All posts by Graham

Tomorrow’s Manager: a knowledge meshworker

The era of the knowledge worker is passing;

the era of the knowledge meshworker, or 1% knowledge worker, has arrived.

Peter Drucker, around 1959, coined the term knowledge worker(1). Most of you reading this are knowledge workers, whatever your (more…)

Google’s great managers

and how to get the rest just as good.

As this article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/13/business/13hire.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4&ref=business

says, what makes a truly great manager lies in a few fairly obvious things. What Google found out of the data from their internal study is exactly what makes a great Google manager. Which may have nothing to do with what makes a great Lufthansa manager, for example.

Google is heavily reliant on solid data, even in their HR, a field often relying only on experience and intuition. Forward-thinking companies though, like Google, are turning more and more to data to complement experience and intuition.  (See Todd (more…)

Who owns the human capital in your organisation?

Human capital is worth more than any other type of capital in many of today’s organisations.

It is also fundamentally different, because in most of the world the organisation, the employer, does absolutely not own their human capital.

Human capital is owned in little chunks, called people, each chunk owned by that person himself or herself. Organisations receive, minute by minute, an investment of human capital by the owners of that capital. An investment of

  • time,
  • knowledge and
  • action,
  • driven by the belief of the individual that that investment will be adequately rewarded.

This has huge consequences for (more…)

Changing the Hamiltonian

There are a lot of metaphorical parallels between the complex systems physicists deal with and the complex system impacting learning transfer. The following story has just been published in Physics World, June 2012 edition.

It’s Friday night, and Ed Executive and Fiona Physicist are in their local pub after yet another stressful week at their hi-tech company. Ed looks glum as he sips his pint.

“I wish our staff could learn faster, Fiona,” he sighed. “Right now the two of us are spending far too much time working on projects, and not nearly enough leading the company. We’re surviving today (more…)

Star Performance Transfer and individual strengths

This great article from Gallup speaks to one central pillar, contracting, in cascading star performance from your top 20% to the rest of your team:

http://gmj.gallup.com/content/153341/Why-Strengths-Matter-Training.aspx

Performance interventions (whether learning, e-learning, on the job, or a complete organisational transformation) are most likely to deliver fast, permanent gains in performance if there is a clear contract before the intervention. A contract between the line manager and the participant(s).

One critical element is clarity on what is expected of the participant on the job after the intervention; coupled with feedback on how well they are currently doing vs. expectations.

Using our (more…)