Article: We need to fail in innovative ways!

#TechHR2016

We need to fail in innovative ways!

Day 2 of the TechHR 2016 Conference saw the first keynote delivery by Laurie Ruettimann, who speaks about the universal forces of failure in HR technology, how to be defensively pessimistic and defy failure
We need to fail in innovative ways!

The model of failure applies to all aspects of life!

Every HR professional talks about failure. But this is about the different way of failure – in our lives, in our relationships and as human beings.

But this is about HR and technology in HR. The only trend in HR technology is that all of it fails! For example, fax machines to ResumeX or PeopleSoft upgrades. 

From SuccessFactors to Oracle, to the new upcoming technologies – most of it fails. And it fails for the same reason over and over again. But it’s not the HR who fails at this. There are a few universal reasons for technology failure like teams, time, commitment, expectations, budget, scope, politics, competencies – all of these factors are contribute to the failure of HR technology. 

For this, the HR function has to be proactive and for getting ahead of the curve, the HR needs to ask specific questions to the technology vendors like how they manage failure around scope or how does the technology make us manage conflict in an organization. 

When one points to the model of failure, one can apply that to the way the HR works. There are only four components of HR in the entire HR framework. These are - time management, project management, task management and risk management. Therefore another way to approach technology vendors on the floor is to ask them if they provide a time management solution, a task management solution or a project management solution or if they provide risk mitigation solutions.

There are reasons for which technology fails. Technology over promises and under delivers. 

But what beats failure?

Failure is important. Failure is crucial to learning. But sometimes we fail in the same way over and over again and this is the problem in HR.

We need to fail in innovative ways. If you want to beat failure, all you need to do is pre-factual thinking. All this requires you to do is to consider the different outcomes before saying a yes or a no – consider the audience and options – good or bad – ask for the moment because your answer needs to be right. 

Another way to beat failure is to be defensively pessimistic. We are inherently strategically optimistic and don’t think of the past. But as the author William Faulkner says that “the past isn’t in past or dead. It is always with us.” And so the HR needs to think about the things that are can potentially go wrong, you don’t have to verbalize them or think negatively but you need to think about all the different kinds of outcomes that happen – whether you use any project management technology or anything. Defensive pessimism will save you every time. 

Finally if you want to beat failure, do a pre-mortem. Try to learn lessons from the mistakes you make. Think about how things could go wrong. Assume about how things fail and then plan for that failure. The pre-mortem is the secret weapon to success.

Think differently. Be a strategic optimistic but also be a defensive pessimist. Defy expectations and beat failure – one step at a time. 

Topics: #TechHR2016, HR Technology, Technology

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