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Archive for the ‘global’ Category

Feb 21, 2012 – Are you ready?

Posted by Anders Northeved on January 26, 2011

According to phonecount.com on Feb 21, 2012 (give or take a couple of days I guess…) the number of connected phones will surpass the number of people living on Earth. For everyone that doesn’t have a phone, someone will have two.
Just think about what people would have said if you predicted this 10 or 20 years ago!
I’m sure this already has a profound impact on most people’s life in many ways, but let me just focus on the possibilities for corporate HR programs.

Self Service
Lots of organizations have ripped the benefits of Self Service in their HCM program.
The administrative work has gone down; the HR data are more accurate; it’s easier for the users to get access to information; the user acceptance has gone up and the cost has come down – all well and good if the employees have access to a computer…
But with more and more people having a mobile, we will see the benefits of Self Service come to a lot of areas where people do not have access to computers like retail, production and transport.

With the widespread availability of phones the management has got a new direct communication line to all of their employees.
Want your employees to know about a new product; a new initiative; reward someone; tell everyone how it’s going… a message on the mobile is the answer. 

It’s now possible to get feedback from your entire workforce whether they have access to a computer or not.

Using mobiles for education for people who would otherwise not have access to education has enormous potential.
I would even go so far as to say that the right use of mobiles for education for organizations with employees without access to a computer could be THE competitive advantage that would define whether an organization would be successful or not!

Even if I find these possibilities very exciting, I’m sure there are other areas that could be added to this list.
I would love to see your comments on what other topics within HCM that could be helped or advanced using mobile devices!

 (Photo by Brandon Hall)

Posted in communication, global, hr, HR Technology, learning, predictions | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Why should we hire you?

Posted by Vivian Wong on July 23, 2009

Team Photo

Today’s article by CNN 43 weird things to say in job interviews was pretty funny. Here are some of my favorites:

“I would be a great asset to the events team because I party all the time.” – Bill McGowan, founder, Clarity Media Group

“I get angry easily and I went to jail for domestic violence. But I won’t get mad at you.” – Pechstein

Last week I interviewed an experienced software developer who made a long lasting impression on me.

First Impression

Me: What do you know about this position?

Mr. XYZ: Nothing. I spent no more than 3 minutes looking at the job description when I applied.

Are you a people person?

Five minutes later, sensing that Mr. XYZ may be difficult to work with:

Me: Have you ever had conflicts with others at work?

Mr. XYZ: Oh yeah. You can call them conflicts or disagreements – same thing.

Me:  Can you please give me an example? How did you resolve the issue?

Mr. XYZ: (shrug) They wouldn’t do what I said and I told them their designs were wrong. They were stubborn.

Collaborating in a Global Environment

Me: How do you feel about working with a global team?

Mr. XYZ:  There is just nothing good about working with teams in India. It takes twice as much time to communicate to get stuff done and then they are never done right. We have to deal with them. We have no choice.

Closing the deal

Me: Hmmm… Actually we have teams in India and we enjoy working with them. They can bring a lot of value to our projects….

Mr. XYZ: You are not hearing me right. You are just being an idealist. What I said is that it takes so much time to communicate with them and then you have to wait a long time for things to turn around and they don’t give you what you need. Global teams just don’t work.

At this point, I thanked him for his time and ended the interview. Frankly, I’d rather hire someone with no technical skills but has the “right” attitude and willing to learn than the other way round. It’s much easier to learn hard skills than soft skills.

Later when I compared my notes with other interviewers on my team,  it was clear that Mr. XYZ was most outspoken and least respectful to me. (We wondered whether he simply treated me differently because I was the only female interviewer?)

What were some of your most memorable experiences either as an interviewer or interviewee?

Posted in candidate, global, recruiting, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

How is an Airliner not like Shrek?

Posted by Mark Bennett on February 1, 2009


"We know you have a choice in ogres, and we thank you for choosing us."

Yes, it is true. Snide comments about cabin smells and passenger attitudes aside, the list of differences is probably fairly lengthy.


If you haven’t been following the saga of the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner,“ the short version is that Boeing’s strategy and the fit of the 787’s Dreamliner design to that strategy initially appeared to be a good call. In addition, its main competition, the Airbus A380, was plagued with production delays and it looked like the 787 would come out the winner.


However, the last couple of years have had more and more news about 787 production delays and periodic status updates from Boeing that delivery of the 787 would be delayed to (increasingly frustrated) customers. Many have observed that these problems coincided with, among other factors, the laying off of many experienced employees in tandem with the outsourcing of large sections of an incredibly complex supply chain. The rationale behind these actions was to reduce costs in addition to navigating sensitive geopolitical considerations when trying to land deals with foreign airlines.


What does this have to do with talent? It’s interesting to see in an article from BusinessWeek, via Evolving Excellence, that Boeing is now reversing some of those decisions (although it is a delicate process in that the geopolitical concerns have not gone away.) In addition, some of the thinking behind the original decisions have come to light:


Union officials say past executives at Boeing used Hollywood as a model as they developed their plans to outsource production on the 787. Moviemakers bring together independent contractors—actors, camera operators, publicists—on a project basis for many films, avoiding the expenses of having all such staffers constantly on the payroll. By treating planes as such projects, advocates of outsourcing figured they could do the same in producing aircraft.


Of course, this claim is coming from people with a huge vested interest in keeping work in-house, so we should take what’s being said keeping the source in mind. Nevertheless, the actions taken by executives did occur and the consequences of those actions have cost the company over two years in delays and billions in revenue. The upshot of course, is that building jets is not at all the same as making a movie. With aircraft production, there is constant back and forth between design and production as assemblies and subassemblies turn out not to quite fit, or constraints about flow on the assembly floor are not factored in, requiring changes, and so forth.


As Evolving Excellence eloquently put it, “But the real bottom line is that Boeing has apparently woken up to the reality that making a 787 isn’t exactly like making Shrek.”


Indeed. Boeing has suffered both in terms of longer delays getting production issues resolved (let alone the inevitable delays that come from assembly providers that in turn are delayed by their part supplier delays, etc.) but as they pull more production back in, they are finding that the talent they need, but was previously laid off, has to be hired back.


So the question is: are companies carefully weighing the risks of how much and who they lay off to reduce costs, whether it’s to get a bump in stock price or to make payroll? Are companies just digging a deeper hole for themselves by single-minded layoffs based solely on salary cost, when that could mean losing the most experienced and therefore perhaps the most productive employees who hold the key to a turnaround? We’ve recently witnessed the collapse of Circuit City, and although the causes are likely numerous and stretch back to various mistakes over several years, many have already linked its demise to the recent layoff of experienced workers in an attempt to reduce payroll costs.

Posted in global, management, performance, top talent, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Managing a global workforce

Posted by Meg Bear on December 18, 2008


When I hear talk about hand wringing about flex hours and how do you keep people focused when working from home I must admit I don’t get it.  That’s not to say I don’t understand the comments, I do, it’s just that I have been working with a remote/global workforce so long I’m not sure I really remember what it was like to wonder how to make it work.  My first India + US HQ + Random other location work team was in 1995.  Back in the good old days when connectivity between India and the US was dicey at best.  We did, however, have email. 

Of all the companies that I’ve worked for I have to say that Oracle has this mastered better than anywhere I’ve seen.  Global workforce is not the exception, it’s the only rule (at least in development).  My own situation is having a boss in the UK and staff in several US locations, 2 India locations and Australia.  My peers teams are even more distributed.  If you are new to a global workforce here are some tips I’ve gathered over the years you might find helpful.

  1. Communication skills are a competency that you can no longer consider optional or nice to have.  This is especially impactful for engineering teams where personalities might find this challenging and education often downplays the need.
  2. Webconference tools are used every day.  At Oracle we are lucky to have our own tools for this, but if you don’t, you need to get favorable pricing for usage, since rarely do I attend a meeting where a webconference is not used.
  3. Technology helps a lot.  VoIP, record/playback, Forums, Wikis, Microblogging, Social Networking.  You name it, we need it.  Making it possible for interactions that happen via technology can be used (and reused) is critical to spanning the globe.
  4. Flexibility is critical.  Every team has to share the load of precious “real time” communication.  Supporting split shifts and shifting work schedules for early morning and/or late evening meetings is a part of life.  This is not just working from home, it’s starting meetings from home at 9pm.  A full scale cultural norm shift of what it means to be working is required.
  5. Timezone awareness is not optional.  Knowing that Friday afternoon is the weekend in Australia is something you just have to know.  Having a good tool to keep you in sync (I’ve been using iGoogle’s widget these days) and having someone on your team to remind you when daylight savings gets everyone off for a few weeks, can make or break critical deadlines.
  6. Nothing is more critical than relationships.  Using travel wisely and focusing on relationship building will make all the difference when times are tough.  If you are just a random name or email account you are easily ignored.  If you are a known person you will have a hope of rising above the noise when you need help from a teammate in a different part of the world
  7. Surprisingly a photoshop competency on the team is useful.  How else would you ever get a full team photo?

Working globally is not something that every industry is going to embrace, at least not at the level that we have here.  I will tell you that the insight, value, collaboration, joy and experience that you have with a diverse and global workforce is the best of the best.   While the hype will tell you that around the clock productivity is the benefit, I would argue that around the world talent trumps that by a long shot.

Posted in community, engagement, global, teams | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »