There’s a vast difference between the theory of HR and its daily practice. In theory, HR is a well toned hunk of strategic muscle and a competitive weapon for the organization it serves. In reality, the day to day work of HR is a bag of cats and dogs that depend significantly on the company’s position in its economic life cycle. The single most ineffective thing you can do is generalize about what HR should be.
The role of HR depends on industry, region, company demographics, and organizational culture. In organizations where physical safety is a primary issue, HR takes a role that looks more like surveillance and policing. In information oriented operations, just the opposite is the case. Effective HR ranges from good cop to bad cop with all of the variations in between.
In a few companies, HR is a transformational function. Brad Warga‘s pioneering efforts at Harrah‘s don’t look much like the amazing endeavors at Cisco. What they share in common is an emphasis on tight business integration and innovation in the function. The similarity is in the questions posed by HR, not the implementation details or so-called best practices.
But it’s not for everyone.
When you look out at the market for workforce planning tools, HR Analytics and other leading edge offerings, what you see is an emphasis on sameness. Inform (now a part of SuccessFactors), OrcaEyes and other Analytics firms all assume that the question is about making apples to apples comparisons against standard data types.
The idea in most analytics implementations is to wire existing data into predetermined buckets thereby producing standard metrics that can be measured against the rest of the industry. It’s not a recipe for transformation, innovation or competitive edge. Rather, it’s a way of building common language amongst allies and competitors.
At its core, the HumanConcepts toolset is designed to facilitate organizational rearrangement. By moving blocks around on an interactive org chart, users can see the effects of various decisions to move, grow, shrink or reengineer. It’s like a prototyping tool for potential organizational changes.
I’ll tell you more about the core functionality in a later note.
What they realized, somewhere along the line, is that the HumanConcepts toolkit is a great way to visualize and quantify an organization. Just like the other analytics companies, the wicker data together from the customer’s sources. The difference in the HumanConcepts process is that you can use business rules to visualize various aspects of the organization.
HumanConcepts creates a powerful way for organizations to define and resolve the things that really matter. Rather than predefined question sets, the system makes the core data visible so that intelligent hypotheses can be made after the data is in the system.
It’s the difference between standardization and ad hoc query development. The HumanConcepts offering redefines the top end of the analytics and workforce planning markets.
Tomorrow, we’ll tell you how.