HR Technology Research and Consulting: Meet Lexy Martin

Good morning and welcome to “Inside the Actor's Studio.” I'm your host, James Lipton… nah, not really. I couldn't help myself though.

I am honored though to be heading up the latest Women of HR Series wherein I get to interview some amazing women that we think know you want to get to know better.

I've always felt that one of the true value of this site was the ability to learn from our awesome contributors and the rest of our amazing community. I hope you all feel the same.

First up, please meet Lexy Martin, Vice President, Research and Analytics for CedarCrestone. Lexy is responsible for CedarCrestone’s annual HR Systems Survey, now in its 15th year. She also provides strategy, business case, metrics and analytics services and deep dive benchmarking in all industries.Working with many of the leading HCM vendors, Lexi has helped develop their value propositions and conducted numerous surveys of their customer bases. Few researchers in HR technology can match the experience that Lexy has accumulated during her career in introducing emerging technologies.

Ok, what do you really do?
I’m a wife, step-mother of two grown kids, natural grandmother, gardener, golfer, quilter, reader, lover of all things beautiful and peaceful.

So what does CedarCrestone do? CedarCrestone, headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, is an organization of 800 people focused on implementation, hosting, and management consulting around “enterprise systems.”

How did you get started?
I’ve had three careers. I started as a systems developer in lots of areas including payroll, medical records, and financial systems. Using that experience, I got into consulting at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and then tried my hand in a start-up developing some of the early employee/manager self service solutions. Picking the wrong partner (who eventually saw that self service was the wave of the future), it rolled on us and I returned to research and consulting with The Hunter Group – which has morphed into CedarCrestone. Truly, research and consulting is what I love and do best and this is what I’ve done for the past 15+ years.

So Lexy, please finish the following thoughts for me:

My best advice is … for anyone in IT or anyone in HR to partner with your counterparts. Too many HR people view IT as their nemesis when partnering might be best for them or their organization. Too many don’t partner with the business around HR technologies. I happen to think that IT people, as geeky as they are, are really great people. If HR just reached out, everyone could work for the good of the organization and themselves. And same goes for IT people – love your HR partners!

I challenge …

anyone in HR or IT to pick a technology because they like the company without doing due diligence against your business needs. Vendors are not, or should not be, cults to follow.

I encourage … Years ago, I met Claire Gianini Hoffman, the daughter of A.P. Gianini, the founder of the Bank of America. She had a luncheon for a bunch of us that were bank officers. As a programmer back in 1967, I was considered an officer of the bank. She asked each of us what we did and when I said, “I work with computers,” she said (remember this was in 1967), “I know computers are the wave of the future, but I prefer to work with people.” It changed my view of technology to the point that I emphatically understand and encourage all to remember that technology must serve people not just be implemented because it’s a cool technology.

Not every program … to introduce new technologies will succeed without change management. And deep change management that addresses the WIIFM – the what’s in it for me – of everyone to be impacted by the new technology. Change management is not just about training – technology has become too easy to use for training. It’s about helping everyone impacted to understand why the technology matters and what it’s value is to them and to the organization. It’s about communication and collaboration. I view technology as just a catalyst for change – change for the better.

People like … to have their input reflected in just about anything an organization does. So, seek out representatives from throughout the organization to get their feedback when you get ready to make a change.

One of the best resources … that I’m personally proud of is the annual CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey white paper available for free.  If you are getting ready to implement any new HR technology, please take a look. The HCM Application Blueprint is something that lots of organizations use to guide their HR technology road map.

I lose it … when someone responds to a question of mine with, “I have no idea.” Sheesh. I ask you a serious question that I think you have the capacity to answer and you respond that way. Think better of yourself. If there is a thought you wished I would have included, let me know.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Women of HR?  If you work in an organization of 300+ employees, please respond to the 15th annual HR Systems Survey available here.

You can find Lexy at her CedarCrestone blog and you can follow her on Twitter as @lexymartin.

Lexy, thank you so much for your time!


About the Author

Shauna Moerke

Shauna is an HR professional with a diverse work history, a Master's degree, and a PHR certification. She is also a huge geek, social media advocate, and infectious giggler. Besides being a co-founder of the Women of HR she also serves as the current Ringmistress of the Carnival of HR, is the former co-host of the HR Happy Hour blogtalk radio show, and blogs at her own site as the HR Minion.


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