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Kronos is #1 Top Place to Work

Globe Top Places logoHere at Kronos, we are very pleased to announce today that the Boston Globe named us #1 on their annual Top Places to Work list.

According to the Globe’s press release, “What matters most to employers are their people. This year’s winning companies go above and beyond to motivate and challenge their workers, which tends to encourage innovation and loyalty.”

We Kronites knew it all along, but it’s great to get the public recognition.

If you’d like to work at Kronos, check out our career site.  We’re waiting for you!

Has the Freelance Revolution Arrived in Your Workplace?

53millionfreelancers1One of the most important issues we help our clients address is the need to match their workforce to a changing workload. One way to do this is to use workforce analytics and scheduling technology to make data driven decisions about how to deploy talent. That talent often consists of a mix of full time, part time and contingent (temporary) workers.  The chart here from Harvard Business Review notes that the different categories of temporary workers  represent a significant portion (31%) of the US workforce.

The rise of the freelance economy has been predicted frequently in the last 15 years or so.  When I worked at talent management vendor BrassRing  (now IBM Kenexa) years ago, we frequently discussed whether the resume was dead, whether the internet would remove the role of the recruiter altogether, and whether the freelance economy would replace the traditional model of employer-employee.  While the resume is still with us, social tools like LinkedIn have made it easier than ever for recruiters (yup, still with us) to find great talent.  And yes, the freelancers continue to become a more important part of the overall workforce.

In a new blog post on Harvard Business Review, Workforce Institute board member David Creelman and his co-authors John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan write about the emergence of talent platforms that help organizations hire and manage freelance workers. The examples in this article are focused on creative talent for project-based work at ad agencies.  Read on to learn about how some of these new talent platforms are enabling the connection of freelancers and those who need their services in “Tongal, dLance, and Topcoder Will Change How You Compete”.  The question the article raises is how easily this model could be extended to other types of freelance work.

What’s going on in your organization?  Do you use a lot of freelancers?  Do you use talent platforms like the ones mentioned in the HBR post to engage and manage them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leading With 20/20 Vision

Leader-vs-ManagerThanks to our board member Ruth Bramson, former CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, for the following guest post on leadership.  To her point, “hero” managers who try to go it alone aren’t nearly as successful as those who can create vision and mobilize a team.  What do you think it takes to be a great leader?

What do we mean by leadership?  Whereas good managers deliver predictable results as promised, with occasional incremental improvements, leaders generate breakthroughs in performance.  They create something that wasn’t there before.  But leadership is not a one man or one woman job.  Leadership requires the right quantity of leaders with the right mix of capabilities at the right time to match opportunities.  A best planned strategy is no more than wishful thinking if it cannot be translated from concept to reality and that is where leadership comes in.

Leadership conceived as the lone warrior is heroic suicide.  What makes a successful leader is partnership.  Colleagues who see blind spots, help cover our backs and make the mid course corrections necessary to restore equilibrium are essential to any leader.  Surrounding one’s self with the best possible people makes for more effective and stronger leaders.

Recently the Girl Scouts USA completed an extensive research study on leadership and how girls define leadership. This study, Change It Up, is the basis for the Girl Scouts’ new leadership development programs. Research showed that girls aspire to leadership not in the form in which it most commonly appears in our culture – command and control – but to a model of leadership that is purpose driven and oriented toward social change.  Leadership aspirations and experience are greatly dependent on an individual’s perception of  his/her own abilities and the experiences they have had to exercise leadership.  They see leadership as collaboration, as a way to change the world and as working together.   They want to use informal authority rather than formal power to lead.  Strong leaders are articulate and translate their vision into action by building consensus and communication.

Leaders must learn when and how to use authoritative style and balance it with participatory style that is needed to mobilize people.  While management requires people to be good problem solvers…leadership requires getting others to take responsibility for what only they can do.  Someone with the vision and power to make things happen separates leaders from managers.

There are three specific qualities that define successful leaders.  The first is the ability to build trust.  Trust allows us to mobilize people, take charge and get things done during the hard times.  Part of that is what I call ‘getting on the balcony’.  Good leaders need to have a physical presence, to be seen and to be in control.  They need to speak to shared purpose, shared history and shared values.  Because most organizations are in a chronic state of change or crisis, the need for trust in leaders is more powerful than ever.  People need to believe in the passion of the mission, to trust that the leader is taking them down the right path and has as much or more invested in the success of the organization.  They must see competence and values in a leader to have that trust.  Without believing in the leader’s competence, people cannot trust that decisions are the correct one.  Without the values that resonate with individuals and that are predictably and dependably consistent, people do not trust that the ultimate outcomes will match their personal goals.

The second quality is resilience.  There is a tremendous amount of fear of the unknown and chaos in the workplace today.  Old ways of solving problems are not working and, while people find comfort in the status quo, change is a necessity.  A leader who is resilient, who keeps her calm and provides a sense of security and control during the chaos provides a grounding that allows workers to embrace the new ways of doing things. Whether it is the sure-footed confidence, the ability to communicate a new vision’s benefits, the ability to understand the risks and personal consequences of change, a leader who is resilient when challenges, anticipated or not, get in the way of the strategy, tends to be most successful.  Most great leaders have suffered some failure…it is their ability to learn from that failure that makes them able to move forward in the next situation. When we respond constructively to failure, diagnose the problem reset their compass, and commit to change, good things can happen.  .

The third quality is authenticity.   We all hear about ‘walking the talk’.  Authenticity goes beyond that.  It is the quality that shows through when the decisions are most difficult, when the values are tested against specific ethical and moral choices, when the best interests of the individual need to be measured against the best interests of the organization.   It is best seen in the way followers perform, how they model their leader’s behavior and create an environment where personal agendas are secondary to the organization’s vision and mission.

There are many other components of leadership – passion, commitment, the ability to get others to follow, the ability to communicate your ideas in a way that engages others and many others.  Leadership is as much art as science.  While some are born with the qualities that make for this kind of greatness, leaders can be developed.  Smart organizations know this and put their resources to creating the leaders they need to be successful.