How Leaders Inspire: Cracking the Code

March 15th, 2017

What makes a leader inspiring?  Companies that can answer this question have a powerful tool to increase their competitive edge.  Inspired employees are more than twice as productive as satisfied employees, according to research Bain recently conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Click here to read Mark Horwitch and Meredith Whipple Callahan’s article in its entirety on


Give Subject Matter Experts Their Place

March 1st, 2017

Many businesses still run talent management on the assumption that senior leadership roles are the inevitable destination for people who perform well at lower organisational levels, even though performance as a subject matter expert is not an indicator of potential as a senior leader. Even seasoned HR professionals can still be tantalised by the notion that excellence in one field can be converted, through development, into excellence in another.

In our experience, it is better to be absolutely clear about the strategic future value the business hopes to get from its senior SME roles and to manage the best SMEs in ways that reinforce their significance to the firm. This is particularly true of expertise – existing and prospective – that is expected to yield the innovations on which future success will be built.

Click here to read the full article on Kiddy & Partners’ website.


What Are 3 Key Trends In the Next Generation of HR Design?

February 15th, 2017

There are three key trends in the next generation of HR design, according to an expert in HR disruption, who says HR needs to be more focused on building competitive advantage through a more agile approach to talent management.

“The first trend is the move away from HR business partner to account manager,” said Lucy Adams, CEO of Disruptive HR and ex-HR director of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

“Given HRBPs are both scarce and expensive, account managers can undertake the strategic and commercial parts of the role, with a pool of HR generalists and technical experts who deliver.”

A second key trend is focus away from centres of expertise towards the employee experience, said Adams, who recommended the EACH model (Employees as Adults, Consumers and Human beings) as a good approach.

The third trend is about building capability, not just compliance, Adams said.

“This is a fresh response to a disrupted world where the abundance of employment policies and rules often stifle innovation and increase frustration,” she said.

Each of these trends relates to important aspects of talent management, and Adams observed that there are many factors that have shaped HR’s approach to talent management over the years.

Click here to read the full article by Craig Donaldson from Inside HR.


Diversity Doesn’t Stick Without Inclusion

February 1st, 2017

Leaders have long recognized that a diverse workforce of women, people of color, and LGBT individuals confers a competitive edge in terms of selling products or services to diverse end users. Yet a stark gap persists between recognizing the leadership behaviors that unlock this capability and actually practicing them.

Click here to read the full article by Laura Sherbin and Ripa Rashid in the Harvard Business Review.


The Employee Experience Is The Future Of Work: 10 HR Trends For 2017

January 17th, 2017

In 2016, I wrote about the transformation happening in human resources and I called it the “Consumerization of HR,” referring to how companies create a social, mobile, and consumer-style experience for employees. Now, as we enter 2017, the next journey for HR leaders will be to apply a consumer and a digital lens to the HR function creating an employee experience that mirrors their best customer experience.

Click here to read the entire article by Jeanne Meister on


Organizations Can’t Change If Leaders Can’t Change with Them

January 2nd, 2017

When it comes to organizational change, failure continues to be more common than success.  In a survey of nearly 3,000 executives about the success of their enterprise transformation efforts, McKinsey discovered the failure rate to be higher than 60%, while Harvard Business Review conducted a study that suggested more than 70% of transformation efforts fail.

The pattern is clear, and diligent leaders often devote countless resources to planning out the perfect change management initiative.  To raise the odds of success, however, my experience suggests the place that leaders need to begin their transformation efforts is not their organizations: It’s themselves.

To read Ron Carucci’s full article in the Harvard Business Review, click here.


Why We Invest in Reviews and Rate Performance

December 15th, 2016

Progressive sentiment in the corporate world is increasingly that, to quote GE CHRO Sue Peters, “the world isn’t really on an annual cycle anymore for anything.”  Performance reviews are called a relic of an earlier era, with an impact on actual company performance that rates somewhere between wasteful and harmful.

So why on earth are we at Incandescent, with no legacy systems to preserve, passion for innovation in management systems, and a team largely made up of Millennials, spending significant time and energy writing annual reviews that include ratings?

Click here to read the full article on Niko Canner’s On Human Enterprise blog.


How to Thrive in Middle Management

December 1st, 2016

The toughest job in any big organization is flourishing in the middle of a management chain.  Simply put, the middle is where strategy – and sometimes unachievable vision – collide with day-to-day reality.

If you’re at the top of a hierarchy, your job is to challenge teams to stretch.  You’ve got full permission to set the course, innovate, and drive change.  People naturally come to you for direction about the future, and your bolder thinking is what probably got you promoted in the first place.  You have the freedom to delegate, but, depending on the level of transparency in your organization, you may or may not be able to see how much work your bigger decisions create.

Click here to read Jack Ryan’s full article on LinkedIn.


People analytics reveals three things HR may be getting wrong

November 15th, 2016

More sophisticated analyses of big data are helping companies identify, recruit, and reward the best personnel.  The results can run counter to common wisdom.

Click here to read the full article on


Culture Is Not the Culprit

November 1st, 2016

When organizations get into big trouble, fixing the culture is usually the prescription.  That’s what most everyone said General Motors needed to do after its recall crisis in 2014—and ever since, CEO Mary Barra has been focusing on creating “the right environment” to promote accountability and head off future disasters.  Pundits far and wide called for the same remedy when it came to light that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, deemed a corrosive bureaucracy by federal investigators, kept veterans waiting months for critical health care.  Cultural reform has likewise been proposed as the solution to excessive use of force by police departments, unethical behavior in banks, and just about any other major organizational problem you can think of.  All eyes are on culture as the cause and the cure.

Click here to read Jay W. Lorsch and Emily McTague’s full article in the Harvard Business Review.