RBL Insights: White Papers

Dave Ulrich /

Human Resources (HR) Business Partner 2.0

The business partner concept has dramatically evolved from roles and outcomes to a logic of how HR delivers value to employees, organizations, customers, investors, and communities through individual talent  leadership throughout an organization, and organization capabilities. HR’s evolution will continue as current business issues place HR center stage (e.g., digital information age, #MeToo movement) and HR needs to continually upgrade to respond; but it is useful to move at this time from business partner 1.0 to business partner 2.0. 

Erin Wilson Burns and Dan Smith and Norm Smallwood and Dave Ulrich /

Level-Up Leadership: Increasing Effectiveness and Impact of Leadership at Different Levels

Last year, we pulled data from over 13,000 global leaders and over 80,000 rater data points collected over the past ten years to look at how the Leadership Code varies at these different levels.  What exactly is different about the work of an executive? A middle manager? A front-line leader?  This article summarizes these findings.

Building Capability: HR Strategic Partnering

Embedded in the business, the ability of strategic HR partners to rise above the transactional HR demands and become full partners with their business leaders in setting and implementing strategy makes or breaks an HR organization’s strategic contribution.

Dave Ulrich and Joe Grochowski /

Auditing the Effectiveness of Your HR Department

For the last 30 years, the RBL Group has been on the forefront of HR transformation. We believe that HR is not about HR, but HR begins and ends with business. We find that many who focus on HR transformation are focused almost exclusively on how to organize the HR department. We believe in designing the right HR department, but focusing ONLY on the HR department is a narrow focus of the overall effectiveness of HR.

Jessica Johnson /

Building a Robust Leadership Development Program

In recent years, U.S. companies spent an estimated $12 billion on leadership development programs (O’Leonard, 2010) and services with respondents to a recent survey saying that only a quarter of their training programs were effective at measurably improving performance. At RBL we’ve done extensive research (Murphy, 2011) and have decades of collective experience working with the top leadership companies around the world. That experience has taught us what works and what doesn’t when creating an effective and impactful leadership development program.

Dave Ulrich /

Coaching for Results

This article begins with the basic philosophy of coaching required for either behavior or strategy results. It then discusses key tenants and an approach for both behavior and strategy coaching, then concludes with challenges for executives who want coaching for results and coaches who want to deliver results.

Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood /

Leadership as a Brand

Product brands are pervasive; in fact, we buy certain products in part because their brand reflects our self-identity. However, the emphasis in branding has shifted from products to the firms that produce or design them. Today it is less a specific product that entices the customer and more the reputation of the firm—and the firm’s brand is sustained and enhanced by the firm’s leadership brand.