the freaking room is on fire

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Change is promoted, encouraged, fought for, and touted quite often.

Until someone tries to actually EFFECT change. See that’s where it all gets a little painful for some folks. Because let’s face it, things aren’t really that bad, not for most people reading this blog, certainly not here in Omaha, Nebraska. So change is nice and cozy to talk about in front of the fire, but when the embers start catching the rug on fire, people freak out because the FREAKING ROOM IS ON FIRE!

This is bad because:

-it threatens our safety

-it changes our environment

-it leaves us without clear boundaries

And that should and does scare a lot of people. I was recently at TruLondon in…London speaking with some pretty smart people and I heard stuff.

– Some of the brightest minds in our field come from a business discipline other than HR or Recruiting. Their fresh perspective and unwillingness to spout jargon gave them access to resources not typically allotted to an HR pro. And sometimes the ideas that are formed in that mind or on that team doesn’t really jibe with the recruiting and HR community, which has expanded to include vendors now but…

– Community does not mean the same thing to all people. Some view it as a threat. Others a glorified database. Still others a one sided, expectation laden relationship. Me? I take it at face value. And I think there are others who agree with me. During a debate on privacy online, Kevin Wheeler stated “Who grew up in a small town?” Several people raised their hands. He then followed up with: “And what was your expectation of privacy in that small town?” Posed thus, the answer was, of course ‘NONE!’ Community rules have stayed the same, but the geography is different, the tools are more sophisticated and the data travels real-time. Yes, there are motives for establishing community that are commercial. Hasn’t that always been true? But even as we make that correlation to the past….

– We get nervous when we have nothing to compare to. Our current situation (like or not) is dissimilar to anything in recent history. Even the rate of change is much MUCH larger. So many would like to compare this rapid fire acceleration to the industrial revolution or the telephone but the comparison does not make it so. We are learning and adapting at a much faster rate than predicted even ten years ago. This scares the living daylights out of institutions that have sat at the top of the heap for a even comparatively short time. For those who have existed longer, it has the terrifying sound of a death knell. So we move on to…

– Band-Aids. I touched on this a little bit after my coverage of HR Demo Show. Basically, a band-aid is a product that is designed on an already crumbling foundation. It’s very attractive to those with deep roots into the crumbly foundation, because it offers a way out. However, it’s very unattractive to those who have designed a solution or a plan for TODAY’S problem and thus need the freedom of movement to begin to attack some of those issues without the “ties that bind” it to respectability. It’s easy to dismiss something that doesn’t “race to the bottom” in terms of cost, production time, patches and the like. Something that dares to shoot for where the puck is, is a dangerous animal indeed. I mean that is simply…

– Reality, Hon. Oh reality. The slow, sad dirge of reality that says, you must rate this way. SAYS WHO? “Well it just doesn’t work!” and why not? Because the tool is faulty or because you’ve given a sophisticated drill to someone with no power outlet? A hammer to a baby? How can the environment or the user become more sophisticated save through trial and error? If reality says that this new and innovative idea must fit into the faulty, broken infrastructure that’s been handed to us, why should we accept that?

Just curious.

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