Every week I interview entrepreneurs and experts from around the world to share their big ideas about new forms of value creation, and the potential we unlock when technology augments the unique strengths of people to deliver remarkable impact.

From Records to relationships

I became inspired by the big idea behind Hibob; hence, I invited CEO Ronni Zehavi to my podcast. We explore what’s broken around the approach of the HR systems we’ve gotten used to over the past decades and why that approach won’t work any longer if you want to grow your business and impact today’s workforce.

What  triggered me most from my interview with Ronni

“There’s a new type of employee and a new type of relationship between employers and their people. This will drive the market going forward. The focus is on the tribe –  the employee and the team, the small groups within the company.”

Why did this trigger me? What’s the greater value here? 

I’ve been acting in the world of ERP and back-office systems for over 28 years and can only agree that the focus of those systems was always about the process, not the people. Companies of all sizes around the world were offered systems of record that helped with streamlining processes and improving compliance, but these systems didn’t have their effect on increasing the impact of the driving force behind most companies: its people.

In today’s experience economy those who can keep in pace with their customers’ evolving challenges and aspirations, and create solutions that exceed their expectations, will win. And that’s a people game. This is what became the founding principles behind Hibob. Instead of building a ‘better’ system of record, they challenged conventional thinking and started off on a compelling vision about what they wanted their ideal customers – fast-growing mid-sized companies that realize their #1 asset is their people – to become. 

They realized it’s not about more process and more compliance. It’s about freeing people up so they can be curious, think, and act. It’s about teaming them up with the right (internal and external) people – the tribe – to “crack the code” by creating the perfect cocktail of experience, intelligence, and diversity. I agree with Ronni. This requires a new approach, a new architecture: Systems of Relationship.

What’s the more significant opportunity that raises?

Is this only about empowering people in ways they’ve never been empowered before? I believe that’s only a piece of it. Once systems of relationship start to do their good by putting people first, by freeing them up, and by connecting them within the tribes that help them flourish, something else will happen; it will, for the first time, give insights into the true DNA of a company. 

This is an underlying trail Hibob has seen. The data doesn’t only reveal the influencers, mentors, the heavy lifters, and problem solvers within the company ecosystem – and how they optimally work together – it also reveals what sets the organization apart from other organizations. As Ronni calls it: “Their unique recipe.”

This is the magic fuel to further strengthen an organization on a day-to-day basis by means of how work is done, but also in the hiring process. It’s not enough to hire people that are an expert on X or Y – today, it’s even more important they “fit in.” That’s where 1+1=3. And homing in on this can become a flywheel for a company that, once in motion, becomes unstoppable. That’s powerful, and that’s exactly what we’ve been missing in HR systems up to now. 

Listen to the big idea behind Hibob, and why it has the potential to transform the impact that people can make by actually putting them first.


from Ton Dobbe

Ton is a strategic product marketing expert with over 28 years of experience in Enterprise Business Software. He’s the founder of Value Inspiration, an agency that helps tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission shape the software business they’ve always aspired to run: Remarkable and Impactful. He’s a top global influencer of AI, and hosts the weekly Value Inspiration podcast with the sole purpose to share compelling stories of the value we can unlock when technology and people blend in the right way. Previously Ton acted as Vice President of Product Marketing & Management, Global head of product marketing and Chief Evangelist at Unit4, a global leader in ERP for Services.