The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

Bill Kutik Radio Show – Karen Beaman Follow-up

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Those of you how have been reading this blog for a while are familiar with both Bill Kutik and Karen Beaman as I refer to both of them often.  In fact, It’s probably a bit of conceit for me to say that you know them from reading the blog as they are obviously industry giants.

I promised in the earlier post that I’d write my thoughts, so here are my thoughts from KB on the Bill Kutik Radio Show:  (go take a listen)


If you didn’t listen to this, and you’re a global organization, perhaps you should.  There are some wonderful annectdoes around culture like the Japanese “Hai!!” which roughly translates to “I understand” but most Americans take as “I agree” which is a major mistake.  I remember a set of meetings I had in Japan where we all walked out thinking that we made major progress towards some implementation decisions.  In fact, we had made no progress at all.  In Japan, it would be considered EXTREMELY impolite do disagree with someone publicly, and so this conversation and dance around gaining actual agreement is made with nuances that are cultural to Japan, but many other outsiders don’t necessarily get.  It wasn’t until we arrived the next day and started talking about the implementation that we realized that it was now their turn to tell us what we should do from their point of view.

The topic of global data is certainly complex.  I learned a few new things I didn’t know, and I consider myself much better informed than many people doing global work.  The fact that you need to track different things like religion in some countries comes as no surprise to me.  However I never knew that you had to track blood type in India.  I don’t know if this is a caste thing or if it’s closer to a national healthcare initiative, but I’d be hard pressed to find a HRMS that does this vanilla.  Korea has some wonderful things that are pretty unique (did you know that your employer usually gives employee’s a bonus when the employee’s parents have their 50th wedding anniversary?  The bonus is not for the employee – it’s so she can throw the parents a party).  I’ve never heard of the rice allowance though.  Between all the unique cultural issues, and weeding through the compliance differences, no wonder we still struggle with global HCM.

If you haven’t been able to tell already, I’m more of an advocate of global data warehouse than global HCM which I think is just too complex to implement well for every local, in-country business.  But every organization has their own approach and philosophy around this stuff.

Karen also mentions her latest global survey.  I won’t mention it here since I’m not sure it’s been released, but she does give a preview of the results on the show.

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2 responses to “Bill Kutik Radio Show – Karen Beaman Follow-up”

  1. Nikhil Avatar

    Thanks for the follow up.. I am regular follower of your blog..just to point out also that Peoplesoft vanilla version can store the blood group of employees..!..Also this is linked to the fact that in case of emergencies organizations can use this information to arrange for blood for the employee by contacting blood banks

  2. systematicHR Avatar

    Thanks. I can honestly say I never knew that, but then again, I’ve never thought about storing blood type before. As mentioned in the original post, I had sincerely hoped that this was from some sort of healthcare issue rather than some type of cultural concerns. Thanks for the clarification!