If your inbox, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is anything like mine (I am at the tail-end of the Baby Boom generation but I work with a broad cross section of all the “Gen’s”) it is full to overflowing and is way more information than I can possibly keep up with. I don’t want to miss stuff, and I am serious about self-education, so I do try to devote significant time to reading what is curated to my inboxes.
I am under no illusion that what makes it my way is pushed via complicated algorithms designed to influence me rather than inform. It is a brave new world out there. I do try to trick the algorithms by subscribing broadly and poking holes in the walls of my echo chamber. (We all have them, you are lying or live under a rock if you think you are not subject to the effects of group think) so my feeds range from Tucker Carlson on the right to Matt Taibbi and Bill Maher on the left; and no I did not first see Taibbi in a clip of testimony before Congress, I read stuff he wrote for Rolling Stone 😊
As an experiment this week, I printed out a cross section of my business feed inbox of Trackers, Trends, Polling and Insights – and in reading through it I was reminded of the aphorism “The more things change, the more they stay the same” So, as is my wont, I looked it up. It is from the French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr and I think he was on to something. Of course, whether he knew it or not he was just riffing on Solomon who said there is nothing new under the sun. So, what’s the point? In everything I read, I continued to see a thread of throwback to what I often call the ancient wisdom found in the Bible. Times change but people don’t, rather, what people need, want, how they react and how they can be encouraged, don’t.
Here’s a sample of some of the questions, assertions and “survey says” I saw in my perusal.
Job Seekers Want Honesty, Transparency and Flexibility – Communication, Value, Options, and Employer Brand (Be a good place to work and prove it) were some of the subheadings and Uncertainty and Attention Economy, some of the trends. Global Hiring and Skillset Hiring had some Falling and Some rising. The Big Quit might become the Big Stay. How to Motivate Employees when their Priorities have changed.
Finally, a comment from Linked-In Chief People Officer Teuila Hanson drove the point home for me. “Introducing a skills-first talent strategy can feel big. But this new insight confirms that every step helps. So while you may be focusing on organization-wide initiatives, don’t be afraid to highlight the business impact that upskilling even a small group of employees can have.”
I am an accountant by training, and I have a friend who is an economist. We joke with each other because an accountant says 2+2=4 and an economist say, “it depends”. We are drowning in information but dying of thirst for wisdom so let’s remember that in the midst of contrary “Expert” advice, we can always treat people the way we would like, Serve first, serve without exception, forgive without condition, and trust but verify for everybody’s sake. Work Matters, work gives people dignity and self-respect.
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Stay Curious my friends