We get asked “how do you do [this]?” all the time. We get asked even more “what do other companies do to do [this]?”. What we don’t get asked to often is “what do you consider when addressing the problem?”
That was one of the best questions we were ever asked, and it happened in the first month of the business.
Consulting firms are in the business of creating and delivering solutions for another organization, so you would think they have an approach and a list of considerations that they use. Some don’t. We do.
At the highest level, we keep awareness and adherence to the ideas below. We believe that by keeping these ideas in mind, we approach a project differently than others. We see from different angles, and think about more than what has worked for others, but we also think about what needs to work for this particular project.
We encourage you to read through these ideas below, as it will help you better understanding our approach to solving problems, creating solutions, and helping our customers.
The Return and the Rise of the General Manager
Over the past 20 years, there has been a push to separate work into functional and regional silos. Leaders in HR, IT, finance and other functions have emerged and their teams have become more complex. Simultaneously, the work has become more global and smaller all at once, making it easier for managers to have global teams, projects, and initiatives. We believe that a higher percentage of hiring managers will take more of an interest in their team’s talent and its acquisition directly than in recent years and as such as tools, processes and counsel engage managers as well as the talent organization. Several tools are designed specifically for managers, and we find it highly beneficial to engage with executive and managers of influence to really understand how the talent organization can be of service.
Socialize and Recycle Regularly
Best practices are regularly being discussed while networking, online socialization, and mobility are on the rise. There is a unique set of conditions that enable the wide socialization of best practices while also avoiding unnecessary creation of new practices. We believe companies should socialize their ideas across their enterprise, as well as with their external stakeholders. They should strive to share, but also revisit already used ideas or previous ideas, as many still work in the cyclical nature of talent. Our team takes particular care to store, repurpose, and re-use ideas, but also validate how 1230 Avenue of the Americas, 7th Floor, NY NY 10020 | 877.aspen.50 those ideas can be socialized and recycled. Knowing when to create and innovate is just as important as creating a sustainable environment – and we help our clients achieve that balance.
Align Roles to Focus on High Value Activity
A productive team is one that not only gets the job done on time and under budget, but they perform the work with the appropriate amount of resources while executing a rewarding culture. One of the keys to this formula is to make sure that the work the teams are performing as deemed high value to all the stakeholders in sight of those activities. We work hard with our talent teams to make sure that the work the recruiters, sourcers, hiring managers, and leaders are executing are of high value. Work is assigned such that a high ROI is targeted, which typically places recruiters in a consultative role, hiring managers in an active interface with candidates, and leaders aligned to strategy and team development.
Budget Capital and Allocate Time for Trials and Innovation
There are so many technologies, partners, views, and laws involved in employment that is necessary to budget people or money in trials, experiments, and different processes. Innovation rarely walks through the door or gives a phone call. Our clients try technologies and methods with the full expectations that some will yield high return on investment, and some will have low return on investment. These activities target saving time, money, or both. Our Advisors work with customers to tip the scale towards the high ROI activities.
Seek Continuous Improvement with Purpose and Evidence
Constant evaluation is needed for continuous improvement. Our team performs frequent checks on current processes, and receives constant feedback from all the stakeholders involved, and makes sure that ideas are recycled and reused and not left in a drawer. Our advisors constantly evaluate and monitor practices across several industries, geographies, and disciplines. This requires the integration of real business intelligence. Without tracking, metrics, analysis, and reporting – there is guessing that occurs. The metrics serve as a basis for education, buy-in, and decision on behavioral change towards a more efficient organization, and its constant analysis is served through continuous improvement.
Design No Waste Processes with Sustainability
When processes and tools are designed, we believe you need to consider the longevity of those solutions, and a conscious decision needs to be made on how much waste will be built in and how quickly it will expire. Our concept is that most systems, tools, and processes need to be designed with little or no waste, and all solutions should have sustainability. Additionally, we believe that partnerships with vendors should be vetted and considered the same way – with little waste and the partner itself having sustainable practices. When these ideas are combined, clients can strategize on a predictable schedule, and using proper planning to execute initiatives (rather than react to poorly planned or executed tools or solutions).
Compliment Your Team’s Competencies with Vendor Competencies
How you develop the teams in your care is up to your organization. There are certainly practices that other companies use, and there are norms in any industry – but each leader has the responsibility of what they are going to internalize as a needed skill, and then be accountable for developing those skills, as well as competencies and behaviors. We believe that each organization has certain skills / competencies it will internalize (because they will allocate resources for development) and then there are skills or tasks that they will NOT absorb or take responsibility for…this is where sustainable partners come in. Aligning your partners to the competencies and skills that you have decided not to develop or have in volume is critical to the success of any multi-resourced organization, and we assist our clients in that regard frequently.
A Rounded Assessment is the Best Assessment
There are several stages and types of assessment that can be used when evaluating both internal and external talent. Even larger than talent, there are dozens of ways to evaluate resources that are required to complete a project, task, or initiative. When considering talent or resources, we advocate using evaluations on experience, competence, cognition, problem solving, intelligence, and psychology – not just one or a few of those. We help our customers vet through the appropriate options for assessment to align with business need, volume, ROI, and the critical nature of the work.
Focus on Zero to Productivity, not Zero to 60
Although many talent organizations stop at the hire, we believe it is the responsibility of the talent organization to find people or resources that can not only accomplish the task, but can achieve expected level of productivity quickly. In fact, we believe that the basic measure of a successful talent organization is that they can produce resources that are productive quicker than the manager could on their own. In that regard, the talent organization is now responsible for finding, attracting, hiring, and integrating the resource into management’s asset group. Without having that responsibility or accountability (and tracking of performance), it is difficult for a continuous improvement culture to exist.
Design and Own Your Definition of Talent
Each company or organization may compete with others for talent or resources – but they all define or classify that talent or resource slightly differently. It is unusual that any two organizations would produce precisely the same experience, management, coaching, and development for a single person. As such, rather than trying to define a standard for what talent is, we advocate that each client that we work with make their own definition of talent. They need to determine what is good and great – not let the market or their competition determine that.