Hacking HR


Next on the agenda for us is HRevolution Las Vegas. We have each led sessions at HRevolution in the past, but this is the first time that we will be doing something together as Talent Anarchy, and in Vegas we are going to be introducing our hacklab session.

And I think that HRevolution is the perfect place to do it.

You and I have been drawn to the ideals and aspirations of the hacker culture and I think you can see some of that stuff reflected in our manifesto and even in why we chose the word anarchy. We advocate hacking…the hacking of HR, of talent management, of the organization, of work.

I know that personally, I am over the “master plan approach.” A planning team with competing schedules, and a conference room with its own schedule, and a lot of unnecessary bagels and donuts…meetings, meetings, meetings, emails, emails, emails…6 mos later there is a plan (outdated by the time it is printed in color, collated and distributed), with timelines and more meetings, flowcharts, best practices, and you know how the story goes, you have lived it as well…

It is incredibly wasteful and inefficient and ineffective. It is pathological. It is from another time. It is crazy making.

Hacking is an alternative to that.

While we have not spoken directly about “hacking” in the past, the idea is woven throughout the topics that we write and speak about.  A lot of what we have been focused on this past year has been related to social capital…and building and managing social capital may be one of my favorite hacks.

I do not remember when I first read Cluetrain Manifesto, but one of the many ideas from that book that hit home with me was that networks can subvert hierarchies…and today networks are much easier to build, maintain, care for and mobilize.

You want to drive change in your organization? …in your work? …in your profession?  Build social capital.  Know of a hierarchy that needs to be subverted? Blow your network up.  Make it big.  Make it diverse.  Make it happy. Put the master plan away.  Build social capital. Hacking always comes with some risk, but this particular approach is pretty low-risk.

You do not need anybody’s permission, you do not need a budget or another certification, you can go start doing it now.  It does not matter what your age, race, gender or title is…you can go build more social capital now.

Hack it.

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