• Losing your Edge

    I returned home late last evening after spending the weekend visiting with my son Kevin at SIU Carbondale. He is a senior and is set to graduate.  My wife and I traveled to him, to do our part in helping him produce a music video for one of the University’s television programs.  This weekend they were shooting most of the segments for what will be about a 2:30 piece.  There were about 20 people involved in this effort on Saturday Night and Sunday.  From what I could see, they each had about 16 hours – so being the labor analyst that I am I see lots of labor in this deal – for 2:30 run time.

    My takeaway from the trip was this.  All of these young folks, the band members and the movie makers are all a little short on one resource or another. But they don’t let that hold them back. They improvise, they create, they re-tool,  they do some fancy editing – but not having the resources does not slow them down. As Jay Kuhns would say, No Excuses!

    I think as we grow older more comfortable or perhaps more complaisant, we get lazy and then we Lose our Edge.  We loose the genius which made us extraordinary because we have so much.  With home or work, it becomes a case of what we don’t have, as opposed to what we do have and how we can make that work.   Is this you?

    Check out these students, all working – pitching in – working for free (no pay – I fixed ’em lunch). Can you bring a group like this together and motivate them to work for free?  Maybe you need to think back to college days when pizza and beer was enough motivation to get you to do anything. These kids were all working hard and enjoying it.

  • Katy Bar the Door

    My blogging buddy Laura and I were having one of eclectic conversations a couple weeks ago and she asked me, what is a hot topic at conferences theses days?  I told her this.  For better than two years I have heard a theory that is routinely espoused by many writers and speakers here in the HR space. I will call this theory the Katy Bar the Door Concept. It centers on this.  HR pros need to prepare for the coming mass Exodus of nearly all of our top talent from our organizations,  when the economy turns around.

    Bar the Door


    As the theory goes, the top talent, and others have hung around your shop because the economy is in such bad shape that nearly everyone is afraid to leave the comfort of a known pay check, regardless of how repressive your workplace is perceived to be.  But, when things take off, watch out boys and girls.


    Well here is my take on the Katy Bar the Door theory.  I am not an economist, but it doesn’t appear that the economy is soon going to turn around and blast off in an upward direction. It will be a gradual transition, if and when the turnaround occurs.  Further,  the economy has been in the doldrums so long the business prospectives on staffing has forever changed.   Companies, Not for Profits,  and even government agencies have all learned how to do more with less.   AND they will never return to those days of bloated staffs where we have staff for everything.  Going forward, we will all be leaner and meaner and that’s the way we business is going to get done now. We will use contingent workers, freelancers to fill in the holes.


    So I do not agree with the KBTD theory and do not think it will come to fruition in catastrophic manner as has been predicted.   But just because your employees will not have an opportunity leave by the bus load does not give your HR department license to treat your staff poorly.  You had still better do your damnedest to keep and engage your top talent, or you might be the one getting shown the door.    That is my take on KBTD,  check out what Laura has to say on the matter at her blog Working Girl.

  • Getting a Different look at a New_Resource

    Something keeps coming up over and over again in my life. I think it is either like a romance or a drug, I am not sure which.  I am talking about the concept of meeting a social media acquaintance in real life (IRL) for the first time. It was the topic for last weeks #Tchat.  I personally have had this experience a number of times and without a doubt it is exhilarating.  I think this concept is helping drive attendance at conferences and other live events.  We all enjoy the Face to Face (F2F) experience.


    People are making friends on-line and then we want to meet them IRL.  I am going to throw out two new terms I think that should be introduced into our shortcut/abbreviated language.


    HMIRL (Have met in real life)   HNMIRL (Have NOT met in real life)


    So for 2012 I am planning on attending a few events: SHRM National, ILSHRM and HREvolution for sure.   As for any other events, they will be subject to budget and time constraints.  I would love to do more, I will just have to wait and see.


    Downtown Memphis, TN

    However, I have my own little meet and greet that I am really looking forward to and am going to share with the blogosphere.  I can not actually tell you the date, but I have been friends on-line with a guy named Chris Fields for a while.  You may know him a new_resource on twitter, or from his blog site Cost of Work.   I was one of Chris’s first followers on twitter. He tends to remember this and looks upon me, with perhaps a little more reverence than I might be deserving of.  Chris lives in Memphis, TN  and does my oldest son.   My wife and youngest son are making a journey to Memphis for Easter this year, and while I have been there a couple times since Chris and I became on-line friends,  this trip will be different. We already have our lunch plans lined up and are going to meet IRL.


    I am going have my youngest son who is a film and cinema student at SIU-C shoot some video of our meeting. The two social media acquaintances meeting face to face for the first time.   I will post this, as I too want to look at this and study it.  This whole phenomena  fascinates me, people really  enjoy this experience and I want to re-live the experience.  Maybe I can even get Dan Crosby to analyse the event.


    I am also really looking forward to deepening an already great friendship. See you on April 7th Chris – smile for the camera!