It’s Darkest Before The Dawn: Economic Predictions for 2013

“The story the data tells us is often the one we’d like to hear…” Nate Silver warns in his first book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t. It is good counsel for those of us who make predictions and those of us responsible for acting on the insights of others to be wary of data or conclusions supporting our prejudices and preferences.

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Why your Workforce Planning Efforts may be Doomed to Fail... and What You Can Do About It

Workforce planning, especially “strategic workforce planning,” does not work in most organizations.  While workforce planning in all its forms and variations is emerging as the hot HR topic for 2012 and continues to gain momentum, I fear it is doomed to become the HR “flavor of the month” in most organizations. 

Why is Workforce Planning Hot? Many are discovering workforce planning for the first time as the “Great Recession” fades into memory.  Organizations, especially in the US, were absolutely blind-sided by the recession.  They were unaware of the nature and extent of risks in a highly leveraged and globally interdependent economy.  From the human capital perspective, they were unaware of which positions and employees create value, compounding the panic brought on by the recession.  It is both the fear it will happen again and the memory of the pain motivating organizations to invest in Workforce Planning now. 

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It’s a Talent Shortage … not a Shortage of People

This summer, with every stubbornly high U.S. unemployment rate report comes a slew of headlines and heated debates in the press and across the internet over whether a talent shortage is real or hyperbole.

“You would think in tough economic times that you would have your pick of people,” CEO Thomas J. Murphy of Ben Venue Laboratories summarizes the conventional business wisdom in Dr. Peter Cappelli’s latest book Why Good People Can’t Find Jobs (June 19, 2012).

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Ready or Not – The Future is Coming

Unless you believe the Mayan calendar is correct and 12/21/2012 harkens the end of the world, 2013 is coming.  Are your preparing?  For some of my new clients, 2013 is much closer as their fiscal years begin September 1 and October 1.  We are already talking with these clients about the market forces shaping their organizational outlook.  To quote the Magic 8 Ball, “reply hazy, try again.” 

Between the US presidential election; European Union’s hand-wring over Greece, Spain and Italy; Middle East unrest in Egypt, Syria and beyond; a Chinese economic slowdown and an impending global food shortage, it is easy to understand why economics is called the “dismal science.” 

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Should your HR Department Function like a Business?

"The best and the brightest don't go into HR,” Fast Company quoted a management professor from a leading business school in its controversial cover story, “Why We Hate HR.”  It has been almost seven years since the Gary Baseman cover hit my desk and that quote near the beginning of the article still stings.

It was the summer of 2005. I was working at ING in Atlanta when the magazine was delivered to my office.  I still recall stopping everything to devour Keith Hammond’s article.  My team was just about to launch our first workforce measurement dashboard and the critique’s timing seemed fortuitous.  While the comment about the “best and brightest” bothered me at the time, there was much in the article I agreed with and incorporated in the successful rollout of our new tool.

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