Geeks, Human Resources, Expectations, and Laundry Lists


would you rather listen?


One of the things I used to write about quite a bit was Business Change. And make no mistake; business is still changing, and I still find business change to be a fascinating topic, mostly because people keep resisting it.

While we’ve mostly narrowed our focus at Answer Guy Central to Influency and the marketing-related aspects of business change, broad business change remains a hot button topic because you can’t make Influency happen unless you’re willing to look at your business processes—and adapt. So when the cartoon you see above found its way into my LinkedIn feed yesterday it struck a chord. As I said there, I’ve long believed in hiring for brains, without regard (when possible, because, you know … sometimes you’re ACTUALLY looking for a PHP geek) to “existing skills”.

I’ve played that chord here several times, approaching it from multiple strike points on the neck of my business change and Influency guitar. For example, the “laundry list of skills” trend is a matter of hiring managers being insulated from the process by can’t-possibly-know-enough-to-be-the-correct-arbiters-of-such-things HR folk. It was over four years ago that I pointed out the Internet’s real impact on job searches, which had and have devolved into posting wishlists that nobody can fill completely. The Harvard Business Review agrees. So does Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz’ Asana. Laundry lists of the things you wish your job candidates had expertise in are, simply, a mistake.

The issue comes down to setting expectations and being as transparent as you can while remaining realistic. That applies in human resources. It applies to customer service. It applies at fast food restaurants providing free WiFi. And especially in our Internetified, Influency-is-everything world, even something as simple as attributing images you use matters and impacts your Influency in myriad ways.

And by the way, I don’t have an attribution for the cartoon you see at the top of this piece other than, as I said before, “I saw it on LinkedIn”. And that’s a content and Influency issue, too.

Lots of issues, lots of convergence, and underneath it all we end up back where we started; Influency is about recognizing and implementing the right business changes. Want some help with that?

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