As painful as it will be, and as grateful as I am for the experiences I had in HR, I have to agree with this headline from @HarvardBiz--or at least a separation of sorts betweem strategy & policy/process, for two reasons: 1) The prevailing approach is in desperate need of innovation, and why I work in strategic management consulting today 2) There is such a broad range of capabilities and (unfortunately), "incapabilities" which have given the function an uneven reputation at best. The reality is #HR people play a critical role in the success of the business and need to be enabled to do so. Time for #innovation and #change!
My husband and I are big fans of professional cycling. No, that does not mean that I'm a cyclist myself. In fact, I'm not much of a sports person (nor an athlete), but for some reason this (and Irish rugby) have managed to keep my interest over the years.
Actually there are a few reasons. For starters, it's a fast-paced, exciting sport with a lot going on in a beautiful setting. What really appeals to me is that the Tour De France, which occupies my July, is a team-based competition. As any winner would tell you, they couldn't have done it without the team. This is really true. The peloton, the group that makes up most of the riders going en masse, has a distinct culture governed by its own informal norms. Teams both work together and compete against each other (sometimes simultaneously) in the context of this culture and the official rules. Their goal is to help their team leaders win. All this is quite the fix for a culture and organizational dynamics nut like me. I'm fascinated by all that and the race's rich history, good and bad.
Despite all this, I know that not everyone shares this same passion for spectating this sport, so I keep my tweets to a minimum. Still, for the two posts (and their links) below, everyone can learn something and be inspired by the analogies that can be made from cycling. After all, what better way to describe the ups and downs of life than this course from the Tour?
Two cyclists with the same adversity (bike mechanical), and two very different approaches. One was flexible, the other was not. Guess which one came up from behind to win at the end of the day?
Here's something that is both an inspiration and a challenge to you:
I've been making more of an effort to get out more for these events. After all they are ubiquitous here in the Bay Area, and I'm sure people don't take enough advantage of it. Believe me, you'll miss it when you live somewhere that has them few and far between. Not only is DIVERSITY a hot topic right now in Silicon Valley, but there are some awesome people out there doing awesome things. I love being exposed to it. This panel was more dynamic and offered more inspiration and information than others I have attended. Far too many don't get past the initial hiring for representation discussion, which is extremely frustrating for me. When will people understand that they can recruit until the cows come home and still fail because they don't do enough to create the conditions where diversity thrives?
Note to self for the next time I host a panel: Curate the Q&As. This is not because I want to censor anyone by any means, but there wasn't enough time for other good questions because some audience members decided to take the opportunity to pitch their startups to the VC panelists for interest/funding. Really?! Here are three criteria for great questions:
Wow, what a mess this #RedditRevolt has been. It's hard to imagine that Reddit planned for all this to happen on purpose, as some conspiracy-mongers have suggested. Doesn't appear this way at least. Who would subject their own company and personal reputations to such bad PR? The more likely cause was poorly planned and/or executed change. All this was preventable if they acted with an understanding of their stakeholders (users, employees, etc.). As with any organizational change, these stakeholders are the ones who will make change happen. In this case, they revolted. There's a lot that goes into doing change right, but here are some pointers above to get you started in the right direction.
This year, I got to attend the OCA National Convention's Professional Development Track. The topics covered weren't diversity specific, but they were surely relevant to today's business landscape: Dare to Dream, and the Tech Success Panel. One may wonder what makes a diversity forum necessary if the topics are general. The thing is, there is something special about starting the discussion from a common experience. This sets the tone for a dialogue that usually never sees the light of day in a general audience. There is nothing exclusionary about this. It's about giving voice and inspiration that is usually harder to find in other places, and creating an opportunity to connect and share them. In the same way affinity groups support and strengthen the members within the organization, diversity conferences do the same for the greater community. See below for my live tweets from the sessions.
If ice-cream can help save the world through sustainability practices, so can you. No matter what your organization is in the business of doing, a lot can be learned from what Ben and Jerry's has done. Check out the article I linked to above. Lifecycle assessments will likely identify opportunities where you can not only become more environmentally responsible, but maybe even more efficient and ultimately, more profitable.
Empathy inspires people to help others. In the process, they find meaning, experience positive feelings, and reach deeper understanding not only for themselves, but for others too. This isn't intangible soft stuff. This is real. It is what makes us human.
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The tweet above links to an interesting profile the NY Times did on Tae Hea Nahm, managing director of VC firm, Storm Ventures. Here's his direct quote: "Culture, to me, is about getting people to make the right decision without being told what to do. No matter what people say about culture, it’s all tied to who gets promoted, who gets raises and who gets fired. You can have your stated culture, but the real culture is defined by compensation, promotions and terminations. Basically, people seeing who succeeds and fails in the company defines culture. The people who succeed become role models for what’s valued in the organization, and that defines culture."
I'm a strong believer in having each organization define its unique culture based upon a foundation of its values and its context. In this situation, he is not defining a specific culture. Rather, he is generalizing his opinion on how culture should be defined. IMHO, compensation, promotions and terminations reflect culture, rather than dictate it. How culture is created is, at its very core, through its people.
A place to share interesting concepts that will inspire, spread, and/or apply new ideas. This page is dedicated to sharing my twitter feed, announcements, and blog posts.