When is Consensus a Bad Thing? The Three Stooges on Dissension

In a society where people have the right to voice their opinions, a leader’s role is often to find consensus. On the occasion when everyone agrees, it’s tempting to sigh in relief and start happy hour a little early. If this is the case, fight the temptation; your lack of conflict is a drawback.

Successful organizations need dissent. That’s why I want a little Three Stooges on my team. Who better demonstrates the bickering, questioning, and debating that a healthy team requires? If you look beyond the physical attacks, Larry, Moe, and Curly/Shemp hold each other accountable. They avoid groupthink, the faulty decision making created by group pressures, and analyze all sides of a problem before settling on a solution. Their plans don’t typically work out, but imagine how prosperous they’d be with 20 more IQ points.

To encourage the dissension necessary for a high performing team, a new paper to be published in The Proceedings of The Royal Society A investigated the idea of paradox of unanimity. When groups of people unanimously agree, it’s assumed they cannot all be wrong; after all, what are the odds that the masses will find total accord? The paradox of unanimity states that this confidence in unity is ill-founded.

Overwhelming agreement without a dissenting opinion actually weakens credibility and points to a systemic error in the system. The researchers demonstrated this paradox in a police line-up where witnesses were tasked with identifying a suspect. The study found that as the number of unanimously agreeing witnesses increased, the chance of them being correct decreased until it was no better than a random guess.

“As with most ‘paradoxes,’ it is not that our intuition is necessarily bad, but that our intuition has been badly informed. In these cases, we are surprised because we simply aren’t generally aware that identification rates by witnesses are in fact so poor.” — Derek Abbott, probability expert from the University of Adelaide

In some cases, large, unanimous agreement is expected, but only when there is little room for bias. For instance, when witnesses must identify an apple in a line-up of bananas, it is nearly impossible to be incorrect. However, a criminal line-up is more complicated than identifying pieces of fruit. Misidentification rates are as high as 48% especially when witnesses only briefly view the perpetrator.

The paradox of unanimity is common in the workplace, as well, and we may be unintentionally propagating it. In today’s work environment, there’s a popular notion that decisions should be unanimous. I’ve sat through many meetings where a bold idea is whittled away to gain consensus. Since the company message states that dissenting voices are welcome, the meeting tackles each aspect of the plan point by point. When someone disagrees, the team has to convince the dissenters otherwise or scrap that section of the plan. The end product is often inferior to what you started with and lacks the intended impact, BUT everyone is in agreement.

If you find yourself on the endless search for agreement, stop. The leadership role involves making tough decisions. Survey those on your team and then create an educated resolution. Not everyone will agree, and nor should they—if everyone agrees with every decision you make, your decisions are too broad, are inconsequential, or you’re pandering.

A culture of consent is a culture of either complacency, fear of change, or a lack of engagement, so instill some Stooge into your team. Swing your proverbial frying pan to encourage discourse. Poke others in their metaphoric eyes to extract feedback from the meek. Throw your oratorical cream pies to find areas of debate. And allegorically slap the team into expressing their sincere opinions without fear of retribution or judgment.

photo credit: The Three Stooges via photopin (license)

Dr. Seuss on the Paradox of Choice

Ever been presented with a litany of options only to find yourself disappointed by the results? As Dr. Seuss shows, too many options is not always a good thing.

Growing up, I was a big fan of Dr. Seuss books – I Wish I Had Duck Feet and Green Eggs and Ham were personal favorites. My interest was renewed once I had kids. So I was thrilled when a previously unpublished Seuss book had been discovered.

What Pet Should I Get? tells the story of a brother and sister who are given the task of picking one pet to bring home from the pet store. This mission becomes increasingly daunting as they are confronted with more and more animals to choose from. Throughout the story a voice urges the kids to “Make up your mind.” And there lies the paradox of choice that we face everyday.

Paradox of choice is the idea that although abundance and variety are supposed to make us happier, when in reality they do not. According to Barry Schwartz’s research in his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, abundance depletes our mental energy, sets unreasonably high expectations, and leaves us feeling unfulfilled. Put in simple terms, by buying the NFL cable package where you can watch every game, pre-game, and coverage, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. That indecision on Sunday when you are flipping between five games is the paradox of choice and it is ruining the football experience, not enhancing it. This is true in the workplace as well.

“Autonomy and freedom of choice are critical to our well being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever has before, and thus, presumably, more freedom and autonomy, we don’t seem to be benefiting from it psychologically. “ – Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice

As leaders, we often delude ourselves into thinking that by providing a multitude of options, we are promoting engagement and buy-in amongst the team. However, as Barry stated in his TEDTalk, the overabundance of choices has two negative effects.

The first negative effect is that while you are intending to empower your team with a sense of freedom, too many possibilities produces a decision paralysis. With so many options, people find it difficult to choose anything. Just imagine sitting in a meeting where someone says, “I have 50 different ways to tackle our problem.” Are you going to sit and listen to a detailed list of 50 solutions? To be influential, we need to either be fully committed to one solution or give three to five selections for the team to weigh.

The second negative effect is that even if we overcome the paralysis and decide, we end up less satisfied with the choice. One reason is that with so many options, it becomes easy to imagine how a different choice could have been better. As a result, you begin to regret your selection before it even started.

Another reason why too many options leaves us dissatisfied is what economists call opportunity costs. Whenever you choose one thing, you are choosing not to do other things. Then when you see all the attractive features associated with the many alternatives, it makes what you’ve chosen less attractive.

Finally, too many selections create unsustainable expectations. There is no “perfect” but when you see a hundred options, anything you choose will inevitably increase your expectations. So when you compare what you got with what you expected, the result can only be disappointment.

“The secret to happiness — this is what you all came for — the secret to happiness is low expectations.” – Barry Schwartz, TEDTalk

Consider the paradox of choice the next time you are presenting ideas to your team. Don’t put them in a position where they are walking into a pet store with infinite possibilities and the instruction to pick one. Vet the numerous alternatives and present a limited number of choices. This does not diminish their freedom, nor does it underestimate their analytic abilities; it allows the chance to absorb the intricacies of each option and make a more informed decision. It also saves you the effort of having to say, “Make up your mind!”

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5 Most Important Decisions a Leader Can Make

As a leader, you do have a choice as to how you spend your decision-making time; there are numerous possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you leave for others.

How do you determine the “my decision” areas?

The criteria I used was payback. Where could I add the greatest value to the organization?

It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where OTHERS will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there.

You may be amazing at financial analysis and enjoy dabbling in numbers, but if marketing is a critical element of the organization’ strategic plan, for example, you need to leave financials to someone else and re-vector your decision-making efforts.

Decide on these 5 strategic issues. These must be owned by the leader and no one else.

  1. The strategic game plan for the organization. Leadership value starts with deciding on the organization’s future. And it should be created by the leader and not chosen from a number of options submitted by management. What business you intend to be in and how you intend to differentiate yourself from your competition can only be decided by the leader who is directly accountable to ownership. It’s not something you can delegate to business development folks.
  1. The values that shape culture. Values describe how employees behave with each other “on the inside” and externally with customers. The leader must decide on the values critical to their strategic success and they must make the call on eliminating the traditional values that are no longer appropriate.
  1. The talent that gets recruited. Strategy and values are the determinants of the people you recruit. The leader must have their fingerprints on the “people strategy”. They must decide if it will do the job; it can’t be delegated to human resources. The wrong people in critical roles will drive your strategy to fail. I used to participate in candidate interviews; an excellent way to monitor how your expectations are being met, as well as a great learning experience for the other managers in the room.
  1. The “customer moment” architecture. If the leader isn’t personally involved in defining what the customer transaction with the organization “looks like”, dysfunction results; everyone does their own thing and offers up their own version of serving the customer in an exemplary manner. The leader must decide what the moment looks like at the frontline level where customer perception is controlled. Leaders don’t like to engage at this level of detail, but this micro-managing is essential.
  1. Aligning activities with the game plan. Aligning activities is where most things go wrong. The strategy says one thing but the people in the various functions behave in a manner inconsistent with the chosen direction. The leader must decide on an alignment plan developed by every department in the organization; it’s the only way synergy is guaranteed.

Strategy, values, people, customers and organizational synergy. What could be more important to decide on for a leader?

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7 Things Successful People Know About Decision Making

After a few reps at the gym your muscles naturally start to fatigue. It’s a sign that you’re working and your muscles are responding. In the same way that your muscles eventually give out during a workout, your mental muscle starts to fatigue throughout the day, hampering your ability to care, make choices, stay motivated, weigh decisions, and ultimately take action.

Radishes and chocolate chip cookies can help us understand why.

In 1998, Roy Baumeister and colleagues asked people to sign up for what participants thought was a taste-perception experiment. The researchers formed three groups: radish eaters, chocolate-chip cookie eaters and non-eaters (control group). They asked the participants to skip one meal and arrive hungry for their scheduled appointment. When the radish and chocolate-chip cookie eaters arrived for the appointment, they could smell freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. On the table before them they found a bowl of beautiful red radishes and a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and chocolate candies.

The radish eaters were instructed to eat two or three radishes and told they could not touch the chocolate-chip cookies or candies. The chocolate chip cookie eaters were instructed to eat two to three chocolate chip cookies and/or candies but not to touch the radishes. The non-eaters did not participate in this part of the study.

Once the participants had finished eating, the researchers asked all three groups to solve an unsolvable spatial puzzle. The subjects could abandon the task at any time.

Who quit first?

The radish eaters. The chocolate chip cookie eaters and non-eaters stuck with the task longer and for more or less the same amount of time. The early quitters, the radish eaters, reported feeling more exhausted than the other two groups.

So what do these odd food choices have to do with making a company-wide decision or considering change?

It takes significantly more self-control to avoid the temptation of mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies and candies than it does to avoid eating radishes. Resisting temptation took a bigger toll on the radish eaters. That resistance depleted the mental energy needed to tackle the puzzle and thus the radish eaters to abandon the task more quickly. On the other hand, subjects in the chocolate-chip eating and non-eating conditions depleted fewer mental resources maintaining self-control and could more easily spend additional time with the puzzle.

If resisting cookies can make your mind weary, imagine what resisting a big change in the workplace can do to you, after adding in all the other stuff you do every day. Resources like willpower, decision-making acuity and focus are depletable properties of the brain. New and unfamiliar routines and choices challenge the comfort zone of our ingrained habits. When we effect a change or resist something that we would normally not resist, we force ourselves out of our comfort zone. It requires energy and can wear you out.

Psychologists call this ego depletion or simply, mental exhaustion. It’s a state of mind where you can lose critical elements of your self-control and other mental processes that require focus and conscious effort.

So think about it in these terms. Your alarm goes off. You make a decision about whether or not you are going to press snooze. Then you decide how frequently you are going to press snooze. Then you get out of bed and make a decision about whether or not you are going to take a shower. Hopefully you make the right choice. Then you decide what you are going to wear. Then you decide if you are going to work out. Then what to eat. Then what the kids are going to eat. Then what direction you are going to drive to work. Then this and then that. By the time you get to work, you have made so many decisions already that your decision-making capabilities are already depleted. The good news is that if we know this universal truth about our brains then we can operate a bit differently.

Here are some very simple things you can do to counteract the radish effect:

  1. Routinize as much as possible: The more of a routine you have in the morning (e.g., waking up at the same time, eating the same thing for breakfast, having a system in place for prepping everything, etc.) the better off you are. When you leave options open in the morning, you are tapping into your limited well and causing depletion on tasks and things that really don’t require much thought. For that matter, if there are any tasks that can be routinized throughout the day, not just the morning, do so. Your brain will thank you when you have to focus and decide on the things that really matter.
  1. Do what you can do the night before: Before you go to sleep at night take care of the things that are easy to take care of for the next day (but can deplete you if you focus on them in the morning). Making simple choices like what you will eat for lunch tomorrow, what you will wear, or fleshing out tomorrow’s to do list will minimize the amount of energy you need for making these choices the next morning.
  1. Have a uniform: I am not suggesting wearing the same thing every day. However, I am suggesting finding a few looks that work for you and buying that look in different colors. The less time you spend agonizing over which shoe and belt works best with which pants or skirt, the more mental energy you will have when you are helping a client decide on the best avenue to take with your product line. Ever notice that Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day? Some of the most successful people may not have the most creative outfits but they certainly make up for it with their power brains.
  1. Be diligent about replenishment: We all know we need to sleep, eat well, exercise, take breaks, allow for mindfulness and relaxation. But very few of us are as disciplined about these aspects of human functioning and performance than we are about checking our emails, responding with urgency, working around the clock, constantly being on, and all the other stuff that goes hand in hand with depletion. Be as diligent about creating the space for replenishment as you are about working. Elite athletes and performers understand that they can only practice for a set amount of time before they require rest. The same is true for every human and their mind. The mind is an athlete and can produce extraordinary results if provided with the replenishment it needs.
  1. Make the most important decisions first thing in the morning: Knowing what you know now, don’t save the life altering and company-altering decisions for the end of the day. If you have an important decision to make at work or in your personal life, do it first thing in the morning. Do the difficult stuff when you are the least mentally taxed and save the easy stuff at the end of the day.
  1. Set some boundaries: According to Gloria Mark and her colleagues at the University of California-Irvine, 3 minutes is the average time we spend on a given task before we are interrupted or our focus shifts. This doesn’t bode well when faced with having to make an important decision. Thus, give yourself the necessary mental space when you have an important project or task. Set boundaries by removing distractions and creating uninterrupted time, if only for ten minutes, so you can concentrate on the task at hand.
  1. Sleep off the emotion: If you are having a strong emotional reaction (positive or negative) to something, keep the decision at bay until the storm of the emotion blows over. Although emotions are incredibly informative and provide useful information, when an important decision is made through the lens of emotion, decision-making can become skewed. Give it some thought and let it marinate over a good night’s sleep. Remember, negative emotions can skew logical thinking just as much as positive emotions can. Unless you’re an emergency room doc, you probably can give the decision 24-48 hours to marinate.

Being disciplined with these simple steps gives your mind the foundation it needs to be rock solid when it comes to decision making and tackling problems.

Is Your Communication Style A Drag On Your Team’s Productivity?

Our verbal and listening habits have a direct effect on our productivity and our professional outcomes. These engagement habits can lead to wasteful debates over false choices and choke off relevant business facts. When ideas and facts flow easily and teams engage in authentic business-driven discussions, productivity and results soar.

“Start with a YES and see where that takes you”. – Tina Fey

Try these three magic words to improve communication and increase performance, transparency, decision quality and your team’s productivity:

1.  Start with YES to encourage information flow.

Engage in a way that signals others you’re open to considering their ideas, facts and input. Tina Fey aptly finds it jarring when someone’s first answer is no — “no, we can’t do that” or “no, we don’t have the budget.” While there are instances where there is no budget, sometimes the “instant no” is more habit than business fact. The result is often a dead stop in the progression of discussion. Productivity is further hampered if people anticipate your stance is a “no” and avoid bringing forward information or ideas altogether. Observe your communication this week and see how often your starting perspective is “no,” how often it’s warranted versus habitual and what happens when you shift to “yes.”

2.  Assume AND not OR to reach optimal decisions

Often people assume each new idea supersedes or displaces those expressed before it – my idea or yours, one option or the other when in fact it’s my idea and yours, one option and another.  Without realizing it, we may pit ideas against each other and shut down consideration of additive ideas. This wastes time on false debates rather than advancing toward goals. More importantly, growth usually requires more than one idea, market segment, revenue source, and initiative so the implicit competition may be undermining your real goal. Try using the word “and” in your engagement this week to see if it enriches the fact base for decision-making and productivity of conversations.

3. Ask WHY to signal and ensure you heard

In dynamic or intense team discussions, asking “why” in response to an idea or fact has three productivity and leadership benefits. First, it signals to the other person that your engagement is authentic. Second, it provides them with an opportunity to share the logic so you genuinely understand. Third, it gives you a pause to consider the idea’s merits before moving on, to frame your “yes and” response, add another “why” or provide a well-considered “no.” In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take more management time to be an authentic listener than it does to resolve false debates, dig for facts that people don’t want to share or recover from decisions that were ill informed!

Put these words to work this week to reinforce a team engagement model in which ideas are readily shared, facts are transparent and business decisions are enriched with them.

On Tina Fey:

Fey’s Rules for Improv in her book Bossypants, while describing the art of improv, are a brilliant guide to high productivity engagement anywhere.  I highly recommend the book — the improv wisdom comes with full-on belly laughs and insight to Fey’s tremendous career accomplishments as comedian, author, director, producer, and actress.


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The Choice Is Yours: 4 Decision-Making Tips

The choices we make shape our experience of life. That’s undeniable, yet many of us suffer from poor decision-making, or make choices without fully considering or realizing the consequences.

Some of us were never mentored on how to make choices, but knowing how to make good decisions is one of the most important skills we can possess. Sometimes it feels difficult to choose since there is often an invisible tug-o-war between saying “yes” to one thing, which inevitably means saying “no” to another. When we are caught in an internal conflict over which way to choose, we can feel overwhelmed. This can have a paralyzing effect upon our necessary action. When we succumb to indecision, even in our indecisiveness we are making a choice.

The main issue with decisions is that we know at our core we cannot have it all. It’s an impossible goal to achieve and thinking that we can have it all puts more stress and strain upon us. To think we can have everything we want is a world view wrought with suffering. The deeper truth is we can have anything we want, just not everything we want. And therein lies the rub of being at-choice in any given moment.

“Today I am what I am because of my yesterday’s choices. And where I shall be tomorrow will be decided today.” ~ Unknown Author

Unexamined choices, or going with our emotional state is a recipe for cultivating a life of pain. We can’t move through life thinking that the fulfillment of desire is going to also equal a deeply satisfying life experience.

All of us have stories of living with the pain of consequences we had not anticipated or desired. Our experience of life today, this day, right now, is the sum total of all the decisions we’ve made up until this point, and it also includes the decisions that others have made for themselves. Other people’s decisions have a consequence that we experience as well. This is the pain and imperfection of our human condition.

“We are free to choose but we are not free from the consequences of our choices.” ~ Steven Covey

All of us are connected and interconnected. Every decision we make shapes our experience and as we are not islands unto ourselves, our decisions affect others as well. The decisions we make at work or at home affect more than ourselves. We are confronted with decisions continuously. Even a simple decision to get up in the morning when our alarm goes off, or to instead hit the snooze button. The decision to work late or go home, the decision to take the time to make a healthy dinner, or grab fast food.

Our life experience (health, happiness, peace, weight, education, career, success, etc.) is determined by choices. Even indecision, like I mentioned, is a decision.

How do we make the best choice in the moment? Refrain from putting trust in wants or desires. Wanting something doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Kids want candy for breakfast, and we might want a soda instead of water, but wants to do not equal supporting our highest. Knowing what we value most, and knowing what our top priorities are, these will bring us to our best answers. Choose wisely.

Some tips on making better decisions:

1. Choose based upon consequences. Look at the possible outcomes and work backward. Do you like what you see?

2. Avoid seeking perfection in the choice itself. Instead, look for the perfection of a goal in the inevitable consequences of your decision. You’re not perfect, neither is anything else in this world, so why do we seek perfection in the choices we make? How often do we get caught by fear or overwhelm because we are afraid of an imperfect decision? Be clear about your purpose, your values and your priorities, and you’ll find greater clarity around what to choose that will draw you closer to what you hold highest and dearest.

3. Remember to avoid inaction through over-analysis. Ever heard of paralysis by analysis? While it makes a lot of sense to look at the numbers and make informed decisions, getting stuck in the minutia of the details can lead to a lot of time wasted in the decision-making process. Oftentimes our research and analysis is cleverly disguised as procrastination. If you’re caught in doing your due diligence, make sure you don’t stay there just so you don’t have to make a choice. Procrastination is a choice as well.

4. Base your decision upon what is unchanging, and not upon emotions, desires, or wants that are always changing. Look deeper to a more trustworthy source…your gut. That still small voice that makes you uncomfortable when your wants and desires start pitching temper tantrums because they want something. One telltale sign that your emotions are taking over is if you’re looking for validation or permission from others. “Misery loves company” is not wisdom speaking. If you’re looking outside of yourself for direction, you’re not trusting yourself, and possibly it’s because you’re not listening to the wise self (or you don’t want to listen to the “no” answer your gut is giving you). Desire argues with you, wants are averse to delayed gratification. The truth is, if you’re in alignment with your own integrity, your choices become easier and you won’t need to seek out what other people think because you will already be resolved to doing what you know to be your best decision, for your own integrity.

Embrace and accept that consequences are a natural outcome of choice. Give yourself some margin for error. Mistakes are a part of the human experience. I like to think I’m a spiritual being having a human experience. This means I’m having an experience of imperfection. Forgiveness is as important to offer ourselves as it is to offer to others. Redemption comes when we apply compassion to our human condition, and realize, that in every moment we are all in the process of learning.

This post was adapted from Tamara McCleary’s “Yes Is Also No: The Power of Choice.”

About the Author: Tamara McCleary is a national speaker, business performance specialist, writer, social media expert and relationship economist. She has spoken to over 1,000 audiences, has sold $100 million in products and services from stage and is ranked in the top 1% of global social media influencers.

photo credit: teenage confusion via photopin (license)

The Halves And Wholes Of Leadership

“Love is born with solar flares
From two magnetic poles
It moves towards a higher plane
Where two halves make two wholes…”
–Neil Peart

We simply made it up. Neither of us had really had any formal lessons; I know I never had them. My stiff “pin-hips” as my mom and dad had always pointed out were no match for any boogie-woogie, hustle or swing, not even the tipsy white-boy sway I recalled trying to pull off one too many times. Also, rock and roll air guitar and drums do not count. Ever.


On the other hand, my now wife, then fiancée, had always, and still has, the disco-lemonade rhythm. In other words, she can dance. Naturally. With uninhibited hip-shaking bliss. So with my sweat and perseverance and pin-hips, and her with her rhythmic flow, we proceeded to put our very own wedding dance together to our song “Biggest Part of Me” by Ambrosia.

We also wrote our own vows based on mutual respect, but we weren’t all about two becoming one, we were all about two halves making two wholes, reveling in our individuality and differences just as much as our shared values.

A few years after we were married we took dance lessons for a while, really pushing me, and even my lovely wife, out of our comfort zones to learn different dances. Which is why we became and still are such huge So You Think You Can Dance fans, the dancing competition show that gives change management new meaning, each week pushing the young dancers to learn other styles, regardless of how much training they had prior to making it on the show. (Do note that a few of the SYTYCD dancers have eventually become choreographers.)

That’s why the biggest part of leadership is me. I mean you. And me.  It’s starts “here” – inside [hand to heart]. We now have a family and are its leadership, and although we’re still individuals with differences, we have developed a healthy amount of collaborative codependence, one partner leading the other and then switching roles, knowing when to delegate, when to make collective decisions, and when to go forth confidently alone.

Yes, it takes two to tango. And 200 can, too. And even 200,000. As Mark Fernandes put’s it:

You gotta find your dance floor when it comes to leadership.

And that takes a whole lotta practice and continuous learning and leading. Mark is the Chief Leadership Officer of Luck Companies, a global Values Based Leadership (VBL) organization, and he knows as well as I that leadership development isn’t anything new.

In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, US companies spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development, and it’s a top-three human capital executive priority.

However, “around 30 percent of US companies admit that they have failed to exploit their international business opportunities fully because they lack enough leaders with the right capabilities.”

Where too many halves make no wholes.

That list goes on, and I’m sure you’ve read other articles and research on “why leadership fails.” What’s clear today is that all employees (i.e., learners as future leaders) today care about different things and their expectations from business in their roles as associates, customers, investors, and community members are changing rapidly.

All organizations and their leaders have to push themselves constantly to bend without breaking the break dance floor. Mark Fernandes also shared that the culture of any organization is an extended shadow of leadership. For business leaders to successfully transform themselves and bring others along with them, they must come from a place of passion, purpose, competency and authenticity.

Ballroom spinners caught in a serious moonlight.

But now we’re doing too many solos. According to a recent HRE article by Peter Cappelli, organizational leadership has shifted emphasis from committee-based, collaborative decision-making systems, too much greater individual accountability. This in turn has impacted leadership’s ability to delegate decisions and they have transformed into are “judges” where employees may make suggestions, “but they, the leaders, decide.”

You can only imagine what this does to morale, employee engagement, productivity, innovation, all the business bingo buzzwords being swept away from a dark and dirty empty dance hall floor, which is why we must always:

  1. Prep the halves. We fall in and out of love with our jobs all the time. Some more than others. You may not want to love your job or the company you work for, but you gotta want to love what you do, when you do it, how you do it, who you do it with and for, and how you get better at it. The ability to celebrate our differences with ourselves and others, while challenging ourselves to be better, is where personnel leadership starts – and where long-tail leadership follows.
  2. To make the wholes. Even with all the pressures of the marketplace, shareholders, attracting and retaining talent, leadership today should return to a greater union of collaborative codependency and continuously developing and making one another better. We all gotta find our dance floor and then let our teammates walk across that junior high gym floor to ask them for the pleasure of making some business magic, being literal leaders, project managers or individual high performers.

You may not want to call it a marriage, but that’s why staying in love is hard work and at the very heart of business, the halves and wholes of leadership.

“Let’s sway – under the moonlight, this serious moonlight…” —David Bowie

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc

Hiring Great Talent: How Do You Decide? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Want details from this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links and more in the #TChat Recap: “Hiring: A Winner Every Time.”)

Think back for a moment.

What factors tend to drive your organization’s hiring decisions? Impressive candidate credentials? Hiring manager preference? Behavioral interviews? Gut instinct?

Now tell me — how successful has that method been?

Studies indicate that hiring by intuition fails as much as 75% of the time — so clearly there’s no easy answer. However, a more deliberate, structured approach can significantly improve the odds of finding a long-term fit.

What approach works best? That’s the focus of our conversation this week at #TChat Events. Leading the way are two HR professionals who understand the value of a solid hiring methodology: Chris Mursau, Vice President at Topgrading, and Jean Lynn, VP of HR at Home Instead Senior Care.

Sneak Peek: Smart Ways to Hire Better Talent

To frame this week’s discussion, I briefly spoke with Chris in a G+ hangout — where we talked about why it’s so tough for companies to find and keep the talent they need…

This topic touches all of us in the world of work, so we hope you’ll join the #TChat crowd this week and add your perspective to the conversation!

#TChat Events: Smart Ways to Hire Better Talent


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Feb 19 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Chris Mursau and Jean Lynn about how companies can be more effective at hiring top performers. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Feb 19 7pmET / 4pmPT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community.

Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as Dr. Nancy Rubin moderates a dynamic live chat focused on these related questions:

Q1:  How do we identify and attract high-performing employees?
Q2:  What processes and technologies impact quality of hire?
Q3:  Hiring via “gut” feel alone usually fails, so why do we keep doing it?
Q4:  Do reference checks really influence a candidate’s viability?
Q5:  How should employers communicate their culture to candidates?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Managing Your Career: What Would Richard Branson Do?

Written by James Clear

In 1966, a dyslexic 16-year-old boy dropped out of school. With only a tiny bit of seed money and a friend’s help, he founded a magazine for students. Fueled by advertisements he sold to local businesses, he ran this bootstrapped operation from the crypt of a local church.

Four years later, seeking ways to grow the fledgling magazine, this enterprising young man started selling mail-order records to his student subscriber base. Within a year, record sales were sufficient to help him build his first record store. After two years of selling records, he decided to launch his own record label and studio.

The small recording studio rented space to local artists, including one named Mike Oldfield. This was where Oldfield created his hit song “Tubular Bells,” which became the record label’s first release. The song eventually sold more than 5 million copies.

Over the next decade, the fearless entrepreneur grew his record label by attracting bands like Culture Club, Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones. Along the way, he continued adding businesses to his portfolio — an airline, railway, mobile phones, on and on. Almost 50 years later, his conglomerate included more than 400 companies.

That young boy who left school behind but kept starting things despite his inexperience and lack of knowledge is now a world-renown billionaire — Sir Richard Branson.

How I Met Sir Richard Branson

When I walked into the Moscow conference room, Branson was sitting in a chair only 10 feet away. A hundred other people surrounded us, but it felt like we were having a private conversation in my living room. He smiled and laughed frequently. His answers seemed unrehearsed and genuine.

At one point, he told the story of how he started Virgin Airlines, a tale that seems to represent his entire approach to business and life. Here’s what he said, as I best recall:

I was in my late 20s, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and a very pretty girl was waiting for me, so I was, um, determined to get there on time. At the airport, the final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought, “this is ridiculous,” so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do. Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines: $29” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been waiting for the cancelled flight. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the charter fee, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.

Successful People: What Habits Make a Difference?

After speaking with our group, Branson joined a panel of industry experts to discuss the future of business. As everyone around him filled the air with buzzwords and mapped out complex ideas for our future, Branson said things like, “Screw it, just get on and do it,” closely followed by things like, “Why can’t we mine asteroids?”

As I watched the panel, I realized the one person who sounded the most simplistic is the only one who is also a billionaire. So what sets him apart from the rest?

Here’s what I think makes all the difference:

Branson doesn’t merely say things like, “Screw it, just get on and do it.” He actually lives his life that way. He drops out of school and starts a business. He signs the Sex Pistols to his record label when everyone else says they’re too controversial. He charters a plane when he doesn’t have the money.

When everyone else balks or comes up with rational reasons why the time isn’t right to move forward, Branson gets started. He figures out how to stop procrastinating and he takes the first step forward — even if it seems outlandish.

Start Now — Even If You Don’t Feel Ready

Of course, Branson is an extraordinary example, but we can all learn something from his approach. If I summarize the habits of successful people in just one phrase, it’s this — successful people start before they feel ready.

I can’t think of anyone who embodies that philosophy better than Branson. Even the Virgin empire name was chosen because Branson and his partners were business “virgins” when they launched the company.

Branson has spearheaded so many ventures, charities and expeditions throughout his career — it would have been impossible to prepare fully before launching them all. In fact, he was likely not prepared or qualified for any of them. He’s a perfect example of why the “chosen ones” choose themselves.

The Truth About Getting Started

If you’re working on something important, then you’ll never feel ready. A side effect of pursuing challenging work is that you’re simultaneously pulled by excitement and pushed by uncertainty.

When you begin a new endeavor, you’re bound to feel uncomfortable and perhaps even unqualified. But let me assure you — what you have right now is enough. You can plan, revise and delay all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start a business, lose weight, write a book or re-energize a career. Who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going.

We all start in the same place — no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience. The difference is that some people choose to start anyway. And only those who start can reach the finish line.

So, what are you waiting for?

james-clear-circle-250(About the Author: James Clear is an entrepreneur who leverages behavior science to help you master your habits, improve your health and do better work. For useful ideas on improving your mental and physical performance, subscribe to his newsletter or download his 45-page guide on Transforming Your Habits. Connect with James on Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn.)

(Editor’s Note: This post was adapted from Brazen Life, with permission. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, it offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Kris Krug Flickr

Making Teams Work: Is There a Better Way?

For many of us today, teaming is an integral aspect of professional life. Yet, although we may see value in collaboration, many of us also struggle with various aspects of the team process.

Sometimes, issues arise from our self perceptions. For example, we may have reservations about sharing our opinions publicly, or insecurities about our ability to contribute effectively.

However, concerns also stem from inherent weaknesses in the teaming process, itself. Issues surrounding coordination and motivation tend to reduce a team’s effectiveness. For example, even when participants freely generate many valid ideas, those suggestions may be overlooked or underutilized. It’s no surprise that many of us become cynical about teams when our attempts to add value fail.

Cracking The Collaboration Code

How can we turn this around, so more of us are comfortable bringing ideas to the table, and confident that our efforts will make a difference? One possibility is to rethink the role of brainstorming, so teams focus on identifying and combining worthy ideas to formulate stronger solutions.

I have been involved with a variety of teams over the years. The “personality” of each group was truly unique — influenced by the dynamic of the selected members, the teaming process and the team leader’s experience. Some teams hesitated to cross or effectively challenge the opinions of those with seniority — a common problem. But in many situations, the real challenge wasn’t that individual voices were unheard. Instead, the root issue was that contributors’ ideas weren’t used wisely. In every scenario, as soon as this became apparent, that’s the moment when things went awry.

Often, multiple proposed ideas were worthy of exploration, but we were focused on choosing only one “winning” idea. This “either/or” decision filter is a potentially fatal flaw in the collaboration process. Instead, we should have focused on a different goal.

Insights From Collaborative Leaders

At some point, every team must move from generating ideas to assessing their value. The process used to evaluate those ideas is critical to the team’s overall success. So, how do we effectively address this challenge — the “we-have-numerous-great-ideas-but-what-do-we-do-with-them” issue? Here are several sources of insight:

•  Dr. Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney Pixar Animation Studios:  In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Dr. Catmull describes how Pixar development teams routinely combine ideas to excel. It’s not necessary for one idea to “win” or “lose.” Instead, numerous viable concepts can be incorporated into a plan, a product or a process. This approach may lead to healthier outcomes. After all, game-changing products and processes often integrate multiple features.

•  Mike Krieger, Co-Founder, Instagram: At Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner, Mike Krieger discusses his perspectives on the value of combining ideas when developing innovative solutions. In Krieger’s opinion, this integrative approach is the driving principle behind the best startup companies. Instagram is compelling evidence.

Three Ways To Achieve Better Results, Together

Of course, this approach may not be appropriate for all teams, or in every circumstance. However, it deserves consideration — especially when teams are struggling. To move the collaboration process forward, consider these three “ideation” guidelines from brainstorming best practices:

•  Share ideas sooner. Move beyond the requirement that an idea must be perfected before you share it. Allow colleagues an opportunity to develop your concept more fully.
•  Cut the cord. Strive to give up emotional ownership of your idea. Stay invested and serve as a guide, but allow the team to invest in it, too, so you can maximize its potential, together.
•  Nurture a different perspective. Stay open to pairing ideas that can produce a novel product or process. Expect the unexpected. Explore diverse combinations. And try not to jump to conclusions too soon.

What are your thoughts about combining ideas to collaborate more effectively? Have you tried this approach? What were the outcomes?

(Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from a LinkedIn Influencer post, with permission.)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at  events; or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

#TChat Road Trip: Going To The Next Level Together

There are many possible paths through life and career. Every so often, we’re presented with a decision: Take one path (maybe it’s a new job with an existing employer), or choose another route (maybe it’s an uncharted role at a new company with no clear business model or understanding where it is headed).

More than three years ago, I chose the second path — launching a talent-focused management consulting practice, creating #TChat as a TalentCulture community beacon, and embarking on a life at the crossroads of social media, knowledge sharing and collaboration. And what an incredibly interesting and rewarding journey it has been!

There have been too many high points to mention — the exhilaration of weekly Twitter chats; the roller-coaster dynamics involved with growing a professional online community; the great times Kevin W. Grossman and I have had connecting with many of you at live events — SHRM, HR Demo, Recruiting Trends, HRO Today, HR Tech, HR Evolution and so many others. It’s fun to push the technical limits with experimental “simulcast” chat/radio shows, and other new ways that connect our global community with the best minds and forums in the HR and social media realm.

Along the way, we’ve had the opportunity to meet hundreds of HR practitioners, business leaders and social influencers, both via #TChat and in person. I became a blogger – contributing to many niche blogging communities with whom I’ve been fortunate to forge strong social partnerships. These three years have opened my eyes and heart to new ideas and friendships that have enriched me more than I could have imagined.

Throughout this TalentCulture adventure, I’ve been guided by a vision of community, leadership, learning and innovation in HR. It’s the same today as it was the very first day — everyone is invited and everyone’s unique voice matters. Together, we’re exploring innovative topics – emotional intelligence; collaboration; evolving social and HR technology; the multi-generational workplace and the natural tensions that exist among Boomers, Gen X and Millennials; as well as the role that trust, influence and intent play in today’s most innovative organizations.

We had the courage to take this winding road, to live this social experiment, and we did it without a safety net of financial support. Like many bootstrapped ventures, we lived an online experiment, while sometimes risking our own security during past three years. We became, and are, the #1 and longest running Twitter Chat focused on “The World of Work” in the HR, Leadership, Innovation and Social Business niche. And I am proud of the way we navigated to that destination. This “organic” effort was the right approach. It gave us the freedom to stretch our limits, and really listen to our inner voices — even when others cautioned us that this endeavor was a huge time sink.

I’ve learned a lot during these past three years:

1) Patience.  It takes time to create a community that’s designed to be a metaphor for the social workplace. It takes take time to connect, share, and earn trust. Initiative is imperative — but when relationships are on the line, patience can be even more important.

2) Courage. We didn’t chase after easy money. We stayed with a bootstrapped, organic growth model — and it gave us the freedom to find our true voices and passion. We believed that the community would guide us, even when the road wasn’t clear. And the community has risen to the challenge.

3) Perseverance. It isn’t easy to work 10-20 hours a week or more without compensation. But we stuck to it. We kept showing up. That commitment has made it possible for us to arrive at this third anniversary of #TChat.

4) Engagement Through Trust. Since Day 1, everything we’ve done has focused on engaging with a larger community of HR practitioners, workplace visionaries and leaders. This is a big open tent, filled with people from a vast spectrum of expertise and interests. That’s what makes it such a vibrant, interesting place to be! What makes it possible? Mutual trust. It’s our foundation — and it’s the thing I value most. Above all, we are a community of trust.

5) Learning And Moving On. Through the years, I’ve discovered that growth means leaving some ideas behind. From time-to-time, we need to mix things up, as we continue our mission of serving this eclectic community of practitioners, partners and constant learners.

Change is in the air again, as we look ahead and consider new ways to serve our community’s mission.

This week, which marks #TChat’s third anniversary, presents us with another set of paths. We can continue the community as is, without funding. Or we can embrace a new model that involves careful monetization to fuel additional growth. The second path will give us the financial support we need to add new capabilities for better communication and interaction, integrate new channels for commentary and thought leadership, and create new opportunities to engage with and influence a broader “world of work” for the benefit of all. I’m excited by the challenges these choices present, and I’m eager to move TalentCulture to another level in its growth. But most of all, I’m humbled to lead such an extraordinary community at a time when the very nature of work, itself, is being reinvented.

For three years, we’ve been engaged in an experiment to understand how social innovation can transform work culture, evolve leadership practices, develop trust, and inspire continuous learning. Now, we’re ready to take our first steps toward the next horizon. We hope you’ll join us on that journey. The road ahead may not be entirely clear, but the path is wide, and there’s room for all.

The adventure continues!

Image Credit: Pixabay

HR Data: What Really Counts? #TChat Recap

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” -William Cameron

A Big Year For Big Data

No sooner did the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Day, than corporate talent management analyst Josh Bersin declared 2013 “The Year of BigData in HR.” Soon after, he offered more expansive predictions, including the assurance that we would see “many HR analytics, BigData and workforce planning tools” emerge this year.

Why now? As Bersin explains in “Data, Big Data and You,” multiple factors are at work — creating abundant opportunity that hasn’t yet been deeply tapped by HR organizations. To put the situation into perspective, consider this:

A 2011 Economist study indicates that companies boost productivity by 5-6% when they rely on data to guide business decisions. And yet, recent Bersin research reveals that only 6% of HR leaders say their organizations are “excellent” at leveraging employee data to drive business performance.

Case In Point: Hire-By-Numbers

In March at a #TChat Radio interview, Josh illustrated what’s at stake by telling a staffing story from a financial services company. The organization had been hiring sales representatives based on intuitive assumptions about what it takes to achieve in sales. Why was that a problem? Analysis revealed that those assumptions were wrong. By using data to redefine screening and recruitment criteria, the company saw sales surge by $4 million within only one year.

If Data Talks, Who Will Listen?

So, we know business is producing oodles of data at an exponential rate. And tools are arriving to help HR organizations crunch the numbers in beneficial ways. But something is still missing from this equation. It’s the vital link that connects the dots between quantitative possibilities and business realities. It’s the mission-critical role of the Data Analyst. Or, as USA Today recently suggested, “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.”

Even though data analysts are in short supply, the TalentCulture Community was lucky enough to glean insight and advice from two smart, articulate analytical professionals this week. Helping us explore key issues surrounding HR metrics, insights and business performance were:

Below, we’ve captured event highlights (including a tweet-by-tweet Storify slideshow from Twitter) and other resource links. We hope this is helpful for anyone is interested in understanding analytics as a core aspect of “human” side of business. Enjoy!

#TChat Week in Review: The Big Deal with HR Data

SAT 6/22


Watch the G+ Hangout with Christene now

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, introduced the week’s topic and talked with Christene about the definition of “BigData” and its relationship to HR management. Read “HR Data: What’s The Big Deal?”

SUN 6/23 Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered advice about how data can help HR professionals see the workforce “in 3D.” Read “Big Data Is A Big Deal.”

WED 6/26


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio: In its new time slot, just prior to #TChat Twitter, radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman drilled down on data-related HR issues, in a fascinating 30-minute interview with Christene and Andrew. If you missed the session, listen now to the recording.

#TChat Twitter: Fueled by the radio warm-up, our community came together on the Twitter stream for our dynamic weekly idea exchange. Great perspectives from people from all corners of the professional realm! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this crowd-sourced idea stream! If you missed the real-time Twitter action, or want to review highlights, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “HR Data: What’s The Big Deal?”

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Christene and Andrew for helping our community gain deeper understanding of how HR data naturally plays an integral role in the world of work. Your passion and real-world perspectives help us appreciate the importance and value of HR analytics.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about HR data issues or opportunities? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week #TChat events are on pause to celebrate July 4th. Happy U.S. Independence Day! But we’ll be back the following week, with a sizzling summer topic — so keep an eye on TalentCulture social channels for details.

In the meantime, even through our haitus, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

HR Data: What's The Big Deal? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full overview of this week’s events and resources? See “HR Data: What Really Counts? #TChat Recap.”)

(Also Note: Have you heard the news? Now there’s another reason to look forward to Wednesdays!  STARTING THIS WEEK #TChat Radio moves to Wednesday nights at 6:30pmET — just prior to our popular #TChat Twitter event at 7pmET. So tune-in live, and then join us on stream!)

Better Data = Smarter Choices

Past performance can be a good indicator of future performance, right? Well, when it comes to HR decisions, not necessarily — according to a recent New York Times profile of workforce science practices.

Advances in data collection and analysis are shattering preconceived notions about how to find and manage talent. Increasingly, HR practitioners are looking to data for answers to important business questions. The possibilities span a broad spectrum:

  • Talent Pool Viability
  • Skills + Competency Analysis
  • Hire Quality + Cultural Fit
  • Employee + Contingent Engagement
  • Hiring vs. Workforce Development
  • Workforce Growth Rates + Costs
  • Talent Retention + Turnover
  • Overall Business Impact

So how can you effectively apply data to HR practices? That’s a question we’ll discuss at #TChat forums with two HR data experts:

#TChat Sneak Peek Video

To kick-off this week’s conversation, Christene joined me for a quick G+ Hangout, where she helped clarify the meaning of “Big Data” and its relationship to HR management:

#TChat Events: The Big Deal with HR Data

What do you think about workforce data and its role in business management? Whether you’re an organizational leader, an HR practitioner, or a job-seeker who wonders how data analysis will influence your career, data is increasingly relevant to professional life. So bring your point of view, and join us to share your questions, ideas and opinions to the table this week!


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, June 26 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Christene and Andrew join our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, for a LIVE 30-minute discussion to examine this topic up-close.

#TChat Twitter — Wed, June 26 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

We welcome anyone with a Twitter handle to join our open, online community, as we exchange ideas live on the #TChat stream to explore this week’s questions:

Q1: Why is Big Data a bit of a misnomer when it comes to HR analytics?

Q2: What’s the difference between data, metrics and analytics?

Q3: What metrics and analytics should HR focus on, and why?

Q4: What can HR leaders do to make a business case for predictive analytics?

Q5: Why should we stop using spreadsheets to analyze talent management data?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

HR Data: What’s The Big Deal? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full overview of this week’s events and resources? See “HR Data: What Really Counts? #TChat Recap.”)

(Also Note: Have you heard the news? Now there’s another reason to look forward to Wednesdays!  STARTING THIS WEEK #TChat Radio moves to Wednesday nights at 6:30pmET — just prior to our popular #TChat Twitter event at 7pmET. So tune-in live, and then join us on stream!)

Better Data = Smarter Choices

Past performance can be a good indicator of future performance, right? Well, when it comes to HR decisions, not necessarily — according to a recent New York Times profile of workforce science practices.

Advances in data collection and analysis are shattering preconceived notions about how to find and manage talent. Increasingly, HR practitioners are looking to data for answers to important business questions. The possibilities span a broad spectrum:

  • Talent Pool Viability
  • Skills + Competency Analysis
  • Hire Quality + Cultural Fit
  • Employee + Contingent Engagement
  • Hiring vs. Workforce Development
  • Workforce Growth Rates + Costs
  • Talent Retention + Turnover
  • Overall Business Impact

So how can you effectively apply data to HR practices? That’s a question we’ll discuss at #TChat forums with two HR data experts:

#TChat Sneak Peek Video

To kick-off this week’s conversation, Christene joined me for a quick G+ Hangout, where she helped clarify the meaning of “Big Data” and its relationship to HR management:

#TChat Events: The Big Deal with HR Data

What do you think about workforce data and its role in business management? Whether you’re an organizational leader, an HR practitioner, or a job-seeker who wonders how data analysis will influence your career, data is increasingly relevant to professional life. So bring your point of view, and join us to share your questions, ideas and opinions to the table this week!


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, June 26 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Christene and Andrew join our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, for a LIVE 30-minute discussion to examine this topic up-close.

#TChat Twitter — Wed, June 26 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

We welcome anyone with a Twitter handle to join our open, online community, as we exchange ideas live on the #TChat stream to explore this week’s questions:

Q1: Why is Big Data a bit of a misnomer when it comes to HR analytics?

Q2: What’s the difference between data, metrics and analytics?

Q3: What metrics and analytics should HR focus on, and why?

Q4: What can HR leaders do to make a business case for predictive analytics?

Q5: Why should we stop using spreadsheets to analyze talent management data?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!