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    « Aspirational Cuisine | Main | Imagine there are no 'A' Players; it's easy if you try »
    Friday
    Mar182011

    Guess the Corporate Support Function

    Take a guess at what corporate support function, and the nature and design of an increasing number of positions in that function were recently described by a senior executive at a huge, global corporation in the following manner:
    ...new jobs are being created that recognize the importance of both technology and creativity simultaneously.  So, as these left and right brains are thankfully mashed together in a singular role, job titles such as “creative technologist,” “marketing engineer,” and “information architect” are beginning to appear on org charts. We are looking at creativity and technology in the same glance instead of sequentially and that is tempting indeed. My bet is that these early “buds” will flower in surprising work and productive, new ways of conversing with our consumers and customers
    Did you guess HR? Finance? Communications?

     

    Actually, you probably sorted from the 'marketing engineer' title, that the quote was indeed about Marketing, and was attributed to Dana Anderson, Kraft Foods’ Senior Vice President of Marketing, Strategy, and Communications.  The quote is sourced from an interview of Ms. Anderson on the Forrester Interactive Marketing Professionals Blog here.

    Why does a quote about what a big-time Marketing executive thinks is going to be one of the most significant changes in her field in the next 10 or so years matter to the (assumed) readers of this blog - HR, HR Technology, and perhaps recruiting professionals?

    Perhaps not much. But in a semi-regular effort on this site to make connections between stuff I find interesting (sports, comic books, tech gadgets) and Human Resources issues - I'm going to give it a try.

    If you buy-in to the idea that in HR, much of what you are expected to do as a leader, is quite a bit similar to what sales leaders confront every day;  and if you see the relationship between say something like recruiting and branding, or even performance management to a complex and coordinated PR campaign, then developments in the talent profiles for the next generation of marketing (and likely communications and PR), probably do matter to you in HR.

    Take another look at the Anderson quote. She talks about job titles like 'creative technologist' and describes the next generation of talent in her discipline as possessing a blend of left and right brain thinking that should ultimately produce 'surprising and productive' work, and create 'new ways of conversing with our customers.'

    Would you characterize any of the spots in your HR shop using similar language? Is there any room on your Benefits team for a creative technologist?  Anyone in the training group given the chance to develop and innovate using a mashup of their left and right brained selves?

    If you believe at all in the idea of a 'war' for talent, and that convincing the 'best' or most capable people to come and join your organization, or even for internal talent to join your in-house function will result in competitive advantage, then understanding what the next generation of marketers, sales people, and communications pros will bring to the mix is really important to you in HR.

    I'll spin it this way - if you were just starting out in your career, smart, good education and backround, lots of options to consider, which direction might you go?

    Door Number One - towards the future of marketing, mashing up creativity and technology while creating new and exciting things.

    or

    Door Number Two - leading to the future of HR in your organization.

    Come on, be honest - which one would you choose?

    Have a fantastic weekend!

     

     

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