Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rally for Sanity, 2010

First day home with an hour to spare since September 29th! Pretty much non-stop travel. But in all that travel, the family went to the Rally for Sanity. It seems so long ago, but here's a few pictures that caught the sentiment for me:
The crowds
There were lots and lots of funny costumes and teeshirts and signs....
And moments of utter sanity as expressed by these twins
And the best of all was to go with Ian

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Balance in Life is Not a Serial Thing

I'm an early riser but I mostly force myself to not start work until 8. Instead, I spend some time reading, then in my quilt studio and then out in my garden (which after two weeks away is in sad shape). When I do these things, I start my "work" day more relaxed and often with a sense of accomplishment, something that I don't always get from my work as there are parts of it that take days, if not weeks, to complete.

As I was working this year to finish the CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey, I neglected this daily start of the day. Now that the survey is done and out, I've returned to my normal day's start and I feel ever so much more refreshed. Of course, a week on the beach with my family helped too.

As I was quilting this morning, I started thinking about balance and realized that there are some other things that I don't do when I'm under the gun that I think would give me more balance. For example, I work out with a personal trainer twice a week -- that regime makes me get at least that much exercise, but I know that's not enough. So, I've told my husband that "when I retire, I promise myself to work out more." But why not start now? Another example, is weekly date nights -- these go by the wayside when I'm under a schedule gun. But weekly date night with my wonderful husband is something that balances me, nurtures me, and helps both of us be better support for our family and friends. And, there's so many other things that give me balance -- daily meditation, weekly sitting at the sangha, vacations, letter writing....and so much more.

Dear Friends: please remind me next time I get embroiled in work that I know better!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

An old-timer's view of HR Technology Conference

I was reading a first-timer at the HR Tech Conference and it got me thinking about what I saw/learned at my latest event. I've had the pleasure to present the CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey there for six years. Ron Hanscome, who I think is a superb survey person reviewed this year's findings quite well.

First of all, hats off to Bill Kutik and David Shadovitz and the entire LRP/HR Executive team involved in putting this together. Bill, who I think has turned mellow with the advent of Nancy, was a jewel to work with this year from my perspective. And while being mellow, he still put a keen wisdom to getting great speakers, vendors, analysts, bloggers. Truly well done and thank you!

Second: It's always great to attend the special events and dinners -- thanks to Paterson's and absent Naomi Bloom, Kenexa, Oracle, and my colleague David Carter and a treasured client -- but never again will I puff a cigar Len and Michele! Also, for the brief time with the Chicas -- my drinking girl friends and the few guys we "let" join us if they pay. You are the ones that make HR Technology special for me. Elaine Orler and I vow that we will have a grand reunion in Las Vegas! Thank you Naomi for showing us all what is truly important by being with one of your long time friends at her time of need.

Third: Doing the survey for 13 years is a personal labor of love and a gift to our community from CedarCrestone. I appreciate all that respond and especially those that respond to all questions and do so year after year. Please feel free to contact me through if you have comments or questions.

It is from the perspective of being a broad researcher on HR technology adoption and the value achieved that I'd like to make a few comments about the conference. In the fervor of social networking and the latest/greatest from software companies, there are two types of organizations and their decision makers I don't see at the conference:

1) Sophisticated users that have an advanced HR applications portfolio. By this I mean they have few software vendors and most often have a extensive set of talent management, social networking, and business intelligence practices and technologies built on the same platform as their ERP(Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft). These are the ones I see amongst our survey respondents that are doing the best financially. I think we could learn much from them about topics like talent analytics, workforce lifecycle management, use of SOA to automate processes not covered by existing technologies, and advanced learning and development technology use.

2) Late adopter organizations that have not yet turned to much technology. Their decision makers have not begun to think about social networking except to unwisely ban it; they have no self service; and they actually don't do a very good job of serving their employees. Some may argue they won't be around long as they are so non-innovative, but they've been around for years and we buy/use their products and they will be around for many more years. Think steel companies, some health care, many universities, and more public administration organizations. Can we as a community figure out how to wisely and gently get them involved?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Not collaborating is a power trip or we just don't know how ?

I've been thinking about why people don't collaborate and specifically collaborate in the sense of sharing information. I remember from a research project in the early 80s on the use and value of groupware, that back then we had tools that enabled people to share information just like we do today with wikis, blogs, Twitter or even simple email today. Back in 1983 or so, I was talking with a representative in IT at the Air Force and someone there said that people don't share information because "information is power" and sharing means giving up that power. It means giving up one's perceived competitive advantage. Like -- how can you teach something if everyone knows it or how can you be an analyst if everyone knows about what you are talking about? Nothing new between then and today although perhaps that power means a bit more in the Air Force than elsewhere.

But I think not sharing information is also because people don't know how to and they get no reward for sharing information. At the Air Force in the 80's, there was no pay for performing information sharing...after all, pay is a matter of grade level. And using something like Lotus Notes as a repository was not all that intuitive to use anyway. Today, sharing information still takes time with most of our social media solutions. Simple example: my quilting buddies don't know that they can actually provide a url about how someone does a technique like how to mitre corners and instead will download an entire YouTube video and then send that huge file. Or in my work where to really be an effective collaborator, one should not only share a file that may have valuable information but also explain why it is important to entice people to actually read the file. And, who has the time for that? Or for people to share information in repositories of customer information, they need to report news, site visit notes, conference attendee notes all the time and it it's not easy to do, people just won't do it.

Organizations have to pay in some way to reward people for sharing and make that part of the value system and recognize it in performance reviews. But people too need to realize that sharing information is pretty powerful not just for the organization but for themselves too. It shows you care to help your colleagues, and we all want to be caring individuals. It shows you know enough to realize the value of the information you are sharing and to articulate that value for othrs.

So, I encourage all of us to take the step from the individual's perspective and start sharing just for the value it will bring to you. Learn how to use social media as a collaboration tool. We can work on having organizations pay for collaborative actions later.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Been awhile....

Thus started the blog of a dear friend (forgive the know that's a form of flattery) but it so totally tells the story. Other than a week off to go to Quilt Camp at Empty Spools in Asilomar, my nose has been to the proverbial grindstone. It's survey analysis season and my brain doesn't allow me to write when I'm doing data analysis. But then, realizing that I haven't written for a long time and have not just been doing data analysis, I realize that's a cop out excuse. I've just not had much to say while mulling over ...things.... Like, why do I work so much instead of doing the things I love like spending more time with family, friends, in the garden, quilting, etc? I still don't have the answer to that one. Or, why am I such a perfectionist and when is perfection really needed? I actually think I got pretty far on the answer to this one: it has to do with my own personal standards...not those of others. But perfection, in quilting is sometimes really needed. Like if you want really crisp seams to highlight a luminous square or getting bindings that don't curl. And if that level of perfection is too hard, then I should just make wonky quilts. But for now, I'm challenging myself to do perfect blocks. Or perfection is also needed in crisply stating hypotheses and testing them and reporting results. Or, is a licensed, on premise Oracle PeopleSoft HCM solution the best foundation for HR transformation or can organizations only transform with a SaaS HCM? Welll.....we all know the answer to that one. It's really a mindset to bring about HR transformation and no matter which platform an organization chooses....and there are lots of options these organization can transform to achieve more business value with the workforce. Yes, there are cost tradeoffs, but what's most important is having a clear workforce/talent management strategy in place. The technology choice that makes most sense will follow. So, what are your thoughts on my thoughts?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

ReUse Connection - a family affair

The countdown begins.....soon to launch this awesome contribution from my stepson, founder Ian Moise. ReUse Connection. You can read about it here on Facebook and then watch for its launch here: ReUse Connection. As my husband, the software developer says: "Soon, we will be out to launch." And then my stepdaughter does the research and my son in law also develops software. Our extended family is contributing as well. We are VERY excited.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Twitter, SMS, LinkedIn....all linked? Ugh

You may be wondering about what was hopefully an uncharacteristic tweet from me this morning. It said: "Try Lexy Martin. I should come up."

Back story: My stepson tweeted me about something this morning and then commented when he searched on me, he couldn't find me. Who knows what name he used? WOSM perhaps, for wicked old step mother? That aside, my response to him was "Try Lexy Martin. I should come up." This, sent via SMS.

So, I had been doing all this while lying in bed, using my iPhone to respond to emails, look at Tweetie, and even view SMSs. The latter, I use infrequently. And once again, it's clear why. Instead of responding to my stepson, I responded to EVERYONE. Everyone that follows me on Twitter and Everyone who follows me on LinkedIn. Fortunately, these connections are no longer coming up on Facebook because I figured out how to turn that off. The SMS/Twitter/LinkedIn connection will be turned off today! After this apology.

Next part of story:
My husband was downstairs, logging in to LinkedIn and his other various connections. It's his birthday today and we'd already shared tea and I'd given him his birthday present. A KINDLE from the family. So, he sees that message on LinkedIn: "Try Lexy Martin. I should come up." And, grateful husband that he is, immediately runs up stairs.

So, for Ian, my stepson: If you search on Lexy Martin, my name should come up on Twitter. If not....PLEASE let me know. Obviously, I have my learning to do on that front if not.

And, for my Twitter and LinkedIn connections, that SMS this morning was not an invitation. Really. But, if you do come up, to the house, of course, we can have tea.

Have a great day!

PS: Will someone PLEASE teach me how to respond to an SMS?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Measure twice, cut once - another quilting/HCM intersection

I guess because it's winter and raining a lot and I can't be outside that I've been designing and making more quilts. Last weekend, I was piecing a border from a very cool Japanese woven by fussy cutting between designs. I needed to get 4.5 inch widths and cut one just 4 inches which meant that I lost the piece! Argh. It reminded me of the quilter's adage: Measure twice, cut once. My husband tells me that that's actually a carpenter's adage, but I think us quilters make good use of it too!

It got me thinking about software design and programming and that this adage applies there too. Although perhaps it's Plan Twice, Program Once. Now, I haven't programmed since Cobol was the dominant application programming language (yes...I'm older), so forgive the stretch here. Back then, we got a whole lot of user input into planning, then we designed and only when we got approval of the design did we start to program. Watching my husband do his programming today, it seems like that stage can be much more iterative and he can show users a strawman solution multiple times and get ongoing user input.

But just like with quilting, overdoing the part before you cut absolutely makes for a better end result, with no swearing either on the part of the quilter or the end user!


And for those that want to see the latest quilts. These are unfinished! I'll post when done too.

This first one is "Berkeley Pieces" because I was inspired by a quilt I saw at New Pieces in Berkeley...very cool quilt store! I can see that I should have measured twice although I think I can square this up in the quilting.

This one, now that it's done looks like one of those pesky "Dear Jane" quilts. But it's not. This is done with Japanese fabrics and with Japanese quilt block patterns. I've been trying to learn to be exact....this may be the last one I do like this. So, it gets the name of "Japanese Jane." And, given how many sample squares I did not include, I definitely need to measure twice more. Of course, trying to understand a Japanese pattern is a bit tough!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Early view of IHRIM Link on Leading Practices

Every two months, as Co-Chair of the IHRIM Link (soon to be renamed), I “edit” the next issue. It gives the wonderful opportunity to really read the issues as I look for the minor errors of authors and the publishing process. Kudos to Tom Faulkner, Futura Publishing and to each of our fabulous guest editors for each issue! I’ve taken to tweeting as I review and here provide my log for the issue to be published in January. I started it on the holiday break and kept coming back to it amidst the festivities of two weeks of grandkids. In the list below, I’ve inserted comments from tweeters and Facebookers in italics.

Readers can subscribe to the IHRIM Link for just $37.95 and as I’m on the planning committee for the NEW and improved publication to be released in April, I highly encourage you subscribe. We have exciting plans! Even better, join IHRIM and you receive the periodical as part of your membership.

Here goes:
Looking forward to editing latest #IHRIM Link on "leading practices" banishing the term "best practices". Kudos Yvette Cameron, Saba. grtjob

Newest @IHRIM Link issue compiled by Yvette Cameron. Anyone at @SabaSoftware -- tell her she did a great job!

Nxt @ronhanscome Starting edits with article requesting semantic change of "best practice" to "leading practice" Bottom line - no 1 magic bullet

By the way. No one on Twitter commented, but lots did on Facebook. Leading practices is definitely the preferred term.

Next by @SyncoJonkeren. To differentiate from peers orgs should adopt new sourcing models including outsourcing

This article is aptly titled, “Unchain HR”

Nxt article: Talent Management for “New Normal” Why the Wisdom of the Crowd is Now the Catalyst for Change @UpdateMaksim @sabasoftware GRT!

Join @ihrim to read gr8t article by @UpdateMaksim. How 2 use social networking for recruiting, onboarding, performance management & learning

Onboarding tech-don’t waste $ on forms automation, invest in solutions 4 employee socialization that reinforce company culture

OK...done editing @IHRIM Link for today. Going to see the new Clooney movie with family. Happy holidays to all!! May 2010 be all we wish for

Actually I saw a ton of movies: Up in the Air, Avatar, Invictus, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squequel (I o have grandkids), and It’s Complicated.

Reading "From Change Management to Governance" by @rpannoni. Footnotes lead to great resources

The Change Handbook: Resource on Best Methods 4 Engaging Whole Systems by @tomdevane covers 60+ change mgt approaches from six sigma to soft

Problem isn't managing change but generating organizational alignment 4 objectives, strategy, tools & methods Governance addresses #rpannoni

First footnote in From Change Mgt to Governance article: @standishgroup. Only 32% of tech projects succeed:

VERY interesting article: Ulrich for Next Generation: Why a new take on model is needed. Braam & Meijboom

Ulrich's model falls short on overall HR services interactions & no role for exercising oversite. HR services mgr is needed + governance

Next article is Best Practices in Evaluating & Selecting a Talent Management System...or any HR System Fletcher & #mattlafata

Best Practices in evaluating/selecting TM @mattlafata has 10 essential steps for evaluation process and lessons learned. Very insightful

Next article: Why Manage Risks by Martia Newell, #adp. Two-part comment on this coming up.

We have a choice to manage risk proactively or be surprised by problems. Human nature admires firefighting hailing rescuers as heroes.

That’s understandable for burning houses. A major goal of risk management is to prevent projects from catching on fire in the first place.

Nxt article-Leading Practices in Global HR: Determining Your Own “Best” Path Forward, Theresa Brett RexHealthcare. Timely topic I know why we need editors. That last article is actually by @karenbeaman. Great article - 25 "leading global HR practices"

Leading Practices in Global HR has 25 practices organized by Strategy, Organization, People, Process, Technology, Management

Plus 25 great references (5 come from CedarCrestone research). Got to plug us sometimes! Great quotes by Dee Hock. kudos @karenbeaman

Next article: Harnessing Existing Assets to Drive HR Process Improvements-Financial Services Case Study. Roy Altman, PeopleServe

Altman article starts with the parable of Stone Soup - a lesson in cooperation and draws parallels to the case story.

Stone soup tale: villagers learn if everyone contributes something of value synergy occurs with benefits exceeding individual contributions.

Next article - Eliott Witkin humorist at @UltimateHCM. You will LOL over finding out if UofMich teaches HRMS. Kudos

Twitter for HR by @steveboese answers the ? how can social networking tools be leveraged for personal/organizational benefit - 3 reasons

Branding, establishing industry thought leadership, active recruiting are the reasons (Twitter for HR) @steveboese. Must read!

This last article is one that every tweeter will want to give their HR department!

Again: Readers can subscribe to the IHRIM Link for just $37.95. Even better, join IHRIM and you receive the periodical as part of your membership.