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The PeopleCap Playbook

Timely insights and actionable people strategies for leaders.

Performance Management is Evolving: The New Paradigm

paradigm shift key on keyboard
The necessity of developing talent is at an all-time high; yet, prehistoric performance reviews roam free – devouring hours of productivity and lowering morale without having any meaningful impact on organizational performance. Most HR departments don’t believe annual performance evaluations provide accurate data, and many managers and employees simply dread the process. In a study by Mercer, 95% of managers reported being dissatisfied with their performance management process and 90% of heads of HR did not feel their system provided accurate information. Continue reading “Performance Management is Evolving: The New Paradigm”

What We’re Reading: Measure What Matters

book cover Measure What Matters

One of PeopleCap’s 6 Imperatives for High Performance  is “Sharpen Focus.” We are always looking for creative ways to help our client companies set clear direction and align their organization accordingly. It was with that in mind that I picked up a copy of Measure What Matters by John Doerr to read at the beach this summer. It inspired me to sharpen my own focus and put into practice the organizational goal setting methodology detailed in the book that promises to “turn good ideas into superior execution.” Continue reading “What We’re Reading: Measure What Matters”

Culture is the Boss

The topic of corporate culture is ubiquitous. You cannot open a copy of the Harvard Business Review or a McKinsey Blog without seeing some reference to corporate culture and the need for executives and boards to manage it. And while there has been a lot published on this topic, we still find that many don’t quite understand what “it” is: They don’t understand what culture is and why it is so important. So, for them, I offer this explanation: Culture is the Boss when the Boss is not around. Continue reading “Culture is the Boss”

Succession is Not About the Corner Office

Photo by Philipp Birmes
At some point, leadership transition is a reality for all companies. One HR executive I recently spoke to is concerned that her 300-person company has built such amazing employee loyalty that approximately 35% of their workforce will retire in the next five years! Another organization is concerned that their founder-based brand will not survive the CEO’s retirement. And the CEO of yet another larger company has unintentionally sparked a c-suite jousting match leaving his executive team more focused on positioning themselves for his crown than on working together to run the company.

Whether a leadership transition is imminent or a decade off, succession planning is not about identifying an eventual replacement for your CEO — it’s not about who winds up in the corner office. Continue reading “Succession is Not About the Corner Office”

When It Comes to People Strategy, Success is in the Grind

Last year, I decided on a whim that I wanted to do a Half Ironman.

As I started to sketch out a plan, the enormity of the race started to sink in – a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike, followed by a 13.1 run. I had a long way to go. I had never done a triathlon — not even a baby one. I had never swum a complete lap without stopping; my longest bike was 25 miles; and I hadn’t run in almost 2 years — and even then, my longest run had been 5 miles. Continue reading “When It Comes to People Strategy, Success is in the Grind”

People Drive Results

People drive results.

They are the key accelerator to success or the greatest impediment. If people are not performing at their highest potential, the business isn’t either.

The buck stops with the CEO.

A CEO’s primary responsibility is to achieve results –  primarily through other people – Board, Executive Team, employees, etc. Great leaders know how to mobilize, energize, engage and grow their people to unlock their potential and maximize performance. Continue reading “People Drive Results”

Talent Development Is a State of Mind

exchanging information

Years ago, McKinsey popularized the phrase “The War for Talent,” and warned that the companies who were best at acquiring and developing high quality talent would be the most successful. Fortune 100 companies answered the call, as did many companies in Silicon Valley, where there was an urgent need to stay on the cutting edge.

For most of the rest of the country, however, the War for Talent wasn’t much of a reality. There was plenty of talent available, and the skills needed were not difficult to find. That is no longer the case. The landscape has changed. Having an effective strategy to develop employees is no longer optional – it is an imperative.

Several factors are converging to bring the war for talent right to the doorstep of smaller companies. Continue reading “Talent Development Is a State of Mind”

Board Meetings Are Boring.

bored at a board meeting

I estimate that I have sat through over 100 board (bored?) meetings over the last 10 years and, frankly, I want those hours back.

CEOs complain about a lack of board engagement. But it is impossible to be engaged while sitting through two hours of a quarterly review listing every single task the organization accomplished over the last three months. The truth is that board members do have a lot of value to add. And they are eager to add it. The challenge for CEOs is to run a meeting that invites participation and thought leadership.

Boost your board engagement by changing your agenda. Carve out time in each meeting to: Inform, Educate and Engage. Continue reading “Board Meetings Are Boring.”

Set the Stage for Gender Diversity

I recently walked into a client’s office and immediately thought, “Wow. Guys work here.” Everything from the décor and furniture to the lack of communal spaces screamed “Men’s Club.”

This client is determined to diversify his workforce and figure out how to recruit more people of color and women to their company. The CEO’s intent is genuine: he knows it’s the right thing to do and that his company’s future depends on building a more diverse workforce. With this goal in mind he has already begun taking some important steps toward gender inclusion including mentoring women and adopting more flexible workplace policies. Continue reading “Set the Stage for Gender Diversity”

Feedback Follow-Ups

Communication is most effective when it flows up and down a two-way street, without roadblocks. While this may seem elementary, many companies are just beginning to realize the value of employee feedback.

I was reminded of the power of open communication during a recent follow-up session with a client; despite major organizational changes the employee adaptation was swift, and the negative feedback was minimal. What was their secret? Company executives relied heavily on employee feedback and input when developing organizational changes, and implemented this feedback in meaningful ways. Continue reading “Feedback Follow-Ups”