There are many niche HCM-HR consulting companies with between 20-200 employees out there, but there is one that I’ve come across recently that is punching way above its weight, and that is Knowledge Infusion. Yes, they have a smart management team, but that isn’t the magic juice that keeps them in the front of my mind when I think about HCM strategy.
I’ve only met Jason Corsello twice, but I’d have no hesitation in recommending US based customers who are trying to figure out a talent management strategy to call him up. No amount of glossy brochures or invites to partner days would have induced me to do that. The two Jasons (and the rest of the team) have built up a recognisable and powerful brand, at least for me, through a combination of solid research and very readable blogging and a growing community. Once or twice a week they pop up in my feedreader, with something interesting, topical and insightful.
Take a look at this recent post. from Jason Averbook, the CEO.(apologies for the cut and paste)
Knowledge Infusion during 2007 has worked with over 100 organizations helping them set their overall HR and HR technology strategy. During this period, it has become more apparent then ever that the role of HR has changed and will continue to change into the future. What are the changes?
- HR is being looked to more than ever from the business to understand the impact that people have on business results. Most HR organizations are not equipped at all to provide this information and in 2007, began to realize that the manual, data heroics probably won’t work going forward.
- HR leaders today are split into two camps; those that have been in HR forever and new entrants into HR. Lets call them HR Natives vs. HR Immigrants. The HR Natives are struggling to get out of old school, transactional HR while the HR Immigrants don’t want anything to do with that. This caused quite a chasm in HR organizations in 2007 and we expect this to continue in 2008.
- Continued entrance of “The Quants”. HR leaders are either equipped or hiring individuals with quantitative backgrounds to focus on measurement. This is changing the demands on the rest of HR as far as the type and style of information that they need to have at their fingertips.
- HR is focusing on marketing internally more than ever. Creation of employment brand is important, but more HR organizations are marketing themselves to the press to prove they are creating value in their workplace. The Knowledge Infusion Deployment Excellence practice actually does this for clients and in 2007, the demand was greater then ever.
- HR is no longer an administrative, back office function. HR is at the executive table in most organizations today – a big change from 5 years ago – and now the question they are asking is “How can we prove value?”. This is a ticking time bomb because if they can’t prove value, they will be replaced with someone that has more of a view into the business.
- Alignment between HR and the business is at an alltime high. HR leaders are getting more than ever that they need to be the business, not support the business. Another big change from five years ago and will continue to be a major factor for HR going forward.
- HR leadership should be considered the most exciting job in an organization. They have their finger not only on the largest expense bucket, the people; but they have the opportunity to have the biggest business impact by driving workforce results from those people. HR HAS to look at it this way, or once again, look for a replacement for your role.
- HR will continue in 2008 to feel the pinch of the talent crunch. This MUST be a major focus of HR and not handled in silos such as Recruiting, Performance Management and Compensation, but a holistic strategy with a single leader as to how the organization will attract and retain talent now and into the future.
- HR has continued to learn from supply chain theory and will be forced into this even more as the economy changes. The right people in the right place at the right time will continue to be a major theme as it was in 2007. What does this require: KNOWING WHAT YOU HAVE – i.e… Talent Management.
- HR has stopped thinking of itself as a department and is thinking of itself as an extension of business. This has occurred extensively in 2007 and will continue to grow in popularity in 2008. If HR is not directly part of the business, YOU MUST do this first in 2008. This will change the role of HR forever in your organization and make it much easier to drive value.
This is good solid stuff, it helps start a conversation. It shows a great grasp of the industry and the issues, and it makes me want to know more. I used number 2 the other day in a meeting with a customer, with the proper attribution, of course.
If you are trying to build a brand in the HCM space, and you want to reach folks like me, then really you ought to have a blog, or at least content that I’ll actually want to read via an RSS feed. I won’t read a brochure or remember much about a static website with pretty fonts, but if you are consistently posting good stuff on HCM technology it is quite likely that one of the HCM long tail will notice and before long you’ll slip past the marketing din and into my regular reads. Donald in the UK knows his mustard on Competencies, but would I have known this without his blog? No way.
It takes me a second or two to forward an interesting post to a colleague or customer, and I can come back six months later and find the post again if I need it. The shotgun splatter of the newsletter is feeble from the range that most firms fire it from. I want to read your stuff when I feel like it, not when you decide to send it.
To the SAP partners out there, take a leaf out of Knowledge Infusion’s book and get your voice heard. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Give away a bit, and you get a whole lot back.