Evidence-Based Change Helping Companies Achieve Greater Success

General Press Releases Monday October 10, 2011 17:12
Bangkok--10 Oct--Francom Asia

When it comes to managing people, many organizations have made important HR decisions without any real rigor, often relying on instincts or copying competitors’ practices. Now, a handful of leading-edge global companies are breaking new ground and using evidence-based change to make critical talent management decisions, help their organizations achieve greater success and create a more engaging work environment for their people.

In their new book, Transformative HR: How Great Companies Use Evidence-Based Change for Sustainable Advantage (Jossey-Bass, September 26, 2011), talent management experts Ravin Jesuthasan of global professional services company Towers Watson and John Boudreau of the University of Southern California reveal how prominent global organizations are redefining HR leadership by using this new approach to optimize efficiency and strategic impact. By adopting what they identify as the five key principles of evidence-based change, the authors believe organizations across the globe can make better people decisions that ultimately lead to a sustainable competitive advantage.

“Our thinking behind evidence-based change was inspired partly by the evidence-based medicine movement, which encourages doctors to determine which treatment, based on the evidence, is most effective,” said coauthor Jesuthasan. “It hardly seems like a radical notion, but human nature is such that people, even doctors, do not always behave with scientific rationality, choosing instead to rely on instinct and what might have worked once before. By using evidence-based change, HR is better equipped to make decisions that are based on well-grounded evidence, rather than gut feel.”

Transformative HR is based on collaboration of research from Boudreau and Jesuthasan, who define the five principles of evidence-based change as:
Logic-Driven Analytics, from targeting the right issues to getting the metrics, from acting on them to measuring the effects
Segmentation
Risk Leverage
Integration and Synergy
Optimization

Transformative HR provides detail on each of the five guiding principles, and includes practical suggestions and proven approaches that executives can put in place to help deliver sustainable change and business results. It also provides insight based on the real-life experiences of nearly a dozen leading global organizations and features in-depth case studies of six international companies, including Royal Bank of Canada, Coca-Cola, Khazanah National and Royal Bank of Scotland.

“As HR has matured and gained stature within organizations, HR leaders have grown increasingly accustomed to rigorous human capital decision making based on metrics and analytics,” said Boudreau. “However, next-generation HR means going further, to truly embed analytical discipline and sophisticated systems thinking to create the kind of understanding that drives better strategies and better workplace outcomes. We strongly believe that evidence-based change will take HR leaders to that level.”

“This new approach, which we see emerging in our work with leading organizations, reflects the five principles and puts HR where companies need it to be   creating strategic organizational success through synergistic human capital decisions and investments that span the employment life cycle and organizational design decisions. These five principles characterize organizations that engage HR leaders and those outside of HR in the vital analytical questions, answers and debates. The experiences of these leading organizations suggest how other companies can have a more robust, integrated system that will allow them to multiply the effects and benefits of their HR strategies,” concludes Jesuthasan.

Towers Watson (Thailand) Managing Director Pichpajee Saichuae also noted the influence of evidence-based change on talent management: “Proper HR requires a genuine understanding of the organization in order to provide a thorough analysis of the impact on personnel caused by business changes. These five principles are sure to help organizations create effective strategies that can cope with internal and external changes in a sustainable manner.”

The book, Transformative HR: How Great Companies Use Evidence-Based Change for Sustainable Advantage, is available in both hardcover and e-reader formats online and at major bookstores.
More information about the book is available at towerswatson.com/research/4957.

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