Monday, 23 February 2009

Toxic Twats, HR dogs and the lovely Jackie Orme

Following my post at the HR Carnival, I was pleased to have been picked up by Rick, an HR guy of sorts who is responsible for the Flip Chart Fairy Tales Blog. Not 100% sure about the reference connecting me to Mr Ed Balls, but I will let him off. No publicity is bad publicity right?

Anyway, having satisfied myself that I wasnt being insulted I had a good poke around Ricks virtual house and I have to say it's rather good. Lots to get your teeth into and I know I'm going to be adding a comment or two to some of the more interesting entries. Quite how he finds the time to contribute so much prose is not clear - as a corporate suit I can only summise that he has such a big job and delegates so well that the only things on his desk are his feet.

No matter. Suffice to say I decided to drop him I quick line but in doing so I ended up writing a rather longer winded email than intended, thus eating into my own posting time. Given that I too have an enormous corporate suit job, but much poorer delegation skills than Rick, I have decide to post the email instead, saving me lots of time and providing something for you folks to read in one hit. Just how I like it. Check out some of the links to his stuff. Enjoy.

Rick. Many thanks for the mention on your blog. As a relative newcomer to blogging it's been quite a week what with getting top billing on both HR Carnival and your blog. Not sure I understood the Ed Balls connection and assuming you don't think I know sod all about HR. I like the blog and feel somewhat envious that you have been blogging for so long and have so much on there to review. I have no doubt at all that I will be wasting countless corporate hours over the next few weeks digesting some of your output and commenting accordingly.

I realise that its old news on your blog now, but I did particularly like the Toxic Talent Piece. We do seem to have similar profiles you and I, and I did empathise with your comment - "When someone in academia says what I’ve been saying for years and turns it into a “breakthrough idea”, I feel partly vindicated but also a bit hacked off that I didn’t think of writing the article and marketing the idea sooner". I don't think you have exclusive rights to those thoughts Rick. I think that many normal people in our line of work, with half an ounce of common sense share the same views.

Back in the good old days of my first job in the late 80's we referred to the cost issues you identify of having such arseholes about the place as the 'cost of quality'. Of course in those days it was referring to the 'invisible' cost of poor processes and waste in an organisation. No one mentioned the toxic twat syndrome then (Sorry, cant bring myself to call them talented) but I could see it. And one or two others too. In those days though it was tolerated as we knew no different. But it struck me that it was not good for anyone to have these wankers around.

But alas, the powers that be would make excuses and in turn I would live with it. That was partly the reason I left the profession after a double digit stint, thinking that I must be missing something. That if only I crossed over to the dark side, where people had 'real' jobs in line management I would suddenly understand the need to tolerate a toxic twat and their impact on the organisation. And now, after spending some 10 years in consulting, marketing IT and general management I can honestly say I wasn't missing anything. Once a twat always a twat and there is still no justification for their presence. Although I have to say having one or two around just so I could hit them with the 'Arsehole Tax' sounds like a cracking idea.

It's that general kind of issue that has led me to blog, as I see it as a great medium to challenge the status quo, be a little provocative and to expose the shite. Or 'business bullshit and corporate crap' as you so eloquently put it.

I also warmed to the other comment you made having listened to Jackie Orme at the CIPD. We do have a great ability to re invent in HR, but sadly seem to forget that we have to put the same old dogs into the new roles, post invention. You know what they say about old dogs. And there are plenty of them in our profession lets face it. That said, I do like Jackie. I know her personally quite well and rate her. She is commercial and smart and I wish her well.

Unlike some of her peers who seemed to be bitterly disappointed that an HR 'personality' wasnt' appointed to the role. Personally, I think the last thing the CIPD needs is some god awful, over exposed, speaker circuit fuckwit spouting their wisdom. It needs change, and someone like that would only use it to build their image further. Whether she can slap enough sense into the chops of the institutes inmates is yet to be seen but if anyone has a chance I think it could be her.

Finally I see you picked up on blunterheadhunter. For my sins I also know the search and recruitment industry well and this chap had me laughing out loud, something the majority of the blogging dross in our field rarely does.

Oh, and just to say I wasn't really picking a fight with Nick. It's just that this whole measurement thing and 'value added HR' leaves me cold. If I was an actuary I might get a stiffy if I looked at his website, but I'm not. Thank the Lord. It's time we stopped measuring Human Capital and just engaged with people. I don't need a gaggle of consultants, a collection of x and y charts and spreadsheets up to me arse cheeks to convince me of the value I can get from treating people like people. Save that for the non believers.

Now look, I've gone and spent my blogging allowance writing to you instead of creating some meaningful piece of prose for my own blog. Time to go then. Thanks once again for the mention.


1 comment:

  1. The Ed Balls reference was just an excuse to have a pop at him. As for picking a fight with Nick, he deserves it. Go pick another!

    Thanks for the plug anyway. I have replied to your email too.