I love my work. But there are challenges (understatement). Keeping pace with 21st-century talent and technology trends means commitment to a perpetual learning curve.
The “human side” of business is now a vast and fluid domain. It’s a melting pot, churning in overdrive, with talent-recruitment-engagement-performance-management-HR-bigdata-leadership-development-socialmedia-and-career-skills all colliding and transforming at every turn. Each day brings more than anyone can absorb. We all feel it. This sensory overload is the new norm.
Learning as a Way of Life
I can’t stop learning (and couldn’t if I wanted to). My career demands nothing less. I just got back from an exciting HR conference in Philly where I met fascinating, bright, dedicated people, and discovered jaw-dropping, radically innovative tools. In a word, I learned.
To be honest, there is nothing in the world I love more than learning — anywhere, anytime. Exchanging ideas in any social environment is an experience that makes my pulse race. And these days, I often feel like I’m experiencing a non-stop adrenaline rush!
It’s exhilarating to see smart people rewriting rules (even at this moment). And although it’s often exhausting to be at the heart of a global learning community like TalentCulture, I also feel alive and engaged every day. I hope you feel that way, too — and that’s why you participate.
Learning as Leverage for Others
Along with the adrenaline highs, sometimes on this “world of work” odyssey, I’m exposed to alarming challenges. And as my friend Angela Maiers explains, one of the most alarming issues today is the increasing shortage of skilled talent. It’s a reality that the business world can no longer afford to ignore.
Simply put — we are not preparing students sufficiently for today’s economy — let alone for the future of work.
On one hand, this leaves behind millions of potential workforce contributors who are considered unemployable by most standards. On the other hand, companies are struggling to find qualified talent for unfilled positions. Adding insult to injury, companies have slashed recruiting and development budgets to the bone in recent years, while simultaneously increasing their expectations for finding capable talent. This is not a recipe for success.
We Can Matter — As Mentors
See the #TChat Preview & sneak-peek video
Something must change. I know that TalentCulture community understands this.
The good news is that each of us is equipped to lead the way — with whatever time, knowledge and skills we have available. Even more good news — there are ready-made ways to “pay-it-forward” as mentors. And one of those ways is through Angela Maiers’ bold educational initiative, Choose2Matter.
Angela isn’t waiting for government or big business or educational institutions to fix the problem. Instead, she’s using her brains, her passion and her professional network to unleash a tiny movement that can make a lasting difference in the future of every student that Choose2Matter touches.
This fearless approach to “future-proofing” our nation is why Choose2Matter’s leaders are joining us this week on #TChat Radio, and on our #TChat Twitter Chat (see the preview: “Business Case for Mentoring”). And it’s why TalentCulture is committed to support Choose2Matter, going forward.
Together we can bridge the skills gap, one student at a time. All it takes is enthusiasm, business experience, and a commitment of your time to help students work productively toward their dreams.
The goal is to encourage the genius in every child. The kids are ready. So let’s give these amazing dreamers the support they need to achieve to their fullest potential. As a talent development champion, I’m in. Why not join me?
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/httppixabay.comenmichelangelo-abstract-boy-child-71282.jpg12051920Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2013-05-08 11:48:112020-05-25 17:11:06Did You Learn Today? Pass It On
The future of business and innovation depends on a generation of students who — unfortunately — are learning in an educational environment that is largely irrelevant and uninspiring.
Employers increasingly demand skills that the workforce is not prepared to deliver. There’s a massive disparity between school curricula and business expectations. And communication between educators and business organizations is broken.
How can we turn this situation around to win the hearts, minds and imaginations of tomorrow’s leaders?
#TChat Events: Bridging the Skills Gap for Tomorrow
I think Angela makes a compelling case. Do you? Can business mentors fill the gap? What role should schools play in fostering student/business connections? And how can talent-minded digital communities like ours help advance this agenda?
Follow our Twitter hashtag and be part of an open, collective conversation, as we explore these issues with Angela and Mark:
Q1: Why do you think education is falling short in the U.S.? Or do you?
Q2: What can companies do to improve their expectation/investment disparity?
Q3: How can mentoring help make the unemployable employable again?
Q4: How can business leaders help bridge the skills gap and create jobs?
Q5: What technologies will help enable education-rich organizations?
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 anytime, and share your questions, ideas and opinions. Just add “#TChat” to your posts, so others in the community can follow the action.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AngelaLg.jpg370694Tim McDonaldhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTim McDonald2013-05-05 15:39:472020-05-25 16:54:20Business Case for Mentoring: #TChat Preview
“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” –Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric
The world is changing at an ever-accelerating rate. This has been the case at least since the invention of the personal computer in the 1980s, and became ever more so with the introduction of the commercial Internet in 1993.
In light of this drastic change in the workforce, how much has the US education system changed? Let me assure you of this: if you are under the age of 65 and if you returned to high school today, you’d feel right at home. Does that surprise you?
Educational Standards: A Reality Check
The “world and workforce” standards to which every school in our nation subscribes are not standards that the business community sets. They are standards “our community” — educators — are comfortable with. We can handle critical thinking, good communication skills, impeccable grammar and computation.
But schools do not encourage students to become bold thinkers, dreamers and doers.
Sure, schools have computer labs and some of them even have a computing device for every student. But instruction has changed very little. Indeed, with the never-ending growth of standardized assessment tests, US schools have become narrowly focused on teaching students how to fill-in the proper bubble on a multiple-choice, standardized exam.
Did you see any transferable work or life skills in the above paragraph?
Opportunity Cost: Priceless
Jack Welch may have it exactly right. While some pundits are forecasting a “revolution” in public education, most observers see these words as totally incongruous. Sure, public schools will continue to exist — at least (as educational consultant Peter Pappas writes) until parents find somewhere else to send their kids all day. But school is quickly becoming largely irrelevant to a student’s learning experience.
Every second that a child is “being educated” without insight, experience and real-life support from accomplished adults is a wasted opportunity to maximize their education — and their potential contribution to the world.
Choose2Matter recently launched the Quest2Matter, which challenges every student in three essential ways:
To accept that they matter
To accelerate the message that everyone matters, and
To act on a problem that breaks their heart.
Students have boundless energy and enthusiasm for taking action. What they lack is real-world savvy and the ability to find authoritative and comprehensive information on how to tackle a problem.
Where do they find this insight? Enter the TalentCulture World of Work Community.
These future world-changers can and will do incredible things. Members of the TalentCulture community can greatly enhance the students’ contribution by serving as mentors to these amazing young people.
As they work on selecting, curating, and moving forward the top world-changing ideas, TalentCulture members will be guiding them every step of the way.
Merely by knowing that accomplished professionalstake their ideas seriously will profoundly impact the seriousness with which students approach their contributions. For mentors from TalentCulture, this is an unparalleled opportunity to provide real-time, real-life leadership to budding leaders of the world. This will help redefine what the TalentCulture community stands for, and will establish a paradigm of professional and student mentorship for the entire world to follow.
As one talent-minded professional to another, I hope you’ll consider offering your expertise and enthusiasm to help shape the future of tomorrow’s leaders. Looking forward to discussing the Choose2Matter mission in more depth in #TChat forums this week — and I’m excited to collaborate with the TalentCulture community, going forward!
We are here to become more — to maximize the development of our talent by improving performance in every aspect of living. And, we are here to guide and support others in doing the same.
Consider the countless number of hard and soft skills it takes to navigate a single day of living in the 21st century. We’re swimming in a contextual field of opportunities, challenges, goals and choices!
Social Business: What’s New?
Business has always been a social endeavor. Despite relentless change — including the recent arrival of revolutionary social media tools — many of the essential skills for business success have remained the same throughout history. No mystery there. Business is and will always be about creating and sustaining mutually beneficial relationships.
Of course, the implications of social business don’t stop at an organizational level. Work and personal life are merging, as workloads increase, and mobile technology and social platforms grow more prevalent. The traditional boundaries and walls that separated life roles are being erased. Social and mobile channels are morphing work-life balance into a work-life blend.
Our diverse roles are becoming synthesized into a single life style. We work, we play, and we live — engaging anywhere, anytime, with anyone we choose. Many people now live in a blurry space between “real” life and digital life, professional and personal, internal and external.
Filtering the Social Clutter
IBM estimates that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. What does that mean for social learning? We have too much information, not enough transformation. Despite extensive learning, education, training and development, people think, feel and react in the same ways over and over. Think about the volume of content you absorb on a daily basis. What percentage of that information actually helps you create a positive impact in your life, or the lives of others?
Here’s a tool to help cut through the fog and chaos of today’s deafening social noise. I call it the “social business contextual field.” This filter helps brings clarity and precision to individual and organizational goals, strategies, learning, development, communication and transformation. It is based on six core components.
These six concepts represent all the complex relationships within social business. We can draw endless connections between words. For example, we think about how we feel. How we feel impacts how we think. Our thoughts and emotions largely determine our reactions and choices. We think about people, spaces and technology. We’re emotionally connected to people, spaces and technology. We physically engage with people spaces and technology.
Social business success hinges on learning how to develop and continuously improve connections, communication and collaboration among all aspects of the contextual field. Specifically, when individuals and organizations align, integrate and transform both sides of the contextual field, success follows.
As I explained in a recent TalentCulture video, engagement-performance transformation is an essential social learning skill. It’s a solution to seizing opportunities, overcoming challenges, boosting productivity, realizing goals and amplifying social business success.
In our work, we mash the two words “engagement” and “performance” into a single word, “engagement-performance.”
Engagement: The moment we recognize and seize opportunities to improve parts of the social business contextual field.
Performance: Everything that happens intellectually, emotionally and physically from the moment we engage, and as we move thorough the experience.
Engagement-performance transformation is above and behind all skill development. Consciously or unconsciously, we are engaging and performing every moment. Social talent development centers on transforming our capacity to engage-perform-produce more, better, faster, now — no matter what’s happening in or around us.
Three Steps for Engagement-Performance-Transformation
A culture of social learning, backed by engagement-performance transformation, does not happen by accident or good intentions. We must do three things to create and sustain engagement-performance transformation:
Take personal responsibility for transforming intellectual, emotional and physical engagement-performance.
Learn, practice and apply real-time power tool strategies for engagement-performance transformation in the midst of intense situations, persistent challenges and diverse people.
Proactively embrace the process of engagement-performance transformation, in self and others, from moment-to-moment, day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year.
Sleight of hand. Misdirection. Levitation. The Grand Illusion. Sounds like a great Vegas act. But is this any way to describe “people” practices in today’s world of work?
Truthfully, we’ve all seen it and felt it. Many of us have developed mastery at it. Even when it’s unintended, a bit of smoke-and-mirrors comes in handy when working the crowd on the “talent” side of the house.
No worries. Your secret is safe here. #TChat isn’t a confessional, but those of us who’ve been responsible for aspects of talent acquisition, development or performance management have learned what works well enough to comply with business rules and get the job done. But how well is that working for the organization?
We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
It’s not that we’re not trying to be more accountable and transparent. Besides, new social tools and technologies are shining light up our sleeves, for better or worse.
However, we are naturally stalwart creatures of comfort and habit — we don’t adapt easily. Incrementally perhaps, but not easily. It’s tempting to fall back on the same old tricks of the trade, even as external catalysts are forcing us to change for the better. Progress isn’t necessarily linear movement.
For example, consider the conversation we had this week with #TChat Radio guest, Josh Bersin. Josh is the Founder and Principal of Bersin by Deloitte, leading provider of research-based membership programs in human resources (HR), talent and learning.
Among other things, Josh shed light on factors that are driving the global disparity between skills demand and supply. One point in particular — new talent selection, mobility and succession planning have long been determined primarily by gut instinct.
A Capable Workforce = Sustainable Magic
But saying that talent strategies should focus on hard skills is no longer magical enough. The softer skills — communication, empathy, team-building — are just as integral to selection and development, if not more so.
Josh looks at challenges in human capital management through this more strategic lens. It’s what he calls capabilities development, where both hard and soft skills are addressed in a holistic way. As organizations reinforce and expand these combined capabilities in real-time, and provide flexible context that responds to workforce competencies, we can expect business performance to improve.
The foundation is solid – we’re now able to glean useful talent insights from powerful tools that help us process and analyze the disparate “people” data we’ve held in cold storage for decades. And other technologies are enabling continuous learning and development, across business functions, and throughout the entire employee life cycle. High art, indeed.
Of course, magic shows still have their place — marketing spin helps to attract, retain and entertain. Meanwhile, we can feel confident relying more on science than art to inform our instincts as we move forward with workforce decisions. Talent-minded professionals are limited only by our willingness to adapt. We can lead by example.
If you missed any of this week’s events – or to revisit insights anytime – just follow the links below…
SUN 3/17 TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, kicked off the week by looking at how strong leaders are strong learners in her Forbes.com post: “The New Rules of Leadership.”
TUE 3/19#TChat Radio Show: Josh Bersin discussed how market factors and technology innovation are leading organizations to dramatically shift fundamental “people” practices – including talent acquisition, development and performance management. The 30-minute show is packed with insights for HR and learning professionals, as well as business managers.
WED 3/29#TChat Twitter: The TalentCulture community showed up in full force at our weekly Twitter forum to report from the trenches about their experiences and ideas. Check out these highlights from the conversation…
#TChat Twitter Highlights Slideshow: Learning, Leadership and Talent
THANKS: Again, thanks to Josh Bersin for joining us this week, to help us understand how organizations can better leverage talent in today’s world of work. Your expertise and insights are invaluable to our community.
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about leadership, learning and talent? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just 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 – fasten your seatbelts as we take the community for a spin into the brave new world of social learning, with our very own community leaders, Justin Mass (learning technology evangelist at Adobe) and Michael Clark (leadership development expert at ReCenter).
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
No surprise here — the concept of lifelong learning is as popular as mom and apple pie, especially among the progressive business professionals at the core of the TalentCulture World of Work community.
But it may surprise you to discover that old-school Henry Ford is the source of that quote. Arguably one of the most successful business leaders in American history, Ford was relentless about elevating machine efficiency to a management science. And he died more than 60 years ago, when most baby boomers were still only a gleam in their parents’ eyes.
Nevertheless, imagine if Ford had tweeted during this week’s #TChat: His philosophy of continual learning would have aligned with the sentiments of our community’s participants, who shared more than 2,900 tweets this Wednesday — ideas and opinions about “Leaders Young and Old” and the dynamics of reverse mentoring. In the brushstroke of a single blog entry, it’s difficult to do justice to the breadth and depth of perspectives exchanged. A common theme did emerge, however, from the 16.4 million impressions that echoed across the Twitter universe:
The Top Takeaway
Leadership is (appropriately) tied to competence and results – independent of age or seniority.
So what are the implications for today’s business leaders, who must span generations to engage and develop the best talent for a sustainable future? “The Leadership Challenge,” the popular management book, reminds us that “The Best Leaders are the Best Learners.” In other words, by modeling teachable behavior themselves, leaders not only grow professionally, but inspire others to do the same. It’s a next-generation extension of the principles established by business legends like Henry Ford, and it’s a valuable lesson that any of us can learn — at any age.
Looking for inspiration? That may be why you’re at #TChat, our forum and community for industry leaders committed to continual peer-to-peer learning. We’re grateful for this now nearly two-year adventure, a microcosm of today’s work world. We rely on digital tools to connect, communicate and collaborate 24-7, on-demand. And it works.
I have no clue how old or young my peers are, and frankly, I don’t care. I’d rather focus on key issues and shared interests. I evaluate insights based on their own merit. My impression of #TChat participants is shaped by the quality of their contributions and the street cred they develop within the community. Age and rank aren’t even on the radar.
Why do I return each week? This forum helps me quickly find relevant, useful ideas — and the smart people behind those ideas — without having to slog through the formalities of organizational structure and protocol. #TChat is a living laboratory for transparency and access in the networked age. And I gain immediate value from participating in this grand experiment.
It stands to reason that if learning is an equal-opportunity endeavor, then leadership is, too. Perhaps this week’s #TChat could add another layer to Kevin’s quote:
“Leading is learning. Learning is doing and doing is knowing. So do.”
Just imagine what Henry Ford would say if he could see us doing this #TChat thing we do!
Did you miss the preview? Go here. We again thank Mark Babbitt (@YouTernMark) for guest moderating this week and for bringing along his super-smart team from YouTern (@YouTern) — e.g., @YouTernDave and @YouTernErica — to tweet alongside all of us. They brought the awesome, and you did, too: Check out the slide show below of your many insightful tweets. We wish you all a wonderful weekend and look forward to seeing you at next week’s #TChat.
Attention, #TChat! See #HRTechChat Fri 9/28 @ 2pmET/11amPT -> #HRTech & the Free Agent #Workforce: http://ht.ly/e1iVpBrent Skinner
#HRTechChat: They Used to Pick Up the Telephone for That | Talent Management TechThere’s a technology for that. It’s called the telephone. They should pick it up and call their staff. That’s rich. #HRTechChat Lead Co-h…
00Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2012-09-28 09:01:292020-05-22 14:47:52A Legacy of Leadership & Learning: #TChat Recap
Here’s a pop quiz: When was the last time you reported to a manager older than yourself? Younger than yourself? The workforce is multi-generational, but unlike 10 or even 20 years ago, age is not the primary determinant of management status. Many organizations are less hierarchical by design; matrix management may have fallen out of favor as a leadership style, but in many workplaces it’s the de facto organizational structure.
From an HR or leadership point of view it’s clear talent shouldn’t be chosen by age, but for raw ability, skills and vision. Leaders must combine strategic understanding of the business’s goals with tactical ability to execute to plan. They need soft skills too — lots of capable individuals don’t have what it takes to lead.
So we’re puzzling here at TalentCulture World of Work about multi-generational workforces, why (or if) it’s problematic for older workers to be led by the younger ones (because they say “like” every other word, perhaps?), and how to achieve cultural fit when managers are younger than their staffs.
The term “reverse mentoring” has come up, but we’re curious what the crowd thinks, so we’re throwing it open to our #TChat tribe to help us find clarity. We’re also wondering if there’s technology out there that may help smooth out the younger manager–older worker dynamic. Here are a few of the questions we’ll be discussing this week:
Q1: Used to be, age was synchronous with seniority & mgmt. How has the multi-generational workforce changed that?
Q2: Does leadership come when experience meets the right context of strategy, tactics & soft skills? Why or not?
Q3: Why is it so hard for older workers to be led by younger ones beyond the usual cliches?
Q4: What can orgs do better to assess & execute cultural fit as well as employee & leadership development?
Q5: What technologies can help facilitate the older employee/younger manager dynamic and how?
Please join us Wednesday night, Sept. 26, from 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are). Look for yours truly (@MeghanMBiro) and Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman) on the #TChat stream. We’re open to your thoughts on reverse mentoring, culture and multi-generational workforces, so bring your thoughts (in 120-character blocks) to this week’s TalentCulture #TChat.
We’re fortunate to have guest moderator Mark Babbitt (@YouTernMark) and the team at YouTern (@YouTern), where Mark is CEO and founder, lending their wisdom this week as we all explore reverse mentoring, culture and the many roles workers will fill as they progress through life.
“I don’t want to be out here doing nothing. It’s dangerous.”
This from a 14-year-old boy in Chicago who should be in school, but is not, because of the Chicago Teachers’ strike. This isn’t a rebuke of why he’s not in school, it’s just a brief commentary about the phrase itself as metaphor for the power of social and informal learning.
Many of you have heard the quote, “An idle brain is the devil’s workshop,” which comes from H.G. Bohn‘s Handbook of Proverbs, published in 1855. Its Biblical origins comes from the belief that hard work keeps us focused and out of trouble, and without it, we can only conceive evil deeds from laziness. But with the latest in neuroscience research, we now know that our frontal cortex has much smaller windows of focal strength during the course of the day, that we need idle breaks in thought, to allow the mind to rest and revitalize, letting what we’ve absorbed during the focal spikes to reengineer our synaptic pathways.
Of course I don’t literally mean that teenagers should be roaming the streets unchecked with no formal or informal learning in place. I’m segueing more to the adult world of work and how the progressive enterprise understands how we truly learn and adopt and adapt — and it is doing what it can to integrate this into the workplace, from applicant to alumni.
But we’ve got a lot of “process debt” to deal with. Similar to “technical debt” that refers to layers of outdated programming code that we just overwrite instead of starting fresh, process debt is the same thing when it comes to change management in the workplace. Our decades old learning and development processes haven’t changed much even in the light of research referenced above. We still throw the new employee handbook at new hires, make everyone sit for day-long training seminars where we check out halfway in, and then we silo ourselves in self-branded promotional kiosks with limited if any exposure outside the firewall to valuable content from informal learning channels.
I’m talking about social channels, of course — which of course we’re getting access to anyway inside and outside the firewall, via mobile and tablet devices.
The democratization of social learning is here to stay, and we should embrace the shorter bursts of quality peer-to-peer interaction and actionable insights. By letting us do what we’ve already been doing for thousands of years, the sharing and learning around relevant topics across brand agnostic open networks, organizations can channel the crowd-sourced mindshare and elevate the great global enterprise of empowerment and improvement.
“I don’t want to be out here doing nothing. It’s dangerous.”
The good news is, we’re not doing nothing. The danger is in resistance, not idleness.
Did you miss this week’s preview? Click here, and check out all the crowd-sourced mind-sharing below, channeled through a slideshow of your #TChat tweets. Thank you, Joe Sanchez (@sanchezjb), for your guest moderation of yesterday’s chat. We look forward to seeing everyone next week.
At TalentCulture World of Work we love all things culture and all things social, talent, leadership and learning. Imagine my excitement when the notion popped up to combine all three ideas: social, learning, and culture. The trifecta. Talent. Culture. Social Learning. Very cool. It’s nirvana for the geeky side of me.
I’ve been digging in on the #TChat social channel lately about social media – how it’s changing businesses and changing people’s relationships to jobs, family, and friends. It’s also changing the relationship between leaders and employees.
It’s no longer sufficient for leaders to tell employees what to do – now they need to provide context, both business and social. The trick is learning how to infuse social into your culture, and into how you train and teach employees – not just to perform jobs or tasks, but how to think in a way that benefits themselves, clients and the business.
Fast-forward to this week’s #TChat topic: how to build learning cultures for the workplace and social community, relying on social tools and concepts. This week’s questions should stir healthy debate:
Q1 What are the top attributes of a learning culture?
Q2 How can leaders teach employees to learn how to learn?
Q3 How can an organization leverage informal social learning opportunities?
Q4 Why do learning cultures create competitive advantage?
Q5 How do you know whether or not an organization’s culture is conducive to learning?
Social people interested in culture and learning, UNITE. Join us Wednesday night, September 12 th from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT) to question the value of formal learning, explore the limits of informal learning, and plumb the depths of social learning. Bring your culture-vulture point of view, because learning doesn’t happen in a void – it happens in a learning culture.
We’ll discuss learning – formal, informal and social learning – and provide recommendations for leaders and HR practitioners trying to chart the best path for their organizations and communities. No blue book required – just a Twitter handle and some ideas. We look forward to chatting!
A dear friend of our community and social learner and teacher Joe Sanchez @sanchezjb will be our guest moderator this week. Here’s his timely blog post:
We’re happy and honored to have Joe leading the #TChat tweets on Wednesday from 7-8pm ET (6-7pm CT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are), to talk shop with us.
Social Learning IS The heart and Soul of the TalentCulture Community!
The other day, my friend couldn’t find her Droid. So we looked and looked until we found it. …in the back pocket of the pants she’d been wearing the whole time. And then there was last weekend, when I searched what seemed like every nook and cranny of the house: My Jeep’s keys were nowhere to be found. …until I remembered I’d left them in the ignition; my home is in the sticks, on a dirt road where nary a bad guy lurks to take away my stuff.
The palm of my hand traveled to my forehead. So, too, did hers. Together, we experienced a “double facepalm.” Employers have them all the time, and especially when they realize that the talent they’re looking for is right there, inside.
Here’s a pet theory: Employees work to make money. I know: I could be wrong. But money is probably the primary reason a majority work, and for a majority, money used to be one of the only reasons.
Employees would look for the greatest amount of security in making that money over the greatest amount of time — ideally, a lifetime’s worth of time. And they found those conditions almost everywhere. They found them in big corporations that paid well and provided room for advancement — to be paid even better, over several decades, till retirement knocked. They stayed because they wanted to, and for these conditions specifically. But they also stayed because society told them they had to. Seeing to it was an ingrained, shared ethos that honestly couldn’t fathom anyone wanting to leave a secure job.
And here’s another pet theory: Today, it’s Maslow’s world, and we just live in it. Employees stay because they want to. But they don’t have to — unless they really do have to, but for reasons entirely divorced from that old ethos, which has faded into memory. In an economy that is weak, employees stay for security, but they may resent the security, especially if the pay just barely provides the security. And they will concurrently pine for work more self-fulfilling, more self-advancing. As a world of work, we’ve moved further up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, above survival to self-actualization.
Here’s one more point, before we get to the main one:
A common bit of advice says to look within for answers to the spirit’s ailments. Looking outside one’s self for answers rarely brings authentic or lasting happiness, the saying goes. And that’s true. And a kernel of the saying’s truth applies to the topic of recruiting. Yes, the answer to an organization’s ailments often is a need for talent that’s outside, waiting to be recruited; just as often, however, a relentless recruitment of talent not there yet is a symptom of deep unhappiness within the organization, or lack of appreciation for the talent already there.
Or (and?), this unending need for outside talent reflects the organization’s inattention to self. When an organization neglects its self, looking outside to fix what’s broken inside is an unconscious cry for help. An addiction to new employees sets in, a salve for the continual pain wrought by the organization’s dysfunctional home life — the dynamics intended and unintended that govern workers’ daily grind. The organization must instead acknowledge that the inside is broken — and focus on fixing the inside with inside parts.
Those inside parts are your employees, and many are chomping at the bit to self-actualize, in their jobs. Individuals have self-help books and mentors to help fix what’s broken inside. Organizations have HR and HR technology. HR people implement processes to heal an organization, and HR technology provides more and better tools than ever for organizations to see, understand and cater to their talent inside.
Right In Front of You
My keys were where I left them, and my friend’s Droid was in her back pocket. We each searched a long time before realizing those items were right there, right in front of us. Where is your talent? It might be right in front of you. Remove your palms from your foreheads, like we did, and get on with it. She made a call. I fired up the engine in my truck. Organizations, provide your employees with the conditions that’ll lead them to want to stay.
Thank you for joining us last night. Your tweets ran the gamut of good thinking, as always, and below is a slide show of them. We thank Rob Garcia(@robgarciasj) for his peerless guest moderation. Did you miss this week’s preview? Click here. We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday.
Leadership received a lot of lip service in 2011, but if employee attitudes and job satisfaction are any measure, there’s been precious little leadership in action. We have more work to do. Perhaps, because so many businesses were in survival mode, people who were running organizations believed that simply keeping their office door open was leadership enough and sufficient to retain their best talent. In reality, though, this attitude is more about strong management and employee engagement and retention, and less about just leading and inspiring.
There is no one style of leadership that is most effective; people vary tremendously in their personality styles, passions and skill sets. There are as many styles of leadership as there are leadership attributes. Every workplace is as multi-dimenional as is every leader. Pretty complex stuff we are dealing with, so it’s important to keep talking about where we can improve and grow. I believe the most effective leaders are the ones with an innate ability to pivot and simply accept and drive transformation. Can we say Gumby?
While it’s vital to run a profitable, growing business, leaders always have much broader responsibilities: planning for the future, building an adaptable workplace, employee retention, recruiting and grooming the next generation of leaders, motivating employees at all levels of the organization and fostering a workplace culture of results and innovation. Let’s face it – the Social Workplace is here to stay – your employees are simply a Tweet or Facebook update away from you. 2012 could well be the year leadership moves back to center stage, so we’re taking the topic on for this week’s TChat World of Work topic. (We rotate our topics weekly so we keep ideas fresh and fun)
Please join us as we talk about leadership skills. Not what we’ve seen in recent years, but what we’re striving for – things like emotional intelligence, strategic and passionate vision, decisiveness, empathy, creativity and openness to something different. We’ll also talk about technology – talent management platforms, recruiting and HR technology and employee training. And we’ll dive a bit into the ways in which social media and on-line communities such as Twitter and LinkedIn can become leadership tools.
If you’re an aspiring/experienced leader, an HR executive charged with retention, an employee engagement devotee, a recruiting and workplace culture development professional, or simply a fan of adopting social media, we invite you to join us on Twitter – and challenge you to share your views on the most important leadership skills for 2012 and beyond. We’ll cover as much as we can in the hour on such a big topic – how to select and nurture new talent, where innovation fits into established organizations, the essential steps to building a competitive company, and more. Join us Wednesday night on #tchat The World of Work January 12, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT), when leadership topics are in the hot seat. Join me, Kevin Grossman, Maren Hogan, Sean Charles and Kyle Lagunas for a very special Leadership #TChat.
Here are the questions for this week’s chat: See you there!
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2012-01-09 12:05:362020-05-20 18:03:34Developing Leaders with Innovative Mindset: #TChat Preview
Leadership is one of those soft skills, like “excellent communicator” or “team player,” which lies, almost exclusively, as it were, in the eyes of the beholder. Simply defining the term, and its impact on organizations, is an inherently subjective exercise.
After all, we like leaders who like us, and we’re attracted to leaders who are like us. So therein lies one of the biggest dilemmas of discussing leadership: leaders are defined not by their actions, but by the perceptions of those their actions effect.
And for leaders, the act of managing these often competing perceptions, public and personal, while building consensus, often detracts from or eliminates their ability to effectively, well, lead.
In today’s world of work, this need to manage perception and brand, both personal and professional, has led to a veritable cottage industry of consultants and gurus, training programs and certifications devoted to leadership theory, practice and development.
But ultimately, leadership isn’t a product that can be sold; it’s a characteristic that must be earned. And the leaders of today face unique challenges, struggling with a widespread lack of confidence by investors and employees, besieged with the twin burdens of internal expectations and external scrutiny.
Throw emerging technologies into the mix and it becomes clear that the more visible a leader becomes, the larger a target they become for the slings and arrows of social media, barbs from bloggers and digs from disgruntled employees.
To combat this, there seems to be an increasing trend to transform company culture into, effectively, a cult of personality. This means many leaders today are more preoccupied with lapping up the limelight and crowd sourcing for consensus than making tough, often unpopular decisions that, while benefiting their business, might come at the expense of their personal brands.
As the two become increasingly inextricable, however, this obviously becomes a difficult, if not impossible, decision to make. But as we learned in high school, leadership isn’t a popularity contest.
Having the courage to stand up and make the kind of imperative decisions that may well be decidedly unpopular, which, as we also learned in high school, is often what happens when one makes the right choice, is the toughest, and most important, test any leader can face.
#TChat Questions & Recommended Reading (09.21.11)
We hope you can join us Wednesday, September 21 at 7-8 PM ET as we go beyond the buzzwords to explore the ways that dynamic changes in technology, the economy and, most importantly, expectations affect not only leaders, but the organizations, and employees, they lead.
Here’s a preview of the questions we’ll be discussing, along with some recommended reading that, while not mandatory, should help prepare – and inform – your involvement in this week’s #TChat conversation: “The Evolution of Management: Leadership and the New World of Work.”
Q1) What role do leaders play in driving innovation? Collaboration?
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00TalentCulture Team + Guestshttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team + Guests2011-09-21 05:36:522020-05-20 17:51:46Leadership and New World of Work: #TChat Preview
Imagine my excitement: today I get to tell you all about a great new book on the subject of leadership.
Wait – before you say you’ve read a couple of those and they were completely useless – let me tell you why you may want to read this book.
First, the authors are amazing people. Kevin Eikenberry doesn’t just write about leadership, he is a leader. What he writes comes from experience and from the heart.
At TalentCulture we love leaders who lead from the heart. We’ve written about how many employers are stuck in a crisis – they have lost the ability to be leaders. At a time when the economy seems to be loosening up a bit and employees are reconsidering their options, managers are incredibly ‘tone-deaf when it comes to what they are saying to employees’, as I wrote back in November for the Lead Change Community. I think the core of the problem is a lack of emotional intelligence in leadership – what author Daniel Goleman calls the ability “to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively.”
Leadership styles vary, of course, and they should. Otherwise, this would be a very boring predicament and make for a dull workplace culture for certain. There’s also little out there to help a person make the transition from employee to leader, which is why Kevin and Guy’s book is so timely.
Kevin’s co-author, Guy Harris, is also his business partner. A trainer and coach, Guy blogs at The Recovering Engineer about workplace engagement, personal empowerment and other leadership themes. What a team!
Now to the book.From Bud to Boss (published by Wiley imprint Jossey-Bass) is Kevin’s new book and his first with co-author Harris. Not every leadership book states as an article of faith that all workplace leaders have within them the power to be remarkable. Of course my cynicism sets in here – it’s the leadership book equivalent of telling a child ‘good job’ just because he or she washed his or her hands. By proposing the idea that each of us can become a remarkable leader, Kevin and Guy take a risk – after all, how many extraordinary people have you met?
It turns out the extraordinary is within reach, if only we are willing to work hard to be that person. It takes work and focused energy to make this happen on any consistent basis.
In this book – Kevin and Guy explore the transitions new leaders must make to fully realize and inhabit the role of ‘leader’. Plenty of business leadership books suggest that you can become a leader overnight. Kevin and Guy, having coached plenty of new leaders, know the transformation requires effort, commitment and a range of fresh skills and behaviors.
In the book Kevin and Guy review those skills and behaviors. They address subjects such as managing change, learning effective communication and coaching skills, and mastering collaboration and conflict resolution. They do it in a friendly, humorous voice. The book is structured in an easy-to-read format, and it’s packed with anecdotes, checklists and bonus tools.
I would add learning to trust to the leadership toolbox. Trust is a component of emotional intelligence for sure. Trust also has transactional aspects, as I’ve written, but in the workplace it should be a condition of employment, which means leaders must make a study of trust: telling the truth, being clear and honest, reducing the unknown to the knowable for employees.
New managers or those pursuing the path to leadership may just benefit from From Bud to Boss. It’s on sale now. Then log in to the Bud-to-Boss community (which is home to loads of cool bonus content).
So do what I did – read the book, go to the online community, and please let us know what you think. We’re really excited here at TalentCulture – a new book, fresh insights, deep thinking on leadership issues. We hope you are too. Cheers.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2011-02-25 13:34:422020-05-20 16:53:43Leadership Within Your Reach – From Bud to Boss
My personal strategy is doing lots of evaluation on important things throughout the year to gauge what’s working and not working. These regular progress and results checks suggest a range of adjustments to make (along with their potential impacts). Afterward, I decide what to change.
Given this ongoing process, I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions; they seem too point-in-time to be effective. Handed the assignment of doing a December 31st TalentCulture post though, it’s a topic begging to be addressed.
Based on a recent panel discussion I attended of successful entrepreneurs, I think the perfect area for a 2011 New Year’s resolution is my penchant for systematic consideration, thought, and planning in business.
During the breakfast session, four entrepreneurs on the panel shared their strategies for innovation and planning. It was clear from hearing them that careful, systematic consideration about business decisions is WAY overrated.
How OVERRATED you may ask?
Here are some of their comments from my live tweets of the event:
The act of planning is more important than the plan itself. Speed is your friend. You could fill the day with mistakes made in trying to predict things. – Danny O’Neill of The Roasterie
THAT’S how overrated planning is according to these four. Based on their track records, it’s hard to dispute what works for them.
Listening between the lines, four factors trigger their collective willingness to trade a lot less pondering for much more rapid implementation:
1. An intuitive understanding of their businesses, customers, and markets
2. Unwavering confidence in their abilities to sense, execute, succeed, recover (when they don’t succeed) amid opportunities that present themselves
3. A risk-embracing orientation
4. The flexibility start-ups can enjoy over bigger competitors
Looking at the list, I’m good at dissecting business situations, but my planning orientation comes from the need to anticipate multiple potential downsides (counter to #2) and risks (counter to #3) to minimize them. Having spent most of my career in a corporate setting, flexing ample resources is central to most business strategies (counter to #4).
So to challenge myself and develop my weaker skill sets, I’m entering 2011 with a new acronym emblazoned on my brain: BITP.
It stands for “Better Implementing Than Planning.”
Or both. You decide…RIGHT NOW!
I’m making 2011 the year of “Smart Immediacy” for me. If you’ve also been labeled an “over-thinker” in your career, I’d encourage you to join in.
The focus will be getting much better at quickly perceiving, evaluating, and deciding on opportunities to begin implementing on them much more rapidly and decisively. What will we do to improve?
Fully trust ourselves where we’ve already demonstrated success.
Limit the time allowed for planning for contingencies almost certain to never happen.
Look for opportunities to slice several steps from existing processes.
Embrace that decisions once made can be reversed if they don’t pan out as anticipated.
What do you think? Are you up for joining me on this new approach in 2011? Or if this is already your orientation, are you willing to share your guidance and suggestions?
Join in the year of “Smart Immediacy” starting RIGHT NOW!
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png2010-12-31 00:00:282020-05-20 16:42:14New Years Resolution For The "Over-Thinker"
Employers: I highly recommend working on a strategy now to retain the employees you have and hire top talent from the classes in the future. My suggestion? Start a mentorship program. It may seem like a daunting task to start up a new program, but ultimately, a mentorship program is a cost-effective way to make your employees more comfortable, productive and engaged.
Here’s how to get started:
Begin with the end in mind. What is your intent? You should have measurable goals in mind before starting your program. You also need organizational commitment from the top.
Decide who the participants will be. Who will be the mentors? The mentees? Will mid-level employees be mentoring interns? Senior level mentoring entry-level?
What will the nature of the interaction be?
Single leader mentoring circle: one leader and many mentees
Mixed level mentoring circle: a mixed group of mentors and mentees
Peer mentoring: each member of the group is on the same professional level
E-mentoring: use phone and e-mail to interact with participants
How will you review the program? What will deem your mentorship program “successful”? What measures do you have in place? Have you committed yourself to a process of continual improvement?
The first 90-120 days is important to determining both short- and long-term success for new employees, and with a mentorship program in place they can start to better understand the culture, their fit within the organization, their associates and the commitment of the organization as a whole to their success. And, over time, a level of trust and candor develops where the mentor can tell the mentee “things they don’t want to hear” (otherwise known as tough love).
By developing a mentorship program, you will have a better grasp on attracting and retaining new employees. With an increased organizational commitment, employees will likely see that and feel that they can grow with your organization.Other benefits of a mentorship program include:
Employees gain better understanding of organization through mentoring relationships
Employees create trusting relationships resulting in a more comfortable environment
Mentees learn from mentors
Mentors learn from mentees
Helps on-board new entry-level employees to new organizations and the quality of the new hire experience
Organization benefits from increased retention, engagement levels and overall effectiveness of their employees
Creates a foundation for success
I have several mentors, and I’m always on the hunt for more! I have mentors in my industry, as well as outside of it. Without them, I doubt I would be where I am today, as their guidance has truly been priceless.
Does your organization offer a mentorship program or something similar? How beneficial do you feel such a program would have been when you were first starting out?
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png2010-11-15 10:01:532020-05-20 16:35:39How to Create & Sustain a Mentorship Program
“You boys are the gutter slugs; the front line leaders fighting in the trenches with all the guts and no glory. Be proud of that. Hold your heads high; love the game and each other. Each one of you is a leader, so let’s lead this team to victory. I love you guys!”
I remember those words well, one of many inspirational shout-outs my high school offensive line coach used to give us. A big ol’ Grizzly Adams of a man – SMU graduate and parole officer, Coach Sutton instilled in us a sense of belonging, of understanding our critical roles in the greater game.
Even after long, excruciatingly hot practices in the Central Valley of California where I grew up, when it was time to do the after-practice conditioning – and there was always after-practice conditioning – we complied with minimal grumbling and gave 110% no matter how dog-tired we were.
We loved him and the game. Tons.
That’s tons of love for a bunch of teenage Valley football heroes in the early 80’s. But the life lessons he taught us have stayed with me for decades:
Each of must learn to lead our self with love.
Each of us must learn to lead with others with love.
Each of us must learn to lead their teams with love.
Right on, brother. We knew no other way to play.
Segue – Why do we have such a hard time with leadership and love in the workplace? Lisa Earle McLeod from Forbes.com tells us why we don’t and why we should in an article titled Leadership: What Love’s Got To Do With It.
Myth No. 1: Feelings aren’t professional.
They are the embodiment of life and all things in the workplace. “Emotions are at the root of every human endeavor.”
Myth No. 2: Love is too mushy to measure.
Enough with the measuring; the bottom line will grow when we own our behavior. “It’s about taking responsibility for creating the conditions that will bring out the best in others.”
Myth No. 3: Love means no accountability.
Now that’s just a bunch of garbage. Love is the ultimate accountability. “Love is all about mutual accountability. When you love someone, you expect them to give you their very best.”
Lastly, Lisa writes: “The real secret of lasting success is taking a good, long look in the mirror and deciding that your people and your organization deserve a leader who has the courage to stand up and love them.”
Whether on the front lines or the team captains, everyone can be empowered to lead responsibly with love. Know no other way to play.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.png00Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2010-06-09 08:35:172020-05-20 16:23:42Of Gutter Slugs, Leaders and Love
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