Watch out for the People Iceberg!


Good year? Figures strong? Nice bonuses all round? Enjoy and celebrate but watch out for the iceberg!

It’s fair to say that a great year and performance in business can be a trigger for complacency, meaning some companies miss seeing the iceberg until it’s too late.

Hitting the iceberg forces a retrospective and expensive effort to correct the damage!

So what could you hit, or hopefully miss?

We all know the world us changing due to technical and cultural advances. Consumers consume content in 140 characters, conversation is secondary to tapping on a device and workers want it all their own way!

So when you sit back and enjoy your last year, spare a thought for the next five. Failing to forecast is a forecast for failure, so make sure you continually evaluate how your workforce is changing, ageing and consuming.

  • Do you workforce plan?
  • Have you got a retirement bubble?
  • How does your workforce need to evolve to meet changing customer and industry demands?
  • Can your people technology and processes keep pace?
  • Can you recruit, manage, develop and maintain in line with what your workforce expects these days and in the future?

It’s a fascinating world and forecasting what’s round the corner is an interesting but costly dynamic if you don’t get it right!

For an informal conversation, or even an exploratory future state workshop, message me, email me or let’s go old school and speak on the phone :-).

Colin Minto, Founding Partner, Big Idea Talent, – +44 (0)7887 480142

With HR getting a new name, where does Resourcing really sit?

HR Magnifying Glass

Fascinating debate recently at HRcoreLAB4 in Barcelona regarding how HR needs to evolve and be more commercially astute, so I chipped in and said “so what will its new name be”?

Personnel evolved into Human Resources when its professionals wanted to be recognised for being more strategic. Whether this has been achieved consistently and globally was debated and the view was mixed, with many saying HR in some instances is still trying to convince the C Suite to get a seat on the board!

So if it needs to evolve again, will it go through brand repositioning? What will it be called? Chief People Officers and People Directors etc. are springing up frequently, fuelled mainly by the thinking of successful start ups. Something with ‘People’ or ‘Workforce’ perhaps!

Interestingly Resourcing is evolving to and is a factor in this debate!

When you look at the Resourcing function and purpose, in terms of its key business attributes, it’s clear it has matured:

  • Strategy – Strategic demand/workforce planning.
  • Finance – Profit centre discipline to deliver bottom line contribution.
  • Organisation Design – Resourcing delivery model.
  • Marketing – Employer branding and job opportunity promotion.
  • Sales – Sourcing and closing interest in job opportunities.
  • Procurement – Sifting, screening, selecting and negotiating.
  • HR Operations – Onboarding, familiarisation and career management.
  • Talent Management – Employee development and succession planning.
  • Employee Engagement – Employee communication and retention.

So does Resourcing sit in the newly branded HR or somewhere else?

I wonder if the focus on getting the right people, in the right volumes, in the right places, at the right time, with the right attitude has crept up the ‘most important list’ of the CEO, or chief strategist if that isn’t the CEO!

I wonder if Resourcing is so ‘marketing focussed’ now, bordering on mirroring a great e-commerce approach, that the Chief Marketeers have eyes on its ownership!

I wonder if whatever HR evolves into puts more emphasis on Resourcing to help it demonstrate how commercially astute it is, and uses Resourcing success to prove how much bottom line value it creates! Therefore, it might not need to sit anywhere else!

I ‘Challenge You’ to Think Within Once a Day!

5 Mile Run - Mindfulness - 080116

Like many this time of year I am exercising off the Christmas and New Year excesses, and those of you that know me know I like to run most mornings. I’ve been running most days a ‘working week’ for a couple of years now and I realised recently that I have got into a comfort zone with it, whereby, I haven’t been stretching myself and use it as my time to think about, and solve, the myriad of business and personal challenges that are always floating around as part of day to day living!

Coincidentally I was recently reintroduced to the concept of mindfulness, which is where one stops thinking about things outside of oneself for a period of time and instead focuses attention on everything that’s going on inside.

In a conversation with a networking contact I said that I practised it accidentally a few months back when I agreed to run an organised 10K at the last minute, with next to no training or preparation after a 3 week holiday! It kicked in automatically when I realised I was completely out of my depth, which coincided with my lungs, legs, arms and pretty much everything else burning! I needed to regulate everything I was doing because my personal pride was pushing me to get to the end and save any personal disappointment and embarrassment 🙂 I looked within for the whole run to get me over the line!

Heron Way 10K

(That’s my amazing son giving me encouragement in the background!)

So today I decided to blend three things as an experiment to see what would happen:

  1. Running off (hopefully) what’s left of that one extra chocolate, turkey sandwich, glass of fizz and piece of cake!
  2. Getting out of my running comfort zone and stretching myself a little!
  3. Practising a little bit of mindfulness, which is actually quite hard to master when you are starting out with it!

So I set off with purpose on all three at 07.30 this morning on a dry but cold morning. What I realised immediately was that my brain was automatically trying to think of my workload today, the mini soccer match my team is playing tomorrow and the weekend in general, so I focussed within!

I looked internally to confirm how my feet were feeling whilst pounding the street, how my lungs were feeling as I had set off with additional pace, what my breathing pattern was like and if any muscles were niggling. All was well and I found that whilst I was doing this I was travelling well, feeling good and what you could possibly describe as working optimally.

I kept going and when I noticed my mind was drifting onto other things I refocussed and looked within and noticed my speed was dropping. I was becoming inefficient at running because my mind was drifting off onto something else. I wasn’t thinking about running and motivating myself by monitoring my inner performance. So I put that right each time.

This carried on for five miles and to be fair my main battle was trying to ignore the flash of inspiration I had at about two miles to write a blog post on focussing within, which demonstrates that practising mindfulness isn’t easy when you have a million and one things going on in life! In all honestly the last mile was tough as well because it’s mainly on the incline!

So none of this will surprise any of you; most definitely the focussed runners and sports professionals out there because this is part and parcel of how they deliver excellence on the pitch, court, track and in the pool etc.

It won’t surprise you in a business context either because if you have an objective and focus using your skills and experience when tackling business tasks, you will do an excellent job and achieve excellent outcomes.

So I suppose I reconfirmed a couple of things with my little experiment:

  1. If you want to improve on something, set yourself an objective to achieve.
  2. Focus 100% on what you are doing and the objective you have set yourself.
  3. Practice mindfulness (looking within), or your version of it, to limit distractions to help you achieve your goals.

What’s my evidence to support the above and why did I include a screenshot of my running app from this morning’s run at the top of this post? I ran a personal best for 5 miles this morning, which I was extremely pleased with as it included an average pace of less than 8 minutes per mile. I also know I drifted a little throughout, so I reckon I might have a sub 40 minute in me soon 🙂

Have a great day everyone and if you get the chance to experiment with any of the above I would love to hear your stories and results.

All the best for 2016.