We hear this often from our small and medium sized clients quite often. They have been so busy "in" the business they haven't had time to work "on" it. When they do look up they find their business is 'stuck' and they are not quite sure what to do about it. 'Stuck' can look like many things, it could be rapid growth, a big project/contract, lack of consistent processes, the wrong people in the wrong seats (or the right people in the wrong seats), lack of a clear vision or plan for the future, not having everyone on the same page, a lack of data to make solid decisions... the list is endless.
What we see are CEOs and Executive Teams finding themselves in a quandary and not sure how to get out of it. I've been there and understand it completely and looked around to find the right kind of solution myself. I am a natural skeptic so I want tried and true, proven but easy-to-use tools and systems to get things done. I was attending a multi-day certification program and sitting at lunch when my table-mate sitting next to me shared Gino Wickman's book, "Traction" with me. I flipped through it that night and poked around the website that evening and was convinced that I had found a great solution to my issues. The concepts were simple, the tools are straightforward, and the methodology is tried and very sound.
Years later I find myself offering the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to our own clients because it is just such an elegantly simple methodology and toolbox...and it works!
EOS helps entrepreneurs get what they want from their business.
EOS does three things we call Vision, Traction, Healthy:
Want to learn more, you can hear directly from Gino Wickman in the quick YouTube video below and check out our website: http://www.hcm2020.com/learn-more-about-eos.html to learn more about how we can facilitate the EOS process for your organization.
"Indeed, companies spend more than $2 trillion on acquisitions every year. Yet study after study puts the failure rate of mergers and acquisitions somewhere between 70% and 90%." Harvard Business Review
2013 has proven to be quite the year for re-evaluation and assessment of where current business stands. Whether it is a part of a growth or exit strategy, many entrepreneurs, CEOs and executives have had the conversation "what do we do next" and the concept of a merger or acquisition most certainly crosses the minds of most. But, are you ready for it?
It is common knowledge to recognize the importance of the legal and financial aspects of a merger or acquisition but few consider the third piece of this puzzle, the people. If your business value is based on the output of the knowledge, talent and skills of your people for its success then this third leg of the M&A stool has to be not only considered but needs to be a major focus of your efforts.
People and Culture. This is the third leg of the M&A stool that wasn't factored into industrial age acquisition plans for M&A advisory firms. The result is the 70-90% M&A failure rate of the 21st century. The reality is, in 2014 and beyond, the knowledge economy is a very different beast and requires a savvy and wise approach to the entire M&A process, a fundamental shift in how mergers and acquisitions have been done in the past.
Here are five things to consider assuming the finance and legal aspects have been addressed:
In the end, successful mergers and acquisitions need solid legal and financial advice but they ALSO need a strong (and real) evaluation of your people and culture to be a part of the 30%. Best of luck!
Really - it's new. The "human capital" space, if you take out the HR (transactional) aspects of human resources...the idea of 'human capital' is really still very new. We are going through the exact same industry life cycle as the eLearning space did in the late 90s and early 2000s. It's rather interesting in fact to see just how similar it was.It started with the term 'eLearning' and now our term 'human capital' and what does that really mean? Many are still trying to define it.
Then it moved into learning metrics and measuring the effectiveness of eLearning....now we have human capital metrics conversations. But the first eLearning metrics were really about capturing 'butts in seats' and 'page clicks' and 'course satisfaction'. All of that has moved into much deeper analysis of effectiveness of training, multi-modal learning, and all sorts of awesome things that people like Elliot Masie and others spoke about in their "Future of Learning" type sessions in the late 90s.
At the same time that the metrics concept was emerging, so was the incredible boom of eLearning technology companies, LMS systems, and the like. Both delivery systems and tracking systems are popping up by the dozens.
Then the mergers & acquisitions began... HC companies buying each other...then the integrations of LMS companies with human capital systems too. The SAP acquisition of SuccessFactors, then the Learn.com platform (eLearning system) acquired by Taleo (HC system), which was then acquired by Oracle - that's just one example.
Then I would say, the calm settles in and true growth begins. Social media and other ancillary applications are integrated into this more robust systems. But what is truly great is that really cutting edge technologies emerge. The eLearning space has some amazing high tech applications with virtual reality training, things resembling Google glass....really cool, really immersive learning. It connects people in ways we never imagined and just look at what eLearning has done to higher education, home schooling, and even public schools now.
So what does this mean for the human capital space? My prediction is this... by 2020, human capital transformations are going to impact the business world in ways far more significant than eLearning has transformed education. The HC growth curve is going to be steeper and more impactful on business management than eLearning has been for education. I'll write some thoughts on my predictions soon.
At an event a few years ago, I was asked what I thought was the number one thing that organizations needed to focus on in the current economy. My answer is always the same...your people. "Take good care of your people in this economic downturn, especially the ones you want to keep, because when the economy picks back up those organizations that take good care of their people will retain them, and those that don't will see them leaving." But as things go, the economy went farther south than anyone was expecting and 'taking care of your people' was hard to do. I get this. However, what we are seeing in the workplace is exactly what I had predicted. Great employees are now looking for a better opportunity, a better culture, authentic leadership, a great place to work, a bit more flexibility...all sorts of things and they are not always about 'more money'.
Among our research efforts, we track the job search market here in the DC Metro area to see who is hiring and why. Where are people going? Which organizations have a large number of openings, and why.. all of these things give us clues as to what is really happening in the marketplace.
What can you do if you seem to be loosing some of your best talent? Four things:
See a few key themes here? Real data and information is critical. Getting real about the situation and coming to terms with reality. Being authentic and speaking truth to your employees. Examining culture is critical. All of these things lead to a healthy organization and help to retain your best talent who remain during a healthy economy as well as the downturns.
Amy Riccardi is the Chief People Officer and Founder of HCM2020. She's a guest lecturer at Georgetown and George Washington Universities and works with executive teams and CEOs to help scale and grow their business.