One of my very best friends told me that my blog is boring when I write about human resources.
“Where is the human in human resources? I go there for you. You are at your best when you write about politics, cats and running. I don’t want to read about HR technology or employee engagement. Draw your HR lessons from more inspired places.”
So I said, “Uhm, yeah, I didn’t ask for your opinion.”
Which is totally true. If anyone wants to offer an opinion, do it behind my back. I don’t mind.
But since we are discussing feedback, let me get defensive and tell you that all niche blogs are boring. In any industry — including HR — writers use “big boy” voices to demonstrate authority. I hate that. And in the HR space, my colleagues want to boss the audience into believing that HR — which includes recruiting, retention, marketing, compliance, engagement, social media, sales, technology, consulting, payroll, compensation, and benefits — is significant and relevant.
You and I know the real secret about human resources.
None of this is necessary. HR only exists because business leaders are too lazy to do this work themselves. And the trend is to integrate HR into normal business operations, which means a shrinking share of voice and ownership for the traditional HR professional.
But since HR exists — and no one is the face of the HR market — it might as well be me.
(Is it Josh Bersin? Is it Bill Kutik? C’mon man. Let’s get real.)
While my friend thinks that my HR blog is boring and needs more LFR, there are other people who think that my posts about cats and running work against me.
But as much as I don’t listen to my friends who want more cat blog posts, I don’t listen to my critics who want me to put on my big-boy-pants and regularly write about boring stuff like big data and HR analytics. Being a human resources leader worth her salt is all about building relationships and meeting the needs of multiple constituencies while staying faithful to a personal belief system shored up by confidence and integrity.
I have a belief system. I have confidence. I have integrity.
And while this blog may be boring at times to some people for a variety of reasons, I think it strikes a balance between relevant HR lessons and observations about work and life.
I trust my readers to see lessons in the cat posts. I trust them to dig deeper on posts about politics and culture, too.
And I still think my blog — HR or not — is more interesting than anyone else’s.
Prove me wrong.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Oh wait… did you write about cats again….. zzzzzzzzzzzz … .or was it politics……….zzzzzzzzzzz or HR?
The truth is most blogs about HR ARE boring. As is my own blog on a pretty regular basis.
And I don’t like cats.
But – I like you and your point of view so I read.
Sometimes I agree. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes you surprise me. Sometimes you don’t.
No one hits 100% of the time.
Advice is easy. Work isn’t.
BTW – how good is your friends blog?
My friend’s blog is okay. He won a Tim Sackett Day® award, one year.
Well, then you should listen to him. He sounds wonderfully intelligent and insightful.
“Being a human resources leader worth her salt is all about building relationships and meeting the needs of multiple consitituiences while staying faithful to a personal belief system shored up by confidence and integrity”
I guess it would depend on what your field is, no? As an HR gal, I don’t find it boring, even when you talk about HR tech….But even if I liked “the voice” of, say, and Internal Audit blogger, when s/he chooses to right about audit stuff, since I’m not in that field, I’m sure I would find it to be a total snooze fest.
It is easier to be a strategic dreamer and write about HR big data and analytics than the real HR world.
It is always interesting when whacks the HR hornet’s nest with a stick.
HR is full of ugly realities that no one ever wants to discuss.
examples: (1) Outside of payroll and benefits related data, the data in most company’s HRIS systems is garbage. It would take some serious time, money & effort to get the data clean enough to be useful for HR analytics. (2) Internal politics are so loaded in HR that many processes look more like Yankee Swaps than value adding business processes.
I certainly could do without hearing the term “big data” again anytime soon. I worked with an HR Team that was insistent about running metrics on everything. They were convinced this would win the admiration of their industry peers and business leaders.
However, the data simple told the story of where we were last week, month, or year. There was no forecasting completed. When expected to contribute to what was needed from a human capital perspective six months down the road, the team was all blank stares and shoulder shrugs. One boss actually commented on the data report by saying, “Well…it’s pretty…thanks.”
So thank you for not writing solely about HR and tossing in what every other HR blog I once or currently subscribe to thinks is important. I enjoy the break.
Your blog is better than mine.
Love you Laurie – don’t change… 🙂
I wrote my book Organization Horsepower about motorcycles and business performance improvement not because I didn’t want to be boring, but because i realized that the things we are passionate about (cats, running) are linked to our experiences and expertise.
BTW a lot of crossover metaphorically between the examples I used in the book and running.