Showing posts from January, 2007

Making Sense of Stuff

I really like the concept of sensemaking, ever since first encountering it as an undergrad at Rutgers a looooong time ago.

Currently, sensemaking is hot in the blogosphere:

Dan has a really good series going on.

Jim muses on his sensemaking practices.

Patti points to some sensemaking events.

And Rich offers his approach.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/29/07

Amazing Stuff from Astha

Being busy on a consulting assignment, I haven't had time to post. But I have kept tabs on some of my favorite bloggers, such as Astha, who has been publishing some amazing pieces such as:

Open Source and Change through Improvisation where she muses on applying the idea of "open source" design to management and organization development.

Boring Goody Two Shoes Ineffective HR where she joins me in responding to another blogger's post on HR's role in leading change.

None of Our Business? where she talks about shibumi and wonders if it is a valid topic for business. (I think it is too, Astha.)

The Thorn in Our Sides: More on Performance Appraisals where she tackles one of my favorite topics and makes a startling and magnificent leap from traditional thinking on the issue to Peter Senge's formula for creating adaptive organizations! (Way to go!)

Disobedience, Creativity & Lightbulbs where she mentions my piece on "intelligent disobedience" along with a sp…

You Are NOT an Agent of Change

Management consultant and blogger Luc Galoppin flatly declares that HR is NOT a change agent. HR, he says, is about continuity and stability:

HR safeguards continuity in the organization. Let’s face it: By their very nature, the fundamental HR processes are aimed at safeguarding stability.

While he makes a logical argument, I don't agree with the conclusion.

HR has the opportunity to be an agent of change in many critical areas; for example:

Talent Acquisition: Designing recruitment and selection processes that attract the bestTalent Development: Designing training and development processes that increase capabilityTalent Retention: Designing performance management and compensation strategies that motivate and retainOrganization Development: Designing organizational effectiveness processes (such as leadership development) that renew and strengthen the organization Employee Relations: Designing engagement and alignment strategies that drive productivity
In this era of outsourcing, offsho…

All Choked Up

Last night, I read Regina's farewell post, saying that she will be signing off for awhile. I was saddened.

But she goes on to say "I am going to resurrect HR's Brand New Experience via in the spring after my journey to India. "

So she will be back. I'm happy about that.

Today I'm sitting here wondering why I should even care what another blogger does or doesn't do? Regina and I have never met; we are certainly not old friends. So why the emotions when I read her news?

In her second paragraph, Regina says the following:

It feels weird that I will going "blogless" for a few months. Yea, it has become an identity for me - I am blogger! It's given me the chance to think, to write, to formulate ideas, to communicate with smart, smart people who I have come to trust and depend on in my network - Dubs, Gautam, Astha, Terrence, Shannon, Bruce, Max, Lisa, Anita, Diane, Dennis, Don, Recruiting Animal, and so many others. I wi…

Be Happy

A friend sent this to me:

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/10/07

Intelligent Disobedience

Yesterday, while driving through the Blue Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, I caught a radio interview with someone who trains German Shepherd dogs to become Seeing Eye dogs, dogs that guide the blind. An important part of the training, she explained, is to teach the dogs "intelligent disobedience."

Intelligent disobedience means that the dog must learn not only when to obey the commands of the blind person, but when to disobey commands that might put their owner in danger.

What a wonderful concept.

I later found out, via Google search, that the concept has been adopted by some in the field of Project Management (or example, here, and here) as a way to combat scope creep and other PM ills. How well it is practiced is another matter entirely.

Seems to me that this concept has wide application. For instance, parenting. Good parents probably teach this skill unknowingly. Sooner or later, little kids learn to say "no" and refuse commands, usually to the parents' chagr…


Last night, in Times Square, tons of confetti, tiny pieces of paper, were dumped on the crowd. Only this year it was wordfetti, each scrap carrying a word such as peace, joy, hope, and celebrate.

Good words for a new year.

What would you put on your wordfetti? I'd put: listen, learn, change.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/1/07