Category Archives: Talent Management

Insanity, Leadership and Running

As I was mentally preparing to run the Fargo Marathon this weekend, I came across one of my most favorite quotes: “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results” (often attributed to Albert Einstein).

Training for a marathon takes both time and commitment. It also takes a solid training plan and being able to stick to it. I’m not very good at that last thing, sticking to it. I like to run hard, fast and long, even if the plan says I should run short and take it easy at times.

This year I joined a running group. These runners are just as passionate, driven and dedicated as me, but most follow a plan. Joining the group has made a world of difference to me. Even when I’m not physically running with the group, I compare and align my training and performance to theirs. We’re doing this together and we’re sticking to the plan.

I work with leaders and teams, helping them to become more effective, focused and aligned. Most leaders and teams have a plan and they know what to do. But they often get busy, distracted, focused on performing individual tasks and completing projects on time rather than following the plan. They focus on their individual areas and goals and lose sight of organizational results.

Following the plan and achieving results takes discipline and commitment on every level. It takes clarity of vision, healthy conflict skills, commitment to goals across functional areas, and everyone holding each other accountable to their commitments. Only then can the team or company successfully execute on their strategy. Only then can the team build true magic and achieve the most important organizational goals.

The forecast for the marathon this weekend is for rain and 20-30 mph wind. Wish me luck!

Corporate Elements announces new learning partner Vado

For Immediate Release

Fargo, ND (November 10, 2018) – Corporate Elements, a premier provider of comprehensive Talent Management Solutions for business, announces new workplace learning partner, Vado.Vado logoVado offers 380+ micro-learning, handheld and laptop compatible courses in the topics:

  1. Management development
  2. Leadership development
  3. Employee business skills
  4. HR compliance

Vado’s award winning courses will be delivered via client organizations’ own learning platforms, or by Corporate Elements at no additional charge.

“We are pleased to partner with Corporate Elements to provide our unique learning content that is changing the face of learning”, comments Cindy Pascale, Vado’s CEO. “Research shows that 70% of development happens on the job, and Vado is the only commercial e-learning courseware provider that helps the learner apply the contents of the course on the job. Our mobile responsive, micro-learning courses are exactly what employees are looking for.”

“Short, targeted content is very popular with our clients and their employees. With Vado’s content, learners are not only gaining new knowledge, but clear action to apply what they learned on the job,” commented Corporate Elements owner, Ole Rygg.

Rygg states: “Research shows that effective workplace learning is short, relevant to the learner, targeted and can be immediately applied on the job. In today’s talent economy, managers and employees understand the need to continuously work towards improving their skills and building new ones. Yet most training is event-driven and transactional, unable to provide effective learning. Moreover, a lot of training does not provide measurable improvement to the bottom line. In short, it can be a waste of time and resources.”

“Vado’s courses are short, interactive, targeted, and mobile compatible. They involve both the learner, their manager and peers in the on-the-job learning process. The courses are exactly what your managers and employees have been looking for. No more boring online learning!”

Organizations are invited to review and test the new courses by going to Corporate Elements website at www.corporateelements.com/learning. There is also a free in-person demo available. 

ABOUT CORPORATE ELEMENTS LLC:

Based in Fargo, ND, Corporate Elements is a premier provider of comprehensive talent management solutions to improve culture, productivity, leadership and results in client organizations. With broad experience from 20 years of serving organizations in the US and Europe, Corporate Elements uses proven research in the areas of learning, anthropology, business and culture to improve employee selection, onboarding, learning, development, conflict resolution, engagement and productivity. Corporate Elements LLC was founded in 2012 and is owned and operated by Ole Rygg. Rygg has a Masters degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Oslo, Norway. He is a certified executive coach, talent consultant, mediator and facilitator. With his extensive experience in the field of workplace learning, Rygg works with select vendors with proven scientific methodology and results, including Hogan Assessments, Korn Ferry/Lominger, Wiley/Everything DiSC, Human Capital Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, SHL Assessments, and Vado. For more information visit www.corporateelements.com. 

ABOUT VADO:

Vado is an award-winning courseware developer based in Minneapolis, MN. Vado is changing the face of learning with micro-learning courses followed by step by step instructions on how to apply the course on the job where 70% of development happens.  To learn more about Vado’s award winning Leadership Development Learning Track, Management Development Learning Track and HR Compliance Toolkit visit www.vadoinc.net. 

 

 

Lead 2013 – Part 2: It’s what you know, not what you do

I have had the opportunity to work with leaders from very different backgrounds, cultures and professions. Whether I work with a client one-on-one or facilitating a workshop, I have learned to take the time to ask simple questions. Before charging ahead into the unknown territory of “what can be,” it is critical to understand “what is.”  

I have come to appreciate the value of establishing a shared foundation of knowledge, understanding and terminology.  “What do you do?” “What does a normal work day look like for you?” “Who do you talk to on a regular basis, and who comes to talk to you?” “What do they ask for?” And, perhaps the most effective question – “and then?”

These are questions that ask for specific and objective information, meant to allow for minimum bias or judgment. Slowly but surely we arrive at a shared understanding of what leadership is, what it represents, how it functions, how it is effective and where the potential may lay.

This type of informal assessment can be supplemented with information from a formal leadership assessment, which provides additional insight on leadership strengths, preferences and development areas.

This assessment phase of any coaching or development process is critical. We are sketching a map of the surrounding landscape, and building rapport and understanding along the way. The resulting map is used to plot a destination we agree upon and the road we’ll have to travel to get there.

Whys is this so important?

Imagine yourself left in a forest, without a map or compass. Which direction would you travel? Without a map of the terrain, does it matter which direction you go? How will you know if you are making headway, without knowing where you are in relation to your destination? How would you determine what your goal or destination should be?

And, if you were responsible for a group of people who trusted and depended on you, how would you make the right decisions and be able to convey them with credibility and confidence?

Peter Drucker famously stated that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Doing the right thing, traveling in the right direction, requires requires a good map. It requires knowing “what is” so that you can determine the proper “to be.”

Strong leaders are often celebrated for their accomplishments, for what they are or were able to accomplish or achieve. It’s therefore natural for  leaders to focus significant time and energy on determining how to reach organizational goals related to budget, growth, development, and sustainability. In the absence of a good map, this journey can be arduous and a heavy burden to carry.

Do you have a map? How do you define your leadership?

The truth is that no one can define your leadership. Nobody but you.

Lead 2013 – Part 1: Good leadership, common sense and purple cows

An organization requires good leaders to grow, develop and be successful. But what is the definition of a “good leader”?

Answering this question has developed into a multi-billion dollar industry, brandishing competing definitions, concepts and formulas. At some point in time, we have probably all purchased a self-help book or bought into a concept that purportedly had “all the answers.” They all come with some good perspectives and help us reconsider our existing approaches to leadership. Which is great, and always a well-worth exercise. But I think it’s safe to say that any book, concept, or article that argues to have all the answers never does.

Try to google “leadership fads” and you will end up with a long line of articles, including this one written by Steve Tobak @Inc. I found the article quite entertaining and interesting. In it, Tobak reviews some of the recent “fads” and argues that good leadership is the result of a combination of using common sense while embracing individual strengths that may provide a level of competitive advantage. This pragmatic and utilitarian approach definitely has a nice feel to it, although it doesn’t provide an answer to the question of what really defines “good leadership.”

If we all focus on our own individual strengths as leaders, combined with our individual interpretation of what constitutes “common sense” – wouldn’t we run the risk of turning into “purple cows” as described by Seth Godin in his book by the same name? Would we end up in a race where the end goal would always be to be a “remarkable” purple cow amidst all the regular brown ones? In a tough and challenging marketplace, where corporate ownership, brands, priorities and strategies have to be as effective and cost-efficient as they are flexible and in adaptable, won’t leaders and organizational leadership get caught up in the never-ending race toward one-up competitiveness?

I think they already have.

Over the last several years, faith in leadership appears to have slowly eroded in many organizations, both public and private. In important aspects, the financial crisis may have contributed to this, although the big financial institutions’ fall from grace may also be interpreted as a symptom of a broader problem of a growing leadership deficit in private enterprise. The more recent “fiscal cliff crisis” certainly provided a level of justification to the growing number of people who lack faith in our political leaders and the overall political process. In organizations across the nation, employee satisfaction and engagement is at a historical low. Numerous studies have found that more and more people are looking for alternate employment, or that they are unhappy with their current employers. The leadership deficit is growing by the minute.

So what do we do about it?

I believe that we have to make a concerted effort to turning things around, starting by taking a fresh look at our goals and priorities when it comes to the role and what we expect of our leaders in private enterprise, government, and non-profit organizations.

Because we need good leaders, better leaders. I believe anyone will agree. I would also argue that we need for people, for everyone, to have faith in their leaders. Yet for either of these to be realistic, we need our leaders to have faith in themselves and their ability and effectiveness in leading others.  Without first establishing a foundation of competence and confidence, within our group of leaders and beyond, nothing else that we do will matter.

Do you agree?

If you do, the first priority should be to find new and better ways and tools to develop and guide our leaders. Our goal should be to develop good leaders who have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to have sufficient confidence in their own abilities, who fully understand and accept the importance and value of their role and responsibilities, and who are effective in building the authority needed to leading and developing individuals, teams and organizations to enable them to accomplish extraordinary things.

Because this is what leadership is all about! It’s what makes leadership fun and so worth it.

We will return to this topic in the weeks to come, discussing what the essence and practical implications of good leadership really is. Please feel free provide your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. I welcome thoughts of disagreement even more than those who agree.

What is your organization doing to develop better leaders? What is your plan for developing your own leadership skills?

The Power of Integrated Talent Management and Assessment Solutions

HRIS and Talent Management systems are powerful and effective tools for any business. We all know that we cannot possibly hope to manage that which we do not track and measure.

For measure we must. Not just the input and output of daily production and operations, but the most costly and valuable resource of all – our employees and human capital.

We don’t always like the idea of measuring people. Intuitively, it makes us fear losing some of that which makes us human.

But HRIS and talent management systems are here to stay. And for good reasons. Over the last few years, the development in this area has been remarkable. Increased vendor competition and technological advances have drastically improved functionality and user interface. We can now do much more, much easier and with less time and labor.

We have also witnessed a seemingly never ending wave of mergers, acquisitions and strategic partnerships within the industry.

It therefore did not come as a surprise when Halogen Software yesterday (October 29, 2012) announced a new partnership. The partner, however, is worth noticing: SHL.

Who?

SHL may not be a well-known company to many in the HR circles in the US. It may be better known in other parts of the world, especially in Europe.

SHL brandishes itself as “the leader in talent measurement solutions, driving better business results for clients through superior people intelligence and decisions – from hiring and recruiting, to employee development and succession planning.”

In other words, SHL is a global psychometric assessment provider.

Every year, SHL delivers more than 25 million selection and development assessments in more than 30 different languages. SHL provides solutions in 150 countries and maintains a local presence in more than 50 countries.

With the new partnership, Halogen and SHL promises enhanced value to Halogen customers across several key areas of talent management, including talent acquisition, leadership development, career development and succession planning.

There is no doubt that Halogen customers will be able to make better talent decisions and possibly gain a competitive advantage with the new functionality provided by the integrated assessments. Particularly within the area of selection and hiring, but also when it comes to performance management, talent assessment, succession planning, competence and leadership development.

Here’s an example: According to the Human Capital Institute (HCI), the cost of hiring the wrong person for a position has been estimated to be 1.5 to 3.5 times the incumbent’s salary. The underlying science of SHL’s assessments combined with a robust talent acquisition process can significantly reduce the risk of incurring these costs. If you were able to avoid one or two bad hires a year, the cost savings would be significant.

The use of objective assessments can also be extremely valuable when tied to your company’s core competencies, performance standards, or KPIs linked to your corporate values.

You may already use assessments for identification of high potentials, executive coaching and development, learning and development programs, management assessment processes, or the performance evaluation process.

However, if you have yet to integrate assessments into your HRIS or talent management system or processes, you’re not alone. Many companies are in the same situation, often because of lack of resources or internal expertise. If that is the case, I recommend doing one of the following:

  • Reach out to HR colleagues and ask them what they do and what is working for them.
  • Contact your existing HRIS or Talent Management software providers to check if they recommend or have a partnership with specific assessment providers or solutions
  • Contact Corporate Elements or another trusted talent management consulting organization.

It is worth exploring. Assessments can add additional value to your existing HRIS and Talent Management systems and processes, and there is a proven return on investment. Assessments can also be an effective tool to reduce liability by adding objective criteria to your recruitment and development initiatives. And, whether you deploy assessments as an integrated feature in your HRIS or as a separate solution, it will prove to be a valuable and effective tool in the management of your most valuable resource.

 

About Ole Rygg, MA, PHR, CTC:

Ole is an independent talent management consultant, executive coach and strategic business partner who has been  providing consulting and training services to businesses, non-profits, and government organizations since 2002. He is the president and founder of Corporate Elements (http://corporateelements.com), a leading provider of executive coaching, talent management, organizational development and productivity improvement products and services. Corporate Elements partners with you to provide the manpower, experience and cutting-edge expertise you need to reach new goals and operate to the full potential of your business.

You may contact Ole via email at ole@corporateelements.com or by phone at (218) 329-0836.