Skip to content

Networking is Dead. Long Live Networking!

Those of us embroiled in the ‘war for talent’ often fail to appreciate that this ‘talent’ is made up of individuals fighting their own war for the job they want, or even just a foot in the door.

This is the unique ugliness of our modern day labour market, in which we are plagued by both talent shortages as well as un- and under-employment. And those on the front line feel it. Recent grads beg to be given a chance to gain the experience required to get the ‘entry-level’ job that requires experience. Those seeking to join a desirable company find that personal branding and networking is a full-time, 40 hour per week job in and of itself, with limited returns. The ‘hidden job market’ taunts all. It is an arms race out there, where any little edge can make the difference.

Which is why we shouldn’t be surprised to see the latest effort to exploit that desperation, a service calling itself ‘Good Golem’. Good Golem (Toronto based – don’t we have so much to proud of lately…sigh) bills itself as “your portal to the hidden job market” and it is a very different kind of job board. It provides the platform for an employee leaving a job to post details about the role (industry, pay, duties) and to name their price to assist a prospective employee to take their place – that assistance can consist of anything from putting in a good word to the boss, to acting as a formal reference and coaching someone for the interview. Payment is made only if the job seeker is successful at securing the job. Read more

Live a Deliberate Life, “Beyond the Picket Fence”

This week, I’m interviewing Chris Taylor, writer, entrepreneur, and speaker, about his first book Beyond the Picket Fence, now available for pre-order. I was intrigued about the message of Chris’s book to live a deliberate life and wanted to know more about what this means for employees and employers, and Chris did not disappoint. I think that his message captures the mindset that many of us (regardless of generation) are drawn to in light of the changing dynamics of our economy and the evolution of the traditional ’psychological contract’ we enter into with our employers. Employees and employers both stand to gain by considering his thesis. I caught up with Chris in Spain via e-mail.

  1. Congratulations on your book Chris! Is it weird to be on the other side of things, being interviewed about your own book, rather then you asking an author questions about theirs as founder of Actionable Books?

Thanks Jane. It’s definitely a different experience, but I’m enjoying having a message to share that I feel so strongly about. I always thought the best interviews I’ve hosted were with people who were passionate about their material, so I’m just hoping that comes through now that I’m on the other side of the proverbial mic!

Read more

Everyone Must Be Exceptional

An explicit focus in almost every area of HR is getting, developing, growing, and keeping top performers. The cream of the crop, the engaged, motivated and committed super star, showering discretionary effort wherever they go like flower petals.

 

And yet, we accept that performance distribution will look like this:

Bell curve

Or, if you agree with Josh Bersin, like this:

Bersin Curve

Read more

The Tyranny of the Happy Workplace

“An office is a place to live life to the fullest, to the max. An office is a place where dreams come true.” – Michael Scott, Dunder Mifflin

Have you noticed how organizations are no longer content with simply having engaged employees? Now they must also be happy. Why? In part because research claims to show that happy employees are more productive and create more value for their organizations.

Ah, say the social science majors, welcome to our world, where proving causation (rather than just correlation) is not such an easy thing to do. In fact, as reported in a recent article from Inc, competing research shows that happiness may in fact be a bi-product of focus and productivity, not the other way around. Read more

A Complete Guide to Your Mentor

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I have strong feelings about the ability of mentorship to accelerate career progression and professional achievement. So, it will come as no surprise to you that I am up on my soap box at the EOList this week. Check out my post about how proteges so often overlook the influence they have over the results of mentorship: A Complete User Guide to Your Mentor

Organizational Forgetting

One of the very few downsides to becoming a homeowner is that people (ok, your parents), don’t want to store your things (ok, junk) anymore: “You have your own basement now.” Fair enough. That is how I found myself sorting through half a dozen boxes of books, notes and random items that I had not seen since 2002, when I packed them away after University.

I’ve always had pack-rat tendencies, which at least partially explains why my inventory of these boxes turned up one (practically fossilized) high-school geometry notebook (the only math I ever truly enjoyed), my Forensic Anthropology Training Manual (with margin annotations about the intertrochanteric crest), the outline for my 4th year Social Theory thesis paper on postmodernism, ethnography and Ludwig Wittengenstein’s ideas about language and meaning (duck rabbit), and a stack of other random university papers I authored.

Reading these papers was unpleasantly disorienting. It wasn’t just that I didn’t remember writing them; it was as though they were written by a completely different human being, someone who was not me. I have frequent occasion to think “I wish I knew then what I know now”, but never before “I wish I knew now what I knew then”. Read more

Postscript: Why YOU Should Become an HR Blogger…and How

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to be able to attend the 2014 HRPA Conference as a blogger to observe and share my thoughts on this year’s keynotes, sessions speakers, trade show vendors and after-party shenanigans. It was awesome (thanks HRPA and Achievers), and proved to be excellent inspiration for a handful of blog posts over at LiveHR.ca. By far the most read and most shared post I wrote was based on Bonni Titgemeyer‘s great session about becoming an HR blogger (republished below). I got lots of comments on Twitter, retweets and favorites, and many of them were from non-bloggers. Clearly Bonni’s presentation, and my post, struck a nerve. I can’t help but think that there are many HR folks out there (possibly lurking in shrubberies) who love the idea of blogging and are looking for their chance to dip a toe in the water.

I’m about to tell you about that chance! Read more

Robot-Proofing the Jobs of the Future

A couple of articles in The Economist and The Atlantic this week have me thinking about peak jobs again. Especially since The Economist article pulls in the thoughts of anthropologist David Graeber, as my last blog post on the topic did. As a reminder, the concept of peak jobs refers to a point at which technology’s destruction of jobs (through automation or innovation) meets or exceeds its capacity to create jobs (through demand for technological goods and services).  As I’ve written about previously, anxiety related to peak jobs has amplified in recent years as the type of jobs being automated has shifted from the most menial roles to jobs that we previously viewed as safe. This, combined with a broad hollowing out of middle management jobs in many sectors (jobs we still tend to agree are safe from automation), has left a larger group of us watching our backs for the encroaching robot workforce. Read more

HRPA Conference 2014 – Blogger Team Edition

I just finished a great week, spent mostly at the HRPA Annual Conference here in Toronto. This year HRPA, with the support of Achievers, welcomed a blogger team to capture and share the insights, ideas and highlights of this three day event. I was fortunate to be part of that team, and have just posted my fourth post in as many days over at LiveHR.ca about my experience at the conference. Feel free to click through and read what the blogger team took away from this terrific event. So far, I’ve written about HR Conference BINGO (did someone say Zappos?), why Geoff Colvin thinks talent is made not born, why YOU should become an HR Blogger (and how), and shared 2014 Conference high points, as well as ideas for 2015.

Check it out – it’s almost like being there (without the swag and nice snacks- sorry).

Leadership Lessons from Crack Mayor Rob Ford

As the late, great Whitney Houston said: “Crack is whack”.  Truthfully, it’s pretty hard to expand or improve upon Ms. Houston’s assessment of this particular issue, which is why it’s taken me a while to extract the deeper lessons that I knew lurked under the sordid surface of the Rob Ford fiasco.

Rob Ford is my mayor. That is, he was inflicted on me by a significant proportion of my fellow Torontonians in our most recent mayoral election.  But I don’t hold it against them; truly we lacked compelling alternatives, and they were all probably in a drunken stupor anyway, so how can I hold them responsible? The point is, while the world held witness to the most surreal, ‘Daily Show’ worthy portion of Mr. Ford’s downward spiral, the good people of Toronto have had to endure actually having him as the mayor of the fourth largest city in North America.  This reality holds some genuinely important lessons about leaders and the organizations that create and empower them, buried as they might be under a fine, white powder.

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 133 other followers