Monthly Archives: July 2010

Graduation Story: Sometimes “Class” Can’t Be “Taught”


Attending a cousin’s high school graduation party this weekend brought to mind a “graduation” story of another sort.  It’s a story of leadership . . . and of some qualities that you just can’t “teach” — but that you always hope to find.

No Layoffs
A dozen or so years ago, the main focus of my HR position in a division of a Fortune-500 company was managing the HR side of mergers and acquisitions, which was a major part of our growth strategy.  In this particular acquisition, we were purchasing a small (50 employee), private company  that was a complement to one of our existing lines of business — meaning, among other things, that no one was in danger of being laid-off due to redundancy. (EDITORIAL NOTE: Wow, was that a classic “HR-speak” sentence, or what?!?  Why couldn’t I just have said, “No one was going to be fired”!  Anyway, back to our story.)

Cues From The Owner
During any acquisition, employees take significant cues from the selling owner  as to whether or how much to embrace the acquiring company  Continue reading

25 Images For HR Power Point Presentations

Mentor, Good Listener

Here are 25 or so free images (downloaded from Microsoft’s web site) that may be helpful for “telling your story” or “making your point” in Power Point presentations (see prior post for the story).

Continue reading

Power Point: Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

In The Beginning

Michelangelo - Creation of Man - Sistine Chapel - 1512

When I started using Power Point fifteen years ago or so, I felt “guilty” if I didn’t use complete, complex sentences on each slide.  Despite the knowledge (even then) that this overload of text violated every design and training principle going, my need to be complete and comprehensive was too much to overcome (self knowledge doesn’t always result in self mastery, I guess — or at least not right away!).     I probably shouldn’t feel too badly about this, as I had a very talented and otherwise practical colleague who couldn’t sleep at night if she didn’t have a full paragraph of text on each slide (often all in one LONG sentence) — or so it seemed, any way, judging by her presentations.

My Evolution: Less Is More

I recently heard an expert on designing and delivering powerful presentations suggest that he has taken to delivering presentations where the only thing he has on each slide is a photograph (i.e., no or very limited text), which he uses as the prompt for “telling the story” of the slide .  Continue reading

Welcome to HR Perspectives!

Thanks for visiting my new blog.  Trying to stay up-to-date in the world of “social media,” I hope that “HR Perspectives” can be a place, just as the name suggests, for sharing reflections on the HR profession, how we can best help our organizations succeed, and the employees and managers we support grow and develop — all the while avoiding burn-out or “learned pessimism” and taking a moment to take stock, reflect on progress, and move forward with hope and confidence.  Let’s enjoy the ride!

JFK Quote on “Happiness”: Does HR Strive to Create “Happiness”?

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying, “Happiness is the full use of your talents along lines of excellence.” According to this definition, is it fair to suggest that HR’s purpose is to create “happiness” for employees?

Common View of HR in the Organization

Depending on the organization, HR is often considered as something just short of “evil” (think Catbert from the Dilbert cartoon).  For further evidence of this, think of Michael Scott’s relationship with Toby the HR guy in “The Office” (quotes such as “You suck the life out of everything you touch” come readily to mind).  In these offices, the notion of HR as having anything remotely to do with “happiness” (by any definition) would be laughable.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those organizations where HR is thought of as the “party people”  Continue reading