Random thoughts on the work world as I thaw out from shoveling for the fourth time in a week…
- I really hate that some hiring managers still think there is a distinction between hard and soft skills. As in: “We’ll focus on the stuff that matters (hard skills) and HR can focus on the fluff (soft skills).” In my opinion, most technical skills are easy to find. In my business, if you have an advanced degree I’m reasonably sure you know your stuff. But guess what? More than 90% of the people who I’ve seen flame out over the years have done so because they weren’t able to effectively interact and communicate with people. Turns out the soft skills are harder than the hard skills.
- I’m planning to market a new game for recruiters called Cliche Bingo. You choose a set of cliches and everytime a candidate uses one of these worn out cliches to tout their skills, you get a point and they lose a point. The best part is you can yell “Bingo!” in the middle of the interview if you win. Extra points are awarded if you ever hear this sentence come out of someone’s mouth: “I’m the consummate team player who can work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team while working independently to complete my objectives on time and under budget.” The sad thing is… I’ve actually heard that doozy before.
- Real immigration reform has to happen and happen soon. When I hear people say reform will take good paying jobs away from Americans, I have two responses. #1) I’d happily hire a non-immigrant for any of these good paying jobs. Thing is, there aren’t enough qualified people out there to fill them. Instead of wasting our time complaining about immigration, why don’t we make an investment in STEM training for our students? #2) What does it mean to be American exactly? Aren’t we all descendants of immigrants at some point?
- Sticking with the political theme—whether you believe in Obamacare or not—I happen to believe everyone should have access to health coverage, but it really makes no sense to me why employers are in the business of offering health insurance to employees. For large corporations, this is
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an extraordinary cost that can only be managed by putting more and more of the burden on employees. That’s millions of dollars that a company could invest in other ways. For companies to thrive in the 21st century, we need strong alternative options for healthcare—public or private—so companies can get out of the business of offering healthcare.
- Netflix has really changed the way people consume TV and movies, challenging the paradigm that we must be subjected to a barrage of advertisements while we watch our entertainment. It’s just a matter of time before TV as we know it today is gone. I think this idea of social performance management has the same potential to radically change how we think of performance reviews in organizations. The idea that a manager is in the best position to evaluate a person’s contribution just isn’t true anymore. I think organizations that adopt this approach will be well-positioned for success in the future.
Okay, the brain thaw is almost complete! What random thoughts do you have?
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.