HR’s Biggest Challenge: Succession Planning

lou-levit-1940In the 1970s, only 8 percent of S&P 500 CEOs were recruited externally. That number grew to 22 percent in 2014. Yet, outsiders are almost 7 times more likely to be dismissed within a short tenure than homegrown CEOs. No matter how much a board learns about an outside candidate, executive stakeholders simply have a better understanding of an internal contender’s strengths and weaknesses, especially as they relate to the specifics of the current business landscape and strategic objectives. As a result of the inherent “information misalignment,” the chance of making a mistake is much higher for a CEO hired from outside the company.

Most stakeholders will admit that they know this already. But what they won’t admit is that the expressed need to bring in an outside CEO is evidence that neither the board, the current (or previous) CEO nor the chief of human resources successfully performed one of their most crucial, shared responsibilities: building a sustainable leadership pipeline that readies executives and potential executives to advance at all levels of the organization. Read More »

Ed Sheeran Is Not Lorde: The Fungibility Fallacy


If you went to a concert to see Lorde and instead Ed Sheeran emerged on stage, you might be pleased to see him, but disappointed because Ed Sheeran is not Lorde and is never going to do the version of Green Light you thought you’d be watching.

The fact that Ed Sheeran is not Lorde demonstrates the economic principle of fungibility. If something is fungible, it means it can be exchanged for a good of equal value. Money is said to be fungible, because it can be exchanged easily for goods of the same value. Around the world, $4-5 can be swapped for a Big Mac. However, Lorde is not fungible.

Although this seems to be common sense, the many incompetent managers, team leaders, or coaches in the world completely fail to understand it. They look at the members of a team in the same way they see batteries in a torch or a tool: a technical skill that can simply be exchanged. While a football team requires a striker, a wing, and a goal-keeper, competence is all that is needed to change out one player for another using this line of thinking (fungibility). But that’s incorrect. Players are more than mere functional capability, and arrive on the field with personalities, styles, and preferences. Messi is not Neymar and both are very different players to Wayne Rooney.

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It’s the Company’s Job to Help Employees Learn

stefan-stefancik-257625When Frederick Taylor published his pioneering principles of scientific management in 1912, the repetitive and mundane nature of most jobs required employees to think as little as possible. Breaking down each task into basic components and standardizing workers’ behaviors to eliminate choice and flexibility could help managers turn employees into productive machines, albeit with alienated spirits.

Fast forward to the present and we see that most jobs today demand the exact opposite from employees: the capacity to keep learning and developing new skills and expertise, even if they are not obviously linked to one’s current job. As academic reviews have pointed out, people’s employability – their ability to gain and maintain a desired job – no longer depends on what they already know, but on what they are likely to learn.

In other words, higher career security is a function of employability, and that in turn depends on learnability. Thus Eric Schmidt notes that a major pillar in Google’s recruitment strategy is to hire “learning animals,” while EY recruiters observe that “to be a standout, candidates need to demonstrate technical knowledge in their discipline, but also a passion for asking the kind of insightful questions that have the power to unlock deeper insights and innovation for our clients.”

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Distributor Spotlight: Compass Advancing Argentina’s Workforce

Awair1In Hogan’s endeavors to become a global brand, we have searched for partners worldwide who believe in our assessments as much as we do. Our distributors are the backbone of what makes our company so effective around the globe, and that is why Hogan would like to spotlight, Compass, a Hogan distributor based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They joined the Hogan network in 2009, and have steadily grown ever since.

With a vibrant, growing economy, Argentina is an excellent place to establish relationships because of its growth potential. Using the Hogan Assessment suite, we hope not only to make a difference for individual companies, but change how people around the globe perceive using personality testing for hiring decisions, so that individuals are hired more effectively on an international level.

Here’s a personal account from Adrian Büchner, the CEO and Experience Director of Compass, on why Hogan work so well for the Argentinian workforce:

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2018 US Hogan Certification Workshop Schedule Released

We’re excited to announce that we have released our 2018 US Hogan Certification Workshop schedule.Hogan_1375

The 2-day Level 1 workshop provides an in-depth understanding of how to use and interpret the Hogan Assessment Suite, offering a comprehensive tutorial on three Hogan inventories – Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI); Hogan Development Survey (HDS); and the Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI). Participants attending both days and successfully completing the Level 1 curriculum will be certified to use and interpret the Hogan inventories.

The 1-day Level 2 workshop prepares the learner to apply more advanced feedback models, properly set the frame for a Hogan feedback session, create developmental action plans and understand best practices for presenting Hogan data.

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How to Work with Innovation Killers


Although we live in an age that glorifies innovation, there is a big difference between theoretically advocating for it and being able (or willing) to actually implement it. None of this is really new. From Schumpeter’s classic definition of innovation as “creative destruction” to recent portrayals of innovators as disruptors or constructive nonconformist, we have known for years that the people and processes that enable innovation are often undesirable, not least because of the ubiquitous human fear of the unknown. As Slavoj Žižek points out, few things are as violent – psychologically speaking – as change, and the violence of change is what makes people cling to the familiar, even when they hypothetically embrace change. Indeed, whether the goal is to change oneself or one’s environment, most people don’t want to change – what they want is to have changed. “Take this pill and you’ll be smarter, slimmer, happier, richer” – everybody would sign up for that. Now if the deal is to follow a specific set of instructions that may or not, after a great deal of effort, suffering, and persistence, create the desired change, then the uptake will be rather smaller. Read More »

Have Data and Technology Really Made HR Smarter?

Technology has turned HR into a data-driven game. This does not mean intuitionmarkus-spiske-207946 is waning, but rather that a larger number of practitioners are likely to experience some shame or guilt if they admit that they are ‘playing it by ear’. The recent rebranding of talent management as ‘people analytics’ has arguably enhanced the status of HR.

The hope here is that HR can empower organisations with robust tech and data to turn the art of people management into a science: an objective, defensible and replicable process with a clear ROI.

That said, there is still room for improvement, as most technological innovations have yet to be rigorously scrutinised or effectively applied. The HR tech world is replete with shiny new objects, including some that warrant a considerable amount of optimism, even among cynics. However, at this stage there is no indication that these toys are more effective than applying well-established scientific principles. This is perhaps clearest in talent identification. Consider these salient examples: Read More »

VIDEO: Dr. Hogan Discusses the Importance of Values

VIDEO: Dr. Hogan Discusses the Importance of Values 

Values are the DNA of culture, and culture is incredibly stable over generations. That explains why parent-child voting preferences and religious preferences have correlated so strongly throughout human history. Values are what drive prejudice, and the clash of values is what has caused so much unrest and conflict across the globe.

Values are also directly related to organizational success and failure, and the culture of an organization is defined by the values of the people at the top. You can have the world’s most effective business strategy but, if your organizational values are not aligned, you’re doomed.

High-performing groups will have similar values and you have to determine exactly what they are. In this video, Dr. Hogan discusses the importance of values, and how organizations need to put less of an emphasis on descriptive values and focus more on prescriptive values.

How to Boost Your (and Others’) Emotional Intelligence

Among the various core ingredients of talent and career success, few personal qualities have received more attention in the past decade than emotional intelligence (EQ), the ability to identify and manage your own and others’ emotions. Importantly, unlike most of the competencies that make it into the HR zeitgeist of buzzwords, EQ is no fad.

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In fact, thousands of academic studies have demonstrated the predictive power of scientific EQ assessments vis-à-vis job performance, leadership potential, entrepreneurship, and employability. Moreover, the importance of EQ has been highlighted beyond work-related settings, as higher scores have been associated with relationship success, mental and physical health, and happiness.

All this is good news for people with higher EQ. But what can those with lower scores do to improve their intrapersonal and interpersonal skills? Is it possible to increase your own and others’ EQ beyond its natural levels? While Goleman and other popular writers argue that (unlike IQ) EQ is malleable and trainable, EQ is really just a combination of personality traits. Accordingly, it is not set in stone; it is largely heritable, shaped by childhood experiences, and fairly stable over time.

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How to Make Work More Meaningful for Your Team

There is a well-known story about a cleaner at NASA who, when asked by JFK what his job was, responded “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.” This anecdote is often used to show how even the most mundane job can be seen as meaningful with the right mindset and under a good leadership.Team

Today, more and more employees demand much more than a good salary from their jobs. Money may lure people into jobs, but purpose, meaning, and the prospect of interesting and valuable work determines both their tenure and how hard they will work while they are on the job. Finding meaning at work has become so important that there are even public rankings for the most meaningful jobs. Although there are many factors determining how appealing jobs tend to be, those that contribute to improving other people’s lives are ranked top (e.g., health care and social work). Interestingly, meta-analytic studies indicated that there is only a marginal association between pay and job satisfaction. A lawyer who earns $150,000 a year is no more engaged than a freelance designer who earns $35,000 a year.

Research consistently shows that people experiencing meaningful work report better health, wellbeing, teamwork and engagement; they bounce back faster from setbacks and are more likely to view mistakes as learning opportunities rather than failures. In other words, people at work are more likely to thrive and grow when they experience their job as meaningful. This is why businesses with a stronger and clearer sense of purpose tend to have better financial performance. Unsurprisingly, the most successful companies in the world are also the best places in the world to work.

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