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    1.  We love to talk about 'hiring for cultural fit' but have no idea if we really know how to do that, and if it really matters.

    2. You don't really have to be glued to your email 24/7. People who are emailing at all hours are mostly competing on responsiveness instead of on talent/skill/ideas. You can try to do compete on responsiveness for a while, but eventually, maybe soon, you''ll burn out and won't have enough talent/skill/ideas to fall back on.

    3. The number of people you can trust, who you can count on, and who really do have your best interests top of mind is fewer than you think. Maybe a lot fewer. But that is ok. One true ally is worth more than twenty impostors.

    4. Not everyone in the 'gig' economy is all that thrilled to be chasing gigs all of the time. You might be able to lock up some of your most talented and productive contractors or temp workers for much less than you think.

    5. It's probably too late to panic. Just get on with it.

    6. Incomplete or incongruous information about prices and salaries make so many of us leave money on the table. Whatever you are thinking of asking for, ask for 20% more.

    7. Stop working for free. Truly. You are devaluing your own skills and you are killing the market for everyone else. And to those big, giant companies that continue to want to compensate labor with 'exposure?'. Shame on you too.

    8. The single greatest disruption in the 'robots are going to take all the jobs' dynamic might be when self-driving trucks put a million drivers (in the USA only) out of work.

    9. Listen to the input of the (few) people you can trust, but always make your own decisions

    10. Once your network hits 150 or people, you can't really know them all that well, or meaningfully engage with any more. But you can let them think they know you by sharing just enough information,  in the right places at the right times. It isn't about being fake, it's about recognizing the limits of our capacity to engage. And also about making sure you give yourself the time and space to work on your own ideas, and not be too influenced by what everyone else seems to be fascinated with at the moment.

    11. I had a weird dream where I directed a movie. It was like a 'Planet of the Apes' except instead of apes, they were dinosaurs that walked on two legs. Million dollar idea!


    To be continued...


    Have a great weekend!


    HRE Column: Five Ways to Succeed with HR Technology

    Here is my semi-frequent reminder and pointer for blog readers that I also write a monthly column at Human Resource Executive Online called Inside HR Tech and that archives of which can be found here.

    As usual, the Inside HR Tech column is about, well, HR Tech, (sort of like I used to write about all the time on this blog), and it was inspired by the planning process for the upcoming HR Technology Conference, (October 4-7, 2016 in Chicago).

    A big part of the Conference program is set of sessions that we call "Customer Success", which we launched for the first time in 2015. The Customer Success content was so well-received and highly attended last year that we are bringing it back again in 2016 (stay tuned for more details, the full agenda for HR Tech 2016 will be posted soon). So as I sat down to write my latest HR Executive Magazine column, which I wanted to be about the Conference, I kept coming back to this content and the larger ideas of Customer Success with HR tech.

    Here is an excerpt of the HR Exec column titled 'Five Ways to Succeed with HR Tech'

    Thankfully for me, I have almost completed the program for the 19th annual HR Technology Conference and Expo®to be held Oct. 4 through 7 in Chicago. And, as an aside, I am really thrilled that the conference is returning to Chicago, as it will be great to be back in such a fantastic city after several years' absence.

    One question I always get during the program development for HR Tech is "What is the main theme for the conference this year?" And each year I usually give the same type of answer: There isn't a singular theme, but rather there are several sub-themes that seem to permeate and influence the development of the program, and thus become the "big ideas" for the overall event. But one idea that I know for sure will once again feature prominently at the event, (as it did in 2015), is the concept of "customer success," i.e., how organizations can make the most out of their HR technology investments. I'd like to talk about some of these ideas around customer success, as they have been on my mind quite a bit as I finalize the conference program.

    What are some of the key considerations for HR leaders and their organizations when attempting to make the best decisions to maximize their investments in HR tech? Here are five ideas that we will be talking about at the conference this year.

    Do your homework.

    A huge part of succeeding with HR technology is in knowing where to start, and that's where educating yourself about the HR-technology market and landscape factors in. There are numerous sources of information about HR technology for the HR leader -- attending the HR Tech Conference being one of them -- and investments you can make to prepare and research the market. Of course, there are plenty of other sources of HR tech market and solution information, and we will help conference-goers better understand these various information sources as well as the landscape of the HR tech marketplace overall. This market is moving so fast and has so many players that HR leaders need a plan and an approach to market education and research that we hope to provide.

    Make sure the numbers add up.

    For years, new HR-technology investments were justified by productivity gains and reduced HR-systems costs. But after many years of implementing HR systems, your organization could be at a crossroads, wondering what opportunities for savings and increased efficiency remain. You should also be aware there are additional opportunities for savings and it will take a new approach to serving the business and thinking about IT working together with HR that will drive strategic advantage. At the conference, HR leaders will have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons in how non-HR and boards of directors evaluate HR-technology-investment-capital decisions, the metrics that work in moving an HR-change initiative forward, how to get the funding for those big change initiatives that HR needs and how understanding the key HR technologies will propel your next HR business case.

    Read the rest at HR Executive online...

    You know you are intrigued about what ways 3 - 5 are, right? Well, hop over to HRE to find out.

    If you liked the piece you can sign up over at HRE to get the Inside HR Tech Column emailed to you each month. There is no cost to subscribe, in fact, I may even come over and take your dog out for a walk or re-seal your driveway if you do sign up for the monthly email.

    Have a great day!


    Things you should never say at work #1 - "I'm not technical"

    New series on the blog launching today called 'Things you should never say at work' - hopefully that will focus on the non-obvious but still highly damaging things you should never say on the job.

    Here goes...

    (Slightly) edited for purposes of clarity and anonymity story from a former colleague of mine who has been talking to a potential client about a new (largely) technical project - the implementation of some new, pretty large enterprise systems for a mid-size manufacturing company.

    My former colleague walks into a 'discovery' kind of meeting with the two ostensible subject matter experts in charge of the two most critical process areas of the project - let's call them Inventory Management and Supply Chain Optimization.  The two client folks that run these functional areas are pretty experienced, my colleague guessed they had at least 10 or 15 years each inside the company.

    When my colleague asked them how the early pilots of the new enterprise tech had been going, what the main challenges were, how the systems were being set up in order to support the organization's workflows, etc., both client subject matter experts responded similarly. Something along the lines of: "I really don't know - I'm not technical." 

    A huge red flag for my colleague for sure, as the two primary customers of the upcoming tech implementation were not only pretty disengaged from the process, they were seemingly proud of their lack of expertise and interest in what was going on with the new technology.

    Maybe these two experts are able to get away with this open apathy towards the technology, due to years of accrued expertise and perhaps some organizational stagnation, but you can be sure their (and their kind) days are numbered.

    I would bet that almost no one reading this post today would be able to proudly declare out loud in your shop something along the lines of "That new headcount trends dashboard? No, i have not looked at it. I'm not technical'. Or, "What do I think the 10% bonus pool reduction will do to voluntary turnover? I don't know. I'm not technical.'

    It doesn't matter if you don't know about a specific technology. Tech moves so fast anyway that what specific skills that are in demand now probably won't be the same ones in demand in 2 or 3 years.

    But the approach, the attitude, the willingness to 'be' technical?

    It doesn't matter what kind of job you have now, the 'I'm not technical' card is one no one can afford to play today.

    So you should never say it. I mean it. 'Cause if I find out you did...


    Revisited: Talent vs. Culture in Hiring Philosophy

    Let me be very, vet clear about this: If you only have time for one podcast in your life that podcast should be the HR Happy Hour Show. We are closing in fast on 250 shows in the HR Happy Hour archive, and Trish McFarlane and I have lots more great stuff to come this year and beyond.

     But if you are like me (a little bit of a podcast nerd, admittedly), you like to mix up your podcast diet and sprinkle in some other choices. For me, one of the podcasts I almost always catch is the Bill Simmons podcast, which is probably 85% about sports, but mixes in enough other topics (pop culture, politics, tech and business), to make it a good listen even if you are not a massive sports fan.

    Recently, Simmons did a show with Silicon Valley investor Chris Sacca, most well known for being an early investor and advisor to companies like Twitter and Uber. Prior to his pivot to investing in startups, Sacca was a relatively early employee of Google, (from about 2003 - 2007), helping the search giant build out its data center infrastructure. 

    In the podcast Sacca talks about life at Google and what makes Google so different as a company and a place to work. The most interesting part of the discussion starts at about the 13:30 mark, where Sacce talks about the hiring philosophy at Google, and why that was imporant. Have a listen, then some quick comments from me.

    In case you didn't catch the key comment, I will repeat it here.

    Sacca: 'One of the things they (Google) did that is kind of like an NBA team, is that they hired just for sheer capability, not necessarily for culture fit. And so they were just like 'If we get the smartest, most driven, ambitious people in the world all to work here and we will see what happens

    And so other teams were like 'Well, I don't know if this guy is going to work well with this other guy, you know a lot of raw talent but, if you look at Eric Schmidt and Larry and Sergey the owners and general managers, they said 'Let's just get the smartest people in the world here and then see what happens.'

    In the podcast Sacca goes on a little more about what the focus on talent and raw capability above this idea of 'fit' meant for Google, but I think you can get the idea from the excerpt above.

    Looking back through all the posts I have done on this topic over the years, I would say at least philosophically that I come down way towards the Google/Sacca point of view on this. I think raw talent, the ability to assemble enough of it at one time and in one place will have the most significant impact on organizational success, certainly when a company is smaller and growing.

    Focusing solely on talent and ability may result in hiring a few bad apples, and Sacca admits as much in the podcast, but in the end whether its the NBA or a tech company, the team with the best talent almost always wins.

    Have a great week, and make sure you check out the HR Happy Hour Show too!


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 244 - Global HR Technology Trends from HR Tech China

    HR Happy Hour 244 - Global HR Technology Trends from HR Tech China

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Madeline Laurano

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour show, join hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane as they talk with Madeline Laurano, co-founder of Aptitude Research Partners.   Fresh from the HR Technology Conference in Zhuhai, China, the three talk about the trends in HR technology and how they are similar around the globe.  

    Specifically, the conversation covers having Talent Acquisition as a priority and the Chinese focus on services.  With that focus, there is great interest in acquiring and using the best and most relevant HR technologies.  We also talked about the way that China officials brand their city and the benefits US organizations could gain by having that focus.  

    We also talk about the way that China uses social media in their organizations.  The perception is that they ban most of the sites we use in the US.  And while that may be true, they have alternatives that may be just as effective.  In fact, the US contingent all embraced WeChat and loved it.

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


    This was a really fun and lively show, and we hope you give it a listen.

    And many thanks to everyone at LRP Publications and China Star for putting on the HR Technology China conference and for inviting us to participate as speakers.

    Reminder: You can listen and subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, and all the major podcast player apps for iOS and Android - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a new episode.