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Marcus Buckingham on Innovative Leadership

Posted by: on 8 March 2018 in Evolution of Work, Innovation, Innovation & Technology, Talent Management

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HRM Asia recently interviewed Marcus Buckingham, leading expert on talent, best-selling author, researcher, and Co-Head and Talent Expert at the ADP Research Institute (ADPRI®), on innovative leadership.

Buckingham has been a revolutionary HR thinker, right from his first book, First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, written with Curt Coffman. The book dissected the insights gleaned from over 80,000 interviews conducted with managers by Gallup Organisation. It posited the idea of managers creating and sustaining employee satisfaction at the workplace. The popular outlook changed after the publication of this book, with its key ideas of what the best managers do and don’t do influencing hordes of HR professionals in the years that followed.

Since then, Buckingham has started his own company to creating management training programs and tools, apart from writing several other books. His nearly two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organisation preceded his role at ADPRI®. He champions a “strengths-based approach” towards employee engagement that ties in with the increasingly technology-driven nature of HR work. In his talks, he often demonstrates the correlation between strengths-driven, engaged employees and business fundamentals such as turnover rates, customer satisfaction, profits, and productivity. When it comes to data, he cautions against the proliferation of faulty data.

In the interview with HRM Asia, Buckingham has a challenge for HR: How much of the existing data you collect today is actually, “good data”? How much of that data is truly reliable?

“People are being promoted and fired because of faulty data. That has to stop,” Buckingham warns. “Don’t be a casualty of bad data. Data fluency means knowing the difference between good and bad data.”

For example, he says all performance ratings and 99% of 360-degree HR tools produce “bad data” as they do not measure the competencies that they are supposed to measure. That’s because competencies are inherently unmeasurable. In fact, Buckingham claims that all talent data is bad data. Because of this, most team leaders still do not reach for HR data willingly.

Just as in management, when it comes to data, patterns have to be challenged, and eventually broken.

Buckingham says to achieve this, there are three words all managers must know about data analytics: reliability, variation, and validity. Most HR tools fall short of at least one of these criteria – and many fall short on all three, he says.

Read the article here to find out what else Buckingham has to say about data, analytics, and more.

For more food for thought, do read the ADPRI® article, Applying Big Data to the Workforce Turnover Conundrum.

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