HR MATTERSPEOPLE LEADING BUSINESS
Issue 23www.hr-matters.info July 2013
BRETT TERRY : WE LOOKED
HOLISTICALLY AND BOLDLY AT THE
CULTURE WE WANTED TO SHAPE
THE BUSINESS OF RECRUITING
FIVE STEPS TOWARDS
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C o n t e n t s
Be curious about the business that you work
in and the business environment in general.
– Noel McGonigle
power of their idea
or technical skill
the value of proper
and execution to reach
the result they want.
– Jonathan Raymond
Knowing a job title
in a social media or
external online search
is no longer enough
– Dave Mendoza
The key thing is that
we started this journey
mindful of the scale of
our ambitions balanced
against our starting point
and resources available.
– Brett Terry
14 Decidiphobia: Getting Today’s Digital
Natives to Think for Themselves
Robert W Wendover asks whether we can figure things out without a
menu of choice.
16 The Organisation Development Cycle
We continue with Part II of a two part article where Alison France explores
the stages of the OD cycle.
18 7 Courageous Conversation Questions to
Apply at Work
Sandra Ford Walston explains how ‘challenging’ conversations can test us in
an uncomfortable way.
19 The Unexamined Life of Missed Goals and
Sulynn Choong asks : Do you realise how the insidious subconscious
programming of habitual patterns make up the powerful mental software that
runs your life?
21 Futurecasting: How the Rise of Big Social
Data is set to Transform Hiring Best Practices
Entirely new business intelligence resources are changing the way we think
about career progression and creating talent pipelines to meet corporate
hiring objectives. By Dave Mendoza.
26 Transforming the Perception of HR
Azzurri Communications’ HR Director, Noel McGonigle, talks about the
change management programmes he oversaw which culminated in
recognition at the 2013 HR Distinction Awards for the pivotal role
played by the HR team.
31 9 Best Practices that Directly
Impact your Business’s Ability to
Reach you Profit Target
If you are interested in maintaining sustainable growth,
considering effective online prospective or how to
take your business to the next level, read about the
‘Ownership Stack’ – it will directly impact your
Special Feature - Learning & Development
33 Why not make an investment
where it matters most?
Four HR leaders talk about the value of the Personal
37 Experience more important than
Some of the key findings from the Randstad Q2 WorkMonitor
38 The Anointed Ones – The Talent
Identifying the key factors talents look out for in an organisation.
By June Hamid.
40 Don’t Beat Up a Dead Horse
Why is it that most businesses and HR leaders refuse to dismount
the dead horse? Asks Roshan Thiran.
44 Brett Terry : We looked holistically
and boldly at the culture we wanted to
shape and set our course.
The Alzheimer’s Society shares how they took some important
steps towards further engaging their people.
50 Role of Internal Audit in HR
Vijayam Nadarajah shares how internal audit adds value to HR
In This Issue
13 Featured Blog Victorio Milian
23 Lit You Already Know How to be Great. A Simple Way
to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Potential
– At Work and At Home
26 HR Practitioner Noel McGonigle
44 Q&A Employee engagement
HR Matters July 2013 | 3
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4 | July 2013 HR Matters
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On the Cover : Perception
Rowena Morais, Editor
…Unless we become aware of
these patterns, much of our life is
unconscious repetition. In short,
we can dream and speak of our potential
for greatness but if we do the same as we did
yesterday, and have done for the last ten years,
the outcome would be the same.” – Sulynn
Sulynn comments that it is easy for us to
continue doing as we have done. However,
any quest for self-actualisation or to realise our
potential must begin with mindfulness of beliefs,
thought and action. And if you think about it,
mindfulness is really not so much a useful skill
but an absolute necessity in our increasingly
frenetic, ‘busy’ lives.
As Robert Wendover discusses ‘decidiphobia’, the young people entering our workforce
today are faced with many challenges. One of them is learning to figure things out without
having all the choices laid before them. Mindfulness will help them make more sense of their
Noel McGonigle, Group HR Director for Azzurri Communications, the featured
HR personality in this issue, shares how there are times when the job is fast changing or
ambiguous. You need to get used to working with limited information. You need to know
how to use what you have to craft a plan for moving forward.
Mindfulness is key. It involves coming to terms with what you know and what you don’t
know. In our role as HR leaders, mindfulness is absolutely critical to what we do, as we grow,
develop, nurture and engage people from within the organisation.
In this issue :-
• Alison France continues with Part II of her article looking at the Organisation
• Dave Mendoza shares how we can accurately predict where and how future and
current job candidates are likely to perform best – with futurecasting;
• The State of the Business (SOBO) 2013 Report examines nine best practices that have
a direct impact on a small business’s ability to reach their profit target;
• Four HR leaders share their ideas on the value of the Personal Development Plan to
identify and address both short and long term development goals;
• Brett Terry reveals five steps taken by Alzheimer Society in their journey towards
greater employee engagement; and much more.
As always, hope this gets you inspired. Happy reading!
HR Matters July 2013 | 5
Contributors | HR Matters
Noel McGonigle served in the Royal Air
Force for 22 years in a variety of operational
and human resource appointments. Noel
joined Azzurri in 2006 and is responsible for
all HR activities, including Health and Safety.
He is passionate about leadership and
employee engagement. Azzurri has seen
its employee engagement scores improve
year on year and has been shortlisted for
a number of HR awards, including winning
Best Reward and Benefits Strategy in 2010
and a Distinction in Change Management in
Robert Wendover has been researching
and writing about workforce trends for over
20 years. Managing Director of the Center
for Generational Studies, he is author of nine
books and a regular contributor to electronic
and print media. He has served as a special
advisor to the American Productivity and
Quality Council (APQC) and served on the
management faculty of the University of
Mike Morrison is the Head of Global
Training – Project Unity at Damco. Based
in Copenhagen, Denmark, Mike is an
experienced Organisational Development
professional. Mike runs and leads
several online communities; the largest
is on LinkedIn and has more than 21,000
Sandra Ford Walston is known as
The Courage Expert and innovator of
StuckThinking™. She is an internationally
recognised speaker, learning consultant,
author and entrepreneur for twenty years.
Sandra instructs at the University of
Denver on several programmes and is the
internationally published author of three
books: COURAGE, STUCK and FACE IT!
12 Obstacles that Hold You Back on the Job
(2011). Check out www.sandrawalston.com.
Chris-James Cognetta MSIT, LPC-Intern
is an award winning instructional designer
and independent training and development
expert with more than 25 years of
experience in the creation of blended
learning solutions. He has honours awards
and affiliations from the National Institute
of Staff and Organisational Development,
the Ford Foundation and many more
organisations for the creation of innovative
and groundbreaking programmes.
As a business psychologist and HR
professional, Alison France has a passion
for using positive methodologies to shape
the attitudes of leaders and organisations,
enabling them to achieve profitability.
Alison has facilitated organisational change
initiatives as well as designed and delivered
award winning leadership development
programmes. When not working, Alison
enjoys riding her two motorbikes on UK
roads and European tracks.
Vijayam Nadarajah has worked in
insurance companies and banks for more
than 18 years. Her extensive experience
in operations, internal audit, investigation
and risk coupled with leadership, drive and
passion for good governance, control and
corporate behaviours has seen her through
a series of commendable achievements in
the appointments that she has held.
6 | July 2013 HR Matters
HR Matters | Contributors
Dave Mendoza is a multi-award-winning
talent acquisition thought leader and global
speaker. Recently, he was a Finalist for the
HROA’s Trustee Award ‘North American
Thought Leader, 2013’. He has also
earned awards for ‘Excellence in Sourcing
Innovation’ and ‘Most Strategic Use of
Technology’ Awards. He recently authored
‘Futurecasting: How the Rise of Big Social
Data API is Set to Transform the Business
Sulynn Choong is a positive change
consultant and coach working with
organisations to energise their workforce
for outstanding performance. Combining
practical corporate experience with
evidence-based research in positive
psychology, she assists CEOs in
evaluating their organisations’ existing and
proposed change initiatives for coherence,
congruence, relevance and positive impact.
Roger Brooks is the Executive Director
of Training & Development for Safeguard
Business Systems. Roger also serves as
the Board Chairman for Girl Power 2 Cure,
Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organisation whose
mission is to make Rett Syndrome the first
curable neurological disorder. His motivation
is his daughter, Juliana. Girl Power 2 Cure,
Inc. works to support the more than 500,000
girls and women currently suffering from
Junaida (June) Dato’ Dr Abdul Hamid
provides HR management, customer
service, team building and related training
and consultancy for multinationals, GLCs
and the government arena. She is not merely
a facilitator, but an excellent communicator,
business coach and now an entrepreneur.
As a Consultant Trainer, she has facilitated
and trained more than 3,000 staff in core HR
and soft skill areas.
Bob Holliday is the Director, Product
Training & Curriculum Development for
Inc. He has 18 years of experience in the
pharmaceutical industry, with more than
13 years in pharmaceutical training. He
has held numerous roles in training from
Product Training Manager and Specialty
Skills Training Manager to Head of Global
Oncology Training and has lead training for
over 25 product launch meetings.
Brett Terry is Director of People and
Organisational Development at Alzheimer’s
people at work and he is particularly
interested in the opportunities and
challenges presented by multi-generational
workforces, a topic he has addressed at
numerous strategic conferences. Outside of
work Brett is a keen wildlife photographer.
Roshan Thiran is CEO of Leaderonomics,
one of the fastest growing consulting firms
in Asia. Prior to this role, he was the Director
of Global Talent Management with Johnson
& Johnson. He was also with the General
Electric Company (GE) for more than 12
years, working in a number of roles. Roshan
is a certified coach and is also certified in
numerous training programmes including
Myer-Briggs Type Indicator, Change
Acceleration Process, WorkOut, Strategy
Workshops and Finance education.
HR Matters July 2013 | 7
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HR Matters | News
LONDON | The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people
development, celebrated its 100th anniversary on 6 June. To
mark the occasion, for the last few months it has been asking
its members and prominent thinkers in the world of work to
reflect on their vision for the future of work, the workforce and
Contributing to the CIPD’s ‘100 thoughts’ project, Michael
Davies, CEO at the UKCES, highlighted the need to reverse
elements of Taylorism, in order to redistribute power between
managers and front-line workers to rebuild trust and boost agility
and performance. In his piece, he argues: “The businesses that
survive and thrive will be those which recognise the changing
nature of consumerism, and hand power to their staff to meet
SINGAPORE | Professional job seekers can find out exactly
what they’re worth with the Salary Checker app, launched in
May by recruitment consultancy, Robert Walters. It draws on
data from the firm’s market leading Salary Survey and allows
users to :
• determine their own market rate
• see how this compares with other sectors and cities/countries
• view salary trends over time.
The app is an upgrade to the first version – launched in 2011 for
iPhone and iPad which received more than 200,000 downloads
– and covers thousands of job types globally. New features
include easy-to-follow bar charts and graphs, with users able
to configure the data to their local currency. The app may be
downloaded from the Google Play Store or the iTunes Store.
CIPD Centenary : HR leaders reflect on the future of HR and the
world of work
Publication of a series of perspectives on the shifting work and workplace challenges and opportunities shaping
business and working lives for the next 100 years
Find out how much you are
worth with new Salary
App hits number one in app charts
Comments from other contributors included:
• “The future of HR is to drive the value of people through
valuing people. This calls for community, trust, leadership,
insight and innovation.” Karina Rook, HR Director, Canterbury
• “The classic work-life balance will become a phrase of the
past - work will be life and life will be work, there will be no
delineation.” Mike Campbell, Group Director Europe, easyjet
• “We need to spread what HR already knows - that good
employee relations is one of the biggest untold economic
growth measures.” Frances O’Grady, general secretary,
The contributions are available to read on the CIPD website
HR Matters July 2013 | 9
News | HR Matters
LIVERPOOL | The City of Liverpool
has shortlisted the Human Resource/
Organisational Development provider,
Thirsty Horses Ltd, for two prestigious
Business Awards. This fast-growing
company has captured the imagination
of private and public sector organisations
across the UK by proving the out-dated ways
of top-down ‘Performance Management’ can
be turned on its head to great effect.
Thirsty Horses’ lead product - INSPIRE - enables employees
to willfully own all aspects of their personal performance and
KUALA LUMPUR | Despite Malaysian firms’ investment in
the digital, creative and marketing sectors, salaries have
either dropped or stagnated. font talent, which specialises in
recruitment across the digital, creative and marketing industries,
released in June the latest findings from its ongoing salary
survey which compares wages, benefits and retention rates
across gender, job function and country.
Overall, figures showed that despite women being more likely to
hold a degree or higher than their male colleagues, their median
salaries remained lower. The exceptions were amongst the
advertising account directors and creative directors surveyed.
Malaysia country manager Priya Bala says this may be due
Thirsty Horses shortlisted for prestigious Business Award
Salaries drop across Malaysia’s digital, creative and marketing
Despite Malaysian firms’ recent investment in the digital, creative and marketing sectors, salaries have either
dropped or stagnated
development using contemporary easy to use software, including
accessibility on all hand-held devices. Moreover, this activity
drives great ‘real-time’ strategic workforce data that enable
leaders to get to grips with their organisation, its direction, pace
and levels of employee engagement. This increased ownership
at all levels, combined with increased levels of visibility, make the
HR/OD holy grail of ‘culture change’ a tangible and measured
journey rather than something organisations crave, and often
plan for, but rarely truly deliver.
More details on the Business Awards can be found at
www.downtownliverpool.com/events/2013/COLBA/. Visit Thirsty
Horses at www.thirsty-horses.com
to men being more likely to remain in their
jobs for six years or longer, and the fact that
men are more likely to receive company-
paid training than women. She added that
the digital, creative and marketing industries
are often guilty of long hours, and Malaysian
women with family commitments are more
likely seek a better work-life balance, such
as a government position, which further reduces their chances
of achieving pay parity within the creative and digital sector.
For more details, download the font Market Pulse June 2013
report at www.hr-matters.info.
Men continue to receive higher salaries than
women despite holding the same qualifications.
10 | July 2013 HR Matters
You’re in business to succeed — to set ambitious goals, drive growth and achieve results.
Getting there requires vision, resources and above all, the brightest talent.
As a world-leading specialist recruitment & HR services firm, Randstad is a company built on
a deep network of sourcing expertise that crosses industries and geographies. Our vision is
to help our clients achieve a constant state of ‘talent readiness’ with the best recruitment
and talent management solutions in place, ensuring you have the right people, in the right
jobs, at the right time — for today and for the future.
With over 17 years experience in Malaysia, our consulting team are specialists across:
To get connected to the brightest talent in Asia Pacific today, visit: www.randstad.com.my
or contact us in Kuala Lumpur on +603 2036 6666 or Penang on +604 638 1050
• Accounting & Finance
• Business Support
• Contact Centre
• Construction, Property & Engineering
• Human Resources
• Information Technology
• Life Sciences
• Sales & Marketing
• Supply Chain
You’re in business to succeed — to set ambitious goals, drive growth and achieve results.
Getting there requires vision, resources and above all, the brightest talent.
As a world-leading specialist recruitment & HR services firm, Randstad is a company built
on a deep network of sourcing expertise that crosses industries and geographies. Our
vision is to help our clients achieve a constant state of ‘talent readiness’ with the best
recruitment and talent management solutions in place, ensuring you have the right
people, in the right jobs, at the right time — for today and for the future.
To get connected to the brightest talent in Asia Pacific today, visit: www.randstad.com.sg
talent with the
across Asia Pacific
Report | HR Matters
KUALA LUMPUR | In an effort to find out what’s on the minds of
senior business leaders this year, BTI Consultants announced
in May 2013, the launch of the Executive Outlook Report 2013.
An annual survey of CEOs, Directors, Chairpersons and VPs
across Asia Pacific, the Americas and Europe focused on
innovation and business viability, key findings from this survey
• 88 percent of all business leaders have a positive outlook for
the economy and are expecting business growth this year;
33 percent are expecting significant growth.
• Business leaders based in Asia-Pacific have far higher
expectations of business growth compared to those in the
Americas and EMEA regions.
• More than half of the leaders surveyed (52 percent) believe
that ‘cultural issues’ within the organisation itself are the main
barriers to innovation and business growth.
• Leaders of organisations with a structured, proactive
approach to innovation are far more positive about their
2013 revenue outlook— 45 percent of those with a proactive
approach are expecting significant growth in their revenue
this year, compared to just 23 percent of those who are
focusing their efforts entirely on core business activities.
• 36 percent of business leaders measure and attach KPIs to
business viability initiatives.
Improved business growth and
Executive outlook report indicates significant
turnaround in global business activity, consistent with
other signs of improved business optimism
AmericAs And em
Despite the challenging business environment
of 2012, and the ongoing uncertainty on
global markets, the majority of business
leaders have a positive outlook for the growth
of their business in 2013. What stands out
from the research is that those organisations
with the greatest positivity going into 2013 are
those with a proactive approach to innovation.
hAve A ProActive
believe their comPetitive
Position is unchAllenged
for growth is
meAsurAble goAls And AllocAted
resources to Protect long-term
initiAtives towArds innovAtion
focus on incrementAl innovAtion focus on core business
AmericAs And emeA
outlook by region
APProAch to innovAtion by comPAny tyPe
0% 0%5% 5%
gdP growth forecAst 2013–2018 gdP growth forecAst 2013–2018
More than half of the
leaders surveyed (52
percent) believe that
‘cultural issues’ within
the organisation itself
are the main barriers to
innovation and business
12 | July 2013 HR Matters
• Human Resource consultant, writer
and speaker based in New York City.
• Maintains a HR blog at
The HR Interview
Victorio frequently works with two distinct client groups-
emerging HR talent and seasoned HR professionals. With
emerging talent, he offers practical advice on how to successfully
navigate the job market. He does this by helping HR job seekers
align their online and offline personas so as to better promote
the person’s unique value proposition. For seasoned Human
Resources professionals, Victorio conducts an ongoing HR
Interview series on his blog. This showcase gives practitioners
the opportunity to discuss how they do what they do.
Get involved !
With the HR Interview series, Victorio is seeking dynamic
Human Resources practitioners from across the globe. He
would be especially interested in connecting with those that
operate in any of the countries within the continent of Africa.
If you or someone you know is interested, please reach out to
HR Matters | Blog
My advice to young aspiring HR
practitioners is... don’t ever let anyone
leaders, other business functions, the public)
understands the value of a qualified and
competent Human Resources professional.
Ensure that you have what it takes, not only in
providing quality services to those you work
with, but also in how to effectively articulate
your worth with conviction and firmness. Do
great work, surround yourself with great
people, and it becomes difficult to fail.
LONDON | Companies are losing an annual average of
24 days of extra working hours by not allowing employees
to work from home, according to the latest research by
video conferencing service provider UCi2i. The claim,
based on a poll of 1,000 office employees in the UK,
highlights the benefits to individuals of having a flexible
working environment and the ‘overtime’ they put in as a
result. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study also finds that
colleagues back in the office struggle with the lack of
transparency with 1 in 4 believing those who do work
from home ‘cheat the system’. Overall, 84 percent of
those surveyed said they were uncomfortable with their
colleagues not working alongside them, highlighting that
better forms of communication between working locations
is vital for a productive and happy workforce.
To address this, UCi2i launched in early July, a simple
and easy-to-use personal video collaboration tool for
business-quality video communications, called ‘V-Book’.
The platform allows instant face-to-face communication
and collaboration with colleagues and customers at the
click of a button regardless of location or the device they
As a result of the research, UCi2i has found that as many
as 94 percent of UK office workers work better when they
work from home despite stating they were not equipped
with the appropriate technology to communicate with
fellow colleagues (85 percent).
When asked why working from home is so successful,
reasons that were given included: peace and quiet for
productivity (26 percent), spending the time they would be
travelling to the office, working (18 percent) and allowing
the ideal work/life balance (13 percent).
The survey, conducted in June 2013 by Censuswide,
shows an increasing desire in office workers to be
equipped with suitable communication technology to allow
them to work from home.
working from home gain an
extra month of work per
employee each year
But fear of lack of transparency and colleague
collaboration issues remain barrier to mass
HR Matters July 2013 | 13
Workforce Trends | HR Matters
Let’s face it. Advances in technology have always been a mixed
blessing. It is no different with today’s digital applications. On one
hand, they save us hours and energy on the tasks that used to
require manual labour. On the other, they delay, impair and degrade
the development of complex reasoning skills. This is especially true
among the so-called digital natives, those who have come of age
immersed in electronic messaging, work-type applications, and non-
While some may protest this gross characterisation, there is ample
evidence to support it. Scientists have been able to replicate these
effects in a variety of settings. Educators observe it among their
students. Employers complain about it in the workplace. The result
of all this is what I call “decidiphobia,” a fear of making decisions
when outside a menu-driven environment.
Most of those with decidiphobia don’t display this behaviour in
obvious ways. It is not apparent to passers-by. No one seeks federal
assistance because they are afflicted with this terrible disease. But it
lurks in the minds of those around us.
What does it look like? Here are a few examples:
Endless questions – When the ‘parade’ in your office gets out
of hand, you can probably attribute it to decidiphobia. After all, the
first inclination of a person who fears making a mistake is to ask the
individual in charge for assistance.
Expecting to see options for all decisions – When you
learn to navigate through the day with your thumbs, mouse and
screen, it is only natural that you would expect a menu of choices for
every decision. But making judgments in ambiguous situations can
be downright debilitating.
Difficulty with extrapolation – For those who learned through
trial and error, figuring out the process of ‘if this, then that’ comes
easy. When the development of this type of reasoning is delayed
due to a reliance on menu-driven options, young adults struggle to
deduce what appears to be common sense to others. Some may
argue that learning to use software requires trial and error technique
as well. But it’s not the same when there’s no escape key.
Absence of situational awareness – Employers wonder
why some young people simply stop when they’ve completed an
assigned task, rather than look around for other things to do. But for
those who have gotten used to having all instructions and possible
answers presented, the urge to look outside of
the immediate focus does not occur to them.
Besides, they need to check Facebook™.
Does decidiphobia afflict all digital natives? No.
There are lots of individuals who have learned
to thrive outside of the digital environment.
This may be due to upbringing, culture, a lack
of available technology and other factors.
Unfortunately, the increasing pervasiveness of
this technology is inculcating many people under 30 with a belief that
all answers can and should be found on a screen.
Is decidaphobia a matter of intelligence? Definitely not. Brokers
at Wall Street firms tell of Ivy League graduates pestering them
for specific instructions on routine matters. Teachers complain
of common grammar and syntax errors because of a reliance on
SpellCheck™. Supervisors express surprise that young professionals
get stuck when they can’t find what they need on-line. Business
owners wonder why the young tech whizzes they hired can’t think
through everyday conundrums on their own.
Whose fault is all this? Everyone’s. Digital natives are a product of
the culture in which they come of age. As society has embraced
the lure and convenience of digital applications, the emerging
generation has been immersed in this technology almost from birth.
Decidiphobia: Getting Today’s Digital Natives
Figuring things out without a menu of choice. By Robert W. Wendover
But making judgments in
ambiguous situations can be
to Think for Themselves
14 | July 2013 HR Matters
HR Matters | Workforce Trends
Numerous studies have demonstrated the ease with which young
people assimilate to the intuitive nature of software. From this, they
have learned to manipulate information at lightning speed, but only
within the realm of technology.
While all this wizardry requires judgment, most of the decisions
involved are retractable through the escape, back, and undo keys.
No so with choices outside of the computer environment. Is it any
wonder then, that decisions with permanence can intimidate them?
Technology is not the only culprit in this equation, but it is certainly a
So what’s the cure? How can employers instill an orientation of self-
assured decision making within their workplace? Here are several
Teach them to solve problems.
No kidding! It is ironic that few in society
are ever taught a framework for problem
solving. Instead, we are left to ‘figure it
out’ as we come of age. That served so-
called digital immigrants well in the era
prior to menu-driven software. But the
lure and distraction of these applications
have misled digital natives into assuming
that anything worth knowing can be found
on-line or through a text to their friends.
When it comes to discerning ambiguous
situations and making decisions that have impact on those around
them however, the solutions cannot be found on a screen. Consider
your environment and initiate a discussion about how decisions can
be made effectively. Simply having this kind of ongoing conversation
can begin the process of developing confident problem solvers.
Employ think-alouds. A favorite strategy of educators, this
means asking those posing questions to think through their problem
out loud in front of you. This accomplishes three objectives: 1) It
allows you to reinforce and praise what the person is doing well; 2) It
provides an opportunity for you to correct mistakes in their thinking or
assumptions; 3) It forces them to think all the way through the issue
rather than relying on someone else to provide an answer. While you
may find this to be awkward at first, those asking endless questions
will learn to adapt quickly.
Always have a list. This would seem to reinforce the habit of
asking endless questions. But in an effort to manage time wisely,
inform those you supervise of what other tasks can always be
completed. In the process, you teach them to make choices and
reduce the office parade at the same time.
Explain the big picture. The more people understand how they
contribute to the overall effort, the more they will infer what needs
to be done and how to resolve routine problems. Show them how
the organisation functions financially. Teach them the ins and outs of
how individual products are designed, created and sold. Explain the
concept of overhead and its impact on profits. Ask them to critique
the work they are assigned and how it fits into the big picture. You
may find that they have some ideas for efficiency, but were hesitant
to speak up.
Withdraw your support. Sometimes it’s just easier to give
someone the answer. Do this enough however and you will have
fostered an overreliance on your judgment and instructions. Use the
other strategies in this article to stem this behaviour.
Process the decisions made. With most workdays a blur of
activity, it is difficult to find time to evaluate outcomes. But this is
especially important for those who may be less than confident in
their decisions. Even two minutes worth of reflection about the result
of their actions can help a digital native better understand how to
evaluate situations in the future. Besides, this can present the perfect
time for a non-threatening ‘teaching moment’.
Provide specific praise and feedback. Like it or not, digital
natives have come of age inundated with feedback from video
games, digital instruction, over-protective parents and the like.
Couple this with the impatient world we’ve created and you can
understand their demand for ongoing evaluation and reinforcement.
You may find that you have to manage these expectations. But the
fact that they are hungry for feedback is a positive sign.
The nature of workplace decision making is evolving due to digital
influences. We need to be vigilant in marrying the strengths of trial-
and-error thinking with the menu-driven processes now before us.
Robert Wendover is Director of The Center
for Generational Studies and author of the
newly released, Figure It Out! Making Smart
Decisions in a Dumbed-Down World. Reach him
The more people understand
how they contribute to the
overall effort, the more they will
infer what needs to be done and
how to resolve routine problems.
HR Matters July 2013 | 15
Organisational Change | HR Matters
In my last article, I detailed the first two stages of the
Organisation Development (OD) Cycle. This second part
of the OD Cycle review will explain the final two stages,
Intervention and Evaluation.
An intervention is a structured activity which aims to shift
the system towards a different state. The goal of OD can
include fixing problems as well as building on strengths
to anticipate future changes ultimately altering the status
quo, requiring development for everyone involved,
often including the client. This is worth remembering as
sometimes the client themselves may not consider that
they need to change. The practitioner will therefore need
to coach the client through the process to raise their
awareness and ensure they are fully prepared.
Behind the intervention design are the practitioner’s
theoretical assumptions (e.g. action research or social
constructionism), ethics and values (e.g. humanism and
valuing diversity), their ‘use of self’ (how their presence
impacts on the organisational system) and their collaborative
relationship with the client. All of these factors combine to create a
successful interaction and will be detailed more thoroughly in future
The broad scope and complex nature of OD as a discipline means
that OD intervention design itself is a complex process. So the
following is an overview of some of the key considerations when
designing interventions. A key skill is to think cross-dimensionally
when creating the design. It can be useful to use a model as a
A look at the two final stages of the OD cycle,
Intervention and Evaluation. By Alison France
conceptual framework to aid this thinking. One example is Schmuck
and Miles OD cube (1976) above.
This demonstrates cross-dimensional design based on the diagnosed
problem, focus of attention and mode of intervention providing a
practical framework to make decisions about the intervention design.
Other three dimensional cubes include other considerations such as:
• Kinds of change (Blake and Mounton 1985):Acceptant, Catalytic,
Confrontation, Prescription and Theories & Principles;
• Intensity (Reddy, 1994): Low, Medium and High; and
A key skill is to think cross-dimensionally
when creating the design.
The Schmuck and Miles OD cube
16 | July 2013 HR Matters
HR Matters | Organisational Change
Individual Interpersonal Group Intergroup Organisation
• Life and career planning
• Behaviour modelling
• Third party conflict
• Role negotiation
• Storytelling from each
• Role swapping
• Partnership work
• Interdependency exercise
• Team building
• Role analysis
• Improved decision
• Unstructured group
• Third party peace making
• Survey and feedback
• Restructuring of sub-units
• Intergroup activities to
build awareness and
• Organisation design
• Appreciative Inquiry
• Future search
• Real time strategic change
• Partnership and customer
• Type of intervention (Reddy, 1994): Cognitive, Skill & Activity,
Behaviour description, Emotion/reflection and Interpretive.
Obviously, this level of complexity is useful for practitioners to ensure
the intervention fits the objective, organisation and individuals
involved. However, I find it useful to ask questions of clients using
this knowledge as a framework to enable the client to make informed
decisions. Cheung-Judge and Holbeche suggest the following six
1. What are the diagnosed problems?
2. What are the focal issues (ensure you drill down to specific
3. What is the focus of attention (individual, pairs, group, intergroup,
organisation, environment etc)?
4. What is the necessary level of intensity required?
5. What is the necessary intervention role of the consultant?
6. What is the mode of intervention (training, feedback etc)?
Evaluation and termination
Evaluation is the final and crucial stage of the OD cycle which both
enables OD practitioners to prove the value of their work whilst
celebrating the achievements made by the organisation in moving
towards its goal. However, the decisions about what to evaluate
should be integrated into the beginning of any project alongside
contracting and directly linked to the initial stated purpose of the OD
activity. At this phase, the specific metrics (measures of success)
should also be identified. In this way, data collection can be integrated
into all other stages of the OD work, therefore both guiding future
work and making the evaluation results richer and more meaningful.
Cheung-Judge and Holbeche outline the following nine key actions
OD practitioners can take to make evaluation an integral part of their
work and the culture of the organisation they are working with.
1. Align OD programmes to the organisation’s strategic priority.
2. Link OD initiatives to the core business results (e.g. money
savings, innovation, service excellence and beating the
3. Build a strategic partnership with other professionals to
continually improve your evaluative methodology (e.g. strategy,
social research, project management and finance).
4. Continuously educate clients as to the value of evaluation.
5. Senior leaders should commission the OD project and define the
6. Senior leaders need to take ownership of evaluative data.
7. Build the habit of having evaluation discussions from the
beginning of the process.
8. Always collaborate with clients when defining evaluation and
9. Write up case studies of good evaluative practice to show others
how to do it.
the organisation development cycle
[continued on page 48]
Don’t forget the answers to these questions should also be informed
by the information you have gathered in the diagnosis phase.
Additional considerations include :
• Focus on the task where the goal is a specific output such as
an action plan. Or process focus where the goal is how people
interact such as dealing with conflict, make decisions etc.
• Structured interventions which are highly planned and the
delegates are guided through activities. Or unstructured
interventions where the delegates self organise.
Ultimately clients want to understand the mode (or type) of
intervention – what exactly can you do to achieve the goal? Below
are some examples of OD interventions. Be aware that, depending
on the size of the project you are undertaking, you may require an
intervention strategy which includes a number of these activities in a
Practically this is more of an art than a science due to the
intangibility of some of our work and the need to assign a
monetary value to the development of people.
HR Matters July 2013 | 17
SANDRA FORD WALSTON
THE COURAGE EXPERT
Courage | HR Matters
You’re too intimidated to have that overdue
conversation so you utilise a form of
ambiguity? You’re a manager whose style of
managing is hands-off. This way you don’t
have to suggest ideas that might offend or
Whether you’re a manager, human resource
director or CEO, you are often required
(hard-pressed) to engage in the awkward,
elusive or tight rope conversations
that require courage. These types of
‘challenging’ conversations test us in an
Why? Because the exchange is more than
just applying candour (a cousin to courage)
or being brutally blunt (“Let me be honest
There’s the old adage “Sticks and stones
may break my bones, but words can never
hurt me.” This old saying is false. For
example, ‘a stone is thrown’ when someone
says, “I don’t care how you do it, just get
it done!” With the phrase “I don’t care” the
receiver is most likely going to have an
internal breakdown at work and then one at
home. We all want to feel appreciated and
valued for our contribution.
Because words are so powerful, they
can hurt you, but they can also get you
positive results at work, such as increased
productivity, improved morale, enhanced
project effectiveness, a renewed demeanour
and reduced stress, to name a few. Most
of the time it’s about asking a lot of ‘you’
questions steeped around the obstacles
Questions to Apply at Work
that block courageous leadership actions
such as intimidation, manipulation or blame.
So if you can communicate more effectively
with coworkers, you can reshape your work
environment and produce the sustainable
results you’re seeking. Muster the courage
to try these six examples:
1 The founder of my Newfield Network
coaching organisation always opened our
international conferences or local gatherings
with “What’s cooking?” This kicked off an
understanding that it was safe to share what
was internally going on with that person
allowing them to display their courage.
2 “How do you imagine this project
progressing?” This question not only
engages the person but also decreases
stress because creativity and curiosity are
being generated, and people are more
motivated to speak up.
3 “Is there anything else I can offer
you?” and “Do you have any other
requests?” Requests and offers allow
people to open up and reveal the ‘chatter’ in
their head (or what they really want), thus
providing transparency in everyone’s
communication and removing any
awkwardness if someone ordinarily feels
hesitant about speaking up.
4 “What was your assessment about the
big project we just finished for that
client?” Be cautious with your tone. This
means you take responsibility for how your
language affects others. Your words are a
part of your daily legacy—people remember
them more than the action. Will you be
remembered the way you want to be
5 “How do you envision accomplishing
the task/results?” This response keeps
passion alive and perpetuates retentive
6 Because we’re human, we naturally
expect the receiver to know exactly what we
expect in the outcome and what we mean.
Be direct and say, “I have expectations
that you will do this and that.” The
outcome of unclear expectations? Wasted
time that can’t be reclaimed and
unnecessary tension in the workplace.
7 If you are working
with a prospect/
project manager try,
“What do you see
our next step to
be?” Using the word ‘our’ in your question
leads the client/customer to think of you as
a partner when making a decision.
Comedian Lily Tomlin said, “If you can’t
be direct, why be?” Think about what type
of language you experience in your work
environment and what you display. The
words we choose can submerge us into
negativity or elevate us to a different level
of courage consciousness—and take our
coworkers with us. That is the power of
Sandra Ford Walston is known as
The Courage Expert and innovator of
StuckThinking™. She is an internationally
recognised speaker, learning consultant,
author and entrepreneur. Reach Sandra at
Communicate more effectively so that you can reshape your environment
Be cautious with your tone. This means you take responsibility
for how your language affects others.
18 | July 2013 HR Matters
Are you simply nothing more than a modern day
zombie living on auto-pilot? By Sulynn Choong
HR Matters | Positive Psychology
Socrates’ bold statement “The unexamined
life is not worth living” is at once accusing
and provocative in that life is a personal
quest of personal and spiritual growth which
we must choose to consciously take time to
examine and reflect upon. In fact, the Spanish
philosopher, George Santayana observed
quite astutely that “He who does not remember
the past is condemned to repeat it.”
Indeed of late, I have become acutely aware,
of how ingrained the habit of living by auto-
pilot is in most of our lives. It has become so
much so that any disruption to routine is auto-
directed to stress-mode. Living in the current
times where ‘I can only do tomorrow what he/
she/they wanted yesterday’ is the norm, is both
emotionally draining and mentally exhausting.
We also tend to divert time and energy from
nurture of our social, spiritual and physical
wellbeing, to boost effectiveness. Net result:
‘I am so stressed.’ ‘I am so tired.’ ‘My brain
is dead.’ ‘I have no time.’ ‘I am busy.’ And
yet, there is so much that is important in our
lives that is not attended to, just because
these things are not urgent e.g. changing that
light bulb in the store room, writing up a will to
protect your loved ones, or that coveted MBA
or PhD, the broken wheel on the tricycle of
your now 16 year old son, that promised get-
together with old neighbours, and maybe, that
guitar you are going to pick up again someday.
Not me! I hear you in my head. Yes you! From
the time you woke up till this minute, consider
how many of your daily tasks and functions
have been transacted quite efficiently and
smoothly without much conscious thought.
We go through the morning routine: brush
teeth, shower, dress, eat breakfast (really?)
and commute with barely a quick check
on time. Most of us have become modern
day zombies going through the motion the
processes with pre-set safety-cautionary
check steps. We feel tired and listless, often
hovering between being a little anxious and
stressed out - about not doing enough,
doing too much, too much to do, no time,
too many meetings, other people and their
‘I can only
is the norm,
The Unexamined Life of
HR Matters July 2013 | 19
Positive Psychology | HR Matters
idiosyncrasies, and so on. We experience
the absence of purpose and meaning in our
lives manifested as the absence of moment
to moment pleasure or positivity.
The insidious subconscious programming
of habitual patterns from repeatedly doing
the same sequence of action and making
the same response to circumstances makes
up the powerful mental software that runs
our life. Unless we become aware of these
patterns, much of our life is unconscious
repetition. In short, we can dream and speak
of our potential for greatness but if we do the
same as we did yesterday, and have done
for the last ten years, the outcome would be
the same. Yesterday, today, forever – our
habits lead us to the same.
To advance, to realise our potential, and
to self-actualise, we need to mind what we
believe, think and do. Examining our life and
habits reveals firmly entrenched patterns of
behaviour that had evolved to help us cope
and deal with experiences in childhood, in
school, at work, and daily routine as well as
regulate stressors. In the auto-pilot state,
our attention is lulled into drift mode, piqued
by what’s moving, new, or novel.
The tsunami of technology and
consumerism feeds right into the scheme.
We seek entertainment, excitement, and
enlightenment from outside of ourselves
rather then look inside our heads, hearts and
spirit to discern what’s important to us, what’s
of value and what we want of Life. Instead
of seeking Instantaneous gratification and
multi-dimensional stimulation, let us re-visit
being fully human - use that amazing mass
of grey matter in our heads, cherish the
engineering magnificence of our physical
body, nurture our fragile yet valiant hearts,
and reflect on that which is larger than self
that we can draw strength from and give
Start with mindfulness. Be present in
the moment e.g. looking into the faces of
the people around you and registering their
outward expressions of inner dialogues,
or taking time to consider the full human
inside the harried colleague whom you have
grown accustomed to acknowledging as the
typing machine or the financial calculator
or the completer-finisher. On a personal
note, note the tone of your child or spouse
when speaking to you at various times,
savour each of the meals you shovel into
your mouth as you mull over decisions and
issues, or notice how you behave differently
at home, at work and at play.
Who are you? Who are you being when you
are with others? Other people matter. What
relationship patterns do you create?
Focus on what you really want.
Visualise your Best Possible Self. What
would life be like in that ‘someday’ that
you keep putting off, ‘when you have time
or money or both’, and ‘if things were
different’? Do you know where you are
heading? What do you need to do to get
there? What are you postponing because
you are running on auto-pilot? Identify what
you have control over and can change, and
make the change. Develop self-awareness
and work at self-mastery. Hire a coach.
Do something different every day
in the direction of your dreams and goals.
Overcome the inertia of auto-pilot, get out
of that comfort zone of useful excuses and
self-limiting beliefs, and in no time at all,
you will gain momentum and be well on your
way to a life worth living far away from the
zombified existence of one big integrated
system of mal-performing habits. Otherwise,
we are choosing by default to live with too
many layers and autopilot systems to tweak
– which makes change seem impossible.
Change is possible. Stop functioning on
auto-pilot. Start what seems difficult right
now, the impossible might just take a little
Sulynn Choong is a Positive Change
Consultant and the Founder/Chief
Engagement Officer at the Asian Center for
Applied Positive Psychology (ACAPP).
The insidious subconscious programming of habitual patterns from
repeatedly doing the same sequence of action and making the same
response to circumstances makes up the powerful mental software
that runs our life. Unless we become aware of these patterns, much
of our life is unconscious repetition.
20 | July 2013 HR Matters
HR Matters | Recruitment
hat is Futurecasting? It’s the act of building accessible data
sets for competitive intelligence and talent acquisition
best practices that are sustainable, the emphasis being on
data longevity. The methodology allows for key deliverables to be
achieved even if you don’t have the technology resources of Big Data
with the perennial, mainstay tactics for conducting talent acquisition
within your organisation.
The idea is premised upon a fully cloud-based, open-source platform
application and, concurrently, meant to rehabilitate the inner-
workings of CRMs so they can handle Big Social Data and yield real-
time, easily updated, dynamic candidate and business intelligence
records that accurately predict where and how future and current
job candidates are likely to perform best.
Why does it matter to you, Talent Acquisition Leaders, and
to Corporate CEOs, in their quest for talent? The conclusions
drawn from my research have direct implications for corporate
organisations within the Fortune 500 and ultimately, on a global
scale, are fundamentally significant because the ‘how’ of finding
talent has been built on prior preconceived notions.
As a global talent strategist, the one constant in being of service to
leading employers is that those who win key talent from competitors
are those ‘who care to know and invest in knowing.’ In short, the
potential application of the broad term ‘data’, as I have defined
it, is essentially more so about building ‘knowledge’ to properly
influence the decision-making process of today’s workforce and the
organisations who hire them - and as a direct by-product, companies
can dramatically improve workforce planning.
Knowing a job title in a social media or external online search is
no longer enough without context. The equation to master in the
Futurecasting: How the Rise of
Big Social Data is set to Transform
Hiring Best Practices Globally
Accurately predicting where and how future and current job candidates are
likely to perform best. By Dave Mendoza
21st century is about identifying talent of higher quality -with the
added context of their ‘talent ecosystem’ from objectively precise
competitor choices and trending geographical sources that have
been mapped and validated without preconceived notions from
hiring managers and the recruiters they direct and those errors . The
‘We Think’ culture of talent organisations will be a relic to Those
‘Who Know’ and have the datasets to prove and reap the benefits
of strategies based on talent that is mapped and recruiters that are
Converging trends, emerging
Futurecasting is a concept that’s built on a number of key trends
and developments of recent years. Understanding Futurecasting’s
potential and application is impossible without first understanding
the trajectories of each of these trends.
Big Data: a collection of data sets so large and complex that it
becomes difficult to process using hands-on database management
tools. Unlocking Big Data can bring huge benefits, as has been
shown in a number of other fields. Today, for instance, techniques
to interpret Big Data help us to spot business trends, measure the
quality of research and combat crime.
Social: for billions of people, the rise of social networking has
transformed the way they conduct their personal and professional
lives. LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Viadeo, Xing and Twitter are
among the best known channels, but far from the only ones. And
the sector is moving at a phenomenal pace. Only ten years ago,
Facebook was a site called Facemash with just 450 visitors.
Knowing a job title in a social media or external online
search is no longer enough without context.
HR Matters July 2013 | 21
Recruitment | HR Matters
Without a blueprint or initial guidance, the
organisation that would otherwise embark
on a plan to implement Futurecasting –
a methodology possible to employ right
now – might give up altogether for want
of simple first steps. This whitepaper aims
to help such organisations jump-start
the process. What follows, therefore, are
seven steps that are recommended for any
organisation looking to take advantage of
the Futurecasting methodology.
1 Map the organisation’s process
Creating a fully functional CRM begins
with mapping out your talent acquisition
process, from first contact with a
prospective candidate to when they come
aboard. If this is not something that you’ve
previously worked on within your company,
now is the time to make it a priority. How
can you know what you need from your
system if you haven’t identified it within
2 Standardise the organisation’s
The very first step that any organisation
should undertake toward realising more
efficient CRM is to create a standard
protocol. Initiate a stakeholder-driven
effort to establish a workflow process that
applies to the entire CRM lifecycle, with
each stakeholder’s role clearly established
• What default fields do you retain vs.
which customised fields need to be
created to meet your organisational
• What determines a complete record
profile vs. a record that requires
• What is the data quality review process
by which incomplete records are
• What is the standardised model for
geo-locational, industry-specific, or
in-house organisational data? What
is the standardised model for number-
based entries such as postal codes
and telephone numbers (no dashes or
• What is the agreed-upon terminology
for a tagging system, list titles, and job
ID vs. pipeline requisitions?
3 Add social data
You might claim to be operating within
social recruiting. But if you’re not already
incorporating social data into the tools
you use, you’re missing half the equation.
While many systems do not yet have
clickable URL fields available by default
(such as a link to someone’s LinkedIn
profile), you can certainly set them up as
customised portions of your candidate
4 Segment the organisation’s data
Because it’s such an important part of
CRM, segmenting audiences should be an
ingrained process for every sourcer and
recruiter. A basic user can easily create
simple segmentation, and advanced users
can build rules and filters robust enough to
allow the CRM to recognise a Twitter URL
vs. a LinkedIn URL, if these are capable of
For instance, an organisation might want
to, and would be able to, split lists by
those with Twitter URLs and those with
only LinkedIn URLs to then push these
leads into groups or as followers to a
corporate career site or user name. Once
the data is segmented, an API facilitates
the uploading. Though not all CRMs
currently offer this feature as an off-the-
shelf option, it soon will be standard. So
start proactively adding URLs: when the
CRM has that capability, the organisation
can be sourcing immediately.
5 Reinforce competitive
intelligence as a workflow
Adding an organisation’s own job titles to
search for people within the system doesn’t
always make sense. In fact, unless the
organisation is one of the world’s largest
companies or a governmental entity, it
makes no sense at all. Ideally, most of
the profiles in the system are of passive
candidates. Their job titles will likely look
very different from those used within the
company. So make sure to build in titles
for competitor organisations and create a
more robust search string – for example,
“x” is far more useful than “y” – to account
for these discrepancies. In the same vein,
consider using notes and tags to discover
marks of distinction that competitors
routinely give out (e.g. President’s Circle,
Chairman’s Club, Catalyst Award).
6 De-duplicate and enforce data
quality standards to your
What is missing is as important as what
is found. A 21st century Talent Acquisition
organisation spends as much time
identifying their knowledge gaps and the
administrivia and automation capital to fill
them as they do seeking new technologies.
What data is missing from the database
and talent knowledge libraries it builds
are often as critical as the daily output of
sourcing new talent prospects. Though not
a short or easy process, it is one that every
company should do on a continual basis, at
e to implement a Futurecasting methodology
things organisations should do right now
7 By Dave Mendoza
22 | July 2013 HR Matters
I like the back cover blurb : Each of us
has the capacity for greatness. So what
is it that’s stopping us from reaching our
true potential? The answer : too much
This is a different take on how we can
approach any attempt at improvement or
problem solving. While most approaches
are outside in – we look online, we employ
consultants, we get a coach – Alan seeks
to focus on an ‘inside- out’ approach. The
argument is that it’s not about going out
there to gain new knowledge or a new
method. You have everything you need
already and it’s more a case of learning
to use/tap into the knowledge you already
Alan is the founder and president of
InsideOut Development, a professional
services firm offering training and
coaching services. He has spent the
last twenty five years as a mental
performance/focus coach to top
professional golfers, tennis players,
musicians and corporate executives.
This book covers the basic performance
model, GROW, which he helped develop.
GROW is an acronym for the four stages
of decision making, considered by many
to be a gold standard framework for
structuring coaching conversations.
The book is divided into three parts :
Paradigm and Principle, Process and
finally, Practice. As Alan describes it,
“this book is less about gaining new
knowledge and more about getting rid
of what’s keeping you from using the
knowledge you already have”.
It’s long but packed with calls to try
experiments that Alan outlines and a
section at the end of each chapter where
he poses questions for you to reflect on.
Two things to recommend about the book:
Firstly, the focus on execution. It is
not knowledge alone that enables high
performance. It is our ability to close
the gap between what we know and
doing what we know. It’s Alan’s belief
that our ability to close this gap will
have far greater impact on improving
our performance than any additional
knowledge we may gain. Any book that
pays more attention to getting it done, is
worthy of your attention.
Secondly, Alan helps you to really
understand the ideas he puts across
through the use of detailed conversations.
He breaks the dialogue down, highlighting
at the various parts of the conversation,
what he thinks of the situation, where he
sees it going wrong and how he would
approach it. This is very useful because
it’s an opportunity to see theory brought to
life with examples and detailed analysis.
Overall, I think it’s worth investing your
time and effort in. Anything that can help
you not to gain more knowledge but
instead, how to turn this into action, and
how to execute on the plan is well worth
your time. Additionally, if you are a self-
starter, or someone who wants to help
yourself, then this is, as Stephen Covey
writes in the Foreword, a ‘truly landmark
book on helping yourself and others
journey to greatness’. - Ed
HR Matters | Lit
least until the technology does it for us.
By identifying and extracting necessary
data that is missing or incomplete,
moreover by ridding the database of
duplicate records, the organisation
accomplishes two things:
• It determines where and by what
methodology its data needs to be
standardised to minimise knowledge
gaps (see step 1).
• It saves time and financial resources
when looking for records that outlast
the routine attrition of your existing
By upgrading the importance of quality
validation of your data records –
ridding it of incorrect, incomplete or old
information and replacing all that with
correct, complete, new information –
the organisation accomplishes another
• It creates URLs for profiles that didn’t
have them before and significantly
extends the shelf-life of data
regardless of present employers,
position titles or relocations that are
otherwise not dependable in an ever
increasingly mobile global society.
• It serves as the basis of validating
fields that are empty, making that
profile fully searchable and relevant.
7 Recognise the value of
With recruiting turnover and contract
recruiting a fact of life for many local and
global organisations, companies need
to realise the value of their data. Simply
put, if an organisation pays someone
to source data on a daily basis, it must
make sure that it keeps that data safe
and validated by following the steps
Excerpted from the Futurecasting
Title : You Already Know How to be Great. A Simple Way to
Remove Interference and Unlock Your Potential – At Work and
By : Alan Fine
Published by : Piatkus
Year of publication : 2010
Details : Paperback 234 pages
Available at : Borders Malaysia RM54.90 and all major retailers
[continued on page 49]
HR Matters July 2013 | 23
Updates | HR Matters
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Sandra Ford Walston
One of your greatest assets
As an executive, we have two assets which
rival as to which is most valuable to us.
Both our time and our team are the two
most critical components in achieving our
objectives, personally and collectively.
We challenge you to take the
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Courage – C-suite or Cube : It
Just mention the word courage and you
are bound to set people off with all sorts
of projections (usually steeped in fear). Do
people have courage? What is courageous
leadership? Why is managerial courage
Robert W Wendover
The ROI of HR
Training the Mind of the
Millenial. Tips 1 through 6.
In the last post, I took a 30,000 foot view of
the issues with training our digital natives,
the Millennials. Here are the first six, of
twelve, strategies that I and others are
using to better land instruction and content.
The Other Duty of Corporate
According to BusinessDictionary.com,
corporate governance is “The Framework
of rules and practices by which a board of
directors ensures accountability, fairness, and
transparency in a company’s relationship
with its all stakeholders.”
The Metrics of HR
The costs of a company’s workforce account
for 40 – 60 percent of its total expenses,
and this percentage increases to around 80
percent for a non-profit company.
HR Matters | Columnists
A quick look at posts this July
HR Matters July 2013 | 25
HR Practitioner | HR Matters
Who: Noel McGonigle, Group HR Director
for Azzurri Communications Limited, one
of UK’s leading independent provider of
managed communication services.
What : Recently won “Best Change
Management Programme” at the HR
Distinction Awards. The Awards recognise
outstanding achievement from leading HR
Where : The Awards were held as part of
the 11th HR Directors Business Summit in
Why : Recognition of the HR team who
played a pivotal role in managing and
implementing organisational transformation.
The category was judged on merit in the
planning, execution and performance results
from large scale change programmes.
When : 2013
In this exclusive interview, Noel McGonigle
talks about a number of big changes that
took place within the organisation over the
last couple of years and how the upheaval
and uncertainty was managed positively.
As a relatively young
years in the making,
Azzurri Communications is
impressive in that it has acquired
16 companies to date and
thrived. Managing and working
in a constant state of flux must
be an everyday norm for most
of you. How do you manage the
upheaval and uncertainty?
Noel : For me personally, my military
background has given me experience with
fast changing or ambiguous situations. In a
sense, it means getting used to working with
the limited information you have and what
you can deduct from your experience. You
use this information to craft a plan and if
there are critical things you don’t know, you
need to work out where and who to go to, to
get the answers.
There’s a very old military phrase – no plan
the Perception of HR
Ex-military man, Noel McGonigle talks to Rowena Morais about how the conflict situations
he faced enabled him to manage corporate and organisational change positively and proactively.
survives contact with the enemy. The idea
here is that theoretical planning and the
work behind the scenes changes as soon
as you start taking it forward into reality.
Consequently, it’s critical that you remain
flexible and that you continually re-evaluate
and re-plan. Be prepared to change mid-
direction if the plan doesn’t work because
there’s nothing worse than pressing on when
the plan is failing. Sometimes, you have to
go with your instincts as well. Ultimately, it’s
better to make a decision and do something
than sit and do nothing.
How do you manage
the upheaval and
uncertainty for your
Noel : I guess the key factor for managing
it for the organisation is communication.
We always have a clear communication
strategy, for any acquisition, both for the
company being acquired and for ourselves.
As soon as it’s possible to commercially
start talking about it, we do that whether it’s
via email, video or face to face.
Have any changes
been objected to and
how do you deal with
Noel : Yes, of course. It’s inevitable
especially if change impacts a person’s
role or them personally. It boils down to
engaging people in the process. When we
have the basics of a plan, we use employee
26 | July 2013 HR Matters
HR Matters | HR Practitioner
consultative groups to talk about what we intend to do and to get
feedback before we move forward. It’s not a big bureaucratic process.
But where there are tough decisions to make, such as redundancy or
where the shape of the business is changing, we ensure that once we
make a decision, we then deal with the people who are leaving the
organisation, in a fair and open way. It is important that they are well
treated. And it’s just as important that the people who are left behind
in the organisation see this as well so that there is no resentment.
In 2009, when the business was refinanced, we needed to make 50
people redundant. This took place across the organisation because
there was a restructure, but in that case, employee engagement
scores actually improved. We could see that it was linked to our
communication programme and how it was handled.
Recruitment and retention – these are
twin pillars to any talent management
strategy. What are your top three focus
areas for attracting new talent and retaining the
talent you have?
Noel : Our primary focus is retention. We hone in on managers. We
want them to be well trained and as equipped as they can be so
that they inspire. We have a strong set of values in place and we do
expect managers to be role models of these values. The manager
is, after all, the single biggest factor in determining how engaged
you are in the organisation. We also focus on leadership across the
organisation. We ensure that we too are good role models, that we
are visible and that we take the time to be available to our people.
There’s also a focus on personal growth, by ensuring that everyone
not only has a development plan but that they are working to that
every year. This is a KPI and a focus area for employee feedback.
And in terms of attraction, we work closely with marketing so that
there are positive messages in the press. This is good not just for
customers but also presents a branding opportunity. We encourage
charitable work to build a community presence so that people are
aware of us locally. It also allows us to demonstrate commitment
to our community and giving back which then flags us to potential
You served in the Royal Air Force for
22 years in a variety of operational and
human resource appointments. Do you
believe that your military experience has had a
huge influence in your work in managing and
Noel : Yes, certainly. There was a lot of leadership and management
training in the military for me. I believe that conflict situations provide
a much tougher training ground which has had definite benefit for
If you could advise an up and coming
HR professional in today’s climate, what
three pieces of advice would you give?
Noel : Firstly, I would say, be curious. Be curious about the
business that you work in and the business environment in general.
For us to add value, there needs to be an understanding of how
business works, in general, how your own business works and more
importantly, what is needed to be successful in that organisation is
also very important. Secondly, you need to be a risk taker. Don’t just
go by the rules. HR can be quite good at hiding behind the rule book
and that’s not always best for business. So, flex and do what is right
for the business. Thirdly, never stop learning. Don’t forget to develop
yourself and your skills. Get as broad an experience as you can…
in compensation and benefits, in leadership etc. At some point, you
might want to specialise, but experience across the board, will allow
you to contribute to the HR function and to the business as a whole.
In relation to the Best Change
Management Programme at the HR
Distinction Awards 2013 - can you tell us
a little bit about these change programmes? How
many programmes were in place and how large
Noel : There were two or three programmes in place. When the
business was refinanced in 2011/2012 and new ownership came
on board, there was a desire to streamline the business. And we
wanted to support this. One key initiative was improving the sales
performance and pipeline. It involved us looking at drivers for
sales performance, assessing individuals against the matrix using
psychometric tools and identifying areas for individual development.
It also meant introducing more development tools for the people and
tools to support consultative selling. We were moving from selling
products to selling solutions. Therefore, we needed to help our sales
people make the transition from product to solution selling. In that
regard, we managed assessment, development and delivery of that
programme and drove an 18 percent increase in profit.
Be prepared to change mid-direction if the plan doesn’t work because
there’s nothing worse than pressing on when the plan is failing.
HR Matters July 2013 | 27
HR Practitioner | HR Matters
There were a significant number of
financial and management changes in
the financial year till June last year. There
was a refinancing exercise, change of ownership
as well as the introduction of a new management
team. These changes were reportedly introduced
in a short period of time. Are you able to share
with us some of your key business strategies to
get these changes accepted within the employee
Noel : All this took place in the space of a few months. The big
shift in the last refinancing was having a new Board. There was a
new Chief Executive, new Finance Director and new non-executive
directors. The key element, I believe, was allowing the CEO and the
CFO to meet as many people in the organisation as they could, and
being able to communicate their background and their priorities. The
message was essentially a positive one and it put the business on a
solid footing moving forward. I believe that while there was a bit of a
honeymoon period in the initial phase, the markets were challenging
in the UK at the time. So, the external competition really made our
people focus on what was happening outside. It was a combination
of many factors including the mix of products we had, how the way
we were selling was changing, there was more pay as you go and far
more happening on the cloud. There was, therefore, lots to respond
to and essentially, it kept our people focused and busy. There are
legacy issues, of course, but there is a point at which you invest in
systems, such as your financial or purchasing systems (that need to
be continuously updated or integrated) that take your people to the
It’s a challenge to navigate through
these uncertainties and simultaneously
keep the flow of the day to day running
of the business. Can you elaborate on a key
communication initiative HR embarked on to
ensure that the needs of both the enterprise and
the individual were aligned?
Noel : We’ve reenergised and refocused our product to be more
cloud-based. So, there is more pay as you go and customers
were also wanting to use their own devices. Consequently, we had
security and integration challenges associated with this. While we
wanted to launch our new solutions to the market, we also wanted
our employees to understand the breadth of the new solutions too.
To do this, we ran two events for our offices in the north of England
and also the south. Our CEO presented our vision, values and
strategy to go to market. This was followed by a series of five product
area demonstrations where these products were showcased and our
people were shown how customers were using it. This enabled them
to get a sense of what the products involved. We captured it on video
and made it available for viewing online internally. We followed this
with more in depth workshops for our technical and sales people
to ensure they had the support they needed. And there was great
feedback from this.
At the Awards above, it was stated that
with your resized team and reduced
budget, your HR team was able to
successfully transform the perception of HR within
the organisation. How was HR viewed prior to this
and what do you feel contributed to this feeling?
not as commercial as it was after the change programme took place.
The programme we undertook was a company-wide programme and
as such, it raised the game. It changed the perception of HR from
tactical to one of business partner to the company.
What do you see as a key challenge for
HR today? How do you feel that this is
Noel : I think the key challenge is to keep up with the pace of change
in the market and the organisation. You want to do this so that the
support you provide is relevant and meets the needs at the time. To
do that, you have to be outward facing to the market yet close to the
Noel McGonigle served in the Royal Air Force for 22 years in a
variety of operational and human resource appointments. Noel
joined Azzurri in 2006 and is responsible for all HR activities,
including Health and Safety. He is passionate about leadership and
employee engagement. Azzurri has seen its employee engagement
scores improve year on year and has been shortlisted for a number
of HR awards, including winning Best Reward and Benefits Strategy
in 2010 and a Distinction in Change Management in 2013.
The manager is, after all, the single biggest factor in determining
how engaged you are in the organisation.
28 | July 2013 HR Matters
We could talk about us
till the cows come home...
but we figure that what
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It’s about the ‘personal touch’ and responsiveness of the Consultants
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Diary | HR Matters
Event listings are complimentary. If you have
an event that you think will be of interest to
those in HR, send details at least two weeks
before month of magazine issue for inclusion
in the print edition. Details can be emailed to
HR Matters presents Talent
Management. Raising Your Game
2013 HR Briefings
Dates : 22 August and 28
Venue : Menara Star, Section 16,
Info : www.hr-matters.info/forum.
Asian Shared Services and
Date : 14 – 15 Aug 2013
Venue : New World Makati Hotel,
Makati City, Philippines
Info : www.ssophilippines.com/
HRDF Conference & Exhibition
Date : 3 – 4 September 2013
Venue : Kuala Lumpur Convention
Info : www.hrdf.com.my
Careers in Asia | Careers in Africa
International Recruitment Summit
Date : 11 – 13 October 2013
Venue : Sydney, Australia
Info : www.globalcareercompany.
HR Tech Europe 2.013
European Conference and Expo
Date : 24- 25 October 2013
Venue : Amsterdam
Info : www.hrtecheurope.com
The key thing is that
we started this journey
mindful of the scale of our
ambitions balanced against
our starting point and
resources available. This
meant we had to map out
very carefully the sequence
between the various
Brett Terry, Director of
People and Organisational
Development at Alzheimer’s
Read more about
journey towards greater
employee engagement on
For more info on getting invited to the
Roundtables, call +603 6140 6398.
30 | July 2013 HR Matters
HR Matters | Best Practice
Best Practices that Directly Impact Your
Business’s Ability to Reach Your Profit Target
The Essential Toolkit for Profitability - how each best practice increases the odds of your business hitting
your profit target. Excerpts from the State of the Business Owner 2013 report.
Why is it called ‘The Ownership Stack’?
“We call it this to make it clear there’s no secret if you really want to feel in control — to “own” your business through and through.
It’s about taking the time to build your foundation — to think about the future and plan how to get there — knowing that every step
you take is a step in the right direction.”
Mid May saw the launch of the State of the Business (SOBO) 2013
Report* in which more than 1700 business owners were surveyed
across 83 countries. One of the largest global studies of small and
midsize business success factors, the SOBO Report (which is now
in its second year) aims to gain insight into the challenges that small
and midsize businesses face daily. The Report indicated that the
cautious optimism noted in their 2012 study was now replaced by
untempered optimism about growth this year.
A key finding is the identification of nine best practices that have a
direct impact on a small business’s ability to reach their profit target
and the fact that each best practice implemented increased the odds
of a business hitting this profit target by 6.6 percent.
These best practices – The Ownership Stack - form a universal set
of tools, each of which has a dramatic impact on the business.
The Ownership Stack Defined
1 Written Values
A clear set of values from your heart, that inspire a team of people
who share your priorities and deeply own their responsibilities in a
way that frees you.
2 Written Vision
A 2-3 page statement defining what your business will look like, act
like, feel like and perform like when it’s treating customers how you
want it to, every time.
3 Ideal Customer Profile
A detailed definition of your perfect customers. This includes
demographics and psychographic information about how they feel,
think, and make decisions.
4 Employee Role Descriptions
Signed agreements that define every role — focused on results
and values, not tasks and policies. These are the foundation of job
ownership and excellence.
5 Revenue Plan
Plans for generating revenue, and associated assumptions,
documented and translated into a twelve month budget that is both
realistic and stretches you.
6 Written Marketing Plan
A cohesive plan for generating leads, designed to meet your ideal
customer where they are, with what they need, in a brand-consistent
7 Repeat Sales Plan
Driven by powerful customer experiences, systems that leverage
your existing relationships to sell more and more often to your
current and former clients.
8 Marketing Metrics
Indicators that tell you how well you’ve converted people from total
strangers to your best customers, so you have actionable data to
maximise your impact.
9 Business Metrics
A simple dashboard of strategic indicators to track progress toward
your vision, to ensure initiatives have the right impact, and course
correct as needed.
For details on sustainable growth, effective online prospecting, how
to take your best practices to the next level or to find out how to
build your own Ownership Stack, download the SOBO report at
HR Matters July 2013 | 31
The State of the Business (SOBO) 2013
Report is produced by EMyth, a global
leader in transformational business
coaching and PixelSpoke, an award-
winning digital marketing agency. Jonathan
Raymond, Chief Brand Officer at Myth, who
was formerly their Chief Executive talks to
HR Matters Magazine.
If you had to choose the most
significant finding from the
SOBO report, what would that
be, and why?
Jonathan : The most
important finding was
what we’re calling the
‘Ownership Stack’. It
was a set of nine best
practices - actions like
defining your ideal
customer in detail to creating real role
descriptions for employees - that have a
direct correlation to hitting profit goals. The
Report found that each one of these nine
tools had a dramatic impact on a business.
In fact, implementing each one increased
a business owner’s odds of reaching
Best Practice | HR Matters
9 best practices
[continued on page 48]
• Over 1700 business owners
participated in the study
• Owner compensation ranged
• Average gross annual revenue
• Combined revenues of all
participating businesses exceeded
• Participating businesses
employed over 8,000 full-time
workers in 2012
• The median growth rate for 2012
was 12.5%, and the expected
growth in 2013 is 20%
• 65% of participants have owned
or founded at least one company
• The oldest participant was 83, the
youngest was 20, and the median
age was 47
• Business owners from 83
different countries participated.
87% of the survey respondents
were from six English-speaking
countries: United States, Canada,
United Kingdom, New Zealand,
Australia and South Africa
• The median business had been
around for 10 years
SOBO infographic courtesy EMyth
their profit targets by 6.6 percent, and
implementing all nine of them increases
their odds by nearly 60 percent. And while
some of these practices are not new, what
we found compelling was how they can work
together to support real and sustainable
revenue growth and increased profitability.
From what you’ve seen, what do
you believe are the three biggest
failings for small and midsize
Jonathan : The first common failing is
overconfidence. The SOBO Report found
that 85 percent of business owners believe
they have a competitive advantage. Given
the daunting statistics from the Small
Business Administration that only 50
percent of new businesses survive the
first five years, this is a very risky attitude.
Entrepreneurs overestimate the power of
their idea or technical skill and underestimate
the value of proper management systems
and execution to reach the result they want.
32 | July 2013 HR Matters
HR Matters | Special Feature LEARNING &DEVELOPMENT
P E C I
A T U R E
ersonal Development Plans (PDPs) can be useful for
individuals and teams to identify and address both short
and long term development goals. These plans provide a
systematic approach to continuously developing your skills. We talk
to four HR leaders about noteworthy practices that they have come
across, in crafting or implementating effective PDPs.
Make an investment where it matters
Why PDPs? In today’s business world, I believe it’s critical to long-
term success to invest in the development of your own PDP and
those of your employees. I have been fortunate to have worked with
and for incredible leaders that made PDPs a
priority of my development conversations. I’ve
led people for more than 17 years, and as a leader,
when you’re able to help others understand the
importance of how investing in yourself, both
personally and professionally, and by how doing
so translates into overall success at work and life, it’s just one of the
many things you do that helps them grow and achieve more. One
way to do this is to make PDPs a priority during one-on-ones.
I believe it’s our job to help foster and facilitate the discussion
about why PDPs are important and then work together (operative
word is together) to craft a plan that addresses both a personal
and professional goal. Keep them simple. Complexity shuts down
even the best made plans. When as leaders we can help connect
the two, commitment to a PDP happens. Research has proven that
life-long learners succeed at higher rates in both life and business.
Over the long-term, fostering focus and attention towards PDPs
with employees nets you the greatest returns on your most valuable
assets - your people. Why not make an investment where it matters
most? It’s what truly sets you apart from the rest.
Roger Brooks is the Executive Director of Training & Development for
Safeguard Business Systems, a leading manufacturer and distributor of
business products and services designed to help small to medium sized
business owners run and grow their business. Roger’s twelve year career
in learning and development has spanned across industries such as retail,
restaurants and franchising.
For greater engagement, offer
something that fits the preferences of
When PDPs were first used, in the late 1980s,
their purpose was to help encourage employees
to take ownership of their development for the
first time. Before this, it was trainees and high
flyers that held personal plans, other staff were
at the whims of employers.
Developing single PDP systems for all employees proved difficult
and gaining whole scale commitment even harder. When these
systems worked, they really did add value. One such system I was
leading was developed for London Underground. This provided a
return ten times the cost of implementing the system… just from
one learning intervention, from one manager! That would not have
happened without a PDP. At that point evaluation was stopped!
where it matters most?
The case for Personal Development Plans. By Isabella Chan
Keep them simple. Complexity shuts down even
the best made plans.~ Roger Brooks
Why not make an investment
HR Matters July 2013 | 33