Bite Size Thoughts from Wisdom 2013


Peoplefluent Wisdom 2013 Logo

I’m sorry if you missed PeopleFluent‘s Wisdom Conference in Orlando this week. Kristi Erickson and I spoke on Rethinking How Change Really Happens, listened to interesting speakers and met new friends.

I won’t attempt to provide a real update from the countless speakers and product introductions.

Here are a few bite size observations that stayed with me on my way back to Dallas:

  1. You need video. Build video into how you communicate with recruits and employees. Engagement is much higher and it is changing how we learn. Video search lets viewers search for the content they want when they want it. If you aren’t using video today or planning to do so, you are falling behind.
  2. Social and networked learning. Your learning program has to include informally connecting experts through video and social networks. You can’t depend on the classroom. You need a framework and structure to do it easily. I believe in this and have worked with clients on it. I’m convinced that structure and simplicity are the secret ingredients to make it work.
  3. Learning via “TV Programming.” Loved the analogy that if your learning system is the television, the content is your programming. You need interesting programs to keep people engaged. Remember to update it often. You can’t have reruns, or the same programming there year after year, with no refresh and expect your audience to keep coming back. Great re-frame for how to think about learning programs.
  4. Active influencing. A recent study found that the highest performing engineers also connected with the highest number of peers. So, connections, networks and collaboration drive up performance – even in a career like engineering. Interesting. And, a key insight on influence.
  5. Instagram hiring. Instagram is being used for recruiting. Who knew? Kevin Grossman shared that engagement is higher than in other media. I’m not involved in recruiting, but was reminded that the game is changing everyday.
  6. Diversity or inclusion. A speaker made the point that the problem isn’t diversity, it’s inclusion. I have thought about this since and I think it’s both. You need diversity first for inclusion to happen.
  7. Organizational software and hardware. Carly Fiorina, former HP CEO and the keynote, shared the importance of aligning organizational software – the culture and people – with the hardware – the structure, processes, financials and technology. This is really nice framework that conveys the interdependence and importance of alignment. Most CEOs and leaders spend more time on financials and market share than people. This analogy resonated with me and might with your leaders too.
  8. Big data mirror. Big data can give many insights but you have to see what the data tells you – not what you want to see. I also think  you have to know the questions you want your data to answer. The more information we receive, the more that focus and simplicity matter.
  9. Culture shortcut. The quickest way to size up the culture is to see who gets promoted. This is a good shortcut and fast way to see if the plaque on the wall is the real deal.
  10. Female commentary. Don’t ask female leaders to comment on other female leaders, such as Carly Fiorina on Marissa Mayer at Yahoo. You wouldn’t ask a man the same question. Carly made that point very clear.

You can check twitter (#wisdom2013) this week for comments or the PeopleFluent website for more details. Nice conference and my first chance to experience hyper-personalization with my Disney Magic Band bracelet. Pretty magical week.

Patti Johnson is the CEO of PeopleResults. Follow her @pattibjohnson and her company @people_results on Twitter.