Are We Misunderstood?

William Tincup Audacious Ideas, Change, Culture, Good HR, Leadership, Seat at the Table, William Tincup

I read an old Jeff Bezos quote this weekend about innovation and some such… it was benign but his take on how one must be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time stuck with me. In fact, I haven’t been able to get that quote out of my mind. So I started thinking about our beloved profession while juxtaposing the concept of being misunderstood against it. Juxtapose – note to self, we need to use that word more… anyhoo…

Think about what we talk about as HR pros, HR consultants, HR vendors, etc… the topics that dominate our lives… kinda reads like the self-help section of your local Barnes and Noble. Right? Review the last 40 blog post titles of your favorite HR bloggers, etc… again, a lot of self-help s#*t. I mean, we’re kinda talking about obvious s#*t. “We need to retain our best employees.” said in high-pitched nerdy voice. That could easily have been said in 50 Ad, 1800 Ad or 2012. Like  duh! It can’t just be me that has grown tired of the obvious.

Maybe, just maybe, the reason HR isn’t taken seriously by other business leaders is that we’re too obvious. We’re understood. We’re completely understood. But not in a good way. Like boring – I could see you coming from a mile away understood.

Again, just run with it for a moment… maybe we (collectively) should be talking about more innovative things? Maybe we should care less if people get it and/or get us? Maybe the goal is to become completely misunderstood? Have we been doing it all wrong for the last few years? Beating people with the obvious? Beating each other with the obvious? Believing in the obvious?

I know it’s awkward… we’re people people… yawn & yack… but, for example, if I see another article about talent communities I’m going leave the Internet and never come back. {sic} I’m so sick and fucking tired of obvious HR s#*t.

Okay, solutions time…

I think we need to push each other more… to innovate… not evolutionary, revolutionary… I think it is what is required us. In doing so, we open ourselves up to criticism which again is awkward but necessary. Don’t accept the obvious as “new” or “exciting”. It isn’t and we’re not making things better by allowing s#*t to pass as steak.

I’ll tell you what… I’m pivoting (I know, I’m f’ing tired of the term as well)… in a few months, I aim to be completely mis-the-eff-understood. Now.You.Know.

/end rant/ Go back to your mediocre, ahem, obvious lives. #kidding #notkidding