Friday, 30 November 2012

OD and HR: What's The Big Difference?

There is a question floating around that is being asked frequently: what are the roles and differences between human resources and organizational development? The line seems to have blurred for some.  The blurring of the line has made the issue more and more unclear as to the differences between them.

There seems to be no clear-cut answer.  Recently at a Toronto OD Network session the issue was tackled.  Similarly a few year back the topic was the focus of a learning team I facilitated at a Linkage OD Summit.   Simply put what are the differences between the role for OD and HR? It is my hope that readers of the blog will weigh in on the topic.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Keeping Afloat In The Competency Pool

Back in 2001 I wrote an article “How To Stay Afloat In The Competency Pool”. I observed that when I had started in consulting and tried to ‘sell’ the link between individual performance and their behaviour that it was a tough sell. By the time I wrote the article, the link between how you behave and how you perform had become understood.  Unfortunately, what has not changed from then until now is the proclivity of organizations that don’t consider their own uniqueness before buying pre-defined competency models.  But then I started to consider what I have learned or what has been solidified from the 11 years since that article was published.  Below is a list of some of the major points that I thought.  After reading the list, please consider my thoughts and respond to any point individually or add ideas of your own in the comments section.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Topic of the Month for September - Competencies

From the suggestions we received, I have decided to start the discussion with the topic on competencies and competency models.  The question had four main aspects:

  1. Should an organization create their own or buy an off-the-shelf model?
  2. How do you evaluate the efficacy of a model or vendor?
  3. Comparison of competency models
  4. Who are reputable vendors?

While I will be sharing my opinion and insight into the topic, I also ask the others please share theirs.  Individual experiences will help us all learn more to help our own organizations be more successful.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Topic of the Month for September - We Need Your Input

Starting in September I will be introducing a new feature on The Talent Edge Blog – the Topic of the Month. 

This will give us an opportunity to have an in-depth conversation in one area of concern to the OD/HR community. It’s my hope that we’ll debate points of view, and share ideas, resources, and experiences to advance solutions and approaches together.

I’d like to keep the selection of the topics open, and I encourage you to put suggestions forward in the comments section below. From the range of ideas presented, we’ll choose one topic to discuss. But if there are any topics you require advice on from this community, or if you would like to share a story or experience, please do so in the comments section. Let’s make this conversation lively and useful.

For those who aren’t familiar with my past articles, white papers, and books, here is a link to the archive on my website:

I’ll pull up one or two relevant articles each month. Again, if you have any reactions or suggestions, please reference the article and feel free to build on my thoughts or do your best to tear them down. Given that some of these articles were written some time ago, I’m sure we have all learned a thing or two since. 

I’m looking forward to the conversation. 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Putting Past Behaviour Into Perspective: Keys to Successful Selection

Everyone who teaches behavioural interviewing is quick to note that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.

But are you the same person now that you were in high school or even college?

We all evolve. Hopefully, we all learn from the past. Optimistically, we may be able to avoid repeating the same old mistakes as we get older. Who knows? Maybe we can even retain lessons of past successes and carry those secrets with us into the future, so that we get better and better over time.

So does the adage about past behaviour predicting the future really hold true?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Welcome To My Blog

Welcome to my blog.  For those who don’t know me, I’m David Cohen, Founder and Principal at Strategic Action Group Ltd.

I’m a contrarian consultant with a passion for connecting the talent of people with the strategy of organizations.

I believe that people bring the most commitment, creativity, and energy to the job when personal and organizational values are aligned.

I think that leaders who live the values of the organization, and prize learning and growth, get the most out of the people who work for them.

I like to debate, and I don’t often agree with the fads of consulting in the talent management world, so please let me know when you agree or disagree with my strongly stated opinions. Let’s generate an exchange of ideas, experiences, and perspectives.

We’ll be talking about talent management, including issues related to:

Monday, 9 July 2012

Still Incompetent About Competencies

Given the proliferation of consultants selling globally research behavioural competency models it must be confusing to pick one that actually fits your organization’s culture and business strategy.  These behavioural competency models provide you with a long list of categories further broken down into supposed behavioural statements.  Given that you know they are research based and sold by an internationally reputable firm you are comfortable bringing this generic and cleansed dictionary into your organization.

Reality is you are giving people a clear roadmap of behaviours for them to follow that has not been tested by your employees, validated by your organization and built off of your corporate culture (values) and strategic business plan.  You now expect employees to demonstrate actions, which in the past they have not demonstrated, even though the actions they are currently doing are leading to the desired results. Suddenly you are comparing your people against the new model of expected behaviours, that you paid outrageous amounts for, and suddenly good people have new deficiencies.

Issues with competencies models and performance management and selection: