Don’t forget to change your underwear

Some people in organizations feel forgotten, taken for granted, sat upon, kept in the dark. overworked , overused, not refreshed!

Well the metaphor can work! and now that I have your attention!

Note to Project & Program Managers and their Sponsors:

When Starting a project – Include Organizational Change Management (OCM) strategies, methods, processes, techniques.
OCM is the glue that deeply connects all levels of your organization to meet and exceed project objectives.

Project managers and their sponsors curiously complain, after implementation, about the lack of adoption of their objective. So much for project success! And that is because the majority of projects lack the integration of Organizational Change (OC) in their planning.

Before you even start, integrate OC . The later you wait, the steeper and more precarious the voyage to acceptance.

Managers: Here are some phrases that may stand for BRIGHT RED FLAGS and I hope will remind you to include OC or to at least contact me:

Well I asked them once and am still waiting
When I was doing this job I did not need anything
Let’s develop this now and ask them after
Ahh, they’ll just do what I tell them to do
Hey, we know this best, right?
What do they know about our product?
It’ s too complicated to involve others
They are too busy to involve them
I don’t want to spend the money
In my day we just did it and sucked it up
We are the bigger department. Right?

share more phrases!


Focus 2040 – A Future of HR

The Strategic Capability Network once again is worked with the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University in Hamilton to run the national student competition called Focus 2040. The competition invited students from the business faculties across Canada to predict what the world of work will be like in the year 2040. One of the objectives of this competition is to raise the profile and value of Human Resource Management in the minds of business students in Canada.
This is their second year of operation and the competition has expanded considerably beyond it’s successful beginnings in 2010. For an association to take this social/professional responsibility beyond it’s bounds is laudable.

Presented in a sleek modern art gallery, representing the brightness and future orientation of the human resource students ten finalists conveyed their view of HR in 2040 to 12 judges. These judges were bristling with strong business sector and academia backgrounds. Quite the daunting task. In the crowd behind me were upwards of 50 to 100 attendees, students, professors and anxious parents.

There were only winners in this competition. Yes, four competitors did garner the nod of the judges and were awarded one of four human resource internships provided. But I am hoping that the other finalists and all those who submitted entires participate again next year.

Presentations were challenging. Visions of interconnected, agile, socially responsible neo-organizations moving at new tempos and filled with generation Zs, alphas and betas flowed across their presentations. All this coupled with ideas about employee engagement, sustainability, use of scientific, medical, industrial and information technologies and the place of happiness.

The question for the listener: How will we integrate their thoughts and ideas as we work together to build to 2040 and beyond. More importantly, when will we add these bright minds into our corporations to help answer the questions.? The time is now.


Call Yourself to Action

A number of  individuals have called complaining about the lack of a job pipeline, high competitiveness in the marketplace, a lack of direction, no call backs!

My career coach clients know this and I want to communicate these few thoughts to all you readers.   Your role and mission,  is to repeat these thoughts ( or similar)  to yourself, everyday!

I will never give up.

I will always put my best foot forward.

If a man’s reach does not exceed his grasp, what’s a heaven for!

I have just begun to fight.

This is not a single battle. I must create, grow and change  my attack plan, as needed. Life changes in internet time.

The frontal attack is not always the best.  Bulls in China shops tend to break things!  I will Plan , Do, Check, Act ( thank you Mr. Demming !)

I will Breathe  ( thanks to my yoga teacher).

I am interconnected with the world.  With Whom can I share the value I bring today!

These are your daily excercises. You will succeed. It is within you.


The age of civility has lost its way -a manifesto?

Where are you Ann Landers???
Please help.

Our use of technology has moved us apart physically and emotionally. At the same time our use has increased the volume of data that can be  and is created/shared while lowering its intended quality.  The phrase “don’t call us , we’ll call you”, once used to manage the volume of phone calls/emails  received has now permeated our daily interactions with customers and suppliers in general.

Permeated to such an extent that:
.we do not actively  call Customers & Suppliers
.we do not follow up or provide feedback
.we do not manage expectations over time

Of course this attitude has similarly affected the relationships between managers/supervisors and their staff.

Lack of civility has created a lack of professionalism. The longer this goes on, the more the new attitude becomes a habit, a bad habit,  the higher potential the skills of connection  will be lost.

Bottom line, this has to stop.

I would like to suggest a policy with training and performance metrics be developed and implemented throughout all organizations who communicate.

Below is the start of  The Civility Manifesto. I will make this first cut succinct instead of waxing eloquently over pages and pages.  Please add change delete . Send me your thoughts.

All customers, suppliers, employees will be treated as Customers.
Customers are to be served.
Customers are human beings, just like you.
Customers  need  to communicate, and be communicated to on a timely basis.
Customers do appreciate a human voice, human face and a handshake.
Customers have expectations, perceptions, assumptions, emotions
Customers are all good people.
Customers need timely feedback, good or not as good, in order to self manage their own expectations, perceptions, assumptions, emotions  and self manage how they will relate, respond to You, Your team, Your organization.
Customers expect to be respected, just like you do.
A telephone call to a Customer, for example,  can take less that 30 seconds to complete, including a clear meaningful voice mail.

If each of us took 30 seconds to make that clarifying, expectation managing, information giving call, what impact would that have on our joint success, whether measured in revenue, time, or quality.

what are your thoughts


Blog Action Day

Over 7000 individuals are blogging about climate change today.

Climate Change, Social Action and an Interfaith Community are working together to make us a little greener.

Gotta tell the world about this

ANNUAL PEACE MEAL – This Year’s Theme: “How Green Can You Be?”

Find out what the seven faiths that make up MOSAIC have to
say about taking care of our environment.
· Special presentation by Ted Reeve, Faith and the Common Good -
Greening Sacred Spaces. (

Learn from local groups that help the environment and take home
ideas on how to be “Green”.
· Special interactive programming for children on the environment.
· Performances by children’s choirs.
· Concluding with a pot-luck vegan supper. Please bring a dish to share with other participants. Absolutely no meat, poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products, alcohol due to dietary laws. Because of the many people that are allergic to nuts, we ask that you do not include any nut products.
· Think Green. Avoid disposable dishes.
· Please bring a donation for the Toronto Food Bank

Mosaic Interfaith was founded in 1980 and is made up of congregations
 representing Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism And Zoroastrianism
Please RSVP by Monday, October 26, 2009 to
 Fran Isaacs 905-881-2383 or

Introducing new technology standards is Not About introducing new technology standards!

“Dear Chief Technology Officer(s),

It has come to my attention that, in our wonderful company,  you want to introduce some new standards.  I hear they may include things like a PMO ( Project Management Office), risk management, a SDLC ( services or systems delivery life cycle process), business analysis processes and quality audits.

How nice.

Over lunch with my friends from networks, business architecture, and project management ( et al) ,  we smiled at the news and of course wish you luck.”

Does this sound familiar?

To really net this out,  the essence of the story is that introducing a new technology / process/ standard… is really about Effecting Change in an organization. This simple truism applies whether you are a Bank, Manufacturer, Consultant, Retailer. The second truism is that this is hard work. The third truism is that effecting positive change is valuable, exciting, gratifying and has the potential to act as “organizational glue”.

Before you write that email or send that missive, stop, step back, get out of your office and involve the organization or empower someone who can.  Maybe next time, you’ll be at that lunch too.


For those of you who are hiring or want to hire a firm to find YOU a job ( guaranteed?)   STOP .

I have read too many sad articles reporting on the fate of the unemployed paying out thousands of dollars to firms “promising” to find them jobs.  And, of course, the promise never comes true. For example, Rewriting a resume for you and sending you out to do cold calling is not a  service  of value. We need to refocus on ourselves and reposition. are we getting value??    and you say  YAH, RIGHT!!!!!!    I do not have a magic bullet, no one person does!   Remember that…

So,   what is going on with you?  ( I’ll exclude 4 letter words in this blog. You can add them as you read)

You are out of a job. In this world of ours the resulting pressures are immense and create/drive emotions in ourselves like:

.Pressure to do something –

.Anxiety about money, family, self respect, ego, physical-mental-spiritual health

.Anxiety about achieving our expectations of ourselves, and maybe meeting the perceived expectations  others have of us

.Anger at others, disbelief, sadness, self recrimination,

.Anxiety over the morass of data and information that impales us, adding to our challenge of next step decsions

.Frustration over the coldness of the job search process and the realization that the relationships you have may not be as warm as you thought

Given all of this, and more I am sure, we are all open to anything and sometimes  relent to others suggestions.  In some ways, for a short time, we even feel better that someone else will solve our problem. No matter what it costs.    The weight comes off our shoulders, for a second, minute, day , week. Feels good. But no answer.

We forget, as everyone and everything around us each looses its head,  how strong each of us can be in facing this job search. We are a resilient race, we humans…

So when that phone call offering you nirvana, please , please stop, and don’t give any  answers. Hang up.

Take a deep breadth, and count to ten. (This advice has been around for thousands of years, and still works..)

And start having a dialogue with yourself ( and write down the answers).

At this point the “Yah, RIGHT” people and over-wrought Type As people  stop reading or listening and run off in all directions.

For the rest of you:

You are your job search – No one else can ultimately do the job for you. In the end, when you get a job, it is You who will be sitting at that desk, or talking on that phone or serving  that customer.  Just you.  No one else.

And if at this point you say, I don’t care about this stuff I just want a job. C’mon!!!!!

Remember If you don’t know where you are going, nobody else will.

Remember too, that when you are really frustrated, you are like a fish on a hook. The more you struggle, the deeper the hook penetrates.  Please stop, rethink and regain control. In this case, you can get off that hook!

Some simple starting questions I like to  ask

.Do you have a written detailed and specific plan ( not in your head) for your job search? Do you have a written career plan and a go to market strategy?  Have you created your foundation resume based on you career?

Without these documents you may not be in control of yourself and thus can be at the mercy of others.

I am a believer of human resiliency. I believe each and every one of you can build and execute a plan. I believe that the thousands you may want to spend on someone else, is much better invested in you, ( intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, physically).  Start planning, so you start doing!

more later….

Future of HR

I had the opportunity this morning of listening to John Boudreau, co-author ( with Peter M. Ramstad) of the book Beyond HR, The New Science of Human Capital. The presentation was sponsored by the Strategic Capability Network ( ) in Toronto.

John has eloquently provided a deep and relevant context, models and language in which HR can grow from: Personnel ( Control stage) of the profession, to Human Resources ( the Services stage where many are now) to Talentship ( the strategic stage) where we integrate past learnings and deliver a level of decision science that will now underpin our profession.

The book is well worth the read. To make it more valuable we must tangibly integrate John Boudreau’s perspectives and execute on them . I do not believe this is another “management book with fad all over it”!

It provides the essential tools to better integrate with the Business Strategy, the questions to deepen our incite, priority, and focus in terms of tangible value delivery and the metrics that make sense to complement the execution.

The book is published by Harvard Business School Press.