So far, the people covered in this series are a part of the industry’s bulwark. These folks shepherd new ideas into our universe with the painstaking care of estate conservators. Much of the ebb and flow of influence is spent on nuanced movement of the status quo.
Influence is precisely a complex calculus of popularity and connection. The development of influence requires a combination of larger than life persona and a level of connection that resembles good ole boy backslapping. You are either in the middle of the self-reflecting giddiness or you are an outsider.
The surprise is that so much energy goes into the maintenance of the existing state of affairs. Influence can not be harnessed nor accumulated if things are changing all of the time. The industry’s resilient sameness is exactly a consequence of the same old people doing the same old stuff.
Except, it’s not really like that at all. When you are gasping for traction; seem on the verge of an amazing insight or trying to peddle the future into our risk averse community, it’s always going to seem like it’s all windmills and you’re all Quixote.
So many people want to change so much. The development and deployment of influence takes patient building of credibility. It often requires a business-like acceptance of the idea that getting something done is preferable to getting nothing done and usually preferable to being right.
Then, there are the very few for whom being right is either a professional posture or a tremendous accident of good timing. Where John Sullivan is a professional agitator, Dan Hilbert has the good fortune of being the right guy in the right place at the right time. And, make no mistake, he is uncompromisingly right.
Hilbert is in HR by accident. The serial entrepreneur builds and sells companies for a living. His work history began with a successful stint as a third party recruiter. He placed systems engineers.
At the peak of the dot com giddiness, he found himself detoured with a very sick spouse and an equally sick company. One thing led to another and he became the VP of HR for a little gas station company called Valero. In Dan’s tenure, the firm went from $2 billion in annual revenue to $95 billion. It was one of the fastest growing companies in the history of American business.
Not knowing anything about HR but external Recruiting, Dan was free to apply his extensive supply chain experience to our standard problem set. Since he was too green to know what was impossible, he built analytics systems that were capable of predicting business performance. When his HR analytics began predicting plant disasters and productivity curves, the management at Valero began to listen.
Hilbert racked up a bunch of awards. Valero peaked. Hilbert collected on his stock options and got out of the business of being in HR-Recruiting.
He built Orca Eyes, his HR analytics company, from scratch in a town between Austin and San Antonio. The firm ties disparate HR databases together to produce accurate and predictive analytics.
Lots of HR people really hate it. While there’s a lot of kicking and fussing about introducing accountability into HR-Recruiting, nothing ever seems to actually happen. HR-Recruiting is high on conflict avoidance. Great business is high on conflict resolution. Continuous improvement requires an applecart upsetting demand for lower prices and higher quality. This is deeply ingrained in Hilbert’s psyche.
Hilbert prefers to talk to the folks in the CFO’s office. They understand that it’s exactly possible to measure and predict much of human performance. They know that well managed supply chains produce sustained competitive advantage. An awful lot of them have given up hope that anyone in HR-Recruiting will ever understand the real nature of business.
So Hilbert stands, at the tip of our evolution as an industry, collecting lightning bolts.
One thing is really, really clear. HR-Recruiting is going to be disrupted in the exact same way that other service professions were plowed under. In the near future, the function will be performed with complete accountability, more reliable results at a price point that’s closer to 10% of current expenses. When that happens, Hilbert’s Orca Eyes toolset will provide the roadmap.
With OrcaEyes, the complex map of HR data is synthesized into actionable reporting prioritized by business impact. Simplified from the cacophony of typical HR reporting, key initiatives are coded in Green (OK), Yellow (watch it) or Red (Something’s broken). The reporting framework clearly and specifically ties HR-Recruiting expenses, policies and practices to precise business consequence. With the tool in place, HR becomes a predictive engine for the organization.
Dan has the kind of sense of humor and self-confidence required to be an industry’s real change champion. Get used to hearing his name bandied about. He’s a classic example of what happens when you let someone with a little Recruitining experience into a decision making role.
John Sumser is the founder and CEO of TwoColorHat, a company specializing in market strategy for HR – Recruiting /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,6/”>cialis tabs Vendors. You can /component/page,shop.cart/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,6/”>cialis tabs keep up with his other stuff at johnsumser.com. Follow the rest of the Top 100 Influencers project.