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What to Know About Third Generation HR Technology

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What to Know About Third Generation HR Technology


  • Laci Loew, Founder and Principal, Laci Loew & Company LLC
  • Bob Danna, Retired Managing Director, Deloitte
  • John Burge, Co-Founder and CEO, Pandexio, Inc.

September 11, 2017

If you spend any time scrolling through your Quora digest, scanning news feeds, reading Tweets, posting on LinkedIn or Facebook, or catching up on the latest trends dominating Pinterest, then you know that artificial intelligence and automation are already having enormous impact on your business processes, products, services, and workforce. Smart systems are automating the transactional, mundane parts of work leaving the challenging aspects to humans. Thus, higher levels of cognition are required among workers today and going forward than what may have been the norm in the past.

Based on trending and recent research from Deloitte, the Department of US Labor, EY, Harvard, IBM, McKinsey, MIT and PwC among others, successful organizations are quickly taking action to shift workers from content curators and information users to digital experts creating and sharing curated insight with employee teams and across the enterprise network. Curated insights™are meaningful bits of wisdom derived from all the content that subject matter experts, thought leaders, and influencers have curated for the sole purposes of accelerating productivity across employee networks and outperforming the competition.

Figure 1. Productive & Relevant Workers Will Curate Insights, Not Just Content

©Laci Loew & Company LLC and Pandexio, Inc.

At least five new workforce megatrends are shaping today’s insights economy of digital workers:

  • New capabilities: Workers are using new technology systems to augment human intelligence in the pursuit of expertise.
  • New structure: Workforces are shifting from hierarchies to a complex network of teams, teams of teams, and an enterprise network and using new tools to enable the perpetual spread of intelligence for use just when needed.
  • New expectations: Workers seek and stay with organizations making the leap from content curation tools to insights curation platforms where experts are grown and empowered to make smarter decisions, faster.
  • New speed: In today’s “always on” digital environment, workers find themselves with less time to sift through the incoming and expect new tools to augment their thinking.
  • New metrics: Experts pluck wisdom and know-how from peers to make relevant business contributions and expect their expertise to be recognized and rewarded.

Figure 2. From Knowledge Workers to Insights Experts in Today’s Digital Workplace

©Laci Loew & Company LLC and Pandexio, Inc.

Like yesterday’s knowledge workers who required content curation tools to sort and filter and categorize information, today’s insights experts are most productive and stay relevant when they, too, are enabled with technology. However, learning and talent management systems and knowledge management tools are no longer enough. Insights experts operate in a digitally-driven 24×7 environment.  Actionable information lies at the core of enhanced productivity.  To cut through the overload and access the expertise they need to execute, they require insights curation platforms, which enable they and their colleagues to distill insights from content with a two-second mouse swipe. Insights curation platforms are a giant leap forward – the third-generation technology – supporting and sustaining the workforce of the future. 

How One Provider Is Responding

Pandexio® (, the pioneer and expert on curated insights, offers a third-generation insights curation platform — a SaaS solution that makes it easy for today’s digital employees to curate insights from content they consume and think about. Curated insights are 50X smaller and more relevant than whole pieces of curated content which are too much information to filter, manage, and synthesize.

Pandexio provides relief from 24×7 information overload and memorization, empowering employees to become experts and enabling them to share their bits of wisdom with each other, their teams, and the entire employee network for better, faster business decisions.  As a platform, the Pandexio solution can work within and across the existing HR technology and applications employees already use to consume content and get their work done.  It also allows the enterprise to offer its employees just in time learning, performance support and knowledge management in one easy-to-use solution.

Pandexio ensures today’s overwhelming world of unfiltered information powers the workforce, not paralyzes it. With IBM Watson baked in to support swift and consistent tagging, the Pandexio solution is a “rapid-learn” smart system, productivity tool, and on-demand knowledge solution all rolled-up into one user-centric platform. Pandexio’s patented curated insights functionality enables crowd-filtering of the actionable two percent, producing shared wisdom among all so employees can work smarter and execute better. Pandexio’s insight curation platform is called Smartsnips®.

Why Smartsnips®

Every day in every organization, employees consume voluminous quantities of documents, unfiltered web content, and unsorted intranet posts. They read opinions, discover facts, get exposed to new information, and study new data. Smartsnips enable employees to transform the daily bombardment of unfiltered and mostly irrelevant content into portable and permanent knowledge.  Smartsnips are contextualized, curated, actionable knowledge bits that can be shared with peers and re-used across the organization using existing platforms and without interrupting existing work streams. By exposing only information that matters, Smartsnips addresses top leadership priorities: it enhances employee expertise and workforce productivity and amplifies worker engagement and retention.

How Smartsnips Works

It’s simple. Pandexio integrates the Smartsnips platform with those systems that employees access daily – browsers, local and shared file systems, social applications and learning systems. As employees read, with a single mouse swipe they snip the actionable two percent creating micro-sized bits of knowledge.  They add their insight and tags, and it all goes into the cloud where it is accessible across the organization on any browser and device.

Figure 3. Example of a Smartsnip – including the curated insight, associated tagging, linked snip and curated content – all in one view and associated to the Subject Matter Expert (SME).

©Pandexio, Inc.

Smartsnips are like shareable, digital brain cells. They can be grouped into collections, searched and filtered, and easily re-accessed on-demand from a mobile phone. Rather than exchanging random and static content, with Smartsnips, employees exchange knowledge comprised of facts, insights, interpretations, and conclusions enabling them to focus just on what matters.

Smartsnips Use Case Examples

Early users of Smartsnips recount stories of how it has enabled workforce productivity. Here are just three examples of the successes they have shared regarding the business value: (1) to enable today’s social learning expectations of the Millennials and their peers, (2) to empower the Sales Team to close deals, and (3) to support the Customers with timely and accurate information they request:

  • Social Learning

The pain points: Employees forget training as fast as they experience it. Courseware in the Learning Management System generally stays static and is costly to develop. Key talent retires and takes relevant knowledge out the door. New hires aren’t plugged in to a support network. And with the influx of Millennials comprising our workforce of the future, the demand for social learning outpaces any learning management system or traditional learning strategy of training courses.

The Smartsnips solution: Use the combined brain-power of your company’s subject matter experts to “swipe out” nuggets of critical knowledge (Smartsnips) from voluminous documents, workspaces, internal blogs, communities of practice, discussion forums, and activity streams. Smartsnips turns “just talking” into knowledge collecting, sharing, and collaborating.

  • Sales Enablement

The pain points: Today’s Sales Reps have difficulty staying current with new products and services. Government regulations change or are imposed regularly and new product research is being released often. With the rise of the Web, customers are becoming product savvy. Put it altogether, and the knowledge bar of all Sales Reps is on a perpetual rise. Existing sales enablement solutions are static, multi-page documents and collateral often extremely text heavy bearing way too much content to recall at the time of need. The value proposition gets buried and the deal doesn’t close.

The Smartsnips solution:  Synthesize the most important sales knowledge (customer pain points, product features, competitor weaknesses, etc.) and make it instantly available on an iPhone. As a result, Sales has available in a click that which the Marketing, Product, Support, and the Contracting Teams have so they are truly a product expert and can quickly and knowledgeably answer customer questions, provide flexible solutions, and add the value the customer seeks.

  • Customer Support

The pain points: Support information is invariably buried in some technical document that sits on a shelf somewhere or at best stored in an online repository with questionable search capability. The Web is sprouting in support content.   Existing, specialized knowledge-base solutions can’t keep pace in providing answers to customer questions.  Yet, we know all the answers exist within the four walls of the company – they are all just buried in documents and brain cells.

The Smartsnips solution:  Take advantage of all the daily content consumption across the company, and all the experts that are already employed.  Crowdsource the most important two percent by making it easy to curate everyone’s insights and share it all with the Customer Service Agents so they can answer questions on demand. Like the Sales Rep using Smartsnips, this turns the individual who answers the ringing phone in the CSR Center into the expert product support agent that customers expect.

Summing Up

In today’s insights economy, knowledge is foundational and insights are the business differentiator. Curated insights are the means for powering up performance. Today’s high-performance organizations and workers rely on the ability to harvest critical knowledge and share vital insights.

Smartsnips empowers each person – regardless of level or function – to share their expertise across the entire enterprise.  They free everyone from the limitations of their individual knowledge and personal content stores, and enable every employee to tap into the expertise of the smartest employee – so collectively, everyone can make better, faster business decisions and outperform the competition.

What To Do Next

If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out Pandexio (, then you might want to do so. Pandexio’s Smartsnips transform content from a sea of disparate information to a treasure trove of actionable knowledge.

As one Smartsnips user recently said: “In today’s world, access to content is not a differentiator. It (Smartsnips) is not about curating content; it is about distillation of wisdom. It allows a SME to teach another in three minutes. Every company should invest its time and money here.” – Sr Director Strategy, a large technology company

Workforce 2020: Be Expert or Be Automated

Authored by: 

  • Laci Loew, Founder and Principal, Laci Loew & Company LLC
  • Bob Danna, Retired Managing Director, Deloitte
  • John Burge, Co-Founder and CEO, Pandexio, Inc.

March 30, 2017

Massive data is coming at the workforce 24×7 and accelerating. Employees are overwhelmed – more so than ever before.

Digital technology is here. Jobs are being automated – a phenomenon never before experienced.

As such, work gets done differently. Work now is a partnership between human and machine. To stay as pertinent contributors, workers require greater expertise.  They need to move up the knowledge pyramid and operate at a higher cognitive level.

Tomorrow’s Workers Must Be Insights Experts

Employees curate content every day. They sort, store, handle, annotate, and manage information multiple times per day. They rely on post-it notes, highlighters, legal pads, online file folders, browser bookmarks, Evernote, Google Drive and iCloud. While that is a good start, where are the insights employees glean from consuming all the content?  Buried inside the content itself?  Scattered across multiple systems?  Decaying between their ears?

To be useful, raw content must be converted to relevant insights.  To get relevant insights, we need employees to start curating insights, not just merely curating the raw content. Curated insights™ are social, mobile objects that are 50X smaller and more relevant than whole pieces of curated content. When employees curate insights, we call them insights experts. Insights experts identify only the actionable two percent from all the content they read.

Sources: 2017 Laci Loew & Company LLC and Pandexio, Inc

Insights experts have specialist level understanding of one or more subjects. They are subject matter experts, recognized by others as the “go-to” thought leader; although, in a traditional hierarchical structure of most organizations, they may be completely unrecognized, hidden, or marginalized talent.

Tomorrow’s insights experts need a different set of tools and network capabilities than do today’s knowledge workers. Using higher level cognition skills (like systems thinking and critical analysis), insights experts curate insights by identifying the actionable two percent of all content that has value to the organization. Then, they will add their thoughtful and informed insights about that content sharing their perspectives amongst peers and other network members. Others benefit from the collective expertise and build their own expertise more quickly.

Sources: 2017 Laci Loew & Company LLC and Pandexio, Inc

Today, a real barrier to curated insights, however, is people. Information users and content curators are missing higher level cognition skills required to stay relevant today. And when that gap exists, job automation takes over.

 Job Automation Is Coming Fast – Except for Capabilities Unique to Insights Experts

There is no uncertainty about the ensuing automation of key job capabilities and even whole jobs. Examples are coming faster every day. In 2014, Gartner research predicted one in three jobs will be converted to software, robots and smart machines by 2025. Last year, McKinsey ran a comprehensive study of nearly 800 different jobs in the United States and analyzed 2,000 individual work activities against 18 different capabilities that could potentially be automated. They found that 45 percent of work activities representing $2 trillion in wages can already by automated based on current technology – not new technology. And this year, in a related study, they showed that 47 percent of all jobs will be automated by 2035 and the rising trend of that number is expected to continue.

Professional jobs are not necessarily robot-proof as automation potential doesn’t correlate with low-skill, low-wage jobs as much as one may think: automation potential for pharmacists = 47%, doctors = 23%, and nurses = 29%.  Even for CEOs, 25% of their jobs can be automated with current technology.

Does this mean that all jobs will be giving way at some point to a robot?  Absolutely not.  But what it does mean is that we need to get human workers focused on their unique capabilities that will not get automated.  At a high level, routine information tasks will get automated, but those that require systems thinking, critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving will not.  So, getting workers from information users to insights experts is where organizations need to focus.

Transitioning Workers to Insights Experts Means a New Genre of Technology

Humans need technology to help them build cognition capability, identify only the actionable two percent of all information, and add to it meaningful and shareable insights. Published research by Deloitte, Harvard, IBM, Insead, McKinsey and others implies our workers are empowered to transition from information users to insights experts only through the use of a curated insights™ platform. In other words, the worker of the future will require augmentation by a new type of technology.

In January 2017, IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty said, “Watson should be seen and used as an assistant, and that its role is in a human with machine partnership” boosting human intelligence. Watson is AI and the ‘A’ does not stand for ‘Artificial’, but rather ‘Augmented’. Just two months later, Harvard’s How to Win with Automation publication corroborated Rometty’s comment. Harvard researchers said, “Any enterprise that doesn’t embrace automation won’t be able to survive. Yet while machines have taken over tasks, they haven’t actually replaced humans. Successful companies will find ways to use technology to extend the skills of humans.”

IBM and Harvard aren’t alone. Several other human capital consultancies including Deloitte, McKinsey, and KPMG, have published on the importance of Workforce 2020 being enabled with a centralized, global, “insights curation” platform. The research implies how the insights curation platform should ingest information from a multitude of internal and external sources while insights experts focus on adding tailored insights to the information and sharing insights with each other.

Insights experts leverage shared expertise for improved business value.

Insights Experts Generate Business Impact

Insights experts are a new type of worker who is invaluable to the business. They are more efficient, and operate at a higher-level than do their peers who focus only on gathering and using information. Moreover, their presence in the organization and network are critical to future business success.

Here are some points for consideration:

First, efficiency — tomorrow’s insights experts will be faster at finding actionable information as we develop systematic ways to capture and access insights.  It will enable everyone to work with the actionable 2% instead of bulk information.  Operating at a higher-level on the knowledge pyramid means operating with less information, not more.

Second, performance — access to insights will lead to evidence-based decision-making that will result in better business decisions.  And because insights are smaller, more focused bits of information, insights experts will be making better use of social and mobile technologies in addition to better leveraging the wisdom of our colleagues.

Next, utilization — today we don’t really know who the real experts are in the organization.  We try our best using what reputation information we can find, or by analyzing email and social communication patterns, but that’s nothing compared to the level of intelligence we’ll get about our own human capital once we can measure and monitor insight flows and patterns.

And finally, financial — insights are a high-value form of organizational knowledge and intellectual property.  Capturing it, quantifying it and leveraging the insights we get from the insights is priceless.

Sources: 2017 Laci Loew & Company LLC and Pandexio, Inc

How are leading organizations getting this business impact? Executing on this workforce transformation?

 A Curated Insights™ Technology Solution

In this uncharted Insights Economy era enterprises need a partner that can help them seamlessly integrate people and machines and engrain insights experts as their Workforce 2020. Tune in to part two of this publication for information about a new genre technology that leading organizations are already using.

The Worker of the Future

Authored by: Laci Loew
March 30, 2017

The pace of change has picked up dramatically, and organizations are feeling the effect on how work gets done.  At least five trends are permeating today’s workforces everywhere:

  • New capabilities: Workers are using cognitive systems to augment human ability to understand in the pursuit of expertise
  • New structure: Workforces represent a complex network of employees, freelancers, customers, and suppliers, both collocated and distributed around the world sharing insights to get work done
  • New expectations: Workers seek and stay with organizations forged in using technology and platforms to perpetually grow their knowledge and make meaning
  • New speed: Workers reside in an “always on” environment and find themselves with less time to sift through the incoming and get it done
  • New metrics: Workers rely on identifying and plucking know-how from peers and others who have figured out how to triumph in today’s ever-changing business world

The most challenging aspect of today’s workplace change is not the physical or technology revolutions, but rather the people component. The key to success is to understand that today’s workers perform best when given the tools and platforms to move from a user of information to an expert using insights to make key decisions and take critical business actions.

Subscribing to the form that today’s worker takes is no longer just for trials of the innovators and early adapters. They are mainstream and rudimentary for organizations who seek to outperform their competition.

Solving complex business challenges in today’s knowledge economy requires rapid organizational adoption of knowledge tools and systems the enable a movement from workers who merely use information to experts who curate insights.

Take a look at our Worker of the Future infographic pictured below. It spotlights insights vital for your consideration as you enable your workforce to be the knowledge experts your business requires for ongoing success in today’s complex and fast-moving knowledge economy.

Worker of the Future Infographic

2017 Brings a New Workforce

Authored by: Laci Loew
December 19, 2016

2017 Brings a New Workforce

Click the link immediately above to read and download our infographic.

Disruptive demographic and technology changes to our workforces will have profound impact on the business, employment, and talent landscapes over the next several years. 2017 ushers in a new, five-generational workforce steered by everything digital. That workforce means significant transformation.

There are at least six drivers behind the transformation:

Driver What It Means Rated as Top Trend When
Digital Economy Technology (advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing, machine learning, mobile devices, predictive analytics, social platforms and more) accelerates the speed with which work can get done and facilitates scalability of resources, human and otherwise. 83% Now, and particularly in 2017+
Demographic Disruption The workforce is becoming older and younger simultaneously with Boomers retiring at a slower rate than expected and Millennials comprising three-quarters of the workforce in the next few years. This implies a shift in new business models and an upgrade in skills among all areas of the workforce. 76% Now, and particularly in 2017+
Inclusive Culture D&I is no longer a numbers game 3a6pbt3. Encouraging a culture of innovation thinking and executing on ideas means acting with empathy, respecting diverse thinking, and generally embracing “other.” 65% 2017+
Social Media Peer-to-peer platforms are rising in utilization and enable organizations and individuals to connect anytime, anywhere for work to get done when and where needed and wanted. 61% Now, and particularly in 2017+
Work Contract Traditional employment contracts are giving way to flexible and short-term arrangements, particularly for younger workers who will elect to move from one employer to the next every few years at most. 57% 2017+
Work-Life Balance Younger workers are beginning to redefine what a balanced scale looks like — they are looking to redefine what we have known as the workforce to the leisure force where 15-hour workweeks could become reality over the coming years. 53% 2017+
 Source: 2016, Laci Loew & Company LLC, D&I Survey

Anticipating and preparing for transformation is vital. Click here to read and download our “2017 Brings a New Workforce” infographic. It aims to bring awareness and insight to the drivers, to stimulate HR and other business leaders to think about how to manage the change, and to prompt execution on calls-to-action vital for ongoing performance excellence and sustainability next year and the coming years.

HR in Transformation…and if not, should be

Authored by: Laci Loew
May 11, 2016

As I shared in an earlier post this year, for the first time, leadership cited the organization’s people strategy as being the single most-critical conduit to amplifying business results. Only people – well equipped with the right tools, skills, and passion – can execute on the business strategy. Our talent landscape is at $5 billion and growing 17% annually.  Learning content is a $107 billion market.

The intersection between people strategy and content spotlights key HR trends with which organizations today are grappling and associated business implications with which they, and their talent providers, must be concerned:

Key HR Trends Critical Business Implications



·      From in-office to remote

·      From FTEs to multiple personas

·      From hierarchical to flat organizational structures

·      From compliance-based diversity to an inclusive business strategy

·      From learning products to user-centric experiences

·      Build and nurture a collaborative culture

·      Embrace creative thinking and enable informed, critical analysis

·      Create a holistic employee experience, not isolated talent events

·      Leverage predictive analytics to intimately know the nuances and expectations of your workforce


Talent Strategy ·      From focus on “get the job done” to “give discretionary effort”

·      From HR initiatives to talent experiences

·      From transactional metrics to predictive analytics

·      From performance appraisals to development conversations

·      From learning events to learning cultures

·      Create channels for employees to learn and grow in a personalized style

·      Build managers’ and leaders’ skills to have conversations – authentically and regularly

·      Offer choices to employees in everything they touch and do

·      Empower employees to “get better” not just “do a good job”

 Source: 2016 Laci Loew & Company LLC

Today’s HR trends and associated business implications mean significant transformations in talent and learning strategies. Organizations often look to talent and learning providers to enable transformation that can be counted on to indicate real business impact.

Skillsoft can help. Stories shared this week from their leadership team and clients offer some level of evidence. It usually starts with the end: better business results. Getting better outcomes requires a people strategy that yields happy employees and engaged workforces.

To execute on these outcomes, Skillsoft shared their in-progress efforts on shaping modern learning and talent solutions. During breakfast this morning with CEO Bill Donoghue, he summed it up as “beautiful technology and engaging content.” With 400 million users and one billion learning modules offered in 29 languages across 160 countries, Skillsoft has traditionally been known as the world’s e-learning provider of choice.

I concur with that sentiment and also invite you to consider the transformation Skillsoft is ensuing to step up to today’s HR trends and business implications. Their leadership, product, sales, and customer success teams are working with fervor to expand their talent portfolio. This week they announced a near-term release of their recruiting and onboarding solutions. Their broader and deeper combined learning and talent portfolio will help their clients take critical talent actions:

  • Find top talent
  • Develop that talent via a unique experience with personalized content
  • Give talent their best shot at continuously better performance
  • Retain the talent that freely gives discretionary effort

This week, during Skillsoft’s annual Perspectives Conference where more than 1,200 HR/HRIS/Talent and business professionals gathered in Las Vegas, several of their clients including Capgemini, Eaton, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and University of California described their success stories around these critical actions. These organizations reported their use of the Skillsoft solution – in whole or part — to drive an employee experience that amps up their business results.

Using an assessment instrument modeled similarly to those offered by my own company, these companies and others can determine their readiness to execute on these critical actions as well as define organizational changes that may be of first priority like executive engagement, collaborative culture,  accountability and other strategic talent imperatives.

Knowing that peer conversations and benchmarking opportunities enable insights that often facilitate better business and talent decisions, Skillsoft steps up to empower their clients with 24×7 sharing capability via two online communities —cc.skillsoft simvastatin 20 mg and If you don’t yet have access to these talent communities, please feel free to start or continue conversations here about how you are embracing today’s HR trends and advancing learning and talent in your organizations to accelerate and sustain business success.



The press is usually sensationalized, but these publications are the doggone truth.

From Knowledge Worker to Insights Expert — the New Era and Reign of the SME

Check out our featured article in Elearning! magazine in the October 2017 edition. Employees are struggling to keep up with data that continues to grow at an alarming rate. Now, more than ever, they’re also having to make sense of changing technology with things like artificial intelligence (A.I.) and cognitive technologies in the workforce. According to … Continue reading From Knowledge Worker to Insights Expert — the New Era and Reign of the SME

Workforce 2020: Be Expert or Be Automated — Digital Technology Is Here to Stay

Check out our cover story on Workforce Management Excellence Essentials magazine cover story in September 2017. Massive data is coming at the workforce 24×7 and accelerating. Employees are overwhelmed – more so than ever before. Digital technology is here. Jobs are being automated – a phenomenon never before experienced. As such, work gets done differently. … Continue reading Workforce 2020: Be Expert or Be Automated — Digital Technology Is Here to Stay

300 Women in HR Technology Worth Watching

RecruitingDaily Presents: 300+ Women In HR Technology Worth Watching. Check out this March 2017 post on the movers and shakers in Human Capital and HR Technology. If you need advice, strategy help, execution ideas, leading practices, the insights, or the business case to advance your human capital decisions, an army of women stands ready to … Continue reading 300 Women in HR Technology Worth Watching

Improving Business Performance Via Learning

For the learner, improving engagement and retention requires a learning experience — not a training program. For the organization, it means a reduction in training costs, global reach and scalability. Check out this executive interview to learn more.

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