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Ann I think you make an excellent point, that the technology itself can't typically transform or even correct a fundamentally flawed process. But I would say that in many cases technology can be an important catalyst for change, or for at least thinking about how a given management process can be improved. Many HR folks I talk to (especially in small and medium size firms) are so bogged down in administration and inefficiency that careful application of technology can certainly better position them for the time and energy needed to fix and improve a broken process.

Steve:

You make an excellent point as well. I don't mean to come off as "anti-technology"; but I guess I am reacting to situations I continue to encounter where people believe that technology will get them off the hook for doing good HR work. You're right, that it can also serve the role of catalyst for those who are willing to take advantage of it to make their processes work better and add more value.

Thanks for the comment!

When the garbage you input returns even faster as garbage output (GIGO), the high-tech decision cycle can become too fast for appropriate corrective action to occur. Overcorrection, oscillation errors, all sorts of nasty things can happen; or maybe the opposite... perhaps corrective or remedial actions will get a higher priority than before when the information was lost or buried. If it was right it will work better faster, and the contrary also applies. Makes sense, since the gaps between good and bad employers seem to be widening. Nice point, Ann.

Jim:

Thanks for your take - agree that that organizations doing the right things to begin with will see the biggest benefit from the "better faster". Worry a little about the contrary. But I appreciate Steve's point above, that hopefully those employers who are motivated to improve will find that technology provides them the space and the means to do so.

Great discussion - thanks!

Technology is a tool used to solve a particular problem. For example a number of people talk about “performance management” systems to improve results. However most are a rearview mirror approach.

What we need is “execution management systems” that help us ensure team members are acting in alignment with our strategic initiatives. I did find one new company doing this and I am planting their solution with my key clients. The company is Keyne Insight at http://www.keyneinsight.com/sitepages/products/keynelink.aspx .

What do you think you need…performance or execution management systems?

Mark Allen Roberts
www.outbsolutions.com

Congratulations! This post was selected as one of the five best independent business blog posts of the week in my Three Star Leadership Midweek Review of the Business Blogs.

http://blog.threestarleadership.com/2009/10/21/102109-midweek-look-at-the-independent-business-blogs.aspx

Wally Bock

Wally-

Thanks so much - always very cool to be featured in the midweek review. Readers click through to see what Wally has found in the business blogs this week - he does the heavy lifting for us!

Absolutely right Ann. If you cannot different performance effectively and transparently, then you cannot generate the data effectively. The only possible exception could be in cases in which you have trained managers to conduct an effective 9-box analysis which is not communicated back to employees, and in which poor performers are identified. Still, you should never assume anything about an employee merely by a rating. All such data should be confirmed and expanded upon.

"....technology delivers is only as good as the information we feed it". I think you are right. HR technology can't boost organizational performance without the wholehearted support of HR team/stakeholders. At the same time, HR technology,if enabled in a better way can ensure consistency in results and can make processes truly system oriented than person oriented.

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About The Author

  • More Info Here
    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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