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Calculating Success: How the New Workplace Analytics Will Revitalize Your Organization Hardcover

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Calculating Success: How the New Workplace Analytics Will Revitalize Your Organization + Keeping Up with the Quants: Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics + Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422166392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422166390
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A roadmap for organizations to achieve the promise of analytics and upgrade their most valuable asset: their people... Turning data into information and knowledge is hard work. The guidance in Calculating Success can help focus that effort.” — Interfaces (The INFORMS Journal on the Practice of Operations Research)

“…this is an interesting, if demanding read and I admire the authors for their insistence that there is more measurable value inside an organisation then meets the eye—if it is sought out and quantified.” - Business Traveler (

ADVANCE PRAISE for Calculating Success:

“Hiring and managing people based on science is the new way to be successful. This is the clearest and most comprehensive book on workforce analytics. Read it, act on it, and optimize your most important resource.”
—Thomas H. Davenport, President's Distinguished Professor, Babson College; coauthor of Competing on Analytics and Analytics at Work

“The insights and practical approach espoused in this book make it a great tool for those wishing to revitalize organizations.”
—Richard Taylor, Director and Vice President, HR, Intel Corporation

“The authors insightfully remind us that workplace analytics must begin with thoughtful analysis. Their six-step workforce analytics process requires clear definition of business problems and development of a conceptual model to guide the analysis, and they do a masterful job demonstrating its impact on multiple workforce problems. Anyone interested in workforce analysis will find this work insightful and helpful.”
—Dave Ulrich
Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; bestselling author of The Why of Work

“What do we need to know about our workforce to run the company more effectively, and how do we turn that knowledge into action? Following the six-step framework in Calculating Success will enable general managers everywhere to address those critical questions.”
—Wayne Cascio, Robert H. Reynolds Chair in Global Leadership, The Business School, University of Colorado, Denver

Calculating Success takes the important topic of business analytics to the next level by demonstrating how to link critical information about your organization and its workforce to successful business outcomes. Full of real-world examples, this new approach to workforce analytics will help business leaders achieve competitive advantage.”
—Mirian Graddick-Weir, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Merck & Co., Inc

“Great performance is achieved by connecting talent strategy to business strategy. The authors of Calculating Success look systemically at the interconnections of a company’s organizational structure, talent supply chain, and workforce engagement, which will help managers truly drive strategic execution and accelerate business results.”
—Mara Swan, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent, ManpowerGroup

About the Author

Dr. Carl Hoffmann is head of Human Capital Management and Performance LLC, a consulting firm focused on improving the management of human capital through the use of reporting and analytics. He recently retired from IBM Global Business Services. Eric Lesser is an associate partner with IBM’s Institute for Business Value, where he leads IBM Global Business Services’ research and thought leadership. Lesser speaks frequently on a range of human capital topics and recently edited (with Laurence Prusak) Creating Value with Knowledge: Insights from the IBM Institute for Business Value (Oxford University Press). Tim Ringo is a Partner in London-based Maxxim Consulting. Previously, he was Vice President and Global Leader of IBM’s Human Capital Management consulting practice.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Timothy on July 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Overall, a useless book. The authors cite and use Boudreau's and Cascio and Boudreau's framework so many times, one might as well buy their books. They give all the signs of writing an up to date HR Analytics book but they techniques they profile are from the 1970s and 1980s. Chapter 2 breathlessly describes using a competency model to better select airline pilots. Great technique but we read about this 20 years ago.

If you come to HR with a degree in English, Journalism, or Social Work and know literally nothing about how HR decisions should be made using data rather than gut feelings, this book won't lead you too far astray. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Workforce analytics answer a simple but often overlooked question: what do we need to know about our organization and workforce to run the company more effectively, and how do we turn that knowledge into action, according to Carl Hoffmann, Eric Lesser and Tim Ringo in this book. Four key areas in which analytics can effectively be employed to improve workforce productivity are:

* Identifying the work that needs to be done and the processes, structures and roles needed to accomplish the organization's strategy
* Determining how effectively the human capital supply chain is filling those roles with people capable of doing the work at the quantity, quality and cost required of the business model
* Discovering how engaged and motivated the workforce is to meet or exceed performance standards
* Detecting the need for change, testing innovations, and disseminating them throughout the organization.

The authors go on to describe their six-step approach to addressing workforce challenges, involving first understanding what has to be done and then turning that knowledge into action.

In some ways, workforce analytics appears to be a reincarnation of Frederick Taylor's "scientific management". One of the key examples is Qantas Airways, which used scorecard analytics to drive workforce productivity increases, echoing the way Taylor used time-and-motion studies to squeeze more work out of labourers. On the other hand, workforce analytics is more about identifying problems with processes than it is about forcing employees to work harder. In one of the other examples, workforce analytics helped demonstrate that high employee turnover was attributable to poorly organized management incentives.
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Format: Hardcover
According to Carl Hoffmann, Eric Lesser, and Tim Ringo, "there is more measurable value in an organization than meets the eye - if it is sought out and quantified. Taking a structured approach - in this case our Six Step method - and combining it with the right expertise and sponsorship can unlock immense value." Their book explains how to do that.

It is difficult (if not impossible) to manage what cannot be measured but, obviously, so much depends on selecting the correct metrics for the given situation. Hoffmann, Lesser, and Ringo focus on analytics that, they assert, are more appropriate to what they characterize as "the new workplace." I am greatly indebted to Tom Davenport for what I have learned about analytics and consider it strange that there are no references to him and his pioneering research in Hoffmann, Lesser, and Ringo's book.

Competing on Analytics (2007), for example, and more recently, Analytics at Work (2010), in which Davenport and his co-authors develop in greater depth a five-stage model for analytical maturity ("God has decreed that all maturity models have five stages") but supplement it with an abundance of "pragmatic suggestions" with regard to the design and implementation process.
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