UBER-ing: 5 Thoughts About Naming Your Primary Conference Room The WAR ROOM...

In case you missed it, one of the outcomes of the Uber fiasco - in addition to an indefinite leave for the CEO, departure of a board member for an inappropriate comment during an all-hands meeting among other things - was that the company will be renaming it's primary conference/board room from "The War Room" to "The Peace Room".  More from Bloomberg:

Uber is trying to turn a new chapter in its history, and is renaming its "War Room" the "Peace Room," according to Bloomberg. Uber

On Tuesday, Uber released a 13-page report it had commissioned from Eric Holder, the former US attorney general, and his firm, which sought to evaluate and make recommendations for changes to Uber's corporate culture.

"Several of Uber’s planned changes are symbolic," Bloomberg's Eric Newcomer wrote. "For example, a conference room known as the War Room will be renamed the Peace Room."

Uber will also jettison many of its "cultural values." Here are a few that are getting the ax: “Let Builders Build; Always Be Hustlin’; Meritocracy and Toe-Stepping; and Principled Confrontation.”

Where at we meeting at Kinetix today?  THE WAR ROOM.  Should we change thatname?  Here's some thoughts from the a company where the halls are orange and the majority owner is a woman:

--If I'm apologetic to anyone from our primary conference room being named the War Room, it's not the folks who expect political correctness, it's veterans who have participated in armed conflict.  Business isn't war.  If a hat tip is necessary to anyone, it's vets.

--Our culture is pretty far from Uber.  I'm not sure renaming the room is necessary for us.

--We've named all of our offices, and most of them are pop culture movie and music references.  So the rest of the names are pretty soft.

--We don't have the values that Uber had, but our values are pretty action-oriented.  War room fits the action orientation.

--My CEO would fire me if I changed the name of The War Room to The Peace Room.  Too much.  I'd fire me too.

I get why Uber is doing all of these visible things.  They need to overcorrect.  The rest of us don't.  "Always Be Hustlin'" as a value?  Tells you all you need to know.

Alternatives if you need to change the name of "The War Room" to something else:

--The Conflict Room (lame)

--Politically Incorrect (descriptive, but presents liability)

--Mosh Pit (rock is dead, won't work..)

--Hunger Games (probably true and pop culture reference fits)

--Let's Get It On 

Scratch that last one, that was from Uber's list right before they named it The War Room....

Hit me with your best option in the comments to rename "The War Room".... If you say "Conference Room 1", I'll slap you.


MESSED UP PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Wall Selfie in Workplace (Confidential)...

Yeah, so I travel a bit for work - and I always try and grab some photos.  Ended up at a employer not to be named and took this one a few months back.  To be fair, this wasn't in the entrance of the building but a next level hallway.  Take a look and I've got a comment or two after the jump (email subscribers click through for image):

Selfie

Comments:

--Yes, that's a selfie being taken by a camera, not a smartphone.

--Yes, it's unclear if there's a viewfinder which would indicate it's digital over film.  We're not sure.

--Employer business is focused on sales to youth.  No, I'm not ####ing you.

Bonus points for getting the good looking people right.  Note to marketing director - just take the original art/image and cut that #### down and make it this:

Selfie2

I'm here for you, companies of the Brontosaurus age.  You're vintage, I'll give you that.

 

 


Best Predictors of Higher Income Attainment in 12 Year Old Kids? Rule Breaking/Defiance of Parental Authority Of Course...

Ready for some science today?  Of course you are.  You want to be taken back to the college days where you'd figure out how to game the Dewey Decimal System to find the right cites for that lame research paper you had to write.

Actually, this cite is kind of cool - it comes from the Journal of Developmental Psychology Defiant kidand breaks down Best Predictor of Higher Income Attainment in 12 Year Old Kids... That's right, they measured a bunch of kids 30-40 years ago and tracked them.

Turns out, the rule breakers and the kids who are hard on their parents win.  Check out the full abstract below for some details...

--------------------------

Student characteristics and behaviors at age 12 predict occupational success 40 years later over and above childhood IQ and parental socioeconomic status.

Spengler M, et al. Dev Psychol. 2015.
 
Authors
Spengler M1Brunner M2Damian RI3Lüdtke O4Martin R1Roberts BW3.

Author information

  • 1University of Luxembourg.
  • 2Free University.
  • 3University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • 4Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education.

Drawing on a 2-wave longitudinal sample spanning 40 years from childhood (age 12) to middle adulthood (age 52), the present study was designed to examine how student characteristics and behaviors in late childhood (assessed in Wave 1 in 1968) predict career success in adulthood (assessed in Wave 2 in 2008). We examined the influence of parental socioeconomic status (SES), childhood intelligence, and student characteristics and behaviors (inattentiveness, school entitlement, responsible student, sense of inferiority, impatience, pessimism, rule breaking and defiance of parental authority, and teacher-rated studiousness) on 2 important real-life outcomes (i.e., occupational success and income). The longitudinal sample consisted of N = 745 persons who participated in 1968 (M = 11.9 years, SD = 0.6; 49.9% female) and 2008 (M = 51.8 years, SD = 0.6; 53.3% female). Regression analyses and path analyses were conducted to evaluate the direct and indirect effects (via education) of the predictors on career success. The results revealed direct and indirect influences of student characteristics (responsible student, rule breaking and defiance of parental authority, and teacher-rated studiousness) across the life span on career success after adjusting for differences in parental SES and IQ at age 12.

One surprising finding was that rule breaking and defiance of parental authority was the best noncognitive predictor of higher income after accounting for the influence of IQ, parental SES, and educational attainment. Given the nature of our archival data, the possible explanations are rather ad hoc and our exploratory results need to be replicated.

For instance, individuals who scored low on Agreeableness were also shown to earn more money (Judge, Livingston, & Hurst, 2012). One explanation Judge and colleagues (2012) gave for this finding was that it might be because of the fact that such individuals value competition more than interpersonal relations and therefore want to advance their interests relative to others. Another explanation might be that individuals with higher levels of rule breaking and defiance of parental authority also have higher levels of willingness to stand up for their own interests and aims, a characteristic that leads to more favorable individual outcomes (Barry & Friedman, 1998)—in our case, income. This may be one of the reasons why defiance of parental authority plays a role in determining income—students who show higher levels of rule breaking and defiance are more likely to engage in negotiations about earning and payment (see Judge at al., 2012) and fight more strongly to achieve personal benefits. We also cannot rule out that individuals who are likely or willing to break rules get higher pay for unethical reasons. For instance, research in the field of organizational psychology showed that employees invest in unethical or deviant workplace behavior when they are not satisfied with their income and when they have a high level of love of money (Tang & Chiu, 2003). Thus, this kind of behavior might in turn lead to higher income. Nevertheless, further research is needed to better understand the construct and its mechanisms.

---------------------------

KD NOTES - My favorite parts of that abstract are as follows...

--individuals who scored low on Agreeableness were also shown to earn more money

--students who show higher levels of rule breaking and defiance are more likely to engage in negotiations about earning and payment

--We also cannot rule out that individuals who are likely or willing to break rules get higher pay for unethical reasons (whoops!)

The kids are alright.  It's just that some of them are going to get paid based on how they are wired, and some of them aren't.  Embrace the difficult child in your household, people. 


HR PROBLEM: When LinkedIn Recruiter Doesn't Work For Your Team...

Here's a new world take on an old-world saying:

"No one ever got fired for buying recruiting services from LinkedIn"

That's a spin off on what our boomer fathers/mothers/grandparents used to say back in the day: LinkedInRecruiter

"No one ever got fired for buying IBM".

New world. Same type of saying.

If there's one thing that's true, it's that LinkedIn is ubiquitous these days when it comes to recruiting. As i've written before, the old big job board world got pushed aside by the Indeed (owns the new job board posting, powered by SEO), LinkedIn owns the candidate database and Glassdoor owns company reputation.  With the launch of Google for Jobs, this current order is likely to change again.

But the problem for Indeed/LinkedIn/Glassdoor comes back to monetization.  What's the best way to get people to pay for the service?

For LinkedIn, it's putting together a package of job postings, company page assistance, display/social ads and a tool called LinkedIn Recruiter.  LinkedIn is masterful at selling all this in bundles, because that's the best way to maximize revenue and limit focus on the effectiveness of any one feature/tool.  Everyone gets job postings as a concept and will pay for them.  Check out my company's breakdown of the major platform's version of social ads and their effectiveness (LinkedIn trails other options) for a deeper dive into that LinkedIn tool set.

That leaves us with LinkedIn Recruiter.  Ah yes.  Here's the feature set you get when you buy LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, pulled from the LinkedIn solutions page:

  • Zero in on the right person with 20+ Premium search filters
  • View full profiles for the entire LinkedIn network – all 460M+ members
  • Contact anyone with 150 InMail messages per month per team member
  • Easily and collaboratively manage your pipeline
  • See what your team’s up to with powerful reporting and analytics tools
  • Source on the go with Recruiter Mobile, the iPhone and Android app

All that is great and btw, I think LinkedIn is a great service.  Love it or hate it, they've built something truly useful.  It's what you pay for that can be the issue.

When it comes to LinkedIn Recruiter, you're conceptually paying for a form of access to candidates that others don't have.  My company (Kinetix) has onboarded new recruiting clients and had HR and TA leaders provide us access to up to 20 LinkedIn Recruiter licenses.  When we go in and look at those, it's shocking to see the level of adoption present.

Bottom line - There's a lot of companies that buy LinkedIn Recruiter licenses because they're bundled with job postings, and the sales people are trained not to remove the bundle.  There's a good reason for that - job postings almost always get used, but LinkedIn Recruiter licenses can sit vacant and well, it will just go unnoticed and we'll say those recruiters are lazy, etc.

But recruiters aren't lazy for the most part - but they are who they are behaviorally.  Some are hunters, most are farmers.  To use LinkedIn Recruiter effectively, you've got to work - and hunt by really personalizing the InMails you send.  Here's a clip from a LinkedIn product manager describing how the best recruiters use InMail to get great results over at Fast Company:

This may seem cliché, but using the word “connect” tends to boost response rates for InMail. The same goes for mentioning that you’d like to follow up—using terms like “talk,” “chat,” “call,” etc. can all improve response rates.

But don’t go much further than that! Among the InMail recruiters send, we’ve actually found that phrases related to scheduling (like specific days of the week), salary, and sharing email addresses, all tend to decrease the likelihood of response.

If you're imaging what % of your recruiters have the ability/time/smarts to become email marketers and do a drip marketing campaign to a passive candidate and nurture them over time, you're right to think the low numbers that come to mind in your head...

It's 1 out of 10.  That's why so many LinkedIn Recruiter licenses sit dormant.  They can't do what's required to make InMail effective, so their response rates crater and they don't use the tool. But you bought the job postings.  Hell - you needed them.  But there's a reason that LinkedIn bundles it's stuff with such a high degree of urgency.

It's because some of the stuff doesn't work for the vast majority of recruiters.  Doesn't mean it's not a great product - but it does mean that you can't provide a $50,000 violin to a county fair-level banjo player and expect them to use it.

Sometimes the banjo player just needs a banjo.

But if your music store is telling you they can only sell you a banjo WITH the $50,000 violin - well, then you have a decision to make.


Targeting Companies Doing Layoffs in Recruiting Strategy - Smart or Lame?

If there's ever been something that's generated a "yeah, duh" in the halls of corporate America, it is the following:

"Company Z just announced a big layoff.  We should go after them from a recruiting perspective."

Well, yeah.  No Sh##.  The devil of course, is in the details.  That's what makes this recent tweet by Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, so interesting.  He's going direct and talking to up to 5,000 people recently impacted by a Microsoft layoff, encouraging them to consider a career at Salesforce.  See the tweet below (email subscribers enable pictures or click through for image):

 Microsoft announced July 6 that it would cut 10% of its global sales team — around 5,000 people. Around the same time, Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois resigned, although it's unclear whether his departure was related to the company's reorganization.

But back to the concept of recruiting people from companies doing layoffs.  Thoughts/questions for your reading pleasure and comments:

  1. Do we really want the laid off people?  They were the weak ones, right?  (damn - that's harsh. Bear with me)
  2. At the end of the day, most of us would love to create FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) in the minds of everyone at the targeted company.  Benioff has a big enough microphone to do that on a macro basis, but the rest of us can't really do that.  Neither can our CEOs, because most of them are babies when it comes to their use of social, their following, etc.
  3. That means in order to target survivors, your recruiters have to do the equivalent of the Mosul ground initiative (read up on your news!) and plant FUD the old fashioned way - by reaching out to candidates one at a time.
  4. But let's face it, if there was ever a time where you were going to reach to a passive candidate or two at a competitor with a "just checking in, heard about the BS" note, it's when a layoff occurs. Sadly, most TA shops have so much going on this won't happen unless it's demanded.
  5. Follow up notes on the value of laid off candidates - I believe they have value.  The bigger the layoff (5,000 is pretty big) and the better the economy when it happens (means the company missed on strategy, not a reflection of the talent), the more there will be high quality employees in the layoff.

Should we recruit from competitors who just announced a layoff?

Um - yeah.

But it's harder than it looks.  And you're CEO tweeting is likely to give you jack in the process.  So get ready to roll up your sleeves and spend a day targeting and pinging candidates with a personalized message.

PS - Benioff is talking to the survivors at Microsoft as much as he's talking to the impacted.  That's the value of having a rock star CEO who can "imply" a whole bunch of things with the social megaphone they have.

 


NASHVILLE - What Happens When An Employment Market Becomes Too Cool For School....

If you know anything about the Southeast US where I live, there's a couple of big realities from a lifestyle/work perspective:

--Atlanta is the capital

--The Southeast is booming in general

--There's no hotter market than Nashville, or as I like to call it, #Nashvegas

Since I travel a lot for work, I tend to measure how hot a market is for business, employment and cultural gravity by the general availability/price of hotels in the market.  By that measure, Nashville is red hot.  It's hard to find a business class hotel that won't make you cringe for less than the high $100s or right at/above $200.

That's a lot.  Compare to the market to Atlanta, where great rooms can be found from $110 to $140, and it's clear that Nashville is booming.  Because of the boom over the last decade, inventory on the hotel and Nashvegashousing front hasn't caught up to the demand yet.

Why is Nashville so hot?  Many would tell you that the growth is a function of multiple factors - including a centralized metropolitan government that generally allows the metro to work together (see more about the government setup here), a unique cultural pull with origins in country music (expanding beyond that taste, but still the flagship) and an emerging hipster dufus vibe ITP (inside the perimeter).

Add it all up, and employers have been flocking to Nashville for the last 10-15 years.

But with great growth and a lagging housing market comes a few problems - namely what it costs to live "comfortably" in Nashville.  More from the Nashville Business Journal:

"It is obvious that living in Music City is starting to add up, and now a study shows the city has seen the greatest year-over-year cost of living increase in the nation.

Released by financial planning website GoBankingRates, the study compared the change each of city's cost of living index from Numbeo to GoBankingRates's metrics for how much annual income it takes to "live comfortably" in a city. For instance, it takes a salary of $70,150 to live comfortably in Nashville today, according to the study.

Local home prices have skyrocketed recently, with the median single-family sales price in Nashville in June of this year at more than $293,000, according to the Greater Nashville Realtors. For comparison, Nashville’s median sales price hit $200,000 for the first time in June of 2013.

Last year, a Nashville Business Journal analysis of wealth data from researcher Esri found the average net worth of Greater Nashville’s most affluent areas had increased by 48 percent, increasing the Greater Nashville's inequality ratio to 5.7. That means the wealthiest 20 percent of ZIP codes in the region have an average net worth that is 5.7 times larger than the average net worth of the bottom 20 percent. This gap has climbed from an inequality ratio of 4.47 in 2013."

If you click through and dig in, you'll find some gems related to how much income you need to live comfortably in Nashville compared to some other cities of note:

Los Angeles - $76,047

Seattle - $75,283

Nashville - $70,150

San Diego - $69,958

Atlanta - $62,184

Dallas - $57,984

Austin - $54,631

Louisville - $48,897

Want some analysis of those numbers?  It's now cheaper to live comfortably in Atlanta than it is in Nashville.  Also, if you ruled out the west coast as a professional living in Nashvegas, you might want to look again, because your standard of living is similar to those who live in San Diego, Seattle and yes, Los Angeles.

Of course, you won't see Dolly Parton pulling through a Jack's in Seattle like I did in Nashville in 2006.

Final note - Austin is widely thought to be an incredibly hot market with many similarities in cultural pull and hipster vibe to Nashville. If you were buying stock by the measure listed above, you would sell on Nashville and buy Austin.

The market never lies.  Nashville's a great town, but these numbers show it may have heated to the point where it's going to level off from an employment perspective soon.

 

 

 


PURE GOLD: On the Topic of Age Bias and Startup Culture...

Old people are..just so..so..so...old!

Coming off a two-day blitz to finish some interviewing training, and what interviewing training would be complete without a section on non-Title VII bias that impacts us all?  Turns out, science shows we all like a certain type of person no matter their qualifications.  Among the things we're suckers for:

--attractive people...

--smooth communicators...

--people who are alums from the school we went to...

--candidates who tell us we are both attractive and smooth as part of the interview...

Kidding about the last one.  You know what's not listed above as something we are subconsciously attracted to?  People who are older than us (related to attractiveness for sure).  That's why this farce blog post from a fictional startup was so accurate - it basically just says it all.  Check out these excerpts from the post at McSweeneys and then go read the whole thing:

"Hello, and welcome to our startup. We hope you’re enjoying your complimentary snifter of vaporized coconut water. Once you’re done, please place the glass into one of the blue receptacles around the office, which will send the glass to be washed and dried. Do not place it into one of the red receptacles. The red receptacles take whatever you put inside of them and launch it into space.

As you can probably tell by looking around, every employee at our startup is 23 years old. On the morning of your 24th birthday, the barcode on your employee ID stops working and you can no longer enter our building. We do this to ensure our company has a ceaseless, youthful energy. We believe old people are displeasing to look at and also, bad at ideas.

Care for a nap? Well, you are more than welcome to take a quick, refreshing nap in one of our many nap pods. You will be lulled to sleep by the soothing sound of our 23-year-old founder softly whispering startupy things such as, “Disruption,” and “Like Uber, but for horses.”

Go read it all.  It's all truer than we'd like to admit at all companies who chase culture as part of a strategic plan.


The Perils of Your Company Culture Becoming Sales-Focused (Above All Else)...

Nothing happens without sales.  Treat your salespeople right, because unless they kill something, nobody eats.

For the reasons stated above, it's not wrong for the leaders of your company to want to transform your culture into a sales machine.  The problem happens when people who weren't hired to sell suddenly find themselves with quotas but no idea of what to do next.

I was reminded of the perils of leaders trying to transform a decent culture into one that is purely revenue-focused by two things over the holiday weekend.  First, this from Fast Company on the Tesla acquisition of one-time solar energy darling SolarCity:

If there was one sign that the company was flying too close to the sun, it was, many felt, an extravagant sales-team huddle in Las Vegas around March 2015. In a scene straight out of HBO’s Silicon SolarCity.IPO_1Valley, Barnard, then SolarCity’s chief revenue officer, burst onto the stage in front of Lyndon, Peter, and 1,300 employees (Musk would arrive later) at Hakkasan nightclub, rapping over Nicki Minaj and Drake’s hit “Truffle Butter” while surrounded by provocatively dressed dancers. At another point, he appeared dressed as Helios, the Greek sun god, wearing a green suit of armor designed by the same people who created the Iron Man costume for that movie. “The party was cool,” recalls hip-hop artist Chingy, who also performed. “Lots of energy, a beautiful crowd. We shined like the sun.” There was, after all, much for them to celebrate. SolarCity was by then the clear industry leader, owning a third of the residential market and handling more installations than its next 50 competitors combined. (Barnard explains that he was only trying to rally his troops, and strongly denies that the culture became bro-y. “I don’t tolerate that bullshit,” he says.)

OK - that's fun, but what follows shows how the grind to create revenue and keep growth rolling quarter/quarter and year/year can result in less than stellar sales practices:

The company’s growth rate—it was hiring 100 sales reps a week to help hit aggressive targets—led to some dubious tactics when it came to marketing SolarCity’s zero-money-down concept. Many sources felt that the drive to hook customers often eclipsed any concerns about whether they would follow through with the lease purchase. “You had all these poorly trained reps basically going, ‘Just sign here! Don’t worry, you can cancel any time!’ ” says a former sales director. “People were treating it like signing off on iTunes’ terms and conditions.

The company’s average cancellation rate increased to 45% or higher; its door-to-door sales team saw rates of 70%, multiple sources say. (The SEC is reportedly probing the lack of public disclosures around cancellation rates in the solar industry. A spokesperson for SolarCity says that rates have improved, and that the company reports on “installed assets,” rather than “preinstallation cancellation rates.”) With competition in the solar space increasing, SolarCity engaged in a pricing war with many of its rivals, a race to the bottom that hurt deal profitability.

If there's one thing that seemingly happens a lot when companies/employees are under incredible pressure to sell, it's the emergence of low quality/borderline fraudulent sales that might not ever generate revenue as outlined above at SolarCity.

I wrapped up the holiday week by listening to some former Wells Fargo employees talk about the account fraud that happened at the company, with over 2.1 million fake accounts created by associates at the giant retail bank.  To hear my dinner companions tell it, everyone in the company knew it was going on. Find a good rundown of what happened at Wells Fargo here - and here's a great snapshot of what can go wrong when you say EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE IN SALES at your company:

“Cross-selling,” it’s called, and virtually all banks want to do more of it. Once a customer opens a checking or savings account, maybe he or she would also like an auto loan or overdraft protection or a credit card. The more products a customer has with a bank, the more money the bank makes and the less likely the customer is to leave. That’s why all banks cross-sell. But arguably no bank has ever done it with the fevered intensity of Wells Fargo.

Training in “questionable sales practices was required or you were to be fired,” a former employee tells Fortune. “We were constantly told we would end up working for McDonald’s” for not meeting quotas, a former branch manager told the Los Angeles Times in 2013; another former branch manager said employees “talked a homeless woman into opening six checking and savings accounts with fees totaling $39 a month.” 

The message was clear to everyone in the retail bank: “The route to success was selling more than your peers,” the board’s investigation found—not profitability or customer satisfaction, but simply selling more products to each customer. Everyone knew the goals were sheer fantasy for many branches and employees. At some branches not enough customers walked in the door, or area residents were too poor to need more than a few banking products. Bank leaders called overall quotas “50/50 plans” because they figured only half the regions could meet them. Yet no excuses were tolerated. You met the quotas or paid a price.  The predictable result: fake accounts.

Ugh. Companies can't succeed without sales.  But leaders who are trying to transform from product/service cultures to become sales machines at all costs generally fail.  More often than not with jail time being possible/likely for someone involved.


PEOPLE STAT OF THE DAY: Jobs in The Steel Industry & Automation...

I'll just leave this here...

14 people make 500,000 tons of steel annually at a location in Austria.

Not a typo.

From BusinessWeek on automation in the steel industry:

The Austrian village of Donawitz has been an iron-smelting center since the 1400s, when ore was dug from mines carved out of the snow-capped peaks nearby. Over the centuries, Donawitz developed into the Hapsburg Empire’s steel-production hub, and by the early 1900s it was home to Europe’s largest mill. With the opening of Voestalpine AG’s new rolling mill this year, the industry appears secure. What’s less certain are the jobs.

The plant, a two-hour drive southwest of Vienna, will need just 14 employees to make 500,000 tons of robust steel wire a year—vs. as many as 1,000 in a mill with similar capacity built in the 1960s. Inside the facility, red-hot metal snakes its way along a 700-meter (2,297-foot) production line. Yet the floors are spotless, the only noise is a gentle hum that wouldn’t overwhelm a quiet conversation, and most of the time the place is deserted except for three technicians who sit high above the line, monitoring output on a bank of flatscreens. “We have to forget steel as a core employer,” says Wolfgang Eder, Voestalpine’s chief executive officer for the past 13 years. “In the long run we will lose most of the classic blue-collar workers, people doing the hot and dirty jobs in coking plants or around the blast furnaces. This will all be automated.”

From 1,000 jobs in the 1960s, to 14 FTEs today. Sounds like a post for Labor Day weekend rather than the 4th of July.  Too good to wait until 2 months for, however.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys labor that can be automated...

 


How To Deal With Idea Generators On Your Team That Think They (not the company) Should Own Their IP...

With your best people, there’s always a rub that emerges.

Who owns the idea?

Let me rephrase: You can have the best people that are just really good at making the trains run on time, and there’s tons of value in that. But the ones that have the most value are always the ones that are true idea generators.

Companies, departments and individual careers are built on great ideas. In my experience, about 5% of your workforce population has the ability to innovate in this way—to create ideas that have the potential to add value.

Along the way, something interesting happens. At first, these idea people are happy to share their ideas and get some credit for participating. Then, a change can occur.

Those idea generators get jaded about the company making money off their ideas.

Need an example? Take a look at this scene from Mad Men with Don Draper and his direct report, Peggy (email subscribers click through for the video):

Paraphrasing here:

Peggy: “You’re taking credit for my work!”

Draper: “Your job is to give me ideas. That’s what the money is for.”

Deep stuff. I’m writing about this because some of you have a highly creative team member who generates ideas, and you’re going to come to this crossroad. He/she is going to reach the boiling point and hit you with something similar (but probably not as direct) as what Peggy said.

At that point, you’re either going to be a hard ass, a coach or the thing you least want to be—a weakling.

Let’s break those choices down. Your star comes to you and claims in less than direct way that you’re stealing her ideas. Option one is easy—you pour another scotch like Draper and tell her that’s what the money is for.

A better play would to be a coach, right? You sit her down and start walking through the arc of her career, talking about the old times when you (young Draper) felt the same way, and suddenly, your consistent stream of ideas meant you were the natural choice to lead a creative team and yes, secure the financial rewards that come with being a partner.

That’s what is in store for her. But only if he/she stops bitching and understands she’s getting compensated for the training ground she’s currently privileged to be a part of.

Option 3 is the worst way to go. You coddle the star and ask her what she needs, tell her how valuable she is, etc. Which guarantees that the star will keep acting the same way.

Idea generators are rare. So rare that you have to be purposeful when they come to you and claim that the company is raking in the revenue from their ideas.

Play it too hard, and it’s dysfunctional. Play it soft and you’ll get walked on and probably create your own retention issue. As with all things in life, the truth is found in the middle.

I’ll close with a cautionary note. If you’re reading this and thinking you’re the idea generator, pause and think about that. Over 75% of the people who think they’re idea generators are really just people making the trains run on time in an efficient way.

Regardless of your career level or role, stop and spend 10 minutes today thinking about who in your company is a true generator of original ideas.

The list is shorter than you think. That’s what the money is for.


Sleepy HR Pros Won't Spend More than 30 Seconds On This Post... (The Mary Meeker Slides)

Only the true players will spend 5 minutes or more with this post and it's referred content...It's deep, but pure gold...

Kleiner Perkins general partner Mary Meeker launched the 22nd edition of the Internet Trends Report at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on May 31, 2017. Dating back to 1995, when Mary was still an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, the annual report compiles and analyzes data from a wide range of sources, providing insights on the state of the Internet Economy. The deck covers a broad array of topics, including global internet user trends, advertising and e-commerce, gaming, online media, digital health, and much, much more. This guide is intended to highlight some of the key topics of discussion in this year’s edition – and to help media navigate the report.

It's deep.  I can guarantee if you spend 10 minutes with it, you'll find 4-5 things to share with you team and you'll look smart as hell.  A trend-spotter, if you will...

Highlights of the 300 slide deck from ReCode (full deck below from Slideshare, click through if you don't see the slides):

  • Global smartphone growth is slowing: Smartphone shipments grew 3 percent year over year last year, versus 10 percent the year before. This is in addition to continued slowing internet growth, which Meeker discussed last year. (editors note - what's next?  Apple needs a new product)
  • Voice is beginning to replace typing in online queries. Twenty percent of mobile queries were made via voice in 2016, while accuracy is now about 95 percent. (editor's note - holy ****)
  • In 10 years, Netflix went from 0 to more than 30 percent of home entertainment revenue in the U.S. This is happening while TV viewership continues to decline. (editor's note - holy ****, even with all those shared passwords?)
  • Entrepreneurs are often fans of gaming, Meeker said, quoting Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and Mark Zuckerberg. Global interactive gaming is becoming mainstream, with 2.6 billion gamers in 2017 versus 100 million in 1995. Global gaming revenue is estimated to be around $100 billion in 2016, and China is now the top market for interactive gaming.
  • China remains a fascinating market, with huge growth in mobile services and payments and services like on-demand bike sharing. (More here: The highlights of Meeker's China slides.)
  • While internet growth is slowing globally, that’s not the case in India, the fastest growing large economy. The number of internet users in India grew more than 28 percent in 2016. That’s only 27 percent online penetration, which means there’s lots of room for internet user-ship to grow. Mobile internet usage is growing as the cost of bandwidth declines. (More here: The highlights of Meeker's India slides.)
  • In the U.S. in 2016, 60 percent of the most highly valued tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation Americans and are responsible for 1.5 million employees. Those companies include tech titans Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook.
  • Healthcare: Wearables are gaining adoption with about 25 percent of Americans owning one, up 12 percent from 2016. Leading tech brands are well-positioned in the digital health market, with 60 percent of consumers willing to share their health data with the likes of Google in 2016.

Daaaaamn.  There's a lot here.  This one's for the true players. Enjoy...


The Boomerang Effect of Firing All The UBER Leaders...

By this time, you're all caught up on all the events happening at Uber.  Uber-Harassment (couldn't resist), aggressive behavior, a big employee relations-style investigation by outside counsel and a bumbled all-hands meeting that included an HR leader calling for everyone to hug it out and a board member saying that women talked to much and then resigning.

Whew. That's a lot.  

You don't need more Uber status updates, so in the aftermath of Uber taking out most of it's leadership team including it's founder/CEO, I'm here to offer one observation.

Uber is ripe for a cultural crisis - but not the one you expect.

The biggest risk for Uber is that as they try to improve their culture, they loose the edge that made them special.  That edge was being the hardest charging, most aggressive company in the face of the planet.

Uber's doing the right thing reacting to recent events and attempting to ensure the culture for employees improves. But a likely side effect to that necessity is that the company is going to provide built in excuses for a lack of execution.

Uber never would have grown into who it is today if the leaders weren't absolute a##holes when it came to confronting challenges - the local governments, the needed ability to scale, dealing with global leaders and governments.

In all of these areas, Uber was about action first and permission later.

You know, exactly the behavior that caused the car wreck when it came to harassment and a hundred other negative behaviors.

Action first, boldness and permission later.  Unacceptable when it comes to dealing with employees - much more care is needed. But action first/boldness/permission later is a big part of what allowed Uber to dominate the market and grow at the pace it did.

Expect to see a downturn in execution at Uber in the years to come.  The DNA that made them cringeworthy with employees is directly related to what made them special in the marketplace/business world.

UPDATE - note from a reader - "Hi Kris.  Interesting post.  I struggle with your conclusions (a little).  Maybe because I continually fight the “this is retail” mentality when it comes to how people are treated.   Are hard charging and respectful mutually exclusive concepts?   Can you have an edge, and not do incredibly stupid stuff?   Can you be decisive and not be a dick?   I think so."

I agree with the reader. The biggest point I was trying to make is that when you've operating this way for so long, it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle from a hard-charging results perspective.  I think UBER is going to have to tolerate lower execution because how they've treated certain classification of employees is how they've treated the market to a large degree.


HOW TO: Use Social Media Ad Buys to Get Better Recruiting Results...

My team at Kinetix is dropping a whitepaper today - The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide To Social Media Buys for Recruiting.  You should check it out.

There's a lot of options for your recruitment marketing spend - Job Boards, Indeed, the new Google Jobs (actually not asking for your spend yet, just disrupting for now) - it's a confusing Social ad buysmarketplace and it's easy to miss changes in what works.

One of the places most of you haven't experimented with yet is doing social media ad buys to drive candidate flow.  Simply posting your jobs on social platforms without targeting has very limited effectiveness. You need to target and spend to make it really work. The process works like this - each of the major social platforms has targeting options where you can pick who you (by career track) want to see your ad, which can be a job, content related to a career at your company or a mixture of both.

You target and then pay the social platform on a per-click basis.  Sounds easy, right?

Well, all social platforms aren't created equal when it comes to their effectiveness in helping your recruiting efforts.  That's where this paper comes in handy - download it today and we'll give you the following:

--Data on which social media ad platforms you should be using to drive raw candidate flow to your jobs.

--The Kinetix experience related to which social media ad platform delivers the best results when trying to attract quality applicants.

--A rundown of factors that Talent Acquisition and HR Leaders should evaluate when picking the right social platform for their industry and recruiting pain.

--And of course, we rate 4 major social platforms related to their overall recruiting effectiveness so you know where to go first!

Download The Talent Acquisition/HR Leader's Guide to Social Media Buys for Recruiting today and learn how to stay ahead of the recruiting and hiring curve using social.

Remember - if you need recruiting help, Kinetix is just a phone call/text away!  

Download the paper via the form below or use any of the links in this email.


If I Were Starting A Union, Here's What I'd Do...

I'm spent a lot of time over the last week thinking about the challenges of the budgeted merit increases - you know the drill - 4% across the board, and you need to get "pay for performance" out of that.  Which got me thinking about this ...

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If I Were Starting A Union, Here's What I'd Do...I'd rip a page from the player's unions in the major sports leagues and focus my bargaining on the establishment of a salary cap.

Once the cap was established as a percentage of company revenue, the deal would be pretty simple from an economic perspective - members of the union would get more cash as revenue grew, and they'd be at risk if revenue didn't grow or decreased (I'd have to figure out how new headcount impacts that - there would have to be some way to protect a certain % of growth for the incumbents).

Of course, membership drives for my union would be challenged - mainly because the majority of workers in America have no interest in that kind of risk, or at least see little value in the upside. They'd rather take their 3% annually.

Which means I'd have to attempt to unionize high performers and Linchpins only.  Of course, that's problematic since this group really doesn't need representation and can increase their compensation on their own, both within the same company and via the free market.

Crap.  Back to the drawing board...


Google For Jobs Launches: Are You Going to Nap On This For the Next Year?

It's go time for Google for Jobs.  

Earlier this year at Google I/O, the search giant announced a new initiative named Google for Jobs. The goal is simple: leverage Google’s skills at organizing information to make finding jobs easier. Today, one of the first steps in this project goes live, with the launch of an improved job search feature rolling out on mobile and desktop.

The feature is pretty simple. For searches with “clear intent” (e.g., “head of catering jobs in NYC” or “entry-level jobs in DC”), Google shows a preview of job listings scraped from various sources. These include job sites like LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor, but also information hosted on company’s own websites — if they’ve updated their sitemap, that is. Users can then click on results to get more information, and filter listings by criteria like location, employer, and the date of the listing.
 
They don't scrape/include Indeed, btw.
 
 
There's 2 things that you can do right now to experiment with that 10%.  You can buy social ads targeting the type of candidate you want on social platforms with great targeting (Facebook) and you can get ahead of the curve on Google Jobs.
 
Much like Indeed back in the day, there's no way for you just to write a check and say that your jobs are being maximized on Google Jobs right now.  Instead, you'll need to look at standards and understand some technical details.  Click here for a developer guide to improve search results for jobs in the Google engine.
 
Some of you were years late to the Indeed party.  That party isn't over yet, but let's just say it's winding down.
 
Search changes.  Indeed changed the job posting over a decade ago by understanding SEO, scraping every job in the world and forcing you to pay for preferred placement in their ecosystem. Now the ecosystem they built that practice on is in the jobs game, and while Google has included job postings from sources like CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Monster, and Glassdoor, they haven't included Indeed.  Logic suggests the others might find themselves on the outside looking in as time goes by.
 
The cheese moved.  The best way for you to spend resources on Google Jobs is to maximize your own jobs and not be reliant on a partner.