Black Holes and White Spaces: Reimagining the Future of Work and HR with the CHREATE Project

Black Holes and White Spaces: Reimagining the Future of Work and HR with the CHREATE Project

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Black Holes and White Spaces describes tools and frameworks that leaders inside and outside the HR profession can use to transform the HR profession and their organizational success. It summarizes the collective wisdom and hard work of over 70 exemplary chief HR officers and other leaders. Their mission: Disruptively accelerate the progress of the HR profession to meet the unprecedented challenges and opportunities of the new world of work.

Black Holes are things that have been talked about for years in HR, but remain stubbornly unresolved.

White Spaces are things that get far too little attention from HR, but that must be addressed to have a pivotal impact on the future workplace and the success of HR and organizations. These leaders committed to a three-year collective effort dubbed CHREATE—The Global Consortium to Reimagine HR, Employment Alternatives, Talent, and the Enterprise.

They recruited their colleagues and led volunteer teams that tackled the tough challenges, demonstrated how to address them, and built open-source tools and frameworks for leaders like you to use in your own organization.

The project was guided by these common beliefs: open source, voluntary, inclusive, messy, and agile. CHREATE focused on four key pillars of change, that organize this book:

1. Align HR with Value Creation for Organizations that Win
2. Shape Expectations of HR's Key Constituents
3. Rewire the Work and Tools of HR
4. Enhance the HR Talent Pipeline

In this eBook, you'll find 26 essays from a wide range of CHREATE Project volunteers, people who have contributed their expertise, time, and passion to raising the bar for the HR profession. The essays not only describe the frameworks and tools to disruptively accelerate HR's progress, they often provide links to prototypes, guides and tools.

Please join the movement! Use this book as your platform to disruptively accelerate HR and work in your organization.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781586444624
Publisher: Society For Human Resource Management
Publication date: 01/19/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 205
Sales rank: 561,569
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Ian Ziskin is president and founder of EXec EXcel Group and a former CHRO at Northrop Grumman and Qwest Communications. He is also a member of the board of directors of Humantelligence and chairs the Allegis Partners advisory group. Ian delivers services to clients as a board advisor, coach, consultant, teacher, speaker, and author. He can be reached at Carolyn Lavelle Rearick joined the CHREATE Project in December 2014. While with CHREATE, she provided project management support to the volunteer project teams, organized the annual summits, and oversaw communication to the CHREATE community. Carolyn holds an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business and BA in communication studies from UCLA. Carolyn Lavelle Rearick joined the CHREATE Project in December 2014. While with CHREATE, she provided project management support to the volunteer project teams, organized the annual summits, and oversaw communication to the CHREATE community. Carolyn holds an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business and BA in communication studies from UCLA. Ian Ziskin is president and founder of EXec EXcel Group and a former CHRO at Northrop Grumman and Qwest Communications. He is also a member of the board of directors of Humantelligence and chairs the Allegis Partners advisory group. Ian delivers services to clients as a board advisor, coach, consultant, teacher, speaker, and author. He can be reached at

Read an Excerpt




By John Boudreau

The future is not uniformly distributed. The disruptive acceleration of the HR profession and organizational capability that the CHREATE Project describes will vary in different situations, industries, regions, cultures, and other instances. How can leaders navigate the topography of this evolution to identify the pivotal changes and priorities that will most affect their organization? The essays in Part One strive to answer that question. They provide the context that underpins the later essays, and offer readers an opportunity to start by considering their own future context and how that will shape their decisions about their strategy, organization, and work.

HR's impact is both "inside out" (how the HR profession evolves and delivers its work to create impact) and "outside in" (how the organizational and wider environment shape and determine how HR will create its pivotal impact). The essays in Part One reflect the outside-in perspective. They describe the future of organizations, business, and work, and the trends and forces that will shape it. Organization and HR leaders will find tools to diagnose their particular future environment to identify the most pivotal elements of these changes. Policymakers, investors, boards, workers, and other constituents will find tools and ideas to fashion a more nuanced approach to mapping the emerging future context, beyond platitudes or hyperbole that tends to suggest that one size fits all or offers choices between extremes.

John Boudreau begins by describing in the essay "Mapping Work in the Digital Economy: Democratic, Technological, and Deconstructed" the five fundamental forces that the CHREATE teams identified as driving future change: (1) Social and Organizational Reconfiguration, (2) All-Inclusive Global Talent Market, (3) A Truly Connected World, (4) Exponential Technology Change, and (5) Human–Automation Collaboration. He describes how the CHREATE teams depicted the effects of these trends on the future work ecosystem, to producing a 2 x 2 'work evolution' matrix that leaders can use to map the evolution of their organization and the work ecosystem that will support it. The idea is to get beyond hyperbole such as "The Gig Economy is the future of work," or "Robots will replace workers," and instead take a more nuanced and sophisticated approach to connecting the future trends that will most affect your organization to the work implications that are most vital for you to address.

Greg Pryor in the essay "Future States" describes the 2 x 2 'work evolution' matrix and delves deeply into one quadrant: the "'Uber'-empowered" workplace, where both a highly "democratized" work ecosystem and highly evolved technology combine. He describes how organizations and work in this future scenario must reflect new approaches to technology-driven innovation, the worker experience, network-based organizations, data and analytics, and global connectedness. He provides a call to action for leaders, workers, and their constituents to develop their own future scenarios. The goal is not so much to predict the future as to prepare for multiple future states.

Next, in "The Disruptive Changes in the World of Work That Are Driving Cultural Changes," Deborah Barber describes how cultural changes will be driven by the evolution of the future world of work. She says that the evolving strategic and work environment will require organizations to win on new dimensions such as speed, agility, social mandates, worker fulfillment, optimized talent sourcing, and boundaryless global collaboration, all riding on a wave of enhanced analytics and data. She shows how this requires thinking differently about many fundamental elements of the employment and work relationship, redefining things like employment brand, performance, collaboration, authority, power, and engagement. In the end, she suggests that the dimensions of seismic shifts in organization and work culture that leaders can use to consider how their own organization culture must evolve.

"A Vision of the Workplace in 2025: Doom or Boom?" — the wide-ranging essay by Michael Grove, Chris Hood, Chiara Bersano, Eric Johnson, and Susan Stucky — offers a historical perspective on prior fundamental forces of change such as "lean," "agile," "design thinking," and "robotics," suggesting the importance of offering value, not just low cost. They describe a future "Work Marketplace" characterized by a more transparent and fair exchange relationship between workers and those who engage them that breaks free from traditional notions of head count and jobs. Most fundamentally, the authors suggest an evolution from today's cost-driven approach to work and workers toward a more value-driven approach, which must be powered by more precise insights into the value of work to organizational value creation, not just the costs of work. They show how this value-versus-cost approach to the Work Marketplace can transform traditional approaches to create greater organizational flexibility, transparency, IT management, creativity, diversity, and workforce quality. They suggest this will require a fundamental mind shift by both workers and those who engage them, seeing workers as individual and independent service providers, service to multiple customers rather than one job, and a premium placed on adaptability.

In "CHREATE Forces of Change," Maria Forbes and Jodi Starkman conclude this section of the book by integrating the Five Forces of Change and future trends into a set of specific tools leaders can use to engage their employees, colleagues, and key constituents to map their future position in this evolving new topography, and the most pivotal requirements to evolve successfully. They reflect a theme embodied throughout these essays: Take the ideas of CHREATE and make them tangible and practical. They distill the Five Forces of Change into a powerful "Learning Map" and use the proven change-facilitation techniques of Root, Incorporated, to offer leaders a step-by-step approach to engaging teams and constituents, and precisely identifying the impact of those forces on their organization, what success will look like, the pivotal strategic gaps, and the means to close those gaps. The future is not evenly distributed, and this tool kit demonstrates how you and your team can identify its unique effects on your organization and what to do about it.

Mapping Work in the Digital Economy: Democratic, Technological, and Deconstructed

By John Boudreau

Organizations are becoming more boundaryless, agile, global, and transparent than ever before — and will be even more so in the future. Work and workers (yes, humans) will always be essential to organizations, but organizations themselves will be more diverse, and work will be organized, structured, and done in new ways, increasingly through arrangements outside of regular full-time employment. How can leaders navigate this new digital work ecosystem? How should your organization plan for the changes ahead?

Important clues are emerging from a unique consortium of human resource executives and other leaders. They have gathered together through CHREATE (The Global Consortium to Reimagine HR, Employment Alterna tives, Talent, and the Enterprise) to map out how organizations must evolve to meet future challenges, to identify pivotal initiatives to accelerate that evolution, and to design the actions needed to make the future a reality.

To help frame where the world of work is going, CHREATE leaders identified Five Fundamental Forces driving change:

1. Social and Organizational Reconfiguration: Organizations will be increasingly transparent to stakeholders and more flexible, shifting toward more power-balanced forms and more project-based relationships. Talent will engage on aligned purpose, not just economics. Beyond traditional hierarchies and contracts, networks and social and external collaborations will make leadership more horizontal, shared, and collective.

2. An All-Inclusive Global Talent Market: Women and nonwhite ethnicities are becoming talent majorities, and greater longevity is increasing multigenerational workforces. Social policies support boundaryless work beyond traditional full-time employment. Work and worker segmentation enable increasingly differentiated policies, practices, work designs, pay, and benefits, and workers choose organizations based on the opinions of socially connected peers and opinion leaders.

3. A Truly Connected World: Work is increasingly virtual and occurs anywhere and anytime, through mobile personal devices with global real-time communications. Boundaryless work partnerships and networks augment capabilities and redefine careers, learning, and workplace fairness and attractiveness.

4. Exponential Technology Change: Robots, autonomous vehicles, commoditized sensors, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things are reshaping the work ecosystem, so that flexible, distributed, and transient workforces adapt to rapid business reinvention. Organizations and workers balance longterm bets and flexibility under uncertainty by engaging automation to adapt to frequent changes and rapid skills obsolescence.

5. Human–Automation Collaboration: Analytics, algorithms, big data, and artificial intelligence increasingly abolish work previously performed by humans, but also create new work at the interface of humans and automation. Organizations and workers conceive and design their work to optimize, rather than resist, this interface.

These trends are not affecting and will not affect all organizations equally, so it's important for leaders to understand where their organization is right now, where it's going, and how their approaches to strategy, organization, and talent will have to change to keep up. The CHREATE teams developed a topography, based on the degree of the democratization of work (the impact on an organization of the first three trends above) and the degree of technological empowerment (the impact of trends three, four, and five on the organization), shown in the work evolution matrix below.

Each of the four quadrants below describes a different kind of organization, with different approaches to strategy, talent, and work:

Current State: Work resembles today's structure, with similar technological connections and work arrangements, relying heavily on regular full-time employment. This quadrant might include work where employees are co-located and the operations and workers are easily accessible through physical connections. This could be because the work requires a specific time and place (like hospice care), or where it is prohibitively expensive or illegal to connect workers to the cloud, such as technical work in secure facilities, clean rooms, oil rigs, and retail locations. It could also occur when such work arrangements are required by political, regulatory, or social norms. This quadrant is more optimal where work is stable and traditional rewards and performance systems are adequate.

Today Turbocharged: Technology evolves, but management and workplace arrangements evolve more slowly. Traditional work relationships are supported by faster, better, and cheaper technology and systems, such as personal devices and cloud-based human resource information. This quadrant might include call centers operated by traditional employees, but in remote locations or working from homes, like Jet Blue. IBM's "Watson" artificial intelligence collaborates with employed oncology physicians to assist with research. Many of today's HR technology products focus here, by automating traditional employment systems and work relationships through devices and cloud-based learning, smartphone apps, remote performance observation, and so forth.

Work Reimagined: Here, new employment models evolve to include platforms, projects, gigs, freelancers, contests, contracts, tours of duty, and part-timers, but are largely supported by slower-evolving technology. We see this scenario today in freelance platforms like UpWork, Tongal, and Gigwalk. It also involves innovations within employment systems, such as including freelancers, contractors, and part-timers in organizations' employment planning systems, augmenting traditional recruitment systems to constantly track and communicate with passive job seekers using existing social tools, or staging innovation contests using today's social media platforms.

"Uber" Empowered: An accelerated cycle of technology advancement and more democratic work arrangements fuel each other. New work and technology models include on-demand artificial intelligence, extreme personalization, and secure and accessible cloud-based work repositories. These repositories will reside outside any single employer and will provide a searchable location where work and workers can be identified and matched using a common lexicon. They will contain worker capabilities and qualifications, organization work requirements, constantly updated work histories, knowledge and learning sources, and reward systems. IBM's "Open Talent Marketplace" allows managers to deconstruct work into shortcycle events and publicize those events to an internal and external population of players. These players then use the platform to bid for work, form communities to complete the work, and track their work history and capabilities, supported by common work language that constantly evolves through a partnership between Watson-like artificial intelligence and human judgment.

All four quadrants will be a part of the work ecosystem for at least the next 10 years, with organizations moving from one to another depending on the strength and timing of the Five Forces of Change and their effect on the organization.

One way to use the map is to apply it to your entire organization, asking such questions as "Is there a better quadrant to be in?" or "Should we aspire to the upper-right-hand quadrant?"

However, your "organization" more likely has a topography that includes many different pockets of work, each optimally fitting different quadrants. Your manufacturing work might optimally reflect Current State. Your distribution work might optimally reflect Today Turbocharged. Your professional staff and software development work might optimally reflect Work Reimagined. And your highly creative and inventive work might optimally be "Uber" Empowered. Deconstructing your organization may be the surest way to reveal the key patterns.

How can you use this map to navigate the evolving work ecosystem? Plot your current position on the map, then plot your likely position in one to three years. Then ask, "Where can we create the greatest value (or mitigate the greatest risk) by evolving from today to the future?" Taking a page from the book Beyond HR, you can use the map to inform these questions at all levels of your strategy and work:

• What will define strategic success and stakeholder value?

• What strategic positioning must we define, execute, and protect?

• What vital processes and transformations must we execute?

• What vital resources must we acquire, leverage, nurture, and protect?

• What are the pivotal organization structures, networks, relationships, jobs, and talent pools where improvement or change will make the biggest impact?

• How must our approaches to work, culture, engagement, and human resource management evolve?

The pace of work evolution is increasing, and its implications can be daunting. To navigate the changing topography, start building your navigation system and asking the hard questions now.


Excerpted from "Black Holes and White Spaces"
by .
Copyright © 2017 HR People + Strategy.
Excerpted by permission of HR People + Strategy.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction John Boudreau, Ian Ziskin, and Carolyn Rearick,
Part One: The Transformation of Organizations, Business, and Work,
Introduction John Boudreau,
Mapping Work in the Digital Economy: Democratic, Technological, and Deconstructed John Boudreau,
Future States Greg Pryor,
The Disruptive Changes in the World of Work That Are Driving Cultural Changes Deborah Barber,
A Vision of the Workplace in 2025: Doom or Boom? Michael Grove, Chris Hood, Chiara Bersano, Eric Johnson, Susan Stucky,
CHREATE Forces of Change Maria Forbes and Jodi Starkman,
Part Two: HR's Key Constituents — Reshaping and Raising Expectations,
Introduction Ian Ziskin,
Emerging Patterns — Changing Roles with CEOs and Boards Libby Sartain and Mara Swan,
Shaping the Board of Directors' Expectations for Human Capital and HR Liz Huldin and Libby Sartain,
Board of Directors: HR's Most Challenging Frontier Mark Nadler and Anna Tavis,
Broadening the Impact of HR: The Practical Application of the Leadership Capital Index Melissa McLaughlin and Liz Dunlap,
Future HR Roles and Archetypes: Lessons for Search Firms and Their Executive Clients John Sigmon,
The Unique Role for Executive Search Firms in Shaping Organizational Expectations for HR Mike Bergen,
Part Three: Delivering HR's Work: New Capabilities and Operating Models,
Introduction Ian Ziskin,
New Roles and Capabilities to Support the Changing Needs of Organizations Edie Goldberg and Tracy Layney,
Culture Architect and Community Activist Eric Severson,
Bringing to Life the Role of Global Talent Scout, Convener, and Coach Edie Goldberg,
Assessing Your Organization Against the Future Capabilities Edie Goldberg and Tracy Layney,
The Future of HR: The Modern HR Leader Kaye Foster-Cheek and Eva Sage-Gavin,
Shifting for Future Success: The Baker's Dozen Maureen Ennis, John Rice, and Pam Teufel,
What the Talent Life Cycle Looks Like in a World "Beyond Employment" John Boudreau,
New Ways of Thinking about HR Capabilities Ian Ziskin,
Part Four: Evolving Leadership and Other Bold, Beautiful, and Brutal Predictions,
Introduction John Boudreau,
Good HR Isn't Just Good HR Anymore ... Wayne Tarken,
HR as Orchestra Conductor Ian Ziskin,
Emergent Leadership Barbara Elsberg, Susan Lovegren, and Teresa Roche,
The Future of Human Resources Lies in Corporate Capacity Rita Trehan,
Pushing the Leadership Reset Button — 10 Predictions for the Future of Leadership Ian Ziskin,
Shift the Debate from "Good Jobs" to "Good Work": Work Held to a Higher Standard John Boudreau,
Micro-entrepreneurs: Innovation at the Top of the Talent Market Sally Thornton,
HR's Learning Acceleration Course Anna Tavis,

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