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    I'm a stranger here myself

    I am knee deep in prep for my HR Technology Class, version three and it really is remarkable to me how much I have learned and how much the course has changed in just a relatively short time.

    In the beginning, I only had a passing knowledge of many of the tools and technologies that I now spend large portions of the class discussing.

    I had never taught a undergrad or grad course before.

    I had no vendor partners at all, (thanks again for the assistance this time Halogen Software).

    Quite frankly I was just glad to have something to say for a couple of hours and tried to avoid looking like a complete idiot.  It did not help that the class was over-subscribed and located in a way too-small computer lab.  By the third hour, the temperature in the room had to have been about 80F and it was not a pleasant experience.

    Tomorrow night I start version three, and the class is light years better than the first version.  Once in a while I run into a student from that first class, and I swear I really want to apologize.

    This time I (mostly) know what I am doing, I know what to expect, and I have lined up a great set of tools and technologies to discuss and demonstrate.

    I am really excited to be starting off a new session and I welcome any former and current students to give some recommendations and feedback here.



    An HR Technology Sampler

    As I am getting my materials in order for Week 1 of my HR Technology class, I thought I would attempt to compile a list of all the different tools/technologies that will either bt discussed, demonstrated, and in some cases used by the students.  Let's see how many I have come up with so far:

    ERP - Oracle, PeopleSoft

    Time and Attendance - Kronos

    Self-service - not sure yet, maybe iEmployee

    Talent Management - Halogen Software

    Recruiting - All the obvious, but for the sake of this list, Monster, Dice, LinkedIn, HigherEdJobs, Jobvite, SmartRecruiters, visualCV

    SaaS - Zoho, Workday

    Collaboration - Wikis, blogs, Idea marketplace, Second Life, RSS

    Communication - Twitter, Yammer, SurveyMonkey, CoverItLive

    This is just off the top of mind, and after thinking about it, it does seem like a tremendous amount of different technologies and concepts to try and cover in 10 weeks.

    What should I emphasize, what can or should be downplayed?

    What are the most important technology concepts and lessons to be learned for today's HR leaders?




    The Net Generation in Class

    Been spending some time this week reading the fantastic, 'grown up digitial' by Don Tapscott.

    It really is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in understanding how Generation Y, or the Millennials, or the Net Generation, or whatever you would like to call the group born between 1979 and 1997 will forever change education delivery, workforce management, social networking, and collaboration.

    To me the key points I have taken from the book center around the ways that Gen Y students generally prefer to be 'taught'.  The classic mode of delivery with the teacher in front of the class expounding his or her words of wisdom which the students dutifully transcribe and hopefully successfully regurgiate later on for the exam. This method is tired, old, and frankly boring for everyone.

    Gen Y students want to to give their opinions, insights, and help to co-design the curriculum and content.  They are much more comfortable in a collaborative environment, and will gladly assist and help each other in their efforts.  They have the tools to explore and inject concepts and content from everywhere.

    A key takeaway for me as the insructor is to stop talking so much, start listening and start asking more questions. 

    In class I introduce a number of technologies like Performance Management, Succession Planning, wikis, blogs, and microblogs.  But rather on 'telling' the students what they are used for, perhaps I need to spend more time having the students tell me what these tools can be used for.

    I think, then we will both learn more, and be better for the experience.



    Links for the Week - November 21, 2008

    Some assorted links for a cold, snowy Friday in the Northeast USA.

    1. Boston College to stop handing out e-mail addresses to new students - from Read Write Web
    2. The company as Wiki - an interview with Brad Anderson of Best Buy
    3. From Mashable, how to keep track of 500 blogs in 10 minutes
    4. Some amusing examples of corporate misadventures in new tech from Fast Company
    5. From Citizen Marketer - how Yammer helps new employees
    6. Working the 'stache into your employment brand - from Fistful of Talent
    7. From Bersin - could a wiki be your next Talent Management system
    8. Create short URL aliases and track the impact using Cligs
    9. More businesses turn to microblogging for internal collaboration and communication - from the New York Times

    More to follow as I stumble upon interesting stuff......




    Bring something to the table

    We have all read ad nauseam about how HR needs to 'get a seat at the table', where organizational strategy and plans are discussed and developed. Well, if you want a seat at the table, be sure you bring something to the table.

    Flickr - katesheets

    Something innovative, groundbreaking, difference-making.

    Something they may not have heard or seen before.

    A plan to exploit 'Web 2.0' for improved recruiting or employee collaboration.

    A strategy to assess the current skills and competencies of the current organization, so as to be poised to act when the economy rebounds (and you know it will).

    An effective plan to keep valued staff engaged, even if you are forced to let some of them go. 

    Don't just expect to turn up and be included because of your relative position on the org chart.  No one in that room will get excited if all you have to offer is compliance reporting and maybe a new employee discount at the local dry cleaner.

    Times are tough - be willing to take a chance, make a difference, and earn the seat at the adult table.