A case for goal setting

littleenginethatcould.jpgBefore January is over I wanted to make a case for Goal setting and encourage you to consider taking a moment to invest in yourself in the new year.  Personally, I’ve never been a fan of new year resolutions but goal setting makes sense to me.  Goals are targets you give yourself, which by definition show a commitment and a belief in your abilities.  In fact, I think Lululemon has it right in their mainifesto where they say

Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 2, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

It’s possible that setting goals is just wasting your time.  It’s possible that  you are not disciplined enough to follow through.  But it also just might be possible that, by virtue of writing down your goals you will remind yourself of what is really important and will take action to focus some effort on those things that really matter. 

Sure, there is a corporate benefit to aligning and cascading goals which I also believe in, but I think the benefits for ourselves is not to be ignored.  So, take a moment and set some goals before January is done.  I think you can!

If you love someone set them free

spraygirl.jpgYes, the topic today is “Talent Mobility”. 

But Meg, you say, Mark already covered this topic a few weeks ago.  Yes, I know he did, but I’ve made a career out of repeating what Mark has to say, I don’t see why I should stop doing that now that I have a blog goal of an entry every week.

So the question is, how do managers deal with the conflicting priorities of wanting to succeed against their own objectives vs. the goals of their team members for career development?  Especially when the next career progression for an individual is not an opportunity that the manager has on their team?   How does an HR group encourage the idea of individual career development if they have managers who are incented to hoard talent?

One of the first problems to address is how you incent your managers.  If their incentives are exclusively project based and not based on growing their people you are probably going to have limited success in driving the kind of employee engagement that we have been talking about here at TalentedApps.

Another key factor will be showing talent mobility as a core value.  Are those managers who develop and share talent known in your organization?  Does your organization see these managers as more valuable?  They should.  Managers who are able to develop and share talent are going to provide more long term value to your company than those managers who are only concerned about their own personal objectives.  In addition, those managers who are good at spreading talent across your organization are probably those managers who have a more effective network in the organization, certainly a more loyal one.

So, as you look to set your own objectives this January think about how putting opportunities for those who work for you ahead of opportunities for yourself.   Not only does the golden rule tell you to do this, but in the end you and your company will benefit more as a result. 

Also, consider thanking someone who was influential in your own career by helping you achieve your own career goals, especially when that involved being open to the idea of you working somewhere else if that was necessary.  To that end I would like to thank my last two bosses (you know who you are and are probably thrilled to have me mention you publicly) who have made personal sacrifices to help me grow professionally.  This, in addition to having to put up with me as an employee, certainly disserves a good karmic return.

8 things you hate about Meg

chainletter1.jpg ok, not really things to hate, but facts you didn’t really want to know anyway.  Thanks to Jake’s experiment on a blog chain letter, I am now going to tell you eight things you didn’t know about me (probably for a good reason) and then force others to do the same.   I’m not sure I know another eight bloggers that would be willing to participate, so I expect this is going to work exactly as those panty chain letters I often got in college, where someone I don’t know got a nice pair of panties and I got nuthin… but I digress and for this post that is saying a lot. So without any further stalling here are eight things you probably don’t know about me

  1. I’m sixth generation in the bay area.  My grandmother’s family came out pre-gold rush and both my grandmother and her mother were members of Native Daughters of the Golden West
  2. I’m an expert in Bible trivia.  While not a follower of any organized religion myself, I attended private school and had born-again bible thumping parents for a period of about 10 years growing up.
  3. I have bought groceries with food stamps in my lifetime.  Not a great experience, but one that does build character.
  4. I am writing this entry from Park City, Utah where I have been skiing for a week.  I recommend Utah snow for anyone who is a “terminal intermediate” skier.  I like to refer to the experience as  “ego skiing”.
  5. I have a job for which I am unqualified, at least in the technical sense.  I’m probably not alone in that statement but somehow I manage development teams while my formal training is in Business (Economics and Entrepreneurship), I had exactly one semester of anything even close to a computer class.
  6. I have never been to South America.
  7. I attended 10 different schools before completing K-12.  This is even more scary when you consider I skipped a grade and 7 of the 10 were in the same town.
  8. I have a severe “sense of direction” disability which I overcome by memorizing a painful amount of information and taking a lot of u-turns.

So there you have it, eight boring facts about Meg.  And now for the process of attempting to tag eight other bloggers… I tag Mark, Amy, Gretchen and Rich as those are the only ones I know that were not tagged by Jake in the first place, and I’m sure some of them have been tagged already… doh!

Getting SaaS-y


I know what you are thinking, but I’m not planning to talk about this, well covered thread.  Nor, even this, catchy-titled observation.  I’m going to go back to basics a bit and talk about my thoughts about Software as a service (SaaS) and Human Capital management (HCM)/Talent Management.

Smart people, who I admire, have talked for quite some time on how Saas is important and how HCM has been playing in this space for quite some time.  Jason, Jason, Jim, Christa, to name a few, have been keen to point out some of the thinking and momentum for SaaS in our market.  I just thought it would be useful to take this dialogue a bit further, or maybe I was bored, you decide.

What is great about SaaS

The real advantage is that SaaS has provided a solution that customers can take advantage of easily.  There is limited commitment, adoption is quick and innovation can happen rapidly.  It lends itself nicely to the Talent marketplace where there is fragmentation, both in the vendor landscape, and within HR itself. 

What’s not great about SaaS

It seems (to me) that many are confusing a means of delivery and a sales revenue model with a solution to a business problem.  This is especially true in the Talent space where vendors, who are looking for a viable business model in a time of rapid consolidation, are all moving to SaaS as their only delivery vehicle. 

We all know that some of the larger benefits of a talent strategy cannot be realized with the level of integration that is possible with the current vendors in the market today, at least not without significant effort on the part of the customer.   Today most SaaS vendors take a necessarily simple approach to integration doing the minimal data integration necessary to make the process work.  This ignores the harder problems like when a business process spans multiple functional and technical disciplines and applications.   Of course, we often talk of OnBoarding and Off Boarding as examples where it quickly gets complicated.  There are even processes within the HR function like calibration, promotions and compensation where tasks require a holistic picture of not just the current data but the historical data as well.

What does it really mean? 

The current push of the market to SaaS will ultimately help all vendors as it will help draw attention to the need for a real focus on web services, service oriented architecture (SOA), ease of implementation and ability to realize the benefits we’ve been talking about for years for things like zero down time and selective upgrades. 

Companies need to be careful that they are leveraging what is good about SaaS, vs. getting themselves in deeper with a tangled IT landscape that has plagued the LMS implementations since the introduction of eLearning.  As Oracle uses the SaaS momentum as the competitive motivator it is, our customers need to make sure that they consider SaaS as a means to an end and not the strategy itself.