Creating the HR function that your company's strategy requires - Part 1

- Ken Shepard is president of the global organization design society. He says night vision glasses can change your perception of the world. With these glasses, you can see layers of management, he says. Shepard: Anybody interested in a set of glasses like this?
- When he got his degree from UCLA, Jax was in a field called organization development. He heard Elliot Jacks explain the importance of time in understanding human endeavor. That's when he started reflecting on his career and reinterpreting.
- The reason HR programs fail is the reason all programs fail. It's a failure to understand the level of complexity of the work. With these glasses, you can see the levels. If you structure it right, it doesn't change all the time.

Speaker A Okay. I'm Ken Shepard, and I'm currently president of the global organization design society. What is that? It's a professional association of senior practitioners, business leaders, consult...

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Speaker A Okay. I'm Ken Shepard, and I'm currently president of the global organization design society. What is that? It's a professional association of senior practitioners, business leaders, consultants, academics, who have, some say, a passionate interest in an approach to designing organizations based on the work of Elliot Jacks and Wilfred Brown and developed over a period of 50 years. My purpose here today is to share something that has touched me personally in my life, that I have learned to use and to see things in a very different way. If I can say it in a way that is interesting to you, that builds your awareness so that you might, if you see it useful, like to learn more about it, that would be my objective. It's as simple as that. So in a learning situation, someone who is sharing, sometimes they say, I'm going to show you a new frame, a new way of looking, a new set of glasses. A new set of glasses. Sometimes in a fairy tale, you go to Oz and it's like green glasses, everything becomes green. Or there are different kinds of glasses. The set of glasses I would like to share with you today is the magic of being in the dark, in the anxiety, in the confusion. And someone hands you a helmet with night vision glasses. What was dark, you now see where there are moving forms. You know how warm they are, and you know exactly what distance they are. You now have glasses that change your perception of the world and make you far more effective in that night. It's beyond normal human common sense. Do you have to know how those nightglasses work? Not in this hour. I mean, you need to know how they work. You don't know how they were built, how they were designed, but you at least know we can show you what it's like to put them on. So imagine putting on these night vision glasses. You walk into an organization, any organization. It can be a PA milk store, it can be a large bookstore, it can be a manufacturing plant. It can be Royal Dutch shell or unilever. With these glasses, you walk into an office. First of all, you will know exactly what level organization that is. You will know the time horizon it's working on. When you talk to someone and talk about their job, you will know the level that they work at, and you will be able to compare that level from Royal Dutch shell and walk over to exxon. And you will know you're at the same level or one level, up or down. If you're skilled, you can talk to the person and get a pretty good idea if they're capable of working at that level, or if they're bored and can work at a much higher level. With these glasses, you can look at your own career with these glasses and reinterpret it a way you've never understood it before. When you were bored when you were in flow state, when you were ready to move know, when you were micromanaged, you can see your growth and interpret your feelings. It's no longer your fault. It was largely the system you were in. It was largely the system. As Deming said, don't blame the people. It's the system. With these glasses, you'll be able to see that with these glasses, you will be able to see layers of management. Back in the old days, Renzis Lickert wrote about some of the first books in management and organizational theory. And he talked about these linking pin managers. But now you will be able to see them and if they're working effectively or not, you will know the management practices. So I've got a set of glasses they're offered for sale. Anybody interested in a set of glasses like this? If you're in human resources, could you use a set of glasses like this? So that's my purpose is to share some of the excitement about that. So who am I and how did I get here? My grandfather and father supervised my work as a boy and teenager like Frederick Taylor. You know, Frederick Taylor, the guy who did measured and said, rest, walk, carry. I was managed by Frederick Taylor living in my parents that was growing up in the went to college at the school where Douglas McGregor, the author of Theory X, Theory Y, was president and created an environment that created Warren Bennett. Has anybody heard of Warren Bennett leadership and several other leaders in the organization? They were at my school in the same decade with me. I went on to national training laboratories to learn sensitivity training. Anybody heard of group dynamic sensitivity training? And I studied with Bob Tannenbaum, one of the early people and many of the other founders of national training laboratories. I was lucky. I'm a lucky guy. Really a lucky guy. And then a little later, when I went there was Herb Shepard, one of the founders and inventors of the field of organization development. He was my mentor at the Niagara Institute for eight years while he was alive, I was a lucky guy. So when I got my degree from UCLA, I was in a field called organization development. I had a planning background, but organization development, and I was a lucky guy. I had the chance to be teaching for one of my professors at University of Southern California and who should be there lecturing on the 50th anniversary of the school administration but Elliot Jacks. And I heard him explain the importance of time in understanding human endeavor. I had been a planner. I knew time was important. And I knew that Renz's Lickert, in his book Explorations and Management only mentioned it once. He says, I think time is important. Time is important. When I heard him, I started reflecting on my career and reinterpreting. That's when I got a glimpse through the glasses. I started reinterpreting everything. It's about time. So these night vision glasses that I'm going to tell you about, if you were to learn something about them and try them on, do a little reading, talk to people like me. When you read people and see things, you would reinterpret them with these glasses. I just read Drucker again on innovation. It would have been a better book if he had known Jax. It would have been a better book. You can read Deming on quality. It would have been a better system if he and Jax had met earlier. I had a good fortune of studying with Bill Ucci, of Theory Z at UCLA. It would have been a better theory if he had had Elliot. Jax and I went to school with David Ulrich at UCLA about the same time. He was two years after me. And as I read his books, I would read it differently with these glasses, because I know his audience and his books are talking about organizations far beyond what most of us have any exposure to. Horosco asked me to speak about strategic positioning. These glasses, if you were to learn to wear them, and if you taught your CEO to learn to wear these glasses together, you would be a phenomenal team, a strategic team. It's the effectiveness of the HR managers. And here, this is a failure of accountability. And having the right manager at the right level, with the right accountabilities in place, I could look at this with my glasses and say, this is a problem in designing and managing organizations. The reason HR programs fail is the reason all programs fail. It's a failure to understand the level of complexity of the work, a failure to understand the level of person you need in that job and the lack of understanding of the practices and accountabilities you need in place to make that work. That's why they fail. And we know that most of our change projects fail. Very small success rate, really. And I think your numbers show that. Very small success rate. Okay, now the HR person poor guy, poor woman. There got to be 40 programs out there that are fads. They're touted. They're in books. How could you ever learn them all? They don't fit together. You'd go nuts. So what you do, you tend to get trained in one or two, and you have a hammer, and you go hitting things. That's what most of us do, because we can't master it. It's just one piece. There's something good in all of them. There's some good in all of them, but there's no system there Oracio was good enough to lend me this book. Let's see if this works. This is world. This side means we have low capability. If I looked at the field and who filled this out, most of the issues people don't feel very confident in. The only thing they feel confident in is the service things. Recruiting and staffing, mastering the transactional processes. This is one I don't understand. Restructuring the organization. Mark says it's done every six months or every six months, they're going to do it. You know why they do it every six months? They don't know what the heck they're doing. They're just moving around the lifeboats on the Titanic. If you structure it right, as they did in CRA Rio Tinto in Australia, they had 25 business units. They used requisite for 25, ten years. They structured and the structure is still in place. If you structure it right, it doesn't change all the time. You tweak a little bit here, but you know what you're doing now. They say, Be flat, take out levels. But which level? They don't know what they're doing. They take out the wrong level. With these glasses, you can see the levels. You know what's missing. That's what I'm saying. So what we're talking about here is a system. First of all, what I'm talking to you are a set of interrelated concepts based on science, observation in deep human psychology. Those of you who know piaget, you know that children learn the only thing that Piaget stops at a certain point. Elliot Jacks developed the curves of learning, and we have learned. And Harold Solas, my colleague on the board of the Society and a local consultant here, teaches the methods to many companies on how to code and interpret the level of a person's cognitive capability. Now, Mark says there's also the skill knowledge. There's also the values, the inspiration, the aspiration. There are other factors. But cognitive ability without that, there's no point in developing the other things without that. So we're talking about some tools, a system, so that you can see the level of work, so that you can make sure that people can fit there, and then the practices that make it work. These are all interrelated concepts. So now you do not have 100 theories. You have one integrated theory simple enough that you can carry it in your head and use it every day. You do not need a large staff of competency consultants, compensation consultants, hay Point System consultants. It's a much cheaper and more efficient way to run an organization. When Elliot Harold was telling me at lunch, when Elliot Jacks was consulting at AFIP, they have how many thousand employees? 17. 17,000. Elliot said, we have to staff compensation. We only need one person with his system. You put it in place and it runs itself. It's easy to tweak. It fits into the performance manner. It's all integrated. It's tied to a perception of felt fair pay. It predicts why the world is outraged at the executive pay, which nobody feels was felt or fair felt fair pay. But his theory does that. So I just wanted to introduce you to this and say there is a set of glasses.

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Founding President
Global Organization Design Society
Global Organization Design Soc
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Major organizations and consulting firms that provide Requisite Organization-based services

A global association of academics, managers, and consultants that focuses on spreading RO implementation practices and encouraging their use
Dr. Gerry Kraines, the firms principal, combines Harry Levinson's leadership frameworks with Elliott Jaques's Requisite Organization. He worked closely with Jaques over many years, has trained more managers in these methods than anyone else in the field, and has developed a comprehensive RO-based software for client firms.
Founded as an assessment consultancy using Jaques's CIP methods, the US-based firm expanded to talent pool design and management, and managerial leadership practice-based work processes
Former RO-experienced CEO, Ron Harding, provides coaching to CEOs of start-ups and small and medium-size companies that are exploring their own use of RO concepts.  His role is limited, temporary and coordinated with the RO-based consultant working with the organization
Ron Capelle is unique in his multiple professional certifications, his implementation of RO concepts through well designed organization development methods, and his research documenting the effectiveness of his firm's interventions
A Toronto requisite organization-based consultancy with a wide range of executive coaching, training, organization design and development services.
A Sweden-based consultancy, Enhancer practices time-span based analysis, executive assessment, and provides due diligence diagnosis to investors on acquisitions.
Founded by Gillian Stamp, one of Jaques's colleagues at Brunel, the firm modified Jaques;s work-levels, developed the Career Path Appreciation method, and has grown to several hundred certified assessors in aligned consulting firms world-wide recently expanding to include organization design
Requisite Organization International Institute distributes Elliott Jaques's books, papers, and videos and provides RO-based training to client organizations