In-sourcing – the new out-sourcing?

Maybe what lies at the nub of the idea of disbanding the HR function is the concept of sense of purpose – not for ourselves, but as judged by other people. It’s not our own answer to ‘what are you here for, exactly?’ that’s the issue, it’s how other people see it: not the purpose we think we serve, but the one that others think we do. Or, more critically, don’t.

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HR And Big Data: Storytelling or Journalism?

Mastery of a discipline (accepting the use of the term for HR) requires many skills, but also a sure-footed understanding of the raw materials and how to handle them. The raw materials of a Human Resources Manager are primarily, as the job title alludes, people. (Whether ‘human resources’ is a devaluing or derogatory way of describing them – or should I say ‘us’? – is a separate but not entirely unrelated point.) The raw materials of Big Data, by comparison, are more explicitly ‘in the title’: data. Quantitative measures. Numbers.

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Book Review – Turning Learning into Action: A proven methodology for effective transfer of learning by Emma Weber

Turning Learning into Action by Emma Webber is a welcome addition to a canon that is surprisingly small given that it deals with a problem that each year wastes over $500 billion worldwide. Subtitled “A proven methodology for effective transfer of learning”, it is a book for L&D practitioners rather than academics, but its purpose is the promotion of the author’s proprietary solutions rather than the creation of a community of practice.

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A long but broken engagement?

Back in April 2010, we wrote about the MacLeod Review, a government review into the complex and timely issue of employee engagement. Judging by the frequency with which we read about the topic in the HR/L&D press – and are even requested to comment or write for the same media outlets ourselves – it is not in that category of organisational issues that we can mark down as essentially a fad. On the contrary, engagement is the issue that will not go away. But are organisations listening to the sources that provide evidence of the need to make changes (or even the benefits of doing so)? The verdict is less clear.

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Outside the Ivory Tower

Those of us involving in workplace learning and professional development should be more than aware that ‘our’ kind of education has left the Ivory Tower. The classroom is no longer some kind of ‘holy’ place where employees congregate – no pun intended – to have learning bestowed upon them. The future of organisational learning will be WISE - Workplace, Informal, Social and Experiential – even if it might take a while for the actual individuals to merit the adjective.

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Fighting Talk

The following is an opinion on British Management. “Short Sighted, Short-Termists, or Long-Term, Growth Visionaries”. If the first couple of words hadn’t given an indication that further language with a hint of ‘step into the executive car park and say that again, would you?’ might be about to follow, here are more words from the same source ...

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Glass Ceiling? If only it were so simple

Is it too critical, or too nuanced, to suggest that it’s not just the visibility of female role models that is an issue ? Visibility – and more fundamentally, existence – is certainly important: the vast literature of leadership development and behavioural change provide endless examples of the power of modelling what you wish to create, rather than merely calling for or espousing it. Without role models, the idea that something is possible is far harder to grasp or conceive.

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Workplace Learning: don’t stand in your own way

As employees increasingly take their training ‘on the run’ as well as ‘on the job’, the percentage of training that takes place in the manager’s rather than the trainer’s arena will only increase, but how far are managers shouldering or responding to this increasing responsibility? Is the determining factor more one of willingness or of ability? Or, perhaps, of opportunity and encouragement? This is a vital debate, and one in which managers’ own voices have so far been little heard. To ask these questions so that we might all benefit from being aware of the answers, ASK (working with Institute of Leadership and Management) has launched the UK Workplace Learning Survey 2013-14.

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