Almost 20 years ago I read a book that made me want to see around corners and over the horizon. That book was called “Unleashing the Killer App.” Far from a perfect book – but for me at the time, with my background and exposure to technology – it was an eye-opening read. It really reinforced the need to constantly have your head on a swivel for anything that could disrupt your market space. And that isn’t just market as we think of the traditional term – it also means your job, your function, your livelihood. Knowing there are things out there that can fundamentally change what and how you do what you do today is mission critical. Knowing what to do with them when they happen is even more important.
Today I’m going to tell you something I think too many in HR are ignoring at the expense of their own success. They are ignoring it because it isn’t digital. They are ignoring it because it isn’t big data. They are ignoring it because it isn’t predictive. They are ignoring it because the HR consulting echo-chamber is ignoring it.
It’s not the brightest shiny thing. It’s not even a new thing. But it is THE thing you MUST enable if you want to have impact in your HR career.
“The idea is not to get work done — although we do lots. The idea is that we meet so that people will continue to work well together after they go back home.”
Read that again.
It is a quote from a recent article in strategy+business entitled: “Your People’s Brains Need Face Time.”
If you’re like most business people having a meeting to NOT get work done is anathema. You just don’t do that. Meetings are ONLY for getting work done – anything less is a waste of time. Before meeting face to face – handle it through email. Right?
According to the article (and I’ve read this in 100s of other places):
“The brain is always scanning for risk, according to Berset-Price, and among the things it uses to determine if someone is friend or foe are non-verbal cues. Those are absent in teleconferences and flattened in all but the best video conference systems.”
We NEED those face-2-face events to build trust – which ultimately enables and enhances our ability to get real work done.
Think of face-2-face as warmup exercises for work. No world-class athlete will prepare for an event without spending time warming up and psyching up. It’s how they get in the groove and get their “mind right.” Face-2-face is how we in business get our mind right and get to work. And, as work becomes more and more dispersed while at the same time getting more team-based, the need to INTENTIONALLY create face-2-face opportunities become critical for success.
The Killer App for HR
Our faces. That’s right. Want to be excel in HR? Force more face-2-face meetings.
Work with management to up their travel budgets.
Create and require team meetings to occur in-person on a regular basis.
Work with your operations/purchasing/whatever to find cheaper ways to bring people together.
Measure and report on meetings.
Meeting is not a dirty word. Meeting is a requirement for humans.
Remember – as your competitors are enabling more and more digital technology to make their work more efficient – they are losing out to companies who are enabling more and more analog relationships (that would be human beings) – focusing on being effective.
It’s the new tortoise and hare discussion. Only this time it is emojis vs emotions.
Now – print this off and go have a meeting to discuss how you can have more meetings.