2nd Keynote at #HRIZON "Outside In" with David Ulrich (@Dave_Ulrich)

Dave Ulrich followed Steve Wozniak – and so it was great to have the Father of Computing with one of the Fathers of modern HR. Dave Ulrich is one of the leading authors and researchers of great HR theory.

He is talking about how we could involve the customers of our business into our HR strategy and programs. One example is allowing customers to get “coupons” that they can hand to employees worth an amount. An airline gives these to their customers and each coupon is worth $100 each. So the company has allocated part of their bonus pool to the customers. Interesting idea.

Need to align the competency models with the employer branding – to make sure you are getting the right people.

How to incorporate the Outside customer into HR – but Dave admitted he doesn’t know the “how” to

Harrald Acktosh – asked how Steve Wozniak would fit in this model if the customer would never conceive of the technology. Dave’s answer was to explain that Steve actually was a great example – as he met with customers to see and anticipate products that customers need but don’t know about it.

Dave is trying to move HR to thinking more about the business – he said he loves to ask HR folks what is your business – and he said 80% of HR folks start to talk about their HR structure instead of what their company is doing!

One of the keys is to focus on Strategic Planning – on anticipating what the future will be and pay attention to the trends – and the photo is above of things we should focus on.

HR should consider moving our customer focus from “Employees and Line Managers” to “our next generation of customers”

Interesting concept – Dave posits that the Line Manager owns the HR responsibility and Accountability. In which case, what is HR’s role – and Dave thinks our job is the Archtech of HR

The levels of Customer interactions

1. Transaction

2. Service

3. Join them

4. Anticipate them

HR is incredibly complex but often looks benign to the rest of the organization. HR only has three aspects that relevant- Talent Management, Leadership, and Culture.

Dave is telling HR not to just focus on Talent. He showed a number of examples where having the best Talent is not relevant to success. Statiscally, only 20% of the time is the talent crucial for success.

So we should focus on more than Talent and sucession planning is the next layer. But too often he says we focus on the individual instead of the business requirements of the role that we are trying to get to.


He is talking about moving folks from leader to leadership.

#1 – Cool tip – structure your HR department the way the business is structured.!

#2 – Have good HR practitioner

#3 – instead of knowing the business – HR needs to know the Business Strategy
Dave then had to skip a lot of Slides – but focused on the competency changes that they are seeig in the model – and it was pretty insightful!
Being a credible activist is the least effective competency in order to drive business value. What is very cool – specific for this blog – is the Technologist is often perceived as the least required competency for effectiveness – but the highest competency that drive business results is the Technologist!


One thought on “2nd Keynote at #HRIZON "Outside In" with David Ulrich (@Dave_Ulrich)

  1. Great to hear that HR Technologist drive business results. Our survey of HR practitioners surprised us with the finding that Employee Productivity was not perceived by many HR practitioners as ariority area at all.

    HR Technologists need to lead the way.

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