Friday, February 20, 2015

Do You Want Young Hires Well-Educated, Adaptable or Self-Sufficient?

Pick two out of three

Now is the time of year when many of you may have higher education on my mind. You might be starting to interview soon-to-be graduates of elite colleges or professional schools for your firm. You may have a young person in your life who’s anxiously waiting to hear from the college or grad school of their choice (and you, the financial aid office).

As Frank Bruni
opined last week, “students shouldn’t be blind to the employment landscape. But it’s impossible to put a dollar value on a nimble, adaptable intellect.” He also said this mindset “isn’t the fruit of any specific course of study and may be the best tool for an economy and a job market that change unpredictably.”
In fact, you want folks at all levels of your organization capable of changing on a dime and reinventing themselves as your organization “pivots” to adjust to new threats, opportunities and disruptions. That’s probably more important than where they got their diploma, what they majored in and what certifications or licenses they have. Adaptability isn’t something that can be taught, but it’s one of those special intangibles—like selling, leadership, customer support, empathy and insatiable curiosity—that can give you a 10x return on whatever compensation you pay them.
Chandra Chandrasekaran, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, told Adam Bryant the other day in a NY Times interview, “Learning is the most important thing in your career and without it, you’ll go nowhere. Early in life, people tend to think that learning is the responsibility of their parents and teachers. But then you have to want to learn for yourself.”

Our take? Lifelong learning isn’t the employer’s or government’s responsibility, either. We’ve come across math, chemistry and engineering grads who are incredibly creative, non-linear thinkers. We’ve come across plenty of philosophy and English lit majors who are surprisingly good at the numbers, but also pretty set in their ways with a fairly narrow world view.


Don’t waste time and money on HR hiring best practices, personality tests, self-assessment tests or screening services. You’ll know adaptability when you see it. Instead of
asking candidates what they know….ask them how they figure out what they DON’T know.

You’ll be glad you did.

Our blog has more, as does the FREE Resources page of our website.


Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Power of Doing Your Own Research Studies

A number of you have been asking about doing your own research reports to cement your firm’s position as a thought leader in your niche.

Having your own branded research report is one of most powerful weapons you can have in your credibility marketing arsenal. After word of mouth referrals, it’s hard to beat the power of “accord to YOU!”

Last week, I co-hosted a webinar about the findings of an annual research report that we conduct for our client
Naylor, LLC and its media arm, Association Adviser. Naylor provides publishing and ad sales services to over 1,100 trade associations across North America and we get over 1,000 association execs each year to take our  comprehensive survey about association communication challenges. An executive summary of the results is released to all the state and national media that follow trade associations. Then a 100-page PDF copy of the results is shared with all Naylor clients in good standing. Others have to pay or do some sort of business with Naylor.

To keep the buzz going, we then host a webinar about our findings.

Although the results are geared toward trade associations, many of you are likely wrestling with similar communication challenges such as information overload, communications clutter and inability to customize messaging to subsets of your audience.

Here’s a free link to the Presentation.
Here are the slide
Here is a summary of the Q & A session that followed.

We strongly recommend the post-event Q&A if you’re doing a webinar.
Enjoy. And If you’d like to explore branded research and/or webinars, you know where to find us.

Best, HB