#SHRM12 Swag, Hockey, and Making a Difference

I’d been looking forward to the SHRM 2012 Conference for months by the time Atlanta finally rolle around.  It did not disappoint, to say the least. With a few days having passed, I’m getting messages from numerous channels demanding to know when the swag video will be posted.  Well, wait no more.  This time around, we have a very special event tied to our swag video.  I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it moves you to action.

 

**Quick  note: For auction information, please visit the SHRMBuzz Site!

 

There it is.  Not as silly as some in the past, and I promise we will be sillier in the future.  For now, please take a moment to visit the SHRM Buzz site to bid on the sticks or the Atlanta Mission to help us make a difference directly.  Or both! Special thanks to Josh Rock for being my partner on this and moving mountains for the cause, to Shauna Moerke for manning the camera, to Dovetail Software for being a great partner and sponsor, and to Curtis Midkiff for putting up with our schemes, not to mention joining in.

Best. Interviewer. Ever.

In between checking the temperature and how many fireworks shows have been cancelled, I ran across this headline. (HT: STL Today):

Missouri man admits crime in job interview, gets arrested

An eastern Missouri man’s honesty during a job interview with the state Highway Patrol got him arrested when, according to the interviewer, he acknowledged inappropriately touching a child.

I want to meet the person doing this interview.  Seriously?  What kind of questioning leads you down this path?  It’s too awesomely uncomfortable to imagine.

The full story shares that man who has now been charged with more than 20 counts, was interviewing for a role with…wait for it…the Missouri State Highway Patrol.  I guess Penn State isn’t hiring these days.  (Sorry, Penn, but you get to be included in each and every story like this for as long as I’m writing them.  This is your new brand.  Get used to it.  You earned it.)

This kind of interview doesn’t happen by accident.  There’s no indication of who conducted the interview, but it had to be some kind of super HR pro, right?  We know how to drill down and follow up, but getting a candidate to admit a crime like this?  In a way that they are hauled off in cuffs?  That’s outstanding work.

Whoever they may be, I am begging them to come forward and take to the conference circuit.  Please get out there and teach your brethren on conducting great interviews.

You have a gift.

What’s Good About A Bad Boss

 


The best thing you can do for your burgeoning career is, in my humble opinion, is to have a really, really horrible boss. Sounds weird, I know, but totally true. A good boss teaches you how to follow. A bad one teaches you how not to lead.

I was blessed to have a couple of atrocious superiors over the years. I learned some incredible lessons from them. Would you like to hear a few? You would? Awesome. Have a seat, I’ve got stories. First off…

Don’t overestimate your relationship.

Once upon a time, a company I had been with for a couple of years decided I would be good in sales. Do a couple of years, they said, to develop your skills and get to know the business. I was on board. And, in what I can only imagine was part of toughening me up, they gave me a new boss who was less than loved. That’s an understatement, of course. (I knew a retail owner in the business who was considering selling their store to company. They would have been in the same part of the org structure. A direct quote from a retail owner, who at that point balked, “I will let my store burn down and my children starve before I work for him.” True story.)

Anyway, I was lucky enough to be sent on an out of town trip with this new boss, along with several other people, for a three day project. Halfway through day one, lunchtime rolled around, and he decided to pick up food for everyone. We were only a couple of hours from home, so all of us drove. For whatever reason, he came over to me, put out his hand and said, “Give me your keys. I’m taking your car.”

Yup.

He assumed, for whatever reason, that our relationship was at the point he could demand access to my recently purchased car (which I loved dearly). It wasn’t. I turned him down.

Did it impact what I thought of him? Yes. In a good way? No. And when your team loses faith in you as a leader, it’s nearly impossible to recover.

Be careful what you say about others.

I worked for an executive who decided I was going to be their confidant. I’m ok with that role. Working in HR, it happens a lot. But this particular leader loved to tall me how little they thought of others. In very clear, very derogatory terms. It was to the point I was uncomfortable being in the room alone. Some of those opinions were about my team or other executives. It was not a great environment.

Of course, what concerned me as much as anything was what would be said when I wasn’t around. I mentioned that concern playfully one day, and was quickly given a response of, “Oh, I wouldn’t talk about YOU that way. Just everyone else.” Yikes.

Even if it is true, don’t go down that path. You may have a confidant with whom you share your real thoughts about everyone. Trust me, they will assume you have another confidant with whom you share your thoughts of them. Doesn’t matter if it is true. Have a mentor or non-work trustee if you need to vent. Bringing that into the office will cost you trust, key players or, in some cases, your job.

You don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. Or taking credit for them.

Leaders surround themselves with smart people. Smarter than them, ideally. That’s the way you grow talent and capability. It makes it tough, though, to get out of the way of all that talent and let them shine. I’ve had leaders who were very good at it, and leaders that weren’t. The worst had an uncanny knack for building their career on the work of others. Specifically when it came to presentations. Part of your role is making your leader look good, just as it is part of their job to make you look good. It’s how the world spins.

In this case, though, the circumstances were a little different. I was being recruited for a role, and was very interesting in getting it locked up. Following a full day of interviews, I built and sent a deck on a major initiative that I was told would be my top priority. I outlined my general approach, the key milestones I would expect to reach, timing and obstacles I would try to anticipate. I felt good about the work, and a few weeks later was a member of the team.

The presentation wasn’t brought up until about six months later. That’s when I found out that the person with whom I shared the deck was impressed. So impressed, in fact, he used it as HIS OWN PRESENTATION for a group as part of a full day retreat. That’s not to say it was unchanged, of course. He took the time to remove my name and change it to the corporate theme. The worst part is he was pretty proud if being resourceful enough to do so.

I’m not saying that has contributed to my style of using very abstract slides, as I think it’s a much better way to build a presentation anyway. But the truth is I think about that a little every time I share a presentation.

Give people credit. Especially if you have nothing to gain by doing so, and they may never find out. You’ll look better and be far more trustworthy in the eyes of others.

Timely support doesn’t beat no support. In some ways, it’s a lot worse.

It can be tough to speak up when you have something important to say. I’ve found myself in that position at times, and have been blessed in many cases with leaders who know enough to listen to dissenting voices. But not always.

I worked on a major project, and could see that we were burning resources to bring in consultants that, frankly, we didn’t really need. And by burning resources, I mean we were likely going to cut headcount to support ROI for the project. Working with a few others, who were internal resources that had experience with exactly the work we were trying to complete, we put together a plan to do the job for less money and in less time. We presented to our leader, who gave us vocal support and a green light.

The next day our project team was on a call with our sponsor. It was the perfect opportunity to present our case and discuss the options. The call opened, though, with the pronouncement that we had made the decision on using the consultants for the project, and that any disucssion on that point was unwelcome and unnecessary.  A pronouncement made by the very same leader that had given us his backing the night before.

Support is great.  But pulling it back at the wrong moment without discussion will destroy your credibility.

It’s not good enough to be self aware.

My final bad boss example is my favorite.  A team I worked with had a leader who lived the Golden Rule.  He treated the team as he wanted to be treated.  Lots of ambiguity and freedom to define your role, very little restriction on how you worked, and when decisions were to be made, they were proceeded by discussions with the team to get the best ideas around.  And it drove some of the team bonkers.

Sure, he’d make a hard decision when needed, but it was tough to know when that would be.  And when it came to discipline, you could be pretty sure he would go easy on everyone.  Too much of a team member, not enough of a team leader.  Not everyone thrives in that environment, and the team sometimes suffered for it.

Treat others as they want to be treated, not as you want.   That’s the lesson I learned from him.  Why is it my favorite?  Because I was that leader.  I also learned that self awareness can go a long way in your development.

Yup, bad bosses are pretty special people.  I hope you’ve had your share.  But no more than that.

Leadership Lessons from Joe Maddon

Tampa Rays Manager Joe Maddon

Joseph John Madden, manager of your Tampa Bay Rays.  He just inspires confidence, doesn’t he folks?  Look at him!  How secure would you have to be to dress that way? OK, the truth is, of course, that this isn’t Joe’s normal look.  It was part of a team dress code implemented for a recent road trip, done in honor of baseball writer extraordinaire Ken Rosenthal.  And how did the team respond?

This is just one example of how Joe runs his team a little differently that others.  His managerial style produces results, a great culture, and loyalty in a sport that sometimes finds it in short supply.  So, outside of becoming a major league baseball manager yourself, what can you learn from Joe?

Sometimes you have to leave the nest if you really want to fly.

Joe spent 31 years in the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim organization, six of them as a minor league manager.  As Mike Scioscia has been the manager of the Angels major league club since 2000 (despite his tragic illness), there wasn’t much of an opportunity for Joe to advance.  He may not have been given a shot regardless, as his teams had a losing record in all six years.

But Joe was, and is, a well respected “baseball man,” and in 2004 was a close runner up to Terry Francona in getting the big job with the Boston Red Sox.  (Francona led the team to two World Series titles, so I guess they made the right choice.)  In 2006, the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays tapped him on the shoulder to manage their woeful team.  He has turned them into a contender, and has a winning record for his tenure, as well as three first place finishes while sharing a division with the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Would he have gotten a chance in Anaheim?  Maybe.  He was 27-24 in two short stints as interm manager for them, but both times the long term gig went to someone else.  In the end, so did Joe.  After a long time honing his craft, he left for the opportunity to grow elsewhere.  Sometimes that’s what it takes.

It’s never too late to get your shot.

Joe spent four years as a catcher in the minors.  He collected 514 at-bats, and never reached AA ball.

Joe got his first managing job in 1981.  His team went 27-43.

Joe got his first full time major league gig at 52, 25 years after his first season.  Imagine getting your first shot at the big dance that late in your career.    You know how Joe got that job?  By being patient.  By learning.  By going in every day and working to get better.

How many players, coaches and managers have hung up their spikes before getting that call?  How long are you willing to wait for yours?

Fun is not a four letter word.

Look at the picture again.  Are you willing to put yourself in the line of fire that way?  Imagine how Joe would have felt had the rest of the team shown up in their traditional sport coat and slacks look.

I have a feeling he would have been just fine with it.  Joe embodies the old phrase, “Take your work seriously and yourself lightly.”  His method is to celebrate a win for 30 minutes, mourn a loss for the same amount.  Then you’re done.  Move on.  And the “moving on” includes going back to the team’s natural state of enjoying being together.

That’s not an accident.

Be yourself.

Joe couldn’t manage like Mike Scioscia.  He wouldn’t succeed being Ozzie Guillen. He shouldn’t try to be Tony LaRussa.  (No one should, but that’s another post.)

That said, you shouldn’t try to be Joe Madden.  That’s not the point.  The point is Joe is Joe, and everybody knows it.

So you be you.  It’s the role you know best.

Causation vs. Correlation

Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing "look over there."

 

I love the above comic from XKCD.  I thought of it in the middle of a great conversation recently on TalentNet Live that was, ostensibly anyway, about social media and best practices.  Somehow we stumbled into the difference between correlation and causation.  It’s one of my favorite things to talk about, which in and of itself is a little odd, to be sure.  But for anyone who doesn’t know the difference,  help is here.

Correlation is when two things tend to happen (or not happen) together.  The example I used on the show was the correlation between ice cream consumption rates and drowning deaths.  Statistically, these two data trends move together.  When ice cream consumption rises, drowning deaths do as well.  When ice cream sales start to drop, fewer people drown.

That’s not to say, of course, that people are drowning in ice cream.  Rather, there is another factor in play, which is heat.  When does ice cream tend to be consumed?  When it is hot.  And what do many people do when it is hot?  Head to the water.  Ice cream and drowning incidents have no relationship other than matching trends, both being related to a third factor.  Correlation.

Causation, on the other hand, is when there are two data sets that move in harmony, but one is, in fact, causing the other.  To follow the previous example, there is a causal relationship between the average daily temperature and ice cream consumption.  The rising temperature inspired people to seek out a cool, tasty treat more readily than in the winter.  Causation.

There also exists inverse correlations, in which two date sets tend to move in opposite directions.  An increased number of years spent in school tends to be reflected in a lower unemployment rate.  We all know that higher education isn’t a guarantee of a job, nor are people usually hired only because of their education, but there is certainly a relationship.

I hope now that I’ve given you a quick explanation, the comic at the top of the page is as funny to you as it is to me.

 

Engagement, Relations and Wellness. What’s the Difference?

One of the exciting things about working with Dovetail Software is the chance to dive into some interesting discussions with really smart people.  This question came up in week one, and it still has my head spinning.

Employee wellness programs have been all the rage for well over a decade.  Spiraling healthcare costs have prompted companies to start thinking proactively about the health of their teams, and a bevy of programs have been established to address the root cause of the costs.  (Root cause of healthcare costs.  I get all tingly just thinking about it!)  I remember the first time my company discussed charging smokers more for health insurance.  Amongst all the wailing and gnashing of teeth (mostly by smokers), the issue was raised of the legality of “punishing” a group.  Would it be considered a disparate impact?  Would be face potential legal action?  Could we get around it?  In the end, we didn’t charge smokers more for their insurance.  But we did give a discount to non-smokers.  Semantics, to be sure, but there it was.

This has now expanded into tiered insurance plans that include required health screenings and smoking cessation programs for the best plans.  And why shouldn’t it?  We charge more for every other type of insurance based on lifestyle, age, location and other variables.  It’s all about actuary tables and playing the odds.  Nothing new here.  We’ve accepted all of this as part of doing business and reducing risk.  And the returns speak for themselves.  This HBR article from December of 2010 puts the returns for Johnson & Johnson at $2.71 for every $1 spent.  Not bad at all.

That said, we too often ignore these same lessons when it comes to employee relations.  We know that there are some issues that will cost more than others.  Union drives are pricey, and if you are in the middle of a vote, it’s usually too late to change the outcome.  When turnover spikes, we scramble to hold onto our key talent.  By then, the internal and external forces that impact retention have reached a critical point that we very often have no control.  Our efforts are time consuming and expensive, and may or may not have any impact.  We are chasing lightning long after the thunder has subsided.

So how do we get in front of it?  We talk a lot about employee engagement, which is intended to be the proactive piece of employee relations, but in practice is it a litany of issues raised by those who haven’t left yet.  We too often ask leading questions that we hope will get us increased scores, but we don’t always get the level of candor from our teams we really need.  Most often we use multiple choice, which restricts the responses right away.  From there we analyze the areas that are in trouble, while often ignoring those that have “better than average” scores.  But do you really know what is going on?

One Page Talent Management by Marc Effron and Miriam Ort do a nice job of diving into why engagement efforts are so often lackluster, starting with the fact that every consultant has their own definition.  On top of that, they are generally snapshots in time.  To be effective, they need to be action oriented and clear enough for any leader to interpret on their own.  They reference Gallup’s Q12 survey as a short questionnaire that can can predict business outcomes, including turnover and profitability.  Simple to use, simple to read.  Go figure.

This is one of the very few tools, though, that we use to try to proactively measure and impact employee relations.  Why?  What is the difference between ER and wellness?  Why don’t we spend the same amount of time and effort to make sure our organization is as healthy as our team members?  My guess is that it’s hard.  And requires us to think differently about the work we do.  That’s called innovation, my friends, and I’m betting every single one of you can find that word somewhere in your company mission or vision.

I’m looking forward to digging into this issue more.  Dovetail Software is hosting a webinar on May 22nd on the topic, and I’m geeked to get to moderate.  Especially since the panel consists of HR luminaries Steve Browne, Paul Smith and Amy Dillman.  You can go here to register.  No strings, I promise.  Totally free.  And if you don’t like it, I’ll personally refund your money.  How’s that for a proactive offer?

Guest Post: Putting the Fear Aside

It’s a special day here at the blog.  A rare blog swap!  I’ve written a post entitled Playing Politics with Equality, which has been posted on the site of friend of the show and one man Wiki, Victorio Milian!

Victorio Milian is a creative and versatile Human Resources practitioner operating in the retail industry. Alongside this, he has been an active blogger for the past 3 years, writing about Human Resources and business trends at his self-titled blog

In his words:  “My career path demonstrates an ability to take on new and greater challenges, successfully manage multiple agendas, as well as work across divisions and with diverse populations. This is Human Resources at its best-to maximize the people potential of an organization in order to create and sustain value. In short, I like working with smart people to do smart things.”

He’s wicked smart, and it’s an honor to share space with him.  After this, go check out the rest of his work.  You’ll be glad you did.

Social media is a double-edged sword. It has allowed me to express my thoughts and opinions on a variety of subjects. It has given me fantastic opportunities to network, gain knowledge in different areas, collaborate with creative and intelligent individuals. The benefits have by far outweighed the drawbacks, most of which have to do with time. There simply isn’t enough of it; like anyone I often have to balance multiple priorities so I have had to make the appropriate sacrifices. In the end they have been worth it and I’m a better professional (and person) as a result.

Yet having this platform does come with a price, at least for me. When I first started getting involved in social media, I was scared. Yes, scared. As a practitioner working for a major retailer I was scared at how my then employer would perceive my tweets, blog posts, and other online activities. If they put the pieces together what type of image would they see of me? As the person who was directly responsible for crafting policy and procedures for the company, would they see my efforts as contradictory to that role?

And so I started off as an anonymous blogger. It was hard work maintaining a dual role, one where I couldn’t speak publicly about what I did. When I or someone else would slip up, I would get nervous, thinking that sooner or later someone would guess my secret. After a while I couldn’t do it anymore, and I came out. It was a relief, but the fear took a long time to go away, because I still didn’t discuss it at work. It wasn’t until a co-worker casually mentioned a blog post of mine that they liked that I truly began to relax.

Nowadays I’m a jet setting HR blogger (sarcasm alert!) but it wasn’t always that way. And now I face a different issue, one that’s still based on fear. I now have an established platform through which people read and enjoy my work. I have gained a measure of influence and most importantly to me, respect from my peers. Yet I find myself hesitating to write certain posts, or broadcast certain opinions, because I’m afraid.

I resigned from my previous company in September. Since then I, along with millions of others, have been searching for a role, an organization, a place to be a part of. I know that eventually I will land in the right role or, barring that, create for myself. As with any job search there has been plenty of ups-and-downs.Unfortunately, there’s been many incidents where I’ve had to honestly question people’s professionalism. I don’t ask for perfection; what I do ask for is sticking to your word, following-up, and above all else, acting like you understand that the candidate is a human being, and should be treated as such.

They seem like simple words, and yet I could say so much more. I could be quite specific, naming names, dates, and what was done exactly that warranted my claims of unprofessional behavior. And unlike the average job seeker, I have several thousand connections, online and off, that I could be telling my story to. And that’s where the fear lies. I fear some days I will just not care about my reputation, one that I’ve built over many years, and let as many people as possible know exactly why they shouldn’t consider working for XYZ organization, or why they should avoid working with a particular recruiter.

Instead…

I’m going to let it go. I am putting the fear aside, so that you may get a clearer picture of me. Not because I’m scared, but because I’m a professional. I will not allow fear nor anger to guide my decisions. If there’s something to be learned from this–it’s that your decisions help reinforce mine, to be better, to be that professional that people respect, not just for the position they occupy, but because they lead with integrity and honesty. That is who I am as a person. It is what I will continue to demand from those that want to do business with me.

Why the WSJ is Dead Wrong About Moneyball

No offense intended to anyone involved in its production or the Wall Street Journal, but this article from Joseph Walker is at best off target and at worst dead wrong.  Here’s a taste…

“The human resources department is known for being touchy-feely, but in the age of big data, it’s becoming a bit more cold and analytical. From figuring out what schools to recruit from to what employees should be offered flexible work arrangements, data analytics are helping HR professionals make more informed decisions.”

That’s only a little, but it’s a good sample.  Click the link above for the rest, then come back.  I’ll wait.

(Full disclosure: I read the book when it first came out and loved it.  I was lukewarm on the movie because of how much was left out, as well as the fact that the focus changed dramatically from the book.  And I’ve played roto baseball for 20 years or so.  And I’m a huge dork.  Glad we got that out of the way.)

OK, welcome back.  Now here’s the thing.  Neither the movie nor the book is about statistical analysis.  At it’s core, it is about a team short on resources that has to find a new way to win the war on talent.  Yes, the Scott Hatteberg story is a nice one.  I don’t recall the movie showing anyone yelling “picking machine!” at him during spring training (as they did in real life…and the book), but still nice.  David Justice did have a middling season for the A’s.  The movie did, however, leave out the fact that those same A’s had three Cy Young contending starting pitchers on the squad that year (Hudson, Zito and Mulder) and that they were the reason the team won most of their games.

The article is, I’m guessing, referencing the movie, not the book.  But that’s ok.  It’s still off target.  As a practitioner, I’m a little offended by Walker’s insinuation that HR is just now starting to get hip to analytics.  I know plenty of smart HR folks that have been slicing and dicing numbers for years.  But that’s not the point, either.

The key to the “Moneyball” approach isn’t just running numbers.  It’s about finding hidden value that no one else is going after and capturing it for yourself.  Back to Hatteberg.  It wasn’t just that Billy Beane saw his OBP (On Base Percentage).  Anyone could see that.  The point was that no one else thought OBP was all that important.  That’s what made Hatteberg valuable.  Had it just been a matter of the statistics, big teams would have outbid Oakland.

The book also delves into the scouting and minor league management of the Oakland farm system.  The same principles are applied.  No, they haven’t worked out every time.  Jeremy Brown (the hitter shown in the last few minutes of the film, but a major discussion point in the book) still isn’t major league talent.  But that’s not the point.  The point is he was undervalued, and they went after him.  The statistics only support that strategy.  That’s the heart of Moneyball.

If HR were to truly adapt the Moneyball approach, here are the kinds of things you would see:

  • Candidates who are, on paper, under-qualified for a role are interviewed and hired because despite not having the pedigree, they have demonstrated the right attitude and aptitude to become long term assets.
  • Talent is sourced from a number of innovative sources that are known to produce good people and good workers.  An example I’ve seen in real life is an organization that made a huge push to recruit in a specific local ethnic group.  The eastern Europeans they went after were smart, capable and appreciative of an opportunity.  This group produced top performers, including their Employee of the Year.  Other hires were tough to keep around for more than a couple of years.
  • Employees are reviewed not on how well they’ve done on their current role, but instead have their performance broken down into key skills.  Those skills are then translated into other roles they would be likely to handle successfully, and they are deployed in a way that maximizes their value to the organization.  Like Hatteberg moving from catcher to first base.

That’s what Moneyball is about.  New ways to source talent, new ways to use talent, new ways to get the most from your resources. The statistics make it go, but they are enablers, not the focus of the approach.

 

 

The Myth of Work Life Balance

Once upon a time, I got up, went to work, left, and didn’t think about work again until the next morning.  I can’t remember exactly how long ago it was.  The end.

OK, maybe not.  But the idea of work life balance seems to be built on this idea.  You work when you work, you don’t when you don’t.  But that is, for many people, not the way the world works.  Or your brain.

I’ve had the chance to see Jason Seiden speak on more than one occasion, and there is a simple message he shares about solving complex work problems.  Sit someplace quiet, relax, and let your mind turn the problem over.  Your brain knows what to do.  It will get the answer from the depths of your subconscious.

The truth is these quiet moments are often hard to come by.  Other than putting them in your schedule, and hoping others respect it, you are most likely to find those moments at the end of the day, long after you’ve left the office.  But you take them as they come because they are valuable, and rarely do they show up on your timecard.

There is no such thing as a clearly defined “work time” and “life time” anymore.  We live in a knowledge based economy, and for many their value is defined by their creativity, judgement and intuition.  Not things that you could, or should, shut off when you walk out the door.  Should you have some quiet time in your schedule?  Of course.  Will some of it come during “normal” working hours?  Maybe.  Are you going to come up with some of your best ideas when you are off the clock, being blindsided by your own creativity and genius?  Sometimes.  Hopefully.

“Clean out a corner of your mind, and creativity will fill it.”  Dee Hock said that.  I agree.  It’s not about balance.  It’s about being effective and innovative when you can.  And your brain doesn’t have a built in timeclock.  Sorry.

Headaches

Back in November, I started having splitting headaches.  Migraines, I was told.  Through my left eye and right out the back.  Always in the same spot.  Sometimes when I stood, they would be so sharp I needed a minute or two before I could function again.

Modern medicine came to the rescue.  MRI, MRA, CAT scan. Nothing out of place.  Medication that did little to help.  Neurology took a shot, too.  Different meds, some success.  The problem was that I’m not great about taking meds, so I’d miss them.  And the headaches came back.  For months this went on.  The whole time, there was this quiet, nagging thought about the cause, but I trusted medicine.  Finally, I did what I kinda knew from the beginning I should have done.  I got rid of my new pillow that I loved dearly.  All better.

That’s right.  I knew, deep down, what the problem was from the beginning, but I really liked the pillow.  Really, really liked it.  So I ignored my instincts and went looking for another answer.  I didn’t find it.  Go figure.

Every day, HR professionals go through their days looking for answers to problems that, deep down, we already have.  We want to find a new way to handle that problem employee, when the truth is we should be managing them out.  We try to build up people with training and development around their jobs, when what we should probably help with is decision making skills so we can rely on their judgement.  We work hours on employee engagement plans, when we know the real answer lies in management being able to say “thank you.”  And mean it.

Why? I suppose it is easier to look for an answer other than the one we don’t want to acknowledge.  There is a certain comfort in the unknown.  But real power comes from harnessing the answers we already have and using them.  Making good decisions, even the scary ones, quickly and efficiently.  Admitting what we already know as truth, and using it to change the world.

You have that power.  You have that knowledge.  You have the answers.

Use them.

Lean HR is using WP-Gravatar