Talent in the headlights …

… but is your organisation the car, speeding forward into an illuminated future, or the rabbit, paralysed by the threat? Reading the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2011 report, The Global Talent Index Report: The Outlook to 2015 (download as a PDF file), the ability not be paralysed by complexity and change is a key attribute, and … Continue reading “Talent in the headlights …”

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.

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.

Data and Soft Skills: running the gamut of emotions on a scale of 1 to 5?

‘Digitising the carpet’ – thinking of text as something electronic, although that may be a large part of the reality of internal communication in many organisations – can also digitise our tendency to sweep things under it. One of the reasons that inaccurate assumptions (including, of course, ‘the merger will go smoothly’) go unchallenged is that opinions go unsurfaced, or that varying points of view are not given opportunities to be voiced. Am I the only person sufficiently paranoid to think that the adoption of ‘sentiment analysis’ might, in itself, be somewhat inhibiting: “your emails and intranet postings will be analysed to identify your feelings and emotions” is a sentence that might make quite a number of people feel inclined to step away from the keyboard.

‘Digitising the carpet’ – thinking of text as something electronic, although that may be a large part of the reality of internal communication in many organisations – can also digitise our tendency to sweep things under it. One of the reasons that inaccurate assumptions (including, of course, ‘the merger will go smoothly’) go unchallenged is that opinions go unsurfaced, or that varying points of view are not given opportunities to be voiced. Am I the only person sufficiently paranoid to think that the adoption of ‘sentiment analysis’ might, in itself, be somewhat inhibiting: “your emails and intranet postings will be analysed to identify your feelings and emotions” is a sentence that might make quite a number of people feel inclined to step away from the keyboard.