Tag Archives: success

Pokemon Go and the future of busines

Pokemon Go has taken over everything it seems. Everyone is talking about it, many are playing it. I’ve seen a lot of stories – good and bad – as well as how this is impacting business. From developing new businesses (uber driver for Pokemon hunting, at slow speeds to simulate walking) to how to regulate it in the office.

What I haven’t heard from anyone yet is how this will change business in the future. We already have the ability to have targeted ads at bus stops and technology that was so far fetched that Star Trek predicted it decades ago. But how can augmented reality impact shopping and improve our lifestyles?

Pokemon Go is changing not just gaming, but our very lives. Those who think of how to use similar (or better) technology to improve business, lifestyle, and health of the world will be on the cutting edge. I’m willing to bet, as my dad says, dollars to donuts, that in two to three years we will see the beginnings of what entrepreneurs and visionaries are starting to work on right now. In five years this sort of thing will be common place. In ten years we will have evolved way past this and onto the next life changing thing.

How can you prepare your business to function better, faster, more efficiently, increase margins to position itself in that future? How will your workforce change? How will your policies and procedures change? Think about the myriad opportunities for team building, recognition, retention, even impacts on health insurance rates and employee wellness programs. How about recruiting? Compensation plans and strategies?

At the very least we know that battery life will improve exponentially in the next year or two. lol I look forward to when transporters aren’t just for Sci Fi media. ­čśë

Continuous Improvement and Poker Face

There are days I love my job, today was one of them.

I’m a big believer that nothing is ever set in stone, nor should it. I had the privilege and pleasure to be part of my second experience to review current processes with a cross sectional team to change things for the better. I swear that my employer’s unspoken motto is akin to Big Brother, “expect the unexpected.”

Continuous improvement has many names depending upon the industry. It is a long, painful process. It has proved interesting to see how the “future state” and “pie in the sky” end result actually implements. Luckily, regardless of how close reality is to the envisioned future state, improvements are generally the result.

Even when not leading the team (although it could be done by HR for any company) it shows just how much HR (be it generalist or a specialist) are project managers. Let’s face it, if it is an I-9 Audit; AAP; annual enrollment; updating the on boarding process; reviewing job descriptions, salary structures, and employee alignment – HR is nothing but projects and improving things!

Another very important part of HR is having a poker face. I read in the past year a great article about how to improve yours and been practicing! (Read my admitting to failing at it here.)I felt that I did a fabulous job at using it in the meeting today, only emitting one raised eyebrow over the course of 9 hours (while on 4 hours sleep and being in physical pain.) But I know that I have mastered it due to a recent four day ordeal in my personal life where despite being under tremendous stress and difficult situations I held it together for the 90% of the time.

Do you have any stories or tips to share about continuous improvement or poker faces?

Chief Financial Officer

For the past tw0 years I have had the honor and privilege of being the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a nonprofit. The organization is a 501(c)7 with annual gross receipts under $50,000.

Image from http://myob.com.au/

I have learned a lot in these years about accounting, forecasting, budgeting, insurance, tax, credit, statistics, and reporting. In the beginning I relied heavily upon resources from preparing for my PHR and World at Works’s Accounting and Finance for the Human Resources Professional. I got to expand my experience in leadership, as the role was an Officer of the organization (reporting to the CEO and on the same level as the COO) as well as management as I had two “minions” that reported to me and assisted me with various items (one was keying data, the other with preparing taxes.)

In my tenure, I accomplished all of the goals I set┬áthose 26 months ago. Let me illustrate the situation when I started the role:┬á5 months before I took the role the former CFO was found to have (and admitted to) stealing funds from the organization. Due to on going investigations I can’t say┬ámuch, but corporate counsel has stated I can share it was tens of thousands of dollars. The organization, being 100% volunteer run and operations financed 100% by donations this was a huge challenge to take on.

I am very happy to state that through my aforementioned skills (budgeting, etc) and working with a fantastic Executive team, I was able to repay nearly $10,000 in debt; build up a financial cushion of $10,000+; create reporting where previously there was none; documented the heck out of policies and procedures for a layman to understand and is also compliant with FASB standards. Repairing the trust of the organization donors was of paramount importance, to which I went to great lengths to improve transparency surrounding all financial matters. I reduced financial waste with the new procedures/policies saving the organization $1,000+ annually. My biggest accomplishment was playing forensic accountant and going through the previous three years of records to audit, amend taxes, and provide documentation towards the on going actions against the former CFO.

I am very proud of this accomplishment and experience. Like all good things, this is coming to an end. I have submitted my resignation. Being that it was a volunteer position (aka no pay) and it takes a lot of time (30-40 hour a week!) I feel I need to redirect my energy and time into that which pays me and being a more well rounded individual for better balance, grounding, and thus leave me able to offer more in what I do. I look forward to training my successor and ensuring that they are set up for success, so that the organization can also be successful.

Business Leader

Photo Credit http://www.changeboard.com

I’ve had skin in the HR game for over five years now. I’ve had my history lesson on how Personnel was created and then evolved to Human Resources and have seen the┬ádesperate fight to “have a seat at the table.” Now that we have “the seat” HR is evolving into Human Capital Management and being a Strategic Business partner/leader.

Raise your hand if you just won buzzword bingo. lol

One of the unique elements I have seen in this evolution is how the movers and shakers in HR and those that truly have “seats” or consult understand the greater picture of what business really is – all the moving parts of what is sold, why it is sold, how it is sold, how it is created, how materials are obtained to create it, the books are managed, people are managed, and profit made.

Being strategic, one must not just know all that and juggle it, but also see life through that perspective so that opportunities can be seen and taken at a moment’s notice, policies and procedures shifted smoothly and swiftly to stay on top of the market and social media/PR.

Let me give a non-HR centric example. Recently I had the pleasure of attending a book signing for a local chef (Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill and soon Gunshow, season6 of Top Chef) that had “made it.” I have friends that either currently or previously have worked in the restaurant business; I’ve done my time washing pots and serving food (although in a hospital, not a restaurant); and I’ve seen more than my fair share of tv shows like Next Iron Chef, Next Food Network Star, Top Chef, Food Truck Race, various Anthony Bordain shows, Kitchen Nightmares, Dinner/Restaurant Impossible, etc. to have an idea of what goes into the varying levels of chefdom and how a restaurant operates successfully.

There are chefs that love to cook and are good at it. There are celebrity chefs that on top of loving and being good at what they do, also have personality. It is possible to be either of those and not successful in the long run. To be successful as a chef one must think beyond their kitchen, beyond that restaurant, and to branch out to writing cook books, taking part in competitions, consulting, and various ways of getting their name out there which may or may not include tv shows. (Sounds pretty familiar right – work thine behind off, diversify your work portfolio and ye shall be fruitful. This formula translates into most roles and businesses.)

Listening to Kevin speak I heard true genius. Not only is he a culinary master (making it to the finale of Top Chef as an example), he has the down to earth personality that makes him likable, has grit and gumption, and business savvy. His cookbook Fire In My Belly is a cookbook like none other, and he meant for it to be that way. He thinks outside the box and isn’t afraid to act outside of it either. Those certainly strike me as sign posts for strategic leadership and success.

To toot my own horn, I picked up on his savvy and asked if he planned for future books to better describe the business of being a chef – the short answer is yes. I’m already mentally planning on getting his trio of books (Fire and the next two in the series as Kevin described them) for my brother in law who is an executive chef. (Good salesmanship, Kevin!)

Going back to the idea of being a business leader and partner coming from the Human Resources discipline, it is our role to see this bigger picture for our good, the good of our company, and the good of our profession. We are not just paper pushers that say no and hide behind a desk. We get out there, nourish talent to be the best it can be; look at the whole ecosystem of the company, industry, and economy to do the best possible for everyone. That is what being a real partner is and should be.