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The top stories HR pros need to know this week.

From assigned desks to flexible neighborhood

Just as leaders in the young adult fiction series Divergent broke their society into five “factions,” Citi’s managing director and COO of HR split the company’s office into “neighborhoods.” There’s one for compensation and another for learning and development, for example. While the setup is a work in progress, Citi learned several valuable lessons in workspace management. 

Read more at HBR.

Closing the “failure loop” requires new institutions

The current breakneck pace of innovation necessitates an equally rapid succession of failures. But corporations, blanketed by layers of bureaucracy, are typically risk-averse. To thrive in this era of innovation, we need a new set of institutions that help us stay flexible, says M.I.T. economist Daron Acemoglu.

Read more at The New York Times.

Hire like the pros

Call it Moneyball hiring. Businesses are adopting many of the same analytical practices that sports teams use to recruit top talent. But while athletic analysts evaluate multiple levels of team leadership, workforce planning often focuses on individual roles. It’s time for HR to take a cue from the coach’s playbook. 

Read more at Fast Company.

HR data analytics needs human support

For all its hype, HR data analytics is far from reaching its full potential. Employee information can live in a million different places: ERP systems, payroll and even spreadsheets. “Just finding the data can be a challenge, let alone integrating it and running sophisticated business-focused queries on it” says Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, senior vice president of research at PeopleUp. To get analytics up to speed, HR managers need to put on their data scientist hats.

Read more at Forbes.

Bosses fear flextime

Even if human resource managers are open to telecommuting arrangements, the same doesn’t often hold true for bosses. Only about a quarter of workers report to someone who’s willing to bring up flexible arrangements, according to a recent survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. 

Read more at Fortune.

Photo credit: Flickr/John