02: Future HR leaders - How Are You Adding Value?

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HR Thought Leader Bill Schiemann

In this episode, our host Kyle O'Connor interviews Dr. William A. Schiemann, an HR thought-leader, author and global keynote speaker. Bill offers powerful advice to current and future HR leaders, including the importance of adopting analytics in HR (as well as how to); critical skills for future HR leaders; and finally, the challenges and opportunities for future generations. Bill is Principal and CEO of Metrus Group, an organizational research and advisory firm that specializes in strategic performance measurement and employee alignment. He's authored several books, including collaborating with Dave Ulirch and others on the Rise of HR. His latest book is due for release later this year and will be of interest to our audience too.  

Key Learnings From This Episode

  • Bill's passion in one word "Value" - he's passionate about building value at every level - individual, team and organization. The higher the value, the more success you'll have, and the more impact within your family, organization and the broader society.
  • Three things help grow value at the individual and organization level, based on the Metrus Institute's research over the last 20 years:
    1. Alignment – is everyone aligned and moving in the same direction? Do people work synchronously together, irrespective of function?
    2. Capabilities – refers to the skills and competencies of people, along with the seamless delivery of services.
    3. Engagement – refers to excitement, energy and commitment levels. Is the organization made up of engaged individuals?
  • How do I get ACE working for me in an organization? It will depend on your ability to influence the situation. Does it fit your own values and principles? Ask how am I growing? How is my department growing? Does this bring the best out of me? Most frequent feedback during research:

“I regret the moments that I didn’t take chances and I didn’t move from something that didn’t pushed me outside my comfort zone. Every time I did I learned something and I was better later or when I looked back on it.”

  • At the organization level, Metrus has uncovered multiple profiles and combinations of scores on the three dimensions of the ACE, (measured through the eyes of individuals). ACE can be used to find managerial blind spots in any one of three dimensions and then used to identify areas for improvement.  
  • Bill's new book due out later this year on career fulfillment applies the ACE model to personal life - family, career and relationships. Through a series of self-assessments, individuals will be able to look at all aspects of their lives and measure their personal ACE. Work life integration is the key.
  • The Rise of HR is a book collaboration with Dave Ulrich from the University of Michigan; Lou Sartane (former CHRO for Southwest Airlines and Yahoo) and many others. The book originated from a desire to explore the fragmentation in HR. They pulled together 73 global thinkers to answer the question: "What makes HR successful?"  This resulted in a compilation of essays and seven main themes emerged. Two important themes were the high interest in HR analytics and talent optimization. HR has not embraced analytics in the way other disciplines have and it’s holding HR back. Bill discusses ways to analyze information and use it strategically to make important decisions. Employee survey data can be used to link engagement or alignment scores to profit or revenues.
  • HR analytics example: Jack in the Box’s Mark Blankenship used the ACE framework (which they translated into Head, Heart and Hands) to make the case to top management on why you invest in people. They were able to show a link to ACE as a predictor of restaurant revenue, profitability, customer loyalty, complaints, etc.
  • Talent optimization – a lot of money is spent on people but are we getting a return on the investment? Bill highlights the correlation between high ACE organizations and profit/revenues. 
  • Characteristics of new HR leader. HR is bifurcating into commoditized roles (technology enabled) and strategic transformational roles (focused on business execution). The latter requires business acumen, strategic thinking, and being a change agent.
  • New HR Leader Preparation – referenced advice from interviews for his new book. Get a lot of experience in different roles to be valuable to an organization. Get certified (E.g. HR Certification Institute) for mastery and currency. Get a mentor! Network!
  • HR challenges and opportunities (download Bill's LinkedIn Pulse posts below). Labeling generations; getting a solid skills and experience foundation to earn high referrals; growing value and being passionate; and leverage technology without losing high touch.

“Are you growing value and are you passionate? If you have those two things, it will pull a lot of other things with them.” –Dr. William Schiemann


Recommended Reading and References From this Episode

To Follow Bill Schiemann

Bill's Question to HR Studio Podcast Group Members

How are you growing value? How are you helping others grow value?

HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
HR Studio Podcast Show Notes
Dr Schiemann Millennial Blog Posts
Dr Schiemann Millennial Blog Posts
Building a High PE Organization
Building a High PE Organization
Monday, April 4, 2016 - 8:00am
Kyle O'Connor
William A. Schiemann
HR Studio Podcast