Crossing HR Borders

'Don't think ourside the box, think outside your industry.' For a lot of HR problems today, a different domain has already solved that challenge. It can be very inspiring to cross some borders to gain new insights. And we're not talking about just crossing country borders, but also the borders of your discipline, industry or other unexpected resources. These insights can lead to specific solutions of the challenges that you're facing today.

Explore these examples in this monthly 'Crossing HR Borders' series.

What can we learn from 'strange' sources?

What would happen if we stepped out of our well-known environment and started looking for some fresh inspiration in fields we probably wouldn't even think of?

What can we learn from businesses and institutions who are completely otherwise organized and seem to have a HR approach completely different from ours?

Would there be any chance we could possibly learn something from ... the mafia?

Learning from the mafia

We firmly condemn their illegal activities, but they do handle quite a few elements better than the legal business world: the classic hierarchy of the mafia has been replaced by a loose network structure. Depending on the project, they look for the best experts (e.g. a hologram artist who fakes IDs on a credit card), are increasingly collaborating with competitors to expand their services globally and are (almost) always two steps ahead of the (often border-crossing) police.

>>> So let's do a quick check: Is your organisation using the best experts on the market?

Learning from football

In the professional sports world, it is quite normal for talent scouts to analyse the market. Especially in the world of football, the performances of players and teams are closely monitored in a scientific way. Talenty Spy is an organisation which has analysed the performance of over 140,000 players from 6400 clubs. With 180 talent scouts, they scan the best football talents worldwide and then sell the data to interested clubs.

>>> Have a look at your organisation: Is your HR department dedicated to do some serious talent scouting?

Learning from the military

The US Department of Defense has more than 7 million employees, both active and reservists and even retired people. They have and keep a record of each person's skills, qualifications and experience, both inside and outside the organisation. This way, they can - despite the gigantic database - relatively easily put the right person (or the right team) in the right place.

>>> Do you exactly know what knowledge and experience your employees have? Could you easily assign them another role inside your company or create new teams with the right personnel?

Learning from influencers

ONA stands for Organisational Network Analysis, a system that maps out informal relationships and their influence. In this way the real influencers emerge and a picture of the hidden silos gets created.

These spontaneous connections are of critical importance since the define the way knowledge is generated and distributed across the organisation.

Three types of data in ONA are examined: communication (who talks to whom), mood (your perception and feeling of the people around you) and transactions (what kind of things do you exchange?). The info is collected through questionnaires, but also through passive data such as e-mail, geolocation and other technologies.

>>> Do you know who exactly are the real influencers in your organisation?

'Crossing HR Borders' is the result of a co-creation between Marc Heleven - Innovation researcher and Cyriel Kortleven - Global speaker on the Change Mindset.

More info: www.cyrielkortleven.com