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    Monday
    Nov262012

    WEBINAR: It's Time for Your Close-Up

    Have you heard about the latest trend in cosmetic surgery?

    Of course you have, you are on top of things, you even know that this past weekend the mighty South Carolina Gamecocks football team defeated arch-rival Clemson for the 4th consecutive year, (sorry, I just had to slip in a sports reference).

    Back to cosmetic surgery.  With the growing accessibility and importance of video communication - Skype, Google Hangouts, Video Interviewing, FaceTime, etc., a new genre of surgery has emerged - the so-called 'FaceTime Facelift'.

    The idea behind this clever marketing stunt by a couple of enterprising cosmetic surgeons - that increased use of video technologies will drive a subset of users to seek, ahem, enhancements, in their appearance and some kind of improvement in their confidence when using these new technologies.

    Sounds crazy, right?

    But the 'FaceTime Facelift', despite how ludicrous it sounds, does reveal an underlying truth - video technology for essential communication, collaboration, and simply 'getting things done' continues to emerge as one of the most dominant technology trends of the last few years. And this trend is bigger than Skyping your Aunt Betty for her birthday, it continues to drive important changes and present opportunities inside of organizations as well.

    That is why your friends at Fistful of Talent, in collaboration with the folks at Blue Jeans Network, have decided to focus on video and it's role in driving results inside the organization for the latest installment of the FOT Webcast titled "Video Killed the Radio Star: How Collaboration Tools and the BYOD Movement Are Reshaping the Way HR & Recruiting Pros Get S#*T Done”, to be presented this Thursday, November 29th at 1:00PM ET.

    Here are all the deets:

    Join FOT for our November webinar (sponsored by the fine folks at Blue Jeans Network), “Video Killed the Radio Star: How Collaboration Tools and the BYOD Movement Are Reshaping the Way HR & Recruiting Pros Get S#*T Done”,  on Thursday, November 29th at 1:00PM ET, and we’ll hit you with the following:

    1. A detailed dive into why video collaboration is quickly killing the use of traditional audio conferencing tools and the positive impact the shift is having in modern day organizations.

    2. Five ways you can leverage video collaboration tools in your organization today. FOT is determined to make you a believer, so we’re offering up five scenarios in which video collaboration would be the most effective route to execute challenges in your daily role and ultimately drive business results.

    3. A comprehensive roadmap for driving user adoption of video collaboration across your organization. You’ve got the goods now it’s time to put them to use. FOT will break down the three barriers to user adoption and offer up a resistance free roadmap to implementing video collaboration across any business.

    4. A universal script guaranteed to eliminate pregnant pauses, crickets and speaking out of turn.

    5. BYOD and the Mobile Era - the final definition.  We’ll bring in Jeremy Malandar from Blue Jeans Network to define BYOD and the Mobile Era, and break down why they are leading drivers in the shift to video collaboration.  

    Bonus: We’ll wrap this webinar by stocking your toolbox full of free, cheap and accessible video tools and hardware to help you get started with video collaboration in your organization today.

    Toss your outdated audio conferencing equipment like a pair of acid wash jeans and start collaborating like it’s 2012 – register now for “Video Killed the Radio Star”.

    This webinar comes FOT guarantee – 60% of the time, it works every time.

    Register today! 

    Thursday
    Nov222012

    Thanksgiving games (and thanks)

    If there is one thing I dislike about social media, online networking, blogging, etc. it is the propensity for some folks in the online world,  (more than you think), to take up the role of the collective conscience for the rest of us.

    You know the type - they are always bugging you to hug your Mom, thank a Veteran, treasure your kids, make time for your friends, plant a tree, and spouting various other admonitions that seem more appropriate for an elementary school lecture than for an (alleged) adult discourse and exchange of ideas.

    If you are one of those people I mean no offense, but I am asking nicely for you to quit it already.

    It's Thanksgiving.

    We ALL know we are supposed to take some time to count our blessings, (which for most of us, thankfully, are many). We KNOW we are supposed to really connect or re-connect with our families and friends. We don't need any more reminders to do that from anyone on Facebook. In fact, shouldn't those people be connecting with their OWN families instead of taking the time to go online to tell the rest of us what we should be doing?

    Ok, I feel better. I apologize for being so crabby on a holiday, because really, I truly have a lot to be thankful for.

    And I do want to say thanks (not because someone told me I should),  for the folks that spend some time here reading the blog. I am incredibly appreciative that busy, smart, and accomplished folks like you elect to take a few minutes each day to read, comment, share, and hopefully, at least occasionally, get something positive out of your investment.

    I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and if you are a non-US reader, I hope you have a great Thursday.

    Wow - it stinks to be a non-US reader today, huh?

    But if you are celebrating today, you might find these Thanksgiving Bingo cards, posted up at Flavorwire, will add a little bit more fun to your celebration. I have posted one below, you can find the full set over at the Flavorwire site.

    Have a fantastic day!

    Wednesday
    Nov212012

    Here's the social media video you'll see 1,418 times in 2013

    There is no doubt we love, love, love the 'Social Media Revolution' series of videos created by Erik Qualman.

    If you have been to any kind of conference, event, presentation, webinar, etc. that had even the remotest tie-back to social media, social networking, or mobile technology in the last 5 years or so, then you have definitely sat through 4 minutes of increasingly incredible social media statistics fly in and out of the frame, while tapping your toes to the pulsating soundtrack courtesy of Fatboy Slim's 'Right Here, Right Now.'

    Well the latest version, titled 'Social Media Revolution 4' was released a couple of weeks ago, (embedded below, email and RSS subscribers will have to click through to get your Slim on), and in keeping with the structure, format, and presentation of the first three videos in the series, this latest installment presents numerous facts and statistics about the state and growth of social media and networking.

    Take a look below and then come back to read my sincere request of you about this video in 2013. 

    Great stuff, right?

    Facebook is really big.  Lots of folks sign up for LinkedIn every day. People like to read online product reviews and check out recommendations about restaurants from strangers on the internet. Fatboy Slim (sort of) holds up in late 2012.

    So here is my request for 2013 - don't include this video in any presentation you may give, webcast you present, or informal talk you might have with your colleagues. If you find yourself in attendance at an event/presentation, and the speaker cracks out this little beauty in an attempt to convince the audience by virtue of the statistics and volume of our pal Slim that 'social media is a really big deal' then you need to walk out and send a strongly worded letter, (that will teach them), to the event organizers that you expect better from speakers in 2013.

    We just can't keep trotting this one out, and we can't keep trying to 'impress' people with it either.

    We can't, trust me on this. Someone's head will explode at SHRM13 and with all those HR people in the room the workmen's comp discussions will be epic. Actually, that might be kind of fun.

    There is nothing wrong or bad about this video, (or the ones that came before it in the series), but we have, all of us, heard and seen it all before.

    Especially the 'Right Here, Right Now' bit, which by the way was released back in 1999.

    I think the song is about the Y2K bug.

    Tuesday
    Nov202012

    Cause, correlation, and chemistry

    I am willing to be you have probably read, heard, or even repeated the following admonition in the last few weeks:

    Correlation is not causation.

    Here's why I think this assertion need to be retired, or at least pushed off to the side and filed away for a while with your Vanilla Ice CDs, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figures, and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.You have the power.

    First, on the inability of correlation, i.e. lining up two sets of data that seem to track in the same direction and making a claim that one event or activity 'causes' the other, well sure, I think everyone understands that trap.

    After seeing everyone at the State Fair rocking their bad tattoos, and therefore thinking that getting a bad tattoo will make one attend the State Fair is not a conclusion most rational observers would reach.

    But the problem with the 'Correlation is not Causation' admonition is that it has the effect or shutting down the debate and stifling the potential discovery of useful information. A strong correlation between two related and relevant data series may not imply or prove causation, but it probably implies something. And that something might just be really important for us to understand - say the correlation between the course of study our last dozen newly promoted employees took, or the relationship between managers that successfully completed the latest leadership development program and the 12-18 month success of their team members.

    In HR and Talent Management I am not sure the goal should be to try and 'prove' any one thing can actually cause another thing to happen anyway. We are dealing with people, not robots, (not yet anyway), and attempting to make sense out of interpersonal relationships, motivations, rewards, and capabilities. It is, in many ways, much harder than sitting in a chemistry lab tracking how agents react to one another. 

    If I remember my high school chem lab accurately, loading up a beaker with a few solids and enough unstable acids and stopping up the top caused it to explode every time.  People, while often predicable, are not always that consistent.

    The last warning I will raise is that team 'Correlation is not Causation' like to use this conclusion as a fake scientific argument against any proposals or ideas that they disagree with, or did not come up with themselves.

    Here's a simple example:

    'Hey, I noticed last week when his car was in the shop, Jake got a tremendous amount of work accomplished working from home - maybe we should explore letting some of the other developers do some teleworking?'

    Can we know for certain that working from home was the reason for the spike in Jake's productivity?

    Of course not. 

    Might there have been a dozen other factors that might have been more responsible for the increase in output?

    Sure.

    Does your organization have the time or capacity to set up highly controlled experiments to try and figure it out - assuming that is even possible?

    No way.

    In science, proving causation might be the goal, the desired end state, but in Talent, we are much better served finding the correlations, using our understanding of work, people, and the world, and seizing on the ones that make sense for our business and our teams.

    What do you think? Do you ever drop the 'Correlation' bomb around the office?

    Monday
    Nov192012

    What technical talent thinks about your job descriptions

    I wanted to point out a super piece last week on the Smashing Magazine blog, (a site about and for Web Designers), titled 'The Difference Between Good and Bad Job Requirements', that provides a great look into what technical, (and often hard to find) talent thinks about the typical job descriptions they encounter online.

    Long story short - it is clear that the Web Designer that authored the post, and almost all of the 50+ commenters, don't have very many positive things to say about how most design job descriptions are presented.  Their chief complaints - most job postings contain a ridiculously long laundry list of technical skills and acronyms that are just not relevant for the job being posted, and are almost impossible for a single individual to possess with any level of mastery.  Additionally, most job ads focused to a large degree, (if not exclusively), about what things a candidate should have already done, not what things they will actually do on the new job, and how they might grow and develop professionally. Lastly, the piece takes a few shots at job ads that in trying to paint a realistic picture of their workplace culture, perhaps go too far with statements like, 'Candidate will need to perform effectively in a demanding environment and show resiliency to stress.'  

    Wow, where can I sign up?

    There are several excellent pieces of advice for writing more effective technical job ads from the author as well as from many of the commenters, but the best line from the piece, and one that has applicability to recruting advertising for any field is this comment, when assessing a job ad that was much more positive and effective:

    What they do is so much more than just telling you what you should have already done by now. They’re telling you what you could become working for them.

    That is a key point, one I think we overlook all the time.  It continues to assume it is an employer's market, and while that may be true in some regions and fields, it certainly is not true in others, certainly for any roles you are having a hard time in filling.

    Some final words of advice from the piece that I think are worth remembering in our continuing quest to attract the best talent for our organizations: 

    We all understand it’ll be hard work and that we’re supposed to be good at it. So try not to tell us what your ideal employee is. Try to tell us what a great designer we could become should we want to join your team.

    It's not always about you, the employer.  Sometimes, and maybe more often than you think, it is about them.

    Have a great week everyone!