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Talent Strategy

HR's full of Colourful Sense Data for Machine Learning

My Doctoral Research identified statistically significant correlations of moderate strength for success in adulthood with Sensemaking and Attachment from childhood.  The Talent Development we undertake needs a shake up, and machine learning is evolutionary in the application of an increased understanding of success. Chantelle Brandt Larsen

My Doctoral Research identified statistically significant correlations of moderate strength for success in adulthood with Sensemaking and Attachment from childhood.  The Talent Development we undertake needs a shake up, and machine learning is evolutionary in the application of an increased understanding of success. Chantelle Brandt Larsen

HR is the area that is full of data for the senses. Humans are effective in organizations due to their sensemaking and attachment. 

Founding theories of sense making (Piaget) and attachment (Bowlby, Ainsworth) in my research showed statistically significant correlations to success in adulthood.

Sensemaking in organizations is how we make sense of the Organisation, business problems, opportunities and the wider macro environment. This is from the stories you here, the symbols you see visuals, offices or role models, the smells and even tastes all five senses.

Attachment is how we relate and connect to others which optimizes a persons success and their organizations.  In childhood that's the attachment with parents, as we grow that moves to friends, teachers, mentors, partners and when we enter the adult work world colleagues.

When you apply this depth of understanding to variables that can be used in talent and learning interventions in machine learning, it has enormous potential.  The supervised and unsupervised learning can have an increased chance of success to develop and evolve in the things that matter.  This has been shown in the development of a child to an adult, and what is critical to their success.  Think learning the traditional learning taxonomies are knowledge, skills and behaviour.  However, the success of talent is the ability to deal with the unknown, figure out solutions to knew problems and form new learning pathways - that's sense making.  As well as the ability to increase the size of the learning and it's impact with a super network - that's attachment.

That right now is my focus.  I am testing hypothesis and the mathematical calculation of theta and the exponential cost function.  This is identifying patterns in what makes the difference, and  machine learning that  connects learners to personalised offers.  Going further in the future machine learning is not just one sense, but also for example visual data (here mathlab is great).

What does this mean for machine learning. Well if you go back to the very first example of machine learning when Arthur Samuel in 1959 battled a computer against itself in chequers it learnt from wins and loses. 

The people data that is in our HRIS, ERP, HCM however we want to term it is rich with wins and losses, and remember failure is part of the path of learning how to be successful. Examples of the data (typically I am hypothesising this data as 'Y' with a number of variables):

  • Performance data
  • Potential data  
  • Successful hiring data
  • Leaving Data
  • Promotion Data
  • Moving Data
  • Size Network data

It is important to understand the independent variables. Unassisted learning is useful to classify and look for patterns in the data.

For example, traditionally you would design job roles, a catalogue and competencies.

In an AI environment you could understand what skills are high in certain roles, in a group of a certain performance, potential and geographic region. The data starts to then learn and can then be programmed to unassisted learning to form and be more agile to what an Organisation and person needs.

Machine sense learning in HR is an area ripe for development.

It does require some precursors:

  • data architecture and readiness
  • a cultural shift to responsive design and transformation
  • the right talent to shift to data science and machine learning

There is a sixth sense missing. In humans we call it the 3rd eye. That instinct, knowing what is right or wrong and emotion is not even there in the Business to Consumer Artificial Intelligence. So AI sensemaking is there to empower the heart and consciousness of the Organisation 'People.' 

Globalisation – The East Re-financing the West Some Thoughts for OD

Globalisation – The East Re-financing the West Some Thoughts for OD

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Back when I was consulting it was all about the BRIC economies.   We outsourced like hell to get economies of scale.  Business Process Outsourcing continues to attempt to make things seemingly cheaper.  There has been mixed success with some of these business models.  Where the models flopped the key flaw was the integration of people into the process, and misunderstanding of culture.  To realise the ROI many companies have to tackle this issue. Companies like Nespresso have bucked the trend with manufacturing in Switzerland.  Switzerland is not a cheap place to base manufacturing, but the quality, consistency and productivity has been factored into the business case. Those tiny little capsules of premium coffee lock the customer in, and they are happy to pay £4.80 a pack.  In 2010 they sold 6.5bn capsules according to Bloomberg.  The luxury at home coffee market is estimated to be worth £8bn, and Nespresso is still in double-digit growth but now competition is fierce.

Before we speculate on some implications for OD professional, it is important to note the new trend.  Those countries that the West naively outsourced to do the manufacturing of the whole product (eeek) or components, and non-strategic fulfilment of the processes, are quickly becoming serious technological contenders.  For example, take Tata Steel and Mittal Steel who bought Corus and Arcelor two of the EU’s biggest steel companies.  Our political leaders like David Cameron are going cap in hand to the Chinese for help.  The west is losing dominance of its own markets.  At the same time China and India have the two biggest markets of their own.  China sold a million cars per month in January and February 2010!  There is yet again a seismic shift.

This is a game changer, for those companies and countries that want to continue to be global players.

It is Europe who is dependent on the IMF for funds, as apposed to emerging economies.  It is China who has been the major investor in Africa £7billion in 2006, which is not yet tapped for its natural resources!   Sub –Saharan Africa is growing with a GDP of 5% or more between 1995 and 2005.  The recession cut growth, but the world bank expects it to return to 4.5% in 2010.  The projected GDP for Africa 2020 is 2.6 trillion and 18.6 trillion in 2050!  If China is the backer here then much like Britain built its empire, these are the foundations for the future wealth.

GDP Africa

The political forces are aware of this change.  For example, the US congress blocked the $18.5 billion purchase of Unocal by the 70% state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation.  China has liquidity.  Its cash reserves are the equivalent of 40% GDP an estimated £3.3 trillion! Watch this space!

So what does this mean for OD professionals?

  • We need local leaders, and local talent for the game changers in BRIC but with the new countries, Russia and Africa.  Goldman Sachs and economist Jim O’Neil defined the next 11 (N11) emerging countries and CIVETS outlined by Robert Ward: Columbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.  To overcome the cultural issues, understand and innovate in that market.
  • Global leaders may need a different skillset, flexibility and awareness.  Check out a post on learning Chinese.
  • Do not just think about efficiencies of outsourcing to the East, we now need to think in reverse, and in-between.  We need people that can understand and leverage the benefits of Re-financing.  What can Corus gain from Tata and visa versa to be a more effective global player?  Are their parts of the process that are now better suited in the West?

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