Archive for July, 2010

We’ve got the Indiana State SHRM Conference coming in a few weeks – my, how time flies – and I’ll be your intrepid reporter and blogger on site.  I’m learning that with the Crackberry Generation of HR, my posts are getting read real time on site.  Great!  As we know from performance management, fast feedback is good.  Mostly. 

We like to learn in little tidbits.  Adult learning for short attention spans…

Here is a little tidbit about the constant battle to motivate people to make healthier choices – use bar graphs.  Yup, we, the HR community, are not communicating well and research shows that people want their medical data in bar graphs.  This came from an article you can read by clicking here.  Tables of numbers don’t motivate…but our visuals kick in with colors and the relationships of big to little.  Remember this as you communicate your wellness plans…

I found this at GraphJam.com...


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In my presentations, I had been saying that unemployment was focused more on the lower education levels.  While that may be true, the length of the job search is skewing the other way.  In the data that I found on Calculated Risk, a finance blog that I follow, the story was kind of surprising.  Read the data here if you wish…

Simply put, the current mantra is ‘more education is good for you’ but this shows that it can, in the long run, hurt you if you are perceived as overeducated.  I think the message is that everyone must stay currrent with their skills, and not rest on an advanced degree.  Mental tenure is over.

Old and retired...a photographic metaphor

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Top 10 things I learned in San Diego

10 – “It’s not HR Strategy vs. Organizational Strategy.  It’s all People Strategy”

9 – Remember that your employees are concerned and confused about Heath Insurance Reform.  Communicate with them.

8 – “We Know Next” – the coming SHRM slogan and tag line.  Just letting you know it’s coming.

7 – Steve Forbes was a big hit with Boomers, a big bust with everyone younger.  He was like a boring professor to them.

6 – Have your president give the same business update speech that they give to the board to all of the employees.

5 – Non-monetary benefits are better at building engagement

4 – HR is the key to organizational sustainability, which is defined as not robbing the future to live now.

3 – The attempts to make the SHRM President and Chair of the board likeable were really lame,  The did some contrived dancing together on the stage that were, frankly, a little uncomfortable.  Teleprompter humor seldom works.

2 – a powerful statement from the VP of HR of Deutsche Bank – “If HR stays the same, we will be out of business in 5 years.”  It drew a collective gasp, then applause.

1 – The big news was Al Gore and the Wedding Ring – Everyone strained to see if he was wearing one.  He was.

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We’re here.  A favorite holiday for America.  This is the big one – and I love it.  This is the holiday that has always been with us as a country – Thanksgiving Day came much later, and most of the others have been created by marketing departments in the past.

Happy birthday, America!  Here are some photos I took to get you in the mood…

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Back at my desk and going through the pile, here are some things that just never fit into other posts… 

There was a line of taxis out front of the convention center at all times, and all of them had individual names on the cars.  Each driver had their own name – “Worldwide”  “Express” “Speedy”.  I thought this one was either really brilliant or really lame… 

He is asking for your business...


Then there are the box lunches. Clearly, market research showed that the preferred lunch was a turkey sandwich, and the preferred beverage was Diet Coke.  There were oceans of both – with sandwiches shrink wrapped and generically tasty.  In this phot0, notice how they go on forever into the horizon… 

You can have any lunch you want, as long as it is Turkey...


Then there were the escalator habits.  The “lemming” crowd psychology was odd – more than once, I was a part of the pack of people approaching an escalator, and everyone was crowding the closest escalator, and nobody looked over to the adjacent one.  It was going the same way, but was completely empty. 

I think that it is a great metaphor for many of our fellow professionals and my concern for their ability to think “outside of the box”  Nobody else using it?  Not me, either. 

Both escalators were running, and going the same way. Hmmm...


When I lived in San Diego, the constant presence of street people was just a part of living in a temperate climate.  It was a little jarring to realize that the closest neighbors to my convention hotel with 24 hour room service and $4 bottles of water in the minibar were the homeless living in the park next to the train tracks. 

Living next door...

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Want a do-over?  I’m posting this at noon on the midpoint of the year, July 1. 

I propose a new global holiday, exactly halfway through the year.  A day for reflection, atonement (if necessary) and redirection.  A day, simply put, to decide if you want to continue with the current year or to scrap it all and start fresh.  A clean sheet of paper is very therapeutic.

My new half year’s resolutions are in place.  What are yours?

This is a photo I took of South Pass, Wyoming - the halfway point of the California Trail. Many considered it a point of no return...

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Remember the  39% Wellpoint proposed premium increase that helped get health insurance reform back in play?  The company said they made some errors in calculating their projected losses and pulled the proposed increase.  We never heard about it again, until now.

I’m out here in CA for the conference, and saw the follow up story in the paper.  Not sure if this got much play anywhere else.  Read the article here.  Interesting that they admit they got the premium calculations wrong…

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