Fistful of beans 02/16/2011

Five things I’ve seen, read, or thought might seed results:

1. They’re Human Capital, Not Cattle — Talent Management Magazine

This article was the best I’ve read in years.  Each paragraph provides a contrarian alternative to challenge the command/control leaders and managers driving efficiency insanity.  Though the terms “knowledge worker”, “knowledge economy”, and “human capital” have all existed for more than 50 years the reality of how to manage within the knowledge organization is still firmly planted in management theories of 60, 70, and 80 years ago.

We don’t know how to measure a knowledge worker’s efficiency for a fundamental reason.  A business doesn’t exist to be efficient — it exists to create wealth for its customers.  There is nothing more useless than doing efficiently that which shouldn’t be done at all.

Knowledge work is note defined by quantity but by quality.  It is also not defined by its costs but by its results.  It is not repetitive; it is iterative and reiterative.

Measuring with metrics is so tidy, all you need is a scale and most objective metrics can be manipulated.  What is harder is actually subjecitve issues because they actually require judgment and discernment.

2. How YouTube’s Global Platform is Redefining the Entertainment Business — Fast Company

How Google’s acquisition has turned YouTube’s business model, that only proved capable of hemorrhaging cash, into a business model not only rapidly approaching profit, but revealing a few new dance moves to both social media advertising and entertainment models.

YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar,  “If you have a seed of an idea, how do you operationalize that, how do you scale it, how do you bring together the best team to see it through?”

Great insight into the people brought together to crack the nut, their backgrounds and the dedicated value of fresh perspectives over industry-veteran myopia [I’m looking at you music industry…].

3. Hiring and Managing the Overqualified — Talent Management Magazine

Traditionally, companies avoid hiring overqualified workers because they tend to be unhappy with the limitations of their position or are unmotivated to excel in assigned tasks and thus commonly quit.  Hiring an overqualified individual, however, gives a company tremendous bench strength and vast potential. You’ll always have an abundance of talent and a succession plan.

There are several benefits to hiring an overqualified candidate. An employee with a lot of work experience joins an organization brings prior experience.  That prior experience is a valuable quality to a prospective employee, and the more experienced the employee is the more able the individual is to deal with difficult situations.

4. The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies — Fast Company

Some you’ve heard of, some you’ve not.  Some you’ve used their products without or worn their clothes without knowing.  Industries include:  advertising, biotech, design, fashion, mobile, and music – yes, you read that right:  music???

What might interest, is that the #1 innovative company on the list, Apple, has weathered both an identity crisis, market slide, and recovery and now finds their immediate future full uncertainty.  Just because you are innovative today does not guarantee existence tomorrow.

5. Why the New Social Media Are So Dangerous During Merger Integration — Merger Management

Communication problems have always ranked #1 on the list of generic problems during integration.  But they’ve hit a far higher threat level now because of today’s communication technology.  This has serious implications for an M&A scenario.

With email, Twitter, Facebook, and such, it’s like every employee runs a broadcasting station.  The speed, reach, and sheer volume of information circulating from the people in your work force eclipses what was possible just a few years ago.

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