I checked the other day and noted I started this Blog 10 yrs. ago. It was on the google platform and it changed a few times. Many starts and stops. Several Management warnings. So much for the first amendment in business.
I had a few classic posts with fairly wide readership. A handful morphed into articles on sites like TLNT and a smattering of HR on-line magazines that have come and gone. It also put me on the radar for conference speaking opportunities (along with my winning a couple of very prestigious HR awards around the same time). There was also a couple of warnings to stop blogging from different members of leadership at my organizations over the past decade too.
One warning was even post employment, a “friendly reminder” to not breach confidentiality agreements from my terms of employment (and departure). To be honest I am not sure where the ‘friendly’ entered into the equation. Nothing about the conversation or the relationship was friendly then or now. Another warning was peppered with how much the individual liked my blog….it was just that risk management thing and back in 2009 it was a concern.
In the beginning the blogging was mostly curiosity. As time went on it became part platform for my views and part business diary to the issues of the day. I know a lot of my staff would follow me discreetly to know what I was thinking or focused on at any particular point in time. It became their leverage with me and that was ok for me. It was an unspoken understanding. Management also followed me and at times was a powerful tool for discussions that might not otherwise surface. It was also a source of concern for a few. What if I said something politically incorrect? What if an employee sued over something I wrote or may have inferred.
One time I had an employee who had left the organization posting some nasty comments about their departure on my blog. I quickly learned how to implement the comment moderation tool, censoring my own blog. I then posted an ugly response with a toilet bowl flushing, only to pull it down a few days later. The former employee had gotten to me and I used the blog for retribution. I also broke one of my most valued beliefs, free speech. A lesson learned the hard way.
My emotions were occasionally on full display. Always with just enough distancing of names and actual circumstances. To say I straddled the line is an understatement. I always eventually came to my senses. Many of my fellow bloggers fell pray too, like a narcotic that is hard to stop taking once you start. It seemed to be a pitfall of the hobby. Some couldn’t handle the addiction and had to stop cold turkey. A few of these early blogs were gems, original and thought-provoking with no filter. I miss the nakedness of these early blogs. Only recently has the advent of events like DisruptHR brought back that kind of unsanitized truthfulness.
Blogging also brought me into the World of the HR UNDERGROUND of consultants and a few Disrupters before the term Disrupt was even used. I interacted with these folks regularly first on-line and then at conferences where we shared the stage speaking to a variety of HR/Talent audiences. Many are still out there blazing a trail on the Web and in the conference room. A few are even writing for major publications and are occasional contributors on national TV. They are no longer viewed as the fringe, like a rock band going mainstream something happens when you hit critical mass. The only unfortunate part is it feels like you lose a little of that specialness when your no longer a secret for a chosen few. I loved bands like the Police, U2, and Greenday before they went mainstream.
Now all you need is a paypal or venmo account and a cell phone and you can be an on-line celebrity.
So now its time for me to change and evolve. I have mentioned a couple of times recently that HumanCapital3 needs to morph, or maybe I need to … As the new year approaches so will a new approach….Maybe its time I go mainstream….