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Retooling HR: Using Proven Business Tools to Make Better Decisions About Talent Hardcover – July 1, 2010

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“managers in any function will surely miss out if they overlook this read” - Human Resource Management

“Boudreau strikes again. This new book from one of today’s best thinkers on human resources and organizational performance shows how the application of frameworks used in other fields can give human resources professionals greater analytical rigor and enable them to have a truly significant impact on business results.” - Lucien Alziari, SVP, Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility, Avon Products, Inc.

“For many organizations, effective talent management remains the Holy Grail. John Boudreau’s latest offering will challenge the best organizations to evolve and modify their approach to talent.” - Kevin Cox, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, American Express Company

“A very timely book! In today’s competition for talent, traditional definitions of job and employee are increasingly outmoded and HR leaders must develop new ways of analyzing work, workers, and performance. The tools and ideas in this book meet the challenge by adding rigor to HR systems and helping HR executives communicate effectively with stakeholders by taking advantage of concepts already in place in other parts of the business.” - Libby Sartain, former CHRO, Yahoo!, Inc., and Southwest Airlines

Retooling HR brings fresh insight into long-standing talent issues using insight and logic that will engage thoughtful HR and line leaders alike.” - Pete Ramstad, Vice President of HR and Business Development, The Toro Company

“Roll up your sleeves and get ready to dig in to some serious business issues. Under John Boudreau’s smart, fact-based guidance, HR moves from fluffy art to hard-nosed management science. Take a huge step forward in the sophistication and rigor with which you tackle the most important factor in tomorrow’s success—your workforce strategy. - Tammy Erickson, author, What’s Next, Gen X?: Keeping Up, Moving Ahead, and Getting the Career You Want

“John has long been at the bleeding edge of HR thinking, and Retooling HR undoubtedly keeps him there. The notion of ‘return on improved performance’ that features throughout the book is, in my view, the next big idea.” - Sandy Ogg, Chief Human Resources Officer, Unilever

About the Author

John Boudreau is Professor of Management and Organization at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business and the Research Director at USC's Center for Effective Organizations. He has published more than sixty books and articles and consults to clients in a wide range of industries.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142213007X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422130070
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Professor John W. Boudreau wants you to rethink the contribution your human resources unit makes to the way your company recruits, develops and retains crucial "talent," that is, people. Dodging most, but not all, jargon, Boudreau advocates using metrics from the business side of your organization to evaluate how talent contributes to your firm and how your talent needs will vary under changing business conditions. He asks you to examine how you will muster enough people with crucial skills, now and in the future, and suggests strategically rethinking your workforce and considering how to develop it as the demand for pivotal skills spikes or shrinks. Boudreau makes his points with sharp intelligence in this clearly written, well thought-out book. It covers some very specific subject areas pertinent to HR professionals, but it is not a difficult read, partly due to its lively examples. While HR professionals who want to play a more strategic role will receive it most readily, getAbstract finds that this book will also help talent-focused C-level and middle managers who want more from HR and their employees. Boudreau makes a solid case for the merit of good metrics, but he's aware that HR is measuring people, not widgets, so risks and trade-offs abound.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Boudreau is a recognized expert in the field of HR, which makes the book compelling to read to gain Boudreau's perspective knowing that he talks and write about this stuff with all the top HR practitioners in the country.

The book is really good for two reasons --
(1) It looks at HR from an original and unique perspective
(2) It emphasizes how to communicate this unique HR thinking to others

The unique perspective part involves using frameworks from other work disciplines (like finance or marketing or supply chain) and applying them to HR. I loved some of the analogies and had mixed feeling about others, but it is definetly a perspective that you will not find anywhere else and for that reason it is very valuable.

The communication part involves using the language from these disciplines to communicate the HR message and strategy better. This was the part that I really liked, where the light bulb went off in my head while reading. If there is better communication of the strategy, then there will be better alignment and better execution. The example of using the Kano charts to analyze jobs, and how once that is clear it will dictate training and hiring blew my mind!

All in all I will definitely be stealing all the ideas for my HR job. If you work in HR then it is highly highly recommended. It would also be good for consultants so that they can sound good when talking to HR practitioners :)
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Format: Hardcover
With this new book, Dr. Boudreau give us line HR more specific instruction on how to add business value. I especially like the concept of Kano Analysis/performance tolerance curves covered in this book. I have found them very effective for engineering teams to understand and apply the concept of strategic talent management - which jobs have bad back side of the curve and which ones yield minimal value after the curve flattens out "good enough". Very good and easy read. Highly recommend.
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