reBlog from Important is Private Equity in Human Capital and Talent Management?

I’ve been watching with some interest this trend of private equity firms buying talent/learning management vendors. Jason Corsello at Human Capitalist writes a great article about this trend here:, The Human Capitalist » How Important is Private Equity in Human Capital and Talent Management?, Jul 2009

You should read the whole article.

Trying Flock again..

Read a post on Read Write Web on how Flock with its new release has a new feature called Flockcast …So I am giving it another shot. I believe the last time I gave up on it was because I had a much smaller social media footprint and maybe I even had some configuration issues similar to Chrome.

The picture below shows what the post looked like when I posted from Flock. The text was in italics. The video didn’t show. Either I didn’t use the Blog Editor right, or someone forgot to test it with wordpress or my WP Template messed it up.

Flock did send out a ‘cast’ to Facebook. I was expecting a tweet too!
flockcast on fBt

I was compelled to return to WordPress to edit the post to match the look and feel & the issue with the YouTube embed.

So what’s the early verdict?

I like it. And I’m willing to give Flock a shot for this week at home and see if the features really help. More soon!

July 27, 2009 Update:

It’s been a while and I am back to using Firefox. Why? Flock clutters the browsing experience. All the add ons are distracting and I am more comfortable compartmentalizing my blogging, browsing and social networking.

How Jack in the Box does Nutrition Facts


My current role at work involves providing functional input for an online tool we’re designing. This has involved preparing screen mockups for the application interfaces, designing workflows etc. So I am always on the look out for good examples of user experience design particularly form and workflow designs.

The other day when I had a particularly satisfying burger at the Jack in the box I was compelled to seek out its nutrition facts. (Because anything that tastes that good cannot be good for you.)I loved what the web designers at Apollo Interactive had put together.

I even did a little narrated screen capture video.Check it out!


krishna_arjunThis relates to the previous post I wrote about Performance Reviews. Here’s a way managers can get started on coaching their direct reports regularly as suggested by Kris Dunn. The practice is called rounding. I heard about it at the HCS Certification course I attended from a HR leader at a healthcare organization in Northern California who adapted this practice from nursing.

Rounding is a weekly 10 minute check-in meeting that a manager has with their direct report in which they ask the following 5 questions:

  1. Who should I recognize in our team?
  2. What’s working well?
  3. What can be improved?
  4. Do you have the tools, equipment and resources to do your job?
  5. How can I help you?

I thought it was a clever adaptation. I found the the length and format attractive. I think it would increase the likelihood of managers talking to their direct reports to get that dialogue started which is the basis of coaching.

Your thoughts?

Performance Reviews

I’ve been working on a talent management project at work for the past few months. This past week I have been obsessed with learning more about performance reviews. Specifically, I am looking for a story about a company where the performance review process WORKS and employees genuinely LOVE it.  Every company has a performance review process and yet, I haven’t come across anyone who has told me unequivocally that they like it.

The most provocative article I read is Prof. Culbert’s article in the Wall Street Journal.  In this article he essentially calls for scrapping the performance review (because it “destroys morale, kills teamwork and hurts the bottom line.”) and replacing it with something called a Performance Preview (“Reciprocally accountable discussions about how boss and employee are going to work together even more effectively than they did in the past”).

The article ticked off some HR folks and they responded with their blog posts. The best rebuttal in my opinion came from Kris Dunn in an article for Workforce Management called “Want to Kill the Annual Performance Review? Step Up or Shut Up!” (Available by registration at ) The article is summed up by this one sentence from the article: “You can only throw out the annual review if your managers can do one very important thing—coach talent on a daily basis.”

I am still searching for that story I mentioned earlier (Performance review process that everyone likes). Do you know of one?

Lateral Moves

When most people hear of Career Development, they think of a promotion. But as it has been said: Up is not the only way. I’ve been doing some research on the benefits of lateral career moves as part of my work in the area of Career Development.  I found these excellent videos at the Stanford’s Entrepreneurship site of Carol Bartz. Carol was recently in the news when she was appointed CEO of Yahoo! after a very successful run at Autodesk.

(WordPress doesn’t allow embeds from these sites…but they are well worth a visit!)

This is good design!

Recently I reported a lost DVD to Netflix . They asked me a few questions on the website and they sent the next one in my queue right away. That’s good customer service. What’s a DVD between friends (particularly when one pays 15 dollars a month to the other!)

So a few weeks go by, I find the DVD and mail it back.  I get an automated notification. Someone had thought this scenario through and designed the right feedback mechanism.

Thinking through things is good design.

(I am particularly impressed with this one, since I am working on automated notifications at work!)

Using Tasks for ToDos

Tasks in Calendar view

I recently read a post via Scobleizer that GigaOm declared that Google was out of BIG ideas since it was working on a Task app. While I do somewhat agree with that thought, I am, like many others, looking for that perfect app to externalize all the to-do’s doing the macarena in my head every day.

Today someone at work suggested one way to at least put the Task panel in Outlook in my face everyday. It’s quite simple really if you use Outlook 2003. Go to your Calendar>View> Taskpad. Maybe that will help!

Usability, please!

Don't make me do it!

I have been interested in usability all my adult life.

In architecture school, I was very focused on function (sometimes at great peril to academic success, times when I just couldnt get things right and knew they were wrong or could be so much better.) In the very recent past, I was very frustrated with the usability of an app I am working on, so much so that I sent out impassioned e-mails to a few classmates who work in consumer software engineering or web based businesses to help me write a paper on how to start a usability and interface design group in a company that is not in the business of software, but builds a lot of software anyway. (None of them sent me a credible reply: Yes, I have read Norman and Neilsen, thank you!)

I was talking about “satisficing” today and was trying to remember where I heard it first. It’s Steve Krug. I love his book “Don’t make me think”. Hear him talk about “the least you can do about usability” here. (Note: wordpress doesn’t allow embeds, please clickthrough.)