Steve Boese blog July 25-31, 2011


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Steve Boese blog July 25-31, 2011

  1. 1. 31 July 2011Today’s TabbloidPERSONAL NEWS FOR steveboese@gmail.comSTEVE BOESE’S HR TECHNOLOGY ‘presence’ or marketing material.PageRank for People So when Megan from Klout told us on the show last night that Klout’sJUL 29, 2011 08:52A.M. new ‘+K’ feature, where users can log in to to ‘award’ other users a ‘+K’ to indicate their explicit agreement to the Klout assessmentLast night on the HR Happy Hour Show we had an interesting discussion of topical influence, did not directly factor into the person’s actual scorewith Megan Berry from Klout, Jennifer McClure, and Dawn Hrdlica- due to concerns about potential gaming of this process, I was a littleBurke about online or digital influence, and its potential effect and use in surprised. Because to me, at least once Klout can sort out the correct waythe recruiting and hiring process. We also talked about some of the to control to remove the element of potential gaming the system, thenimplications that relying on these kinds of new algorithms might have in the +K component would stand to be a fundamental aspect that wouldthe future. It was a fascinating conversation, and I encourage you to support the ‘PageRank for People’ idea.check out the replay of the show here, (or drop it into your fancy iPad,just search the iTunes store for ‘HR Happy Hour’). It’s really not that not different from Angie’s List, or Amazon book reviews, or the consumer product ratings that pop up on pretty much every electronics retailer website. For some reason we don’t seem to worry too much about Jimbo the plumber ‘gaming’ the system, but when we get to discussing Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and such, the conversation about ‘influence’ starts to get a little funky. Again, I am not sure Klout has the answer to all this yet, or if some one else will figure out a better way to come up with that just right blend of algorithm, evaluation, and personal touch that will result in a measurement or score that will become more universally accepted, but I am fairly confident someone will. And I am also fairly confident that soon after some other disruptive technology will emerge that will make us reconsider ‘influence’ once again. Anyway, I am done talking/writing about this for a while, unless myMy favorite line of the night was from Megan, when she described one of Klout score keeps tanking!Klout’s goals is to have the Klout score be perceived as the ‘PageRankfor people’, a comparison to the famous search breakthrough invented Have a great weekend!at Stanford by the founders of Google, which sorted and presented websearch results not simply by the amount and location of keywords in webpage content, but rather by an evaluation of the number and quality ofother sites that linked to the site in question. More simply put, if lots ofother sites on the web, that were judged to be of good quality linked backto a particular site, then that destination site was assessed at a higherrelative quality, and thus its ‘PageRank’ would improve.It is a concept as simple and as fundamental to any evaluation we’d makeof the quality, reliability, and trustworthiness of any person, business, orservice - if enough (or even just one if it is the ‘right’ person), people thatwe respect and value their judgment indicate that Candidate ‘X’ wouldmake a good hire for a specific role, or that Jimbo’s Plumbing Servicecan be trusted not to rip you off, then we are far more likely to heed thatadvice than we would from simply doing a cursory analysis of online 1
  2. 2. Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR 31 July 2011STEVE BOESE’S HR TECHNOLOGY and influencers in his industry, but chances are the paltry 43 connections on LinkedIn were not going to let anyone find out.Can you give a brother a +K?JUL 28, 2011 08:18A.M. And here’s one more, from the marketing space taken from a post by Mark Schaefer on the Business Grow site: Let me relate a few of my experiences this week … • A very talented friend told me he was rejected for a job at a major ad agency because his Klout score was too low. • A B2B marketing agency Managing Director told me he chose between two qualified candidates based on their Klout score. • A friend in D.C is creating a Klout 50 ClubTonight on the HR Happy Hour Show (8PM ET/ 5PM PT, rest of the exclusive to people with high Klout you are on your own), we’ll be talking about Klout, and other Why? He wants to find good hires for socialmeasures of online or digital influence in the context of sourcing, media marketing.recruiting, and career management. Can tools like Klout accuratelymeasure a concept to ambiguous as ‘influence?’ Does the Klout score • A woman told me her boyfriend was accepted toand others of its like, have any role at all in the recruiting process? How a prestigious conference based on his Kloutabout some +K action? score alone.You can listen live at 8PM ET tonight on the show page here, or on the These experiences occurred in the span of 72 hourscall in line at 646-378-1086. Sure, I know what you are thinking - those jobs are all in digitalBefore you jump to the high and mighty ground and declare that Klout, marketing and PR, and therefore using Klout as a screening tool mightand other lists of digital influence, whether created using proprietary make some sense, but out here in the real world, where 99.3% of peoplealgorithms or hand-curated by actual people, have no place in don’t even know what Klout is, it really does not matter. Possibly.professional recruiting processes, you might want to ask yourself ifyou’ve ever researched a candidate on LinkedIn, and made some kind of But on the show tonight, while talking about Klout, the discussion issubtle evaluation of said candidate simply on the number of connections really a bit more expansive than that, and I hope we can avoid gettingthey have. caught up in the nuances of algorithms, and talk about online and digital influence at a more fundamental level. I think it will make for anRecently, none other than my friend Kris Dunn, on the HR Capitalist interesting offered this observation, in the context of candidate evaluation for asales position: Our guests will be Megan Berry from Klout, and Jennifer McClure, aka CincyRecruiter, and the feisty Dawn Hrdlica-Burke, aka DawnHrRocks My client in that search forwarded me a profile of a will be along for the ride as well. Salesforce candidate from LinkedIn. “Have you talked to this guy?”. I looked at the candidate, which I hope you can join us tonight at 8PM, and if you listen and remember, was for a hunting sales pro. 43 contacts enjoy the show can you share the love with a little +K action on in LinkedIn. Klout my way? My score has been tanking lately. 43 Contacts. For a hunting sales pro. I could hear “I need some leads if I’m going to close business” in the background. Your cost of customer acquisition just tripled by hiring that guy.”For better or worse, the (lack of) LinkedIn contacts factored into aninstant perception being formed about the guy. He could be carryingaround a tattered, 25 year old Fil-o-fax (Gen Y’ers, Google it), stuffedwith all the names and contact information of the key decision makers 2
  3. 3. Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR 31 July 2011STEVE BOESE’S HR TECHNOLOGY Image from Boxvox.netPackaging and Disincentives Sure the tired old warning message still appears, but when you examineJUL 27, 2011 09:14A.M. the packaging a little more closely, you’ll notice the non-traditional shape, a very intentional design that has some interesting implications.One of my favorite ‘non-HR‘ reads is a blog called Box Vox, which is According to the package designers Jennifer Noon and Sarah Shaw:dedicated to the art and craft of product packaging design. It is a reallyinteresting site to learn more about innovations in packaging science and ‘Our primary aim was to change the structure of theto understand a bit more about how the package design attempts to pack making it less ergonomic. The pack wasinfluence buying behavior. Almost invariably, the package designers developed to be difficult to use and carry, it is hardattempt to balance design, function, the physical requirements imposed to fit into pockets due to its triangular shape and theon the package composition by the product itself, as well as the branding angled inner means the cigarettes are hard to getand promotional elements that often contribute significantly to the out. The lid is designed so that it closes efficientlyultimate purchase decision. but after a few uses it becomes weak,meaning the cigarettes can fall out if being stored in a ladiesPackaging design is big business, and in particular package re-designs of handbag.‘existing products can be very risky, take a look at this story from 2009about a colossally botched re-design by Tropicana orange juice. A few Boom. By going beyond simply advising cigarette customers about theseemingly simple changes to the graphics and type on the Tropicana potentially disastrous health outcomes from their habit, this newcarton sent long-time customers into a rage, eventually causing the package makes the practice of the habit itself much more unpleasant andcompany to revert to its time-tested and likely way more important to difficult than before, and at least theoretically places an additionalcustomers than they ever realized package design. burden on the smoker that perhaps some of them will not want to deal with.But since consumer product packaging, and even the more etherealmessaging, digital content, or even simple verbal conversations that pass Telling smokers, or really anyone that is doing something in a way thatfor a kind of ‘packaging’ that we place around our projects in the the manager, the organization, or even society would like to see stoppedworkplace are mostly centered around positive actions - we want to is often not as effective as we’d like it to be. Employees, partners, kids,incent people to do something, we sometimes don’t have a great handle whomever - keep doing silly things. Even when they have been told noton how to communicate or package something for circumstances where to. But making the practice and exercise of these undesirable behaviorswe want to stop or at least reduce a behavior or the use of a certain much more difficult and unpleasant via packaging or design or throughproduct or practice. use of physical space can often offer us more opportunities to promote change and to achieve the desired outcomes.We are all familiar with the printed warnings that have been places oncigarette packaging here in the USA for many years, but the sense we get What do you think? What else can we do when simply tellingfrom those is that while true and sobering, they really don’t make the people to behave differently is not enough?habit and practice of smoking significantly more difficult than if therewere no warnings on the packages. I bet long time smokers don’t evennotice these warnings any more. But what if the packaging itself could STEVE BOESE’S HR TECHNOLOGYdis-incent smokers from the actual action of smoking? Again from theBox Vox site, take a look at this re-imagined cigarette package: Socialcast: Collaboration Beyond the Enterprise JUL 26, 2011 07:42A.M. Today the enterprise collaboration solutions provider Socialcast (a VMWare company), announced a set of new features to augment and extend the capability in their already impressive collaboration solution. For readers that might not be familiar with Socialcast’s solution, it primarily serves as an internal enterprise activity and interest stream, where colleagues can share status updates, links to relevant content, share files, and easily create internal groups organized along organizational or project lines. More recently, Socialcast launched a product called Reach, which gives customers the ability to easily embed and include the core collaboration platform in any number of enterprise systems like ERP, CRM, or other knowledge management platforms, 3
  4. 4. Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR 31 July 2011thus taking ‘collaboration’ closer to the places and systems where the collaboration beyond a separate and isolated tool, and with the ease ofwork gets done. deployment and administration that allows the solution to take hold rapidly across and outside the enterprise.Today’s announcement of the new capability that allows enterprises todynamically create external collaboration groups, and that extends the I don’t write too many ‘new product announcement‘ type posts,collaboration platform to an organizations’ partners, customers, or even because frankly, most of them are not all that interesting. But I havesocial media fans and followers; is a natural extension of the Reach tool, been a fan of the Socialcast platform for a while, have used thetaking the collaboration environment beyond the walled garden of the collaboration tool in some of my HR Technology classes, and do feel thatinternal enterprise, to wherever and with whomever leveraging the in a crowded space that Socialcast has consistently had intelligentplatform makes sense. approaches and ideas to better enable enterprise (and beyond) forms of collaboration. More and more, success for many organizations will be at least in part determined by how they can best manage and extract value from a disparate, diverse, and fluid ecosystem of internal and external resources, and products and solutions that can help manage and support this new framework offer organizations some clear opportunities and advantages. You can learn more about Socialcast and today’s announcement at STEVE BOESE’S HR TECHNOLOGY A Pocketful of Zen Lessons JUL 25, 2011 07:37A.M.External Group View - image provided by SocialcastBeginning today, users of Socialcast can create dynamic groups to invitecontractors or suppliers to collaborate on projects, connect moreeffectively with joint venture partners, or even conduct on the flycustomer and follower focus group discussions by simply sharing a linkto an external group on Facebook or Twitter, and invite followers toparticipate. It is a great piece of functionality, and one that attempts tobegin to address the more flexible and fluid ways that organizations,teams, and individuals are getting work accomplished today.The other interesting feature that Socialcast announced today is a neworganizational charting feature that not only can graphically depict thetraditional organizational relationships and hierarchy (automaticallygenerated from Active Directory or LDAP), but also can include insightinto the external relationships with customers, suppliers, etc. that theorganization’s employees have developed over time. This new andhybrid type of an ‘extended organization chart’ is a novel idea, and one Many years ago a former colleague gave me the book you see in thethat over time in many organizations could prove to be just as valuable picture on the right, it is called ‘Zen Lessons: The Art ofas the traditional, internally facing org. chart. Leadership’, a small (so small fits in your pocket), book of Zen stories and tales meant to be a guide to ‘enlightened conduct for people inThese new features continue to strengthen Socialcast’s position in the positions of authority, based on the teachings of several greatenterprise collaboration technology space, an increasingly crowded Zen masters of China.’ It is kind of an interesting little book, andmarket where Socialcast competes with offerings from Yammer, while I don’t claim to understand all that much about Zen, seeing as mySalesforce Chatter, Socialtext, and others. Where Socialcast appears to entire education in Zen has been this pocket book and close and repeatedhave an edge, is in their realization and reaction to the changing ways of examinations of the ‘putting lesson‘ scene in Caddyshack, I havetask and resource organization in many enterprises, the need for a managed to keep this book with me through several moves, jobs, and lifecollaboration solution to support much more flexible methods of changes. 4
  5. 5. Today’s Tabbloid PERSONAL NEWS FOR 31 July 2011To get an idea of the kinds of Leadership Lessons encompassed in thetiny book, check out some of the wise sayings from the Zen lessons:On not ignoring small problems in hopes they will just disappear orremedy themselves: ‘Even dripping water, if it does not stop, canturn an orchard into a lake’.On selecting a mentor : ‘You should always follow a leader that isa little better than you, to be alerted to what you have not yetreached.’And lastly, on seeking and accepting feedback from peer and fromfollowers: ‘Only the foolish dislike to hear how they are wrongand only expect unquestioning obedience from theircommunities.’I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Actually I couldn’t goon and on very long, it is only a pocket book of Zen Leadership Lessonsafter all, certainly not meant to serve as anything more than remindersor examples of more universal kinds of truths that I imagine would takeyears and years to master. Which takes us to another question entirely -how much of something do you need to know in order to know enough ofwhat you need to know?But regardless for some reason this little pocket book has stuck with methough the years, and while I can’t necessarily point to any specificoccasions where I have applied the lessons in business or leadershipsituations, I can be sure the lessons have served me well. Simply havingthe book around is kind of comforting in a way. I suppose it is theequivalent of a good luck charm or even my version of the ‘red stapler‘from Office Space. No matter what jobs, projects, challenges that havecome the Zen Lessons have always been there, available to assist ifneeded.What about you guys? Do you have your own version of the pocket bookof Zen? What little guides or good luck charms do you make sure travelwith you as you move through your careers?I can’t be the only weird one.Right? 5