Retailers: Make The Most Of The Resource That Really Matters

Jack Dyson

It’s all change in retail. The one phrase on everyone’s lips at NRF’s Big Show 2017 in New York, from the innovation demos to the keynotes, is that retail will change more in the next five years than it has in the last 50.

But for an industry that employs about 10% of the US workforce, that big change carries a big responsibility. And it means a change in the roles people play in commerce and retail, according to themes that emerged at NRF 2017. Of course there needs to be investment in technology, but this needs to be matched by an investment in people from non-traditional backgrounds, with skillsets that haven’t always been associated with the shop floor.

One simple reason for this is that the store visit is now right at the end of the customer journey. Often a consumer will have already decided what they want before they even set foot on the premises – looking up price comparisons on line, seeing what friends have bought and what they think of things – so meeting this new, informed consumer and creating a seamless conversion is critical.

“[As a retailer] you’re only as good as your last transaction,” says Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart. “And now we run an ‘omni’ business so customers can shop whenever and however they want. You can see people in our stores pull out their phones and make transactions online – ordering and getting things delivered to their home.”

Where customers now have the power and can choose how and when they want to purchase, the onus is on the store owner to make that experience so enjoyable and easy that the customer comes back. “We’re all trying to create a sticky relationship with the customer that says, ‘Hey, I want you to come back and do business with me,’ because we’ve given them something or done something with them,” says Foran. And to do that well, to make it truly personal, “you’re totally reliant on the associates within your business.”

For Wal-Mart, angling to meet this change means a combination of entry-level programs and academies to give their people the right skills, plus investing in retention and technology, so that associates on the floor have the tools, the confidence and the skills to complete their jobs quicker.

Training staff in the right tech – and keeping them – is a big focus for Terry Lundgren, president and CEO of Macy’s. Last year it trained 600 technologists on how cloud can be used to satisfy demand in peak periods, and the company’s leadership institute ensures that training doesn’t stop after year one, but continues into people’s careers.

But how to attract the right talent? After all, retail isn’t the sort of thing you’d think STEM students would aim for early in their education.

“Two years ago we didn’t have a team focused on data analytics,” says Lundgren. “But now we do. We’re looking at how to influence and understand consumer behavior, increasing propensity to purchase in store.” But what about recruitment? His answer is: careful investment. “We’ve selected a relatively small number of universities that we target, and then spend a lot of time on those campuses.”

What’s interesting to Lundren is that while there’s a need to recruit technologists, “you’re never going to stop needing a merchant’s skills. You still need to know how to sell, how to ask for the right things for your customer. It’s part instinct, but also something that can be learned.”

James Rhee, executive chairman and CEO of Ashley Stewart, seems to come at it from another direction. Privately owned, Ashley Stewart sells clothes for plus-size women, but when he came to it, he saw that clothes weren’t what makes his  brand successful – it’s how people feel. “At its best, the brand made women have very high esteem. It’s tied to church and community. So how to bring this into a corporate culture that had lost sight of loyalty and friendship?”

The answer: focus on the internal culture to transform both the business and its employee base. Rather than give sales figures as KPIs, he put happiness and community at the core.

“The minute our employees felt safe, we became a leader in innovation. Until there’s trust, none of it matters,” Rhee says. And this sense of loyalty carries over to the customers. He’s happy for customers to shop elsewhere, because with their loyalty as a given, Ashley Stewart creates an ecosystem where the shopper can find the best deal possible.

“And the way you measure that is by building a marketplace,” he adds. “Because our customers trust us, we can talk to them about movies and lifestyle too…so for our business model we took the relationships and the loyalty and friendship and used them as pillars to support the business while we rebuilt it.”

In building loyalty, says Rhee, transparency is key. “As a big company, you can’t hide any more. Customers ask: ‘Do you embody the values we agree with? Where do you get stuff from? Is it responsibly sourced?’ Consumers make judgements based on that. It runs on oxymorons of course, because they expect competitive prices too.”

This tension between product, pricing, and sourcing is an unavoidable fact in retail. “Every day in the company I stress values. When you have good values you attract great people. Both as candidates and with customers.”

For more digital strategies for retailers, see NRF 2017 Keynote Crib Sheet: Look For The Future In Your Failures.

Comments

Jack Dyson

About Jack Dyson

Jack Dyson is head of Digital Content Strategy for SAP Hybris.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Joseph Msays

About Joseph Msays

Joseph Msays is an experienced IBM global executive, currently serving as Vice President and Global Managing Partner for NextGen Enterprise Cloud Applications Center of Excellence. In this role, he is pioneering new ways of engaging CxOs in their digital reinvention agendas, and building and migrating new cloud-based business applications. Joseph has experience managing many IBM professional services units and large strategic systems, integration and outsourcing relationships, and has lived and worked in virtually every major market across the globe.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Vaag Durgaryan

About Vaag Durgaryan

Vaag Durgaryan is the commercial finance director for SAP in the Middle East and North Africa, which comprises of over 20 countries. Starting in 2017, he oversees a multinational team that provides finance expertise, knowledge, and strategy outlook for finance sales support in the region. Prior to that, Vaag was chief of staff for the CFO for SAP Global Field Finance and co-drove global transformation initiatives with focus on process simplification and people enablement. He holds an Executive MBA degree from ESSEC Business School and Mannheim Business School. Vaag has a passion in digitalization and learning culture.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Richard Howells

About Richard Howells

Richard Howells is a Vice President at SAP responsible for the positioning, messaging, AR , PR and go-to market activities for the SAP Supply Chain solutions.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Stefan Guertzgen

About Stefan Guertzgen

Dr. Stefan Guertzgen is the Global Director of Industry Solution Marketing for Chemicals at SAP. He is responsible for driving Industry Thought Leadership, Positioning & Messaging and strategic Portfolio Decisions for Chemicals.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Andy Hirst

About Andy Hirst

Andy Hirst is vice president of Banking Solutions, SAP Banking Industry Business Unit, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the success of the SAP go-to-market strategy in Line of Business Cloud Applications and Analytics in Financial Services. Previously, Andy was responsible for Capital Markets solutions for banking. Andy is an expert in Big Data and analytics use cases in financial services and has been involved in many digital banking initiatives for banks.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Tina Gunn

About Tina Gunn

Tina Gunn is the content marketing manager for the Enterprise Americas team at SAP Concur. Tina earned her degree in Journalism from the University of Washington and brings her experience in content strategy and digital marketing to SAP Concur. When she’s not creating thought leadership and sales enablement content, Tina writes fiction and screenplays of the horror and sci-fi genres.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Rushenka Perera

About Rushenka Perera

Rushenka is Head of Marketing at SAP ANZ.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Jennifer Horowitz

About Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is a journalist with over 15 years of experience working in the technology, financial, hospitality, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, not for profit, and retail sectors. She specializes in the field of analytics, offering management consulting serving global clients from midsize to large-scale organizations. Within the field of analytics, she helps higher-level organizations define their metrics strategies, create concepts, define problems, conduct analysis, problem solve, and execute.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Patrick Crampton-Thomas

About Patrick Crampton-Thomas

Patrick Crampton-Thomas is Vice President of Supply Chain Solution Management at SAP, with global responsibility for the response and supply orchestration portfolio, based in the UK. This includes the strategy and go-to-market for existing and new supply chain solutions including integrated business planning solutions, supply chain control tower, and supply chain collaboration.

Is This Why Uber Can Hire Anyone It Wants?

Chetan Reddy

Autonomous self-driving cars. Uber. $40 billion USD valuation. It’s a marriage that needs to happen.

Uber can get any top talent it wants. Having just finished another round of fund-raising and with billions of dollars in investors’ money, Uber is looking toward replacing its drivers with self-driving google self driving carcars. With reports that Uber poached 40 top-of-the-line robotics researchers from Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center, completely decimating the center of its top talent, it looks like those marriage vows may be in the works. Uber ended up doubling salaries and paying bonuses on the order of hundreds of thousands of dollars to those robotics experts. But the real question is, why did the researchers leave?

All employees want to be valued, and they want their compensation to align with their contributions to the company. However, money isn’t the only factor in the retaining of top employees. Employees also want to feel engaged in their work. They need simple communication of goals and values, and ultimately, they want to develop personally. Uber’s recent employee acquisition now sparks the need for a conversation surrounding the retaining of top talent.

Engagement

According to a study conducted by Gallup in 2014, less than one-third of U.S. workers are engaged in their jobs — and with  more and more employees becoming disengaged at work, turnover will increase. Employees who simply go through the motions of work at a company that they don’t care for create a scenario with no loyalty. Disengaged employees who feel little connection to their work have no problem leaving — in fact, they may even see it as a positive step. Humans share an innate desire to be loved and valued, and increased engagement plays to that.

When an employee leaves, many companies conduct an exit interview to determine why the person is leaving. Instead, managers should conduct stay-interviews with employees determined to be at risk of leaving the company.  By conducting these interviews, managers can not only identify problems (which is the purpose of the exit interview), but also formulate actions to improve the employee’s experience. These interviews also showcase a personalized attention, a key facet to fostering employee loyalty and engagement. Why wait until an employee is gone to start the betterment process?

Simplify communication

Ever play the Telephone Game when you were a kid? One game that started with the phrase “I like green cheese” ultimately concluded with “pink rats have medicinal powers.” Though a trivial example, this sheds light on the importance of simple communication.

When an employee receives information from management 5 levels above their own position, details will almost certainly get lost in translation. Instead, mandates should be simple to follow, and communication must be a two-way street (I write from an office on a one-way street…oops).  Goals need to be communicated in a manner that is clear, easy to follow, and easy to act on.

According to Clear Company, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Companies that deliver a consistent message clearly to all employees will foster unity and inclusiveness, and ultimately higher retention rates. If you don’t understand the importance of your company’s goals, why stay?

Don’t let green cheese morph into pink rats.

Personal development

Money dominates this world in many ways. But there are other needs, too — personal development of employees, for example. “Millennials want developmental experiences. They want to be constantly learning on the job,” says Kyle Borchardt, COO of Virtuali. This is in contrast to older generations of workers, who are more likely to already have the requisite tools and skills to be successful in the workplace. When employees are not given the opportunity to further their careers, they will move on.

To combat this movement, employers can consider programs similar to the ones implemented in Denmark. There the government, unions, and corporate policies allow for any employee to take a leave of absence to attend paid training and learn new skills, according to Fast Coexist. This is known as an “active labor market policy,” an area in which Denmark leads all countries in spending. Such programs allow people to adapt to changing work and technological environments while remaining employed by their company.

Consider the example of Uber and CMU a warning: Poach. Don’t be poached.

For more forward-focused HR strategies, see How To Build Employee Loyalty For Life.

Comments

Timo Elliott

About Timo Elliott

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist for SAP and a passionate advocate of innovation, digital business, analytics, and artificial intelligence. He was the eighth employee of BusinessObjects and for the last 25 years he has worked closely with SAP customers around the world on new technology directions and their impact on real-world organizations. His articles have appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, ZDNet, The Guardian, and Digitalist Magazine. He has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Silicon Valley, and currently lives in Paris, France. He has a degree in Econometrics and a patent in mobile analytics. 

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Joseph Msays

About Joseph Msays

Joseph Msays is an experienced IBM global executive, currently serving as Vice President and Global Managing Partner for NextGen Enterprise Cloud Applications Center of Excellence. In this role, he is pioneering new ways of engaging CxOs in their digital reinvention agendas, and building and migrating new cloud-based business applications. Joseph has experience managing many IBM professional services units and large strategic systems, integration and outsourcing relationships, and has lived and worked in virtually every major market across the globe.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Vaag Durgaryan

About Vaag Durgaryan

Vaag Durgaryan is the commercial finance director for SAP in the Middle East and North Africa, which comprises of over 20 countries. Starting in 2017, he oversees a multinational team that provides finance expertise, knowledge, and strategy outlook for finance sales support in the region. Prior to that, Vaag was chief of staff for the CFO for SAP Global Field Finance and co-drove global transformation initiatives with focus on process simplification and people enablement. He holds an Executive MBA degree from ESSEC Business School and Mannheim Business School. Vaag has a passion in digitalization and learning culture.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Richard Howells

About Richard Howells

Richard Howells is a Vice President at SAP responsible for the positioning, messaging, AR , PR and go-to market activities for the SAP Supply Chain solutions.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Stefan Guertzgen

About Stefan Guertzgen

Dr. Stefan Guertzgen is the Global Director of Industry Solution Marketing for Chemicals at SAP. He is responsible for driving Industry Thought Leadership, Positioning & Messaging and strategic Portfolio Decisions for Chemicals.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Andy Hirst

About Andy Hirst

Andy Hirst is vice president of Banking Solutions, SAP Banking Industry Business Unit, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the success of the SAP go-to-market strategy in Line of Business Cloud Applications and Analytics in Financial Services. Previously, Andy was responsible for Capital Markets solutions for banking. Andy is an expert in Big Data and analytics use cases in financial services and has been involved in many digital banking initiatives for banks.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Tina Gunn

About Tina Gunn

Tina Gunn is the content marketing manager for the Enterprise Americas team at SAP Concur. Tina earned her degree in Journalism from the University of Washington and brings her experience in content strategy and digital marketing to SAP Concur. When she’s not creating thought leadership and sales enablement content, Tina writes fiction and screenplays of the horror and sci-fi genres.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Rushenka Perera

About Rushenka Perera

Rushenka is Head of Marketing at SAP ANZ.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Jennifer Horowitz

About Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is a journalist with over 15 years of experience working in the technology, financial, hospitality, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, not for profit, and retail sectors. She specializes in the field of analytics, offering management consulting serving global clients from midsize to large-scale organizations. Within the field of analytics, she helps higher-level organizations define their metrics strategies, create concepts, define problems, conduct analysis, problem solve, and execute.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Patrick Crampton-Thomas

About Patrick Crampton-Thomas

Patrick Crampton-Thomas is Vice President of Supply Chain Solution Management at SAP, with global responsibility for the response and supply orchestration portfolio, based in the UK. This includes the strategy and go-to-market for existing and new supply chain solutions including integrated business planning solutions, supply chain control tower, and supply chain collaboration.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Deidre Paknad

business people teamwork in an office with hands togetherOur verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1. Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts, and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions
.

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3.  Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard
.

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.

Image Credit: pixabay.com

The post Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity? appeared first on TalentCulture.

For more insight on effective communication, see 5 Bad Habits HR Needs to Break in 2015.

Comments

Timo Elliott

About Timo Elliott

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist for SAP and a passionate advocate of innovation, digital business, analytics, and artificial intelligence. He was the eighth employee of BusinessObjects and for the last 25 years he has worked closely with SAP customers around the world on new technology directions and their impact on real-world organizations. His articles have appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, ZDNet, The Guardian, and Digitalist Magazine. He has worked in the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Silicon Valley, and currently lives in Paris, France. He has a degree in Econometrics and a patent in mobile analytics. 

Hack the CIO

By Thomas Saueressig, Timo Elliott, Sam Yen, and Bennett Voyles

For nerds, the weeks right before finals are a Cinderella moment. Suddenly they’re stars. Pocket protectors are fashionable; people find their jokes a whole lot funnier; Dungeons & Dragons sounds cool.

Many CIOs are enjoying this kind of moment now, as companies everywhere face the business equivalent of a final exam for a vital class they have managed to mostly avoid so far: digital transformation.

But as always, there is a limit to nerdy magic. No matter how helpful CIOs try to be, their classmates still won’t pass if they don’t learn the material. With IT increasingly central to every business—from the customer experience to the offering to the business model itself—we all need to start thinking like CIOs.

Pass the digital transformation exam, and you probably have a bright future ahead. A recent SAP-Oxford Economics study of 3,100 organizations in a variety of industries across 17 countries found that the companies that have taken the lead in digital transformation earn higher profits and revenues and have more competitive differentiation than their peers. They also expect 23% more revenue growth from their digital initiatives over the next two years—an estimate 2.5 to 4 times larger than the average company’s.

But the market is grading on a steep curve: this same SAP-Oxford study found that only 3% have completed some degree of digital transformation across their organization. Other surveys also suggest that most companies won’t be graduating anytime soon: in one recent survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany by technology company Couchbase, 90% agreed that most digital projects fail to meet expectations and deliver only incremental improvements. Worse: over half (54%) believe that organizations that don’t succeed with their transformation project will fail or be absorbed by a savvier competitor within four years.

Companies that are making the grade understand that unlike earlier technical advances, digital transformation doesn’t just support the business, it’s the future of the business. That’s why 60% of digital leading companies have entrusted the leadership of their transformation to their CIO, and that’s why experts say businesspeople must do more than have a vague understanding of the technology. They must also master a way of thinking and looking at business challenges that is unfamiliar to most people outside the IT department.

In other words, if you don’t think like a CIO yet, now is a very good time to learn.

However, given that you probably don’t have a spare 15 years to learn what your CIO knows, we asked the experts what makes CIO thinking distinctive. Here are the top eight mind hacks.

1. Think in Systems

A lot of businesspeople are used to seeing their organization as a series of loosely joined silos. But in the world of digital business, everything is part of a larger system.

CIOs have known for a long time that smart processes win. Whether they were installing enterprise resource planning systems or working with the business to imagine the customer’s journey, they always had to think in holistic ways that crossed traditional departmental, functional, and operational boundaries.

Unlike other business leaders, CIOs spend their careers looking across systems. Why did our supply chain go down? How can we support this new business initiative beyond a single department or function? Now supported by end-to-end process methodologies such as design thinking, good CIOs have developed a way of looking at the company that can lead to radical simplifications that can reduce cost and improve performance at the same time.

They are also used to thinking beyond temporal boundaries. “This idea that the power of technology doubles every two years means that as you’re planning ahead you can’t think in terms of a linear process, you have to think in terms of huge jumps,” says Jay Ferro, CIO of TransPerfect, a New York–based global translation firm.

No wonder the SAP-Oxford transformation study found that one of the values transformational leaders shared was a tendency to look beyond silos and view the digital transformation as a company-wide initiative.

This will come in handy because in digital transformation, not only do business processes evolve but the company’s entire value proposition changes, says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at the Center for Information Systems Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It either already has or it’s going to, because digital technologies make things possible that weren’t possible before,” she explains.

2. Work in Diverse Teams

When it comes to large projects, CIOs have always needed input from a diverse collection of businesspeople to be successful. The best have developed ways to convince and cajole reluctant participants to come to the table. They seek out technology enthusiasts in the business and those who are respected by their peers to help build passion and commitment among the halfhearted.

Digital transformation amps up the urgency for building diverse teams even further. “A small, focused group simply won’t have the same breadth of perspective as a team that includes a salesperson and a service person and a development person, as well as an IT person,” says Ross.

At Lenovo, the global technology giant, many of these cross-functional teams become so used to working together that it’s hard to tell where each member originally belonged: “You can’t tell who is business or IT; you can’t tell who is product, IT, or design,” says the company’s CIO, Arthur Hu.

One interesting corollary of this trend toward broader teamwork is that talent is a priority among digital leaders: they spend more on training their employees and partners than ordinary companies, as well as on hiring the people they need, according to the SAP-Oxford Economics survey. They’re also already being rewarded for their faith in their teams: 71% of leaders say that their successful digital transformation has made it easier for them to attract and retain talent, and 64% say that their employees are now more engaged than they were before the transformation.

3. Become a Consultant

Good CIOs have long needed to be internal consultants to the business. Ever since technology moved out of the glasshouse and onto employees’ desks, CIOs have not only needed a deep understanding of the goals of a given project but also to make sure that the project didn’t stray from those goals, even after the businesspeople who had ordered the project went back to their day jobs. “Businesspeople didn’t really need to get into the details of what IT was really doing,” recalls Ferro. “They just had a set of demands and said, ‘Hey, IT, go do that.’”

Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants.

But that was then. Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants. “If you’re building a house, you don’t just disappear for six months and come back and go, ‘Oh, it looks pretty good,’” says Ferro. “You’re on that work site constantly and all of a sudden you’re looking at something, going, ‘Well, that looked really good on the blueprint, not sure it makes sense in reality. Let’s move that over six feet.’ Or, ‘I don’t know if I like that anymore.’ It’s really not much different in application development or for IT or technical projects, where on paper it looked really good and three weeks in, in that second sprint, you’re going, ‘Oh, now that I look at it, that’s really stupid.’”

4. Learn Horizontal Leadership

CIOs have always needed the ability to educate and influence other leaders that they don’t directly control. For major IT projects to be successful, they need other leaders to contribute budget, time, and resources from multiple areas of the business.

It’s a kind of horizontal leadership that will become critical for businesspeople to acquire in digital transformation. “The leadership role becomes one much more of coaching others across the organization—encouraging people to be creative, making sure everybody knows how to use data well,” Ross says.

In this team-based environment, having all the answers becomes less important. “It used to be that the best business executives and leaders had the best answers. Today that is no longer the case,” observes Gary Cokins, a technology consultant who focuses on analytics-based performance management. “Increasingly, it’s the executives and leaders who ask the best questions. There is too much volatility and uncertainty for them to rely on their intuition or past experiences.”

Many experts expect this trend to continue as the confluence of automation and data keeps chipping away at the organizational pyramid. “Hierarchical, command-and-control leadership will become obsolete,” says Edward Hess, professor of business administration and Batten executive-in-residence at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. “Flatter, distributive leadership via teams will become the dominant structure.”

5. Understand Process Design

When business processes were simpler, IT could analyze the process and improve it without input from the business. But today many processes are triggered on the fly by the customer, making a seamless customer experience more difficult to build without the benefit of a larger, multifunctional team. In a highly digitalized organization like Amazon, which releases thousands of new software programs each year, IT can no longer do it all.

While businesspeople aren’t expected to start coding, their involvement in process design is crucial. One of the techniques that many organizations have adopted to help IT and businesspeople visualize business processes together is design thinking (for more on design thinking techniques, see “A Cult of Creation“).

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from better processes. Among the 100 companies the SAP-Oxford Economics researchers have identified as digital leaders, two-thirds say that they are making their employees’ lives easier by eliminating process roadblocks that interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Ninety percent of leaders surveyed expect to see value from these projects in the next two years alone.

6. Learn to Keep Learning

The ability to learn and keep learning has been a part of IT from the start. Since the first mainframes in the 1950s, technologists have understood that they need to keep reinventing themselves and their skills to adapt to the changes around them.

Now that’s starting to become part of other job descriptions too. Many companies are investing in teaching their employees new digital skills. One South American auto products company, for example, has created a custom-education institute that trained 20,000 employees and partner-employees in 2016. In addition to training current staff, many leading digital companies are also hiring new employees and creating new roles, such as a chief robotics officer, to support their digital transformation efforts.

Nicolas van Zeebroeck, professor of information systems and digital business innovation at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Brussels, says that he expects the ability to learn quickly will remain crucial. “If I had to think of one critical skill,” he explains, “I would have to say it’s the ability to learn and keep learning—the ability to challenge the status quo and question what you take for granted.”

7. Fail Smarter

Traditionally, CIOs tended to be good at thinking through tests that would allow the company to experiment with new technology without risking the entire network.

This is another unfamiliar skill that smart managers are trying to pick up. “There’s a lot of trial and error in the best companies right now,” notes MIT’s Ross. But there’s a catch, she adds. “Most companies aren’t designed for trial and error—they’re trying to avoid an error,” she says.

To learn how to do it better, take your lead from IT, where many people have already learned to work in small, innovative teams that use agile development principles, advises Ross.

For example, business managers must learn how to think in terms of a minimum viable product: build a simple version of what you have in mind, test it, and if it works start building. You don’t build the whole thing at once anymore.… It’s really important to build things incrementally,” Ross says.

Flexibility and the ability to capitalize on accidental discoveries during experimentation are more important than having a concrete project plan, says Ross. At Spotify, the music service, and CarMax, the used-car retailer, change is driven not from the center but from small teams that have developed something new. “The thing you have to get comfortable with is not having the formalized plan that we would have traditionally relied on, because as soon as you insist on that, you limit your ability to keep learning,” Ross warns.

8. Understand the True Cost—and Speed—of Data

Gut instincts have never had much to do with being a CIO; now they should have less to do with being an ordinary manager as well, as data becomes more important.

As part of that calculation, businesspeople must have the ability to analyze the value of the data that they seek. “You’ll need to apply a pinch of knowledge salt to your data,” advises Solvay’s van Zeebroeck. “What really matters is the ability not just to tap into data but to see what is behind the data. Is it a fair representation? Is it impartial?”

Increasingly, businesspeople will need to do their analysis in real time, just as CIOs have always had to manage live systems and processes. Moving toward real-time reports and away from paper-based decisions increases accuracy and effectiveness—and leaves less time for long meetings and PowerPoint presentations (let us all rejoice).

Not Every CIO Is Ready

Of course, not all CIOs are ready for these changes. Just as high school has a lot of false positives—genius nerds who turn out to be merely nearsighted—so there are many CIOs who aren’t good role models for transformation.

Success as a CIO these days requires more than delivering near-perfect uptime, says Lenovo’s Hu. You need to be able to understand the business as well. Some CIOs simply don’t have all the business skills that are needed to succeed in the transformation. Others lack the internal clout: a 2016 KPMG study found that only 34% of CIOs report directly to the CEO.

This lack of a strategic perspective is holding back digital transformation at many organizations. They approach digital transformation as a cool, one-off project: we’re going to put this new mobile app in place and we’re done. But that’s not a systematic approach; it’s an island of innovation that doesn’t join up with the other islands of innovation. In the longer term, this kind of development creates more problems than it fixes.

Such organizations are not building in the capacity for change; they’re trying to get away with just doing it once rather than thinking about how they’re going to use digitalization as a means to constantly experiment and become a better company over the long term.

As a result, in some companies, the most interesting tech developments are happening despite IT, not because of it. “There’s an alarming digital divide within many companies. Marketers are developing nimble software to give customers an engaging, personalized experience, while IT departments remain focused on the legacy infrastructure. The front and back ends aren’t working together, resulting in appealing web sites and apps that don’t quite deliver,” writes George Colony, founder, chairman, and CEO of Forrester Research, in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Thanks to cloud computing and easier development tools, many departments are developing on their own, without IT’s support. These days, anybody with a credit card can do it.

Traditionally, IT departments looked askance at these kinds of do-it-yourself shadow IT programs, but that’s changing. Ferro, for one, says that it’s better to look at those teams not as rogue groups but as people who are trying to help. “It’s less about ‘Hey, something’s escaped,’ and more about ‘No, we just actually grew our capacity and grew our ability to innovate,’” he explains.

“I don’t like the term ‘shadow IT,’” agrees Lenovo’s Hu. “I think it’s an artifact of a very traditional CIO team. If you think of it as shadow IT, you’re out of step with reality,” he says.

The reality today is that a company needs both a strong IT department and strong digital capacities outside its IT department. If the relationship is good, the CIO and IT become valuable allies in helping businesspeople add digital capabilities without disrupting or duplicating existing IT infrastructure.

If a company already has strong digital capacities, it should be able to move forward quickly, according to Ross. But many companies are still playing catch-up and aren’t even ready to begin transforming, as the SAP-Oxford Economics survey shows.

For enterprises where business and IT are unable to get their collective act together, Ross predicts that the next few years will be rough. “I think these companies ought to panic,” she says. D!


About the Authors

Thomas Saueressig is Chief Information Officer at SAP.

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist at SAP.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer at SAP and Managing Director of SAP Labs.

Bennett Voyles is a Berlin-based business writer.

Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.
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Cloud Computing: Separating Myth From Reality

Misa Rawlins and Krishnakant Dave

Across industries, many enterprise leaders believe and understand that cloud computing is here to stay. Globally, public cloud services market revenue is projected to reach US$411 billion by 2020, compared with $260 billion in 2017, according to research firm Gartner, Inc. Cloud technology in all its forms—software, platform, or infrastructure as a service—is rapidly becoming essential to the needs of business today. With cloud computing, organizations can simplify IT, save costs, scale rapidly, drive standardization and user adoption, and start getting ahead of tomorrow’s needs when it comes to customer engagement, the supply chain, the workforce, a simplified finance function, and more.

Despite the short- and long-term advantages, some executives remain uncertain about the next steps or have lingering questions about the benefits of moving to the cloud. For many leaders, separating the cloud myths from the facts can prove daunting. Start here, with these insights that can help you bust big myths about the cloud and start moving confidently toward a cloud-enabled transformation of your organization.

Myth No. 1: Moving to the cloud is too costly. “Costly” is a relative term. The cloud can be costly – but costs should be weighed against benefit and return once requirements and migration plans are in place. Rapidly evolving business demands, for example, can dramatically alter cloud-related requirements. Meanwhile, new technologies are dramatically redefining the art of the possible with the cloud. Because migrating to the cloud is not a true “plug-and-play” proposition, and many enterprise leaders underestimate what a migration or implementation involves, some organizations can be surprised by the costs of a cloud transformation. Without a clear understanding of the potential benefits—without a clear business case for moving to the cloud—the focus on costs can overshadow the return on investment. Knowing the value that cloud solutions can bring—not just the costs—can help manage expectations.

Myth No. 2: The benefits of the cloud aren’t substantial enough. As vendors adopt a “cloud-first” stance for many solutions and product updates, organizations that move to the cloud may have a competitive advantage—no matter the size of the enterprise. Cloud solutions continue to offer abundant and increasing functionality. And with the help of an end-to-end solution provider, you can configure cloud solutions to the specific needs of your industry and your business. For larger organizations, rapidly deployable cloud solutions can help support growth or the unique needs of certain business units, such as new acquisitions or foreign subsidiaries, for example. For smaller organizations, the cloud can help you position your organization to tap new opportunities and tame growth challenges.

Myth No. 3: Cloud is too risky. All digital technologies and all business models come with inherent risk. In a hyperconnected world, no system is immune from cyber attacks, insider threats, data leakage, or related risks. No transformation project is a guaranteed success. Market changes, new competition, regulatory issues, and other factors can require you to change your cloud strategy overnight.

Because the risks are real, take advantage of resources and capabilities that can help reduce risk and ensure that your technology investments align tightly with clear business objectives. The maturity of the software goes a long way toward mitigating risk with cloud projects. You can add an extra layer of capabilities such as managed cloud services to provide active, hands-on oversight of cloud applications and infrastructure—helping you to avoid service interruptions and address issues proactively.

Myth No. 4: Cloud computing is still an immature technology. Like other evolving technologies, cloud is advancing every day. Those who wait for the next generation of cloud offerings may find themselves missing out on tangible benefits as competitors leverage cloud technology to sharpen their edge. Across industries, leading organizations are not waiting. Many view cloud technology as evolving but necessary, and they are leveraging it effectively today. Some, for example, are tightly integrating cloud software solutions to streamline supply chain processes, boost information transparency, and improve decision-making across the board—all the while tapping the cloud benefits of cost savings and scalability. Others are confidently turning to infrastructure solutions delivered and running solutions in a private or hybrid cloud. Still others are turning to cloud platform solutions to extend the power of existing applications, build modern analytics platforms, or support new Internet of Things business models. Turning the cloud to your advantage may depend less on the maturity of the technology and more on the power of your imagination.

Myth No. 5: Moving to the cloud will be easy. Cloud technology can help organizations streamline and simplify their IT landscapes and their business processes, reducing needs around capital expenses and infrastructure while helping to save costs. But migrating to the cloud requires more than simply plugging in technology. It requires an ability to address a host of considerations—data migration, the business-specific capabilities of solutions, change management, governance, systems integration, security, and more.

A cloud transformation is more than a plug-and-play project or a traditional system implementation. It requires progressive thinking and an ability to align technology with your business needs and processes— for today and for the future. Migrating to the cloud is a journey. Moving forward with the cloud will require a vision of your “to be” state—your destination—as well as a strategy for getting you there.

To learn more, and to find out what IDC thinks about the future of the cloud, please read this study that presents a strategic blueprint for enterprises on their digital transformation journey.

For more information on how to simplify innovation with cloud technology, learn more about SAP Cloud Platform.

Ready to reimagine the potential of the cloud? Contact us to get the conversation started.

Contact Krishnakant Dave at kdave@deloitte.com and follow him on Twitter: @kkdave

Contact Misa Rawlins at mrawlins@deloitte.com and follow her on Twitter: @misa_rawlins

www.deloitte.com/SAP

SAP@deloitte.com

@DeloitteSAP

This article originally appeared on Deloitte.com and is republished by permission.

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Misa Rawlins

About Misa Rawlins

As a senior manager and consultant in Deloitte’s SAP practice, Misa Rawlins enjoys helping her clients not only to figure out how to solve their current business problems, but also to envision how a modern cloud platform can transform their organizations moving ahead. Within the practice, she has specifically chosen to take a leadership role around the sales and delivery of SAP S/4HANA Cloud because she considers it the wave of the future. She has made it her mission to deeply understand this technology to better advise clients on what moving to a cloud infrastructure really means.

Krishnakant Dave

About Krishnakant Dave

As a principal in Deloitte’s global SAP practice, KK Dave is a consulting leader for Deloitte’s largest clients; part of the U.S. SAP leadership team where he spearheads Deloitte's cloud offerings; and leader of global go-to-market efforts in the wholesale distribution and manufacturing sector. In these roles, he assists clients in their business transformation journeys using the absolute latest SAP toolset, which presently comprises SAP S/4HANA, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, among other technologies.