Today, I had the pleasure of speaking at the OnRec Gravity Recruiting event. At the bottom of this post you can get the slides I presented. [disclaimer, my company Allthetopbananas.com sponsored this event] It was an interesting day. But unfortunately my top take away was a reminder was how difficult change is for so many people to accept. I got this vibe from a few people throughout the day, not related to any particular topic. When faced with the reality that change is not only happening, but its happening really fast and we personally are part of it, many of us react by trying to stop it!
The discussion goes -
- xyz is already happening. (answer: yes, lots of nodding)
- You are already doing it in your personal life. (answer: "yes", lots of nodding)
- Your customers / candidates are doing it. (answer: "yes", lots of nodding)
- Hey why dont you embrace it and do it in your company? (answer: confused look followed quickly by the word "but")
We really must work hard to change our approach. Too often people think hard to find reasons why not to do something, this will just kill innovation and put you behind those that take the opposite approach - work hard at doing it!
At the event Martijn Aslander, co founder of LifeHacker.com spoke. You can learn about him at bit.ly/martijn-links. While his vision of work is very modern and a very long journey from where we are today, the concepts and ideas proposed were great. My take away from him was to work harder at working smarter. Learn how to use digital tool to save time and be 3 or 4 times more productive while infront of a computer. I was also really taken by the view of knowledge workers being in a culture that pays for their value not their time, he quoted research stating one third of knowledge workers are much more effective after 9pm at night, which is typically not part of the working day in current organisations. He also recommended a great book which I just purchased for my Kindle called The Starfish and the Spider: The unstoppable power of leaderless organisations
Perhaps the biggest take away from Martijn, and on message with my thoughts on change, was company structures reward mediocre too much instead of failure. Failure from taking a risk and attempting innovation can be learnt from and where such risks do not fail the impact is serious sucesss. But just doing things the same safe way does not drive growth in a company or a leading position. If you need proof, go read up on how Google senior management work and what self control and power engineers have, or read up on GroupOns huge growth rates.
To finish up, the event was good, but more social media would have been good, I did not see many tweets, nor was their any mention of a hash tag. If your going to run an event about change and new techniques to pull candidates towards the company, it might be an good idea to practice what is being preached. Maybe next time my company Allthetopbananas.com could supply a conference mobile website and app to help on this front!