Here are the top news stories in talent and organization from this week.

ANZ looks to scaled agile

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is looking for a systems integration partner to support its organization-wide agile approach it started implementing earlier this year. In May, ANZ’s CEO Shayne Elliott announced the bank was looking to become “much less hierarchical” by building “small, collaborative, self-directed teams focused on delivering continuous improvement.” Now, CIO’s George Nott, who traveled to Melbourne on ANZ’s invitation, reports that the bank wants to “keep its architecture appropriately aligned,” while making sure it’s “flexible enough to evolve.” Gerard Florian, ANZ’s tech executive, told Nott the group plans keep its core banking system, while moving technology from “big projects to services.” Florian sees potential for cloud’s role to evolve: “That will also shift backwards and forwards between private and public cloud as technology changes, as regulators adjust their position and customer sentiment changes.”

CSAA IG spreads innovation culture among its workforce

Established players in financial services do not have the privilege of creating a corporate culture from scratch like startups, writes Soren Kaplan for the Harvard Business Review, and adds they must “transform existing norms, values, and assumptions that inspire everyone to innovate.” Kaplan points to one insurer that is making headway in innovation culture: CSAA Insurance Group (CSAA IG) with nearly 4,000 employees and an affiliate of American Automobile Association (AAA). Here are the tactics the insurer used: 1) Outline a corporate-wide organizational strategy & add innovation to the company’s value statement, 2) Deliver innovation training to all employees, 3) Solicit ideas from employees through idea management platforms, 4) Create incentives for employees submitting solutions, 5) Implement the solutions created & evaluated by the workforce. Kaplan notes that these tactics are one “leaders in other companies can apply to their innovation culture change efforts.”

Group aims to close cybersecurity skills gap

The Cybersecurity Workforce Alliance (CWA) is a partnership of companies, the government and universities that aims to bridge the skills gap in cybersecurity in the U.S. Since 2015, CWA has engaged more than 600 corporate executives that represent major financial institutions, consulting firms and Fortune 100 companies, and alerted students to careers available in cybersecurity. The alliance also works with higher education institutions to help develop curricula. “The specific data submitted by nearly 400 students that have been involved in the CWA curriculum to date is truly breathtaking. Out of 167 graduates, 103 or 62 percent have jobs. Of these, a startling 30 percent hold positions in cybersecurity,” according to an article in Knowledge@Wharton. “CWA expects to generate at least 100,000 workforce-ready, entry-level cyber professionals within four years,” the article concludes.

How to empower the workforce to do its best

Are you having trouble with employee turnover or poor performance? Jessica Thiefels has five tips to reduce disengagement and boost performance by empowering the workforce: 1) Challenge employees to combat boredom, 2) Define opportunities for upward mobility so they don’t look for opportunities elsewhere, 3) Encourage open communication and bring down barriers between management and lower-level employees, 4) Offer praise and recognize strength, so the employees know their hard work does not go unnoticed, 5) Promote vacation time and work-life balance, so they have more focus and energy during the time they spend at work.

What makes employees happy? A case for human capital analytics

“Human capital analytics deliver critical insights about a company’s people, their preferences, what makes them more effective and their contribution toward the success of the business,” writes Andrew Woolf, Accenture’s global talent and organization lead for financial services, in an opinion piece for the South China Morning Post. Woolf recommends using the next generation of business intelligence tools to enable real-time reporting, delivered through cloud platforms. “As the war for talent intensifies, recruiting, developing and retaining talent is more important than ever. There is a need to understand your workforce more in depth. Data analytics can provide detailed people insights and help organizations build a strong workforce to deliver competitively differentiating capabilities,” Woolf writes, and we agree.

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