Strategic Human Capital Insights

Book Launch: Brand YOU, Brand NEW, a Step-by-Step Guide to Take Your Career to the Next Level

Posted by Phoenix Strategic Performance

5/10/19 10:05 AM

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Joanne Flynn's co-authored career development book, Brand YOU, Brand NEW, a Step-by-Step Guide to Take Your Career to the Next Level.📚

Joanne Toth Flynn and Elyse Flynn Meyer, a mother-daughter team, co-authored, Brand YOU, Brand NEW  from a multigenerational perspective. Through their collaborative approach, they provide a range of universal perspectives to help you optimize your personal Brand YOU. This book takes you through the critical steps needed to proactively manage your brand and your personal development. The goal is to put you in the ultimate career control seat.

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Topics: Women in Business, human capital, Soft Skills, human asset management

Is Your Quality Assurance up to the Change Challenge?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

3/27/19 1:30 PM

Are you ready to take an organizational Quality Assurance diagnostic?

As organizations move through continual change, the need to stay up-to-date and relevant is now a strategic imperative.  Nowhere in the organization is this more relevant than to a Quality Assurance Department whose function it is to maintain quality, always, despite the change swirling around it.  The challenge for managing quality assurance in a changing workplace is analogous to changing the tires on a car while the car is traveling at 60 miles per hour.  As difficult as it may seem, the goal is to always maintain Quality Assurance.

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Topics: human capital, human asset management, human asset management strategy, quality, quality assurance

Do You Really Need an Employee Handbook?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

1/23/19 10:00 AM

It may be underestimated, but it is certainly strategic!

This question predictably comes up when I speak with company management, often because the Employee Handbook is seen as moderately useful but not on the top of management’s priority list. 

Why’s that? Because often the Employee Handbook:

  • Isn’t current
  • Doesn’t cover the full range of issues
  • Isn’t specific enough to be meaningful
  • Isn’t given to new employees
  • Isn’t used by management

However, one thing is for certain, when something goes wrong in an organization, the following happens:

  • From the manager’s perspective: Managers look to the Employee Handbook for guidance and protection from liability.

  • From the employee's perspective: Employees look to the Employee Handbook for guidance, protection from liability or loopholes created by omission or ambiguity.
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Topics: Change Management, Leadership, human capital, human asset management, human asset management strategy

Is Being Loyal to an Employee a Good Thing?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

10/10/18 10:30 AM

Both employee and manager loyalty has always been considered a good thing. So what’s changed? When does being loyal long-term, at all costs, go from a virtue to a liability?

The concept of "change" has changed everything. When companies grew at normal rates, and change was incremental and predictable, manager and employee loyalty could keep pace with each other and with the direction of the organization. Now, however, when organizations are growing fast and adapting to new technology, new processes and methods, increased customer demands, and additional new employees, the predictable static environment that many employees are comfortable with, have morphed into chaotic, change-driven, unpredictable frontiers where the old rules and controls have evaporated. Increasing, the latter describes today’s work reality. 

Here are some important questions to consider when thinking about manager loyalty:

  • What does it mean for the employee who is attached to the old rules and controls and is having real issues adapting to the new work reality? 
  • What does it mean for new employees who don’t know the old rules and controls and don’t really need to work under those constraints since that work environment has shifted?
  • What does it mean for the manager who must manage these two conflicting and competing employee needs?
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Topics: Change Management, Leadership, human capital, human asset management, human asset management strategy

Human Asset Management Strategy: A New Approach

Posted by Joanne Flynn

1/27/18 10:00 AM

A critical question for today’s leadership: Are your employees appreciating in value, maintaining their value, or declining in value?

Businesses consistently refer to employees as “their most valuable assets”. However, when we look at the way organizations view employees, many fail to deliver on that mantra. Employee management continues to be based on models developed in the late 20th century. Along with outdated employee management models, we see Human Resources struggle to transition from an organizational operations, support and compliance role to a true strategic partner role.

In that role, Human Resources must drive Human Asset Management Strategy (HAMS) to encourage leaders to shift their approach to the key element of success - employees.

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Topics: human capital, human asset management, human asset management strategy

Do You Really Have A Human Asset Management Strategy?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

6/24/17 8:40 AM

I’m often asked,
“What’s the difference between the concept of human capital and human asset management strategy?"  When we discuss human capital, it is often described as:

  • the collective skills, knowledge, or other intangible assets of individuals that can be used to create economic value for the individuals, their employers, or their community.
  • a measure of the economic value of an employee's skill set. This measure builds on the basic production input of labor measure where all labor is thought to be equal.


Most definitions of human capital still focus on skills / people as they exist in an organization today.  Human asset management strategy (HAMS) focuses on the following:

  • Conducts a current assessment of people and their skills today
  • Attaches a trending component to the assessment for today and tomorrow to determine appreciation or depreciation
  • Develops a human capital gap analysis between today and future human capital needs
  • Evaluates productivity and associated costs
  • Creates an organizational impact analysis for near-term, mid-term and long-term effects and risks
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Topics: human capital, human asset management

Delegation: A Key to Developing a Human Asset Management Strategy

Posted by Joanne Flynn

5/20/17 9:00 AM

If a Human Capital approach is your goal, then delegation must be in your leadership toolkit

In an earlier blog, we asked the question, “Is your current leadership team up to the Human Asset Management Task?"

Quality leadership is a critical element for a robust human asset management strategy. If we agree that a critical function of the leadership role is to continually develop employees (the asset in human asset management), then employees must be a critical competencyof the leadership role.  Employees are your implementation squad. They make things happen, or not!  It’s easy to talk about developing employees, but actually doing it and doing it well is another story. The barrier to developing great employees is the key leadership skill of delegation.

Delegation is the most underrated skill, which is ironic because it is not only one of the MOST IMPORTANT skills, but also one of the MOST DIFFICULT and MULTIFUNCTIONAL skills that a manager must perfect. Leadership, you can’t think that employees will create themselves into their own self-appreciating assets. Some will, but most will not. Why? Employees are not typically privy to the macro-organizational issues of human asset management, nor do they systematically know exactly what they need to do. Leadership and delegation is your job, not theirs.

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Topics: Change Management, human capital, human asset management

Are You ‘Bonusing’ Underperformance?

Posted by Joanne Flynn

11/19/16 10:00 AM


This is the first installment in our Managing Human Capital Risk series.

“The best corporate strategy can fail at implementation without a human capital strategy supporting it.”


The Critical Importance of the Job Benchmark

I recently met with a client and while we were discussing an employee performance issue, I asked a very simple question.  “How is your employee performing against the benchmark?”  Since many conversations on the topic of employee performance often center around an employee in isolation or comparing an employee relative to other employees, we are often using inherently biased and subjective information when assessing an employee.

With that backdrop, we discussed how the employee was being evaluated relative to:

  • the amount the employee was being paid
  • an objective assessment of how the employee was actually doing or not doing against the ideal competencies and tasks of the position – THE BENCHMARK.
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Topics: human capital

Future Proof Your Organization: Top 3 Stressors to Manage

Posted by Joanne Flynn

2/23/16 3:00 PM

Would You Rehire Your Current Team of People? 

I first asked this question to an audience when speaking at a conference of HR professionals.  I was more surprised than expected by the very noisy response from the audience.  It was as if that question was the ‘elephant in the room’!  A show of hands suggested that over 60% of the audience indicated that it was questionable if their current team of senior managers would be hired again. 

That is a very ‘big’ response to a very simple, and what should be an obvious, question.  Not expecting the high degree of verbal honesty, I asked the same question of VP’s when speaking at an IT Conference, and the response was in the same range.  This reaction led to a deeper dig on the topic.  I continued to ask that question of every leader and manager I met and the reaction was the same.   These responses suggest simultaneously-occurring trends that I have not experienced, to such a high degree, in my 30+ years of leadership and organization development experience.

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Topics: human capital

People, Potential, Performance and Profits

Posted by Joanne Flynn

6/4/15 9:00 AM

Do you need business language data to secure your HR people development budget?

In today’s business environment:

  • 65% of Chief Executives believe they lack the information they need to increase return on their investment in human capital.
  • Less than 30% of what is taught is transferred to the job in a way that enhances performance and business results.

Learning and Development Questions to Consider:

  • In your organisation, is the time and effort committed to people development, in reality, being transferred into work performance? 
  • Is the desired learning assessed and evaluated to ensure it is applied to work performance, so a return on investment is calculated?
  • Are Human Resources departments developing and designing targeted and relevant people development that will enhance HR’s position as true business partners?
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Topics: human capital

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