Month: December 2015

Good Riddance 2015


This past Monday was deemed: “Good Riddance day” in New York City’s Time Square in preparation for the annual New Yrs. Eve Ball drop.

Folks who participated, listed unpleasant memories from the past year on paper that was literally shredded to be used as confetti to ring in 2016. Had I been there I would have had a bucket list of items to write down.

The Mets losing the world series

The NY Giants losing half a dozen games in the last 2 minutes of games

Most of my golf scores from the season

On the business front I will have to defer for the moment, It wasn’t my best year (it wasn’t my worst either). What I will say is that I have a better perspective on what I don’t like about being “radical” and disruptive. I have seen the abyss from the other side. That’s unfortunate since I also have so many positives including some great team members and vendors that I worked hand in hand with during the yr. As the saying goes: don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

So maybe good riddance is just another way of draining the bath water. Only to be replaced with new water that will one day need to be drained too.

Snakes have been on this earth much longer than humans. They shed their skin repeatedly over time as they grow. Maybe that’s all we do each new years in a metaphorical way.

With that said, I need to go fill the bath tub….2016 is right around the corner!


Being Busy is a Form of Laziness


I recently read a great blog post from Tim Ferris ,the author of the 4 – hour work week about focusing on truly important work.

In It he said: “If you consistently feel the counterproductive need for volume and doing lots of stuff, put these on a Post-it note:

  • Being busy is a form of laziness–lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
  • Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.”

It got me thinking about the myriads of time sucking meetings and projects that many of us get caught up in each day. With no tangible results to speak of. There isn’t a person reading this post who hasn’t walked out of an hour-long mtg. saying “that was a waste of an hour”.  I can’t even calculate the amount of time I have spent on projects or “required” work that had no real value. Make’s one think of “TPS” reports from the famous 1999 movie Office Space.

So I am not as radical as Tim, but I do think business leaders often mistake being busy as being productive. It’s a lot easier to load up your day with busy work as opposed to focusing 2-3 hours a day on one impactful project.

I have always found that I work best in this way, locking myself in what I commonly refer to as a WAR ROOM with one or two trusted team members and killing a project with intense focus. All of my best work has been as the result of these bursts of activity.

I am not advocating wasting 5-6 hours a day, I am saying find your zone and don’t be distracted by the dogma of your work culture…and to be honest most folks should not be working more then 8-9 hours a day, let alone 12 – 13 hour marathons…

Create your own zone and work style and don’t make excuses for it, just deliver….

Happy Holidays too all!!!

Two Truths and a Lie for HR in 2016


Remember this game from grade school? Tell two truths and one lie, and guess the lie. So lets play this for HR for the coming year.

Here are the three statements:

  1. Performance reviews as we knew them are done. Constant feedback and easy to correlate data takes its place.
  2. Recruitment, or ‘the Talent function”, splits from HR and becomes its own function.
  3. ERP Software companies finally figure out what HR needs and how to integrate it into HRIS offerings.

What do you think, which one will turn out to be the lie????


HR – Take the Plunge and Blow it up in 2016


Not HR, but everything HR does that causes pain to the organization you work for…Blow it up and start a new…

Easier said then done? Well, I can make a compelling argument that its only hard because we make ourselves believe so.

This past summer I faced an interesting dilemma. Our Performance Management System, like most organizations, was cumbersome and had minimal impact. We set goals, we measured lots of stuff, and we doled out increases and bonuses. HR acted as the gate-keeper and in the past spent hundreds of hours managing and facilitating the process. Managers dreaded the hours spent on writing and delivering each and every review.

Sound familiar???

So I suggested scrapping it and going to a variation of the Marcus Buckingham model. The CEO bought into it 100%. And then the dilemma ensued. It was less than 2 weeks from the start of the process, we had already built time lines and instructions. I suggested we implement in the spring during our mid yr. review timeline, giving us time to work through exactly how we wanted to roll it out…My CEO said, no what are we waiting for. That was on a Thursday and by the following Tuesday we had a new performance review and most of the logistics worked out…We worked over the weekend, even with a couple of conference calls…we used google docs to share and edit with a Tuesday morning finish…And we rolled with it…

We used survey monkey and had our data team help us shape the back-end. We reduced the cycle time to about 10 minutes to write with a couple of click boxes to check off and a very short comment section. We had a real-time tracker to see each managers progress, and we hit a button that printed out all the reviews in whatever format we wanted….Our time to handle the process was cut by about 90%

Morale of the story, don’t procrastinate. Take a chance…the worst that can happen is you default back to the old process. Now Take this one example and apply it to virtually everything you do that isn’t working. The hardest part is getting over the anxiety, like jumping into a pool for the first time in the summer. Once you’re in the anxiety subsides.

What are you waiting for? Everyone in the pool…