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Jon Younger
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Entries by Jon Younger

"The Why of Work"

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2010 | 9:53 AM

Every decade or so a great book comes along to change how we think about leadership. "In Search of Excellence" was one, "Good to Great" a second, and "The Tipping Point" a certain third. I'm betting the next is "The Why of Work" by Dave Ulrich...

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Acting Like the Future Has Not Been Cancelled

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2010 | 10:40 AM

I am writing from Stavanger, Norway, where colleagues and I are leading an HR business partnership workshop for Statoil, the Norwegian-based integrated energy company. For anyone who hasn't heard of Statoil, this Fortune 50 oil and gas giant has a $78 billion market cap, 29,000 employees and operations...

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Are Your HR Leaders Building a Spirit of Business Partnership?

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2010 | 12:10 PM

Over the past week I've had the opportunity to speak with the HR leaders of several global corporations. Each of these discussions had a similar theme: "How can I help my HR consultants to gain the self-confidence to act as true business partners?"

David Gergen, an advisor to several...

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To Serve the Internal Customer, Focus on the Real Customer

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2010 | 2:34 PM

At the RBL Group, we work with a wide variety of client organizations helping HR leaders and professionals increase their skills as business partners. Last week, we had the privilege of delivering our HR Business Partner (HRBP) workshop to the HR executive team of a leading global financial...

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When Engagement Means Employees Like Each Other More Than Customers

(2) Comments | Posted March 1, 2010 | 12:29 PM

It's 7:45 a.m. on a cold damp morning and it's just started to snow. My wife and I are waiting outside of Boston South Station for the Amtrak staff to allow passengers to board the 8:10 a.m. Acela train bound for New York City. Due to a blizzard in New...

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Do You Have the Talent Brand You Need?

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2010 | 3:24 PM

As I wrote in an earlier post, I recently led a workshop for the top management team of a large global technology-service organization that analyzed the company's "talent brand," which communicates to customers the unique characteristics and values of the company's employees. The workshop helped these leaders understand that their...

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In Hiring, Don't Let Perfect Drive Out Good (and Innovative)

(5) Comments | Posted January 15, 2010 | 8:02 AM

As the jobless recovery recedes, and more and more jobs need to be filled, what is your organization's risk tolerance?

In a Jan. 10 interview with The New York Times, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said that at his company, "We really recognize and celebrate each person's individuality, and we want...

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Getting In Front of the Change Train

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 3:43 PM

My RBL Group colleague Allan Freed and I are leading an HR Business Partner Workshop (HRBP) with human resources executives from AXA, a leading global financial services company. Under the leadership of AXA Group HR head Alain Rohaut, AXA HR has made tremendous strides. The participants in our workshop are...

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When Did HR Go AWOL in the Airlines?

(7) Comments | Posted December 11, 2009 | 11:32 AM

I'm among 200 or so passengers on a Saturday morning, waiting to board a Continental flight from Barcelona to Newark. The boarding is 30 minutes delayed and no explanation has been offered. Nine employees of the airline are joking around with one another, apparently disinterested in what customers are feeling,...

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Bruichladdich Secrets to a More Empowered Workforce: Try a Wee Dram

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2009 | 2:18 PM

The isle of Islay, a two hour ferry ride from the western coast of Scotland, is a great spot for getting away from it all. My older son Josh and I took an extended weekend on the isle to tour the famous scotch distilleries and celebrate his two great achievements...

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What Are You Doing for the "High Pros" in Your Organization?

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2009 | 12:38 PM

We see an interesting and gratifying trend in our work with leading global companies and their HR departments. Attention to high performers -- as opposed to high potentials -- is returning, and with it is a focus on career development. Who would have thought the global recession would turn this...

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What is Your Employment Brand Telling Prospective Employees?

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2009 | 9:15 AM

Why do people join your company? If they are joining for the right reasons, the chances of retaining top talent are much greater.

Research suggests that a high percentage of companies have taken the initial step of developing an "employment contract," which clearly defines the employee "give and get" -...

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Do Your HR Professionals Know How to Make Change?

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2009 | 4:58 PM

HR is in the midst of a major transformation. But, achieving real business partnership is still a work in progress for the HR professionals and leaders in most companies.

Over the past 20 years, RBL Group partners, together with the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, have led a...

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Are You Making the Most of the First Six Months?

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2009 | 10:45 AM

As we finally turn the corner on recession and return to growth, an aggressive war for talent is resuming in financial services. As Wall Street comes back, other industries won't be far behind.

As recruiting commences, companies will invest significantly in identifying and attracting top talent. But they can't stop...

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Transformation Is About the Little Things

(1) Comments | Posted October 10, 2009 | 6:47 PM

Most of us know the old saying, "Take care of the big things and the little things will take care of themselves."

But in more and more companies around the world, strategically-minded human resources leaders are turning this on its head. The new mantra is, "Take care of the little...

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Action Learning to Build Skills and Contribute to the Bottom Line

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2009 | 12:15 PM

My last post described how a variety of good companies accelerate the development of leaders through the 70/20/10 model. RBL Group partner and University of Michigan Professor Dave Ulrich first created this model as a framework for helping managers think comprehensively about development. Work assignment alone accounts for only...

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Are You Accelerating the Development of Your Talented Future Leaders?

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2009 | 6:01 PM

I was in Norway last week with Statoil Hydro, the global energy company. Our firm, The RBL Group, has been privileged to assist Jens Jenssen and his human resources team in the transformation of HR. (Readers can read more about our work with Statoil Hydro in "HR Employees...

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Are Your Employees Stuck in the Bubble or Acting Like Owners?

(1) Comments | Posted September 15, 2009 | 10:44 AM

Lloyd Blankfein, the head of investment bank Goldman Sachs, was interviewed in the weekend edition of The New York Times about what lessons he drew from the financial crisis. His answer is given below:

"I learned about the importance of making sure that everyone in the organization interprets his job...

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How Do Great Companies Make Sure People Are Living the Values?

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2009 | 12:46 PM

Each September the RBL Institute (full disclosure: as an RBL partner, I am a director of the Institute) hosts the chief HR officers of member companies in a two-day retreat hosted by RBL Group founder and University of Michigan Professor Dave Ulrich. This year, we were joined by 20 senior...

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Are Your Communications Building Shared Mindset?

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2009 | 4:15 PM

You don't expect the CEO of a financial services company to trot around the globe for a series of in-person employee meetings, let alone broadcast them on YouTube. But Jim Schiro, head of Zurich Financial Services, the insurance giant, is clever enough to realize that communications is especially crucial in...

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