Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Don't Spare Anyone

I've worked for organizations that had 40,0000 employees, and I've worked for some that had less than 100. They had different business models, types of employees, and were in very different industries. They had charismatic leaders, and others that struggled on such an epic scale that I helped a number of them to the door.

Despite all of the differences and complexities, every organization shared something very powerful in common.

Each of them struggled with internal communication.

How Is This Possible
We're living in a time when communicating with other people has never been easier. Recently I was carrying on simultaneous conversations with colleagues in the UK and Australia using twitter. Seriously, it was so simple. Gosh, I love twitter.

So if the list of communication tools out there is so abundant, easy to use, and in many cases free, how is it that the story hasn't changed over the years when I speak with employees? --> "we need to improve internal communication."

Tools Don't Matter
We have email, staff meetings, yammer, lync, skype, intranets, social media pages, one-on-one meetings, project teams, work groups, conference calls, and off--site retreats.

These approaches mean nothing.

It turns out that tools are not the reason that organizations struggle with internal communication. It has nothing to do with technology, too many meetings, or hectic travel schedules. Effective internal communication is actually based on one simple concept...

Leadership commitment.

The reality of the world of work is that leaders make the decisions, set expectations, and hold the team accountable. If internal communication is going to improve it will be driven by leadership's commitment to making it happen. But how?

1. Ask your team how they want to be communicated with and do what they say. Don't tell them it's not convenient, or the system 'can't do that' or that it will take too much time.

2. Hold them accountable to actively participate in the communication process. After all, internal communication is a shared responsibility.


Get Started...Now
Look up from your computer. Do you see the door? Walk through it and start talking to the employees in your organization and ask them what communication channels work best for them. Build your list and implement what you've heard. Remind them that you're doing it and that you fully expect them to do their part too.

How About You
It's about time we looked at internal communication as a leadership responsibility instead of a leadership excuse. Use multiple channels (your team will generate the list for you), and get moving. Don't spare anyone in this process, because every employee matters.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ghosts of War (for talent)

The ultra-competitive  environment to source, attract and hire talent is fascinating. So many organizations lament the fact that they can not find the "right" people to meet their needs. 

Yet these same organizations continue to use the same old and ineffective approaches to talent acquisition; or they are being taken advantage of by large vendors that throw around lots of terminology but fail to execute effectively on behalf of their clients.

I'm calling B.S. on both approaches!

Desperate and Scared
For years I've seen organizations that know they need to implement contemporary strategies as part of their talent strategy, but doing so represents such a quantum leap out of their comfort zone that they are paralyzed with fear.

"Leaders who fail to make bold decisions are usually not leaders for very long."
The ghosts of yesteryear continue to haunt these well intended leaders. Think about the good old days of display ads in the Sunday paper. Now that was living in your comfort zone! Sadly, there really isn't a Sunday paper anymore, right?

Now Is Your Time
The opportunities available to today's talent acquisition leader are endless. The ability to position your organization as a high-performing, contemporary leader in your industry is not as hard as you think. 

Yes it takes expertise, courage and commitment. But isn't that in every leader's job description anyway?

How About You
Do you believe in ghosts? If so, maybe you and I should talk. I want to help...and it sounds like you might need to exorcise a few demons.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Funeral Hymn

"I've always wanted to do that."
- said everyone who ever lived

How many times have we heard this line? How many times have we said it? It's funny that we put so much effort into our careers, and yet as we learn and grow as professionals we feel we must embrace our titles or industries to define who "we are."


Wait, what?

When you look back at who you were at 15, 25, 35, 45, 55....were you the same person at every age? Did your view of the world change? Did your life experiences shape how you made decisions and chose to behave?

Of course they did. But when it comes to our career path, we often fall into the trap that our title or profession "is" who we are, no matter what we learn or experience or become interested in.

Want To vs. Will Do
Obviously there is a big difference between "always wanting to sky dive" as a bucket list to do item, and "always wanting to work in a different industry or role." The bucket list is for focus is on the latter point.

It takes courage to admit that you could do more...and make a move that is unsettling at best, and downright scary at worst. (or is the scary part the best? Hmmm)

When you consider the incredible number of hours, training, networking, reading, writing and learning you've done over the years it will be difficult to justify that you aren't prepared to make a bold move and follow what you enjoy doing, and that you're good at.

Bold moves are the best moves.

If you're already doing what you absolutely love, then be the best. Push yourself to contribute in a way that you never thought about in the past. There are no limits, so think big.

"Too Late" Is For Wimps
Have you convinced yourself that it is too late to make the move you can't stop thinking about? I just made a bold move after twenty years in the same industry. I changed everything because I learned new things and realized I wanted to follow a different path.

I put together a plan, and worked that plan. You can too. Get out your iPad and start listing what you really want to do. Identify what you're good at, and confirm your list with friends and colleagues.

There is absolutely nothing holding you back.

How About You
It is not time for the funeral hymn on your career to play. Now is your time take your career and your personal satisfaction to a whole new level. Stop waiting...start next year at this time you'll be DOING!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.


Monday, February 16, 2015

The Enemy Inside

"I'm running from the enemy inside..."

I go through periods of time when life seems to be moving so fast, hitting me from every direction, and at a pace that could be considered too much to handle. Some might even think that retreating and shutting down would be a reasonable response.

Except I've recently discovered I'm not wired to let all of that action become a distraction. What happens though is probably not a sustainable response...even by my somewhat skewed  - shall we say 'uptempo' - view of the world.

When life hits me hard...I hit back. It takes a variety of forms ranging from working harder, writing more, working out multiple times per day, eating even more clean than I already do, and thinking bigger about the future.
So I've been processing about whether or not my "charge into battle" response makes sense or not. The deeper I go with this...the more I'm realizing that I don't retreat...ever. Candidly, I don't think moving 100 mph every day is necessarily the best plan. Was I always this way?

"...looking for the life I left behind..."

When do my mind and body rest? When do my big plans, punishing workouts, and obsession with every gram of food (literally) get put to the side so I can rest and recharge?

What is the proper response when you are accustomed to handling things in a certain way?

Habits Are Hard to Break
I'm not going to lie. I am absolutely dialed in to going full throttle when challenges come at me. I need to find the balance between an all out epic battle with life; and instead, pivot and use downtime for my mind and body as an intentional strategy.

Always getting fired up about kicking ass when life is in your face may sound cool, but sustaining a constant battle-ready mindset just doesn't work 24/7.

"...these suffocating memories are etched upon my mind..."

How About You
What do you do when life comes at you from all sides. Have you figured out how to take some time each day to collect your thoughts and regroup? Or, is it an all out epic struggle for supremacy?

"....and I can not escape from the enemy inside..."

For me, I love the battle, but I'm going to start integrating some downtime too. It just might help me kick life back even harder than before.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Only Corporate Strategy That Matters

I think I've said the word culture 1,000 times in the last twelve months. I'm not kidding. It's such an important part of every organization that I'm surprised more companies aren't doing something about it.

I realize there are lots of executives talking about culture, but it is rare when they execute on a culture strategy. However, talk is cheap and we've all built up a tolerance for the corporate values messaging that bombards us at every turn.

"Seriously, has anyone ever heard a company espouse their commitment to providing crappy customer service with their team of pathetic employees?"

So what is the opportunity to differentiate your company from the competition if you truly have a culture that is unique, and dare I say different from others in your industry?

Money Talks
Start with investing in it. It is easy to determine where an organization's priorities are simply by checking their financials. Are culture, brand, and developing a revolutionary talent strategy high on that priority list? If so, the results will blow away the competition.

Talent is code for people. Culture is code for people. Brand is code for people. Success is achieved by people. Are you with me?

That's how commitment works. That's how execution works. That's how success is realized in the modern world. It's the people that make the difference and make the values proposition come to life.

How About You
If you're tired of talking about culture and want to differentiate your organization's commitment to culture, check out this site. Then go, lead the way in your own company and make a real difference.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Power of Unexamined Thoughts

Meetings are a double-edged sword. They are a powerful tool to bring team members together to think, plan, and ultimately execute on organizational strategy. Yes, meetings are supposed to do that.

But sometimes meetings hit a wall. It could be that the team is losing momentum, it could be they are not able to see the larger vision, or it could be that some members are simply not up to the task at hand.

Whatever the reason, meetings require two important elements to be successful...

Leadership and momentum.

One of the hallmarks of effective leadership is presence. It's much more than a job title or physical presence in the room. In the meeting context, it is taking charge and driving things forward. Sometimes that requires pushing ideas out to the group that are new.

These 'unexamined thoughts' are not brainstorming; rather, they are an example of the leader keeping the reality of where the team needs to be front and center. The best leaders use this approach in a way that reconnects the group to a global vision aligned with where the organization is headed, not just to the task-at-hand-focus of the people in the room.

That is leadership presence.
The true power of unexamined thoughts comes in the output of the work. Driving change through a stalled meeting is one thing, developing great work product as a result is entirely different. 

Without leadership intervention to maintain the momentum of the group...sometimes moving past where the group is able to go as a necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of great work.

Just so we're clear, the best leaders know that the only thing that ultimately matters is great work product.

How About You
Do you use unexamined thoughts when the teams you're leading start to fade? Or, do you pack it up for the day and ask everyone to "come back with good ideas next time?" I think it's time to step up...push through...and lead the way.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I'm Hiring Two Talent Acquisition Leaders to Join My Team!

Have you ever wanted to work at a company that has one of those trendy super cool cultures that you read about? You know the ones...they have lots of stories about the great team environment and the energy that you can feel when you walk through the front door.

Do you think those organizations actually exist; or, are they simply a fantasy that Silicon Valley tries to promote but rarely turns out to be true?

Well, I joined one of those companies and I didn't have to move to California to do it. 

Kinetix Rocks
If you're wondering what Kinetix is all about let me summarize for you...we offer a triple-threat of human resources services to our clients:
- Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)
- Staffing and Recruiting
- Human Resources Consulting

Here's the Kinetix difference: we do it better, faster, and have a hell of a lot more fun than anyone else in the industry. There, I said it.

Kinetix Needs Progressive Leaders
Good things are happening here (think growing-faster-than-you-can-imagine) and that's why I need to add two leaders who will report directly to me

You need to be an experienced talent acquisition professional who can effectively lead a team of high performers. Your team will consist of 8 - 10 of our rock star recruiting pros. 

You need to understand that social, digital, and all things 2015 are how we operate. So please do not fax me your resume because I don't even know where our fax machines are here.

Are You Ready?
If you think you have the leadership chops, a contemporary view of how the talent game is played, and you want to live in the amazing city of  Atlanta, then you should reach out to Colleen Fitzgerald via email; through twitter, or if you have to you can call her direct at 770-390-8380. If you'd like the 411 on this cool gig check out the posting here.

Oh, and you probably won't need a chair. You'll be so busy leading your team as a real hands-on leader that you won't have much desk time.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Reign In Content

Your organization has an amazing story to tell, right? You have great employees who do great work and make a difference. Your culture is special, the work you produce is high quality, and yet you are still dumbfounded that your ability to attract "the right" talent remains elusive.

Every organization large or small, for-profit or not, sophisticated or not, all have a story to tell. Yours does too. The stories are your corporate culture. The values, the mission, the guiding principles, or statement of beliefs you espouse are important; however, in the end they are what the company hopes will become the the future.

The stories of today are what your organization Stories are the behind the scenes front-line perspective of what is really going with your employees. 

Every company has stories.

"What are the good stories that you want the world to know?"

I'm willing to bet that if you had ten minutes of uninterrupted time you could come up with a handful of moving stories about your organization that you would love for future talent to know about.

So why aren't you telling anyone?

Content Reigns Supreme
The absence of a content strategy is a clear indication that you are not going to attract the best talent to your company. Sure, there are a handful of trendy name brands out there that seem to effortlessly attract high performers. 

Here's their secret...they've already told their stories and now "everyone" wants to be part of their amazing culture. No one wants to be a part of their values...they want to be a part of their stories.

See the difference?

How About You
Do you have a content strategy for your company? Have you collected the stories necessary to offer an authentic behind-the-scenes look into your organization? If so, you're way ahead of most. If not, maybe we should connect. Your culture...and the stories it tells...shouldn't go to waste.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.