Talent Rules Effective Immediately
Our progress over the past few years is encouraging. Talent management has moved to a prime leadership agenda spot. Internal partners in human capital are better aligned and cooperating towards a common, “business first” agenda. The external talent ecosystem is providing more useful and sustainable insight and support.
Yet there are small distractions which imped our evolution. In order to remove these small obstacles, the following talent rules are effectively immediately:
1. The word ‘engagement’ is temporarily suspended from the profession’s vocabulary until such time as it has specific meaning again and does not apply to every consulting practice known to modern man.
2. Business publications such as the Harvard Business Review cannot recycle old topics without a five year waiting period, even if they use better graphics.
3. Celebrities and sports figures speaking at talent conferences should be labeled as the entertainment portion of the agenda and not as serious material for application in the business world. But of course, autographs and pictures together are quite acceptable given what they are charging.
4. The popular press can only publish stories about the innovative organizations abandoning the ‘evil performance appraisal process’ in the year in which the cicada bug returns.
5. Best selling management authors must devote their opening chapter of their newest work by reporting how their last book’s hand-selected-to-prove-my-theory organizations turned out. The updated list will use the following categories: “now bankrupt”, “disgraced executives”, “bought out and no long around” and “fell back in the pack”. The final chapter will admit that enduring success is quite fleeting. Business is really about hard work, risk taking, rallying all your smarts and more than a bit of luck to win in an ever-changing marketplace. Plus human beings are quite unpredictable.
6. Trendy talent ideas with spotty track records must include a disclosure: “Warning: While this idea sounds great, some users have experienced disappointing results over time. In fact, some CEOs hate this idea and have tossed it out of their organizations.”
7. All e-learning and human capital systems representatives are banded from blanketing companies with generic, CRM-generated spam emails and uninvited cold calls. Each violation will register the bothersome firm’s CEO personal phone number on the global telemarking call-me-anytime database.
8. Anyone claiming their singular practice is responsible for a jump in margin, sales and profitability must stay after school and write on the chalkboard 100 times, “correlation is not causality”.
9. Big companies will pay the invoices of small consulting firms without delay, regardless of the CFO’s notion about using little guys as the company’s banker. Likewise, consulting firms will not tuck “administration fees” into invoices which suspiciously cover the interest costs of delayed payments … and then some.
10. A human capital technology vendor cannot sell their company until the CEO visits each customer and personally apologize for abandoning them to make a pile of money. The acquiring CEO is forbidden to make shaky promises about supporting the legacy system. The acquiring CEO must also warn clients that he or she is also waiting around for a buyout from an even bigger technology vendor.
11. All admiring articles about the current business darlings (Google, etc.), must include a “best to use before X date” freshness label. Further, each notice will include a reference to the passing fancy of Apple, GE, IBM and even GM as past “most admired” companies.
12. Professors and consultants will begin their writing and speeches by describing their personal track record of accountable results before launching into their latest notion of getting better results.
13. The Conference Board Review magazine will drop the insulting “HR You’re Doing It Wrong” column or go all in with equally shrill columns such as “CFO You Are Going to Jail With That Accounting” and “CEO Short-Timer, Such A Nice Paycheck!”
14. Henceforth, any new talent management system or initiative will not be introduced unless it reduces the number of concepts, steps or clicks for the sake of simplicity. In no case will a practice be introduced that cannot be explained in three simple sentences.
15. Finally, columnists must attribute their topic inspiration as appropriate. So thank you Bill Bryson for your example of setting the world straight with your ‘rules for living’.
(c) 2014 Kevin Wilde