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    Entries in Carnival (18)


    The Carnival of HR and the Old Days of HR Blogging

    I started blogging in about 2007, right about the time I started teaching a course in HR Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

    For some reason in my HR Tech class I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the students knew about blogging - how to set up a blog, how to update a blog, how to write on a blog, etc. And in what turned out to be indicative of a few other things I covered in that class, I realized I needed to sort out how to do those things myself before I could teach them to the students.

    And so the first iteration of this blog was launched in 2007.

    Sometime later that year I ran through the same exercise with Twitter. I thought it important to talk about and demonstrate this new thing called Twitter in class, so I had to learn how to use it myself. So in late 2007, my initial Twitter handle, @Sbjet was born. I remember being VERY excited when I crossed 100 followers. That was big time in 2008.

    And something else was big time, at least to me, back in the early days of my HR and HR Tech blogging - the monthly Carnival of HR. 

    I have not written about the Carnival of HR in ages, so chances are some, or maybe even many, folks reading this blog today are not familiar with the Carnival. But back in 2008 and 2009 this monthly collection of the best blog posts from around the HR blogosphere was a really, really big deal. I tried for what seems like ages to get a post of mine included in the Carnival, only to be passed over. 

    I was pretty much unknown, writing a dumb blog about technology and teaching for a tiny, tiny readership. 

    But I kept on submitting a post each month anyway, and one month, finally, one of my posts was included in the Carnival of HR. I wish I could remember exactly when that was, but I do remember being really, really ecstatic about it when I found out, (this has to be the nerdiest thing I ever got excited about). 

    But back then, being in the Carnival of HR felt, at least to me, kind of vindicating. I felt, somehow, that it validated what I was doing in the eyes and opinions of the other HR bloggers who back then I was SURE were all better, smarter, and more popular than I was. I actually think most of them still are by the way.

    And also different back then, was that it really seemed like the smallish number of folks who were actively blogging about HR all would read each other's posts, would comment on them fairly often, and would share posts with each other in old school ways like Email and Google Reader. Sure, Twitter was just starting to become a thing by 2009 or so, but even then, the HR Twittersphere and the HR Blogosphere were pretty much the same group of folks, give or take, and there was (maybe I am being really naive here), a real sense of camaraderie and community there.

    And I guess that is why the Carnival of HR seemed so cool to me back then. It was like a public list of who was in the club, who was doing interesting work, who was contributing and had something to say.  Getting a post in the Carnival of HR meant you were a part of the cool kids, and even at whatever age I was then, still seemed like an accomplishment.

    I kind of miss those days, back when the center of the conversation was actually distributed around the internet on the couple of dozen or so HR blogs that were THE ONES to read then. Lots of them (and their owners), had cool names like HR Minion, Your HR Guy, HR Ringleader, HR Maven, Punk Rock HR, and the HR Capitalist. Some of these names still are active and vibrant in the HR blog world. Some, not as much, or their owners have moved on to new things and new adventures.

    But for me, someone who without blogging would NEVER have gone on to do any of the cool things I have been able to do these last few years, the early days of HR blogging were just about the best times I ever had with this blog.

    Why take this walk down memory lane?

    Because my HR Happy Hour Show partner Trish McFarlane messaged me last week to let me know she was hosting the latest Carnival of HR, and wondered if I had a post to include in the round up.

    I will admit to not having thought about the Carnival in a long, long time, but then of course I remembered how once it was the MOST important thing for a lowly HR blogger like me. And I remembered how cool it was to be included.

    So of course I sent Trish over a post to include in the Carnival, (and thanks Trish for using it!).

    You can check out the Carnival of HR on Trish's HR Ringleader blog here.

    And check it out you should. Because there just might be someone included in the Carnival for the very first time, and who thinks that being included is the BIGGEST deal ever. 

    And you know what? 

    They would be right. It is the biggest deal ever. 

    Thanks Trish for including me. 

    And thanks to all the HR bloggers out there for letting me into your club.


    Safe at home

    "When you live with someone a long time, pretty much your whole life, you kind of get to know them."

    - Patrick, age 10

    When I was 8 or 9 years old I attended my first major league baseball game. I insisted on bringing my baseball glove, as I wanted to be prepared to snag one of the many foul balls that were sure to be hit into the stands within reach of my seat during the course of the game. My Dad didn't try to talk me out of hauling along the glove, although he must have known that the sheer distance from home plate to where we were sitting would have made a foul ball actually reaching us incredibly unlikely. I remember a snapshot that we took from that game - an image captured of me looking at the camera, smiling, glove in hand, with the players on the field in the deep background, so far in the distance that they were mostly indistinguishable.

    Years later when I took my son to his first major league game, I wanted to make sure everything was just right, that the experience was perfect - choice seats (and ones that were not up in the top decks, a mile away from the action), great food and drinks, and a trip (or two) to the souvenir shop. I knew, or at least assumed, that much like I remember the first game my Dad took me to all those years ago, that 10, 20, even 30 years from now, my son would look back on his first game as well. I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that the memory, one of the few childhood memories I was sure would resonate with him, was as close to perfect as I could create.

    But looking back on both these games, with the added luxury of time and perspective, I should have realized that just like I can't really remember many of the specific details of the game I attended as a child that my son as well will eventually forget (if he hasn't already) the details of his first game.  Who played, who won, what we ate in the 5th inning, whether or not it was cold or hot, what I bought him from the team store - these details fade over time. What we both will remember is the connection with our Dad, the shared experience, and the feeling for at least those few hours, that there was nothing else at all happening in the world.

    We do the best we can for our children. We work as hard as we can muster, and as our capabilities allow, to try and make the best lives possible for them. This often entails working more than perhaps we should, saying 'yes' when we ought to say 'no', and sometimes sacrificing little things in an attempt to secure bigger things. We take calls when we should be helping with homework. We break out the BlackBerry at soccer practice, send a few texts during the school concert - it's not a big deal right? It's work. We convince ourselves we are doing it for them. And by working this hard, we can score box seats next summer, bag the suite at Disney World, and pass out iPads next Christmas.

    I think most kids, eventually, begin to care less about the 'stuff' we can provide and care more about our attention.

    Mostly, I think, our kids just want to feel safe at home. 



    Carnivals, Star Wars, and Happy Hours

    Just some quick updates and links for a Wednesday:

    First - Over at UpstartHR, Ben Eubanks has put together the HRevolution 2010 themed Carnival of HR. Need to catch up on all the post-event recaps, reviews, and action plans?  That is the place to start.

    Second - I have a post up over at Fistful of Talent today, 'Clinging to What We Know, the Jar Jar Binks Theory' .  It is not just about Star Wars. Not totally anyway.

    Third - The HR Happy Hour show will be live tomorrow night, May 20, at 8PM EDT.  Our guest for the 'Making Work/Life Work' show will be Cali Yost of the FlexStrategy Group and WorkLife Fit, Inc., and writer at Fast Company.

    That's it!


    The Carnival of HR - Super Bowl Edition

    Welcome to the latest edition of the Carnival of HR!

    I struggled to think of a new and interesting angle for the Carnival, one that has not been used before, and one that would make sense as a unifying theme that would resonate with the writers and their contributions.

    After about 15 minutes, I decided that was going to be too difficult and decided on a sports gimmick. 

    So without further delay, and in the spirit of the American Football Super Bowl that is set to be contested in a few days, here is the Carnival of HR - Super Bowl Edition.


    Many teams decide to make coaching changes in the off-season. Likewise, individuals and leaders may decide they need some professional coaching.  At Wally Bock's Three Star Leadership, Wally explores the question in 'Leadership Development: When to Hire a Coach'.

    In the off-season each team drafts a new set of young players that have to be assimilated into the team. Coaching these new, young players can be a challenge for some 'old-school' coaches.  Mary Jo Asmus explores some similar territory in 'What Does Gen Y Want from Thier Leaders?'

    A big problem in the off season for players is staying in shape.  Without the coaches around to make sure they keep training it becomes a question of motivation.  The motivation expert Paul Hebert offers us 'The 5 Immutable Laws of Motivation' on the Incentive Intelligence blog.

    Training Camp

    The best teams have a blend of stars and supporting players that fill important roles.  Finding the right blend of talent is a challenge that many organizations will face in 2010 as seen in this piece, 'Optimizing Talent in the New Workforce', by Sharlyn Lauby at the HR Bartender.

    Training camp is also a time of learning and reinforcing the right behavior.  But most football coaches are pretty reluctant to dish out the praise.  And that may not be a bad thing as we see in this piece 'What Teacher's Make' from Laura Schroeder at Working Girl.

    Some coaches hold fast to their 'systems', while others adapt to the talent around them.  Guatam Ghosh suggests that organizations do more of the latter with 'Recruit for a Cause, Not a Role' on his blog Gautam on Organizations 2.0.

    You have to prepare to be able to get to the big game, much less win it. Shortcuts and excuses won't cut it.  In organizations, the will to prepare to win is also important.  On the Training Time blog, Lindsay Richardson offers this advice in 'Getting Training Out of the Box'.

    Pre-Game Hype

    Part of the pre-game activities is of course game planning. The HR Maven shares some of her plans for ongoing personal and professional development in 'Reclaim your brain'.

    You can't even qualify for the game unless you have the right collection of players.  And that means cultivating talent from the first day they come on board. Jennifer McClure at Cincy Recruiter's World share a few stories of how not to get employees started with 'Wanted: A Positive Onboarding Experience'.

    A big part of the incessant pre-game hype is excessive analysis on statistics of every stripe. But sometimes these metrics border on the ridiculous, as described by Mick Collins in 'We're Going to Turn This Team Around 360 Degrees' at the Inforhm blog.

    The pre-game show usually takes a look back on some relevant Super Bowl games from history.  In this post from the Human Race Horses blog Mike VanDervort takes a look back as well - ' Life Lessons from 25 Years in HR' .

    Trash Talk

    Players sometimes engage in some pre-game trash talk, sometimes it can backfire on the team. Employees are talking too, and we see in G. Neil's HR Forum that 'Ouch! Survey Reveals that Nearly one out of every two employees is unhappy at work'.

    There is sometimes an element of truth in good natured trash talk.  This post is full of the truth, a very real and personal post from Paul Smith at Welcome to the Occupation 'Being Gay at Work: When I Think About It'.

    Game Planning

    Coaches spend long hours drawing up plays and strategizing for big game. Benjamin McCall at ReThinkHR advises you to strategize as well with 'Personal Brand: What's on Your Chalkboard?'

    A big part of a successful game plan is devising a strategy that plays to the team's strengths. If you are a running team, then you concentrate on exploiting that.  Dan McCarthy at Great Leadership suggests a similar focus as well in 'The One Thing Approach to Leadership Development'.

    A smart game plan calls for some brand new plays that your opponent won't be ready for to hopefully give you the element of surprise.  Shauna Moerke, the HR Minion advises you to mix up your routines as well in 'Groundhog Day'.

    Certainly a large part of game planning involves video study.  In this guest post on the Corn on the Job blog, Bill Boorman breaks down dealing with recruiters on a video post - 'My Cousin Interviews with Bill Boorman'.

    Pre-Game Show

    During the 5 hour or so pre-game show, lots of time is spent analyzing the strategies of each team. At HR Ringleader, Trish McFarlane explores some strategies for the HR function, namely 'Four Ways HR Can Operate More Like a Profit Center'.

    Coin Toss

    At the coin toss the referee goes over a few of the basic rules of the game.  Over at Talented Apps, Meg Bear is talking about rules, specifically 'When the Golden Rule Doesn't Work'.

    The coin toss is simple, heads or tails.  And so is doing the right thing by your applicants as so well put by Kari Quaas at the Cool Works blog with 'Respond to Your Applicants'.

    Prop Bets

    Would you bet on the team that consistently plays to its strengths?  Mike Haberman at HR Observations thinks you should with 'Human Resources Should Be About Improving What Works'.

    Making bets on the game certainly introduces some risk.  Susan Burns at Talent Synchronicity asks you to consider your risk tolerance in the Talent Acquisition game with 'Is Risk Avoidance Adding More Risk to your Company's Talent Strategy?'


    Good Super Bowl commercials are often better than the game itself, and can be more that just a diversion from the action.  Social media and networking often show much more value than many people expect, as is well-articulated by Naomi Bloom at In Full Bloom with 'Reflections of a Digital Immigrant Gone Semi-Native'.

    Half Time

    Half time is the time for aging rock stars and inspirational speeches from the coach.  But unless the head coach has a stock of credibility built up, no way the team is buying in.  Lisa Rosendahl at Simply Lisa wants to know - 'Have You Checked Your Credibility Lately?'

    The best strategists make changes to the game plan at half time to counter what their opponent shown. Change is also a constant in organizations as seen in 'Change, Change, Change... Change is Brewing' from Cathy Martin at the Profitability Though Human Capital blog.

    Streakers on the field

    If we are lucky, sometime in the third quarter a streaker or someone dressed in a super hero costume will make a mad dash across the field.  In case that happens, you can prepare by checking out Ben Eubank's take on Comic Book Leadership at UpstartHR.

    Fourth Quarter

    Winning the game in the 4th quarter requires guts, endurance, and a commitment to team play and player development.  At the Devon Blog, Melissa Prusher describes one corporate leader's experience with mentoring in 'How a Passion for Produce Influences One Man's Leadership Skills'.

    Fantastic Finish

    Closing the deal, and winning the trophy could depend on how well the team has stuck to it's game plan, played smart, and caught a break or two. Lois Melbourne at the Aquire blog explains how sticking to their plans helps them make the right hiring decisions in '9 Box Increases Hiring Successes'.


    The winning team celebrates for a time, makes a trip to Disneyland, and almost immediately has to plan to the next season. For organizations, planning never stops as we see in this post from Mark Vickers at the i4CP blog, 'Ten Critical Performance Issues for 2010'.

    Off season

    Yes, we are back to where we started.  The Super Bowl is over, football season done.  Guys, now it's time to re-introduce yourself to your families. Take a break from sports for a while.  At the Inflexion Point blog, Mark Stelzner advises us to take a similar break from social media with 'Social Media Detox'.

    Well that is it for this edition of the Carnival of HR!

    One last question - Saints or Colts this Sunday?


    Carnival of HR - Stay Warm Edition

    The latest Carnival of HR is up over at Lisa Rosendahl's 'Simply Lisa' blog.

    Lisa did a tremendous job with the Carnival, and incorporated a cool winter theme to the collection of posts.

    Some of my favorites from this edition:

    Gautam Ghosh with - Thinking About Social Employee Relationship Management

    Paul Smith with - Fixing a Hole

    and Laura Schroeder's No More Stars.

    My little cautionary tale about what job candidates and saying and posting online about your organization and hiring process, Candidates are Talking, is there as well.

    I highly recommend spending some of your cold winter's day checking out the Carnival. 

    Great job Lisa!