In the corporate jungle, systems have evolved to dominate the organisation of people and work. Systems arrive at work before you and continue working after you leave. Systems don’t need smoke breaks or chit-chat time. Some systems are happy with generous kilowatts of electricity and infinite upgrades. Talk about expensive tastes in the workplace! Their non-digital counterparts demand blind compliance, don’t think for yourself when it has been done already. (Expect trouble if you ask “who”, “what” and “when” questions).
As the complexity of systems grows, their bugs are multiplying to strangle the business. A couple of examples: I was discussing a new talent service with a client and their first response was, “the system won’t let me do that”. It won’t let you or is it too painful to address? In one healthcare company, I suggested they give a special award to the biggest loser in the company, their multimillion rand system that will never resign or retire from their business, until they are bankrupt. Because management has to save face for their investment turned liability and can’t let it go. In another company, a clothing retailer, staff claim the system “is so slow that I could sleep on it” and “we can’t do anything on the system without calling back the consultants”
For those individuals that consistently get the job done, during those “the system is down” periods, why is it ignored by the performance management (system)? Surely, individuals should be rewarded for their performance when the system went AWOL.
Finally, any attempt to rattle corporate systems would be incomplete without mentioning those with personality disorders. You meet them in your first month: outdated clunky systems, systems that won’t talk to any other system and closed systems. These systems with personality come with an individual with attitude as a standard feature. I’m talking about Techie Trevor in IT and Grumpy Gertrude in Finance. For those in HR, if you are dealing with the same talent challenges, month after month, interrogate those systems.You may find a colony of bugs underneath.
The Competitors Within
What happens when A-list stars join your organisation, contribute to the business and exit to start up your competitor? It is one thing to lose talent to a rival, but quite another when your talent will be the new fighting kid on the block. They mastered your products, studied the bugs in your business and know where to strike in the market. If you knew this in advance, how would it affect your talent retention efforts? Or maybe have talent termination plans?
The latest search engine coming to a url near you, is CUIL (pronounced “cool”) an old Irish word for knowledge. The founders of Cuil are former Google employees and heavy weights in the search arena before they joined Google. This 30 strong workforce is taking their former employer head on, to run your search. Unlike Google, Cuil guarantees online privacy keeps your search history private as it does not collect data about you. Cuil methodology promises better and more accurate results than Google. After being called a Google Killer App and generating loads of online buzz, Cuil has failed to impress and for now, Google search whips Cuil mouse down.