Think Bigger. Aim Higher. Go Further.

Tag: talent

Plenty of Work But Where Is The Knowledge?

Millions of people are looking for Jobs.  Meanwhile, employers complain of a chronic “skills mismatch” that prevents them from hiring people or initiating new innovations.

When an engineer is laid off from an airplane manufacturer, a company like Starbucks has no idea what that person knows even though aircraft and milk steamers have a great deal in common from the perspective of the Engineer (both are pressure vessels subject to extreme environmental conditions).

The same is true for a marine engineer, and HVAC engineer, or an electrostatic coating machinery engineer.  Each of these disciplines has far more in common than they have differences.  However, if you compare the descriptions for any of these jobs, they sound like they all happen on different planets.

God forbid you are not an expert on MS Excel, which only takes a few hours for almost anyone to learn – yet not tagging that radio button can negate 20 years of experience that only 1% of people have the desire, discipline, and intellect to achieve.

The same holds true for many talents and professions. There are serious problems with the way that we discern the supply and demand for knowledge assets.

What is needed is an intermediate knowledge inventory in the commons that everyone can index to.  So when an engineer tags “pressure vessels” the term registers into the resident ontology of all observers.

Why is this better?

Of course companies are trying to eliminate variance and risk by hiring a person who has been trained by someone else – preferable a direct competitor.  On the other hand, the mantra of modern business is to innovate.  Innovation does not happen by duplicating yesterday’s ideas. Mixing diverse combinations of knowledge assets, and not all common knowledge assets, accelerates the process of Innovation.  Think of all the music that is yet to be created for lack of musicians to play the different instruments.

An intermediate knowledge inventory solves both problems by allowing companies to introduce diverse knowledge assets without introducing irrelevant knowledge assets.  It also gives people far more mobility to pursue specialties that they are most talented and interested in.  As such, the allocation of knowledge assets would improve to match supply of knowledge with the demand for knowledge in an innovation economy.

There is not a shortage or work, only a shortage of knowledge about knowledge.  

Death By Résumé

Résumé: A French word for separating the body from the brain

We are entering a renewal in the work force. The global imperative is for the United States to become an innovation economy now. This is an entirely different animal than the Industrial revolution; I have long argued that the résumé system is by far the most archaic knowledge management “currency” of trade in use today.

The entire premise of the résumé is destitute, if not destructive, in the modern world. Words on a computer screen are a very low level ‘media form’ being used to describe a very high ‘media form’; social, creative, and intellectual capital. It’s like using crayons to design an aircraft.

If the key words are so important, why have any other words?

A manager always hires people that remind them of themselves. They estimate the future success of a candidate based on their own limited, and often static, past experiences. The world is moving so fast and has become so complex that no manager can possibly know enough to capitalize the future based on a viable statistical sample of past experiences – we’re all holding on for dear life in a hurricane of change. The problems and opportunities of the future are so huge, so important, and happening so amazingly fast yet the allocation of human resources is worse than random for a candidate pool.

Here are a few comments that I’ve picked off some recent Human Resources Community Blogs:

***

1. And our future goes with it:

“Most recruiting systems I’ve seen screen out innovators. Any résumé that is unique, different or convention-defying gets surreptitiously put in the junk pile.”

2. Start by looking in the junk pile:

“The Innovation Economy requires that the talent that creates the most value for an organization must rise to the top. Innovators are playing an increasing role in creating shareholder value – one might argue that they create the most shareholder value these days – and figuring out how to find and attract this very different breed of talent is one of the most critical initiatives you can launch within your organization.”

3. What part of “share holder value” are we having difficulty with?

“The most innovative people I have ever met don’t follow conventions in their experience or in their résumé. Or, they get bored very quickly when they can’t innovate or are forced to focus on operations, and efficiency. Most might look like (and even be) job hoppers”

4. Here is my favorite comment – I wish I could hug this person:

“I think it takes more than a résumé to screen an Innovator in or out. As blogs, blog posts, social networking, more powerful search tools, personal websites, the emergence of video on the web, talent platforms that offer CRM, etc. etc. etc. continue to become additional tools for an employer to consider in making a hiring decision, is the résumé still a currency for a candidate?”

***

We have an inventory and CAD model of every nut, rivet, and panel that goes on an airplane – why would we try to build anything without one?

So Please, let’s evolve out of the revolutionary times and develop a real community knowledge inventory. It must be computer enabled and based on a taxonomy that everyone knows and understands. It must be read, analyzed, sorted and vetted by social networks and communities of practice. It must integrate with knowledge assets from anywhere in the world.

Marketing in the Age of Social Capitalism

Family Recipe?

The recipe for selling great products to great customers in the age of Social Media resides first in helping people find their highest talent and passion.  Advertisers need to offer something to the community that they target.  The best place to start is in understanding the challenges and opportunities that a modern community faces.

The great innovations of our time were created by people doing what they enjoyed most by using their talents to the highest potential.  Disney, Boeing, Apple, Mattel, and nearly every other ground breaking venture had the secret sauce of people doing what they were best at and most passionate about – and it was not about collecting “stuff”

The passion play

Computer Enabled Society is in the midst of a struggle to reorganize itself outside of the construct of the traditional corporation. It seeks to develop methods and systems that allow for the reallocation of social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital to match a person’s natural talents, passions, and abilities with those complementary to other people. This is as true for communities as it is for corporations.  The result will be a profound new paradigm of Social Capitalism reflecting social priorities and community values.

Do no evil:

If marketers have the foresight and talent to “get ‘em while they’re young” or to “sell ‘em what they fear”, they certainly also have the foresight and methods to “develop ‘em to their highest potential”. Advertising agencies are full of real smart people who know how to deliver a hidden message – why not use that talent to empower people?

Instead, mass marketing pays mass money for mass audience from which to draw mass revenues – the message gets debased to play on mass fears, anxieties, and insecurities because this is the least common denominator.  As a result, actual products are designed to be marketed, sold, and thrown away; not to be particularly useful, productive, or even healthy.  Unnecessary innovation wastes human effort and natural resources while mass marketing of unnecessary innovation wastes the time and bandwidth of those for whom the product is irrelevant.  Yes, the majority of advertising is just Spam.

Advertisers as community organizers?

Few realize that advertising can become a highly useful component of the Innovation Economy.  In many professional practitioners look forward to hearing from vendors, educators, and fellow practitioners for trends, news, and developments that can strengthen their community.  Bad products are rejected quickly and good ones are elevated quickly. This is how the great innovations are found. This is where the early adopters congregate. This is where brand loyalty is unyielding. This is where wealth is created.  This is efficiency that society wants and needs. Social Media can deliver this audience but advertisers need to adapt by losing the CPM (cost per mille) model (more on that later).

Marketing to communities is fluid, dynamic, specific, and it takes some work.  The dynamics of communities will replace the statics of demography and CPM.  Fulfill those needs of a community and your products will win forever.  It is not difficult to see the future, only to act on it.  That is innovation.

A Clear and Present Value!

Image credit

dev-oClear and Present Value

The value of conversations is real, clear and present – especially in the actions of those who profit wildly from them. I saw this in the negotiations of NAFTA when it was clearly in the best interest of the some negotiators to keep engineers poor weak and disorganized.

I saw it again in corporate America.  Imagine if Boeing was to publish a complete accounting of the incredible intellect, ingenuity, talent, and creativity that roams their hallowed halls – the world would dismantle them piece by piece.  The “knowledge inventory” is a company’s most closely held secret.

Keeping secrets from the secret:

Sometimes it seems that the biggest secrets are held from those who represent the greatest real value. Corporations pay their engineers the minimum amount of money required to get them to their desk in the morning.  Then they resist organization of engineering professionals, and they give them little or no power over marketing, human resources, accounting, and sales promises related to the engineering outcome.

The problems get worse when this big “secret” becomes public. For example: Steve Jobs has now been identified as trying to collude with Ed Colligan, the CEO of Palm, to not poach each other’s employees.

A Currency Collusion Collision Conversation

“Your proposal that we agree that neither company will hire the other’s employees, regardless of the individual’s desires, is not only wrong, it is likely illegal,” Colligan said to Jobs last August, according to an article Bloomberg reported.  Jobs succeeded in making such an arrangement with Google, according to published reports. The feds are investigating and the Palm allegations only make Apple look worse.

It is quite amazing that companies would expose them selves to such risk if conversations among engineers were NOT in fact extremely valuable.  Why else would Apple engage in such disrespect to engineers and others who actually create the products Mr. Jobs gets credit for?

The liberation of Knowledge Assets

The IPhone that rolls off the assembly line is not an innovation.  Rather, the millions upon millions of tiny incremental ideas, conversations, and shared thought are assembled into what does eventually roll off the assembly line.  The role of the CEO is significant, but still a minority task in the larger picture.

More than ever, social media is empowering people to hold equally productive and focused conversations outside the construct of corporation.  With the ability to measure and track impressions comes the ability to pay royalties to those that produce, direct, and sustain conversations.

With the Obama justice department and other federal regulators already looking closely at Apple over the iPhone and handset exclusivity and the sharing of board members, Jobs’ alleged anti-poaching efforts only add to the fire that is growing around him. If social media continues to integrate at a rapid pace, the biggest fire that Mr. Jobs and other CEOs may have growing around them is the autonomy of creative, social, and intellectual staff.

Special thanks to a post written by: Veteran industry-watcher David Coursey who tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

The Second Impression of Social Media

As we move away from the ROI valuation model for social media and adopt a more dynamic ‘options’ analysis, a different picture emerges.  People are trading options; that is, the right without the obligation to exercise an action.  The next economic paradigm will emerge as a function of people exercising their options.

What are you doing here?

On the surface, there appears to be a lot of ‘feel-gooding’ on linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, etc.  It is easy to brush them off as trivial, non-productive, and delusional.  I often fall victim spending too much time on these devices and have asked myself, simply: “why?”

Computer Enabled Society

At second glance, however, I have personally developed a few extremely profound, important and valuable relationships through “computer enabled society”.  People who I have never met in person have stepped way out on a limb to help me along.  As a result, I have given these people the option to access my network and they have done the same for me.  Our common purpose makes each relevant and valuable to the other and each are willing to support, mentor, and elevate the other.  We exercise options together.

Impressive Results

The distinction is that what once was a “first impression” – firmness of handshake, fashion, and physical appearance – has become the “second Impression”.

What was once the “second impression” – intellect, wisdom, talent and generosity – has become the “first impression”.

People exercise their options accordingly; first impressions leads us to action.

Evolution or Revolution?

Social media does not care if you are rich, poor, young or old, beautiful or homely.  It does not care about the color of your skin, fat or thin, physical ability or disability.  It does not care what kind of car you drive, clothes you wear, or the size of your home. Or does it?

For every revolution, there is a corresponding evolution.

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