No New Art

William Tincup Audacious Ideas, Culture, Employee Engagement, Good HR, HR, Laurie Ruettimann, Performance, Retention, Social Recruiting, Tim Sackett, William Tincup

Before you review this article, do me a personal favor and click this link—it’s only 600 words or so but it will provide some useful context.

Last line of the entry is the best: “Nothing is new, get over it!”

Assuming you’ve completed that task… soldier on.

Here’s the thing: everything we do in HR has been done before, thought of before and written about before. Some of you will disagree… a new twist, radically new, revolutionary, never been thought of before, etc. For those folks I offer this assignment…

Visit your favorite HR / recruiting blog (here’s a few of mine).

Search these sites for the following terms: “engagement,” “culture,” “social recruiting,” “performance reviews,” and “retention.”

What you’ll find is what I found—452 articles.

Let that sink in for a moment. 452 articles.

These blogs represent some of the best and brightest in our industry. So, that isn’t 452 crappy articles… mind you, I didn’t read all of them, but I knew most of the names of the authors. Combine that with the fact that there is over 400 HR & recruiting bloggers worldwide, all thinking, publishing and/or broadcasting daily. From great content to well… not-so-great content (I’m looking at you, Jimmy).

Do you still think something in HR can be new? Okay, try this on for size: people, human, and talent-related issues have been going on for thousands of years. Thousands!

Read this…

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

That seems like something my dad said when I was growing up. It damn sure sounds like something I’ll say a few years from now,  but it’s actually a quote from Socrates (Greek: 469 BC–399 BC). Over two thousand years ago he was bitching about millennials… wait… the younger generation—whatever the hell that was called. Nothing is new—get over it!

So, why the history lesson? Easy. Three things:

  1. Stop claiming $h!t is yours. It makes you look dumb. People came before you; bright people are your contemporaries and great people will come after you. Get over yourself.
  2. Peer review: Ask people what they think about your work. Ask for criticism… It will make you stronger. It will also help you keep that ginormous ego in check. New, new, new sounds a lot like mine, mine, mine.
  3. Draw folks to references where you can. Yeah, it kinda seems like citing your work but really it’s about raising the game for everyone.

If something is cool to you, don’t hide the reference—share it with everyone. IMHO, Laurie does a great job of this with her writing. It’s hard to find an article of hers that doesn’t contain 3 or 4 cited references.

Apologies for the rant but people that claim ownership of new ideas and whatnot drive me to drink. At least now you know why. And, the next time someone says they created something new… it’s okay to giggle on the inside. Or vomit.