Fluid Talent and the SWAT team concept


This is an interesting article: The Industries That Are Being Disrupted the Most by Digital.

The idea that you bring in someone in a catalytic role to drive the change, and then hand over to hybrid managers, or emerging new positions, as the organisation matures.

One of the ideas that I had been discussing with ex-colleagues is the concept of a roving SWAT team or individuals, whose job is to look strategically at an organisation and focus on solving specific problems that are diagnosed. One of the KPIs is redundancy – a measure of their success is that new initiatives are sustainable and handed over smoothly to existing or newly appointed teams. Then they are off to solve the next problem.

The advantage of this is that you maximize individual capabilities. We expect employees to be all-rounders and perfect, when that is not the case. Employees who excel at catalytic roles are always on the hunt for the next problem to solve, and don’t necessarily handle routine and the day-to-day grind well. Or they can handle it, but get bored very easily, which makes retention of such top talent difficult. But you also need employees who are good at the day-to-day grind, to keep the business running, who may not be the best visionaries, but they put food on the table.

Having such an approach also reduces strain on teams who are often tasked with dual objectives of keeping the business going and innovating at the same time.

In the new economy, we have to deal with the concept of fluid talent, that increasingly you will have multi-talented employees who have skillsets that allow them to be applied in different contexts that cannot be bound by one title. This is where adaptability and learning agility are most critical in an employee.

If you’ve read all the way here, ask me about employee kites and kite-handlers when we next meet.


Chatbots in HR: Improving the Employee Experience


After months of trial and error in building my chatbot prototypes, I finally finished my thesis for my master’s in Digital Management from Hyper Island, titled “Chatbots in HR: Improving the Employee Experience.”

What have I found?

  1. There is currently a lot of excitement and hype around chatbots that outstrips what chatbots can actually do right now
  2. Nevertheless, due to this recent surge of interest in chatbots, the developments in the industry are moving at a extremely rapid pace, with different chatbot products being built every day, in different industry sectors. Features and functions are being added and improved on at lightning pace
  3. Based on the testing of the chatbot prototype that I built for this thesis, there is a lot of potential in using chatbots in HR to improve the employee experience.
  4. Chatbots can free up time from the HR team, and in the long run, even help the HR function to move up the value chain
  5. If designed well, HR chatbots can create significant cost savings due to time saved in completing HR tasks (by employees) and answering queries (by HR team)
  6. In addition to providing friendly, instant information for employees, other areas of value-add for chatbots in improving the employee experience could lie in:
    • Helping employees to avoid embarrassment, or maintain their personal reputation, when they need to ask certain types of questions
    • Providing anonymity when employees want to read up on sensitive employee/company policies
  7. The most important issues that need to be resolved to make a customised chatbot for employees is the back-end integration with HR enterprise software as well as clear parameters over employee privacy and data collection. Some enterprise software vendors have partnered chatbot developers to create solutions for their software
  8. However, even without customisation, chatbots can still provide significant value in generic information services
  9. As use of technology increases in HR, HR leaders need to review the skillsets required in their HR team to enable the function to thrive in a new digital age

Read the full thesis here: Chatbots in HR: Improving the Employee Experience