Systemic HR: Why It's Coming... And Why I'm Excited About Bing.

February 18, 2023 00:16:55
Systemic HR: Why It's Coming... And Why I'm Excited About Bing.
The Josh Bersin Company
Systemic HR: Why It's Coming... And Why I'm Excited About Bing.

Feb 18 2023 | 00:16:55

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Show Notes

This week we saw hundreds of stories, articles, and complaints about Bing. Well I've tried it and talked with some Microsoft execs and I believe this is one of the most important (and disruptive) technologies we will see in HR. So listen and you'll hear why. On an even more important point, I spent some time discussing our New HR Operating System, which we call Systemic HR. We're in the middle of this research and I'll be explaining more at the Irresistible 2023 Conference in June. In this podcast I explain the model and why it's so essential. Additional Information My Experience With Bing and Chat-GPT: It’s Amazing And Not A Bit Scary. The Churning US Labor Market… And Why We Need “Labor Anthropologists.” Were All These Layoffs Inevitable? Perhaps, But Here’s How It Happened Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World's Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organizations
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:07 Hate to belabor this chat cheap PT thing, but I have a lot of information about Bing that I want to share today. So let's spend a little bit of time on this this week. And of course, it's been a very, very big week for Microsoft because the chat G P T integration with Bing hit a wildfire and has been extremely successful and interesting and controversial in the market. So I want to share with you what I've learned, and I've talked to a series of Microsoft executives, had access to the Bing Chat and used it and experienced it. And I wanna tell you what's going on. So first of all, if you read the article that I'm putting out over the weekend, there's a link to a fantastic article about how this technology works from Steven Wolfram's blog, and I really suggest you read it. If you have time, you don't need to go through the whole thing, but you'll see that these are basically algorithmic tools and they don't have a personality, but they develop a personality because of the way they interpret words. Speaker 1 00:01:02 So given that there is a certain style or tone to the chatbot, and this week the New York Times, the Washington Post, and a whole bunch of other journalists decided to query these things and talk about how their personalities were dysfunctional or difficult. And as I talked to Microsoft about it, they're not really concerned because what they're doing is, this is really early stage technology and they're tweaking the sentient part of this minute by minute. Day by day, they're working 24 hours a day looking at the people that are chatting with Bing Chat, which is based on, by the way, it's based on G P T four. So it's based on the more advanced G P T that's not available from open AI yet, and they've already improved it a lot. I'll tell you in my case, as you'll see in the article, I had a very funny interaction with Bing. Speaker 1 00:01:49 I was asking a bunch of questions on a whole bunch of different things, and it was actually very accurate and I thought very helpful. And then I asked it about my book and it picked a bunch of stuff up off Amazon and other places and gave me a good summary of the book. And then I said, what are the seven secrets? And it got the seven secrets wrong. They, they were mostly right, but they were kind of implied other secrets that weren't things that I had specifically said. And so I said, those secrets are incorrect. And then the chatbot said, how do you know they're incorrect? And then I said, I'm the author of the book. And then the chatbot said, who is the author of the book? Josh Person's the author of the book, <laugh>. And I said, I am Josh person. And then the chatbots gave me this very nice bio about who I am, and we went on chatting and later I got it to write a little poem about me, which was kind of cool. Speaker 1 00:02:37 So it has a tendency to feel like it's behaving in a certain way, but you have to realize there is no intelligence here. It's simply matching together words based on statistical dials that have been tuned by the engineers to give you a type of response, read the Stephen Wolf from article, and you'll understand how it works. I still believe this is incredibly powerful positive technology that we are gonna be using all over our lives. And I love what Microsoft's doing because they're doing it in an iterative fashion. They're improving it very, very fast, and they are very focused on the ethics. And there is an ethical rule book in Microsoft that I published on the page today that you can read through in talking with the managers working on this. They are very aware of the downside of this thing blowing up. I mean, Microsoft is a trillion dollar market guide company. Speaker 1 00:03:29 The LA last thing they want to do is alienate anybody out there. So they're watching it very, very closely. But the technology is very sophisticated and it's doing a dog on good job. Now as far as the applications of chat bots and AI for the last week, I've gotten dozens and dozens of them. So let me start telling you what's going on. So training providers, training companies, training tools can use this to index, identify, summarize, create outlines, and even create quizzes and tests on content. Most of you are filled with content, so you've got lots and lots of that that hasn't been productized yet, but I think you're gonna see products come out on that fairly quickly in recruiting. These are tools that can be used to communicate with candidates, ask better questions about their fit, identify their time and schedules and salary needs to create compelling CRM messages to get them to come work for your company. Speaker 1 00:04:21 Lots of vendors are working on that. I think I mentioned paradox in the last podcast, but there's others for employee experience vendors. I just ran across a vendor yesterday that has built a whole AI enabled chat bott for employee support. Most of the employee experience vendors are are going to do this, obviously, ServiceNow, Workday, Oracle, all of them. And they will end up probably using chat G P T or something like that to index data inside of your company to give people the right answers. It won't be perfect, but imagine if you could ask a couple of questions about your expense account or your family leave or your healthcare benefits. And the thing was pretty accurate. It's better than winning on the line to get a customer service representative. I think in the areas of development of leadership development and leadership assessment, a really fascinating conversation I had this week was with a vendor that is an AI enabled talent intelligence company that is using chat, G P T Lambda, the underlying technology to assess leadership profiles. Speaker 1 00:05:17 So they're looking at all of the employee profiles of the leaders in one particular company and indexing their skills to identify what skills they have to compare them against the leaders in another company. I don't think that's such a bad idea. I mean, that's the kind of thing that consulting firms try to do. But given the amount of data that's available in the public sources, I think we can do that pretty well. By the way, we're gonna do that in hr. We're already on the middle of a project doing that in hr, and we'll share that with you later in the year. So generally speaking, despite the flurry of interesting articles, the New York Times, the Washington Post Wired magazine and other places, I think this is going really well. And I think Microsoft is learning very, very fast. I'm not counting out Google at all by the way. Speaker 1 00:06:00 I'm sure the Google guys are gonna come up with something. I don't know what it is. I, I have played around with the Google tool Bard. It's also very good, but they're clearly not ready to launch it. So this is the new big thing in HR technology. If you remember the early days of the cloud, moving from SaaS to cloud, that was the big thing when the iPhone became big, mobile became the big thing. Analytics was the big thing before that. This is the big thing, and I think it's the biggest of the big things because it changes the user experience of most of the things we do in HR technology. So I think it's gonna take a couple years for all the vendors to figure out how to do this, but I'm really pretty excited about the potential in our space. Okay, let me change topics now and talk about item number two, which is systemic hr. Speaker 1 00:06:49 Now, many of you may have heard me talk about this new operating model we're working on, and we are deep into this now, and we are interviewing companies. As I said last podcast, if you'd like to be interviewed for this, please let me know. The big issue in the economy that most of us are facing is very low unemployment rate, continuing growth in many, many sectors and many, many industries. Most not all, with the exception of tech and not enough people to fill critical jobs. Now, that particular dynamic sounds like a recruiting problem. Oh, maybe not. Maybe it's a retention problem or maybe not. Maybe it's a re-skilling problem or maybe not. Maybe we should redesign those jobs who are gonna need so many people, maybe not. Maybe it's a pay problem. Maybe we aren't paying those people enough. You see what I'm getting at? Speaker 1 00:07:34 Every one of these problems or issues or topics that we needed to talk about in HR that have a long-term or multi-port impact on the company's growth are systemic. And we designed our HR departments, thanks to a lot of consultants to be service delivery organizations. We optimized service cost, we optimized play experience, or we've been working on that for years. And we divided up the HR department into COEs. I remember when I first became an analyst many years ago, and somebody told me about the center of excellence. I said, oh, really? There's a center of excellence. There's excellent people somewhere around here. I didn't even know what it was. But the idea was the of the, the coe, the learning co oe, the Recruiting co oe, the compensation and benefits co oe, the employer experience coe, the analytics coe, the D, EI C oe, that these groups of talented specialists would develop programs and strategies and initiatives and roll them out with deep levels of expertise across the company. Speaker 1 00:08:39 And then the business partners or the embedded HR people would interpret and deploy and simplify and clarify these things for the workforce. Well, it's kind of a crazy idea if you think about it. All of these things are related. So if I wanna improve diversity, and that one's the toughest, I gotta touch recruiting, I gotta touch pay, I gotta touch leadership development, I've gotta touch culture, I've gotta get involved in the management training process. I have to figure out what's going on in succession, right? I mean, that's true of all of this. So the deeper and deeper I've learned about hr, I've realized that this is a very integrated set of issues that are all related to each other. Now, that doesn't mean everybody needs to know everything. And the analogy that I use many times is the full stack engineer. If your website is slow, it might be the front end, it might be the middle layer, it might be the database, it might be the tech, the hardware, it could be a lot of things. Speaker 1 00:09:36 And if you have a separate engineering group working on each part and you tell 'em, Hey, the website's too slow. Nobody knows where to start. So we, we need what was called and is called a full stack engineer that understands the stack and can go up and down the stack and figure out what needs to be addressed. That is the direction of hr. We need a full stack model of the HR organization. Now, not every person in HR is going to know everything about every, every domain. That's impossible. Even I don't claim to be an expert on everything, but we need to operate that way. And so the model that we're coming up with is what we call a new operating system for hr, not an operating model. And even McKinsey and Deloitte and Accenture are still not getting this because they're out there trying to help you reduce costs or improve employee experience. Speaker 1 00:10:26 That goes without saying, I mean, I don't need to tell you to reduce the cost of hr, but that really isn't the optimum solution. What we really wanna have happen is we want the HR function to be involved in the creative growth and profitability and productivity growth of the company, not just reducing the cost of hr. Reducing the cost of HR is great, but that means you're not doing anything very strategic and you're just a tactical function. It would be as if you went to the CIO and said, just cut the cost of technology so we can do all the rest of this stuff around here easily. Technology is integral to everything we do. So we want the CIO to be involved in AI and analytics and advanced user experience for clients and customers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. That's the same situation we're in. Speaker 1 00:11:11 So how do we get there from here? So what we're in the middle of doing is preparing a big study on this topic. We've been interviewing a lot of you and we have a bunch of data we're looking at. And the original initial implementation of this was the four R model. The four R model was a sort of an innovation that came out of the global workforce intelligence research that we did last year and in the healthcare industry in particular. And we found the same thing in banking. There is such a shortage of nurses and on other clinical roles that healthcare providers have gone way out of their way to look at retention, job redesign benefits, healthcare, childcare, wellbeing benefits, and a better job of internal development career pathways. And by the way, recruiting. Recruiting is not going away. But talent acquisition doesn't mean just recruiting talent Acquisition means talent acquisition inside of the company. Speaker 1 00:12:12 It means looking at the job itself and making sure that it's scoped correctly. It means helping the management team redesign the job if it should be redesigned. Getting org designed people involved. It means being honest with the company about the fact that, you know, this purple squirrel that you're trying to hire is gonna cost you an awful lot of money and they're gonna be really hard to find. I mean, I'll make an effort to find them, but are you sure that's really what you need? And that has to be done in a systemic way. The example that I always point out is the human body. If you get an infection in one part of your body, your entire body mounts an attack to neutralize that infection. Your organs, your glands, your blood supply, et cetera. I'm not a biologist, but that's the way we want HR to operate. Speaker 1 00:12:54 Now, the simple way to build systemic hr, and this may be one of the big findings of the report, is for the HR function to talk to each other. Last week I was involved in three large company-wide HR kickoff meetings, and this is sort of the season for this. And a lot of the times we talk about what are the big topics, what are the big issues, what are the priorities and so forth. But later, when the meeting ends and the two or three days are over, what I always hear from the leadership team is, wow, we just needed to get to know each other. We just needed to talk about things we need just needed to share some of the great ideas that other people had. We needed to agree on some of the things that were not working and some of the priorities that maybe we didn't agree on. Speaker 1 00:13:37 Being systemic isn't a bunch of data. I mean, that's part of it, but it's also working together as an integrated whole. If you read my book in the Seven Secrets, there's a whole chapter on the Agile operating model. And what it really does is reinforces this idea that a lot of you know that the most important asset you have in the company is the relationships people have with each other. I know that sounds silly, but it's true. Edgar Shine once told me who just passed away when I asked him what was the most important cultural strength that he found in all of these studies he did. And he said that the number one thing that matters in a company is people being willing to help each other. In other words, somebody in group A helping somebody in group B because they know each other, because they relate to each other because they, they want to help each other and they're motivated to help each other. Speaker 1 00:14:28 That is what systemic HR is about. Now, there's some other really innovative things that we're uncovering. Solutions centers, agile teams, design thinking, iterative development, product roadmaps, product management roles. You know, some of these things that a lot of you I know are doing are becoming defining capabilities of the HR function. And so what we're gonna do in this research is we're gonna write that into a big book of course, and then we'll have a maturity model and all sorts of tools for you. So the reason I'm mentioning it now is we are in the outreach phase, and if you think your company either is doing systemic HR or would like to do systemic HR or would like to learn more about it, would you please contact us and we will interview you. The final thing I wanna mention is we're getting ready to launch the website for irresistible. Speaker 1 00:15:17 Irresistible 2023 is June 20th through 22nd at usc, at the beautiful USC campus. It is a spectacular location. I guarantee you, you are not gonna ever forget this conference. We can only support 450 people. We have quite a interesting array of CHROs and other senior people that are already agreeing to come and be on panels. There are four tracks that you're gonna hear about in the next week or so. Bookmark that date for your leadership team or your senior people or yourself. We will undoubtedly sell out probably a month or so before the conference happens. Went very, very well last year and we have a couple of special surprises they're gonna be introducing there. Okay, so, um, lot of interesting things going on this week. Let me know what you think of my article about Bing and we will wait to hear Google's comeback, which I'm sure will be coming before long. Have a great week. Thanks everybody, and have a great holiday on Monday.

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