Future Knowledge accelerates user adoption with new services for Oracle UPK

Future Knowledge accelerates user adoption with new services for Oracle UPK

Future Knowledge, the leading technology adoption consultancy in Australia and New Zealand, today launched a range of packaged consulting services targeted at customers that have licensed Oracle User Productivity Kit (UPK).  These customers typically do not achieve strong return on their investment in the UPK platform for a number of reasons. we are looking to address this challenge by offering a range of specialised packaged services leveraging our experience in UPK of over ten years.  Choose from the following six service offerings depending on where you are at in the UPK investment cycle.

UPK Products
UPK Products
Oracle UPK Gold Partner
Oracle UPK Gold Partner

Oracle’s UPK toolset is a comprehensive User Adoption platform that enables you to create and deploy online system training, support material, process documentation and online help. In most cases UPK is deployed to solve the user adoption challenges of new system implementations or upgrades, in particular, alongside large process-centric business systems roll-outs. Organisations that are most successful in using the platform continue to update and maintain material as processes and systems evolve over time.

Future Knowledge is Australia’s leading and most experienced UPK specialist. They have helped over sixty-five UPK customers in Australia and New Zealand define a strategy for UPK, install UPK and build and coach teams to develop high quality learning and support material.

“Our most successful customers are the ones who look at UPK as a long term platform for training and user support. They treat UPK as an asset and like any other asset they continuously maintain it to keep it operating at full capacity,” said Future Knowledge MD, Michael Guazzarotto.

“UPK customers who want help, tend to fall into three categories: one, they used UPK for an initial project and want to reignite the platform; two, they are active UPK users and need some dedicated expertise to get the most out of the platform; and three, the customer has purchased UPK and they are not sure where to start.”

Having a user adoption platform like UPK is a huge advantage for customers given the current trend of accelerated implementations and the ongoing enhancement of systems and processes that need to be communicated to end users.  The rapid transition from on-premises ERP systems to cloud-based business application is driving greater importance on the need to effectively engage and inform end users to drive technology adoption.

Interested in finding out more... contact Michael Guazzarotto.

FK sponsors the 2015 Australian HR Awards

FK sponsors the 2015 Australian HR Awards

The 2015 Australian HR Awards will be held on Friday 7 August in Sydney and for the third successive year Future Knowledge is a sponsor of this prestigious event.  Bringing together the Who’s Who of HR in Australia, the event showcases the achievements of individuals and teams across a range of categories and will be hosted by TV host Larry Emdur at Sydney’s The Star venue.

This year, Future Knowledge has focused our sponsorship on the “Best Use of Technology” category and I look forward to the honour of announcing the winners in what appears to be a hotly-contested category.  Technology is at the heart of business transformation in organisations as the rapid transition to the digital economy disrupts business models and drives new ways of organising our workforces.  As a leading consultancy supporting HR teams to drive innovation and facilitate the future of work, it is only natural for FK to be associated with the outstanding achievements of the nominated organisations for this year’s award.

I love attending this event and seeing the HR industry acknowledge the great work that we do that so often is invisible.  Often a thankless role, and one that is consistently undervalued, this night-of-nights is always a great way to see the worth of what we bring to the table day in and day out.

If you’re attending the event, I look forward to catching up.  If not, be sure to follow the FK team on Twitter and Periscope – @FutureKnowledge – and keep tabs on the happenings on the night.

From competency to mastery

From competency to mastery

For years learning professionals have been looking at organisational learning and development from a competency perspective. Competency has traditionally been measured via course and assessment. You are either ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’. As if competency is the final goal. Tick, next, forget.

As our understanding of motivation has grown over recent years, we have started to realise that developing our people and providing a landscape for autonomous development and mastery is far more motivating than a pay cheque. However the structure and architecture of learning within organisations is still firmly chained to competency frameworks and far away from supporting people in their transition to mastery.

702010.jpg

We are well aware of the 70:20:10 learning model. Like “reaching out”, “touching base” and “synergy”, 70:20:10 has almost become a buzz word. However organisations still invest up to 80% of their training budget on formal learning events. Spending 80% on learning events which can only return a maximum of 10% sounds a little strange right? Furthermore, is that 10% effective or aligned to organisational goals? (I’ll leave that for another post).

The past 5 years has seen an emergence of technology and theories attempting to provide learning which supports the 70% within the 70:20:10 learning model. There is now a greater emphasis to learn on demand and provide support throughout the workflow.

In 2011 Bob Mosher & Conrad Gottfredson defined the “Five Moments of Need” model, which captures both formal and informal learning. The moments of need are:

  1. Learning for the first time
  2. Learning More
  3. Applying what you’ve learned
  4. When things go wrong
  5. When things change

The first two moments relate to formal or structured learning events (the 10% in the 70:20:10 model). We are pretty good at designing learning for the first two moments, in fact, this is pretty much all we focus on. Sure we give people reference guides and handbooks (or even personalised apps) in an attempt to overcome moments 3, 4 and 5, but most of the time these participant guides and handbooks are left in the boot of the car next to the jumper leads and old Cruskits shoved through the seat by an ungrateful 3 year old.

The problem is moments 3, 4 and 5 are when learners transition from “classroom competent” to mastery. They learn from making mistakes, socialising those mistakes, asking for help, researching how to perform a task or implementing a theory. Moments 3, 4 and 5 are where you get your true return on learning investment.

At DevLearn 2014, Marc J. Rosenberg and Steve Foreman introduced the idea of a Learning and Performance Ecosystem as a “move away from individual, siloed, one-off solutions to an ecosystem comprised of multi-faceted learning and performance options that enhance the environments in which we work and learn”. The goal is to “enhance individual and organisational effectiveness by connecting people, and supporting them with a broad range of content, processes, and technologies to drive performance.”

A Learning and Performance Ecosystem brings together six major components that help people learn and perform better: talent management, performance support, knowledge management, access to experts, social networking and structured learning.

Learning Ecosystem
Learning Ecosystem

(Source: Learning and Performance Ecosystems: Strategy, Technology, Impact and Challenges Whitepaper – M.J. Rosenberg & S. Freeman, 2014)

By sequencing and layering elements of the learning ecosystem within an organisations learning architecture, we can move beyond focusing on competencies, to supporting people through their journey to mastery.

Structured formal learning events are still utilised to help people learn for the first time or learn more. However, layering or sequencing performance support, coaching, knowledge management, social learning or talent management within a learning pathway helps support participants when applying learning, when things go wrong or change.

The model also enables enterprise learning solutions to be structured for different levels of proficiency. While a ‘novice’ may require extensive structured learning to meet the first moment of need, more proficient employees faced with other moments can have a different learning pathway which may sequence access to experts, social collaboration or knowledge management.

The beauty of this model is its simplicity.

Most mature organisations have the technologies, processes and content in place to establish a learning ecosystem without high levels of effort or investment. Less mature companies have the benefit of a range of learning management and performance support systems which are geared towards an ecosystem. Most of these systems are now integrated and cloud based of the shelf solutions.

So while there are amazing advances in simulation and development tools, the future of learning and development is not a grand breakthrough or change in technology, but something glaringly simple – Take existing learning theories, technologies, content and processes, and combine them as part of a learning ecosystem which can support all five phases of learning need.

Future Knowledge named in 2014 BRW Fast 100

Future Knowledge named in 2014 BRW Fast 100

Follows inclusion in the 2013 BRW Fast 100 and 2012 BRW Fast Starters

 

Sydney, 24 October 2014: Australian management consultancy, Future Knowledge, has been recognised as one of Australia’s fastest growing companies in the 2014 BRW Fast 100 list, for the second year in a row.

Future Knowledge has been ranked as number 90 on the list for 2014, with a 44 percent growth over the past year.

CEO of Future Knowledge, David Guazzarotto, said the award represents continued momentum from the organisation. “At Future Knowledge we work with Australia’s leading organisations, partnering with them to deliver technology driven change. As a growing company, we are constantly looking at ways to expand our offering and deliver better value to our clients. I’m so proud of the team at Future Knowledge for the growth achieved this year and receiving this award serves as recognition for all their hard work,” said Mr Guazzarotto.

The BRW Fast 100 list ranks Australia’s fastest growing, public and private, small and medium businesses. The annual list has established a strong reputation as the premier guide to the fastest growing small and medium businesses in Australia.

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Future Knowledge partners with many prominent Australian and Multinational companies including ANZ Bank, Lend Lease, Melbourne Water, Foxtel and Life Without Barriers, to drive business technology adoption especially in the areas of learning, talent management and customer relationship management.

The nature of work is changing – can you keep up?

The nature of work is changing – can you keep up?

With technology becoming further ingrained in our lives and our work habits, the nature of work is changing and our traditional HR practices are at risk of getting left behind. At Future Knowledge, we pride ourselves on staying on top of the latest trends and information impacting the face of work. In our conversations with business leaders and industry influencers, we have noted some key points resonating with those managers looking to navigate through this process.

Unified talent management

One of the key trends evolving now is the concept of unified talent management. This refers to the idea that HR needs to break out of the traditional silo approach and look at the holistic lifecycle of an employee.

A parallel can be drawn with consumer businesses that focus on the customer lifecycle. The aim of the customer lifecycle is to generate repeat customers who leave with a good feeling about the business and have a strong desire to return. HR should focus on the same aim to generate greater employee engagement and improve their reputation as an employer of choice.

HR needs to change

Currently in business there is a shift towards greater process automation. Now is the time for HR managers to closely connect with business goals and play an outcome focused role. HR managers should embrace the use of data analysis to inform smart decision-making.

Shifting work environment

Research has discovered that an average person checks their smartphone 150 times a day! This causes a very convoluted lifestyle where we are constantly bombarded with information leading to what is known as the overwhelmed employee – something I know I’ve experienced before.

HR managers need to simplify complicated processes and information to cut through the noise and engage employees. The business can then achieve a more effective outcome as communication is improved between employees.

Performance management in the future

Performance management has always been a tricky process to get right. Often when employees are worried about generating a specific performance rating, and are constantly watching the numbers, it can result in lower engagement and performance.

It’s time for performance management to evolve to better measure the relationship between employees and managers, and move away from figures. If you really want to push boundaries why not look at ways to do this in real-time with immediate results to generate more of a feedback mechanism.

The time is now for HR teams to take a greater stake in the direction of the business and look at employee engagement from a more holistic perspective. With new technology on offer to enhance processes, if you’re not already exploring the opportunity this brings you could run the risk of being left behind!

To see more of our insights into how the nature of work is changing watch our video ‘Key themes from day one of Cornerstone Convergence’.

NextGen HR Operating Models: Just another “Wrecking Ball”?

NextGen HR Operating Models: Just another “Wrecking Ball”?

Looking back on the last decade of my career, I truly am lucky to have had a front row seat on some of the hottest HR debates. I have seen major organisations strategically turn on decentralised HR models and run towards holy light of centralised a HR practice only to swing back a few years later to a decentralised as swiftly and purposefully as a half-naked Miley Cyrus on her metaphorical wrecking ball. In the exact same seat, I have seen David’s Ulrich model successfully deployed with significant results, only to later be shunned and criticised more recently by a tidal wave of articles claiming “NextGen” approaches to HR. My love for consulting in the HR Technology space keeps me spinning in this chair. Yes, it is a chair that moves and swivels quite a lot in our new era of business, and I can’t help but point out three key observations:

  • A “One HR Model” to rule them all mentality that abruptly leads to a political “right” vs “wrong” moral standing on pretty much any model put forward;
  • The pendulum swing between Centralised vs Decentralised HR models (you are thinking about Miley still aren’t you?). The same can be said for “outsourced” vs “insourced”
  • A “demolish and rebuild” mentality whenever the model is challenged around effectiveness.

So, hence, when I was recently asked by a client as to which HR operating model is the best fit for their organisation, I thought it was time to take a few steps back, do a little bit of high level homework and reflect on HR life for a moment.

Per my research of the abundant amount of papers, articles, case studies and examples, I discovered a consistent pattern in the content as if they all sing from the same music sheet:

  1. The big case for change: Yes, we are operating in an incredibly complicated business era trying to deliver simpler solutions to demanding clients. Yes, technology has certainly push HR into a new world of working. Yes, agility, scalability and feasibility are imperative. And yes, this is definitely the perfect time to relook (and continue to assess) the HR activities businesses deliver and how these are channeled to the HR customer/client. We get it!
  2. A blatant prosecution followed by a gory public desecration of the Ulrich Model: Generally, a google image mug shot of the model in question followed by the judgement – it’s outdated; it fails to deliver strategically; it has gaps delivering transactionally and we just hate it.
  3. A bright, shiny and new NextGen Model: Lots of circles and shapes tattooed with sexy consulting lingo which in reality is just the Ulrich model put through a blender, given liposuction, facial augmentation and a new stage name.
  4. The shameless sales pitch from a consulting firm: In a nutshell, “choose our firm and we will give you this cheaper, faster and with implementation success”.

In all honesty, I am not a big fan of Miley Cyrus and her music, but I am going to stick with this metaphor here because it works. All that is happening here is that our big HR record companies are turning a Hanna Montana (Ulrich) into a NextGen Miley Cyrus accessorised by a large wrecking ball of change. But in reality, underneath it all… the parts are all still the same, albeit in different places, shapes and sizes. Her success both before and after had nothing to do with appearances alone, but rather:

  • Solid market research and data analysis
  • A bullet proof branding and marketing strategy
  • A committed team and partners
  • Raw Talent
  • A dedicated fan base

I can’t help but think we are doing the same with HR operating models and maybe, just maybe, we are completely missing the point here. Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot of merit and good thinking that have gone into NextGen HR models. I quite like the idea of performance coaching teams, centres of excellence focused on business best practices and insight, and I believe strongly in a Tiered HR case management approach to fully leverage technology.

My issue is that maybe we should be less focused on a “one size fits all” model and more focussed on how we make its parts work together in order to deliver people success to our HR clients. We seem to be getting lost in all the glitz and glamour of these new models and forgetting that central to any model is the HR client after all.

So before we go and shun the Ulrich model (and more importantly, its parts), maybe we need to be asking more questions, such as:

  1. Who is our HR client within our organisations? What HR activities do they want and how would they like them delivered (or even done by themselves)?
  2. What is our business strategy? How have we aligned our People and HR strategy to deliver and support on this?
  3. Do we have our executive team 100% committed to the future direction of HR? Do they trust HR to deliver? Do they consider HR to be a strategic enabler of the business? How are we involving them in the design and implementation of an HR Operating model?
  4. Does HR have the internal capability to analyse, design and implement an agile, scalable and efficient model?
  5. How are we assisting our HR clients on the journey of change?

By turning the traditional “top down” approach on its head and making the various layers of HR clients central to HR outcomes of the operating model, we are in a position to better design HR activities to meet these outcomes and articulate how the different parts of the HR operating model would work in order to deliver these activities.

I also cannot over-stress the importance of strategic executive commitment to the model as transformational change management is to the process. In the absence of this, even the most appropriately designed models will not deliver the value intended. For me, involvement is the magic ingredient to generate commitment and involvement of executives and operational leaders in the process is critical.

So before you call the “wrecking ball” specialists to redefine your HR look and feel, take a moment to focus on outcomes first, before getting too fixated on images and pretty pictures.

How can we prepare for workforce 2020?

How can we prepare for workforce 2020?

By the year 2020 there will be more Millennials in the workforce than any other generation. As Millennials have never known a non-digital world, they demand greater connectivity and flexibility in the workplace. With this brings a new set of challenges to the workforce and causes a significant change in the way businesses function and engage their employees.

At Future Knowledge we regularly hear from business leaders who are unprepared for the changes Millennials will bring to the workforce. We recongise the need for businesses to prepare now for this change to attract the best top talent, engage their employees and maintain productivity.

This is why we have provided the top three ways businesses can prepare for workforce 2020.

Greater workforce flexibility   

By 2020, the new generation will have a perspective of the working landscape that is centred on what they can offer an employer – not necessarily what an employer can offer them, which was the viewpoint of previous generations.

We will also see a shift towards greater flexibility in regards to employment. A world where employees invoice businesses rather than earn a salary. And where the best and brightest will showcase their body of work in a portfolio, not a CV.

Greater personalisation in the workplace

Savvy businesses are realising the new wave of workers expect a level of understanding and personalisation. This means executives need to plan how their businesses can take a similar approach to data collecting giants, such as Amazon and Facebook, to work out what drives and excites Millennials and supports them to work to their full potential.

Destroy the ‘Sunday/Monday’ crisis

The Sunday/Monday crisis is a motivation killer for Millennials. It refers to the dread they have for using extremely outdated technology during the week at work. Businesses then need to put in place an ongoing people and technology strategy so the tools available to Millennials match the intuitive, easy to operate devices they use on a personal level.

We strongly recommend that businesses act now and prepare for the influx of Millennials in the workplace to attract, retain and engage the cream of the Millennial crop. From our analysis into this trend, we predict businesses that aren’t prepared for this change, will find it harder to compete in an already ruthless market place.

Three employee engagement drivers every business needs

Three employee engagement drivers every business needs

Recently, I was invited by SilkRoad to present a webinar to HR managers about driving employee engagement strategies, an increasingly pertinent topic in my line of work as a change andtransformation specialist. Employee engagement might seem like a simple enough theory, but it’s amazing how different the perception of staff engagement can be among employees, management and again in the HR department.

My presentation certainly sparked some interesting perspectives from webinar participants. Some feedback also highlighted that there can be a wide range of views from amongst HR and management on potential approaches to engaging employees.

In 2013, we are seeing employee engagement move well beyond its traditional roots to involve stages of communication that start well before a person becomes an employee of a company.

A person’s perception about the HR environment of a prospective workplace begins long before they actually start working there. One of my key messages during the presentation focused around the need to think about engagement as early as the recruitment process.

A recent research poll by Gallup found that more than 80 per cent of Australian employees feel disengaged at work, with more than 20 per cent being actively disengaged. The poll estimated that disengagement costs Australian organisations at least $33.5 Billion a year in lost productivity! This figure is astounding, considering engagement can be easily amplified by ensuring your workplace engagement strategy can be built around three simple pillars.

Leadership

Leadership is the secret sauce of effective employee engagement – it’s not rocket science! We know that leaders are responsible for creating and sustaining a culture of empowerment and trust. Leaders must lead by example, exemplifying the values and behaviours that will sustain and engaging culture.

A great leader instills a sense of authority in their people to take (measured) risks, to be creative and to make a personal contribution to the cause.

Alignment

If we presume our leaders are capable and effective, the next key driver is alignment. Unless we can harness the collective contributions of employees towards a common goal, efforts will be unproductive.

True alignment is based on employees understanding exactly what an organisation does and the direction of the company. It connects corporate values to brand and reputation.

Connectedness

No, I’m not referring to connectivity…. Connectedness implies that people don’t just ‘get along’, they feel a genuine and authentic sense of being connected to one another and with their team.

Fostering connectedness is the glue that binds all other engagement-related initiatives in your organisation.

You can have great leaders and a strong alignment to a common goal; but without a truly connected workforce – who posses genuine care for one another, their customers and suppliers – you’re missing a big opportunity.

The multi-generational learning challenge

The multi-generational learning challenge

We regularly encounter the need to develop training programs that appeal to multi-generational audiences. With the influx of the Millennials into the workforce and older generations remaining at work for longer, it’s becoming more important for learning programs to cater to a wider variety of learner needs. One size does not fit all. How do we make sure our programs don’t alienate a segment of our audience while pandering to another? More than ever before, understanding different needs and providing options to empower learners is the key.

We recognise that the concept of generations is an act of generalising; just because I was born in a certain year doesn’t mean I will have a particular learning style. But that’s ok – what it reinforces is our age-old need to cater to a variety of different learning styles in everything we do.

So you want to learn how to use our new system? No problem. How would you like that learning?

We are not only increasingly offering a blended learning solution, but a menu of training delivery options too. For example:

Peer-to-peer learning through forums, wikis and resource centres – where the Millennials can show of their tech dexterity and learn collaboratively

Self-directed eLearning – to cater to the independent, self-motivating Generation X

Drop-in centres (loosely structured face-to-face sessions) – where the Baby Boomers can get tailored attention one-on-one or in small groups

This isn’t to say that the number one contributor to your online learning forum wasn’t once a screaming Beatles fan. Or that your drop-in centres won’t be dominated by Beyoncé buffs. But all learners will have an option that helps them gain knowledge in the way they feel comfortable.

Future Knowledge wins 2013 BRW Fast 100 Award

Future Knowledge wins 2013 BRW Fast 100 Award

We are delighted to announce Future Knowledge has been recognised as one of Australia’s fastest growing companies in the 2013 BRW Fast 100 Awards! The BRW Fast 100 list ranks Australia’s fastest growing, public and private, small and medium businesses. The annual list has established a strong reputation as the premier guide to the fastest growing small and medium businesses in Australia.

We came in at number 43 and celebrated last night at the Awards ceremony in Melbourne – check out the photo below.

This accolade rewards the energy and dedication of the exceptionally talented Future Knowledge team whose pride in delivering outcomes for our clients has driven the exceptional growth of our business.

Personally, I could not be prouder to see the vision that I had when we started the business in 2005 come to life to the scale that we have now achieved.

Thank you to the entire Future Knowledge team and to the fantastic clients we work with every day, without your commitment and hard work this would not have been possible.

Be proud, be pleased and be ready to go top 10 next year! We’ll done everyone.

Michael G