Identifying the gaps in a team is essential to making a system work. Whether that is developing a championship-winning sports team, casting the perfect ensemble for a movie, or running a profitable business, you need to be able to identify areas where the team is strong and where it is lacking and respond accordingly.
Kelly Kubicek, CEO of Fulcrum HR Consulting, an HR Management and People Strategy company, is a cutting-edge expert at helping organizations find solutions to operational and management blockages.
Drilling down further, Kubicek focuses on HR training and development, outsourcing, and providing clients the smarts to successfully integrate the tools they need to enhance their teams and boost productivity, leading to increased financial success. And, as you would expect from a next-generation HR thought leader, Kubicek also has a solution for clients to pinpoint internal gaps in their operations.
Like many ‘eureka moments’, Kubicek hit upon her signature process for identifying HR gaps while working on something completely different — helping Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts implement a major statewide project, impacting the paychecks of many thousands of people.
The state was introducing a “gold standard” initiative under the governor to run the public-sector government more like a business, and it needed to focus on remodeling and to integrate its HR and payroll in a way that was feasible and sensible.
Of course, they asked for Kubicek, whom the state had worked with before and considered a true pro. Fulcrum HR Consulting’s role was to consolidate 17 departments and 9,000 employees into a centralized payroll system in under 12 months. “It seemed kind of like an interesting feat — well, maybe more like an impossible one,” laughed Kubicek.
But, in her typical style, she rose to the occasion, dove in, and delivered the project ahead of schedule.
To get a grip on the project, the Fulcrum HR Consulting CEO began by sitting down with her now Director of Operations, Ashley Henry, to work on the project. But it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.
Once they began working together, they often butt heads. Their difficulties stemmed from differing styles of attacking problems. The truth was, they were polar opposites.
To deal with the problem, the two execs spent a couple of intense days in an empathic but objective workshopping session, putting a laser beam on the areas where they worked well together — and where there were gaps.
“In that meeting, not only were we able to hone in on the deliberate nature of her slowing down to help us to identify problems and organize the project. But with my drive to initiate and strategically align stakeholders, we helped to create and implement a concept for shared services that we just couldn’t have seen before.”
Shaped by honest and transparent dialogue focused on finding a practical solution, the meeting evolved Fulcrum’s master plan for the next ten months. Kubicek even took the concept she and Henry had created and redeveloped it as a service offered by Fulcrum HR Consulting to other businesses.
The service, dubbed Get Real, is a workplace philosophy Kubicek developed that identifies (G)aps, (E)valuates their value, and (T)ranslates a solution.
For example, a common issue Kubicek identifies for clients is the gap between middle management and leadership. This gap often manifests in how the two groups communicate, which limits the opportunities they can brainstorm and create together for their organization.
The second part of the philosophy is (R)eal recognizes real, (E)xpectations, (A)ccountability, and (L)eadership.
It can be daunting initiating a conversation around these topics, especially with company leaders. It takes hard conversations about company shortfalls, holding a mirror up to clients, and accepting that the root of the problem might come from how leadership communicates with middle management.
Kubicek admits that finding fault with the higher-ups — usually the ones renewing her contract and paying her fees — is potentially a problem, but also less common than you might think and is actually surprisingly well received. As Kubicek explains, Fulcrum HR Consulting is not there to tell you everything you want to hear, and they are not there to be ‘yes’ men to their clients.
Clients who are completely invested in their team and themselves — and committed to being self-aware — know they must take a hard look inside themselves. And they also know they will not like everything they find there when they do.
“These conversations are part of the process and are not warm and fuzzy. These are cold, prickly moments. They don’t feel great, but they are a necessity to growth, and it’s honorable when clients own their shortcomings, gaps, and to embrace a sense of vulnerability with their team that they may have never done before,” she said.
With these forward-thinking ideas surrounding gaps and solutions, Kubicek is helping HR departments in the country’s top companies become stronger, more united, and more human.
About Kelly Kubicek
Kelly Kubicek, CEO of Fulcrum HR Consulting, is on a mission to make HR more transparent. Fulcrum HR Consulting boasts vast HR experience, including accomplishments such as consolidating the entirety of over 9000 Nebraska state employees in one system in under 12 months and extensive work in Human Capital efforts. To discover how to uplevel your HR Process visit www.fulcrumhrconsulting.com