Lloyd is right, it’s time to decide to be in a good mood

Its been a great week for me.  One of those weeks where problems aren’t so big and smiles come easily.  I’m not saying its been an easy week.  In fact, far from it. 

I was out last week for some training and I’m completely behind on everything, my husband got sick, I had extra things to do at home, and I’m “in the thick of it” with my project cycle.    All stressful elements to my week and yet I have been happy.  In my happiness I somehow feel able to cope and in control of the chaos that is my week.

It made me realize just how much my mood impacts my results.  So I’ve decided that Lloyd was onto something when he asked the sage question:

Lloyd Dobler: Why can’t you be in a good mood? How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood once in a while?”

Constance: Gee, it’s easy.

No, it is not easy.  In fact it takes effort, but when taken on balance with everything else that becomes easier I begin to realize that it’s the most important effort to expend. 

Here’s to finding our happy place, I hope you can join me, it sure feels good.

Integrated Talent Management, good strategy or fad?

As you can imagine being a Talent vendor gives us an opportunity to talk to a lot of different customers, partners, analysts, etc.  This is probably one of the reasons I love what I do.  I really can think of nothing better then geeking out with a customer about innovative things they are doing to bring real value to their companies.  I realize that there might be some therapy for this condition, but for now I’m content knowing that I am a real geek and just happen to be fortunate enough to get paid for it.

I’ve been reading Jim’s retrospective on the talent coverage he has done since 2002 and finding interest in his view of the suite and how it has evolved in the past 5-ish years.  Was also talking with Bill Kutik about his HR Technology conference and how the shoot-out this year is about talent suites. To be honest, all of this talk about “best of suite” and “integrated talent management”  has not been sitting well with me lately.  I’ve been struggling to figure out what my beef is, since I do believe in the value that can be realized with a suite.  So why do I feel so negative about all the talk of integrated suites?

I expect that this topic will take me a few posts to figure out, but I decided that getting additional opinions might provide some help, so I decided to blog about it in half-baked form and see what discussion happens.

So what’s the deal?  Isn’t it true that companies can get more value from an integrated talent solution then they can from a silo’d solution (for example in Recruiting or Compensation or Performance Management).  Of course they can.  

But is the real discussion the integration or the vision?  That’s my issue.  I want to talk vision and we all seem to jump into solution. Solution is great, but please tell me that you are clear on what problems you want to solve.  All to often, I find people are wanting a talent management solution because they think that it’s the thing to do.  When I attempt to get more information, I find that they are struggling on some very tactical issues and a vision or a strategy is not even on their radar.  

Let me be clear, I am a big believer in solving tactical issues but I am a bigger believer in having a strategy so that as you solve tactical issues you can avoid having to re-solve them to achieve your strategy.

Here are some things that I would like to see more HR leaders talking about

  1. How do I provide value to the business to achieve their objectives?  Do I have the data and systems I need to do that?
  2. How do I provide a framework for our business to grow and adapt to changes in market conditions? demographics? regulatory requirements? etc?
  3. How do I grow the skills and capabilities of my own HR department to better provide for our business?
  4. How do I build a business case to show the business the value in the programs that I want to offer?
  5. How do I provide value to the C-suite with the products and services we provide?
Instead, I am seeing people mired in definitions of competency libraries or complaining about how hard it is to get reliable analytics.  Sure, an integrated talent solution will help you, but will it help you enough?  I’d argue that technology can only help you if you have a plan to use it effectively.

So, am I just channeling Sisyphus here on a pointless mission, or should I keep hoping for the day that we can have an adult conversation here? 

Please sound off in comments, what do you think we should be talking about instead of (or in addition to) a suite?  Or should I just get happy about all the suite discussions, figuring that the value can come later and at least people are headed in the right direction?  Thoughts?

The right people on the bus

I’ve gushed before about how lucky I am and what a great team we have.  As someone who puts a lot of herself into her work, a great team is a big part of my own personal engagement

In the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about great teams I have worked with in the past.  Specifically those people who I would rehire if ever an opportunity were to arise.

In most cases my interest in rehiring someone is not as much about the current job opening, it is usually more about them being the right people to have on the bus.  So, what makes someone right for my particular bus? 

Been thinking about that too and here is what I’ve decided

  • People who solve problems — you give them a problem and they find a way to solve it.  Sure they ask for help, clarification, etc. but they will wrestle the problem to the ground.  You are never exactly sure why they are able to solve the problems they do, but there are some people who get stuck easily and there are others who find a way through.  It’s those who consistently get out the other side that I want back on my bus.

  • People who Lack ego— ok, this is not really true.   It’s not the lack of ego, it’s the ability to have an ego that does not require others to be lessened.  Inclusive egos.  People who see their accomplishments and achievements as better for the sharing, get those people on my bus.

  • Smart – yes, I admit it.  I have a strong bias toward people who are smarter then me.  Those who I have worked with in the past who have helped me learn, I want them around, preferably close to hand because I tend to have a lot of questions.

  • People who follow through – I am very much a “fire and forget” kind of girl.  People who are comfortable completing action items without reminders are absolutely people I want in my life.  I am a very competent nag, but boy is life better when you don’t have to exercise that skill.  If getting work from you is a lot of work for me, odds are I’m lukewarm about having you back on the bus.

  • Fun/Funny – I just can’t be serious for too long.  People who appreciate my own “special” sense of humor, who can tolerate my love of profanity.  People who do not take themselves too seriously.  Get them on my bus, you never know when you might need a party-bus.

Anyway, this is the list for my bus.  What about you?  What traits have the best people you worked with had?  What about them makes you wake up at night saying “I could totally solve that problem at work if only I had XXX back on my team“?