomen gamers are gaining fast. Forty-seven percent ofall players are women, and women over the age of 18are one of the industry’s fastest growing demographics.In fact, women now represent a significantly largerportion of the game-playing population (30 percent)than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent). Perhaps themost interesting characteristic of gamers is that theaverage adult gamer has been playing video games for14 years. That’s a lot of game time.What’s in a Game?There are three types of video games: casual games,advergames, and serious games.Casual games are intended for entertainment purposesand can include everything from the solitaire gamethat comes pre-loaded on most computers to complexmulti-player games like Uncharted, Call of Duty: ModernWarfare 3, and Battlefield 3. These games are availablein a number of formats, including PC, game console, andmobile. Although learning can occur when playing casualgames, it is not an intended outcome (Derryberry, 2007).Advergames are games designed to advertise a product,organization, or cause (Derryberry, 2007). There are severaltypes of advergames, but the goal is to promote a brandor organization while providing fun and entertainment.Serious games are video games designed to improvelearning, and players engage in serious games withthat understanding (Derryberry, 2007). Also knownas immersive learning simulations, digital game-basedlearning, and gaming simulations, serious games aredeveloped with specific learning outcomes in mindthat will result in measurable, sustained changes inperformance or behavior. Serious games have been usedin emergency services training, military training, andhealth care settings to positive effect (Derryberry, 2007).According to Sue Bohle, executive director of the SeriousGames Association, industry estimates range from $2-10billion in revenue for serious games, depending on howmuch simulations and virtual worlds are included in thecalculation (Maurer, 2012).32%31%37%Less than 18 years of age18-35 years of age36 years of age and olderWho’s PlayingSource: Entertainment Software Association (2012).
  17. 17. G A M I N G I N L E A R N I N G A N D D E V E L O P M E N T17Serious Games in Learningand DevelopmentSerious games can allow players to apply what theyhave learned in an LD experience and apply it in asafe, simulated environment. For example, health careprofessionals can practice a new medical procedureusing a serious sim game before introducing it in theworkplace. There is also evidence that serious gamescan develop soft skills like emotional intelligence,communication management, and critical problemsolving and collaboration skills (Marinho, 2012).Some LD professionals argue that video games can helpdevelop the leadership skills that organizations will needin the future. Tomorrow’s workplace will be global, faster-paced, competitive, and more virtual than ever before.Online games, specifically massively multiplayer onlinerole-playing games (MMORPGs), “offer a glimpse at howleaders develop and operate in environments that arehighly distributed, global, hyper-competitive, and virtual.”(IBM Seriosity staff, 2007).There have been several studies conducted on learningand serious games, and results are encouraging. Arecent study by the Office of Naval Research found thatvideo game players performed 10-20 percent better inperceptual and cognitive ability than non-game players,and that video games helped adults process informationfaster (Steinberg, 2012). Another study by the Federationof American Scientists found that students rememberedonly 10 percent of what they read; 20 percent of whatthey heard; 30 percent if they used visuals relatedto what they heard; and 50 percent if they watchedsomeone performing a task while explaining it. Studentsremembered 90 percent of what they learned, however,if they did the task themselves, even if it was as asimulation (IBM staff, n.d.).A recent study reported in Personnel Psychology(Sitzmann, 2011) found that trainees using serioussimulation games had improved post-training efficacy(20 percent), higher declarative knowledge (11 percent),improved procedural knowledge (14 percent), and betterretention (9 percent) than trainees in a non-simulationcomparison group. The study also found that traineesin the simulation control group learned more when thegame was used as a supplement to other instructionalmethods, rather than as stand-alone instruction.In contrast, a study by Adams, Mayer, MacNamara,Koenig, and Wainess (2012) found that narrativeeducational games resulted in poorer learning and tooklonger to complete than simply showing content on aslide. Ruth Clarke, an instructional design and technicaltraining consultant, gave a possible explanation in arecent American Society for Training Developmentarticle exploring the results of the study. Clarkespeculates that the reason for this lack of learning maybe because some game features are at odds with thegame’s learning objectives. For example, many gamestime players, requiring them to complete tasks within acertain timeframe.Gamification ExplainedGamification is the use of gaming techniques, game thinking, and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts. Gaming techniques like questing, badging, and leader boards have been incorporated intoworkplace practices such as the onboarding process, career development, and performance evaluations. Itshould be noted that gamification techniques do not have to be rooted in technology. For example, leaderboards can be visual aids posted in a department to motivate and inform workers about departmental goalachievement (such as sales). Gamification practices are particularly appealing to the Millennial generationwho have grown up playing games that send them on quests, award them with badges, and post theirachievements on leader boards, but the fundamental human need for recognition spans generations.Gamification can help fill that need and increase employee morale, retention, and job satisfaction.Source: Pitt, 2012.
  18. 18. 18 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comFor learning outcomes that are based on critical thinkingskills, Clarke argues, timed games that reinforce speed arenot a good match (Clarke, 2012). She recommends thatHR and talent development professionals stick to seriousgames that emphasize drill and practice exercises for tasksthat require immediate and accurate responses.The Federation of American Scientists, however, believesthat serious games can have a broader LD applicationand can teach higher-order thinking skills such asstrategic thinking, interpretive analysis, problem solving,plan formulation and execution, and the ability to adaptto rapid change—skills U.S. employers increasingly lookfor in workers and new workforce entrants (Steinberg,2012). A Harvard Business Review study concurs. Thestudy, which focused on the leadership skills taughtthrough the immensely popular video game, World ofWarcraft, concluded that the game gave participantsa sneak peek into tomorrow’s workplace. The game’senvironment features fluid workforces, self-organizedand collaborative work activities, and decentralized,nonhierarchical leadership; all features that will beprevalent in tomorrow’s business world. The game alsoallows for risk-taking and teaches participants how towork quickly and efficiently (Marinho, 2012).MMORPGs can also help develop other desirableleadership skills. MMORPGs can closely match actual workenvironments and can be developed in such a way thatthe skills required to succeed in the game are similar toleadership skills employers want to see developed. Thesegames can bring together millions of gamers who playthe game through the use of avatars. Players interact witheach other, form relationships, and join guilds (or teams)to collaboratively resolve missions (Melchor, 2012).“MMORPGs mirror the business context more than youwould assume,” says Byron Reeve, Ph.D., professor atStanford University and faculty director of the StanfordMedia X Partners Program. “They presage one possiblefuture for business—one that is open, virtual, knowledge-driven, and comprised of a largely volunteer or at leasttransient workforce.” (IBM Seriosity staff, 2007).MMORPGs require cooperation and collaboration amongmany players to achieve a mission, and as such, can helpteach such business skills as recruiting, organizing, andmotivating and directing others to accomplish a sharedgoal in a safe environment where risk-taking, criticalthinking, and creative problem solving is encouraged(Melchor, 2012).Innovation Games®creates online and in-person games to help organizations solve problemsacross the enterprise – in sales, corporate strategy, product development, and marketing– by usingcollaborative play to tap into new innovation. They offer games designed to help organizationsgain a better understanding of their key stakeholders inside and outside the organization.Source: Innovation Games, n.d.Innovation Games®Organizations Are Serious About GamesSerious games are increasingly being used by large U.S.employers to recruit, improve communication amongmanagers and their staffs, and to train employees andnew hires at all levels in their organizations (Derryberry,2007). The U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S.Army, Nortel, Cold Stone Creamery, McKinsey Co.,SAS Institute, and Digital Equipment are just a feworganizations using serious games in their workplaces(Derryberry, 2007; Maurer, 2012; Steinberg, 2012).
  19. 19. G A M I N G I N L E A R N I N G A N D D E V E L O P M E N T19IBM and Farmers Insurance have used the IBM-developedserious game, INNOV8, to teach the effect of businessdecisions on their organizations’ ecosystems. INNOV8 isa sim-style serious game where players manipulate theirbusiness models to make their cities less congested, theirsupply chains more effective, and their customers happier(IBM staff, n.d.).Northrop Grumman has also developed several seriousgames for use in development and recruitment. Theaward-winning Quality Tycoon game teaches playersthe effect that quality and ethical integrity have onbusiness opportunities. Northrop Grumman’s Virtual JetWorks introduces students to engineering concepts andis demonstrated at college recruitment fairs (SeriousGames Market staff, 2011). Cisco’s The Cisco MindShare Game facilitates network certification. UltimateTeam Play is used by the Hilton Garden Inn to teachemployees customer service skills (Steinberg, 2012). AndDublin-based Front Square teamed with Serious GamesInternational to develop Teddy’s Chocco Shop, a gamethat teaches employees the basics of lean manufacturing(Marinho, 2012).The U.S. Army was an early adopter of serious games.In fact, they are credited with coining the term “seriousgame.” The Army first released America’s Army in 2002and updates the game every three to four months.Game versions include America’s Army: Special Forcesand America’s Army: Overmatch. The Army also gainedrecognition from the Serious Games Market with FirstPerson Cultural Trainer (FPCT), a 3-D cultural trainingsimulation. The game places players in an unfamiliarcommunity where they don’t know how members ofthe community feel about them or who the communityleaders are. The game’s goals are to have players movethrough the community, learn social structures and issues,and then work with the community to affect missions.“FPCT challenges the Army’s junior leaders to understandthe consequences, good and bad, of their speech, bodylanguage, posture, temperament, and action,” saysBen Jordan, director of TRISA’s Operational EnvironmentLab, the Army’s lead for the project. “It even replicatesphysical micro-expressions, which users learn to identifyas possible cues for threatening or non-threateningbehaviors.” (Roth, 2011).Generating New Insightsand Solving ProblemsSerious games can be an effective method to developtalent in an organization. They can also serve as avaluable information source for employers. Serious gamescan yield insights that organizations can use to assessperformance, identify patterns, and predict behaviorsin situations that may occur in the real world. LDdevelopment professionals can use these insights to gaina better understanding of individual and organizationalcapabilities and to identify potential gaps.Serious games can also serve as a source for newideas, helping organizations become more innovative.Organizations are using serious games to tap into theknowledge and experience of the entire organization,and in some cases, beyond the organization to“crowd-source” new ideas. According to informationtechnology research firm, Gartner, Inc., more than halfof organizations that manage innovation processes willgamify those processes by 2015.Organizations can also use serious games to analyzethe abundance of data (such as operational, customer,and sales data) that organizations collect from varioussources. Serious games can give employees access toreal-world, real-time “Big Data” to make decisions andexperiment in virtual environments without the risksand consequences that they would face in the “realworld”. As players engage and interact in the virtualenvironment, both the players and the game becomemore sophisticated. In other words, the system gets“smarter” while the constant stream of new, real-timedata continues to change the dynamics of the game.Many organizations are already using serious games togain new insights and solve real business challenges -and there are some who believe serious games have thepotential to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.There are already games designed to fight AIDS, globalpoverty, water scarcity, and climate change. Many ofthese games are available online from anywhere in theworld, empowering people from all over to come up withcreative solutions to our most urgent social problems.
  20. 20. 20 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comBoinodiris, P. (2011 December 14). Let’s play!Turning serious business issues into games.Forbes. Retrieved from, J. (2012 September 5). Fewerpeople now playing videogames. CNBC.Retrieved from staff (2012 August 23). Spendon serious games growing steadily. Now amulti-billion dollar industry. BusinessWire.Retrieved from, R. (2012 April 30). Why gamesdon’t teach. American Society for Trainingand Development. Retrieved from, A. (2007). Serious games: Onlinegames for learning. Adobe. Retrieved from staff (2012). Essential facts aboutthe computer and video game industry.Entertainment Software Association.Retrieved from, J. (2011 July 11). From theresearch: Myths worth dispelling: Seriously,the game is up. Performance ImprovementQuarterly, 24, 2, 105-110.Foldit staff (n.d.). The science behind Foldit.foldit. Retrieved from, M.T. (2011 May 9). Gameplay in highereducation: The use of serious games vs.traditional instructional methods in learning.Auburn University. Retrieved from, J. (n.d.). The first video game?Brookhaven National Laboratory. Retrievedfrom, A. (2012 September 23).Increase salesforce productivity withBunchball gamification. Examiner. Retrievedfrom and Seriousity staff (2007). Virtualworlds real leaders: Online games put thefuture of business leadership on display.Global Innovation Outlook. Retrieved from staff (n.d.). Serious games for smarterskills: The future of learning. IBM. Retrievedfrom Games staff (n.d.). Theseriously fun way to do work—seriously!.Innovation Games. Retrieved from, N. (2012 June 23). Corporationslook to serious games for organizationaldevelopment. e27. Retrieved from, A. (2012 October 10). Serious gamesinvade the military, medical and corporateworlds. Tech Journal. Retrieved from, A. (2012 July 03). Computer gamesfor leadership development. Slideshare.Retrieved from, R. (2012 September 18). Usinggamification to motivate Millennials. SHRMOnline. Retrieved from, M. (2011 December 8). TRADOC-sponsored simulation wins Serious GamesChallenge. U.S. Army. Retrieved from Games Market staff (2011December 26). Zooming in on 2011 SeriousGames Showcase and Challenge. SeriousGames Market. Retrieved from, T. (2011 May 27). A meta-analyticexamination of the instructional effectivenessof computer-based simulation games.Personnel Psychology, 64, 2, 489-528.Steinberg, S. (2012 March 13). Video gamesare tomorrow’s answer to executive training.Fast Company. Retrieved from games have been around for years, growing inpopularity and sophistication. Most of today’s workersgrew up playing these games, so it comes as nosurprise that organizations have started to use gamingtechnology in new and exciting ways–including talentdevelopment. Well-crafted serious games are used todevelop and reinforce skills and competencies. They canbe used to safely practice tasks that require rapid andaccurate responses, but their potential applications aremuch broader. Serious games can closely approximateactual working environments, while allowing playersan opportunity to safely take risks, develop teamworkskills, creatively problem solve and collaborate, and toexperiment and innovate.FoldItFoldit, an online puzzle video game developed by the Center for Game Science at the University of Washingtonin collaboration with the University’s Department of Biochemistry, encourages players to try to solve one ofthe hardest computational problems in biology, protein folding. Players try random combinations for foldingproteins into different shapes. In 2011, players were credited with helping discover an enzyme involved in thereproduction of AIDS, opening the potential for development of new drugs to fight the disease. Scientists hadpreviously pursued the creation of this enzyme for years but failed to find the right protein structure throughother techniques, such as computer simulations. Guided by intuition and reasoning that computers can’t match,the players successfully configured the structure of the enzyme in 10 days.Source: FoldIt staff, n.d.
  21. 21. 21UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENTThe Power of Experience.To learn more, visit U S I N E S S A N D H U M A N R E S O U R C E SLead yourHR organizationinto the future.Lead yourHR organizationinto the future.Lead yourHR organizationinto the future.Now more than ever, senior HR leaders need the knowledge,skills, and experience to respond to emerging trends that areshaping the future of global business. Offered in partnershipwith the Society for Human Resource Management(SHRM), UNC’s Business and Human Resources programis designed to equip senior HR leaders with the mostup-to-date business knowledge and skills needed to succeedin the rapidly changing business environment today -and tomorrow.• Earn 29.75 recertification hours• Meets the HRCI strategicrequirements for SPHR®
  22. 22. Building a ResilientOrganizational CultureMarion WhiteDirectorUNC Executive Development22 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit
  23. 23. R E S I L I E N C E I N T H E W O R K P L A C E23IntroductionA 2012 Towers Watson study found that in mostorganizations, only 35 percent of employees said theywere engaged. In other words, 65 percent of employeeshave mentally checked out, causing productivity,innovation, and creativity to plummet. The study alsofound that 38 percent of employees felt stress andanxiety about the future, and that less than half of theemployees surveyed agreed that senior leaders had asincere interest in their well-being.While this is never good news for employers, the timingcould not be more critical as organizations across theglobe continue to struggle to survive. An uncertaineconomic outlook, the rapid pace of change, and theneed to continually adapt has made resilience—theability to bounce back in the face of a setback—the newpriority in leadership development. The good news is thatresilience can be taught.PromiseThis white paper:• Explores why resilience is more important than everfor organizations to cultivate.• Explains the difference between wellness programsand building a resilience culture.• Discusses why resilience should be cultivated, notjust at the senior leadership level, but at all levels inan organization.• Offers steps HR and talent managers can take todevelop resilient organizational cultures.• Provides examples of organizations that haveengaged in a resilience initiative and the benefitsthey realized as a result.Resilience Is CrucialThought leaders are increasingly calling today’s turbulentbusiness world a “VUCA” environment—one that isvolatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. To succeedin this environment, organizations must be more adaptiveand agile than ever before—they must be resilient.Organizations that lack resilience, that ability to bounceback after setbacks, are often stressful places to work,a situation in which far too many employers andemployees are well versed.Stress lowers employee performance, productivity,morale, and strains workplace relationships. Peopleexperiencing excessive stress have difficulty managingemotions, focusing attention, making decisions, andthinking clearly (Spangler, Koesten, Fox and Radel, 2012).Stress is also associated with heart disease, cancer,pain, and depression (Spangler et al, 2012). Stressedemployees feel overwhelmed, tired, and disengaged.Resilient employees, on the other hand, experienceincreased productivity, lower turnover, and have lowerhealth care costs (Lee, 2008). A growing body ofresearch shows that organizations that foster positiveattitudes have employees who are more optimistic andcreative (Kolski-Andreaco, 2012). Resilient employeesare engaged, have improved communication, andare better team players.5%10%15%20%25%30%How Engagement AffectsFinancial ResultsSame year operating margin: Study of 50 global companiesLowtraditionalengagementcompaniesHightraditionalengagementcompaniesHighsustainableengagementcompaniesSource: Towers Watson normative database 2012.9.914.327.4
  24. 24. 24 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comResilience Requires a Culture ChangeTo create a culture that fosters resilience, HR and talentmanagement professionals must do more than offer stressmanagement and yoga classes, although these can anddo have a beneficial role. It requires the developmentof an organizational culture that encourages trust,accountability, and flexibility.Resilient organizational cultures give all employees—from the CEO down—permission to take care of theirphysical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs with theunderstanding that when these needs are tended to,resilience occurs, and the entire organization benefitsthrough increased productivity, job performance,retention, engagement, and physical well-being.The Towers Watson study recommends that employersstrive for “sustainable engagement” by creating policiesand practices that make it possible for employees tobetter manage their stress, to live more balanced lives,and to have more autonomy over when and where theyget their work done.Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, agrees withthe Towers Watson recommendations. “The key factor is awork environment that more fully energizes employees bypromoting their physical, emotional, and social well-being.I’d add to that mental and spiritual well-being—or morespecifically, the added energy derived from the capacityfor absorbed focus and a strong sense of purpose.”Creating policies and practices that support employees’ability to manage their energy across all four dimensionsmakes it possible for employees to better manage theirstress, to live more balanced lives, and to have moreautonomy over when and where they get their workdone.“For organizations, the challenge is to shift from theirtraditional focus on getting more out of people, toinvesting in meeting people’s core needs so they’re freed,fueled, and inspired to bring more of themselves to work,more sustainably,” says Schwartz.According to Spangler et al, research has found that somepeople are more resilient than others. These people canbounce back from setbacks faster than others, are moreadaptive, and demonstrate a secure emotional attachmentto others. They have a good sense of humor, are moreaction-oriented, have a sense of personal competence,take time for personal replenishment, and can expressneeds and engage the support of others.Perhaps most importantly, the authors conclude, researchfinds that individual resilience is modifiable; it can belearned, giving HR and talent management professionalsan opportunity to teach resilience at the individual andorganizational levels.PHYSICAL MENTAL EMOTIONAL SPIRITUAL
  25. 25. R E S I L I E N C E I N T H E W O R K P L A C E251. Obtain senior leadership support.Resilient cultures begin with leaders who understandand support building resilience at the individual andorganizational level. To obtain senior leader buy-in, HRand talent management professionals can share researchsuch as the Towers Watson Global Workforce Study andthis white paper with top management. They can explainhow resilient employees are happier, more productive,and more agile than their less resilient counterparts.Senior leadership support for an organization-wideresilience initiative may be easier to obtain if it isexposed to leadership development opportunities (suchThe Energy Project aims to energize people and transform companies by offering a detailedblueprint for fueling a fully engaged workforce. Drawing on the multidisciplinary scienceof high performance, The Energy Project has developed a set of simple principles andhighly actionable practices for more effectively managing energy to drive higher levels ofengagement, productivity, and innovation in people, leaders, and organizations.HR and talent management professionals can find out if they are currently managing theirfour sources of energy: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual by taking The EnergyProject’s 20-question assessment, The Energy Audit. Results will be emailed immediately andwill include behaviors that should be addressed to improve performance, effectiveness, andsatisfaction, on the job and off. The audit link and results can be shared with team membersfor comparison and team-building purposes.© The Energy Project 2013.About The Energy ProjectSteps HR Can Take to Introduce Resilience into TheirOrganizations’ Culturesas stress management classes) that specifically targetresilience-building. Developing resilient leaders will helpthem better grasp and support the benefits of buildingresilience at all organizational levels.2. Build safe and secure workcommunities.The workplace is often strained, stressful, andoverwhelming. Employees have been taught to checktheir feelings at the door to focus on their work—to“compartmentalize” their personal and professional
  26. 26. 26 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comCommunity leaders should not accept “fine” or “good”for an answer to the first question. Instead, they shouldencourage community members to answer on a scaleof one to 10 emotionally and physically, one beingcompletely exhausted or drained and 10 being completelyenergized and fueled. The idea is to encourage employeesto be honest and open about how they are feelingphysically and emotionally—to get it on the table so it canbe subsequently cleared.The next questions, “What was the most important thingyou learned last week,” and “What are your goals forthis week,” help employees focus and clear their minds.“What are you most grateful for” helps set a positivemood among individuals and eventually the entire group.If community leaders are afraid that asking all of thesequestions will take up too much time, they should beencouraged to stick with asking employees how they arefeeling and what they are most grateful for.Asking these questions during community meetingsnot only give employees strength and focus, but buildsteam cohesiveness by delaying the need for immediategratification in favor of choices that uphold shared values,serve the collective good, and generate long-term value.PricewaterhouseCoopers, a leader in the accounting industry, offers newlypromoted senior associates a week-long leadership development program knownas the PricewaterhouseCoopers Discover program. The program immersesparticipants in The Energy Project’s peoplefuel program. The peoplefuel curriculumteaches employees how to more efficiently manage their four sources of energy;physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. As participants progress through four modulesdivided by energy source, they learn to recognize the costs of the behaviors that deplete theirenergy, reduce their emotional resilience, inhibit their focus, and weaken their motivation.This program has helped the company engage their rising stars in ways that promotesustainable growth in the organization, while also investing in employees who will, in turn,invest in the organization.© The Energy Project 2013.Example: PricewaterhouseCoopersselves. As human beings, that is simply an impossibility;employees cannot leave their emotions and personalitiesat home. By building work communities that are safe andsecure, yet also encouraging and stimulating, HR andtalent management professionals can also create teamsthat are more productive, satisfied, and high-performing.It is important to establish safe and secure communitiesand acknowledge, according to Schwartz, that the“struggle to feel valued is one of the most insidiousand least acknowledged issues in organizations.” HRand talent management professionals can challenge thementality that employees should check their feelings atthe door and begin that vital shift of building a resilientorganizational culture.One simple way to create that shift is to implementcommunity meetings (Schwartz, 2013). Each time acommunity meets—whether it is a team, a smallerworking group or an entire division— the communityleader should open with a few simple questions:• How are you feeling?• What was the most important thing you learnedlast week?• What are your goals for this week?• What are you most grateful for?
  27. 27. R E S I L I E N C E I N T H E W O R K P L A C E273. Encourage all employees—from the CEO down—to embrace these tips toincrease energy and productivity.• Encourage employees to do the most important activityfirst thing in the morning for a designated time of nolonger than 90 minutes and then take a break. Silenceall digital devices. Employees who can do this will findthat they will get more accomplished in that time thanmost people do in an entire day.• Encourage employees to keep a running list ofeverything that is on their minds so they can get it offtheir minds. Working memories have a limited capacity,so the more things on one’s mind, the less likely thatthey will be remembered. Encourage employees todownload everything—the “to do’s,” ideas, everyonewho needs to be called or emailed, issues that need tobe addressed. By writing down everything as it arises,employees will literally clear space in their workingmemories, leaving room for what most deserves theirattention.• Ask employees to ask themselves “Is this the best useof my time?” every time they go online. Sometimes, ofcourse, it will be. More often, though, it is somethingpeople do to avoid engaging in more difficult work. Ifthe answer is no, ask “What is?” Then do it.• Encourage employees to systematically train theirattention. A simple way is to read more books,preferably good ones. Deeply focused, uninterruptedreading is an excellent way to train and sustain thebrain’s capacity for absorbed attention.• Encourage employees to take a few minutes eachday—either just before they leave work or just beforethey go to sleep—to identify and write down the twoor three most important things they want to accomplishtomorrow, and when they intend to work on them.• Encourage employees to monitor their moods. Whendemand exceeds capacity, one of the most commonsigns is increased negative emotions. The moreemployees move into “fight or flight” mode, themore reactive and impulsive they become, and theless reflective and responsive. If employees are feelingnegative, encourage them to ask themselves “Why amI feeling this way, and what can I do to make myselffeel better?” They may be hungry, tired, overwhelmed,or feel threatened in some way. Awareness is the firststep. Employees can’t change what they don’t notice(Schwartz, various).
  28. 28. 28 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comGenentech has a rich history of medical breakthroughs and cutting-edge science. As the world’s first biotechnology company, todayGenentech develops and manufactures medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. Despite numerous products on the market, a greatbrand and reputation, and strong HR practices, Genentech found itself in a challengingenvironment after a merger with the biotechnology company, Roche.In March 2011, Dave Dickey, director of leadership development, asked The Energy Projectto run a program for his staff to address his team’s high levels of burnout and emotionalfatigue surrounding the merger. He recognized that it was not just an HR issue, butreflected the growing need for a solution to address people’s capacity and an alternativeway of working. In addition to stress and burnout, the company was dealing withunclear priorities, competing agendas, cost-cutting measures, and low levels of employeeengagement typical after a merger or acquisition.By the end of 2012, more than 1,000 Genentech employees had participated in The EnergyProject program, and seven more courses are scheduled for 2013. Employees at all levels ofthe company report that they are taking more time for renewal and being more proactiveabout the choices they make.Genentech leaders are also implementing policies suggested by The Energy Project designedto better fuel their people’s energy. Examples include:• Shorter meetings with fixed boundaries, leaving people more time to move aroundcampus and to complete their most important tasks• Non-negotiable breaks at the 90-minute mark during long meetings• “Walking meetings”—short, on-the-go meetings comprised of small groups of peopletackling creative challenges• An ongoing “Take Back Your Lunch” campaign encouraging workers to leave their desksand get outside to renew themselves• More consistent and useful feedback given to employees• Areas and times during the day devoted to absorbed focus and creative thinkingThe initiative continues to gain momentum at Genentech, with leaders requesting team off-site and leadership meetings to help their employees manage increased demands, improveproductivity and satisfaction, and to increase their engagement scores.© The Energy Project 2013.Example: Genentech
  29. 29. R E S I L I E N C E I N T H E W O R K P L A C E29Sony Europe was experiencing challenging times and was looking to drivesignificantly higher levels of energy and performance, and to reduce sicktime and employee turnover.In collaboration with senior executives in London, The Energy Project created a four-dayretreat that used a modified version of the company’s curriculum for the top leaders inSony Europe. The program was delivered in two-day segments, with a month betweenmeetings. The response from leaders was so enthusiastic that The Energy Project nextdesigned a three-day version of the program for their direct reports. Today, more than3,000 Sony Europe employees have attended one of these three-day versions.Sony Europe has instituted a number of organizational changes designed to support anew way of working. These include restructuring meetings to include regular breaks;banning the use of email during meetings to increase focus and productivity; providinghealthy snacks during the day; building an on-site gym and renewal rooms; andcreating a web portal that provides detailed information about different aspects ofthe curriculum.In the division that most openly embraced the initiative, sick time decreased by 36percent; staff turnover decreased 60 percent; 75 percent of division employees said theprogram had a positive impact on their business relationships; and 90 percent say theirenergy and performance have increased significantly.© The Energy Project 2013.Example: Sony Europe4. Develop policies and practices that empower employees to build resilience andhave senior leaders lead by example.A key to a resilient organizational culture isempowerment, which can come in many forms.Employees need to be given the freedom to take regularrenewal breaks throughout the day to help rejuvenate,metabolize, and embed learning. These breaks may comein the form of taking a walk, a stretch break, or a quickwork out. Some organizations encourage employees tocombine business and pleasure by engaging in “walkingmeetings.” Other organizations allow employees quickafternoon nap breaks to rejuvenate. The important pointis to empower employees to manage their work and theirphysical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being byoffering a flexible working environment.It is also important to teach employees how to recognizeand manage their stress responses. This may come inthe form of offering psychological skills training andtraining in stress management techniques. For example,if personal financial management is a concern, a financialmanagement seminar can be offered.As with any initiative, developing a truly resilient organi-zational culture will succeed only if senior leaders lead byexample. HR and talent management professionals shouldencourage senior leaders to take time out of the day torejuvenate themselves and to de-stress. When their directreports see the priority senior leaders place on developingtheir own resilience, employees will embrace it and follow.
  30. 30. 30 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comConclusionToday, “business as usual” means rapid change, an influxof new technologies, economic turbulence, uncertainty,and ambiguity. To counter this new normal, organizationsneed employees and leaders who are agile, adaptable andflexible. In a word, resilient. HR and talent managementprofessionals can help by creating resilient organizationalcultures. This will require a fundamental shift in thinking,away from squeezing the most productivity fromemployees to enabling employees to take care of theirphysical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs, therebybuilding resilience.Everly, G. (2011 June 24). Building aresilient organizational culture. HBR BlogNetwork. Retrieved from staff (2012 July 20). Workplaceresilience—taking action. GCC. Retrievedfrom, B. (2013 March 22). Resiliencethrough mindful leadership. HuffingtonPost. Retrieved from, A. (2012 December 1).How resilience matters in the workplaceand what employers can do to increase it.SmartBusiness. Retrieved from, D. (2008). Why you will need aresilient workforce in today’s economy.HumanNature@Work. Retrieved from, T. (2010 September 7). Sixways to supercharge your productivity.The Energy Project. Retrieved from, T. (2011 June 1). The only thingthat matters. The Energy Project. Retrievedfrom, T. (2012 August 15). Seeingthrough your blind spots. The EnergyProject. Retrieved from, T. (2012 August 24). Six keysto being excellent at anything. TheEnergy Project. Retrieved from, T. (2012 May 17). You are nota computer (try as you may). The EnergyProject. Retrieved from, T. (2012 May 29). Take backyour life in seven simple steps. The EnergyProject. Retrieved from, T. (2012 November 1). Resiliencein the eye of the storm. The EnergyProject. Retrieved from, T. (2012 November 8). NewResearch: How employee engagementhits the bottom line. The EnergyProject. Retrieved from, T. (2013 January 23). What ifyou could truly be yourself at work? TheEnergy Project. Retrieved from, N., Koesten, J., Fox, M., Radel, J.(2012 November). Employer perceptions ofstress and resilience intervention. Journal ofOccupational Environmental Medicine,54, 11, 1421-1429.Towers Watson staff (2012). Globalworkforce study. Towers Watson. Retrievedfrom Solutions staff (2012 February 16).Leadership resilience. Tulane Solutions.Retrieved from, K. (2011 March 10). Creatingthe conditions for a resilient workforce.CEO Online. Retrieved from
  31. 31. 31To learn more, visit today face many distinctive challenges.We listen to your needs and develop a thoroughunderstanding of your business and industry.Then we create unique executive learningexperiences designed to develop your executivesas they address and overcome these challenges.Multi-tasking at its best.UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENTThe Power of Experience.C U S T O M E X P E R I E N C E SWe help youdevelop executive talentwhile tackling real-worldchallenges. (Now that’s multi-tasking.)U N C E X E C U T I V E D E V E L O P M E N TWe help youdevelop executive talentwhile tackling real-worldchallenges. (Now that’s multi-tasking.)We help youdevelop executive talentwhile tackling real-worldchallenges. (Now that’s multi-tasking.)
  32. 32. 32 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comThe Big Data Talent GapIntroductionBig data—the massive amounts of information companiesroutinely collect through web crawlers, social media feeds,server logs, customer service databases, and other sources(CIO editors, 2012)—is quickly becoming big business intoday’s competitive marketplace. If HR and talent man-agement professionals haven’t added big data to theirstrategic agenda yet, they will be compelled to in the nearfuture. Few organizations possess technical leaders withthe expertise needed to collect, organize, and analyzethe data and provide meaningful insights. Even fewerhave business leaders with the knowledge and experienceneeded to create value from big data.PromiseThis white paper:• Analyzes the big data revolution and the potential itoffers organizations.• Explores the critical talent needs and emerging talentgaps related to big data.• Offers examples of organizations that are meetingthis challenge head on.• Recommends four steps HR and talent managementprofessionals can take to bridge the talent gap.The Big Data RevolutionThe International Data Corporation (IDC) describes bigdata as “the new generation of technologies andarchitectures designed to extract value economically fromvery large volumes of a wide variety of data by enablinghigh-velocity capture, discovery and/or analysis.” (Villars,Eastwood Olofson, 2011.) In other words, as authorsViktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier write in theirbook, “Big Data: A Revolution that Will Transform How WeLive, Work, and Think” (2013), big data “refers to the thingsone can do at a large scale that cannot be done at a smallerone, to extract new insights or create new forms of value inways that change markets, organizations, the relationshipsbetween citizens and governments, and more.”The potential applications of big data analytics are vast.Internet giant Google, for example, uses big data analyticsto identify flu outbreaks in the United States in realtime—a feat that takes the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC) about two weeks to complete becauseit relies on slower reporting mechanisms. Google can dothis because it receives more than three billion searchqueries on a daily basis. By using big data analytics, Googlewas able to identify 45 search terms that when used in amathematical model, showed a strong correlation betweenStan AhaltDirectorThe Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI)Kip KellyDirectorUNC Executive Development
  33. 33. T H E B I G D A T A T A L E N T G A P33their predictions and the CDC’s flu outbreak statistics(Schönberger Cukier, 2013).Another example of big data analytics comes from TargetCorporation. Target wanted to capture a very attractiveand lucrative market: new parents. New parents spend alot of time and money shopping and creating new buyinghabits, and building loyalty among this audience canbe very profitable. This market is so valuable that Targetworked to identify customers who might be pregnant—before a new parent buys the first diaper, or even registersfor the baby shower. Since Target captures and recordsvast amounts of consumer data, they were able to reviewpurchase patterns looking for trends and examine theitems couples tended to buy prior to pregnancy, likevitamins, unscented lotion, hand towels, etc. Throughmathematical machinations, Target determined thelikelihood that couples were pregnant and used theseinsights to market to these couples well before theirchild’s birth, creating customer loyalty and capturing anextremely valuable market segment.Big data is transforming every industry, as companiesrealize opportunities to leverage big data analytics inmarketing, sales, and operations—and HR leaders arerealizing the potential as well. Technical recruiting firmGild, for example, identifies highly-skilled engineers byanalyzing open-source code, assessing it for quality,and reaching out to engineers who make the cut.Online auction company eBay uses analytics to fightattrition. Beth Axelrod, e-Bay’s senior vice president ofhuman resources, notes in a recent Forbes article thatbig data analytics allows them to identify managerialor departmental hotspots for talent loss. “If somebody
  34. 34. 34 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comThe Trends Fueling the RevolutionSeveral trends have converged to fuel the big datarevolution. First, technology costs continue to plummet.It is cheaper than ever to purchase memory and storage,and good quality, open-source software is competingwith commercial software, putting pressure oncommercial software developers to keep their pricesdown (CIO editors, 2012). Second, technology hasevolved to make business analytics more accessible andfaster than ever before. Third, businesses are acquiringnew data at an astonishing rate and from more variedsources, such as operational data, customer servicedata, sales transaction data, and machine or device data(Manyika et al., 2011).The amount of new data being created is mindboggling.The IDC forecasts that there will be 4 trillion gigabytesof new data created in 2013, nearly 50 percent morethan in 2012 (Press, 2012). Google alone processes morethan 24 petabytes of data each day, a thousand timesmore than all of the printed materials currently housedin the U.S. Library of Congress (Mayer-Schönberger Cukier, 2013). Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier alsoreport that Facebook has more than 10 million photosuploaded every hour, and that the number of messageson Twitter grows about 200 percent each year. That’s alot of data.Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier note that whiletechnology has played a large part in creating the bigdata revolution, something else also occurred to pushit along. “There was a shift in mindset about how datacould be used,” they write. “Data was no longer regardedas static or stale….Rather, data became a raw materialof business, a vital economic input, used to create a newform of economic value.”What Is Big Data?”Big data are high volume, high velocity, and/or highvariety information assets that require new formsof processing to enable enhanced decision making,insight discovery and process optimization.”Source: Beyer Laney, 2012.The Three Vs of Big DataData challenges can be “big” in terms of threecharacteristics, commonly known as the “Three V’s”:Volume –Challenges that arise from the vast amount ofdata that must be processed.Velocity –Challenges that arise from the need to processdata within a certain timeframe.Variety –Challenges that arise from the many different typesof data needed to understand a situation.Source: Ahalt, 2012.has been in a role for three years, hasn’t been promoted,and hasn’t changed roles, there’s a far higher probabilityof attrition than someone who doesn’t have thosecircumstances,” she says (Clark, 2013). And, accordingto some reports, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer relied onbig data analysis to ban telecommuting in the company.Business Insider reports that Mayer analyzed Yahoo’scomputer logs for the company’s virtual private network(the network tele-commuting employees access whenworking remotely) and determined that remote employeesweren’t logging in to the VPN often enough to justify thepolicy (Klobucher, 2013).
  35. 35. T H E B I G D A T A T A L E N T G A P35Seven Insights into Big DataResearch conducted by MGI and McKinsey’s Business Technology Office examined thestate of big data and found the following seven insights:1. Data have swept into every industry and business function and are now an importantfactor of production, labor, and capital.2. There are five ways big data can create value: a. Big data can unlock significant value by making information transparentand usable at much greater frequency. b. As organizations create and store more transactional data in digital form,they can collect more accurate and detailed performance information oneverything. c. Big data allows ever-narrower segmentation of customers and can resultin much more precisely tailored products or services. d. Sophisticated analytics can substantially improve decision-making. e. Big data can be used to improve the development of the next generationof products and services.3. Big data will become a key basis of competition and growth for individual firms.4. Big data will underpin new waves of productivity growth and consumer surplus.5. While the use of big data will matter across sectors, some sectors are set forgreater gains.6. There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to takeadvantage of big data.7. Several issues such as privacy, security, intellectual property, and even liability, willhave to be addressed to capture the full potential of big data.Source: Manyika et al, 2011.
  36. 36. 36 ALL CONTENT © UNC EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT 2013 To subscribe, visit www.uncexec.comThe Big Data TalentShortageThe demand for big data talent is growing rapidly. A 2012survey by InformationWeek found that 40 percent ofrespondents said they planned to increase their staff in bigdata and analytics in the upcoming year and estimatedthat big data staffing would increase by 11 percent overthe next two years (Henschen, 2012).The McKinsey study supports these findings. The authorspredict that there will be a severe shortage of those whocan analyze and interpret big data, predicting that by2018, the United States could face a shortage of up to190,000 workers with deep analytical skills and 1.5 millionmanagers and analysts with the ability to use the bigdata analytics to make effective decisions. (Manyika et al,2011.) This includes the ability to integrate findings frombig data with knowledge derived from other techniqueswhich offer different strengths and biases, such as focusgroups and targeted surveys.The increasing demand for big data analysts who cancrunch and communicate the numbers and the lack ofmanagers and business leaders who can interpret thedata means there is a growing talent shortage in the field.A survey conducted by The Big Data London group (inRaywood, 2012) found that 78 percent of respondentssaid there was a big data talent shortage, and 70 percentbelieved there was a knowledge gap between big dataworkers and those commissioning the projects (e.g.,managers and CIOs). Another survey by NewVantagePartners (2012) found that 60 percent of respondentsreported finding it very difficult to find and hire big dataprofessionals, and 50 percent of respondents said itwas very difficult to find and hire business leaders andmanagers who could identify and optimize businessapplications in big data.This impending talent shortage will create a significantchallenge for HR and talent management professionalsresponsible for recruiting, developing, and retaininga critical skill set that will soon be in high-demand. Tohelp their organizations realize the full potential of bigdata, HR and talent management professionals mustunderstand the fundamentals of big data, why it matters,and what skills their organizations will need to analyzeand interpret the large amounts of data they collect.Big Data SkillsAccording to the editors of CIO, big data scientists andanalysts need strong math skills and proficiency in workingwith massive databases and with emerging databasetechnology. Plus, they must have a deep knowledge oftheir businesses, understanding the business processes,customers, and products. The most difficult big data skillsto find, they contend, include:• Advanced analytics and predictive analysis skills• Complex event processing skills• Rule management skills• Business intelligence tools• Data integration skills (CIO editors, 2012.)Big data analysts or scientists must possess skillssimilar to their IT predecessors—they must have a solidcomputer science background that includes knowledge ofapplications, modeling, statistics, analytics, and math—but they also need business savvy and the ability tocommunicate their findings to business and IT leaders inmeaningful ways, skills that are not typically required on ITjob descriptions. “Good data scientists,” writes IBM, “willnot just address business problems, they will pick the rightproblems that have the most value to the organization.”(IBM staff, n.d.).As Rob Sentz, vice president of marketing for EconomicModeling Specialists International, notes in an interviewfor Career Builder, big data analysts “need to understandwhy they are using data. What is the end goal? Data is…like an assembly (line) of facts, which aren’t necessarily thesame thing as truth. If facts are poorly interpreted, it couldlead to the wrong conclusions.” (Lorenz, 2012).Hilary Mason, chief scientist for bitly, a URL shorteningservice, offered her opinion in The Wall Street Journal.Data scientists, she says, “must be able to take data setsand model it mathematically and understand the math