By Pam Boiros
The “evidence-based” approach has its roots in medicine. The evidence-based medicine movement encouraged medical professionals to determine, using available evidence, the most effective treatment path for a particular disease was and to apply that treatment. While this might seem like a common sense approach, many doctors had become accustomed using their own treatments even when scientific evidence indicated that other treatments were more effective.
In certain areas of human resources and people management, decisions are also often made without full use of the evidence available. For example, in some organizations the interview process can be unstructured and hiring decisions made primarily based on the manager or recruiting committee’s instinct about a candidate.
The accomplished authors of Transformative HR — Ravin Jesuthasan and John Boudreau — contend that the future of the HR profession lies in improving its ability to make decisions based on evidence, using both qualitative and quantitative data. And they have the industry and academic experience to back up their assertions. Ravin Jesuthasan is a managing director of Towers Watson, the global practice leader of the firm’s talent-management practice. John Boudreau is professor and research director at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and Center for Effective Organizations and a prolific author in the field of HR.
After presenting their model of Five Principles of Evidence-Based Change, Jesuthasan and Boudreau include six detailed case studies of organizations such as IBM, Ameriprise, Coca-Cola, and Royal Bank of Scotland.