By Alyson Nyiri
Leading Outside the Lines: How to Mobilize the (in) Formal Organization, Energize Your Team, and Get Better Results Jossey-Bass, 2010 – By Jon R. Katzenbach and Zia Khan
Katzenbach and Khan know a thing or two about management consulting. Katzenbach is senior vice president of Booz & Company, which is the oldest management consulting firm still in business (founded in 1914 by Edwin Booz) and Khan is vice president of strategy and evaluation at the Rockefeller Foundation.
According to the authors, books on organizations tend to fall into one of two camps: Writers are either formalists, offering order to what they see as chaotic in organizations, or informalists, arguing that organizations are too orderly and need more soul. Leading Outside the Lines represents a new direction, say the authors, which focuses on the informal organization but does so with a realistic context that incorporates both the formal and the rational dimension of organization performance.
Using case studies from businesses around the world, government and non-profit organizations, Katzenbach and Khan illustrate how companies utilizing both the informal and formal aspects of an organization effect quicker and more substantive change. To move an organization in a new direction, leaders typically start out by establishing metrics, setting goals, defining rules of engagement and refining or creating processes. All too often these formal efforts don’t yield adequate change as quickly as leaders would like. It is the informal aspects, like culture, social networks, individual values, ad hoc communities, that can make or break a leader’s quest for change.
Katzenbach and Khan provide a clear methodology, enabling readers to formulate their own methods for finding a balance between formal and informal processes. The book also offers a diagnostic tool so readers can begin to assess their own “organizational quotient” by scoring formal and informal strengths.
The New HR Analytics: Predicting the Economic Value of Your Company’s Human Capital Investments AMACOM , 2010 – By Jac Fitz-Enz
Jac Fitz-Enz, PhD, is the acknowledged father of human capital strategic analysis and measurement. He first published about human resources metrics in 1978. His landmark book, The ROI of Human Capital, presented a system of powerful metrics for quantifying the contributions of individual employees to a company’s bottom line.
In his latest tome, he demonstrates how his new model HCM: 21 (human capital management for the 21st century) can be used for predictive management. HCM: 21 is a four-phase process the starts with scanning the marketplace and ends with an integrated measurement system. In between, workforce and succession planning are addressed in new ways, showing how to “optimize and synchronize” the delivery of HR services.
Collaborating with other leading human resources experts on an 18 month study called the “Predictive Initiative,” Fitz-Enz presents a comprehensive breakdown of predictive analytics. Part I introduces predictive analytics, Part II presents the HCM: 21 model with how-to research essays by practitioners and thought leaders, and Part III offers approximately 20 detailed cases of how various companies use human capital analytics to solve business problems. Part IV discusses what we know and what we need to know about human capital analytics and the Appendix provides numerous sample worksheets, which can be used to translate the model into spreadsheets.
Alyson Nyiri is a freelance writer and HR consultant.
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