Gentle reader, I must own up to moments of doubt.
At the start of each month, I keep wondering if this will be the month when the wheels come off the HR blogging wagon, and there just won't be anything out there to spotlight in these monthly round-ups.
But as each month progresses, I'm always amazed by the unending stream of brilliant, inspired and informed writing on the most unexpected topics that comes through from the world of #hrblogs!
This month's round-up is the largest yet, covering a bewildering array of topics - including bow ties, cheesesteaks, samurai swords and mean muggin HR!
But first, let's celebrate a particularly notable blogging anniversary:
- This month, the great Naomi Bloom celebrated three years of her In Full Bloom blog - one of the very best of all the #hrblogs, in my opinion. Do please make a point of checking out Naomi's blog, and please also follow Naomi on Twitter.
Best of the HR blogs: 17 great HR blog posts from November 2012
My selection of the month's best HR blog posts is listed in alphabetical order by author surname.
- Jason Averbook: Do you think 'Perpetual Beta'?
A thought-provoking video post from Jason Averbook. In under a minute, Jason explores a key issue in the world of HR technology: "Perpetual beta" (defined as "new releases two, three or four times a year)." He argues that HR can learn from the "agile" approach that is increasingly adopted by developers in order to manage and deliver change, and to avoid becoming stale. Please do spare the meagre 48 seconds required to watch this great video! Follow Jason on Twitter.
- Steve Browne: Together As One !!
"If we want HR to be better - we need to be together !! If we want SHRM to be better - we need to be together !! If we truly want to be global - we need to be together !!" 'Nuff said! This inspiring post from the great Steve Browne on "expanding boundaries" can be taken as a manifesto for making HR better, globally. Like Steve says: "It's going to happen !!" Follow Steve on Twitter.
- Heather Bussing: Trash Your Policy Manual
Now here's a simple but extremely thought-provoking proposition: "What if you got rid of your policy manual?" Heather argues that HR can avoid things turning into "a game of policy Whack-A-Mole" by stripping the policy manual right down. She identifies a "big 4" of policies to delete. I'd love to know what you make of Heather's idea here! Follow Heather on Twitter.
- Melissa Fairman: Now Hiring HR Tech Geeks
Will the geeks inherit the HR world? Melissa argues that "the third wave of the digital age" will be "all about HR" - and more specifically about the "HR Tech Geeks." And for readers interested in how such trends could affect the gender balance of the HR profession, please do check out this timeless classic post from Naomi Bloom: Is HR Really A Pink-Collared Ghetto? Follow Melissa on Twitter.
- Kate Griffiths-Lambeth (and son): Looking Ahead - Are You LOL-ing Around?
Surely a first in the world of HR blogs - a joint post by mother and child (if I'm wrong about this, please do send through examples!). Kate looks at unusual approaches to identifying "the leaders of the future." I particularly like Kate's point about how "school leavers, with their honed abilities to text and observe occurrences on multiple screens simultaneously, [are] already demonstrating the skills we would require going forward. We and they could benefit from the skills they had developed through their own activities with friends and areas of interest." Her 14 year old son then takes up the theme, arguing that the world of online video gaming (for example in the more specific area of MOBAs - Massive Online Battle Arenas) can help nurture many of the skills that will be required of the workers and leaders of tomorrow. This post explores similar territory to my recent report on @JohnSumser's track at the recent TRULondon unconference, in which he argued that Generation Y offers a huge, untapped resource of technical ability. Sumser argued that "through gaming, the 'video game generation' has effectively built up a wealth of skills that are of great potential value to organisations, but which are uniformly discounted by employers as they are not recognised by formal qualifications." Follow Kate on Twitter.
- Justin Harris: Meetings Give Me Hives
Are all those meetings really the most productive thing that we could be doing with our working day? Justin makes a very compelling point here that much of the time we devote to meetings would be better used "for work, not for talk about work. I have stuff to do." Justin's advice? "Let your employees channel that excitement they walked in with to crank out some frickin' results!" I also really like his suggestion that employers use Twitter to share information, rather than book yet another meeting. Follow Justin on Twitter.
- Paul Hebert: Managing By 140 Characters - Why You Can't Trust Anyone
"[W]ith one hand the internet and SoMe [social media] gives - with the other it takes." Social media present an unprecedented and invaluable way to access and share information. But - as Paul argues here - it also "takes a lot more work than ever to get the real valuable stuff." Paul makes a great point about attention-grabbing headlines on HR topics that promise much and deliver very little. Like the man says: "[D]on't just take what they say at face value. Recognize that you have a responsibility in this process." Follow Paul on Twitter.
- Rob Jones: The One With The Blind Spot
Unconscious (or anecdotal) bias. Have you ever experienced it in the workplace? Or might you even exhibit it in the workplace? In this post, Rob Jones takes a hard look at the "unconscious biases" that can influence our thinking and decision-making, and argues that if we can recognise where "unconscious biases" come into play, then we can seek to "manage them out," rather than let them influence us. Some of the examples Rob cites also raise questions about the extent to which perceptions of HR as a female-dominated profession can create "unconscious bias" towards HR. These themes are explored further in Rob's great comment on my 2011 post Is 'pink-collar ghetto' an apt term for the HR profession?. Follow Rob on Twitter.
- Sharlyn Lauby: Data Is Everywhere
A lovely little post from the HR Bartender blog, in which Sharlyn Lauby conjures up a great metaphor for data overload: "The key isn't finding tons of data. It's finding the right data. Think of it as the difference between quenching your thirst with a glass of water and drinking through a fire hose. Being able to curate data is a necessary skill." Spot on about the key importance of data curation, Sharlyn! Follow Sharlyn on Twitter.
- Sarah Miller: My 100% Assured System of Training People To Engage On Social Media
I think this post is just wonderful - Sarah sets out six easy and very enjoyable steps to get social media-hesitant HR professionals up and running on social media! And she also provides a thoroughly acceptable option for those who just flat-out refuse to have any truck with social media. Sarah very kindly allowed me to share this post with XpertHR's readers as a guest post on this very blog. Follow Sarah on Twitter.
- Rick: Two Decades In HR - Has Anything Really Changed?
A superb look back on two decades' service in the HR profession, PLUS a very interesting theory on why "managing people is a bit like tying a bow-tie." Essential reading. Follow Rick on Twitter.
- Buzz Rooney: Mean Muggin HR
Now, I have to confess that "mean muggin" was a brand-new phrase to me when I read Buzz's post...but once you know what it means, it's very interesting to consider Buzz's point (via her son) that "HR is guilty of mean muggin." I recommend that the mean muggin-curious head straight to Buzz's post to find out more! And for anybody that is interested in reading more about the key role of the mug in HR, please read this post from Flora Marriott: Mug Rescuers Required! (but don't worry - there was a happy ending). Follow Buzz on Twitter.
- Robin Schooling: Of Cheesesteaks And Social Media
Robin shares "a story about the power of connections" to illustrate just what social media can offer HR. Not only is this a great little story, but I also love Robin's rationale for sharing it: "[B]ecause I find many people still don't quite understand how an 'online' connection can become a true member of one's extended community." I can only applaud these words: "I like to share stories such as this over and over and over again because I think they're perfect examples of how online connections, founded and nurtured via social media, can evolve. Communities spring up and one day you can look around and see that you do have a strong and powerful network - of people." Follow Robin on Twitter.
- Bonni Titgemeyer: Really?
"Really? I'm like totally spent already, and actually, do you mean that literally I am going to have to fix this all by myself?" Can you spot the grammaticall howlers (deliberately) committed by Bonni Titgemeyer in the preceding sentence? I absolutely love this post, which looks at issues around clarity and accuracy of communication as they relate to HR. Bonni makes a key point that goes to the core of what HR is all about: "[W]e are what we say, or more importantly how we say it. I wonder how 'OK' it is for us folks to reach into the familiar and use less-than-perfect grammar to make points." She also raises interesting issues as to just how flexible we might need to be in our communications if we enter "the Twitter universe where sometimes you have to be quite sloppy (or clever, depending on your point of view) to get your point across." Superb post! In fact, I'm tempted to say this might be one of the best two or three HR blog posts I've ever read... Follow Bonni on Twitter.
- Bonni Titgemeyer: The Joys Of #TEPHR
A second post from Bonni's blog. This one's a simple and lovely celebration of the joys of Twitter chats. Bonni's really onto something here: "Where did all these nice HR folks come from? Why is it so easy to get to know them?" She also shares some great advice about how not to approach social media: "People who only connect to get something are takers, and have no idea how to build something great by giving." Follow Bonni on Twitter.
- Julie Waddell: Me In Full-On HR mode
As seasoned readers of these round-ups will know, tweets are eligible for inclusion, as they are a form of microblogging. With that in mind, I'm pleased and proud to spotlight this awesome wee tweet from Canada's very own Julie Waddell (with a polite hat tip to Michonne from The Walking Dead)! Follow Julie on Twitter.
- Jane Watson: What HR Can Learn from TEDxToronto
Although written entirely independently from Kate Griffiths-Lambeth's (and son) post mentioned upthread, Jane's post on a TEDxToronto event on alchemy that she attended earlier this month makes for a great companion piece. I particularly like this key learning point that Jane took from this session: "The technology innovators of the future are not learning their skills at school." Jane also poses what I think will prove a key question for HR in the coming years: "Should organizations intercede earlier and more holistically into readying the future workforce, rather than deploying narrowly focused employee training?" Follow Jane on Twitter.
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- My 10 favourite HR blog posts of 2011