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    Sunday
    Dec102017

    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #4 - The Converse you need in 2018's Color of the Year

    There are few things in life I enjoy more than some new kicks. I am not willing to admit publicly just how many pairs of sneakers I own. Let's just say it is somewhere between 'Man that's a lot of sneakers' and 'Wow, I think you have a problem with sneakers.'

    But my tastes in sneakers isn't like the crazed 23 year-old sneakerhead chasing rare one-off collaborations or waiting for days in front of some pop-up shop in Manhattan to score a new release of Yeezys. I prefer the classics - Adidas Superstars, Chuck Taylors, Vans, and even some newer takes like Nike KDs or Kyries.

    With that in mind, and since our pals at Pantone just announced the 2018 Color of the Year - 'Ultra Violet' - a deep, rich, blue/purple shade, I had to find something for the latest holiday gift recommendation that combines my sneaker aesthetic with 2018's on trend color.

    So here you go - the classic Converse One Star Suede Low Top in a rich purple, almost Ultra Violet colorway.

    Simple, clean, will go with just about anything you try and pair it with. Works for men and women, (and kids) alike. A step up in refinement from a simpler pair of Chucks but still incredibly affordable, (as I right this, they are listing for $64 on the Converse site).

    I own a pair (or two) of One Stars and I can attest they are fantastic looking and exceedingly comfortable. Snagging a pair in 2018's Color of the Year for someone in your gift list, (or maybe just for you), seems like a no-brainer. 

    Ok, that's it, I am out. Go shopping or sledding or something.

    Reminder - I have no affiliation and receive no compensation if you purchase any of the gift recommendation items.

    Have a great Sunday!

    Friday
    Dec082017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 305 - Workplace Movie Hall of Fame: 'Big'

    HR Happy Hour 305 - Workplace Movie Hall of Fame - 'Big'

    Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, it is the return of the popular 'Workplace Movie Hall of Fame' series with a look at 1988's massive hit 'Big' starring Tom Hanks, America's 2nd most popular and acclaimed actor. 

    On the show, Steve and Trish break down the workplace themes and issues that 'Big' explored - ideas of how young people think about work and careers, how incorporating new ideas and creative thinking from diverse sources almost always benefit workplaces, and how office politics and stodgy cultures can often get in the way of progress and innovation.

    'Big' is mostly about the tension and conflict that arises from growing up and a huge part of growing up is finding your career calling and navigating the world of work. 'Big' offers the opportunity to think about modern work and workplaces and to think about what we all expected from work and careers when we were younger.

    Additionally, Steve continued to pitch Tom Cruise as America's greatest actor, we discussed how willingness to adopt new technology has always been a great way to advance your career, and whether or not you need to say 'Spoiler Alert' when discussing plot points of a 30 year-old movie.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a fun show and we hope you think so too.

    Thanks to HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts.

    Thursday
    Dec072017

    Color of the Year 2018

    In the continuing tradition of 'If it interests me, it must be interesting to other people too' that explains just about everything that gets covered on this blog, it is once again time to examine one of my favorite and recurring topics - Pantone's 'Color of the Year' choice.

    I continue to be completely, and probably irrationally fascinated with Pantone's 'Color of the Year' designation and process.

    In case you are unfamiliar (shock!), with Pantone and the Color of the Year designation here is all you need to know. Pantone is the world's leading authority on color, color systems, and publishes the industry standard definitions of colors. In other words that nice new orange shirt you just bought is not just 'orange' it is 'Pantone Persimmon Orange 16-1356 TPG'. Pantone provides guidelines and definitions for thousands of variations of colors, and it is the standard by which colors are classified.

    Each year the color experts at Pantone declare one specific shade the 'Color of the Year'. This specific color, (in 2017 it was 'Greenery' in case you did not know), is meant to be a kind of reflection of trends in art, design, fashion, movies, popular culture, and branding and often will subsequently become more common in actual products like clothing and jewelry as a result of the Color of the Year designation. So perhaps if you think back on 2017 and think you have seen a lot of Greenery around - sort of a vibrant shade of medium green, you have Pantone to thank or blame for that.

    So this week Pantone announced its choice for Color of the Year for 2018 a deep, intense, and saturated  hade of purple called 'Ultra Violet' - aka Pantone 18-3838.

    The rationale behind this choice of of Ultra Vilet for color of the year?

    Here's what Pantone's color experts had to say about the selection: (side note, isn't 'Color Expert' one of the coolest job titles ever?)

    A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.

    Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

    Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

    So what, if anything, should any of us care about what Pantone says about culture, trends, society, fashion, and how we all are collectively feeling - expressed through the colors we are seeing and using more and more?

    I suppose the main thing to think about is right in the verbiage Pantone used to describe their thinking processes behind the selection. The words awareness, mindfulness, and creative inspiration all show up in the description. Pantone is suggesting that the colors (and feelings) we will seek in 2018 will be ones like Ultra Violet, a color that (if such a thing is possible), will help to make us feel more open to creative expression, reflection, experimentation, and non-conformity and more inspired to take on the world perhaps.

    No matter your personal point of view, it is pretty fair to characterize 2017 as a kind of an unusual year. The US economy continues its amazing recovery 2008 lows (the recession now seems so long ago it is hard to remember it at times), unemployment seems likely to move under 4.0%, and measures like the stock market and corporate profits seem to indicate the good times are not yet close to ending.

    But lots and lots of folks are not sharing equally, if at all, from this recovery and growth. And of course the things that are happening in politics and with corporate/business scandals (looking at you Matt Lauer), remind us all that even in seemingly 'good' times that there will always be work to do.

    Pantone thinks/hopes that Ultra Violet will 'take our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way for what is yet to come.'

    Let's hope.

    The colors we choose to wear to paint our homes in to use in our creative endeavors say plenty about us, about who we are, how we feel, and perhaps how we want to feel.

    What do you think? Ready to rock plenty of Ultra Violet in 2018? I think it would make an excellent tie, (in case you have not shopped for my Christmas present yet).

    Have a great day! 

    Wednesday
    Dec062017

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 304 - LinkedIn, Talent Insights, and Data Science in HR

    HR Happy Hour 304 - LinkedIn, Talent Insights, and Data Science in HR

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Dan Shapero, Vice President of Talent Solutions, LinkedIn

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, we welcome Dan Shapero, Vice President of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn for a discussion about data science, machine learning, and how new tools and technologies are providing information, insights, and value to HR and talent management and acquisition leaders to help them make better talent decisions.

    Data is increasingly being leveraged to help employers decide whom to interview and potentially hire for open roles, to have better understanding to answer questions like 'Where should we locate the new offices?', and how to best reward, develop, and manage talent in the organization. 

    Enterprise systems are changing - in the past they only stored information. Today modern tools and technologies help organizations better understand that data, glean insights from that data, and make informed decisions as the systems learn more about the data and about the business.

    Dan shared ideas on how HR and talent leaders can begin to adopt these new approaches and technologies in their organizations, how to start the process or journey to becoming a 'data-driven' HR function, as well as some of the new technologies and capabilities that LinkedIn has been developing in these areas.

    Additionally, we learned that Dan knows recent HR Happy Hour guests Dan Heath and Sjoerd Gehring and that Steve still has not launched his all NBA show Bounding and Astounding.

    Listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below:

    Thanks to Dan for sharing his time and insights.

    And of course, thanks to HR Happy Hour Show sponsor Virgin Pulse - learn more at www.virginpulse.com.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    Monday
    Dec042017

    Alexa, what do I need to get done today?

    High, probably at the top of the list of 'Cool things I acquired in 2017 list' is the Amazon Echo, powered by Amazon's 'Alexa' platform.

    I talk to Alexa every single day. In fact, I probably spent more time with Alexa than anyone else this year. I probably ought to think about what that means. Anyway, back to the point. The single feature I use and enjoy the most is the 'Flash Briefing' or short news and information update that can be configured to have Alexa (via a slew of independently created 'skills' or sources), to give me a tailored, personalized update of news, sports, weather, meetings, and other updates that are meaningful to me. I probably use this feature two or three times a day. I know, I am weird. But I have become so hooked and almost dependent on Alexa that I even bought a second Echo device for the second floor of my house, so that Alexa and I would never be too far apart. Wow, that is really weird. But (again) back to the point.

    Last week Amazon announced the formal launch of the 'Alexa for Business' platform, that will enable organizations who place Alexa-enabled Echo devices in their offices, lobbies, and conference rooms to centrally administer these devices, provision user access to these devices, enable both public and private/custom skills to these devices, and finally, (and perhaps most interestingly), allow employees to access private/custom/proprietary skills on their personal Echo devices at home.

    Think about walking into a conference room and simply stating 'Alexa, start the meeting' to have Alexa fire up the connected A/V in the room, call the conference bridge number, provide the authentication to the conference call provider, and send out a notification to everyone on the meeting invite that the call/meeting has started. Really cool, (especially if you are as sick as me as having to enter about 27 numbers and codes to kick off a conference call), and according to the early Alexa for Business release documentation, really easy to set up.

    In addition to the meeting management stuff, Alexa for Business will be able to perform in a business/office setting the same kinds of tasks that millions of people are using Alexa for at home - controlling smart lights and equipment, getting Flash Briefings, setting reminders, managing To-Do lists, and even performing basic calendaring. I ask Alexa 'What's my next meeting? all the time.

      

    These use cases are all pretty cool, and are easily translated to workplace contexts as they are all simple and pretty straightforward. But do not underestimate how cool it would be to have Alexa lay out your day, your meetings, and your important 'To-dos' in a simple summary at the start of the day.

    But what is potentially more interesting is that Amazon has created a Skills developer kit and a set of APIs to enable solution providers, (like your HRIS provider), and individual organizations to create custom skills to enable Alexa-type access to things like sales reports, employee schedules, business travel itineraries, or even and update on the slate of candidates you have to interview for your open position on that day.

    It is not at all a stretch to expect that very soon, some if not most of the major HCM solution providers will begin to offer at least some support for Alexa for Business skills, as (and this is just like we saw with smartphones and tablets), as more and more employees adopt and begin to use these devices at home, they will want to use them for work. And also 'at home / for work' if that makes sense.

    If I were an HR/Talent pro thinking about or evaluating some new HR Tech tools I would definitely ask the providers that are vying for my business what/if any plans they have to incorporate Alexa, or voice UX more generally, into their technology and supported processes. 

    Because it is only a matter of time until your CEO or your Head of Sales comes to you to ask 'Why can't I do, (insert something they like/need to do here) on my Echo?'

    Happy Monday. Have a great week!