Jason Averbook is the founder and CEO of Knowledge Infusion, the most rapidly growing firm on the HR Consulting front lines. We had been playing a game of meeting phone tag for most of the past 6 months. KI’s rapid growth and Averbook’s legendary focus on customer satisfaction are at the heart of the scheduling conflicts. Finally, early on a Friday morning, we made the connection.
The moment I started the conversation, I knew this was going to be something different. There’s a certain sameness to the group of folks who dominate the movement of ideas in the Human Capital Industry. I had the sense that it was simply pasty-white maleness. I had less than high expectations for my conversation with Jason Averbook.
“We did some really right things last year,” he said. “We stopped being exclusively focused on HR Technology and started being focused on HR Strategy (with a minor in HRTech). What we discovered is that HRTech without a clear strategy is just dumb. In a market where people are not buying so much technology, every purchasing decision has to have a real tie to the overall business.
Now, our whole business is about tying HR to the business. We are focused on Talent Management and Business Alignment. As a result, it looks like we will grow three times our plan this year. And, I am having a ton of fun.”
With 35 Full Time Employees /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,38/vmcchk,1/”>non prescription cialis and another 30 Contractors, Knowledge Infusion is in the Inc 5000. They are ranked 34 in the Human Resources Category. They offer strategic advice, readiness assessment and gap analysis and the training required to close the gap.
The Knowledge Infusion CEO says, “I was surprised to discover that HR Tech never changes anything in HR. What changes HR is the people in HR.”
Averbook is a plain spoken man with a gift for profound simplification. He has a level of passion for the Human Capital function that defies easy articulation. Somehow, a conversation with Knowledge Infusion’s leader seems to open up possibilities. It’s a kind of contagious charisma in a sort of insurance executive form.
Jason talks about his roots “It all begins with your parents. My dad, who profoundly impacted me and Knowledge Infusion, was an insurance executive. My mom was a teacher and superintendent of schools. I wanted to work at the intersection of their interests, where business and education meet.”
Prior to co-founding Knowledge Infusion, Jason held senior management positions at PeopleSoft and Ceridian where he built strong relationships with industry-leading companies, and strove to provide the best service to HR organizations around the world.
We talked about the trends that are driving change in HR.
- “The first part of the 2000s was all about brand explosion. Brands became megabrands like Starbucks, Nike, Dell, Four Seasons…But, in the fast growth environment, the left infrastructure waiting. As we navigate the great reset, they are retooling, focusing on infrastructure and laying the groundwork for the next wave of growth.”
- “In that same time, everyone realized that they were global; the HR Issues are global. Up to that point in time, we could see transactional evidence for this big idea but the light bulb hadn’t yet gone off. Today, globalization is something more than having plants scattered around the planet. It’s a way of thinking about governance and employment.”
- “Talent is not what we thought it was. The jobs are not coming back. Instead, we have to focus on ‘the talent management spine’; those people who will take the enterprise into the future. The new rules are all about cultivation and attraction. Talent Management is being applied where it matters.”
In every one of these interviews (I’ve done about 430 so far), I close the conversation by asking who the most influential people are in HR. Averbook was the first person to name classes of people. His picks:
- CEOs who put talent first;
- Social Media pioneers who do something besides throw party and trash talk the profession; and
- Industry vendors who understand that this has little to do with HR and everything to do with real business impact.
Knowledge Infusion has the feel of a company that will become a 21st Century institution. Averbook and his crew are demonstrating a kind of agile consulting that moves with the market while continuing to provide new and innovative value. “The real fun is figuring out what the next brand of product will be. Our future depends on knowledge /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,38/vmcchk,1/”>non prescription cialis based products that build in innovation.”