What Would Michael Bloomberg Do If He Ran HR in Your Organization?

Andy Porter Andy Porter, Bad HR

In case you missed it, late last week Bloomberg's ban on large sugary drinks (in containers greater than 16 ounces) was passed in NYC.  You can agree or disagree with Bloomberg's approach but what you can't deny is the fact that America is F-A-T, fat and only getting fatter.  What I do appreciate is someone in a position of power stepping up to the plate and attempting to make a change however unpopular it might be (and fodder for Jon Stewart) but that's a post for another time.  So I'm planning to give Mayor Bloomberg a call – forget about running for President in 2016.  I've got an even better job for you:  VP of HR!  See, in Washington D.C., nothing ever really gets done – you'll have a much better shot of seeing your agenda through if you join the HR ranks.  I'll even help you out and give you a few ideas of organizational “soda bans” that you can use as talking points:

The Private Office Ban – Who needs an office these days anyway?  There's no such thing as privacy anymore since everything's on Al Gore's Internet already (just ask Kate Middleton…).  More importantly, having your own private office just makes you lazy.  You wait for people to come and see you instead of getting up and walking around and you can screw around on Al Gore's Internet for hours and no one would know.  See, private offices make you lazy and fat.  Pri

vate offices – Banned.

The Smartphone Ban – Smartphones are destroying our organizations.  Have you been to a meeting lately?  No one really talks to each other, they just half listen to what you're saying while they're playing Angry Birds and checking Facebook.  Maybe if instead of Words with Friends there was a Meeting with Coworkers app something might actually get accomplished during the meeting but until then:  Banned.  Oh, and having a smartphone makes you fat.

HR Compliance Training Ban – Ok, let's be honest here.  In 2012 do I really need to pay someone to run a training session to remind everyone it's not ok to tell Sally she's got a nice rack?  Let me save you some money:  It's not ok to tell Sally she has a nice rack even if you think you're paying her a compliment.  Not a good idea.  But if you see Sally with a Big Gulp and a bag of Doritos it's perfectly ok to call her fat. It's all in the name of being healthy.

The Compensation Ban – The root of our problems is the fact that you have money to spend on unhealthy items in the first place.  So, I propose that we eliminate pay altogether – at least in the form that you're used to.  Instead of cold hard cash we're going to pay you in tokens.  Not just any tokens mind you but tokens that you can exchange for things like broccoli and string beans!

So the next time you all complain about draconian HR policies, just remember, it could be a lot worse!

Andy Porter
Andy Porter is Chief People Officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA which means he works with some wicked smaaht people. Some days, he indeed does wear short shorts around the office(call it a morale booster) but it really just makes people uncomfortable. Other days, he spits some mad game on cheese. No really – he’s somewhat of a cheese aficionado. But more importantly? At Broad he gets to his small part to help change the world of healthcare.