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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

#1 New Release in Business Management

It appears the right people are reading Corporate Cancer.
Corporate Cancer: How to Work Miracles and Save Millions by Curing Your Company
5.0 out of 5 stars    1 rating
#1 New Release in Business Management
A selection from chapter three of the newly released business bestseller:


We are reliably informed by a human resources expert that “the data shows a huge disparity between well run and poorly run HR teams” and that HR teams can be divided into four kinds: Level 1 (compliance driven), Level 2 (fundamental), Level 3 (Strategic), and Level 4 (Business-Integrated). Level 4 is deemed to be the most effective, as per the Human Resources Maturity Model:
  • Level 1: Compliance-Driven HR Services. No HR strategy. “Personnel” function mostly separate from the business and talent needs. Line managers perform HR activities as they see best.
  • Level 2: Fundamental HR Services. HR strategy partially or fully defined. Siloed HR functions. Some standardized processes and policies and core services managed well. Some automated talent systems but little integration of data.
  • Level 3: Strategic HR Department. HR strategy aligned with business strategy. HR business supports business needs. Initiatives split between HR process improvements and talent needs. Some system integration.
  • Level 4: Business-Integrated HR. HR strategy part of the business strategy. HR helps to drive business decisions through people, data and insights. Business and HR systems integrated and advanced.
Level 4 companies spend almost twice per employee on HR than Level 1 companies ($4,434 vs. $2,112 per employee) and they are getting much better business outcomes. Their voluntary turnover rates, for example, are 30% lower than those at Level 1 (8% vs. 11%). This is a striking difference: these Level 4 companies are investing much more heavily in management training, employee development, coaching, productivity programs, and programs to promote wellness and work-life balance. The result is happier employees, lower turnover, and a much stronger employment brand.
—Josh Bersin, founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, leading provider of research-based membership programs in human resources (HR), talent and learning

Keeping in mind that $4,434 per employee represents 14 percent of the net profit for the most successful corporations in the world, and may exceed the total profit per employee of a typical small or medium-sized business, is that really worth a three-point reduction in annual employee turnover? In fact, wouldn’t simply paying an additional $4,434 to each employee as an annual bonus likely reduce your company’s voluntary turnover rate even more? It wouldn’t surprise me if even a $3k bonus would reduce turnover by an astonishing 50 percent!

Of course, there are other benefits provided by these expensive Business-Integrated HR departments. Such as, we are told, integrating the HR strategy with the business strategy and helping to drive business decisions through people, data, and insights.

But what does that actually mean?

Translating from the corporate consultant-speak, Business-Integrated Human Resources means letting HR run the business according to its objectives and values rather than those of the rest of the corporation, including the executives and shareholders. As you can see, this is a model that can be effectively used to sell structured convergence to any executive foolish enough to buy into the concept and pay for it.

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52 Comments:

Blogger Rhino Bear November 13, 2019 10:46 AM  

I'm almost done with it. Great work SDL! Thank you for writing it.

Blogger Hammerli 280 November 13, 2019 10:47 AM  

Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy strikes again.

An HR department is inherently not coupled to the actual accomplishment of the mission...and is therefore very prone to promote its own growth.

Blogger HanSolo November 13, 2019 10:52 AM  

Vox, any preference on buying it at Arkhaven (helps build Arkhaven, presumbably more money to you) or Amazon (helps the rating)?

Blogger Barbarossa November 13, 2019 10:54 AM  

Aside from the very real concern of letting SJW-itis enter your organization through the HR department, letting HR drive your business strategy is the corporate equivalent of letting your pet cat get behind the wheel of a BMW. Amusing while it lasts but guaranteed to be an expensive disaster as the organization and vehicle careen over a cliff.

When I was getting my MBA (at a pretty well-ranked program, so this was supposedly a top-flight crew), the HR majors were almost exclusively minorities and stupid women. As the slogan went...If you don't have the math skills for finance, the attention to detail for operations, or the imagination for marketing, there's always Human Resources.

Blogger dc.sunsets November 13, 2019 10:56 AM  

The HR tail wags the dog.

Integrating this insight with that of the prior blog post (run at an absolutely massive loss that no one except a company with billions in profits or a mid-sized government could afford. Which is exactly as I describe in Corporate Cancer; only very large or externally-funded organizations can afford to be that converged for long without going out of business.) explains how a small but vicious and deafeningly loud epistemology was able to take over these past 60 years.

We've funded our own enslavement. (facepalm)

As someone wiser than me noted, nature abhors a vacuum; when Christianity was removed as the central pillar of Western societies, it was replaced by something truly malevolent.

Blogger HanSolo November 13, 2019 11:00 AM  

And BTW, congrats. It's also #4 in New Releases in Business & Investing, the level higher than New Business Management & Leadership.

Blogger Brett baker November 13, 2019 11:04 AM  

Will one day business schools refer to "SDLotherapy" as the way to turn around failing businesses.

Blogger Crew November 13, 2019 11:08 AM  

It looks like Vox wants to start a revolution!

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2019 11:16 AM  

Crew wrote:It looks like Vox wants to start a revolution!

Or maybe derail and reverse an earlier revolution. Either way, it's good.

Blogger Jeroth November 13, 2019 11:18 AM  

I was in on the patreon, but also bought the Amazon version to boost the algo. Will do a "verified" review after I read it.

Blogger Shimshon November 13, 2019 11:19 AM  

Vox, is there a list of Amazon book categories you seek to dominate? If you set your mind to it, I have no doubt you could top Space Raptor Butt Invasion for Hugo-worthiness.

I recommended this book to my thoroughly blue-pilled brother. He has a very successful company of over 50 employees. What Vox has said about alphas and leadership and sacrifice and not tolerating disloyalty and so forth I have seen in him. His employees love him, because when times were hard for them, they were hard for him as well, and they know it.

I pointed him to the Patreon, as (((who))) could resist a price of $1 for an ebook, or becoming a Vanguard of the Revolution. He declined that honor, or the hand-rubbing bargain, but he did say he would buy it on Amazon and check it out.

I doubt he will join me and my Fellow White People here at VP, but stranger things have happened in my life.

Blogger VD November 13, 2019 11:21 AM  

Vox, any preference on buying it at Arkhaven (helps build Arkhaven, presumbably more money to you) or Amazon (helps the rating)?

In general, we want people to become less dependent upon Amazon, so Arkhaven would be the preference. But we're genuinely fine either way.

Blogger VD November 13, 2019 11:23 AM  

Vox, is there a list of Amazon book categories you seek to dominate?

My objective is to be entirely independent of Amazon. We'll always be on it, just for the exposure, but it is already less important to us than most of our other distribution channels thanks to the strong support from Castalia's readership.

Blogger tuberman November 13, 2019 11:24 AM  

Just downloaded the ebook, and had just enough time to scan TOC plus a bit more. I'm already psyched up about this book.

Blogger Rebel Skate November 13, 2019 11:26 AM  

I work in an industry that typically has between 50%-60% turnover (voluntary + involuntary)
a $3000 wage increase equals $1.44/hour for a Full-time employee. The question then becomes how is it best applied? $1.44/hour pay bump or keep their pay the same and give an annual $3k bonus? Common sense says the pay bump is the way to go but people take that for granted after awhile and don't appreciate it. An annual bonus for people who don't normally get a bonus is something they notice every year and appreciate.
Even if it resulted in a 50% reduction in turnover the beancounters would never go for it but its an interesting approach.
The reality of a corporate HR is it takes a least 1 month to fill an open position. Their process is often slow and usually just finds a handful of the most recent applicants for us to choose from. All while they collect salaries that are inflated above many of those who run the operations departments.
Like the current university model (pay for paper, no job guarantee) I do expect I will see this current HR model die out within my lifetime

Blogger OGRE November 13, 2019 11:36 AM  

Congrats Vox. Just bought it, looking forward to reading it.

@4 Barbarossa
I guess Toonces CAN drive!
Yeah, just not very well!

Blogger Dole November 13, 2019 11:36 AM  

—Josh Bersin, founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, leading provider of research-based membership programs in human resources (HR), talent and learning

Wow, I am surprised his conclusion is that HR should basically run the company. Some spread the cancer, others spread the cure. I will go with the cure.

Blogger Nobody of Consequence November 13, 2019 11:38 AM  

As a prof, I advocated for DrBill's administration reduction program. Pick an administrator. Give them 90 days pd leave. If no one misses them, fire them and pick another. Repeat. Take the salary savings, put half back into the budget and take the other half divided among the basic employees, secretaries, grounds, etc, giving them a nice boost in pay. Look at the improved morale of the staff that keeps things going. Didn't happen 'cause admins at Unis are arses.

Blogger HanSolo November 13, 2019 11:39 AM  

"In general, we want people to become less dependent upon Amazon, so Arkhaven would be the preference. But we're genuinely fine either way."

Thanks, Vox. I'll get it from Arkhaven. I previously bought SJWAL, SJWADD, and Cuckservative at Amazon but I'll switch over to Arkhaven now.

Blogger Johnny November 13, 2019 11:47 AM  

Two things come to mind for me,

I am skeptical that very low turnover is automatically a good thing. We discover reality with a degree of experimentation, learning from experience. And that is what some of turnover is, both for the employee and the employer. Zero turnover is people simply assigned to slots and that is the end of it. Not a good thing.

The other thing is that in our current social situation is that most of the socially oriented college degrees come from programs that are highly politicized. Agree with the goals or not, the graduate is fairly likely to come with a covert political agenda that is not friendly to the company. Such people should be hired only with reluctance, or with some reason for anticipating that they are not going to be pushing private political agendas at corporate expense.

Blogger sammibandit November 13, 2019 11:52 AM  

Few fields are as self-justoficating as HR. Anthropology and sociology being others. Big HR departments run ATS applicant tracking systems and are better at disqualifying applicants than qualifying. One reason is that qualifying applicants means more work or giving up control to technical hiring managers who actually know how to qualify applicants. ATS are also cost-heavy, reactive systems that HR grunts are attached to like mother's teat. They don't want to give them as it means they'd actually have to pound the pavement and sell their orgs.

Blogger Ska_Boss November 13, 2019 12:28 PM  

Just had to sit through some HR 'training' by a female person of color as they like to refer to themselves where a certain class of individuals represented by a light blue and pink flag were protected from discrimination which was punishable by termination. At first glance this may seem reasonable to the average Joe, don't make fun of trannies, but to me this is all about conditioning people to accept the upside down or believing a lie.

I may have to gift a copy of this book to upper management.

Blogger CarpeOro November 13, 2019 12:29 PM  

There is an old saying "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull (manure)". As is often the case with HR consulting, you get the second, not the first.

@Jim
I am skeptical of your comment. There was no mention of "zero turn over" besides it. That is the kind of point Bersin is more likely to sell. As someone that has been a manager of unskilled people and has been a technically skilled employee, dealing with turn over is one of the things I dislike the most. Some is expected - high level indicates huge issues in management. It also has an expense attached that tends to go up with the level of skill involved - every environment has a learning curve and new employees value/productivity is low until they reach a certain point, along with dragging down the person training them. You deal with turn over because it is part of life, not because it is a goal.

Blogger Jeroth November 13, 2019 12:30 PM  

Ska_Boss wrote:I may have to gift a copy of this book to upper management.

Might want to do it anonymously.

Blogger Rakshasa November 13, 2019 12:46 PM  

They should save the money and make it a death match between potential employees.

One of the downsides of worker rights is that you can't take a darwinistic approach to hiring.

Blogger dienw November 13, 2019 12:53 PM  

level #2 Cancer cells present but proper diet or light remedial action will remove it.
Level #3 The cancer is now a lump or node in the body; requires an operation or minor radiation.
Level #4 Cancer has metastasized; patient is in hospice.

Blogger Ska_Boss November 13, 2019 12:54 PM  

I've already met the owner and the HSE district manager, both are old fashioned, right wing, patriots who are unhappy with the convergence happening in the country. I understand a book of this nature is not for people who are easily triggered.

Blogger Crew November 13, 2019 1:00 PM  

Google firing people for leaking and making people feel unsafe!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-12/one-google-staffer-fired-two-others-put-on-leave-amid-tensions

They clearly need to read this book!

Blogger J Van Stry November 13, 2019 1:12 PM  

I hate the term 'Human Resources'. People are not boxes, they are not 'plug and play'. They need to bring back 'Personnel' departments. They dealt with -people- not 'resources'.

I have also never worked at a company where the HR department was worth it. They could have all been fired and the company would have run the same, if not better. Hell, at one company I worked at, a startup, we went from being able to hire someone within twenty minutes of interviewing them, to having to wait two whole days, while HR 'reviewed' the candidate! Needless to say, we never hired anyone good again after that, because someone else would grab them.

HR just had to inject themselves into the process!

Blogger Seeingsights November 13, 2019 1:21 PM  

I'm more radical.
Do away with Human Resources departments.
SJW are not capable of functioning in other departments (finance, economics etc).

Blogger DonReynolds November 13, 2019 1:22 PM  

There are huge cedar forests in Middle Tennessee and there are cedar products companies that make good use of those forests, in the way of cedar posts for fencing, cedar siding for homes, cedar furniture....even the shavings from the mills has value. For the employees, it is typically hard work, often outdoors, in all kinds of weather. You would not think anybody would look forward to working there or last long if they did. But that is not true.

When I was taking some labor economics courses, I found a cedar products company where the employees REFUSED to quit.

The company would shut down for two weeks at Christmas time and the first two weeks of July. These were vacations and when work stopped for vacation, each employee was paid a significant vacation bonus. They were paid minimum wage or slightly higher through the rest of the year, but twice a year they received a big cash bonus, probably as much as they were paid the six months before.

Employees would schedule their major purchases, home improvements, and trips during their vacation times. For many employees, the bonus money meant a big boost in living standards until the next bonus. No one wanted to quit the job, because of the cash bonus. If we can just hang on another month or two, we will get another big cash bonus. So there was no turnover to speak of. The employees managed their own wad of cash to attend to their own needs and wants and showed up for work to earn it.

Blogger Newscaper312 November 13, 2019 1:25 PM  

Here in Mobile Alabama the chemical company BASF, which has a plant nearby, has been running a radio commercial, part general PR and part recruiting. Features a high pitched scratchy voiced, cheery but dumb sounding black girl who is a "chemist' there, which I actually believe since I cannot in any reality conceive of someone hiring a voice actor who sounds that bad. I find the ad literally painful to listen to, and if I had any stock I would short it. Hell, I should move 100 miles away in case she causes a Bhopal style chemical plant disaster. HR approved form top to bottom I am positive.
Surely I can't be the only listener who's reaction is "WTF are they thinking, publicizing much less hiring this idiot?" rather than :Oh how sweet, look how diverse they are!!"

Blogger spinoza November 13, 2019 1:33 PM  

HR directors should just hang a sign on their door that says submit your first world problems and white employee complaints here. Employees should have to clock out to speak to these directors who effectively have become their supporting therapists. Minority employees should be limited to one complaint per month.

Blogger dienw November 13, 2019 2:14 PM  

Minority employees should be limited to one complaint per month.
You are sooo [Select one or more of 113 gender terms]-phobic!

Blogger Crew November 13, 2019 2:32 PM  

@32: Benno Rice in his talk about SystemD refers to "pathological diversity".

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/aot1ga/benno_rice_the_tragedy_of_systemd_linuxconfau_2019/

It seems like BASF is headed in that direction.

Blogger BillHinDaytona November 13, 2019 2:49 PM  

Mr. Day: Thank you x 1000.

I have worked covering HR on and off for 25 years. You said more in one paragraph of one off-hand post than any HR director, consultant, CHRO, or HRO vendor has ever said to me, ever.

I practically lost my mind covering them. The consultant speak and corporate jargon NEVER stopped. They never laughed at themselves and said, yes, we're a bunch of douchebags, but hey, I gotta eat and it's just a game.

Ugh.

Anyway, thanks.

Blogger Silent Draco November 13, 2019 2:50 PM  

Stopped so I could make side notes per chapter: who causes the problems, what problems are, how to fix them. Also, thinking out how to remove the policies and problem causers (fire, reassign, or resign) without getting permanently removed first.

This is an excellent summary of disasters seen over XX years, showing tools and methods to start undoing same disasters.

Blogger OldFan November 13, 2019 3:13 PM  

The emergence of off-site HR companies is the death knell of huge HR departments. They handle the nuts 'n bolts of hiring, benefits, and firing - leaving the line managers to do the selection process. The lone personnel specialist that you need is the expert on benefits, knows the current company staffing levels, and plans the Christmas Party & 4th of July Barbeque.
Works great. Planning & Ops, Bushiness Intel, the CFO, and the boss's Iron Secretary are the people who make and support corporate strategy - HR has less to contribute than Shipping & Receiving.

Blogger Hieroglyph November 13, 2019 4:20 PM  

Yup, HR can be easily outsourced, and staff numbers kept to a minimum. And I wouldn't even let them make hiring decisions, though they can advice on legals and processes.

I learned through experience that you just avoid HR, and be polite when you have to. In other words, treat HR as you would a crazy person. Win.

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei November 13, 2019 4:29 PM  

The result is happier employees, lower turnover, and a much stronger employment brand.

I ask once again, why would anyone outside the company give a wet slap if the employees are "happy"? It's a job, not daycare.

Every time you ever read that the actors had a great time making a movie, you know said movie is going to suck, because they weren't focused on what they were supposed to be doing, and that's the truth in any industry.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash November 13, 2019 4:41 PM  

bodenlose Schweinerei wrote:Every time you ever read that the actors had a great time making a movie, you know said movie is going to suck, because they weren't focused on what they were supposed to be doing, and that's the truth in any industry.
The Princess Bride would like a word with you.

The enjoyment of the actors in the project is at most orthagonal to the quality of the production. Some of the greatest movies ever were absolute nightmares for the actors, and everyone who worked on the recent Ghostbusters film went on at length about how great a time they had.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2019 4:59 PM  

I ask once again, why would anyone outside the company give a wet slap if the employees are "happy"?

I want the business' employees to be happy enough that they want to help me enough that they can keep my business and keep their jobs. Don't want to have to deal with pissed off people who half hope they'll get fired.

Blogger Lovekraft November 13, 2019 5:04 PM  

Back in my corporate days, I used to call them "HR Pitbulls" Another moniker I used for meddling busy-bodies was "Self-Appoionted Sheriffs"

Both reflect a co-worker who oozes 'extra-judicial' in that they wear their political bias on their sleeve. Easy to spot, brutal to deal with.

Blogger bodenlose Schweinerei November 13, 2019 5:23 PM  

everyone who worked on the recent Ghostbusters film went on at length about how great a time they had

And it sucked monkey butt, so how is this contrary to my point?


I want the business' employees to be happy enough

So, content, realistically the most one should expect of the majority of employees. I much prefer competent over happy, or even content.

Blogger Andy Evick November 13, 2019 6:22 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 13, 2019 8:09 PM  

bodenlose Schweinerei wrote:So, content, realistically the most one should expect of the majority of employees. I much prefer competent over happy, or even content.

Happy, content, smurfy, whatever we call it, I want businesses I depend on to find and retain competent people. That means they have to keep their employees smurfy enough that they stay, and work, and don't spend their time engaging in labor activism.

Good management trains good people, and makes it worth their while to stick around.

Blogger The Pitchfork Rebel November 13, 2019 10:55 PM  

Finally, the long overdue slaughtering of corporate America's most sacred cow.

Blogger Emmanuel November 14, 2019 1:32 AM  

As an engineer of a (so far) very high performing Lv4+ corporation, I a really interested and will buy it asap.

Your book may encounter modest success. There is also a non negligible chance it becomes one of the most influential management books in the decade.

Blogger wreckage November 14, 2019 5:17 AM  

Am I the only current (ex in my case) businessman who read this:
"HR helps to drive business decisions"
and nearly screamed?

That is textbook bad business practice. It's like letting the accountant run your business, only worse, because at least accountants can add.

Blogger basementhomebrewer November 14, 2019 7:47 AM  

And I wouldn't even let them make hiring decisions, though they can advice on legals and processes.

Hire or contract a lawyer to do that aspect. You will get more competent guidance than your average HR person, although as VD has pointed out they aren't outstanding either.

Am I the only current (ex in my case) businessman who read this:
"HR helps to drive business decisions"
and nearly screamed?


I was discussing this with some friends of mine last night before seeing this thread and they were taken a back by my insistence that HR not even be involved in meetings about running the business. They always end up speaking at length about how to do things that they don't understand. My follow up stance was that they should not exist as a department because legal and accounting can cover most of their duties and you can contract a recruiter as needed.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd November 14, 2019 10:48 AM  

basementhomebrewer wrote:... you can contract a recruiter as needed.

For low-end jobs, try to hire friends and family of employees, and of their friends and family. A program in which employees get a little finders fee for recommending a new hire who makes it through a six month probationary period makes it plain that not everyone is going to make it, not everyone is going to be a good fit. At the very worst, this policy will minimize diversity.

For high-end jobs, try to get your high end employees to mine their contact lists before you turn to the recruiter.

Blogger RedJack November 14, 2019 4:01 PM  

I find HR valuable in only one instance. Firing true nut jobs I don't wan to deal with any more. However that 15 minutes of annoyance is cheaper than the cost of paying the salary.

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