FOT’s 2009 Retrospective – The Best of the Blogosphere

Jessica Lee Ann Bares, Jessica Lee, Talent Management Power Rankings, Weblogs

2009 has certainly been a fantastic and interesting year for bloggers, including in the talent management space as we have seen more and more HR pros blogging, and even the big bad daddy, SHRM, unveiled SHRM Connect which allows members to easily blog from within the site. We also saw SHRM showing some major love to the HR blogosphere by hosting a panel discussion at their annual conference in New Orleans that included Kris and myself on who HR bloggers are and why we matter. We also saw Cheezhead, the undisputed top recruiting blog retire (and we eagerly await to see who takes the place of the Cheez). And bloggers in general have caught so much attention that the FTC even smacked down some new guidelines and penalties for bloggers who accept payment in exchange for publicizing a product or service. All definitely very interesting.
We continue to be entertained and enlightened by the activity of the blogosphere… so we wanted to pay our respects to you guys and say thanks for a fun 2009 in the blog world. We’re humbled and inspired by the smarts of our blogging colleagues, so our retrospective is focused on the great things you wrote this year that stuck with some of the FOT clan. We hope you enjoy these special tidbits and maybe even discover a new blog or two to follow and read in 2010. Happy new year to you!

Peoplestuff by Suzanne Boyd

Post: Inspired by the Biggest Loser, Until I Saw the Ads and the Sponsor…

Overall – I like the tone of Suzanne’s blog and how she can quickly and smartly convey her points. This particular post made me laugh, as I’d often thought “The Biggest Loser” was turning into one BIG commercial. Her point about wellness and healthcare costs is right on the money – and is a re-emerging trend that will be present in 2010 and beyond. Props to her wicked sense of humor – especially given that she lives in a dismal place like Vancouver! – Kathy Rapp

McDowell Incentives by George + Kurt McDowell

Post: All We Need is Some Validation

When I went back to my Google Reader starred items, it was pretty easy for me to pull a favorite. This blog post from McDowell Incentives featured the video “Validation” – and it actually motivated me to change the tag line for my company and include the word validation. It stands for itself. – Paul Hebert

Welcome to the Occupation by Paul Smith

Posts: Get Balance Right + Average HR Guy

As a fairly new blogger myself, I wanted to highlight another newer blogger who I’ve been enjoying.  Paul writes, like me, that the more simple and balanced the HR practice the more effective, far reaching and noticed it becomes.  Don’t get me wrong, these posts aren’t simple or daft.  They are funny, passionate and sometimes full of hate (gotta love the hate).  And as a music/pop-culture lover, he brings the goods. But the through line is simplicity and balance. After a year of turbulence in HR and in the world—this feels right to me as an HR pro, and I have seen the “back to basics” approach benefit the employees/companies I serve. – Dawn Hrdlica 

Compforce by Ann Bares

Post: Pay Transparency: (Not) The Solution to Pay Discrimination

Ann is my go-to source for all issues comp related… but in particular, I always pay attention to what she has to say on the gender equity front. I appreciated this post for its common sense. As a woman, of course, she/I want to see pay equity. But are more laws – including laws that force pay transparency – part of the answer? Absolutely not. She breaks the issue down clearly and easily here. – Jessica Lee

Seth Godin’s Blog by Seth Godin

Post: Might as Well Panic

While Seth Godin isn’t a talent management blog per se, we at FOT fancy ourselves renaissance HR pros, and we read a lot of different blogs to keep ourselves well rounded. This post from Seth Godin pretty much summed up 2009 for me. Everyone is panicking and panic is a sign that they care and that they are taking things seriously. – Tim Sackett

Know HR by Frank Roche

Post: Why I Oppose EFCA: It’s Not Business, It’s Personal

Many in the HR blogosphere were writing about the Employee Free Choice Act this year. This one stuck with me in a big way with Frank sharing a very personal family story as well as his perspective on the EFCA as a small business owner. It’s straight from the heart. – Jason Seiden

Gladwell by Malcolm Gladwell

Post: More on Quarterbacks

I loved Gladwell’s thoughts on Quarterbacks and predicting success at the professional level. Can an algorithm be created?  To a degree, I suppose. One of things that really left a mark on me in the USMC was how you could take people with best ‘measurables’ but these measurables mattered very little when the $%^ hit the fan. In marginally stressful situations, I imagine it really doesn’t matter.  In the business world, maybe decision-making with ‘everything on the line’ isn’t a huge draw… although research has shown that it’s the manager, who can make split-second decisions with multiple balls in the air, that holds immense value to the organization. However, in circumstances of extreme stress, I wonder if performance (or simply composure) can be accurately predicted. More food for thought from Gladwell… – Josh Letourneau

Sexy Thinker/Talent Revolution by Amanda Hite

Post: Gratitude. Confessions from My Personal List

I love this post from Amanda Hite for its rawness, candor, and generosity of spirit… for its willingness to find good from the awful, ugly, and desperate… for its including an awesome song (though I like the versions by Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley better)… and for it capturing the spirit of the season. – Fran Melmed