Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Thoughts

...Tom Peters manages to do it again. For me, at least.

Here's a recent post from him.

Perhaps the reason it feels so close to home is that this is what leadership is all about. And yet, it's lost on so many people day in and day out...including me. Fortunately for me, I've had occasional epiphanies where I've been able to witness how doing a small thing like this can make a HUGE difference. On your co-worker. On your team. On your business unit. On your organization.

Thanks, Tom.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Powersetting Your Search

New search engines on the Internet are a dime a dozen nowadays. Or so it seems, right?

I ran across this new search engine today called Powerset. But before I had a chance to roll my eyes at yet another search engine...I realized that this thing is definitely getting the hype machine treatment in techdom.

Part of the reason is the "who's who" of supporters behind this thing. On its list of investors includes Eric Tilenius (former CEO of and Esther Dyson (techdom's queen), among a slew of others. It's even got a few heavy hitting VCs behind it..

So what's going to make Powerset so special compared to all the other search engines getting created out there in cyberspace? It claims to be a search engine based on "natural language processing." By focusing on the structure and nuances of natural language, Powerset has its sights set on breaking search free of traditional keyword confines. Or something to that extent.

It shows promise. Unfortunately, it's not available to the public yet. Claiming that it's operating in "semi-stealth" mode for now, it looks like those of us wanting to get a glimpse into the "future of search" will have to wait until Powerset's creators are ready for prime time.

I for one will be very interested to see if Powerset can live up to all this hype.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Microsoft rolling out another social networking site?

Hmmm...some interesting bit of news I came across today. It appears Microsoft is trying to form another IT community site.

How it differs from The Hive, I have yet to determine. Right now Aggreg8 is so bare bones that it's hard to tell if this thing is going to take off.

I do have to say that as it stands now, Aggreg8 is definitely not ready for primetime. It may have some interesting things here or there, but nothing substantial that would tantalize any user.

More to come as I uncover...

In the meanwhile, I will be posting more frequently!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Using Online Lead Generation Firms for...Recruiting?

So it's been a very long time since I last posted on my blog. I guess I can't complain too much...things have been extremely busy for me, which is normally a good thing when it comes to business. I think. ;) My only worry is if I begin to routinely start off each one of my new blog posts with "it's been a long time since..."

So I came across a very interesting firm the other week. The name? Root Markets, founded by Seth Goldstein. The idea behind the firm? Create an online marketplace where people can trade...Internet leads. The idea goes like this: instead of being at the mercy of marketers and advertisers, let consumers regain power by controlling their own online data. Oh yeah, and make money doing it.

Here's a scenario of how a typical transaction might occur on Root Exchange, the online marketplace set up by Goldstein's firm: 1) Using an add-on to Firefox called Attention Recorder, you literally keep track of your personal searches on search engines, sites you click on, etc. 2) You store all this tracking information in a private online vault that you'll be able to share selectively with others. 3) Online firms, such as Mortgage providers, can pay you money if you allow them to know that you just ordered the latest book about purchasing homes from Amazon. 4) This signals to the online firm that you might be open to "pitches," such as loans for a home.

So what's the big deal?

What if Root Exchange (which currently is doing mortgage leads, auto loans, and insurance) becomes an online marketplace for recruiters?

In a sense, this is what agencies and staffing firms have already been doing for quite some time.

Except, it's translating it into a Web 2.0 (yes, had to use it...can't think of something else to call it) experience. And that's the key. It's an experience for the user. Which is why the potential for it blowing up "could" be real. If you don't believe that experiences are the way of the web right now...just read the news about the latest deal that Google made with YouTube. The main appeal of YouTube is the experience. And apparently it's worth $1.6 billion to some firms (I'm depressed at the fact that I didn't execute against the idea of a video sharing site sooner...but I digress...).

All I know is...I would not be surprised at all if some recruiting firm has already talked with Mr. Goldstein or is trying to put something together like this. And if they haven't...what's the holdup?!?!

Needless to say, you can bet I'll be looking into this matter myself. ;)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

For All You Bloggers Out There

Every once in a while, I'll come across some useful bit of information that makes me want to post up on my own blog. This is one of them. Neil Patel describes how bloggers can leverage Digg and Netscape to their advantage...and drive traffic to their sites as a result.

Very cool information.

Now if I could only find out how to increase my 24 hours in a day to a nice round 30 in order to do some of this stuff I keep reading about...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

From Vision to Great Groups

You started with a vision to create an innovative culture within your recruiting function, HR department, or entire organization.

You decided to leap with it.

Now what?

You need a Great Group, as Warren Bennis calls them.

Hopefully you're not one of those individuals who believes that one person can always out-innovate a group of people. Remember that old saying you learned as a kid? "Two heads are better than one?" They created that saying for a reason. If you think about nearly every great innovation that changed the rules, a group of people were behind it. Not a single person.

Enter the Great Group. Great groups are often the difference between an idea...and an idea that's actually executed. A group of committed, aligned, and passionate people is a very powerful thing. When groups like this get together, cool things happen. Cool things like:

1) The Disney team that created "Snow White," the first full length animated film.
2) Apple and its vision of toppling Big Blue (IBM)...which ultimately led to the creation of many things, least of which is the iPod.
3) Google's team that created Adwords, one of the most successful advertising inventions in the Internet era.
4) The invention of the personal computer by Xerox PARC.
5) The formation of General Electric, perhaps the most valuable organization in the world, from Thomas Edison's original group of 14 scientists.

You get the idea. All these things (and many, many more) were created through the efforts of Great Groups.

So this begs the question: how can I go about creating this Great Group? And what if you're literally the department within an organization? What then? In my next post, I'll talk about these things.

Until then, I'll leave you with this quote from Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

As far as I can tell, Margaret Mead was talking about Great Groups. ;)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Visioneering: The Who

After a long hiatus from my last post on creating an innovative culture within your organization, I'm back. I'm beginning to discover the challenge in having a full-time job and also blogging every day. :) So without further ado, let's continue the discussion around the first step of my innovation framework (The "IF").

With every revolution...every movement...every change...a champion is needed. The "who," in other words.

Typically, a vision (remember...visions are solutions to problems) originates within an individual as a concern for something. In my experience...those individuals who begin to listen to this concern more and more...begin to feel like the vision is some sort of moral imperative to do. And as a result, this imperative compels them to action. This is the power behind vision.

And guess what? If the vision starts with you...well, don't look around for anyone else to lead the charge. You ARE the charge. The spark plug. The catalyst for your organization for this particular vision.

If you can come to believe that you have the time, the talent, and the skills to go through with this vision, then all you have to do is jump. As one of my professors at school used to say, "leap and the net will appear."

This is where most people stumble. They don't leap. In other words, they don't leap because they don't believe in themselves. I've seen people hesitate to make this initial jump for various reasons. According to Seth Godin, two of the most prevalent reasons are: 1) you don't know how to get your organization to actually do what you think should be done, or 2) you don't think you have any worthwhile ideas that people will follow.

Here's a thought. Every true vision that originates within individuals or organizations seems impossible at first. But this is precisely why visions are so powerful: they force individuals and organizations to align against a common cause...and when that cause is achieved, there is no better feeling in the world.

So don't let doubts derail your original passion. Don't let unanswerable questions quell your fire. Become the champion...and leap. The worst you can do is fail (failure is good for innovation).

What happens if you DO make that leap? What happens next?

That's what I'll write about in my next post. And this time, I'll try not to let a week go by in between posts. ;)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The End of the Job Interview? Seth Godin's Thoughts

Before I get back to writing about innovation, I wanted to comment on something Seth Godin wrote yesterday. According to Mr. Godin, organizations should destroy the way they do interviews. According to him we should:

1) Admit that we've got this whole interviewing process backwards.
2) Re-examine the "why" behind most hiring decisions.
3) Have a "guided tour" of our organizations and the opportunity in question ready to go for any candidates who apply or are recruited directly.
4) Abolish one-on-one interviews and instead place candidates in situations where they would actually be doing the work they're being interviewed for.
5) Like the person so far? Hire them for a weekend for 20 hours and see how they perform with regards to both outcome and process.

I like the idea. But like what many people have already said, I have to say that I don't think Seth Godin's suggestions are practical. Mostly, I think the business world as we know it isn't ready for something like this. I also think the landscape is changing in such a way that tactic 5 would be a HUGE road block for attracting top talent.

The process that Seth Godin wants to put into place would work...IF and only if the interviewing process within an organization was already pretty good to begin with. For instance, how many organizations have dived deep into their positions? How many of these have figured out what makes someone successful for that particular role vs. someone who is just an average performer? Have they learned how to identify these success factors? And can you design an interview that shows managers these success factors within the people they interview? Most organizations that I've interacted with don't even keep track of the types of questions their hiring managers are asking. Related to this is the fact that many organizations don't look to see that hiring managers are being consistent from one interview to the next (like asking the same questions to be as objective as possible).

The second thing is...I truly believe the business landscape that we're operating in is changing towards a talent economy. In other words, an economy where organizations can only survive by "getting" the whole talent thing. As more and more organizations realize this (and as more and more Baby Boomers retire), I think we'll see an increasingly competitive environment for talent of all varieties. So the question becomes, can you realistically make candidates work for free for 20 hours over the weekend when they're getting hounded by a handful of your direct competitors? My answer is: no.

However, you have to hand it to Seth Godin for at least trying. And trying in a fresh way. So before you're so quick to criticize (me included), just know that revolutionary ideas often stir up emotions (angry or otherwise) precisely because they are...revolutionary.

Sometimes it just takes a while for these ideas to "stick."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Recruiting with Blogs: A Short-Lived Trend?

Well, it looks as if blogging may take a turn towards more privacy. Blog site Six Apart has launched Vox, a blogging and social networking site "with highly customized privacy settings."

Among other things, bloggers can restrict access to their content according to "buckets" of readers..."friends," "family," or "the world," for instance. What makes this a little unique is the fact that users can mix and match within a single blog, meaning that bloggers can actually aim content at several different readers exclusively of each other.

What will be interesting to see is how blogging behavior changes with these available settings. Will more people opt to allow only select readers enjoy their content? Or will bloggers stick with the "open to the whole world" format that we've become accustomed to?

If you're a recruiter who has been using blogs to identify talent...wonder what will happen if this channel gets shut off?

Of course, we won't know the answer to these questions for the next couple of years. It's highly unlikely that behavior will change that drastically in several months' period.

Of course, with the Internet, you can never be too sure...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Visioneering: The Why

So you've decided that your organization, business unit, or team needs a little innovation. A little spice. Something that will help stave off irrelevance.

Congratulations. You've taken the first step: admitting that you're missing something.

Now for the hard part: taking that thought and executing against it.

Before you can set out and create a world-class organization that gushes with creativity, innovation, or need VISION.

What is vision? It's the ultimate why. As in, "why should we care?" "Why should we do this?" "Why is this so important?" ..."Why should we follow you?" "Why should we trust you?"

Aristotle once said, "the soul never thinks without a picture." That's what a vision is: a clear picture of what could be...what should be. (Incidentally, for those curious about the origins of the word itself, vision in Hebrew roughly translates to "a dream from God.")

Why have a vision to begin with, you ask?

Because there's a problem.

And a the solution to that problem.

But let's back up here, because this is the part where I feel like a lot of organizations screw up the process of visioneering. They don't properly define the problem. It's the classic problem that consultants are confronted with when they start engagements. They have to help clients properly define the RIGHT problem. In some cases, this means correcting previous definitions of what was originally thought to be the problem.

Identifying the problem has an added benefit to the process of visioneering: it engages the minds of the people you're trying to cast the vision to. In fact, the degree to which you can enable people to see the world as you see it...that is the degree to which they will be willing to listen to your solution to the problem.

In other words, by not successfully defining the problem, you can never effectively cast a vision that people in your organization, business unit, or team will follow. After all, why should people even bother if they don't really see the need?

And therein lies, as I've already stated, one of the main purposes of a vision: giving a clear picture of what could be so that people will rally around it and help create what should be. People need to be willing to follow the vision that you cast...otherwise, you will never be able to effectively enact sweeping change.

So...what does visioneering, or the process of creating a vision, have anything to do with ideation?

Because if you ever wish to successfully create a revolution...a movement...a your organization, business unit, or team, you MUST first align them to your vision for ideation.

Without a vision, they won't know the problem. (We're bordering on becoming irrelevant)

Without a vision, they won't see the need. (Our competitors are re-inventing themselves)

Without a vision, they won't know the solution. (We need to re-imagine ourselves)

Without a vision...they won't care like you do. (We're AREN'T fine the way we are!)

And this brings us to the other thing that vision does for all of us: it weaves four (a BIG four) things into the fabric of everything that we do.

1) Passion
2) Motivation
3) Direction
4) Purpose

It's these four things that vision incorporates into our daily routine that makes us care enough to help deliver the solution.

By now, hopefully you have begun to get the idea of "The Why" behind visioneering.

Tomorrow, I will cover "The Who" of visioneering

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The IF: An Ideation Framework

I wanted to start off my framework for ideation by acknowledging those people that helped pave the way for my ideas and thoughts on this matter. After all, I will be the last person to claim that I have created an ingenious roadmap for organizations for decades to come. Rather, I have simply taken what these thought leaders have written/spoken about and added a dash of my own ingredients (analysis, insight, experience, and of course...creativity).

Ideas always start from a foundation, and hopefully I can give credit to those who helped create that foundation. Many don't know who I am today...but hopefully someday I'll have the honor of meeting them. ;) Tom Peters, Warren Bennis, Tom and David Kelley, Seth Godin, Joey Reiman, Andy Stanley, God, and my family are just some of the people that have helped create this foundation.

Hopefully this framework will help you and your organization...and help revolutionize the HR and Recruiting industries in the process.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing the first step in "The IF," or The Ideation Framework. I decided to call it
(tentatively...if everyone hates it I might be tempted to change it;) "The IF" for this simple reason: creating an organization that constantly innovates is only possible IF you actually do something about it. Otherwise, it's just another thing you read and don't internalize. Another thing that sounds nice but is never used. And that's what I don't want to see...

So what's the first step?


What is it?

You'll have to read tomorrow to find out.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Non-Traditional HR Leaders

Before I get to my ideation framework, I wanted to write something that I read about over the weekend.

My thoughts stem from an article by Jack and Suzy Welch, which talks about elevating HR to the front of an organization. ...For those of you who don't know, Jack Welch is one of those executives who passionately believes that HR should be the most powerful part of any organization.

One of the more interesting thoughts presented in the article: getting someone to lead an HR organization who has experience leading a function OUTSIDE of HR. In Jack's opinion, these people truly get business...its "inner workings, history, tensions, and hidden hierarchies in people's minds."

This idea creates so much controversy on the conventional HR Management front that I almost want to say it's a GREAT idea by that fact alone. ;)

But in all seriousness, perhaps this is a good strategy to get more business-minded people to lead HR functions. Like in my previous rants, I think one of the biggest drawbacks for HR functions is the fact that they are often filled with people who have no concept of how business operates. They might contain people who have received their MBAs...but when's the last time an organization has allowed an MBA-only person take the helm? MBAs must be accompanied with experience, and this is precisely where traditional HR heads are found lacking. They've rarely had to lead other operations within the organization...and as a result, don't truly understand the P&L responsibilities, hierarchies, turf wars, etc. that might be going on within an organization.

So here's a thought: if you are thinking of making someone head an HR function, make it a prerequisite that they successfully lead another non-HR BU for a few years. My thought process is that if they can successfully lead a non-HR BU, then they can take those lessons learned "in the trenches" and truly understand how to leverage those insights within an HR capacity.

...I'll have to research this a bit more to see if any organizations currently do this already.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ideation in Recruiting and HR: A Basic Framework

In my last post, I posed the question of whether or not creativity contributed towards the bottom line. We saw some interesting points of view from Robin Hanson and Richard Florida.

Regardless of which point of view you agree with, I think we can agree on one thing: in business, one can't afford to NOT innovate. It doesn't matter that you focus on the big idea or several "small" ideas...what matters is that an organization is constantly trying to improve itself. Without this, they go one step closer to irrelevance.

So here's my next question: how do you become an organization that is capable of constantly creating new ideas? More importantly, how can you become an organization that creates ideas that will be used?

In the coming weeks, I'll be posting some steps that organizations can take towards achieving this. Consider it a framework that organizations can adopt. The beauty of it is, it's a framework that can be adopted by business units within organizations....or a framework that can be adopted by an entire organization as well.

With that said, I'll be creating this framework with an eye towards recruiting and HR. I think out of a lot of internal functions within an organization, these are the two that don't have ideation built into their DNAs. And if you ask me...if these functions continue to NOT innovate from within, they will increasingly become susceptible to being irrelevant.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Does Creativity Contribute to the Bottom Line?

After a bit of a hiatus from my series on innovation and creativity in HR and recruiting, I'm back with a new entry.

My last entry spoke about firing your internal clients a la Crispin Porter + Borgusky. It was a good look at how thinking outside the box (for some, this was an example of thinking way outside the box) can sometimes be healthy for your organization.

Now for a completely different take on this debate.

Enter Robin Hanson of George Mason University. For Professor Hanson, there's a myth of creativity that has been overblown in Corporate America. Executives have been issuing this innovation war cry for the last few years..."pleading" with their employees to put their creative thinking caps on.

But for Hanson, this is all for naught. Among other things, Hanson argues that there are too many people focusing on "big ideas"...and not enough people focused on the "millions of small changes we constantly make to our billions of daily procedures and arrangements." You can read the whole thing for yourself here.

It's a very pragmatic view of this whole debate...and a very tempting stance on innovation and creativity.

Is he right? Perhaps. Can he be wrong? There's always the possibility, of course.

If you're interested in who might disagree with Hanson, look no further than Richard Florida. Click here for a full rebuttal to the above stated viewpoint.

Looks like a feisty intellectual debate!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Firing Your Gatekeepers

Question: who or what keeps you from doing remarkable things for your organization?

In most companies, there are gatekeepers...those people or processes that have become so ingrained into an organization that they prevent things that go WOW from happening.

In one company, it's the technology that everyone has to use on a daily basis. The technology bogs down innovation, productivity, and inspiration.

In another firm, it's the person who always says "we can't do that." "We can't change the reporting structure." "We can't send them a large fruit costs too much." "We can't create a different work flow process because it will screw up all the other business units." "We can't hire this person because we don't have approved headcount." "We can't...we can't...we can't..."

The funny thing is, these gatekeepers somehow stick around without getting noticed. And when they are noticed, organizations do little to remove them.

Why is that?

Sometimes organizations become insular and comfortable with the status quo. They don't see the gatekeepers because they have become a part of the organization itself. Thus, people within the organization have a harder time seeing these gatekeepers. As a result, the gatekeepers stick around and lay waste to ideation, WOW projects...and overall remarkability.

Sometimes organizations spot the gatekeepers. But then after much lip-service, the effort to eradicate them fizzles and never really achieves its end goal. Most of the time, it's because the effort lacked a champion to help drive the effort through to the end. Everyone in the group effort agrees that it is a worthy cause to go after, but as gets in the way. People have other projects to complete. Corporate silos prevent certain things from happening as smoothly. Bumps along the road cause people to slowly lose passion. And normal. Perhaps some slight modifications are added to the regularity of business as you know it. But nothing too drastic.

I mention all this not to just address business in general (although it applies perfectly to it). I mention all this to also speak to those individuals responsible for the talent within their organization.

Think about the gatekeepers you face on a daily basis.

Is it the sluggish process? Tough to get-in-contact with hiring managers? The incredibly non-user friendly ATS system? The organization's inability to accurately predict how many people to go out and hire?

Fire them. Fire all the gatekeepers. If you need help, you can read this. Or this. Or this. Or this.

And then you can start doing some things that go WOW.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "We don't have too many gatekeepers around here," what's keeping you from doing something remarkable?

Could it be...that you've become a gatekeeper yourself?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Recruiting in The Age of Creation Intensification

If any of you have read any of my previous posts, you've probably read a few where I bash Microsoft for some of their more block-headed moves.

Well, today I want to applaud them for a very smart move.

Today Microsoft is getting ready to announce the availability of software tools for aspiring young game developers. With this move, young generations of game lovers can create their own games on their PCs using XNA Game Studio Express...and then play them on their Xbox 360s or computers running Windows operating systems.

What's even more cool than creating your own video game? How about selling it on Xbox Live for the whole wide world to play? Call it the YouTube for video games.

Obviously Microsoft is hoping that this will create a big push behind its Xbox 360 game system. But something also occurred to me while reading articles about this announcement.

This is a great magnet for young talent.

Whether Steve Ballmer and the rest of the Microsoft crew realize it or not, they're planting seeds in the next generation of game developers with XNA. And what's the first thing that these kids will see as they create numerous editions of their own creations? The Microsoft brand, no less.

Call it a genius marketing ploy.

Or a great PR campaign.

Or...a potentially cool talent pipeline builder for years to come.

It's no different than some of these programs that firms like Deloitte or Intel run for younger generations. Deloitte participates in a program called "Virtual Enterprise" that helps high school students set up virtual businesses with the help of local businesspeople. Intel has long sponsored its "Intel Science Talent Search" in order to identify tomorrow's class of aspiring engineers and math gurus.

These initiatives are all about engaging the New Economy workforce.

And when you engage talent, you're more apt to attract talent.

So it'll be interesting to see how XNA develops through Microsoft's efforts. If Microsoft is smart, they'll figure out how to create this thing into a juggernaut of engagement for talent.

...because in the Age of Creation Intensification, talent is all that matters.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Google Flexes its Muscle

Seems Google just landed a deal with MySpace to provide Internet search and keyword advertising software to the tune of $900 million in revenues (over 3 years) for Fox Interactive's new baby.

As a result of this sweet deal (for Fox), Google beat out Microsoft and usurped Yahoo! for access to MySpace's 52.3 million users.

My question: did Google grossly overpay for MySpace? After all, it has yet to be seen whether MySpace's torrid growth is sustainable over the long term. Google may be celebrating now, but Microsoft may have the last laugh if this proves to be a short-sighted move. But regardless of what happens, you know these two guys in the photo are laughing all the way to the bank...

The good news is Google didn't commit too many years to this deal. So perhaps that's why they were willing to go over the top with a bid, knowing that 3 years in the grand scheme of things isn't that long. Of course, 3 years for anything on the Internet is still pretty long. ;)

My next question: we've got Web 2.0...but are we headed towards a new Bubble 2.0?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Art of Connecting Dots

After writing a few posts about ideation in the HR/Recruiting industries, I got to thinking about some issues that professionals in these jobs face on a daily basis.

One of them is the fact that HR/Recruiting is still not seen as a strategic partner among corporate executive leadership. There have been countless things written about this topic, so hopefully I won't be beating a dead least, not too much. ;)

But it occurs to me that one of the problems is that these two departments (HR and Recruiting) have historically done a horrible job at "connecting the dots." In other words, seeing patterns and themes as they emerge and making sense out of them.

At the most basic level, that's one of the things every leader must do. Make sense of all the "stuff" flying around and then connect the dots for their people. On top of this, great leaders string these threads together faster than anyone else does. They communicate these threads in a manner that makes sense to the people that follow them, and in a manner that motivates them to do something.

Question: how fast can you thread together what you just read on Google News, the conversation you had last night with a colleague in the paper mill industry, a recruiting idea that you just talked about with your team, the latest quarterly earnings statement of your organization...and figure out what you as a leader need to do in order to position yourself, your team, and your organization for what needs to be done in order to survive in the New Economy?

The sad thing is, the recruiting and HR functions I've personally witnessed have always RE-acted to everything. Is this a symptom of something else? Perhaps it means that these functions aren't doing such a great job connecting all the dots. Perhaps these functions are being led by leaders who haven't been able to string the external threads together fast enough to keep up with the rest of the business landscape.

An example? What about the Director of Recruiting within a large Fortune 500 firm that, when asked, can't really articulate what is going on in other functions within the organization? Worse yet, what about when the Director of Recruiting really can't articulate how the actions of other BUs affects his/her department?

Is that an indication that the pulse of the organization is not being kept by such leaders? Or is it an indication of something deeper?

...that perhaps, as numerous people have already said...people in HR and Recruiting just don't "get" business?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Firing Your Internal Clients

In my last post, I gave an example of an organization that utilized "borrowed" best practices from many various industries in order to achieve premier employer branding status. The organization? PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Now I'll give an example of an organization that is doing things a little radically. Keep in mind, however, that this isn't a specific example as it relates to the HR/Recruiting industries. It IS, however, a good example of how re-imagining things can rock your client's world. Thus, it's a great example of what internal HR/Recruiting functions could do to achieve premier status within their respective firms.

If you asked anyone in the advertising world who the hottest firm is right now, the majority would probably say "Crispin Porter + Borgusky!" They've been around since 1965, but it wasn't really until 1999 that this firm really started turning some heads...and creating some raised eyebrows...and some polarization among consumers.

CP+B's most recent campaign involves the venerable Volkswagon brand. This brand has been resurrected twice already by two other firms in previous decades past; now, it's CP+B's turn to re-focus, re-align, and re-imagine a brand that has seen sales drop steadily from a peak in 2001.

So what exactly does CP+B do that prompted me to write about it?

They fire clients who treat them like vendors!

They turn away organizations who don't give it access to every part of the company!

Come again?

As CP+B sees it, everything it does for a client is "with an eye toward gaining media attention for the brand." To that extent, the firm insists that clients break down corporate silos...otherwise, CP+B doesn't feel that the business is worth pursuing.

...not worth pursuing.

Now that would be a novel concept within internal corporate functions.

So I ask this question: what would happen the next time a hiring manager refused to get back to his/her recruiter in a timely fashion, and that recruiter then refuses their "services" to said manager?

Would all hell break loose? Probably.

Would a point be made? Perhaps.

It's a fine line, but I'd be really interested to see if any recruiting or HR function would be daring enough to do this. There's no question that as a recruiter in particular, there are certain inter-dependencies that require attention from a variety of people. If those people don't do their parts in a timely fashion, the whole recruiting process gets mired in a bottleneck that may take days or weeks to get out of. And by then, key talent may have been lost.

If the argument can be made that recruiting/HR will be one of the most important issues in this New Economy, then why can't an internal function demand that internal clients do their part?

Is it any different than how Crispin Porter + Borgusky does business in order to achieve remarkable success?

So there you example of something more "sexy," more paradigm shifting, more intrusive.

The question is: which is the more effective approach?

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Innovation in Recruiting and HR

A while ago, I asked whether the HR/Recruiting space was following one of two lines of thought concerning ideation.

So here's my first jab at that debate: PricewaterhouseCoopers. Consistently listed among the top "ideal undergraduate employers" in Universum Communication's annual employer survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers is a glimpse into how execution and a genuine understanding can help vault an organization's "employer brand" into the stratosphere.

Students consistently cited the firm's care and attention to its employees as a big reason they were sold to come on board. Intern training is another highly recognized program that helps people gain a glimpse into how PwC conducts business from within. Overall, students liked the firm because it "provides a basis for anything that you want to do in life."

And PwC has some cool programs to boot. Flexible Fridays over the summer, tailored performance coaching/mentoring/teaming, and partner-staff relationship programs are just a few of the things that the organization has developed to help its talent grow internally.

So why all the fuss? PricewaterhouseCoopers is an example of an organization that doesn't necessarily focus on that paradigm shifting idea, per se. No...Pwc would rather work around the fringes and create programs based on some best practices already out there, with a tweak or two.

Sexy? No. Effective? No doubt.

More to come...!!!

The End of Social Networking Sites?

Some of you may know that the Senate last week passed a law meant to enforce Internet safety regulations for children and teenagers.

Unfortunately, some of you may also know that this law is an ill-conceived (yet well-meaning) piece of legislation.


Rather than attacking the root of the issue (online predators), it curbs children and teenagers from using social networking sites at public places like schools and libraries. I gotta wonder what the logic is in all this.

It'll be interesting to see how this law affects the popularity of sites like Facebook or MySpace. My guess is it won't drastically undercut the population that's become addicted to these sites. At the same time, however, I wonder if we're cheating people out of potentially using network systems that could be used to foster collaboration and innovation in school settings.

The real problem, in my mind, is not the use of social networking sites at schools or libraries. It's the use of them at home. Which is why I'm confused about why a law such as this was passed, which seemingly does little to eradicate the issue that pervades our world today.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Want to Work in the Middle of Nowhere?

Here's a common plight of many organizations: trying to attract top quality talent to remote locations. It's one thing to convince someone who lives in New York City to move down to Atlanta. It's a completely different beast when you're trying to get someone to move from Los Angeles to...Skaneateles, New York.

If you work in an organization that "gets" it, even a move like this shouldn't be too daunting. Why? Because an organization that "gets" it will have many things going for it: remarkable products, an empowering culture that engages talent, and the lead in their industry (or a close second). All of these things can be summed up with the term "employer branding." With a strong employer brand, even the most remote places seem less intimidating for a good recruiter.

Here's a blog post by Bart Cleveland of Advertising Age (thanks goes out to Danny Palmer for forwarding this blog to me). It's an interesting look into someone's actual experience trying to recruit creatives into Albuquerque for a small agency that doesn't have the name...yet. THAT folks, is a pretty good challenge.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Harry Potter...Inspiring Real Products?

If you're a fan of the Harry Potter series, here's a bit of news that might cause you to sit up in your chair.

Apparently HP has created a new chip that it unveiled on Monday. Called the Memory Spot, the tiny chip is seen as a potential rival to RFID tags.

The beautiful thing? How it was conceived!! An HP scientist actually thought to themselves "wouldn't it be cool if I could make talking pictures?" ...Wonder if Harry Potter inspired this?

Either way, it looks like as this technology matures, moving and talking people in digital picture frames is not too far off.

Although...I've got to admit, it might take a while for the public to become accustomed to talking pictures of loved ones. Can you imagine walking past a picture of your grandmother who then barks out "eat your peas!" each time you pass?

Monday, July 17, 2006

What's In An Idea?

When it comes to the process of ideation, I've come across two main lines of thought. The first, which is the more "sexy" notion, is that organizations and people should focus their energies on that "aha!" idea or concept...that earth-shattering, paradigm-shifting, industry-shaping concept that then turns into a billion dollar industry within 5 years.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who believe that there is no such thing as a "new" idea. This line of thought follows that all ideas are just simply recycled ones from other industries or previous times...that any "new" idea is a result of just combining a few good ones to create something meaningful for a particular organization or industry. As a result, people who agree with this thought process also believe that spending time on the aforementioned "paradigm-shifting" idea is a waste of resources, since the probability of that occurring is very rare.

I bring this up because I wonder which track the HR/Recruiting space is following?

Or is it following either at all?

More to come as the week goes on...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How NOT to Design...

Well this has nothing to do with what I normally write about, but once I saw this I had to comment on it...

So it's finally happened. Microsoft has decided that it wants a piece of the market that Apple and its iPod line has created.

No problem with that.

The thing is, I still can't figure out who's responsible for designing these products that Microsoft is pumping out. First there was the Xbox (a hideous looking black box). Then came the Xbox 360 (a curvier looking white box).

And now, the announcement of the product that's supposed to be the "iPod killer," the Argo. Please tell me this is just a mock up design and not the final version.

Because if this is the direction that Microsoft's going with this thing, I predict failure.

Part of the allure of the iPod is the experience people have begun to associate with it. The Argo? I don't feel any emotion when looking at this thing. My first reaction: "iPod wannabe."

Could this be the reason why MSN has yet to find the right formula against Google? Because it lacks the experiential factor? Put another way, these things are lacking in my mind because they have no "soul."

Monday, July 10, 2006


...apologies for not posting up in a long while. This is what happens when the perfect storm of "no time because of work" and long vacation weekends come together.

What have I been so busy with, you ask?

Among other things, I've been busy collaborating with my team of interns for a white paper. I'll let you guys know the topic once we get close to finishing it. ;) I've also been very busy with some key client engagements that my company has recently undertaken. And did I mention I'm also gearing up to hire two more people on my team? :o

Exciting stuff...but hard work nonetheless.

...sometimes I wonder how cool it would be if I could just clone myself somedays to get more work done. But then that might be too scary for some folks!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Is Your Organization Hip?

Here's a great post from Guy Kawasaki where he interviews Kathleen Gasperini, an expert on the global youth culture.

After reading this, I gotta many organizations are staying in tune with this youth culture? And how many organizations are looking at these trends and applying them to their employer brand?

Sure, companies like Verizon, Levi Straus, or Burton all try to understand the youth culture in order to sell more products. But I haven't really seen too many companies that take this message and translate it into their employer brand.

Why is this so important?

Well, for one...these young people are the future talent force.

Two...these young people will begin to dictate markets in ways that previous generations never thought was possible.

And three...who else is going to fill the void left by the Baby Boomers?!?!

Ok, so points one and three were the same thing. I'm simply trying to hammer in a point here. ;)

My prediction: this youth culture will increasingly dictate the types of policies, cultures, and workforces that organizations create.

Because in the end, these organizations are trying to cater to this very youth culture in order to sell more widgets. And if that means transforming their culture to become one that exudes youthful optimism in order to create products that appeal...then so be it.

What will definitely be interesting to see is if some organizations try to meld two different types of brands under one roof: one that appeals to the youth culture, and one that appeals to the Baby Boom generation.

Even more interesting: research that shows how Baby Boomers are more likely to view themselves as younger than they physically are. I wonder if anyone will try to adopt similar tactics used for the youth culture on the Baby a MySpace for people 50+ years??? :o

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How Brand You Has Changed

An interesting article from Fast Company that I came across concerning how things have changed since 1995.

And my oh my, how they have changed.

It wasn't so long ago that it seemed like Monster or personal web pages were the only means to create an online brand for yourself.

Now it seems you can't go anyplace on the web without getting smacked in the face with sites like MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, Ryze, Doostang, etc. etc.

Is there such a thing as TOO networked?

It'll definitely be interesting to see how things evolve as our society begins to get accustomed to this ever connected world we live in.

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Non-US Search Engine? What's That?

Interesting news from Tara Calishain of Research Buzz: it appears Japan is trying to halt the domination of the search engine market by US firms. Citing fears that having three dominant search engines may prevent Japanese companies from entering markets, a consortium of 30 organizations have banded together to "develop technology for a new advanced search engine."

Who's hopping onto this bandwagon? Hitachi, Fujitsu, and NTT Docomo are among a few of the organizations who are participating in this project.

It'll be really interesting to see if this group can come up with something significantly different than what is already out there.

I'm especially interested now that NTT is involved. They have a pretty good history of progressive thinking as it relates to consumer trends.

The most logical development I'm almost certain will develop from this project: a platform that will leverage wireless/cell phone technology for users. Wonder if they'll have suggestive search terms pop up everytime you walk past a kiosk or vending machine...?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is There a Defined Search Experience?

Gord Hotchkiss has written an interesting article talking about how Google has established a "de facto" standard of sorts for the search experience. While I may not necessarily agree completely with Gord's analysis, he has some very interesting points.

To say that Google is soley responsible for establishing a standard in search experience is a little extreme to me (yes, I can't believe I'm saying something is "too extreme" either). I agree that they are the current thought and market leader in this area...and their ability to maintain this leadership will be tested in the coming year as other services begin ramping up on re-defining the search user experience.

Google's simple interface won favor with a lot of people...hence, it's current popularity. I think where the rest of the search engines have gone wrong is trying to mimic this interface. Rather than trying to create their own experiences, they've tried to mash the Google formula onto their sites.

If you want to become remarkable, imitating someone else is NOT the way to do it.

Which is why the other engines have experienced limited success to date.

Which gets me to thinking...Google has been getting a lot of hype lately about their recruiting engine. Now you begin to see a lot of organizations begin to adopt some of the same programs that Google has established in order to attract top quality talent.

But I ask again: is this the way to become remarkable? Is this the way to make people go "wow?"

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Have a Friend of a Friend...

Here's a site that was referenced in my previous posting. It's the Friend of a Friend network.

It encourages people to create web sites that utilize the RDF format so that computers can interpret them more easily. In essence, it's a movement that is trying to create the Semantic Web.

It'll be interesting to see if this thing gains popularity.

Note: for you aspiring Talent Researchers out there, check out the FAQ section of the FOAF site. Did you catch the first section talking about what home pages might "typically" say? Very handy phrases for keyword searching! ;)

So You Think You're A Good Researcher?

Hmmmm...I came across a very interesting article towards the end of last week courtesy of one of my brand new interns, Sarah Hewitt. Thanks Sarah...hopefully you don't mind being mentioned in cyberspace like this. ;)

So it seems that the NSA is beginning to become interested in keeping track of all the information on social networks that are popping up all over the place. Sites like MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn...they're all beginning to pique the curiosity of the NSA.

What's interesting is that the NSA is trying to create a "universal" format for the web. The name: RDF (Resource Description Framework). Using RDF, the NSA (among other organizations) hopes that current incompatibilities in formats will be ironed out over the next few years. In short, the hope is that "one day every website will use RDF to give each type of data a unique, predefined, unambiguous tag."

Why the effort to establish RDF? According to David de Roure of the University of Southampton (UK), "It means that you will be able to ask a website questions you couldn't ask before, or perform calculations on the data it contains."

The implications of this development will probably leave people a little torn: on the one hand, it'll create unprecedented access to sites for scientists who want to analyze each other's experimental data sets. Search itself will be redefined with this new standard format. But on the flip side, it'll mean prying into more personal data will be a breeze.

I wonder: are recruiters going to jump up and down about this bit of news? After all, mining the Internet for its nearly limit-less data will become even easier. Or will they become concerned about the impact on privacy as a result of this?

P.S. If you're curious about what the heck the picture above is all about, click here.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Google vs. Microsoft

Google fires another shot...rather than be content with their share of the search engine market, it looks more and more likely that the firm is aiming their cross-hairs on Microsoft's software domain with their latest invention.

So what have they done? They've created a new spreadsheet application which is available for free in limited quantities. As with all new Google products, it's in beta.

So what's next, I wonder? A PowerPoint application? Google's already purchased Writely...

Think Steve Ballmer is looking over his shoulder more often nowadays?

Monday, June 05, 2006

How NOT to Interview

I'm in the midst of delivering training for some folks on my team this week, so I probably won't have as much time to contribute to the blog. Nevertheless, I'll do my best!

Below is a funny clip from YouTube (this thing is taking over the net) about how NOT to interview. It's a video created by the local Austin, TX government for their site. It's nice to see that even cities are beginning to ramp up on their recruiting efforts to attract high quality talent. Enjoy...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

McDonald's and the Future of Job-Sharing

Here's an interesting experiment that McDonald's is conducting at some select British locations: allowing employees from the same immediate family to fill in for one another without having to clear it with the store manager.

The "Family Contract" program is an effort to address absenteeism and turnover issues that McDonald's has always experienced.

Talk about a bold step towards something different...

...but it's not surprising to me. As we move towards a world where talent will come in limited supplies, and where retaining talent will be a vital key to success...I think we'll begin to witness more and more organizations creating some "radical" and innovative programs for their people.

It's about time!!!!!

On another note, check out the story about "Irate Shoppers" located beneath the McDonald's one. This is my exclamation point to a previous rant I had about a large retailer not caring about its customer service.

This is exactly why saving a few dollars over providing great customer experiences never equals a win.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Invisibility Cloaks to Flying Cars

Looks like innovation is leaping forward again. Check this story out on ZDNet about how a group of researchers and scientists have taken a big leap forward towards creating invisible materials or cloaks that can make objects "invisible."

This has nothing to do with recruiting, business, or HR in the traditional sense. But whenever an innovation comes out that has the potential to change the dynamics of everyday life (or even industries), I have to give it some love.

You might be asking yourself, "what's next? Flying cars?"

Apparently, yes.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Recruiting: The Google Way

Here's an interesting post about how Google is beginning to recruit college grads. According to this report, Google is beginning to keep tabs on IP addresses of users in order to differentiate those who are coming from a college.

Apparently for a while, Google has been placing Google Scholar as one of their search tabs if they detect that you are coming from a college. Now, they're being more direct by placing a link directly on their front page in order to attract college recruits.

Here are some other articles about Google's recruiting ways:

John Sullivan's Case Study
Allan Hoffman's Article

In case you're wondering, no...I'm not on the Google bandwagon. ;) Although, in some cases, Google is making it harder NOT to be.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bad Bosses

This is almost funny and saddening at the same time. I came across a site completely devoted to dealing with bad bosses.

It's a typical gripe that you hear or have experienced yourself: "I work for an idiot." (Hopefully I don't have anyone saying that about me ;)

The site features a "helpful resources" section that boasts, among other things, articles like "Why Jerks Get Ahead in the Workplace," and "10 Tips for Surviving a Bad Boss."

I could go into a long description of how having bad managers is another quick path to irrelevance, but something tells me this site might give you a good idea why. I'll expand on this topic after things die down for me here.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Quickest Path to Irrelevance: Empowerment

Out of the many things an organization can do on a consistent basis to become irrelevant, I think one of the biggest is this: not empowering your own employees to do what is necessary.

What do I mean by this?

Let's take the example I used in an earlier posting. Throughout the whole experience, the one thought that kept leaping up in my mind was that this large retailer didn't empower its own employees to do anything necessary to make customers happy. The same thing kept coming out of each employee's mouth: "It's store policy, sir. We can't do anything about it."

...Can't do anything?

In essence, what the organization is saying to each employee is that it doesn't care about happy customers who offer repeat business. Rather, it values saving a few bucks here and there at the expense of its brand.

Many of you have heard that legendary story about Nordstrom and the man who returned a tire. Here's another great example of how far this company goes in order to please its customers.

Tell me one thing: if an organization went to these lengths to make you happy, would you not become a fanatical evangelist for them? Would you not find every excuse to shop at their stores instead of a competitor's?

I wonder how this problem of empowerment might play out in recruiting or HR?

What about when a recruiter, after sharing their passion about the company to a candidate, goes on to find out after an initial interview (or two) that the company has decided to close the position indefinitely? What about when an employee asks the HR department to rectify a situation in the workplace, and HR really can't do anything because they don't have "power" to discipline a high level VP?

In each of these cases, people are left feeling helpless and at a loss for an explanation for the candidate or employee involved. And in each case, people walk away...respecting the organization and its brand a little less.

What's worse, those affected by this lack of empowerment will never become evangelists for your organization.

...And when you don't have people willing to evangelize for your organization, you eventually become irrelevant.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Quickest Path to Irrelevance: Compromise

What happens to products, services, or ideas when people compromise on them?

Irrelevance happens.

In continuing my series on how organizations make themselves irrelevant in the world, I've come to agree with this thought: that compromise on an idea, product, or service often times leads to mediocre things.

You might be raising your eyebrow now. Compromise leading to mediocrity? Blasphemy! Indeed, our whole modern culture is built around this notion of "tolerance." It's politically correct. It's less abrasive. It's less stubborn. It's more forward thinking.

I say it's backwards thinking...when it comes to certain things. For instance, when you have a WOW idea. Or when you have a vision of what could be, and you want to turn it into what will be.

Unfortunately, organizations sometimes prevent these WOW things from happening. I take that back...not sometimes...MOST times. Why? You get together with people. Ideas are thrown around. People have different agendas. Before you know it, the original vision or idea takes a backseat to what becomes a conglomeration of thoughts from everyone in the room. Then of course someone (aka the leadership team) has to approve the idea/product/service. More deliberation ensues. More crap gets added on to satisfy "them."

And then...what was a WOW idea becomes a compromised "huh?" idea. It's a "huh?" idea because after the dust settles from all the meetings and deliberations, the eventual customer for that idea looks at it and doesn't understand how it addresses a need in their life.

This happens in a lot of departments, projects, or BUs in organizations. And recruiting and HR departments are no exception to this. How many times have recruiting departments compromised on an ATS system in order to satisfy every single "stakeholder?" And how many times has that lead to a system...which originally was intended to make recruiters MORE efficient...that leaves everyone wondering who in the world picked this thing to begin with.

Even worse, what about when organizations compromise on talent? How many times has an organization looked over a talented candidate because HR says they're not within the "Sr. Associate payband?"

Day in and day out, I see how a lot of people make compromises. And slowly...their projects, BUs, or departments begin becoming irrelevant. Maybe that's why executives hate HR (recruiting included...let's admit it, they still lump all of us together with that term): It's made so many compromises over time that it's become irrelevant to an organization's strategic roadmap.

Maybe I'm way off here. So don't take my word for it. Just check out what others think.

Maybe you'll see that just doesn't make sense to compromise. Not when irrelevance is on the line.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Did you know...?

No, no...I'm not stopping my series on "The Quickest Path to Irrelevance." But as you all know (and I use the word "all" very generously here...hey, it's my blog), whenever I come across some interesting things, I have to share it.

Today's interesting thing is dedicated to those who like to follow news about search engines. Seth Finkelstein posted on his blog the other day a Top 10 list for things you may not know about Google (actually, this blog entry was not written by Seth, but rather by a guy named Philipp Lenssen). While some of you search engine geeks may already know a lot of these things, there's still probably one or two on the list that you never knew until now. And if you don't know anything about Google or search engines...well, this list will definitely shed some light on some useless facts. ;)

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Quickest Path to Irrelevance: A Case Study

I recently went through a bad customer service experience (technically, I'm actually still going through it), and it got me so riled up that I was compelled to blog about it as thoughts shot in and out of my head. In fact, I'm going to be doing a new series titled "The Quickest Path to Irrelevance"-- it's a series devoted to things that organizations do on a daily basis that takes them one step closer to...well, irrelevance.

Specifically, this whole experience got me thinking about the recruiting process...because when you boil it down, good customer service IS good recruiting.

For all intensive purposes, let's just say I recently purchased something from a well-known retail outlet (a $2 billion publicly traded firm with over 7,000 employees based in Italy). When I tried to return the item I purchased (because it didn't fit the intended recipient that I sent it to), the course of events that followed truly stunned me. And it is a case study of how NOT to treat customers.

The aforementioned retailer has a very strict return policy. Of course, the sales associates who happened to assist me on that day neglected to mention this fact even after I told them my situation (I was trying to purchase a gift for someone out-of-state). Long story short, when I tried to return the item after having it sent back to me, I was told I would be unable to because of the 14 day return policy.

So I told them to give me store credit. They said no; they didn't do that. I asked if I could get my money back. Again, they said no. So I asked them what I could do. They told me I could exchange it for something else in the store. Given the fact that I didn't want anything they had to offer at the moment, I asked what happens if I didn't want to exchange it.

They said I would have 30 days from the original purchase date to find something I want.

What really irked me was that during this whole process, I wasn't treated as a valued customer who's purchased clothes from this retailer in the past. I was simply given a scripted, robotic answer to all my questions.

And I wondered: at what point do you sacrifice customer service for the sake of efficiency and "store policies?"

I think this same question can be posed for recruiting processes. Think about it: candidates who go through an organization's recruiting process are essentially no different than customers. They experience your firm from the inside out. They are exposed to "representatives" of your firm (hiring managers, associates, etc.). After all is said and done, they're left with an impression after the whole experience.

The question is: do they leave with a good experience? Or a bad experience?

I've seen too many organizations who don't treat candidates like "valued customers." They shuffle people in and out of the recruiting process like they're billable resources. No deep thought is given to the experience. How does your front lobby look like as candidates walk up? Do you make them wait for half an hour before they see anyone? Is it apparent that your hiring managers don't prepare adequately for interview days?

All of these things (and dozens more) make an indelible impression on candidates. Just like customers when they walk through a store and experience its customer service for the first time.

The major retailer in this case still has a chance to redeem themselves even after all that I've been through. Unfortunately, when it comes to the recruiting'll take a whole lot more than a refund (or free gift certificates) to win back people once you've left a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to their career.

What kind of customer service does your recruiting process have?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Interviewing a Web Developer

Seeing as how Web 2.0 is in full effect, I'm guessing many recruiters out there have been furiously interviewing candidates with various web skills (has anyone seen the ludicrous fees some of these web people are commanding? ...but I digress...).

Danny Palmer sent this link to me (thanks Danny), and I thought it was a useful tool for anyone having to interview web developers on a consistent basis.

The cool thing about this site is that not only does it provide good questions for a recruiter, but also hiring managers or others involved in the interviewing process.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting an International Perspective

If you ever find yourself needing to get some fresh of the best ways to do this is to look beyond our borders. Why? In a lot of cases, our US-centered thought sometimes causes us to view things through a specific lens.

In my dealings with foreigners (and being Asian American myself), I've realized that people outside our country sometimes have drastically different ways to approach problems or make observations.

With all this said, I came across this one site that keeps track of blogs across the globe. Specifically, it focuses on "bridge bloggers," or people who are talking about their country or region to a global audience.

It's a pretty cool site (which was launched by the Harvard Law School interestingly enough) with good potential. At the least, it'll give us all a fresh perspective...and sometimes, that's all we need.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Generation Y: Coming of Age

I love when you think about an idea and someone comes along and adds an "!" to the end of it.

Here's a little snippet about someone who feels the same way I do when it comes to Generation Y...that Baby Boomers need to prepare to hand over increasing amounts of responsibility in organizations, whether they like it or not.

Maybe I'll get more "!" for other ideas as time moves along... ;)

The Art of Thin Slicing

Well...this might be a tad bit confusing, but here's the explanation: I sat down to write a blog entry last Friday, and never got around to finishing it. Until now.

So if you're curious about the Art of Thin Slicing, just scroll down.

Or, just click here. (you lazy person)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Facebook: Selling Out?

An interesting bit of news just came across my lap(top). It seems that Facebook, the popular most popular social networking site among college students, is going to open up its membership to corporate America.

While I'm happy that my company is among the initial list of 1,000 companies that membership will be available to, I wonder if this is the best thing to happen for this site's membership.

I'll be curious to see if attendance drops off once college kids realize corporations are using this site for various purposes (the most obvious in my mind is to assist on the recruiting front). You have to admit, when corporate America becomes involved in stuff like this, the "cool" factor goes down. A lot.

It's not surprising that Facebook made this move, however. Anytime venture capital firms get involved with funding, you know something like this is on the agenda list.