Magnificent Seven, team of me, blog, Toby Elwin

High performance team of me

Toby Elwin Blog, Social Project Management, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Many times what looks like a team is not a team. A collection of well-intended professionals that meet, from time-to-time, around business issues, is not a team. In What It Takes to Build a Team, John R. Anderson’s dense and rewarding read, reminds me that there is no ‘I’ in team. Identity shapes how people describe their world. The range of options that someone can identify and define their view presents little issue, until collaboration. Teams work in concert to meet common goals: Share success; Collaborate for achievement; and Willing to give up resources for the good of the collective In our world of people, process, and technology, a single item can mean multiple things. The law of identity presents a shared meaning, not mixed messages.  Teams that identify ‘why’ and ‘what’ can create a shared meaning ‘how’. A team is not a team when they: Ignore broader company issues at the cost of turf issues, Yield no ground and defend their current position, and Avoid anything with the perception to make them look professionally or politically weak Successful team meetings require work, between meetings, to visit, listen, and hear out the other team-member position. Here are some team behaviors required to move meeting rhetoric to meeting results: Openness to inquiry without defensiveness; Willingness to consider improvement and change to benefit the team objective, even if that means giving up some resources or responsibilities; and Ability to think differently about their jobs and become more strategist and general manager, less focus on narrow issues within functional responsibility areas Scrum, Scram, or Scam Teams take an additional hit when delegates seem to arrive to take the place of, and hold the line for, stakeholders. Often commanded there by the stakeholder, the delegate …

RabbitFire tn

Subjective communication objective

Toby Elwin Blog, Communication, Talent Management 2 Comments

Successful communication inspires action and is clear to others what needs to happen to meet that objective.

All communication faces daunting odds to reach each person, intention intact. Perception, bias, and noise lay between intent, action, and reaction.

To succeed in the communication obstacle course against intent, you need to make clear how to make it happen.

JoffreyGameofThrones tn

One rule to rule all: listen hear

Toby Elwin Blog, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Many managers take control with the belief their technical expertise in their field is more important in their management role than the challenge to manage finite resources of people, time, and budget.

Any technical ability the manager had, as an individual contributor to meet their functional skill, is not as important as the ability to listen, to motivate, to teach, to learn.

To promote the contrary is to promote insanity.


Change in change management

Toby Elwin Blog, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Change management goes beyond features and functions. Feature and function change management is product change management.

Change management goes beyond scope or requirements. Scope and requirement change management is project change management.

The change that change management needs is an account for how process and technology change the way people meet their objectives.


Fast Start — The brilliant mistake of health and wellness

Toby Elwin Blog, Fast Start, Talent Management 6 Comments

A healthy employee is a productive employee and health and wellness programs roll out across corporate America to capture this gain.

Compensation expert Carol Harnett shares her brilliant mistake from this Human Resource Executive article and detail on the data to her assumptions that reveal flaws in health and wellness resource commitments.

Fast Start questions brilliant mistakes.

Where the Women Are, Graph, Wall Street Journal

Ms. Education after graduation

Toby Elwin Blog, Talent Management Leave a Comment

In education our schools reward women. Men can’t hack certain academics: they get worse grades; follow less-rigorous academic programs; and take part in less advanced-placement classes. Post-education, our professional organizations reward men. Women get more criticism and less praise in the workplace than men do, paid 7% less than men, and judged more negatively by prospective employers than men with identical backgrounds. Same species different rules and learning engagement, why?


Fast Start — What, Really, is Change Management?

Toby Elwin Blog, Fast Start, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Fast Start conversation: What, Really, is Change Management? Change swirls around organizations:  regulation, industry, competition, policy, knowledge, technology ability, and skills.  And those hit us before the first cup of coffee. There’s a professional approach to manage change, but what, really is change management?  And who, specifically, defines, designs, and launches change management for whom? Brad Hall writes in TheStreet, a media company that provides financial news, commentary, analysis, ratings, and business and investment content, change management has 3 requirements: Each individual knows precisely what is expected of him/her; HR systems are aligned to the new expectations; and The role of the manager is very clear If your change management does not include those 3 requirements, than you are arguing against Mr. Hall and his industrial-organizational psychology Ph. D. and that’s like arguing against your Chief Human Resource Officer. I completely agree with the 3 above, as key.  Now the challenge:  that every action and inter-action around change management meet the 3 requirements. e-mail? not alone it won’t. Training?  not alone it won’t. Leadership modeling behavior? not alone it won’t. But, first things first, this article provides the framework and quality criteria for change management planning. Now the bigger challenge:  how to get people to admit they’ve no idea what, really, change management is. Fast Start — What, Really, is Change Management? was last modified: August 6th, 2015 by Toby Elwin


1812: The Navy’s War by the book

Toby Elwin Blog, Book, Talent Management Leave a Comment

I love history. Leaders, in trying times and challenges making pivot-point decisions that shape and impact states and people. Games people play that reverberate for decades and centuries, from a people and systems development frame, fascinates me. I read history and see organization development, leadership coaching, and strategic planning and wonder how  personalities and politics frame decisions and how I might analyze, recommend, or design a solution had I been a present. Currently, I am drawn to review the United States’ history, from experimental governing conception.  Earlier I wrote about A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic as a fascinating, well-written, engaging, and dynamic read for anyone — talk about change management. Where Leap in the Dark took me from the birth of the U.S.A. to the dawn of the Jefferson’s presidency, this book picks up at the dawn of Jefferson’s presidency.  For me, this time-frame is a  fallow period of U.S. historical awareness.  However, any time Napoleon, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, and John Paul Jones are involved, count me in on an opportunity to learn more around strategy, imbroglio, détente, politics, personalities, and planning. For those who tie people and motivation to their profession, what may fascinate is the stark contrast this book delves into around 1812 between The Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy and how they treated their men.  The issue came to such a head that one nation needed to steal the other’s to staff their ships:  impressment.  Would you believe two countries would go to war over a human resources issue?  Would you believe a country [company] so blind to a toxic employment culture they defend their …

Fast Start — Scourge of Performance Reviews

Toby Elwin Blog, Fast Start, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Fast Start conversation:  Performance reviews are rarely done with the end in mind:  to augment what works and to highlight opportunity for even more effectiveness. Too often the review process is more façade than intention with process over promise. 94% of 1,400-plus participating CFOs said performance reviews are effective in helping employees improve performance.  Among 422 workers employed in office environments, only 62% said the same.  In Scourge of Performance Reviews,’s David McCann offers a view worth reading. CFOs = satisfied, employees = not quite.  Why is that? If you are an engaged manager, after all, why would you need an official performance review anyway? Fast Start — Scourge of Performance Reviews was last modified: August 6th, 2015 by Toby Elwin

human capital risk

Human capital beta is investment risk beta

Toby Elwin Blog, Portfolio Planning, Talent Management Leave a Comment

To maximize return on investment you need to maximize return on involvement. I’ve worked in post-merger integration environments for more than 15 years and no matter the amount of financial, market, legal, or intellectual synergy a merger, an acquisition, or a private equity investment seems to make sense, until you account for the talent you acquire, you have not accounted for risk. Too many projects I have worked on have tried to take a post-merger recovery environment to gain some of the original financial goals. Starting in 2007 I began to think about how to evaluate talent and human capital risk in initial assessment.  This deck was a working draft of my thoughts with the objective to sit in a room and deliver a true, front-end human capital assessment to an investor. There is something missing in how to evaluate a a firm’s opportunity risk. Human capital management is motivation management.  No matter the IQ of an individual or the collected experience of the team without motivation there is opportunity lost. With motivation the sum of the parts is truly greater than the whole. The difference between expectation and production is risk. Human capital beta is investment risk beta was last modified: August 6th, 2015 by Toby Elwin


Communication with goal-oriented design and community persona strategy

Toby Elwin Blog, Community Persona, Marketing, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Communication is a bridge, on one side is our thought, the other side our audience. The gulf between the two littered with wasted efforts and missed intentions.

What you intend to convey and the view of how your audience reads and reacts reveals the gulf between getting it done versus getting it accomplished. Goal-oriented Design improves the way we think about communication and the channels, the vehicles, and the modes you to create community impact.

Diversity is the spice of life, your work can have greater impact with Goal-oriented Design added to your profession and your work … or continue to build that bridge to nowhere.

human resources, information technology, Toby Elwin, blog

Fast Start — Is HR the New IT?

Toby Elwin Blog, Fast Start, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Fast Start conversation:  Policies, procedures, forms, transactions, compliance and administrative oversight.  Sound like your human resources (HR) department? Many of those items may never go away, but tech-savvy HR departments can provide new capability to the way services offered, delivered, filled, managed, and referenced.  Information technology (IT) can reengineer the ability to do more, better. Today, any consideration that you are an HR professional demands a level of technology consideration and comfort in analytically-driven skills, to such an extent that Talent Management magazine’s Ladan Nikravan wonders Is HR the New IT? From recruiting through managing engagement, mobile applications and online forms offer access and management beyond site-localized paper and pen. How tech-savvy is your human resources department? How tech-savvy is your human resources strategy? How tech-savvy is your human resources leadership? How tech-savvy is your human resources team? What potential recruits are you missing? For talent management effectiveness, to recruit, train, retain, and reach top talent, times demand a shift. Fast Start — Is HR the New IT? was last modified: September 6th, 2015 by Toby Elwin

Fast Start — CFOs’ Top Five Priorities

Toby Elwin Blog, Fast Start, Portfolio Planning, Talent Management Leave a Comment

Fast Start conversation:  A Chief Financial Officer’s life is always top-line growth and bottom-line results. You may be forgiven if that is what you were led to believe.  However there is, like most things, more going on in a CFO’s world if you just ask. Fortunately, the Wall Street Journal asked for a CFOs’ top 5 priorities: Get Culture and Talent Right Corporate Tax Reform Cash Flow is King CFOs as Innovators Refocus Education Investment Their list was ranked in order of urgency and importance, which surprised you the most? Fast Start — CFOs’ Top Five Priorities was last modified: August 6th, 2015 by Toby Elwin