Love The Problem, Not The Solution

January 12, 2017
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At the beginning of each new year we see a lot of articles appearing about the hot new trends in HR. The spirit of a fresh start that comes with each January 1st gets us all thinking about the twelve months ahead and what they might hold. At PerformYard we read through 35 of the top articles on HR trends and jotted down some of the highlights.

  • Coaching is replacing performance management
  • Engagement Targets are now Experience Goals
  • Data will allow us to predict the future
  • Ping pong tables are out
  • Work is the new fun game with gamification
  • Virtual reality is going to be huge, it’s just not clear how
  • Your whole company might start working from their favorite Caribbean islands
  • Gen Z just graduated college and are here to give millennials a taste of their own medicine

An Industry of Ideas

There is a whole industry of ideas out there, where success is driven by how new and disruptive your insight is. Thought leaders write books, give speeches and build consulting businesses on the backs of these shiny new ideas.

It is important to remember that as company leaders and HR professionals we are the customers for this industry. A shiny new HR trend can be just as appealing to us as a tech gadget or new car model.

At PerformYard we strive to be a fundamental technology that automates your processes and improves employee engagement no matter what direction you plan to take HR in 2017. We love the advancements new ideas bring to the field of HR and it is a great feeling to give our customers the platform they need to realize their HR goals.

Love the Problem, Not the Solution

During this time of increased excitement around new trends and planning for the future we think it is worth revisiting the sage advice of John Boudreau, professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business - Love the problem, not the solution.

We have access to so many great new ideas from so many experts that it can be really easy to fall in love with innovative solutions. It is much harder, but Boudreau argues more valuable, to fall in love with our organization’s problems. In the end there will be new HR innovators and experts with new ideas and trends, but we will always be the greatest expert on our own company’s challenges.

Boudreau doesn’t suggest ignoring the exciting innovations, just don’t fall in love with them. Here are his four steps to creating impactful HR change in 2017.

4 Steps for Impactful HR Change in 2017

1. Start with the big picture

Let your love of the problem drive you to fully understand where your company stands. This can be as simple as talking to lots of people across your organization and complex as hiring consulting firms to do a formal network analysis. The point is start with a deep understanding of your company and your employees and don’t trust that your current understanding is up to date.

2. Absorb the marketplace of fresh ideas

By all means dive into the latest and greatest research out there. Attend the conferences, learn from progressive leaders at other organizations. Get a deep understanding of what is out there, just don’t fall in love.

3. Apply with care

You are the greatest expert on your own organization. There is no such thing as a universal best practice approach, and the details of another company’s implementation is not much use to you. First strip your favorite ideas down to their “kernel of insight” and then build them back up into work experience that are right for your organization.

4. Focus on business impact

The industry of ideas can make it feel like just implementing the latest and greatest is the definition of success, but in your world success is about impact towards the organization’s goals. Precise ROI is often impossible to calculate but that doesn’t mean you can’t map the logical connections between an effective HR initiative and desired organizational outcomes.

At PerformYard we wish you an amazing 2017! If you’re thinking about new HR initiatives this year, or just want your ideas from last year to work better give us a call - (888) 745-0761.

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