Posts by author: Jose Baldaia

Mindset is commonly described as the filter through which people give meaning to the world. Cognitive psychologists use the term mental map or cognitive schema to describe the concept of mentality as they address the question of how people make sense of the world in which they interact.

But defined in a simple way, mentality is a habitual mental attitude (a set of assumptions, methods or notations) or characteristic that determines how we are going to interpret and respond to certain situations.

Being a DT minded leader is having a mental attitude that begins by embracing empathy.

Being a leader means accepting risk and developing trust instead of promoting the efficiency of “everything as usual”.

Being a leader is also to sponsor collaboration and learning rather than being summed up to know his specialty.

To be leader is to know how to listen, even if truth hurts, instead of taking refuge in norms, procedures or time constraints.

Being an organization leader or being a leader in an organization is looking outside and inside the organization and understanding the culture and context of the problems of customers and employees.

Instead of looking inward looking for the ingredients that the organization has to create a product or service, leaders must first seek to know what their customers need and then identify how the organization can meet those needs.

When we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, what aspects of their experience do you care to improve or which aspects do not yet have an answer?

We can easily see that technologies as well as competitive dynamics move rapidly in the organizational environment, so it is of the utmost importance that an organization’s leadership seeks to redesign customer experiences by widening, for example, the range of touch points in customer journey map or introducing new digital instruments.

But if it is precious that excellence is impregnated in the experience of the clients, it is also essential that the employee experience is felt by the leadership as another jewel that shines in the organizational universe.

Design thinking provides an excellent way for leadership to focus on the employee’s personal experience (understanding the problems) and to create processes, novel solutions and tools that directly contribute to employee satisfaction and to achieve better levels of productivity.

People-centered leadership means seeking to identify the needs (known, but not met, not articulated or hidden) of both the clients and the organization’s employees.

The definition of a problem can rarely be summed up in a reported or felt complaint.

On the contrary, by researching, observing and through direct contact with people, it is possible to identify problems that need to be solved and which, in turn, make it possible to gather useful information to improve or create products, services or even work processes and methodologies internal environment of the organization.

” Building to think instead of thinking about what to build ” – Tim Brown

Leadership that also facilitates experimentation/prototyping and builds on collaboration easily directs creative action to seek solutions in two strands, customers and collaborators (be they consumers or users). The success in the employees’ leadership, resulting from the resolution of their problems, has a direct impact on the resolution of customer problems due to the environment favorable to the commitment that is created.

Design thinking minded leaders within a creative process (problem definition, information search, idea generation and evaluation) should be facilitators, but also provocative, they must be conductive, but also motivators.

It must be a leadership that embraces ambiguity and builds prototypes of visions, products and services and even the magical experiences of its collaborators. Prototypes that will be tested and that will produce feedback of useful information to find the integrated solutions that satisfy the needs of all the interested parties (customer, suppliers, collaborators, etc.)

Notice: “You can prototype with anything.  You want to get an answer to your big question using the bare minimum of energy and expense possibly, but not at the expense of the fidelity of the results.  It’s not only about aluminum, foamcore, glue, and plywood.  A video of the human experience of your proposed design is a prototype.  Used correctly, an Excel spreadsheet is a wonderful prototyping tool.”

A leader embraces complexity because that is where the best answers come from.

It is therefore crucial for the leader to develop integrative thinking, that is, the ability to grasp two opposing ideas to create a solution that results from combining the most relevant points of each of those ideas.

A leader must be optimistic, but not overbearing, positive and must celebrates small successes.

It is not easy to find leaders of this nature! 🙂

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Innovation is a concept that occupies a unique space in the creation and development of business. Innovation remains, without a doubt, one of the most relevant competitive factors of today.

When companies follow the “copy and paste” trend in a new context to the detriment of their own unique identity, they are following the path of business in the amusement park. We must start thinking differently, that is, we must to think innovatively about products, services and work methodologies.

Innovation in organizations does not have to be just incremental, for example, in a nuclear product or service or only disruptive when a hackathon appears capable of providing a scenario previously unimaginable.

Innovation in organizations does not have to be in products or services and can be in methodologies of work, in business models or experiences of employees.

Innovation in organizations should respond to meeting the needs of all stakeholders (customers, partners, employees and management).

In a tradition (and therefore no innovation) that has lasted for some years, organizations are systemic entities, and to understand them we must go through the distinct levels of analysis that go from the individual to the organization, through the groups. Here there is always an input and an output.

Although these levels can and should be a benchmark, an approach to innovation in organizations should have a greater focus on the interaction and multiple inputs and outputs in information that the organization’s internal and external, formal and informal networks provide.

In the exercise of their activity, organizations should facilitate these interactions to manage the knowledge and behavior of the organization’s elements to innovation, be it incremental, disruptive or both.

The processing of data that may result in information to decide or to plan can no longer be a set of opinions from several different authorities, each in its discipline or silo.

Decision-making should not result from a sum of opinions but from a combination of opinions. Selecting the relevant aspects and making a difference, creating value, leads to innovative thinking.

We must remember that today data science is an interdisciplinary field and data scientists have basic skills in many fields adjacent to their specialty such as engineering, product management, math, business management, etc.

As one example, a fundamental principle of data science is that solutions for extracting useful knowledge from data must carefully consider the problem from the business perspective.  This may sound obvious at first, but the notion underlies many choices that must be made in the process of data analytics, including problem formulation, method choice, solution evaluation, and general strategy formulation.”

This truth may seem useful only to large companies, but it is not!

If it is true that large companies are the big beneficiaries of these data analysis processes, it is also true that the notion (knowledge and meaning) or environmental awareness where they are inserted gives SMEs an added advantage in the refining of products and services to customers and users, adding a non-visible value to larger companies.

This is because of their proximity to consumers, which allows them to transparently absorb the cultural values ​​and needs of the ecosystems in which they are inserted.

“Innovation is only possible when challenging the norm and questioning a brief one has been given, becomes inherent to working when trying to find the best possible answer to a problem.” – Christiane Drews

To find this answer we must recognize the need for a joint effort where there is collaboration and creation of knowledge that can lead us to differentiate between an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team that, although not consensual, has more visibility, for example in the health area.

What is at issue here are questions of the territory of knowledge and its rationale.

While multidisciplinary “teams” almost always produce sums of knowledge for third parties, interdisciplinary teams have an advantage resulting from the formation of generalist competencies by team members when they have the possibility to discuss third-party interventions in their areas of expertise.

Interdisciplinary teams can be frameworks that provide environments that:

– Allow openness to new challenges.

– Allow us to think about the unthinkable.

– Favor the opposite perspective.

– Favor creative doubt.

– Open the way to boldness.

– Open the way to trust.

– Favor dialogue.

The innovation now has a “wardrobe” available to organizations that only the construction of the future will allow them to know the limits.

From mindset on mindset the interdisciplinary teams are there. From design thinking in problem solving to agile in “job to be done”, from incremental innovation to disruptive innovation, from defining customer needs to continuous improvement, from work methodologies to building collective intelligence or from data science to creativity in marketing.

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Some companies want to be more agile, faster in responding to challenges and more effective in action.

These companies seek to provide great customer experiences and for this they can combine lean management with the advantages of innovative technologies to reduce costs, improve quality, build trust and create value.

To do this companies needed to find a new way to run the organization! They needed to combine digital technologies (available and incorporated) with the ability to operationalize, but in an integrated way and not as a sum of individual achievements.

To reach this state of operation, change must be driven throughout the organization (a holistic perspective) and must find a transformation path that suits its situation.

In this sense, it is necessary to end up with departmental silos and focus on client work, that is, it is necessary to offer a unique experience that is focused on the client’s journey and in the internal processes that support it and which are transversal to the organization.

It is necessary to leave behind the design of teams conditioned by decision-makers and to create autonomous and multifunctional teams dedicated to the customer’s journey. The team type, of desirable excellence, will result from the developed iterations that allow us to test the various possible configurations, thus responding flexibly to changing customer needs.

You need to introduce flexible technologies and business process management (BPM) tools and share them across customer journeys.

Decision-making should be more supported by real-time information, which implies a performance evaluation (efficiency and effectiveness) in shorter periods of time and properly leveraged with incentives for employees.

It is necessary to speed up the companies, valuing the speed in the capacity of answer to the clients and the learning with its journeys. Companies should seek to holistically reinvent these journeys instead of looking for small, incremental improvements. With this reinvention, it is possible to praise simplicity and streamline processes.

How can we then create distinct experiences for clients?

If, on the one hand, companies need to combine digital technologies in an integrated way with an optimized operationalization capability of the client’s journeys, which translates into a true organizational revolution, on the other hand, companies need to be aware of the experiences of its employees to ensure excellent performance.

Let’s look at some levers to implement a new way to create unique experiences for a company’s customers and suggested by Digital MacKinsey:

-Digitization – Digitize customer experience and day-to-day operations.

-Intelligent process automation – Introduce intelligent automation to reduce human tasks.

-Advanced analytics – Provides intelligence to facilitate decisions.

-Business processes outsourcing – Uses resources outside of the core business to complete specific tasks or functions.

-Lean process redesign – Streamline processes and minimize waste.

To implement these levers: “Organizations need to ensure that each lever is used to maximum effect”.  They should also ensure that “each lever in the right sequence” and finally, “the levers should interact with each other to provide a multiplier effect.”

But not enough! Creating distinct customer experiences is also dependent on good employee experience.

Now the HR function will have to play a very important role in finding innovative ways of engaging in the increasingly diverse set of employees and break organizational silos.

The HR function itself must now reinvent itself and give HR professionals the opportunity to expand their competencies to become more capable of listening, to identify the most hidden needs and unarticulated needs, to become proficient with analytical technology to base their decisions and to initiate co-creation processes, as a way of solving the employees’ problems.

Designing employee experiences can be a healthy alternative to the usual administrative processing of many HR departments.

Like the customer experience, service design is about the design and implementation of interactions that occur along the client’s journey.

Without good service design the customer experience suffers!

Summing up:

Human relations with products, services or experiences are constantly evolving and yet it is still possible to make some predictions for the future!

“Eric Flowers, co-founder of Practical Service Design, says that service design is effective in driving change and offering value for both customers and organizations, regardless of industry.

His top six predictions for the future of design are:

“… The medium of your brand will become irrelevante. The only thing customers will attach to your name will be the service you provide them. If the future of service design is to come to fruition, what a company makes will not be as important or relevant as what a company does to serve…they will be known more for that type of need they serve.

-Touchpoint design will not be enough to differentiate. Differentiation will come through the relationship you have with your customers and how you serve over time.

-Holistic experiences require holistic organizations. What you produce mirrors how you are organized. Cross-silo coordination will be the key to delivering outcomes.

-Customers adopt more fluid expectations They will expect quality services to feel the same across categories and contexts.

-Employee experience will become a design priority. Design thinking will be applied to how experiences are produced and services delivered internally.

-Building service design capacity will be essential. Service design is a much-needed tool for companies to better design and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”

What is your opinion?

 

 

We have all experienced feelings of discomfort that result from two contradictory beliefs.

The existence of a dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, tends to motivate people to seek consonance, that is, to seek a zone of comfort.

In small and medium-sized companies executives do not deny the need to innovate to be competitive, but the risks that this may entail lead to a zone of discomfort.

To reduce this dissonance, people can look for new information that challenges the connection between innovation and competitiveness. This new information can serve to reduce the discomfort caused by the dissonance that some people experiences.

Phil Rosenzweig said: “It’s possible to believe honestly that you have a market-beating strategy when, in fact, you don’t. Sometimes, that’s because forces beyond your control change. But in other cases, the cause is unintentional fuzzy thinking.

Behavioral economists have identified many characteristics of the brain that are often strengths in our broader, personal environment but that can work against us in the world of business decision making. The worst offenders include overoptimism (our tendency to hope for the best and believe too much in our own forecasts and abilities), anchoring (tying our valuation of something to an arbitrary reference point), loss aversion (putting too much emphasis on avoiding downsides and so eschewing risks worth taking), the confirmation bias (overweighting information that validates our opinions), herding (taking comfort in following the crowd), and the champion bias (assigning to an idea merit that’s based on the person proposing it). “

It is relatively easy to admit that our business approach is made up of illusions, logic errors, and failed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons that determine an organization’s performance.

When, for example, a company’s sales and profits are high, people conclude that this organization has an overwhelming strategy, a leader with extraordinary visions, talented employees, and an excellent culture that even drives innovation.

But when the results are not so good, then the leader was not so good after all, the collaborators did not collaborate and the culture was fictitious.

What often happens is that little has changed, but the previously established image creates an aura effect, which is nothing more than an illusion.

In fact, there is a concern with the quality of decision-making, confirmed with research that indicate that cognitive tendencies affect the most important strategic decisions made by the managers of the best companies.

As an example, let us consider two cognitive propensities that are common and relevant in an economic context where innovation is the word of the day:

– Excessive confidence and cognitive dissonance. Both can bring discomfort!

Or maybe not!

If on the one hand, we know that an individual who has overconfidence overestimates the accuracy of their private information.

On the other hand, cognitive dissonance happens when we perceive an incompatibility of information elements that cause us tension, and to get rid of that tension we create the propensity to acquire or perceive information in accordance with a set of desired things.

If a consultant or an analyst issues a privately favorable forecast of high profits his tendency to interpret the subsequent information to support the information previously provided.

There is, however, another side of the coin in the cognitive dissonance that Javier Santiso, a ESADE professor, brings with great grace and pertinence.

“Yet perhaps the key to this successful repositioning lies precisely in the IMF’s ability to regenerate and subvert itself, i.e. to exhibit cognitive dissonance and innovation, not only by tolerating this internal dissonance, but rather by promoting it (Blanchard’s hire alone evidences this audacity).

This is a feat of great merit, since whether public or private, national or international, none of our institutions tend to favor dissonance. Very much on the contrary, they tend to limit disruptive, innovative potential.

Consider, for example, the remuneration of bankers via the (now infamous) bonus system, invented to reward those who have (supposedly) made money. Where are the reward systems for those who have avoided losing money?

Cognitive dissonance is as rare and precious as a white pearl. It is key to promoting innovation and to reinventing oneself.”

Probably we can see the parallel between the processes of Cognitive Dissonance, that is, experiencing incompatible cognitions and the need to reduce unpleasant feelings (act to resolve conflict) and the Creative Tension, that is, experiencing the difference between reality at a given moment and Desired result (acting to create something reduces stress).

We do not like to hear the cognitive dissonance say:

What I want is this…, But I do not have it!

To alleviate this discomfort, we must release energy and resources and put creativity to fill the gaps created by this dissonance.

 

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This text was inspired by an article of mine already published in this blog  to remember past learning.

 

The experience accumulated throughout our lives is often a lever for meaningful leaps in problem solving, be it personal and family challenges or professional challenges when we are part of an organization.

In any of these environments there are always moments to learn and moments to unlearn.

This accumulation of experiences is a wealth that cannot be ignored or underestimated without first consciously realizing its greater or lesser importance in solving problems.

For years, in a cyclical way, we learn and reserve our wisdom, but there are two types of experiences that we should reconcile and use in our day-to-day lives:

– One, experience based on experimentation that provides fun and learning,

– and another, the experience accumulated and translated into tacit knowledge that we must share, interacting with other sources of knowledge.

According to Heidegger, “to set up an experiment means that something happens to us … to set up an experiment means, therefore, to allow ourselves to be addressed by what is in our hands, by entering and submitting to it.

We can thus be transformed by such experiences, from one day to the next or in the course of time.”

Today, when we think about the performance of organizations, we find that even after some rapid, processes of restructuring to cut costs, it is in the success of innovation that organizations put their hopes to recover acceptable levels of profitability.

But then what are the conditions or adequate environment to make emerge the success?

Some authors emphasize the role of tacit knowledge as the key to achieving innovation success.

Tacit knowledge is that which the individual has acquired throughout life, through experience, as opposed to explicit knowledge, that is, knowledge that has already been or may be articulated, encoded and stored in some way.

If on the one hand we can learn quickly in a changing world and share knowledge to create new knowledge and new things or to experience new emotions, on the other hand sharing the accumulated knowledge when we are part of a team, may not be an easy task.

Teamwork based on a Design Thinking approach is a creative and innovative process that combines a wide variety of interdisciplinary contributions from its members and fuels the emergence of emotional memories.

It is easy to see that much of these contributions come from tacit knowledge.

It is a personal knowledge that is applied in thought and action, through a design thinking / design doing, without definitions and no elaborate recitals, but which clearly promotes a collaborative interaction.

Not all portions of tacit knowledge are emotional memories, but much implicit information is stored in us playing a key role in our decision-making and in the way, we link points of view and diverse knowledge about the context, dimension or subject.

Tacit knowledge is not easily recognized or acknowledged, but it can be a key factor in enhancing the quality of strategic decisions made by the top management team.”

Deciding when working as a team is a time of surgical precision and it is a time when having creativity as an ally is helpful. It is an action that must be developed with the participation of the specialized knowledge in the matter in question, but which also calls for the collaboration of other people.

Thus, the way we deal with this information, over many clashes with a vast amount of data, can facilitate the creation of new knowledge.

Moreover, if we are skilled in managing how people share and apply that information, we can provide interesting creative leaps. This is because the tacit knowledge that every individual possesses and that is unique, once unlocked, can be a great creative contribution in an organization.

“We know more than what we are able to say” (Michael Polanyi), and so we are able to pick up on that more specialized knowledge that is often tacit and through sharing draw our way towards creativity. This implies an understanding of the antecedents of the participants in these exchanges, something that we can only acquire through empathy.

Combining experiences and sharing interdisciplinary knowledge leads to the best of strategic decision making in organizational innovation.

 

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People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important. And except for those at the tippy top, shareholder value isn’t a meaningful goal that excites and engages them. They want to know that they — and their organizations — are doing something big that matters to other people.”

This is a warning to all those involved with Human Resources, who for a long time have filled their professional life, and not only, with the images of discouragement produced by a culture that always privileged the reward for those who do well what is requested and never rewarded creativity, that is, what could be done.

Human Resources as an integral part of organizations have been looked (and has allowed) as weak elements in the organizational value chain despite the good work of some HR Business Partners.

Many of the people involved in traditional HR departments feel lonely when they are confronted with more agile business environments and with various future alternatives in management and HR development strategies.

This loneliness is occasionally interrupted by initiatives of great boldness and courage as happened recently in Coworklisboa with Employee’s Experience Design Workshop: Innovating in Human Resources – by Busigners.

This workshop underscored the need to create a sustained approach to problem solving rather than adaptations of best practices or models linked to organizational management trends.

Those challenges arise from the search for the satisfaction of hidden needs, not articulated needs or only known but not satisfied needs.

Now HR must assume its true role, which is to lead resources, human resources that feel, have will, are capable, are creative and want to grow. These people are potential internal entrepreneurs and are also a new challenge and a new perspective of management and leadership.

Therefore, Human Resources (HR people) should innovate in the communication processes, in the ways of promoting well-being, in the perspectives and personal growth models of each employee and in different contexts.

In this sense, they should for example:

– Watch, listen and ask questions. Yes! Ask questions!

– Avoid distractions and be completely present when they are with other people.

– Avoid thinking that multitasking is good and that your problem is bigger than others. Empathy with all employees of the organization is crucial as it is the only way to understand the true needs of all employees including leadership and management.

– They should attach meaning to collaboration and connectivity, managing combinations of talents and innovating in recognition and reward plans.

-They must learn to work with constraints. Constraints can be a good source of creativity in solving problems.

– They should be part of the right and left brains of organizations because they are heralds of norms and freedoms, discipline and creativity, success and recovery.

Today’s Human Resources can be the leadership of a process of cultural transformation, which involves reducing the excessive weight of analytical thinking in organizations and balancing it with intuitive and creative thinking.

This is achieved (my interpretation) per Roger Martin in Design of Business:

1 – Selecting, more creative people over analytical.

2 – Not rewarding traditionally and exuberantly those who promote what is trustworthy, but rewarding also those who promote what is valid.

3 – Including in the processes of evaluation criteria that aim at creativity, work with restrictions, empathy, holistic thinking, collaboration and experimentation.

Human Resources should no longer have as fundamental concern to maximize the profitability of what they have today and begin to explore new paths, analyzing the experience of employees to predict the future and to create solutions for tomorrow!

Innovation for HR managers is to create a new dimension of purpose, more inclusive and open to the whole, respecting the magic inherent to each employee.

 

“Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection – (MAGIC)”

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The concern of an organization’s management is to treat business results and processes in ways that create sustainability and achieve a long and healthy life for the organization.

We can call this “doing things right”!

In fact the process may seem sustainable, but when we speak of innovation, any new idea that moves through a process has little chance of success. On the one hand, we know that executives are comfortable with process management and are not very involved with creative projects and initiatives within those processes.

On the other hand it is good not to forget that leadership is about people, about purposes and expectations, that is, about the “right things”.

Leaders of a company must use the same practices and tools to define what is right for each business process as they do for each function. We’re comfortable with leaders organizing the business around functions (i.e., IT, Finance, HR, Manufacturing, etc.)and paying functional managers  for compliance with agreed to criteria for success – usually defined by  a combination of behaviors within  their job description and organizational  policies with metrics/expectations around  resources, finances,  capital, sales, revenues, market share, new products development and/or operations, etc. …  This takes great vision, persistence, motivation, synthesis, and analysis – which is clearly the work of the leaders, not managers.”

The key to good leadership is the passion, the urgency to tackle and solve the complex problems that all organizations face, such as:

The culture of indifference – The most talented and innovative, those whose abilities are too necessary to help set the business on course, are no longer present or have become so disenchanted that they have nothing to give.

Exile or isolation – New ideas are almost always rude and poorly formed when they are first presented. This may lead people to isolation in organizational silos, which is one of the biggest obstacles to innovation.

The emergence of hostility – Others show their initial reaction to any new idea in a negative, if not completely hostile, way. This is particularly true if the idea or project comes from someone outside our own organization.

A possible analogy to reflect:

By observing herd behavior and the dominance games that go on you’ll probably be shocked at how rough horses can be. They chase after each other, tear off pieces of skin and then they settle down and graze and scratch each other’s backs. The key is that they have a strong relationship to begin with because they are members of the same herd, they play together and they spend a lot of time together — undemanding time.

Now think about how humans usually interact with horses. We decide today is when we’re going to ride, we only have a certain amount of time so things get pretty direct line. Catch the horse, saddle up, head to the arena to practice something… with a pretty unwilling horse. It’s interesting how quickly horses forget who feeds them; they start to feel like we only want one thing. So where you have to start is with the thought process. Think about what might be important to your horse.”

What might be importante to teams?

In organizations, a collaborative approach to innovation helps provide the emotional energy and support that new ideas need in the early stages. For such a state of mind to manifest itself, it must become an integral part of the company’s culture.

Each organization has a unique culture that directs the form, degree and speed of its responsiveness, adaptability and innovation.

The culture of an organization, which consists of deeply rooted values, beliefs, philosophies, attitudes, and operational norms, condenses the way “how things are done”.

And in this sense we should think of:

Create a healthy environment where innovation can flourish.

Observe obstruction behaviours and clarify objectives.

Promote the recognition of positive attitudes.

Break the silos and encourage communication and collaboration in and out of the organization.

Encourage the dialogue shuttle that is fundamental to help shape the idea into something more concrete, understandable and achievable.

“It is a mistake always to contemplate the good and ignore the evil, because by making people neglectful it lets in disaster. There is a dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference.” – Helen Keller

 

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Note: This text has been adapted from my text published in  Cavalinova and aims to recall and correct points of view.

 

 

Some of the big companies that operate in the global market consider that the most important skills to be developed in their employees to promote their growth in the next five years (according to Flux Report by Right Management) are Leadership, Management, Interpersonal, Innovation and Creativity, Resilience, Techniques, IT, Sales / Marketing and Customer Management.

When we verify that the HR of these organizations establishes as desirable to ensure results at these levels, we cannot stop thinking about how this path will be done from the hiring or through the inventory of the existing skills in their employees at a given moment, and their consequent development.

Reconciling organizational desires with employee needs may not be an easy marriage, but there are promising engagements!

Developing skills implies somehow inspiring the commitment. This means that HR must seek to improve people’s lives and remove obstacles by building environments and tools to facilitate and improve the performance of their work.

Providing magical experiences to the organization’s employees means getting them to find meaning in what they do and to have the autonomy to do the best. It also means making them feel that they can grow, show that their actions impact the organization and that they are in connection with the world around them.

This is MAGIC “Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection”

Looking beyond efficiency and focusing on the employee involves understanding their needs, whatever their physical, cognitive or emotional nature. In this way it is possible to develop “personas” that guide the delivery of services and / or products successfully.

Organizations use the “persona” of their employees to discover their unique needs. This can mean defining the employee’s functional identities (for example, a manager, a senior specialist, or a T, etc.) by identifying the most important moments for these employees and creating journey maps of their work experience.

The experience of the collaborator is not a single thing; it is actually a set of experiences gathered in a continuous movement that arises in three distinct environments, namely: Physical, Technological and Cultural.

Employees respond to the stimuli of these environments and their responses must be analyzed by the organization.

How is seen publicly the organization or the team?

Do employees feel comfortable to talk and share their experiences? If they talk, the employees feel that something will be done?

How is the employee’s commitment inspired?

Do employees want more autonomy and responsibility? How to turn this will into reality?

Do employees feel that hierarchy is jamming decision making? How do you solve this problem?

What does the organization give the employee in return for his or her work?

What has the organization learned from these responses?

Now is the time to act and make changes based on the ideas the organization has captured.

Using transparency, the organization has to define what to do and also what should not be done in order to move to its implementation of change. It is crucial not to forget that it is a process of change and in this sense everything must be taken care of from clear and universal communication to the achievement of a healthy commitment. For example:

“In order to drive employee self-service and enhance the employee experience, the Telstra HR innovation team has introduced multiple new digital channels and apps over a short period of time. Over a year or so they’ve launched or updated an HR knowledge portal, a digital ticketing system, an on boarding app, an employee benefits site, and a general HR app.

An existing personalized dashboard has also been enhanced. The net result is an engaging user experience for HR services.”

We all need our interactions with technologies and other more complex systems to be simple, intuitive and enjoyable.

Design thinking, because it is empathic, is an approach that allows us to understand the needs of an organization’s employees. This understanding arises when we analyze the sum of the various perceptions that these collaborators have about interactions with the organization, that is, their experience as collaborators.

In this way, it is possible to think of reconciling the desired competencies of the organizations with the potential of their employees and to develop a magical organizational environment and mutual growth.

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In the last article of this blog, I stated that “…in organizations, HR managers must increasingly be concerned with updating skills related to user experience and behavioral economics.”

Now we will try to understand to what extent this statement corresponds to a reality felt by organizations and how we can improve those skills.

This reality is already felt, as we can see, for example, through Busigners, which clearly leads us to the implementation of the “employee experience”, highlighting the loyalty of employees, attractiveness of the organization and the motivation of employees and consequent increase of productivity.

But let’s look deeper! A first aspect, which jumps to the desk when we try to follow the experience of each employee, is the need of personalization at the expense of mass treatment.

We must devote an individualized attention to the flows of each employee in order to allow the construction of a robust, agile and learner whole, that is, in order to shape the new skills in the work structure of each employee. It is not possible to adapt the same menu of competencies for all elements of the organization, as if it were a formative offer from a “work school”.

This process may seem expensive and time-consuming, but its application at the organizational level is fast and costs are clearly diluted in the result obtained.

A second aspect to work on is simplification. The useless complexity often supported by the bureaucracy in organizations to justify increased difficulty has to be converted into accessibility and easy integration, with higher levels of execution and learning.

Simple is beautiful and desirable!

There are, however, situations that will always remain complex by nature, but in these cases it is not a useless complexity, rather it is a feature of the system, which will lack a particular ability to become simple and understandable. Complexity is not necessarily complicated.

Transparency is another aspect we must consider to improve skills.

Transparency should be part of the company culture because it contributes to the perception of organizational trust.

Transparency helps build bridges of trust that bring people together and create cohesive nets to get results across the organization.

Of course these aspects show unmet needs within organizations, but those needs will only be satisfied when the organization as a whole is able to respond effectively (quickly and assertively) to the challenges of its purposes.

An organization must function as a living organism and maintain a healthy balance between all its components.

A living organism has a physical environment where it moves and was usually created new or has been adapted in the environment where it is installed. By observing the experience of employees, organizations can contribute to the well-being of their employees, adapting the existing to what they value or want, but also reflecting the organizational culture in that environment.

As we continue to observe employee experience, we can easily see that not everyone is extroverted, introverted, or has thousands of daily interactions. The observation of the existing links between the different employees, as well as the touch points with the outside world, is essential to develop an improvement in the working environment.

An important part of employees’ motivation or discouragement during their work day results from the positive or negative balance of the social connections that they establish in the organization.

To feed this motivation, that is, to provide the energy needed to “the work to be done” is only possible if there is:

– Constant monitoring of data on the employee’s experience and its transformation into useful and accessible information.

– Explanation of each employee’s journey and identification of the different touch points internally and externally, in order to ensure effective communication, flows of creativity and efficiency in the processes’ implementation.

– A clear awareness of the significance of each role in the organization and a deep knowledge of the individual responsibilities as well as of the expectations created for each team or functional part.

– This feeding is part of an iterative process that is intended to exist in the continuous improvement of the organization’s performance and constant adaptation to the environment or environments in which it may be inserted.

Finally remember that:

Journey maps are a powerful tool for diagnosing and fixing interactions. They’re valuable for understanding both customer and employee experiences, which is why customer experience (CX) pros along with their colleagues in human resources (HR) should use the discipline of journey mapping to look at critical journeys like hiring, onboarding, and evaluating performance.”

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As we develop Design Thinking in areas such as Human Resources we become able to imagine a future, to test ideas and to put them into practice as employees of an organization and make it impact our lives in a very positive way.

Recruitment and the discovery or creation of talents

We used to look into the past to ensure the future and we naturally do this when we want to hire someone asking for the Curriculum Vitae, that is, we check the previous experience or the qualification obtained at the school and try to see if it fits into a certain “role” that exists in the organization.

All this has its value and works in some circumstances, but not in most situations.

Let’s see! On the one hand we know that qualification is not competence and the fact that we were able to run 100 meters in n seconds with age x does not mean that we do the same after twenty years. On the other hand we know that the speed of change in the environment that surrounds us is extremely high and the range of skills that are capable of producing results changes frequently accompanied by the change around us.

This means that most of our decisions are a bet!

Training and new skills

On the contrary, if, instead of asking questions, we provoke the immersion of the people in their lives, we can observe and conclude something about their behavior. I saw in  Braga-Portugal this example:

“The Skills Lab is an immersive context of self-learning where its participants are organized into teams and encouraged to develop new skills by getting their hands on the ground and solving real problems whether they are solving the challenges of launching a new business whether they are responding to customer challenges.”

This initiative with the participation of Alexandre Mendes  was an excellent demonstration of how people-centered change is built and the future is built and is a good source of inspiration for organizations’ HR departments.

We know that, in organizations, HR managers are today increasingly concerned with updating skills linked to user experience and behavioral economics.

It is important, therefore, to overcome other barriers, and discover new ways that Design Thinking can lead.

Employee-centered productivity

In general, there is a useless complexity and bureaucracy that prevents the agilization of work methodologies and a consequent improvement in quality and performance.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Developing simple solutions for tasks and processes, desired for those who work and friendly in performance is one of the possibilities that Design Thinking offers. In the background, the aim is to create new tools and solutions, centered on employees which at the same time improve productivity motivate people and energize teams.

This is in fact a trend for 2017 according to Accenture:

“Technology design decisions are being made by humans, for humans. Technology adapts to how we behave and learns from us to enhance our lives, making them richer and more fulfilling. Eighty percent of executives surveyed agree that organizations need to understand not only where people are today, but also where they want to be — and to shape technology to act as their guide to realize desired outcomes.”

Knowing that Human Resources departments are traditionally called to act to train people, develop performance assessment plans, build career plans, document good work practices, and so on, and knowing that innovation also knocks at the door of people management, it may be good to start thinking about managing employees’ experiences.

Employee’s experience manager

Now, with the sponsorship of Design Thinking, the new HR manager or Experience Manager should start reimagining the work as a whole, including the employees’ journey and their mobility, environment, employees’ interactions, time distribution , training, performance, recognition and rewards, this is:

How can we improve learning?

What is the total experience of a collaborator?

How can we make faster decision making?

How can we facilitate collaboration?

What motivates people?

What do they value?

How do employees express their values ​​in the organizational environment?

And so on…

The answers to these and other questions will be found when we develop ideas quickly, test prototypes that were previously built based on those ideas and that facilitate the generation of more ideas giving rise to new tools and solutions.

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