• Project Social Rides Again

    Project Social what is it?  Well like most things anymore if I want to know more about it, I Google it.  If you do so you will end up on Ben Eubank’s blog site. While that gives you a brief overview, my view is a little different.  I was one the Project Social particpants of what I termed the Beta-ites.  Laura Schroder and I were paired up by Ben and Victorio.   Slowly we figured out what we needed to do to make Project Social a sucess in our minds. Not long after we included Lyn Hoyt in our escapades – although she came along willingly.

    Now Project Social is becoming full on operational. Apparently, you will find this triumverate under collaboration.   Laura and Lyn and I have written a number of posts on the same topic.  Then when we post them, we mention/reference our partners in the post and suggest to our readers that they check out our partners. Quite frankly at the outset it seemed like somewhat of a hair-brained scheme but I was able to sell Laura on it.   Oddly enough it did prove to be at least nominally sucessful.

    For much of 2011 Laura and I would Skype on a weekly basis – 6 am on Monday mornings (althogh it was 1 or 2 PM in Germany depending upon day light savings time).  We would chat and concoct a topic to write on.  Often times then I would contact Lyn and include her in the effort.

    This worked well to keep us posting.  We were accountable to each other to meet the deadlines and get the work complete. I know at one point Lyn told me that she was posting monthly and we were trying to get her to post weekly, and we did. We pushed her and she liked it.

    Another benefit to this collaborative effort was it helped each of us to increase the traffic on our sites.  We began seeing cross-overs readers from one and others followers.  On a few occasions it was significant.  We also increased our Twitter followers and presence on the platform with the interaction with one and other.

    Well now my understanding that here on the Project Social Site we are going to be a mini-carnival.  Most carnivals consist of numerous posts ont he same subject matter.  We will continue to do this, I guess until we come up with another scheme.  So look for the the three of us out in the blogospher and here through the Project Social web site.

    In the  meantime if you would like to be part of this effort, you can join in right here.

  • HR Meet Marketing

    I talk with a lot of different people about HR, what it is, what HR should be doing and not being and so on.  One of the more enlighten persons that I talk shop with is my Project Social Partner Laura Schroeder.  We talk about things that are “in the news” or that are getting a lot of attention within the HR space.  I particularly enjoy these conversations with Laura, because she works for a large global public concern, while I work at a mid-size privately held company. I think we enlighten and compliment each other.

    Our most recent discussion touched on some opportunities for the field of HR to improve collectively.   Laura summed up HR’s ills by suggesting  an introduction was in order;  that being HR meet Marketing.  Why this?  Well if HR would learn to embrace some concepts that Marketing has long held near and dear, some huge collective improvements could be had.

    One concept is HR needs to be better at is tracking indicators with bottom line impact (Metrics and ROI).  This still seems taboo to some folks and organization. We want to hide behind the fact that what we do is a soft skill, it’s squishy and is difficult to measure.  Well it is indeed all of that, but bright clever people need to adapt measurement methods that fit their organizations and operations so that HR can prove that we are adding value to the bottom line.  If you don’t,you are just going through the motions.   It is like this, we have then go through this training program because OSHA requires it.  Well even though it is required, what are you going to do to gain value for your organization, and then measure it. It can’t simply be a check box that needs to be checked off.  Where is the ROI?

    Many years ago I was at a wedding. A friend of mine who worked for a state agency was there, as well at the mother of one of our collective friends. My friend’s job was developing and writing test for state government.  Recently my buddy had sent a form with a number of questions, to our friend’s mother. She told my buddy, ” You know those question you sent me about my job, they don’t have anything to do with my job.” His response was,  “Well that’s my job to send you those questions.”  There was seemingly no relationship between one and the other. There should be. And in HR everything needs to relate to ROI.

    Another concept Laura and I discussed was how well does HR socialize the things it’s doing. Marketing does! They let the whole world know what they are doing; internally, externally, via new releases, web sites, social media and the list goes on.  By and large HR efforts pale in comparison to those of the Marketing inside many organizations.   It is easy to say we need to to better, but hard to do.  Communicate, communicate, communicate – you can not over do it.

    A third concept we discussed was this; is HR truly arming our staffs with the proper tools that our people need to be successful?  This too is difficult to measure, however it is paramount that it is measured to define and understand the success of our employees, managers and leaders.  For this to take place the organization has to have clearly defined goals, with the expectations of each employee known and communicated, so that they may know they are or aren’t doing their part to move the organization forward.

    These three ideas are just a few takeaways that HR should get from Marketing. There probably are many more, but this would be a great trio to begin the process.   So if you are in HR around at some other organizations and see what their marketing departments are doing. You might get  some new ideas!

  • Black History from An Old White Guy

    I am going to stretch my comfort zone today. I am going to write a post that speaks to and honors Black History Month – February.  I was inspired to do so in light of two events which occurred in my life recently. The first is another post, by my friend Buzz Rooney. Buzz too wrote a post for Black History month, If you have not read it I suggest you read it. The other thing that got me thinking about Black History month was this.

    My employer is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. In trying to come up with some clever things to help us celebrate the occasion I searched for what was the popular music of 1932. The top four songs were

    • Night & Day – Fred Astaire & Leo Reisman
    • It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing – Duke Ellington
    • I’ve got the world on a string – Cab Calloway
    • All of Me – Louis Armstrong

    To recap these were the top four song in 1932. In case you don’t know three of these artists are black, and one is not. Oddly enough the songs by Duke, Cab and Louie are still going strong today.

    This got me to thinking about music and 1932, I took a class in college called Jazz Roots and American Culture. This class really made an impact on me (it was also an easy “A”). What I learned is that so much of what we consider American Music, Jazz, the Blues and Rock and Roll is all based on music from predominately black artists.

    They made music in a time when, black musicians or black entertainers, at the clubs, were not allowed to come in the front door. They were made to come in through the kitchen or freight entrances. They were not allow to use the restrooms at the facilities where they performed. But through all of this they continued to practice their craft and make music. This music  has endured well and passed the test of time.

    So unless you exclusively listen to Mozart or Beethoven, you owe a tip of the hat to all of the Black Musicians/recording artisits who helped shaped music as we know it today.

    Perhaps not a great tribute for Black History month, but not bad for an old white guy whose dad was a racists.   And God Bless Whitney Houston.