The New Rules Of Leadership

Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer and the crocuses are poking up their hopeful heads. Yet, these remain bleak times for too many job seekers, even leaders and managers with impressive resumes. The reason? The demands of a collaboration-based, talent-hungry, global, wired economy are evolving so quickly that success depends on nothing less than continuous learning. Fall behind and you may find yourself disqualified from the race.

A while back, I had the eye-opening experience of reading a report written by the analyst Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte, in which he made his predictions for the coming year. This post is inspired by his research and insights.

One senior innovation advisor at a major energy company told Bersin, “In today’s economy there is no way anybody can be an expert in a substantial part of their total field. The modern ‘renaissance man’ is one who understands how to learn.” This is huge and so important.

Companies of all sizes in all industries are still trying to meet the new imperative. At that time, learning and Development (L&D) spending was up 12 percent, the largest jump in almost a decade. The goal is to integrate learning into a company’s culture and processes. There are also training sessions, workshops, conferences, and retreats, but the most successful strategies are those that make learning a continuous process, hardwired into a company’s metabolism.

For leaders this is both a daunting challenge and an exciting opportunity to engage and retain top talent. You have to keep your eye on the horizon, your ear to the ground and your nose in the wind. Your company’s needs are ever-changing, and you must stay one step ahead.

How? Start by understanding that change is happening at unprecedented rates, that new technologies can disrupt the best-laid plans, that competition is fierce. These days, laurels aren’t for resting on, they’re for leaping from. Complacency = Extinction.

Leadership by walking around may sound Paleolithic, but there’s no substitute for getting out into your organization and seeing how things actually work, talking to people, making sure you understand what everyone is doing. You’d be surprised how many leaders, even in this day and age, hide out in the executive suite. Not smart. Get out there and learn what’s happening.

Understand and master the borderless future world of work. Technology has rendered borders largely meaningless, not only between counties, but between companies and their stakeholders, including employees, partners, customers and at times even competitors. It’s a diverse, cross-cultural new paradigm with a flatter structure. Engage with all the new technologies and social media.

Talent is priceless. There’s a tremendous competition to hire the very best, especially people with superb and specialized technology and creative skills. Traditional career paths and job descriptions can turn these people off. Be flexible and work with talent to design jobs that allows them maximum freedom and productivity. If you don’t, they will likely move to a company that does.

Embrace emerging markets. There’s tremendous energy and excitement in India, China, Brazil and Eastern Europe. Make sure you understand these economies and are engaging them in every way possible. These days, we need them at least as much as they need us. Humility can be a great business tool.

The rules of leadership are ever-changing. Staying engaged, open-minded, technologically savvy, and embracing continuous learning, not only individually but as a core organizational imperative, are the hallmarks of 21st century leaders.

Make a list of everything that you’re doing to learn and develop. Be specific. Then examine the list for areas where you should be doing more. Take actions to up your proficiency in those areas.

Thank you, Josh Bersin, for inspiring me to share some of this trendy wisdom.

A version of this post was published on

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Free Agent Nation Romance: The Good, The Bad, And The Unknown

You know the story. Once upon a time, companies courted new talent with the promise of a lifelong relationship. “Work” meant employment, training, benefits, and job security for years, if not decades. But for many, if not most companies and employees, the romance has died.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 40% of all U.S. workers now operate on a part-time or contract basis. Josh Bersin adds:

“Bottom Line: the workforce of today is specialized and highly virtual: working part-time, mobile, from home, and often on a contract basis. Our research shows that among large employers upwards of 32% of all positions are now “part-time” or contract-based.”

Bersin argues that social media have enabled employers and a fast-moving, trained workforce to link up with “local projects, local tasks, and local jobs.” He gives the examples of the rapid growth of job boards such as TaskRabbit and GigWalk, and notes that “this mode of work has hit the corporate market as well. . . . But they don’t see what’s really coming – an explosion of mobile, virtual, local workers. One can think of these new services as “mobile-enabled, local job-boards” – but what they really are is enablers of the younger, more virtual workforce.”

Here’s the bottom line and our collective reality check. Bersin sums it up nicely here “the contingent workforce is now a permanent fixture, so many elements of talent management, recruiting and engagement are being extended to these mobile ‘free agents.’

Really? Just how well are leaders rising to the occasion in this “highly scalable” new world order they’ve created?

Let’s take a closer look at this Brave New Free Agent World of Work. 

1) The Good

Flexibility. For both employers and employees. Lots of my friends, especially my mom friends, like having freelance jobs for that reason.

Varied work experiences. Freelances can try different kinds of work and companies, without committing to any of them. They are “pan-opportunists.”

New skills. We like having the chance to reinvent ourselves and gain new skills. We never stop dreaming. This is very exciting.

Savings for companies. Firms save millions by not giving benefits or providing training or career ladders, and by freely expanding or contracting their workforce as needed. (All of which gives us a fascinating meaning to the word free in “free agents” and “freelancers” . . . )

Adapting to the new culture. “The fast-moving, technologically dynamic global economy has forced leaders to think about work in modular, ever- shifting ways. Organizations that can adapt, change, and innovate quickly have an advantage today. [Having] contingent and contract workers can facilitate this change.”

2) The Bad

No bennies. While my freelancer friends like the flexibility, none of them likes the lack health care, sick time, vacation pay, or other bennies. Many of them would willingly give up the flexibility if they could find work at firms offering these benefits.

No job security. Ever had that pit-in-the-stomach feeling as one project ends and you can’t see the next one over the horizon?

No training. No comment. There is no excuse for bad leadership. This should be a must for all companies and leaders. Even for “consultants” or “free lancers”

No engagement. What’s being done by leading-edge companies to ensure that contingent workers fit into the culture and engage with the organization? In fact, in nearly every way you can name, contractors are still considered “second-class citizens” in most corporate settings.

Less stability. The most stable firms are those that have stable and loyal employees. Oh no. Not good.

3) The Unknown

Have companies and their employees broken up for good?

Williams and Bersin seem to agree that contingent work is here to stay, in massive numbers. And so do I. The facts speaks for themselves.


“Dana Shaw, former senior Vice-President for Staffing Industry Analysts, reported that in the Fortune 100 companies, contingent workers make up 20-30% of the workforce, but predicts it will soon be 50%. Statistics Canada reported that by 2009, 52% of all temporary jobs were contract jobs, 25% of them were professionals. . . . McKinsey &Co. reported that 65% of U.S. corporations have restructured their workforce and have no plans to return to pre-recession employment, but rather are opting for contingent and contract work when the need for expansion takes place.”

What about innovation? What does freelancers’ “pan-opportunism” mean for innovation? The results aren’t in. All I know for sure is that innovation generally comes from companies who nurture their teams, support their passions, and given them scope to imagine and produce. This does not sound like a description of a company dependent on a contingent workforce.

As freelancers begin having families, needing health care, wanting stability, and so on, will they change—and insist on more meaningful relationships with companies? And, therefore, will we have the happy ending: with these protagonists getting back together in more permanent ways, both wiser than before?

Social media is awesome. It has done astounding things, producing cultural transformations in HR and Leadership and Technology we never dreamed of even a few years ago. Surely we should—and can—use it to foster fidelity between leaders and contract employees. Can we agree that building a fair, meaningful relationship between these parties is a good thing . . . for leaders, free agents, and our global world of work?

So. Light the candles . . . put on the mood music . . . And think strategically about the kind of relationships that will allow us to live happily ever after in our careers.

Will social media combined with this unstable jobs economy forever lead companies and employees into the arms of many different suitors, relationships, careers?

A version of this post was first published on
photo credit: The Office(at home) via photopin (license)

Prospecting LinkedIn For…Everything #TChat Recap

The Power of Professional Prospecting

If you’ve been working in the recruiting, workforce, HR or leadership space, you’re well aware of how LinkedIn can be used for…work. But there is more to the professional networking behemoth than sourcing and recruiting (not that it’s a slouch in that department either).

Professional prospecting, or “panning for sales gold” as I like to call it, was the subject of last night’s #TChat and our guest Viveka von Rosen had some incredibly interesting tidbits to share. The CEO of LinkedIn to Business and a published author (nab her book, LinkedIn Marketing in an Hour a Day, here) gave #TChatters inside information about how to use LinkedIn to unearth new deals and create additional opportunities from sales, leadership and yes, employment perspectives.

The Mainstays

“Dynamic LI profiles are ones tended to like a growing garden: with care & frequent watering” @DawnRasmussen is right. You get out of LinkedIn what you put into it. There are countless ways to update your LinkedIn profile and all of them add value to getting you MORE sales, more leads…more connections. So get in there!

Nearly everyone agreed that LinkedIn is a powerful tool, but the cons listed had to do with lack of visibility, frequent pulled support for favorite tools and an ever changing user experience. But in #TChat as in life, there were a whole lot more pros. Included in the list?

  • The breadth of information available on LinkedIn
  • The ability to find anyone via one’s own network
  • The third-party tools built to work with the platform (shout out to @rapportive)
  • The new and improved search UX

Stuff You Can Do

Didn’t have time to attend? Try these five-minute new tricks to make baby steps toward using LinkedIn for prospecting:

  1. Find and connect with those who have “viewed your profile”
  2. Search out people in your area
  3. Create buyer personas and make a target list and send personalized emails (you get 5 free!)
  4. Ask and answer questions in your chosen fields
  5. Join groups to get the inside track in your industry (you have up to 50!)
  6. Of course, change your profile URL to something recognizable
  7. Put keywords you think your target market or candidate will be searching
  8. Connect your Slideshare account and keep it updated

For the organization: Check out this article from our friends at Social Media Examiner on how to make the most of your company page. Jonesing for the unique #TChat interactions or want to see who said what?

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Viveka von Rosen for enlightening us on LinkedIn! Check out her full site at LinkedIn to Business

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!! If you recap #TChat make sure to use this link so we can find you! 

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about authentic leadership. Todd DeWett  is going to be our radio guest, and Kevin Grossman will be our moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, March 26!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

Think you have what it takes to write for TalentCulture? Submit an application to be a contributor NOW!

Optimism: A Workplace Necessity #TChat Recap

Bring Your Smile

Pharrell is always on the brink of what’s in and he knew that 2014 was the time to be “Happy.” Last night’s #TChat featured everyone’s (and Pharrell’s) favorite contagion: optimism.

The majority seemed to be on the same page with this one. Who knew that people like positivity? Our guest Shawn Murphy and his bright side of life attitude brought us right to the heart of the issue: “Optimism is about believing that good things are possible in the work we do.”

Bright Smiling Selfies

“Collaborating and allowing everyone to win.” @CASUDI makes a great point. All parts of an office must feel like they have brought something great to the table. Having an optimistic workplace starts with the attitude an individual brings to the office, but creating a positive work environment takes a whole team.

What can we do to bring the good vibes on? Breanne Harris of said, “Finding solutions and innovating. Stop pointing out the problems and offer solutions. Optimism is everyone’s jobs.”

And this seemed to be a recurring suggestion. While the first (and sometimes hardest step) is learning to admit to problems, what a workforce really needs is possible solutions to the issues being faced.

Transparency and Communication

And as always, creating an honest environment leaves more room for managers and employees to share all challenges being faced. Alli Polin agrees: “When people see all the cards on the table, optimism isn’t blind. Share and communicate with each other.”

Start with Your Attitude

Sure, it’s easy to say you want a more positive workplace, but when it comes down to it, if you aren’t working to make a difference, then it’s all just a pretty dream. Christopher Lind may be talking about employees, but the truth is that everyone could stand to hear this bit of advice: “Ask questions and engage leadership. Sometimes you have to make your own way and not wait on others.”

Check out Megan’s article How To Make Work Matter to learn the ways to get started in your office. Speaking of making your own way, take a peek at all that was discussed last night on last night’s #TChat with our Storify presentation!

#TChat Insights: Creating a Culture of Optimism

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Shawn Murphy for joining us! Learn more about Shawn Murphy at Switch&

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!!

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be getting down to what you really need to know about social media. Nancy Rubin is going to be our guest moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, March 19!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

Notice a difference in this week’s recap? That’s because we’re on the verge of launching our newsletter. Stay tuned for sign up details and you can receive #TChat questions before anyone else, get insight from Meghan on the week ahead and more!


photo credit: peyri via photopin cc

Disrupt HR…NOW! #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details from the week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

Muppets. Cake. And Disruption.

What do those three things have in common? They were all featured on last night’s #TChat.

We knew the topic would be controversial just as much as we knew the host would be her gracious self. But despite her Southern cool, Jennifer McClure is here to change the game and she wants to take #TChatters along for the ride.

Jeremy Ames seemed to crystallize the evening when he said: “In some ways, HR is becoming more organization-specific, which means that the most important skills vary company to company.”

The very definition of what we do is changing. So we might as well bring on the chaos of disruption!

Learning to be OK with Chaos

“Complacency is definitely the work place killer.” We can’t even count how many times this gem was retweeted. (I mean, we can. We have stats, but still, it was quite the belle of the ball statement.) First uttered by 15Five, it’s so true. Complacency kills pretty much all relationships, why not the ones we experience at work?

How can we avoid complacency? You’ve got it. Change. And change is the very thing HR is usually brought in to manage. Change = Chaos in the minds of many of our most prevalent practitioners. The trick then, is making change a good thing.

While it’s nice to talk about potentially changing our workplaces, it must be more urgent than that, as the workforce is not-so-slowly changing around us. Emilie Meck said: “You can’t use yesterday’s ideas today and expect to be in business tomorrow.” And it’s not just a slide in a presentation, people, change is afoot! But speaking of presentations….


The first step towards true disruption is authenticity. And not the tired old authenticity that is really just more energetic corp-speak, but true authentic experiences within the enterprise, being shared by employee ambassadors because they are AWESOME and not because management said you have to tweet 5 times a week.

@VirginPulse Being authentic is really important – it’s how you start to build cultures.

As you pursue authenticity are you paying attention to those around you? Disruption is inherently IDEA driven and no man is an island when it comes to those. Pay attention to what your colleagues are proposing or maybe, what they are too shy to put forward.

@IgloooSensei Ideas are disruptive by nature. Consideration might be the most undervalued interpersonal resource #tchat

In fact most of the solutions presented to our questions (check out the preview here) were more systemic and low-tech. Look at the reasons HR should embrace disruption (we could get left behind) and the ideas to do so within an organization (giving employees an involvement in the success of the business).

#TChat Insights: Disrupting HR

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Jennifer McClure for being an amazing moderator! Learn more about Jennifer and Unbridled Talent here.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!! Check out this recap from Amanda Sterling.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll figure out how to create optimism at work and why it matters. Switch and Shift’s Shawn Murphy is going to be our guest moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, March 12!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

Notice a difference in this week’s recap? That’s because we’re on the verge of launching our newsletter. Stay tuned for sign up details and you can receive #TChat questions before anyone else, get insight from Meghan on the week ahead and more!


New Rules of Employee Engagement #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details from the week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

“Our employees are our greatest asset.”
Year after year, it seems like employers focus on the same catchphrase.

Meanwhile, workforce engagement statistics continue to crawl along the ocean floor like bottom feeders scouring for scraps. It’s like being caught in a time-travel wormhole that loops back on itself, with only our clothing styles and digital technologies changing along the way.

Even professionals with specialized “knowledge skills” are caught in this spin cycle. And for too many in today’s workforce, it’s not just monotonous, but overwhelming.

Breaking the Perpetual Talent Spin Cycle

Of course, at the end of the day, “overwhelmed” workers are at the mercy of employers. But when all else fails, a disengaged employee’s only true leverage is the power to leave.

Until recently, the economic crisis made that option unthinkable for many. But today, a much different picture is emerging. The ability to exercise career choice is fundamentally changing the workplace, one painful decision at a time. You’ve heard it before – no pain, no gain.

Take Wall Street for example. The financial industry has had a long climb back from the darkest days of recession. But, as a recent NPR Planet Money podcast reports, many new banking recruits are struggling to stay immersed in an industry that puts money above all else. They want to do more than just make money — they want to make the world a better place.

Does Wall Street need to redeem itself, though? Does it need to realign with the needs of the best and brightest it wants to employ? Maybe. Or maybe those recruits should consider other employers — or make their own entrepreneurial magic.

According to new global talent strategy research, companies are focusing on retention, engagement and “attraction of talent” more than they have in nearly a decade. In fact, more than 60% of organizations say that dealing with “the overwhelmed employee” is a top priority.

Employees Rewrite Rules of Engagement

Yes, the overwhelmed employee is redefining the workplace — one painful change at a time. But smart companies are finding ways to be responsive. Here are two examples we discussed at #TChat this week with our guest, Josh Bersin, Founder and Principal of Bersin by Deloitte:

1) Continuous Development: Most knowledge workers are taking it upon themselves to “skill up” — to keep themselves marketable, relevant and valuable. Often this happens outside of the enterprise via MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and online learning sites. Video, in particular, is gaining ground as medium for “anytime” access to self-paced learning. Employers should look for ways to mirror these learning experiences internally.

2) Flexible Work Options: As it becomes increasingly difficult to recruit, hire and retain top performers for highly skilled positions, flexibility has become a negotiating chip. Remote work, nontraditional daily and weekly schedules, contract and part-time relationships, unlimited personal time — you name it. Again, wise companies recognize the value of offering these choices to attract and retain the very best.

Yep, no pain, no gain. Clearly, there’s a long road ahead. But progressive employers are starting to step up to the challenge that overwhelmed employees are presenting. And that’s a step in the right direction.

Want to know what the TalentCulture community says about this topic? Check the #TChat Storify highlights and resource links below. Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas — let’s keep the conversation going on Twitter and Google+!

#TChat Week-In-Review: The Year of The Employee

JoshBersin (2)

Watch the #TChat sneak peek hangout now

SUN 2/23:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring a brief G+ hangout, where he talked with Josh Bersin about how today’s talent pool is gaining bargaining power from employers. Read: “Work: Employees Rewrite The Script

MON 2/24: Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, looked at trends affecting today’s talent strategies in: “5 Trends Driving HR Technology in 2014.”

TUE 2/25:
Related Post: “Growth From Within: 7 Ways to Compete on Employee Talent” — by Shawn Murphy

WED 2/26:


Listen to the #TChat Radio show replay

#TChat Radio: Our hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talked with Josh Bersin about the key talent and HR technology trends that are shaping 2014 and beyond. Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now…

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Josh moved over to the #TChat Twitter stream, where the entire TalentCulture community  discussed 5 key questions about emerging workplace talent trends.

See highlights from the Twitter stream the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: The Year of The Employee

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Josh Bersin for sharing new global talent research with our community. Your insights brought tremendous depth and dimension to the discussion.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome 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 at #TChat Events, we’ll take a very special look at forces that are disrupting HR from the inside out, with our guest Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR at LaRosa’s Inc. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, March 5!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

We’ll see you on the stream!

(Editor’s Note: CONGRATS to Paul Thoresen — winner of the recent Pebble smartwatch giveaway from Dice! And thanks to all the #TChat contributors who shared tech recruiting ideas and questions with Dice and #FutureofTech.)

Image Credit: Mike Rohde via Flickr

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

The Business of Talent: Magic? #TChat Recap

A Really Big Show…

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.

#TChat Week-in-Review

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 post: “The New Rules of Leadership.”


Listen to the recorded show with Josh Bersin…

MON 3/18  #TChat Weekly Preview laid out key questions for the week: “Learning, Leadership and Talent”

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

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

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).

Until then, we’ll continue to tackle World of Work conversation 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 this redesigned blog/community website. TalentCulture is always open and the lights are always on.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng

Learning, Leadership and Talent: #TChat Preview

EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? See The Business of Talent & That Old Black Magic: #TChat Recap

Yesterday, while gathering research and pondering my thoughts on trends for my latest post, “The New Rules of Leadership”, I was reminded that perhaps the single most critical success factor for individuals or organizations, leaders is the ability to learn.

When we make learning a cultural imperative, it can lead to a sustainable business advantage. Examples are all around us of companies that flourish because they embrace learning, adaptation and innovation as a way of life. < A culture.

It sounds simple enough in theory. But it’s not easy to accomplish — especially in today’s rapidly changing world of work, where a broad chasm continues to divide employers, educational institutions and the culture of your social communities.

We can no longer afford to ignore that chasm – or the key questions that follow:

  • Who is responsible for professional career development?
  • How do we get there from here?
  • And what other talent-related issues are driving the future of work?

That’s the focus of this week’s TalentCulture events.

#TChat Focus Topic: Learning as a Strategic Practice

We’ve invited one of the most highly recognized experts in enterprise talent, learning and performance to help us connect the dots. Josh Bersin is Founder and Principal at Bersin by Deloitte, the leading research and advisory firm focused on human capital management.

According to Bersin, 2013 is presenting multiple challenges for HR, talent and learning organizations. Research shows that companies are struggling to create a global leadership pipeline, to train leaders locally, to develop strategic mobility programs, and to deepen core technical skills across industries. In fact, the imbalance between supply and demand for skilled workers is expected to grow even more sharply this year.

So, in this environment, where and how can continuous learning make a difference?

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio

On Tuesday, March 19 at 7:30pmET, Josh will sit down with my #TChat Radio co-host, Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman) and me, Meghan M. Biro (@MeghanMBiro), to discuss the latest issues and trends.

#TChat Twitter

And then we’ll continue that conversation with the entire TalentCulture community on Wednesday, March 20, at 7pmET, during our weekly #TChat Twitter forum.

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

#TChat Weekly Questions

Join us this week, as the TalentCulture community focuses on connecting the dots among talent, leadership and learning. Here are the questions we’ll cover:

Q1: Josh Bersin has written a lot about the global skills disparity. What can employers do to improve this? Employees?

Q2: What’s the difference between informal and formal learning? Why has there been such an emphasis on blended learning?

Q3: What’s right and wrong with most company succession plans today? And what about internal mobility for employees?

Q4: What is BigData in HR and how will it help to predict and implement strategic workforce changes?

Q5: Are we experiencing social recruiting technology fatigue? What are the emerging HR technologies and processes coming?

We hope you’ll come on over and bring your best ideas about how to leverage learning and human capital in today’s world of work. See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng