On hidden performers, hidden data, hidden thoughts, hidden authenticity, and things that should remain hidden

October 1, 2010

A loose theme…

From HRM Today, another good reason [in addition to locating experts] to have a social networking feature that allows you to recommend and rate peer contributions.

“The easiest way [to find and retain your hidden performers is with strategic recognition in which you allow all employees, regardless of level of position in the organization, to give and receive appreciation from their colleagues. In a well-designed program, each recognition would include a detailed message on why that person is being recognized in a way that can be easily recorded and tracked. Surfacing your hidden gems becomes much easier when you have the proof right in front of you of all the people, across your organization, who value their ability to get things done.”

Of course, you could just walk up to a co-worker and say how valuable he or she is to you. Or phone them or send an email or something. Proof is not needed. And, of course there’s the popularity contests and gaming of the system to deal with. Anyway, I’ll take an ‘atta girl over cash (the more popular ‘retention’ method) most days. Today, though, cash would be fine.

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From D’Arcy Norman dot net, a link to a documentary (1 hour) from IBM researchers on data visualization. As a writer and researcher, I see so much potential here for understanding vasts amount of data. How much data left behind…hidden in results because we see what we want to see (and don’t deny it). I look forward to the day where a lengthy report is replaced by a visual. So, for example, when trying to understand problems at work, you don’t have to go to focus groups or whatever that tend to be so subjective. You just survey and SEE it. Love it. Job of the future. Journalism in the Age of Data from Geoff McGhee on Vimeo.

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From Steve Roesler’s boss, “Useful Work Phrases Guaranteed To Make You Feel Better.” These type of comments – as harsh as they are – do run through my mind when I’m listening to blather, idiots, and the blather of idiots. Fave…

“I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.”

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I’m so beyond this “authentic self” stuff. I sit here at my desk (in what used to be my living room) with no makeup, a hoodie sweatshirt, and jeans pulled from the floor. Clean? Dirty? I don’t know. I do know I just ate an Eggo waffle in 20 seconds. That’s authentic. However, if I worked in a corporate office, I really couldn’t do that. The advice in this post might be useful for women trying to fit in to various social situations so they’re not at a disadvantage at work. Dr. Donna Thomas-Rodgers recommends that women ask themselves one very powerful question:

“Would the person I’m closest to recognize me while I’m at work?” If the answer is no, she says, you’ve got a lot of soul searching to do.

No, he would not but that’s not the point. The problem is how women are often viewed in the corporate environment. BJ Gallagher, sociologist:

“Research shows [no source] that if a woman wants to be successful in a corporate environment, she needs to behave in a way that is androgynous, neither masculine nor feminine. If a woman behaves in a manner that is viewed as ‘too feminine,’ she will be seen as too soft to take the ups and downs of business. If she behaves in a manner that is ‘too masculine,’ she’ll be seen as a ‘ball-buster,’ bitch, or even worse. In other words, she’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t and simply telling a woman to be herself is naive at best and career-suicide at worst. Advice to ‘be authentic’ doesn’t take into account the harsh realities of the corporate world.”

Amen to that. I can hear it now: “Which one is Janet?” She’s that sloppy looking one over there eating something that looks like a waffle. And she’s dripped syrup on her hoodie.” ‘Authentic indeed. Neither masculine or feminine. Just fired. Atta girl.

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First off, Matt Mullenweg, changed the look of his website (which has the best url ever). Second, he added a feature to his contact page that shows the amount of mail in his email queue (so you’ll know how long it’ll take from him to get back to you). This just seems like a lot of pressure. Kind of interesting though. I’d feel better if I contacted him and he didn’t get back to me knowing he has 128 things sitting in his inbox plus low priority and unknown items.

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This may be a new format for me for blogging.

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