3Sixty Insights #HRTechChat with Marc Havercroft, Chief Customer Officer for SAP SuccessFactors

For this, the latest episode of #HRTechChat, our guest is Marc Havercroft, global chief customer officer for SAP SuccessFactors. Marc and I had a conversation a couple weeks ago and were both struck by how much we have in common in terms of our views on HCM. We at 3Sixty Insights speak of abstract and concrete HCM, and how you need both. Marc shares a very intriguing rendition on this, equating the two to operational-related HCM and experience-related HCM — i.e., the employee experience. And we agree that whether it’s abstract and concrete or operational and experience, all of it comes to bear squarely and undeniably on employee sentiment.

Our podcast together reiterates these points and continues in this vein. Ultimately, our discussion explores wide-ranging topics related to the principle premise: Organizations that treat HCM as solely operational (i.e., concrete) struggle to see their people as anything but a cost to contain. In contrast, those employers that treat their people as an asset will invest in them and win.

Going deeper, organizations should move their workforce out of the cost column and into the asset column — literally. Old-school financial-minded executives might question the wisdom behind doing so. As Marc puts it, however, and I paraphrase, there comes a point when you can’t worry about explaining that the world is round anymore. The world is round anyway. This or the other effort having to do with improving the employee experience may be an abstract idea and may not translate to a financially quantifiable line item any accountant or anyone in finance would recognize. It matters to success anyway.

We must begin to take as postulate that the general ledger is not a full view of the health of the organization — i.e., of its ability to succeed over the short or long term. Employee sentiment matters to an organization’s success — to the bottom and top line. Finance may not see it. They’re entitled to their opinions, but not to the final say.

I encourage you to click on the video above and view this entire episode. Marc brought much-needed energy, passion and ideas to this very important discussion.

Our #HRTechChat Series is also available as a podcast on the following platforms:

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Brent Skinner 00:04
Well, hello, everybody, and welcome to the latest episode of HR tech chat. And with us today, we have Mark hovercraft, who is global chief customer, Officer for success factors at SAP. Welcome, welcome, Mark. Thanks, man, it’s great to be here. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this conversation. The last conversation we had sort of ran away from us, it was so exciting. Honestly, you’re, we are the two of us were really kind of singing from the from the same song book. And, and, and we just thought that it would make a lot of sense and would be helpful to bring this conversation into the public domain, to some people could just hear some of these ideas. So let me just set the stage here. In the end, that I really want you to kind of run with this for a little bit mark, because you have some really good ideas around this and then and then, and then I’ll swoop in after, after. There’s let me set the stage, there’s customer success. And to be successful as a customer. of in an HCM technology, that’s really important to work with the vendor to, to focus on sort of the nuts and bolts of HR, HCM and also some of them more strategic aspirational stuff. So the first category, we had 360 insights, we call it concrete HCM, the stuff that’s easily quantifiable from a financial standpoint, the Countess understand it’s what finance is paying attention to, first and foremost. And then abstract is that other stuff, that aspirational stuff, that stuff that that ultimately has to do with organizational success and player culture. And all the rest employee sentiment really, and some of that a lot of it actually is, is combined or overlaps, overlaps a lot more than we might think at first blush. But um, with that said, what are your some of your thoughts around this mug?

Marc hovercraft 02:15
Yeah, you’re right, I’ve got a lot of thoughts. I’ve kind of been in this space for a good 1520 years now. And I think, you know, you guys call it concrete and abstract. I think lately, we’ve called it, you know, operational and experience. Because, you know, I think the first point is like,

Marc hovercraft 02:35
rightly or wrongly, I think those in the space mean, HR, and in the tech HR space would have been saying, for the last 20 years, we’ve heard HR wants a seat at the table, whenever we’ve gone to put in technology, etc, there’s been a battle to get the business case up with five months, etc, to explain the, you know, the return on investment and value. And, you know, for me, Ben, a lot of this is underpinned in the last 50 years with organizations and the way we’ve structured organizations is that people are a necessary evil. And I’ll explain what I mean by that. And you know, everybody think about this, when you’re listening to me ramble on here. But think about all the processes and policies in places and organized in your organization, or where you’ve worked, and how many times have you heard phrases like are Yeah, that’s a great idea. But the system won’t let you do that, or, or that’s not, you know, you’re unable to do that. You know, the reason behind that is that ultimately, organizations and I’ll call them, the old personnel departments were set up to protect the organization from workers, either purposely doing the wrong thing, or, you know, accidentally doing the wrong thing. But people were unnecessary costs to business a bit like they, you know, when you looked at a finance p&l of a listed business, the cost of people would be in there with real estate, and things like that. Okay. So you really have to have that context to understand the reason one of the rounds, I’m about to go off, because, you know, what, I think people have definitely realized in the pandemic, and I think that most people in this sector have managed oil is, irrespective of your business, whether you’re SAP 110,000 people, whether you’re a startup with 10 people and everything in between, right? And whether you’re in manufacturing, whether you’re in technology, whether you’re in services, your business is your people, right? Your people are the reason your business lights go on in the morning, they interact with your customers, you have departments or people that are there to innovate and add to your product and services, etc. So you know, when you think about that, they are far from a risk to your business, they are your business, right. And, and again, you think of technology Yes, every business is a digital business uses uses technology, but you know, startups start on what, you know, a free license of something an Excel spreadsheets, right? The reason that they’re able to be productive is as p They come together, they’ve got a clear vision, they’ve got a clear culture, and they’ve got momentum, right? They’ve got a focus and they’ve got a passion. And that’s what every business ideal within our 7000 plus customers want. They want the secret sauce to that mark, how do we make sure we get that extra engagement, that extra input that productivity? Well, the first thing you need to do is recognize your people are your core asset, not a necessary evil. So number one, you know, when I was talking to CEOs, CFOs, or ch AI, is move the people from the cost category to the asset category. That’s the first thing you need to do in your mindset, right? Because if you start looking at that as your core asset, it changes the language of the perception, you know, from an HR perspective as well start talking about kind of things from a HR perspective, talk in business, if this is a key asset, what are we doing to invest in it to? Where’s its peak performance? Where’s its, you know, where can we get better from it, where it’s weakness, it’s all those types of things. Okay. So the first thing you need to do here, but it’s number one, we need to make sure as leaders, we recognize that people are our core asset. And that’s not just taking charge pace, that’s the CEO, CFO. And also, more importantly, in any organization of any size, that’s the line manager, because our entire experience at work is dictated by our direct manager, not necessarily the you know, we might not all report into the CEO, or whatever the case may be. So first thing, attitude, people are our asset, let’s put it in there, when our mind is at that point, and leadership understands that, you know, Gone are the days of, you know, the top three floors, with the long carpets, etc. That’s where all the bosses live. And we all live below. That’s, that’s all gone too. But again, that’s, you know, part of the context I’m talking about when they have that kind of hierarchical mindset. So we take the first thing we realize people are an asset, right, and that’s where HXM comes in, as opposed to HCA, right? Because you then have to think of the experience of that asset, we all know, as individuals, and again, anybody can translate this individually, whether you’re a CEO, or whether you’re, you know, on the production line, whether you’re a sales rep, whatever it is, you know, when you’re feeling good at work, your experience is good at work, you feel that work, trust you, they value your work, your performance is good, right?

Marc hovercraft 07:20
If it’s not, if you’re experienced at work is bad. Unsurprisingly, your performance isn’t good, your engagement isn’t in place, and those type of things. So leadership needs to concentrate on people as an asset. And therefore when you look at that, you look at what makes a person productive, right? That’s being in a role that I understand what my job is, I know what my measure of successes, and also that the company is investing me to be successful in this role. But also, you know, I’ve got ambition to try other things, I might not know what that is, or I might want a linear job, you know, all those things. That’s what we’re looking for. And so as leaders, we now really start to think, Okay, well, how do we make our people engaged and successful, you have to break that down to the to your own particular company, but that’s when we really need to start to look at things like, okay, and this is we’ll come back to the technology here, then, because this is where I always get customers, they’ll say, okay, Mark, you know, we’re going to buy SuccessFactors great, but a software, you know, we’re gonna, do that, okay, we’re gonna take these processes from our on premise stuff, put them on SuccessFactors. And now all our people are going to be engaged Dr. Mark, they’re going to be fantastic. And I’m like, No, they’re not. They’re not because, you know, if you just replay, what you’ve said to me is like, you’re going to take the same old processes, the personnel department processes, you’re going to put them on SuccessFactors HCM platform, and you’re gonna expect a different outcome? Well, as we’ve said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. What we really need to do those three components to really leverage the full value of success factors, or any, any technology or any strategy that’s really focused on enhancing your people as an asset, and getting the most out of them. So the first thing is leadership, we need to recognize that we are there to get the best out of our people not to protect the organization from them. And Number Number two is, and I got this from my very first boss, who was it was it was fantastic. It is a privilege that you are in a leadership position because of those people, not because of yourself or not because of anything else. leading people is an absolute privilege and an honor and a you need to understand that you’re there to serve your people. They’re not there to serve you. It’s a big, it’s an easy thing for me to say, Ben, but you know, we’ve all experienced the leaders that don’t have that mindset, right. And we all know how much you know, and you know, how much effort is involved in in that and how much discretionary effort you put in for people like that. So that’s the first piece. The second piece a big one for me is, is a fantastic opportunity now to relook at the processes of your workers to make them more successful, right? Whenever we’ve been in a job ourselves will have got to that moment where we get the job, we’re in it and we go through a great idea to make the customer experience better to sell more to innovate better products. The answer you nine times out of 10 get in the old world was a great idea, Mark, but system won’t let you do that, or no, that’s not allowed, you’re not allowed to do that all you have to get approval for that. That’s not our department. There’s so many, you know, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, right. And again, you know, all that does is just take this enthusiasm and engagement, and just, you know, poke holes in it, right? It does, eventually, it’s like, it can be quick, or it can be slow or death of 1000 cuts. But ultimately, you’re like, I’ve joined this company, I want to make a big impact, I want to do my role. But it’s actually the company that’s stopping me achieving the internal systems and processes. And that is the reality of what we’ve been living with the last 50 years. So going back to my point, then about, we’ve had the leadership change process, you have the opportunity. Now, if you’re putting in a system like SuccessFactors, re look at your processes, and look at it from a design thinking perspective, from an employee perspective, right? I call it the edges of our business to our customers and say, Look, the most important role in this company, I’m afraid, it’s not you, Mr. or Mrs. CEO. It’s the people at the edge of your business that deal with your customers every day. And they’re important for to two big reasons. Number one, it’s that interaction that makes your customer experience, right. And if your employee experience is good, I guarantee you, your customer experience is not just good, it’s great, right. And I also guarantee you that that employee, if you have working for them, they will listen to them, they will tell you where the opportunity is to improve your processes. And therefore your customer experience, and the measures of that whether it’s new sales, you know, renewal, whatever the case may be. So, you know, a big part of it is looking at those processes, but looking at them from the individual workers perspective, or departments, processes, and listening to those people and improving those processes, giving them ownership and accountability, to improve things could be simple things about contracts, and different things we’ve all been there, I know everybody listening to this will will have their own personal experience. But the point is, you need to give them autonomy, and you need to work backwards from that employee’s role or that department’s role and improve the processes. That’s where the systems like SuccessFactors really then will change the engagement and the outcome of your people. And there’s two key aspects of this, you said, you know, we have the operational data. So that’s what they’re doing when they did it, how they did it. But relying on things like we have with Qualtrics with our software is, but how was that experience? How was that for you? You know, ordering a new laptop or getting those things? How was it for you booking holiday? How was it for you finding the right courses that you need to have the skills we need you to have in six months, right. And so you have operational data and experience data, the combination of those to help you as a business and as a leadership, adapt your processes with the common outcome of a better experience for your customers. And you start with your employee experience. And again, remember, employees or customers, two people often forget that. So you know, start with employee experience that will directly correlate to customer experience. But the software alone, taking old processes and the personnel mindset onto new technology is the definition of insanity. me like any other vendor out there will take your money, but you are leaving so much value on the table. It’s heartbreaking to be honest, but you know, at least I’m starting to see companies who are really not leaving the value on the table and getting the results.

Brent Skinner 14:01
You’re starting. What a fantastic sort of just overview of the challenges today.

Brent Skinner 14:08
And you know,

Brent Skinner 14:11
a few things. So first of all, that that frontline worker, I mean, that’s it. Harvard Business Review came out with the surface profit chain concept A long time ago, you know, that’s proven. You know, if you look at that, I like this idea of operational and experienced data, concrete and abstract. It taken as a whole I like to call it the totality of HCM, right yet, it’s going to give you a much better understanding of, of your workforce where you stand with your workforce. It’s not just how much you’re paying them. It’s also all this other stuff, right? But if you infuse that into the, into the view of the the, the view of the organization, it’s a much more holistic view of the organization. It’s a much more accurate understanding of where the organization stands of itself, right? If you just look at, you could be as an organization, you could have good profits right now, for instance, or good revenue coming in. And you could just stop right there say, okay, that’s right. Right now let’s, you know, let’s close up shop for the week and, and have a nice weekend, which would you to do anyway? Right? Right, you might be missing something huge. That could have a very deleterious effect on your impact on your business moving forward in the maybe the midterm or maybe the short term. And so that’s, yeah, that’s another reason why you need to watch this stuff. I love what you have to say about moving employees from the cost into the asset column. Right. Yeah, that’s super important. Because once it’s seen as a as an investment or something to invest in, right, that that changes the, the, the, the calculus for for accounting, right? Yeah. Yeah. And I think we talked about this last time, this idea that, is there some way to actually make that a, to make that in actual, an outcome, right, for the organization? Is there a way to actually put people into the asset column from an accounting standpoint? Because that, to me is huge. You take that along with the ISO, the number I forget, forget, it’s 9000 and something on something, right? Yeah. Right. But it’s this idea that, that, um, that it was se from the SEC was mandated that the public companies be evaluated at least partially based on their human capital management practices, and the health of their HCM of their workforce. So this is this is happening. And it’s happening slowly. But surely.

Marc hovercraft 17:02
Yeah. Yeah. Um, and then I just want to make a quick point on that, right, is, this isn’t about this isn’t about welfare. And, and, you know, what I tend to call and what you know, let’s be honest, what some leaders kind of our mark, is this fluffy HR stuff that No, no, not at all right? This, you know, to move your people into the asset class, he takes a stroke of a pen, you know, just because it hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean, it can’t be done, you know, another one of my pet hates, oh, we always do it this way. But it doesn’t mean, you have to do it that way for the rest of your life, right? Otherwise, we’d still be riding around on horses. So you know, it, it’s really important to know that focusing on the employees as an asset, and then focusing this investment, and this mindset back, this isn’t a fluffy HR thing, this produces genuine top line and bottom line growth, right. And it produces it, not only does it produce in the short term, but what it does, more importantly, is it creates momentum in your business, which is what every business leader wants as in, it’s not me driving things forward. It’s not a Domino’s, I don’t have to check people in the office at nine o’clock, because people are committed to the vision of what you’re trying to do as an organization. They feel valued. They feel listened to, right. And they’re passionate about winning, right. Every business you’re in everybody wants to do well. And so you know, so just an important point when that, you know, with these regulations that coming through, I think sometimes again, our mindset can fall back to the personnel department times, oh, this is just making sure we don’t, you know, we’re not we’re not, you know, unkind to people or those bad labor practices. Of course, that’s important, right, of course, that’s important. But the point I really want to make here is for the most of the people listening to this is that this is about taking something that has been an asset that has been in the corner that you’ve treated badly, putting it in the middle, and then really caring for it, your business will perform on all your metrics, better than it’s ever performed. Right. And that’s the big thing. This is this is why I say this is about talking about people as an asset and a business in a commercial discussion. Because this this genuinely those points of engagement, that that employee experience correlates to customer experience and positive customer experience correlates to positive financial performance, and other stakeholder measures, whatever your business might be, because this is the same in a not for profit as it would be for a bank or anything else. Right. So I just want to make that point because I think people get lost in the idea that sounds lovely, but no, no, no. This is about business results. This is about business and people are your business.

Brent Skinner 19:42
And you know what’s interesting there is you really hit on something. There is there’s a correlation. There’s there’s a proven correlation between customer experience between employee experience and customer experience, you know, level engagement, their satisfaction with their job and they play in the customer experience and that it’s been proven that that leads to repeat customers, you know, repeat business and all of this. The issue has always been okay. How does that literally from, you know, from sort of like a literal standpoint, how is that translated to a line item? In the accounting ledger? Right. And that has been sort of the fly in the ointment. Right. But But I think that the attitude has been that. Well, that that line item in the accounting ledger, that’s the proof, right? Yeah, that’s not the proof. That does exactly this is a postulate. This is exactly. And so that’s the rationale to move employees into the asset

Marc hovercraft 20:46
column. 100%. And, you know, yeah, I get this all the time. People were always trying to fit square pegs into round holes, right? What I mean, is people always saying, Okay, yeah, okay, but we need to fit this back to our ledger. No, no, you need to change your ledger. You know, but business is about evolution and change, like you just said, you know, every good business out there. And I can give you a million examples, who are number one in their market, who are having a great week, great sales, etc. They’re not sat on their laurels. They’re already disrupting themselves. They’re thinking about what next? What product? What what next to do, right? I mean, basic example, for everybody, you know, Google was not the first search engine, right, but it’s the dominant player. Now, the point being is that if you are number one in your marketplace, you should be disrupting yourself. Right, not waiting until you get disrupted. You know, if you’re a disrupter, you should always be looking at the market leaders and thinking, Okay, let’s listen to the customers and what could be better? How would they come to us? Right. And again, you know, Google’s an example. I mean, there’s a bay, look at eBay, and the categories that have fallen off that and the different marketplaces that come off that, and you’ll see this all the time in business. So, you know, to your point, this is the way the world is right now. And the key, the key to all of this, think of all the successful businesses that have just floated recently, or any business in your own industry, that you’re listening to this, they have come over out through a group of people seeing an opportunity to improve a service or an opportunity based on the marketplace, the customers out there, right, and you said yourself, then write our own experience dictates that you get a good experience in your, in your life through service might even be getting your local coffee, or whatever it is, and you go back there, you recommend it, it is the same buying, it’s the same, we are the same in the way that we buy and we show brand loyalty, whether we’re buying a coffee, a car, a house, you know, I mean, it. Humans are exactly the same as that they want to feel valued, they want to feel that, you know that the company knows them. And that there’s a good long term partnership there. That all starts with the interaction with people. So it’s, it’s really about people really, you know, and I’m kind of quite brutal with customers about this. Now, Ben, to be honest, because I kind of feel like I say to them, Look, I’m not going to explain to you the world is round, the world is round, okay, this is this is the way the world is, if I can’t, if you, if you can’t see all the proof points out there and changes like that. There’s nothing I can do, or my software can do. You know, it’s like it’s everywhere around us. And everybody listening to this will have their own examples and thing. Yeah, yeah. That’s an example. That’s an example. You know, it’s really important.

Brent Skinner 23:38
I honestly, I love what you’re saying here, because I honestly think that there will be if we think into the future here, right? I think I think there will be a point where there, there are some businesses that will be run, were cut user to me, employees are seen as a cost to be contained right? In those. And there will be some demand for some of those types of companies, you know, it’d be like, you know, going to a fast food restaurant where you want to walk through and you just talk to the kiosk and maybe it’s robots, you know, making the food or whatever, they will be a market for that. But, but that won’t be all businesses that will not be all businesses by any stretch of the imagination. There’ll be a niche, in my opinion. Right. And so, you look at that, right? And then you think about, I think would be we’d be remiss to not to at least acknowledge that I think we’ve gotten to this to this, this point, not through you know, Mal intent or you know, that I don’t think it’s necessarily do you know what I mean, it I think some people couldn’t infer that. I think it’s just been, you know, there’s, you have an entrepreneur, somebody has an idea, right? And this, they love their idea. And they want to see it through to, you know, to six to succeed, right? Yeah. And there’s sort of a means to an end. And yeah, well, it’s to see the people as a means because you’re so focused on the end, right? And then the end can turn into not just the idea of like your innovation that you were so enamored with, initially, it can become just, you know, just the profits and revenue at some point, right? You know, and that that’s the inflection point where you really need to understand that, that is the people. And one other thing that you said that fits into this I just squarely into this is disruption that leaders in their market markets are, they are disrupting themselves constantly. Well, what is the How do you disrupt yourself most? dynamically? How do you how do you achieve the most internal disruption, which, which I’ll equate with, with, we’ll say, synonymous with innovation, just for the sake of this message. That’s by embracing your people. So you know, it’s not going to come the next innovation is going to come from the small enclave of, of the C suite or whatever, you know, that some of it will. But you know, there’s, you’re like you said, You’re a servant leader, you’re a privilege, it’s a privilege to be in that position of leadership, and you need to, but just just as much as you need to, from sort of an ethical standpoint, unleash your business, be innovative, you also you will benefit as an organization from that.

Marc hovercraft 26:40
I say I say this all the time to see Oh, this is, of course, right. You know, there’s the moral aspect of all this and things like that, which is, which is as you say that it’s completely founded. My point being, though, is that it’s not one or the other, what we’re really just simply talking about is evolution. Right? It’s just evolution of business, evolution of mindsets. That’s, that’s really what we’re talking and that’s why I kind of frame it in, you know, personnel department right now, if I think what’s, you know, the latest title is, you know, HR, employee experience department and all sorts of different things, right. But this is just evolution. And, you know, if we look back through history, we’ve always regarded the people at the pointy end of this is a little bit crazy, or that’s, that’s crazy. But then, you know, time proves that they were well, right. I mean, I mean, let’s take, you know, here’s one that’s synonymous globally, right? Like Elan musk. I mean, everybody thought, you know, this guy’s crazy, right? Going to space, electric cars, all that kind of thing now, and now, you know, I’m no, I don’t track it, right. But I’m pretty sure that Tesla is up there, as you know, just like GM Holden or Chrysler now, right, as a car manufacturer, you know,

Marc hovercraft 27:49
the point is, you know, you’re on the same vein, I remember studying this, you know, Henry Ford, they thought he was completely crazy when he brought the motorcar out, you know, like, literally, what are you talking about, you know, so all I’m saying is, we are on a point of inflection like we are as a as a, as a, as a race as a planet, where we are recognizing the value of people in our business. And the funny thing is, you made the point earlier, you know, technology is becoming more and more AI, robotics, etc. And, and they will always be a place. But for me, they just enhance our human capability. And remove that administrative process burden of jobs. How many times you hear from somebody is that their jobs x, but they get caught up 40% of their time on admin, right? You hear that in every role? And I just say, Well, look, there’s, there’s, there’s automation, there’s AI, there’s that. But what I’m hiring you for is is what you intrinsically have in here, your problem solving skill, it’s your, your, your, your empathy, your ability to take a problem or take knowledge and come up with resolution, your ability to connect to the customers to the employees that you employ. I’m asking you to be human, right. That’s where I always you know, particularly, I do a lot of stuff with mining companies and things like that. And I remember having these conversations and saying that, you know, when you look at mines, nowadays, they are totally driven automated trucks, autom, automated, all, all sorts of things, right? They automate their whole plant, yet, they have some very highly skilled people that run all those plants remotely, you know, and again, when you look at mining and commodities, and I appreciate that area, not everybody will know about, but it’s extremely profitable. And it’s got more profitable because they’ve enhanced the human factors of knowledge and innovation and that time, and they’ve also invested in technology to remove that burden from the individual. Why am I playing a human to sort of drive a truck when we can do it remotely? Right, it’s more safer, it’s more efficient, it will go 24 hours, but instead of saying, Oh, that’s great. We’ll get rid of that person. No, no, no. Who’s it who’s working on the software or the controlling area to pilot these trucks remotely? It’s those drivers, it’s those people that were in there. So, you know, technology doesn’t replace humans, it replaces redundant processes, where we don’t need to do that as humans, right, our power is the gray cells in our head, no offense to any kind of physical body builders or anything like that. But at the end of the day, we can build machines to do it a lot better, you know, continuously, right, but we really need to enhance it. And so I think, you know, as we look talk of this band, and this is recorded, I’m telling you, if we put this in one of those little time capsules, and in 20 years, people would be like, I can’t even believe that they were debating whether employees are a key asset to a business or, you know, they will be like, I cannot believe it, you know, technology will become ubiquitous, it will be in our clothes, it’s in our fridges, it’s in our houses. But it’s us that invent that. And it’s us that link, you know, things like Internet of Things. That’s human innovation that’s linking those things. So again, you know, and the answer to that innovation to your point, it’s not an apologies, it’s not the chief innovation officer. It’s not the CIO. It’s the people at the edge of your business, doing whatever you do his business all the time. They have all the answers and all the opportunities, you just you just have to start listening to them as a as an asset. So real simple, what we’re saying, But to your point, this is this is evolution, this isn’t fitting square pegs to round holes, this is saying whatever you did before, doesn’t mean it’s right going forward. In fact, I would suggest that you should look up anything that you say, Oh, we’ve always done it this way. needs to be looked at and changed. Yeah, you know, that’s what I would say. Well, you know,

Brent Skinner 31:54
and we are coming up on the entertainment. Sorry, for my coughing fit a moment ago. I was grabbing a cough suppressant stealthily. Did it did really well. Thank you. Alright, well done. I was like, I never would have guessed it looking at myself there. But anyway, we are running out of time, but but I want to just hit on one thing that was an interesting to me.

Brent Skinner 32:23
You think about

Brent Skinner 32:24
huge projects through the course of history, right. Some of them, you know, achieved with slave labor, like the, like, you know, the rare medicine, the cut, yeah, that that was, especially the pyramids and, and all sorts of other things. Right. And great things, the vision of whoever, you know, the vision of somebody, right? Yeah, it, but that’s not where we should be going as, as a species moving forward, you know, you could even make the argument somehow, that

Brent Skinner 32:54
maybe it’s good thing,

Brent Skinner 32:55
we had the pyramids, you know, that’s, you know, we were just learning we were learning as a species. That’s where we were, that’s my guess.

Brent Skinner 33:01
No, any better?

Brent Skinner 33:02
That’s okay. Because it was several millennia ago. But we Yeah, that’s not where we want to go back to even some, you know, like the modern day analog for it, which would be, you know, people as a cost, as opposed to Yes.

Marc hovercraft 33:19
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. This, I think, you know, the fundamental piece I think we got to leave people with is, if you’re going to expect a different outcome, but keep doing the same thing. That’s the definition of insanity. So you need to just stop a check yourself, we go hang on a minute, right. Number one, do we believe people are a key asset in our business, that that is, you know, that is part of your culture and your DNA as leaders and your business. I mean, seriously, if you, you know, if you’ve still got people that think it’s their manners, and you know, leaders tell people what to do, you’ve got to make sure people are in the office nine to five, otherwise, they’re not working, you know, everything. You know, there comes a point in a conversation where we meet people where you just have to go, I’m sorry, the world is round, it’s not flat, you are so far off, you know, where you need to be is where you need to be. But, you know, as they say, you can take a horse to water. There’s many examples, right? Of and it’s not just the, the Googles and the Tesla’s of the world, right? There’s many examples of, dare I say, I know that you can, this probably is a bit trite but SAP been around for 50 plus years, right? They invented er p on premise, etc. You would think, I mean, we ourselves are disrupting ourselves moving with SuccessFactors making the acquisitions now moving to an intelligent enterprise because we know the days of on premise software are gone, the days of green screens are gone, the days of computer says no, are gone, right. So we you know, we are making that sense, as are the IBM’s and you know, all those things. My point being is this is not about just the new entrepreneurial unicorns Right. Yeah. This is about evolution, right. And the thing is with the new businesses, all that is, is people who are like us, then who have gone, I see an opportunity where the society and business is going, and I’m going to make that software or I’m going to make that product or I’m going to deliver that service. And, you know, the commerce catcher catches up with things. So I think the point we’re making here, Ben is like, you can have this philosophical debate about people as an asset or not, or whatever, right. And that’s, that’s, that’s not your call. What we’re saying is, it’s quite clear from the data historic and the experience data going forward. If you grasp this opportunity, and you invest in your people, and you work for them as leadership, and you improve their experience, your business will be one of those businesses that’s listed on the NASDAQ or the boardrooms of, because if you look back, there’s so many that were on it, that are now obsolete, a Kodak’s that Nakia is right, and they’ve been replaced by the Tesla’s and the Googles, I can put a back now to anybody listening to this, Google are gonna be replaced by something or someone, Tesla will be replaced by something or someone, right? Because that’s what happens, right? People pioneer, they, you know, there’s evolution, people pioneer off the back of evolution. And then the rest of society catches up and that service or that product becomes ubiquitous, right? That is, like, I’m not, it’s not like, I’ve got the, you know, an Oracle in front of me, oh, the crystal ball. History dictates the future. All we are, we’re in a process of history, right? We’ve had the industrial age, now we’ve got a technological age, whether you wish to grab hold of that and grab the opportunity that again, you can take a horse to water, it’s up to you. But if you’re working for a company, that still believes in personnel departments, and that you know, you’re a necessary evil, and that, you know, you’re lucky to have a job and, you know, be in the office from nine to five, then I would suggest, as individuals, you do what we all do in society, you vote with your feet, because there is better places that will trust you, that will invest in you and will value you and in turn, the organization will perform better, and your reward short and long term will be far better. And that’s what we’re seeing right now. Right? We’re starting to see a war for talent already in a pandemic, which nobody would have thought that’s the case. And the reason they’re moving is because when times were tough, they saw with their own eyes, and people listening to this saw with their own eyes, where their value was in their current employer. A lot of them were not very impressed by what they saw. Some were very impressed. But so there was a lot that’s not and that’s why we’re seeing this war for talent right now.

Brent Skinner 37:47
The agreed resignation, that’s going to it’s going to be the demand side. I’m going to call the talent deck or the supply side. Yeah. The other day, the supply or demand of the talent right there. The currency, the currency of the workforce is going to dictate where this is going. Absolutely. Great. Great. points. Mark. I just fantastic, wonderful conversation. This is exactly what HR tech chat is all about. So thank you so much.

Marc hovercraft 38:18
Oh, my pleasure. It’s always good. Because you know, I’m in Australia, it certainly my morning. It’s always good to have these conversations in the morning. It steals me for the day ahead, because I’ll be having these Converse. I have these conversations every day. And, you know, it’s, you know, it said, what we’re talking about now is what I hope everybody listening to this can grasp in their own role in their own organization, whether it’s whether it helps them make a decision about their career in their current job, or it helps them to explain to their leadership or they are leaders that they need to really pivot now to grasp the opportunity, or they potentially face the worst outcome. So always a pleasure. I’m glad to do it. I’m glad you didn’t die of your coughing fit. And hopefully we do it again down the track. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Mark. Have a great day over there Down Under. Oh, well. Take care. Take care. Bye bye.

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