The Carnival of HR – Beginnings

Slow down.

Take your time

What’s the rush?

Good day dear reader. Normally I would not urge you to sit back and relax. I know you’re, busy and who am I to tell you to put the brakes on just to read my blog? Except today, it’s very much our blog. Y’see, while you were sleeping, The Carnival of HR has rolled into town. We’ve put up the big top, the dodgems are lined up and the candy floss (cotton candy if you will) is whizzed up and ready to stick to your face, clothes, anything in fact.

The Carnival theme today is ‘Beginnings’, with a side order of ‘Other Crap we Can’t be Bothered to Categorise’. We have some great regular contributors and some new folks too. and this transatlantic mashup is looking great from where I’m sitting right now. So why not grab yourself a coffee, and take the time to explore and enjoy some familiar carnival rides, and some less well known to you too. Please don’t feel any need to hurry.


I knew this curation job was going to be fun when Paul Hebert was among the first to be in touch. Paul and I have yet to meet but his smartness radiates across the pond, keeping my brain nice and warm. In Hot House Employees, Paul offers us a sideways look at beginnings from a parent’s…no wait, an employer’s perspective. I love the way Paul has taken learning from the world of psychology and neatly mixed it into work. A lovely blend to start us off.

I’m privileged to have met Neil Usher many times. He is a very generous collaborator and many of you will have heard and read his work, be it poetry, story telling or, occasional song writing with me. In Head Over Heels, Neil writes about the need to turn the clock, to swing the pendulum towards the workplace needs of women. Fussball and slides don’t cut it; a radical new beginning is needed.

The first I knew of Julie Winkle Giulioni was when she dropped me a line for the Carnival. Her post, titled ‘Where’s Your Bubble?’ is an interesting read about how you move from getting stuck thinking about doing something, to beginning to do it. I really appreciate the creative, hands on angle from Julie.

Back as the 1600s, Blaise Pascal coined the phrase ‘I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.’ Mark Catchlove has opted for brevity in his post titled ‘I’ve started so I will finish…eventually’. A neat, punchy piece on interruptions.

I’m pleased that Kate Griffiths-Lambeth got in touch too. She is busy with her colleagues figuring out what next year’s reward package looks like for the employees. In ‘The Sound of”’Flyin’ High’, Kate talks about the importance, before we begin anything, of planning. She applies her thinking to reward and more, with the help of some musical accompaniment from the Von Trapp family and Nina Simone. Go and have a rewarding look and a listen.

As I was opening the Carnival mail, I spied a note embossed with the seal of The President of The United States of HR, aka Steve Browne. I’ll try not to turn this into a bromance – but you know how geeked I am that the King of the Geeks (and a world class jouster) himself has pitched in with a contribution. In ‘Remember When’, Steve talks about a new beginning for his company and his excitement in helping recruit a new team needed to help grow the business. And of course – there’s a musical finish to his post too.

I first met Adrian McNeece after being asked to sing the closing piece for the 2011 Workplace Trends conference. Since then, he and I have kept in touch and I remember his enthusiastic participation at one of our Stop Doing Dumb Things events very well. More recently, I’ve come to appreciate what a thought provoking blogger Adrian is. In ‘Zoom! What was that?, Adrian takes a philosophical approach to beginnings, which I really enjoyed reading. The Fawlty Towers touch at the end is spot on.

Another perspective on beginnings is provided by Gemma Reucroft. Handily for us, Gemma is but six weeks into a new job and so for her, beginnings and ‘Foundations’ are everywhere. Lots of good thinking here on self, team and trust.

Simon Heath draws a mean cartoon, and writes a good blog too. In ‘The Dawn of Creation’, Simon gets personal about his life in work so far and an exciting new beginning for him, and his clients and supporters too. A good story and a reminder that new beginnings can be simply there for the taking.

And if you wanted to begin an Employee Awards programme, but didn’t know how, well you do now, courtesy of ‘8 Steps to Creating an Employee Awards Programme’, by Andrew Tarvin.

Other Crap We Can’t Be Bothered to Categorise

Some bloggers may be offended by this category, but last time I used it, it got a good reaction and so I figured I’d run with it again as a place to put stuff people are keen to share. You score bonus points for volunteering to be in this special club.

Mike Haberman gets first class honours for being the first to put his hand up for inclusion in this smorgasbord of blog goodness. In ‘Two Ways To Enhance Your Power in HR’ Mike goes all superhero on us and encourages people to be competent and aware of your body language. If only I could still fit into that Spidey suit…

And on the subject of SpiderMan and co., next up is ‘How to be an HR Superhero’ by Michael Jacobson over at XpertHR. Don’t be fooled by the photo, despite Spidey’s beer can crushing abilities and Captain America’s thoroughly inappropriate lycra pants, there’s some good stuff in here on upping your HR Game.

Chris Young from the Rainmaker Group got in touch wanting to share ‘Hunter or Farmer : What Kind of Sales Person do you Really Need?’ – this post is worth a look on the strength of the photo alone, great stuff!

Ian Welsh suggests that ‘HR Needs More Real Time Analysts – With a Smile?’ in order to create future value through being more integrated with the rest of the company. In his post Ian says HR needs to get better at using and manipulating data, and become less reliant on old ways of doing things, just because they’ve been around for years.

My friend Broc Edwards is out on the road a lot at the moment, USA folks keep an eye out for the chance to see his enthusiasm and passion shining through on stage. Because he is dashing about he didn’t have time to do a bespoke piece so instead, Broc sent me a helpful post titled ‘It’s not about social media – but it is about HR’.

And the good people at TribeHR got in touch with the question, ‘Should HR Insist on BYOD?’. I mistakenly assumed this was some off the wall HR relocation proposal to the Welsh village of Byod, but no – it is in fact a poser about the growing trend of Bringing Your Own Device to work.


And that, dear reader, pretty much draws things to a close. Except….there were a few entries which arrived after the deadline. Now, I’m a nice guy (some might say too nice), and I decided to let these latecomers through the door. I haven’t had time to read these entries so I’m just going to list them:

Jon Mertz sent in this guest post by Kyle Willkom titled ‘What’s Different? Timeless Principles for Any Generation’

Naomi Bloom sent in ‘HRM Analytics – Dashboards, Cockpits and Mission Control’

Alex Raymond sent in ‘Strategic alignment is all about the carrot approach’ by Chris Wells

And Now For Something Completely Different

OK – that’s your lot. Thanks to all the contributors, particularly everyone who either took the time to help me link to the theme, or had the good humour to vote themselves into the other crap box. I’m going to leave you with a joke from Alex Lifeson, guitarist with Rush. The band are on tour just now and one night, Geddy Lee’s keyboard briefly stopped working, so Alex stepped in to tell a funny. Maybe he has a new beginning ahead as a comedian – what do you think?

In the Kitchen

Do you like to cook? I do. I enjoy taking the time to select an interesting recipe idea, gather and prepare the ingredients, and bring them together into something I hope the diners will appreciate. Sure – it would be easy just to grab whatever is in the cupboard and throw it all together in a hurry. That works….sometimes.

Today I’m in the bloggers kitchen, carefully going through all the Carnival of HR submissions and trying to get the ingredients in the right order, the right mix. It can be a time consuming job being a curator, and I think it is important to give it time. I chose the recipe, ‘Beginnings’, and the cooks and chefs have each given me an ingredient to play with. The simple thing to do would be to let each contributor choose their own recipe – and just throw everything together and hope for the best. That works….sometimes.

I’ll see you tomorrow at the Carnival. For now – here’s a taste of the beginnings of modern music, courtesy of Pentatonix, spotted by Kate Griffiths-Lambeth

The Carnival is Coming to Town

Wow – is it that time of year already?! It sure is, and in a few short days the Carnival of HR rolls into town for its second visit here. Last year – the carnival landed around fireworks night and was right in the middle of the CIPD conference so I had an easy time picking the theme. This year it wasn’t so straight forward, but I’ve decided to go with ‘Beginnings’….wait for the tenuous link.

  • May 22nd 1906, The Wright Brothers are granted a patent for their Flying Machine
  • May 22nd 1980, Namco releases Pac-Man
  • May 22nd 1990, Microsoft releases Windows 3.0
  • May 22nd 2003, Annika Sorenstam becomes the first woman to play golf on the PGA tour in 58 years

So what have these got to do with HR? Well maybe not a whole lot, but they’re all beginnings and they all started on May 22nd, the day of the next Carnival of HR. So what I would like to know is – what new beginnings would you like to see? Maybe in the world of HR, maybe somewhere else. What do you think we should be doing that isn’t currently going on and/or doesn’t have enough focus yet? Maybe you’re about to embark on a new challenge? Who knows – but seeing as it is supposed to be Spring time around here (I know – brrrr!) then let your beginnings burst forth.

‘Well that’s all well and good Doug, but your theme is rubbish, doesn’t float my boat at all’ I hear some of you cry. I get that – so by popular demand the ‘Other crap we can’t be bothered to categorise’ theme is also running in the background. That way – if you don’t want to play to the carnival theme but you do have a post you’d like included – we can fit you in too.

If you would like to take part, please ensure you get your post link (just the link please, the original post stays at your place and I hook it in from here) to me at doug dot shaw at wgalimited dot com by Monday 20th May at the latest please. My plan is to draft up the Carnival around 8pm UK time on Monday evening and I’d hate to miss you out.

So – what are you waiting for – promote yourself to CEO and make some people focussed change happen. Looking forward to hearing from you.