From the Vault: What’s Missing From Diversity

It’s one of the most popular topics in the workplace.  Either you have a lot of resources being put toward diversity (A policy! A program! A diversity officer!) or you think you are already diverse and want to shout it from the rooftops (Metrics! Team photos! Recruiting strategies!).  And that’s great.  I don’t know many people who are willing to speak out against diversity.  Yes, there are some unintended consequences if not handled properly, but I think we can give organizations the benefit of the doubt in most cases.

What troubles me about diversity, though, is what we so often leave out.  Let’s think for a second about what generally falls into the “diversity” arena:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation

All very traditional topics, and all traits that define who we are.  And all fairly easy to measure.  But there are so many other things that we never really talk about, and that are a little tougher to quantify, such as:

  • Personality
  • Work style
  • Learning style
  • Learning capacity
  • Drive

Ugly list, huh?  But they sure do more to define who you are, in my opinion, than the color of your skin.

A team that represents the all the colors of the rainbow isn’t necessarily a diverse team.  And a team made up of three sets of triplets could be one of the most diverse you’ve ever seen.  Diversity is about finding out looking for the bet talent, figuring out how people think, work and succeed, and then putting them in a position to best utilize those skills so that everyone gets ahead.

Kinda sounds like the foundation of good management to me.

The HR Carnival is Visiting Dovetail!

If you’ve been around HR for any amount of time, you’ve surely seen or heard of the HR Carnival, run by friend of the show Shauna Moerke.  Well the train is rolling this way, and we at Dovetail are thrilled to be hosting an upcoming version.

On March 27th, the new carnival can be found on the Dovetail Software blog.  Some of you may know that I like to have a theme when I host, and this turn is no different.

We at Dovetail are all about sharing.  Aside from sharing the workload and the knowledge in our software, we like to share what we know and what we love about the HR community.  So we are making sharing part of our theme.

When you get your submissions ready to send, we’d like you to include a link to someone else’s blog post as well.  Something you’ve read that you really loved.  Something that made an impact on you.  Or something that just deserves more attention that it is getting.  We will post them all!

So get on the stick.  Submissions are due March 25th, and the carnival goes live on March 27th.  You can send your links to me at

Don’t miss it!

Carnival Time 2012!

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. We’re so glad you could attend! Come inside! Come inside!

That’s right, the first edition of the carnival for 2012 is here! And I couldn’t be happier about hosting. Last time it came this way we saw fantastic writing. This year is just as rich in content, quality and funnel cakes, so let’s get right to it!

Stuff about last year…

Here’s to the Winners and Part II: The Losers: Two posts from David Shadovitz looking back at 2011. Yes, two posts is cheating a little. Go with it. It won’t be the last time you’ll see it in this carnival.

2011, It’s a Wrap: 10 Ways to Tell if HR is #Winning Cathy Martin delivers thoughts on measuring progress.

Stuff about this year…

2012: Live Like the Mayans Were Right: Dr. Dan Crosby gets the nod as the first to bring up the end of the world in 2012 Carnivals. Well done indeed!

Connecting the Dots!! Steve Browne, fresh of a birthday celebration that, I’ve heard, shook the northeast to its core, challenges the status quo. Yes, yours too.

New Years 2012: Questions For Leaders: Linda Fisher Thornton throws out some ideas to get your brain limbered up for the next 12 months.

Your Top 10 Resolutions – Are resolutions nonsense? Maybe. Will you be able to keep them? Probably not. Susan Heathfield is here to give you some resources to change that.

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions: Andrew Tarvin gets in on the cheating with a three part post.

The rest of the stuff…

To Blog To Serve: A self described “cheeky” addition from Merv Dinnen. A round-up of what other bloggers are reading these days. As Carnival entries go, it’s very meta. As cheating goes, it’s top notch.

A Get Over It Guide to Transgender in the Workplace: A great story from Jessica Miller-Merrell on real workplace diversity.

Bosses: Do the Whole Job: Wally Bock looks at the work that really lies in front of people managers.

A Management Tip for Evaluating Employees: Performance reviews are coming. Mike Haberman might has something that might be helpful.

6 Ways to Take the Dread Out of Writing Self-Appraisals: Jennifer Miller may also have something of interest for those who start the appraisal process at home.

Seven Leadership Lessons From Seven Sports Figures: I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff. Each of these could probably be material for a full post, so it’s like getting six free posts!

Saying What We Mean and Not Raising Unrealistic Expectations! Ian Welsh turns a Twitter encounter into thoughts on communication and sincerity. How many of these did you violate today?

How to Achieve Better Gender Balance through Succession Planning and Development: Dan McCarthy brings some actionable advice on chasing diversification.

Work Anniversary – Is the Honeymoon Over? Our favorite Upstart, Ben Eubanks, looks back after hitting one year in his job.

How Fight Club is your career. So man up! Patrick Mullarkey translates a great film into career advice, breaking rules one and two in the process.

There’s True SaaS, And Then There’s SaaS: Naomi Bloom is here to educate you on the difference. Can you be am HR leader and not know this stuff? Probably not. Pay attention.

Stop Beating Up HR About the Numbers! Workforce planning starts with “why.” So says Lois Melbourne (which, IMHO, makes it true).

Appropriate metaphors for Organizational Commitment: Are you using the right words? Prasad Kurian has some thoughts that might interest you.

And the thank you stuff…

Thanks to everyone who submitted or visited for the carnival. Hope your 2012 is off to a great start. The best is in front of us!

The Carnival is Coming Back!

Where did the year go?  Good golly, is it almost 2012?  Really?  Wow.

Well, with the new year comes a new set of Carnival hosting duties, and your truly has the unique pleasure of hosting the first installment of the year.  Considering how little material I’ve been pushing out lately, it probably couldn’t come at a better time.

As you may recall, I hosted a themed version of the carnival back in March designed to showcase the incredibly diverse writing talent of the HR blogging community.  We are blessed with great writers, and I loved where we all went.  This time, the training wheels are off.  All topic are fare game.  Write what you love, kids.

Just as last time, I really want to make sure all you that have thought about writing, but haven’t taken the time to dive in, know that you are welcome to contribute.  I’m happy to share my site with anyone who has something to share, but not a place to share it.  Or even if you do, you are welcome to crash at my place anytime.

Come one, come all.  The carnival awaits!

What Would You Say…Ya Do Here?

One of my favorite moments from one of my favorite films.  If you don’t know which one it is, I’m not telling you.



I share this in celebration of the latest Carnival of HR, up and running over at the Strategic HCM Blog, hosted by the lovely and talented Jon Ingham.  So, assuming you’ve watched the video, get on over and enjoy the goodness.

I’m Not Saying It’s Your Fault, But I Am Going To Blame You

For this edition of the HR Carnival, Matt Stollak has asked us to think about posts that have inspired us from other bloggers.  I love to spread the blame around, so I’m happy to jump on this one.

When I think about being inspired by blogs, I don’t think about particular posts.  I think about two people.

Trish McFarlane.

Paul Smith.

And it all happened at HR Tech 2010.

I was new to the Twitters, and had just started paying attention to the blog.  Knowing no one in the social media world, I thought it very cool that there was someone else from St. Louis that I could read.  I wandered through the opening reception in Chicago, checking the nametags of all the ladies, hoping to catch one I recognized.  (NOT a great way to make an impression.  Place that nametag a little higher, ladies!)

After, I felt the need to let the Twitters know that I had not seen Trish.  Sad face.  But not ten minutes later, she responded back with a note to join her and Steve Boese for an evening beverage.  After trying to match the faces in the bar to the faces on the people, I figured out who was who and settled in for real life networking.

The next day I was delighted to meet Paul for the first time.  Paul had been very supportive of my writing (as sparse as it was at that point), and was quick to welcome me to the blogging community and make me feel welcome in the circle.  Thanks to him, I spent HR Tech among friends, not strangers.  He is one of the most genuine and supportive people I’ve had the privilege to meet, and I find myself counting the days until I see them next.

So what posts inspired me?

I went back to the first posts on their blogs I could find where I commented.  I’m not saying my comments were all the witty or important, but any post that gets someone new in the space to add their voice is, to me, an important one.

HR Ringleader: I’m Engaged at Work, Are You?

Welcome to the Occupation: License to HR

So if you are looking to blame anyone for me hanging around at HRevolution this weekend, these two are a good place to start.  They aren’t the whole list, of course.  Shauna, April, Mike, Mark, Meg, Eric, John, Charee, Laurie, Steve, Lisa, and a ton of others became part of my world in a hurry.  So you are all at fault too, I guess.


HR Carnival – Safe At Home

When I was blessed with the chance to to host the HR Carnival this week, I really wanted to do something a bit different.  I’m always intrigued by the different directions people will take from a common starting point, and regular readers will know I enjoy playing with RandomPhrase.Com to generate post titles.  So the idea of trying to get everyone together for a group project, showing off our collective writing skills and diversity was too good to pass up.  And while the inspiration for the title was my love of baseball and the sheer hours of spring training games I’ve been watching, I could not have predicted some of the wonderful topics that this community has produced.  Well played to you all.

I appreciate each one of our participants, and I hope that you all take the time to read and digest these diverse and, in many cases, very personal pieces.

I am more proud than you can imagine to share with you the members of our community that are part of the “Safe at Home” edition of the HR Carnival.  Don’t look for a recap, a summary or a teaser.  I fear I wouldn’t do the posts judgement.  Click through, read their work, and then respond.  Don’t let our community be a one way conversation.

Amy Wilson

Anita Lettink

April Dowling

Ben Eubanks

Drew Tarvin

Ian Welsh

Jennifer Miller

Laura Schroeder

Lois Melbourne

Lynn Dessert

Mark Bennett

Mark Stelzner

Mervyn Dinnen

Michael VanDervort


Patrick Mullarkey

Paul Smith

Robin Schooling

Shauna Moerke

Steve Boese and Patrick Boese

Tamkara Adun

Tim Gardner

William Gould

Safe at Home

For the upcoming edition of the HR Carnival, I’ve challenged the community to write a post on the topic of their choice, but using the title “Safe at Home.”  Wouldn’t be fair if I did put one up myself, would it?

I intended this post to be about baseball.  It’s not.

I wanted to talk about the first time I noticed baseball.  I wanted to talk about seeing Joaquín Andújar being carried off the field following a Ted Simmons line drive to the leg.  I intended to talk about seeing the Milwaukee crowd give the opposing ace a standing ovation as he was carted off, a clear outpouring of support and sportsmanship on the biggest stage of the year, game three the World Series.

But then I broke my own rule.  I read the other posts in this series before writing my own.  It’s ok.  It’s my rule.  I’m allowed to break it, right?

We do this HR Carnival every couple of weeks, and I always enjoy the themed shows.  I’m not sure where the common title idea came from, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  The response has been terrific, and I can’t wait to share all of these great pieces of writing in one place.  There are first time submissions, posts from people I really respect and love to read, father-son posts, a webcomic, and even a lovely piece of poetry from someone who hasn’t started their blog yet.

I am very taken with the response.  And you have made me change my post.

I look across this pond of ours, this completely open yet somehow exclusive club, and I marvel at the talent and diversity of which it is made.  The social media space for HR is a warm, even safe, place to bring your ideas, speak your mind, and share your vision.  We are of different backgrounds, education, values and experience, yet that makes us stronger in our bonds.  I see events like HRevolution, at the list of names that are coming together for the chance to be together.  We have made friendships with those we have never met.  We seek shelter from the storm in the solace of strangers.  And it couldn’t be more welcoming.

This community is our home.  Within it, we are not only together, protected, wanted and welcomed.  We are safe.

I am proud to be allowed to come home to you all.

Guest Post – Safe at Home

As part of the HR Carnival fun, I am pleased to present a guest post from Tamkara Adun.  While her blog is not yet up, she wanted to be part of the experience this time around, and I am of course willing to let her crash here for a day.  I’ll keep any other comments in reserve until the Carnival is up.  Enjoy!



Safe at home, warm and nurtured, well and thriving…..

My dreams and aspirations.

Like a new born baby nestled in his mother’s arms, they lie snug and protected by my inner resolve and sheer determination.

My ideas rest untouched, unscathed by external stimuli

I guard them closely. They are mine to be recalled a million times, every second of every day.

I feed them constantly with juicy articles and fine wine. A healthy dose low calorie tweets and blogilicious nuggets of wisdom from various social media sources!

I am not totally out of the woods just yet but through it all, I have kept them safe.

Safely hidden in my mind to be constantly reviewed, evaluated and updated……Just waiting to be launched.

Yes my plans are out of harm’s way ….safe and secure at home.

But what really is Safe?  The Adjective “safe” begs the question …. from what??

The answer would be, from the disappointments that may lurk, from cynicism, self doubt and from the second guessing of me by myself.

It has been said by some, that Home is where the heart is.

It must be true then, cos my dreams are safe at home, in my heart.


Tamkara Adun

*Fairly new word: Blogilicious: A stimulating blog, guaranteed to motivate and inspire.

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