Time Bandits

Geese live by nature’s rhythms.  The days get shorter, the night gets longer and summer’s warmth is subsiding.  The signals to flock up and fly south strengthen until action occurs.  Time moved.

Time bandits are living thefts. In some horrific circumstance the death is a capital C Crime.  One’s life is stolen fully away with a finality from which there is no recovery.

More insidious is the small c capital theft.  Those times when there isn’t enough time to get it right the first time, but always time to get it right eventually.  Sometimes the theft is from haste. Other times, it may be from ignorance. Or it could come from wistful best unrealistic intentions that it won’t matter much anyways or no one will notice or look. 

That is a miserable risk to take or impose on anyone else.  This past spring, a new and substantial compliance filing was due.  Coalition of the data into information on forms was outsourced to a third party business solution.  One set of forms was generated, determined to be in good order, distributed to filers for their records and submitted to the compliance monitoring agency. 

Six months later, the filing agency rejected the submission, having determined that it was not in the proper good order.  Instead, it wa ninety degrees out of phase. (In the world of electronics, being out of phase generates either distortion or system failure.). Only by this time of year, the 2015 processes had been set aside, taken off line per se, as it was time prepare for the 2016 filings.  Queries were run with unreliable and inconsistent results.  A reasonable deadline was approaching while encroaching on other essential opportunities.  The forms would have to be regenerated manually.  

After nearly a week of mind numbing manual forms generation, an unexpected miracle came out of a cyber playground.  A new set of forms was generated, determined to be in the proper form and in good order.  Relieved aggravation. 

The forms were filed this morning.  

But a small c capital crime occurred. A week of lost progress on essential opportunities. 

Lessons Learned.

1. Be super critical when doing something critical for the first time.  Assurances were given that all was right. But those assurances were sequestered behind a Indemnification and Hold Harmless agreement. Therefore, right or wrong, there would be no consequences. 

2. Do your own research. Sure, there are lots of vendors offering lots of webinars with alleged value added services offered.

3.  Add your own suggestion as to how you prevent TimeBandit theivery. 
The geese are gone. The forms are also on their way south. New opportunities are back on the front burner. 


What is holding you back?

Hello Siri.

The answer is deceptively simple and candidly obvious. Denial is what is holding you back. This is our default primal, and at times, visceral response. 

OED’s third definition states:  Psychology Failure to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or emotion or to admit it into consciousness, used as a defense mechanism.

The definition is related to, but does not really explain the blurted out “No Way” rapid reaction.   I do confess to being in denial while trying to find the words to adequately express this concept.  This denial has lingered on for too long, and it has gotten in the way of other pending topics.

The Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of grief provides the best explanation. 

Denial – The first reaction is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.

While K-R is about grief, the concept can be extended to anything unexpected.   A question is asked and rejection is typically the first response.  By way of explanation, a plausible supporting excuse is provided.  
There are several positive alternative inquisitive responses:

  • Ask the Why…? question.  Be curious and seek to understand. 
  • Tell me more.
  • Explore 

When you are being denied, pause to give the other person space to THINK.  The primitive brain – amygdala survival response is doing the denial.  By pausing for a moment, the executive brain – neocortex takes over and provides a more thoughtful response. 

That’s all I have for right now.  I have started reading Shankar Vedantam’s book – The Hidden Brain.  Our hidden brain is typically responsibility for our irrational reactions.  

As always, Stay Tuned. 


August 2016 Thoughtful Experiment

This month, I have been working on understanding my Fitbit Charge HR data. Specifically, the heart rate.  For the past several months,the monthly average has consistently been 71.  The daily data looks like a roller coaster, with peaks and valleys.

However the peaks and decreases seem to be aligned with consumption an exercise. 

But preliminary indications poin towards a healthy decrease.  But only time will tell.   

Watch What You Find

Lessons at the bird feeder

The parent woodpecker is teaching the woodpecker chick where the food is.  Soon, the chick will learn to eat on its own. Then there will be no excuses for being hungry.  It’s the upward circle of life, learning to fly, learning to eat & learning to survive.

Coming in @ #51 of 100 is NoExcusesHR, tag line, Holding Ourselves Accountable. Think about, we know more about ourselves and what needs to be done, than anyone else.  Or we should know that.  

One of my co-workers likes to say, Find a Reason or Find an Excuse.  We can go either way, towards or away from self-accountability.  To that end, as a reminder, I keep a copy of the Important/Urgent matrix on my desk.

Here is one article that aptly illustrates the concept:  The Eisenhower Decision Matrix: How to Distinguish Between Urgent and Important Tasks and Make Real Progress in Your Life. Googling and/or Bing’ing the term provides others similar perspectives. Look through several to find the best one for yourself.  Or use the ideas to make one of your own, perhaps tailored to your unique professional role.

What I like about NoExcuseHR is that there is a person at the keyboard v a revenue generating business.  This provides a more singular voice v the cacophony motivation of revenue generation. Jay Kuhns, SPHR is the person within NoExcuseHR.

Here are several of Jay’s most recent postings:

Finding Freedom.  What’s holding you back from doing what you really want? Who or what is standing in your way?

–  stop making excuses and live your own life for a change

Snark is Not a Leadership Skill:  My reading between the lines found this in Jay’s message, ‘instead, it is a sign of the sinking leaderlesship.’

That all being said, Jay is for real. He is in it for the idea, not the revenue.  He is worth reading and will be on Wicked Good HR’s recommended HR Blogger Roster.


Weekly Digest 20160704

Moon rising over the Bigelow Range & Flagstaff Lake

The Sky is no Longer the Limit:  The beginning of the 100 of 100 self challenge. This blog is a posting of the top 100 HR blogs as determined by Blog.Feedspot.Com. They used a blend of metrics and curration to develop this list.  In return, I will be doing my own daily’sh review of the list.

From Here to There & Together Again features Sharlyn’s Lauby HR Bartender blog.  No surprises there, Sharlyn shares great messages.
#11 of 100 is FencedIN and features HR|Tech Blog‘s article on Micsrosoft’s acquisition of LinkedIN.  Nothing really new to see here, tech companies are always acquiring one another.  The article mentions all of the apps and underlings that have been brought into both the LinkedIN, Microsoft, and now by extension, the Microsoft family.  The impact on the global HR Culture has yet to be experienced.  One might expect further enhancement and/or intrusion as Microsoft’s library of big data expands.
#20 of 100:  Where was I Now featuring People Stuff by Gemma Reucroft.  Tagline: “Musings on work, HR and the like by Gemma Reucroft”

Gemma leaves a lot of white space in her posts so you can read yourself into between the lines.  I like her style.

Continue reading

The HR Cloud

Send in the clouds.

#41 of 100 is HRCloud.com. Again, another business that has a successful social media strategy across the standard platforms.   Great strategy on scoring the HRCloud.com domain!

The data cloud is ubiquitous now.  Everything done on line adds or removes content from the cloud. Data evaporates upward and rains downward.  Usually a sprinkle, keystroke by keystroke, or a deluge when online inquires are prompted to process. Send in the clouds.  Continue reading

Namely Blog

Coming in @ #31 Namely Blog.

But first, this public service announcement.  It did not take long enough for the first oversight to happen.  (Politely obtuse way to say I made a mistake).  The last post in this series was #20/100 v #21/100. That won’t happen again.

Namely is a company with the tag line of “Let’s build the future of HR.”  Their service platform has four components:

  1. Modern HR
  2. Payroll
  3. Benefits
  4. Talent

Continue reading