(Some artist said that, and it’s true.)
There is a blank canvas — a sheet of paper, quiet instrument, an un-graffitied wall — and then there are the limitations of the human mind.
Conventional people don’t even try to make history. They sit on the sidelines with criticism and commentary. Brave artists move the chains a few inches, at most, but never make it down the entire length of the field. When there is genius in any trade, whether or it’s commercial or artistic, we block and tackle rather than carve out a lane and let the genius fly.
So when someone offers advice — at the end of the year or in the middle of April — it makes sense to stop and think about what’s being offered. Is it recycled? Upcycled? New?
In my world, year-end recruiting and HR advice falls into all of those categories. In years past, I’ve unwittingly recycled ideas and produced a gassy stream of blog posts that predict the same things that I predicted for previous years. Part of me wants to blame the industry, which moves at a snail’s pace, but part of me wonders when it was ever okay to predict that any year would be the year of “social recruiting.”
(I feel like I owe my older audiences an apology.)
I’ve also upcycled ideas, which means that I’ve thought of things and added a little window dressing to the concept to make it seem sexier. For example, 2011 was the year your HR department would accept social media and 2012 would be the year your CEO accepted social media as a legitimate way of communicating with customers and employees. Logical, fair, but too easy.
(Like Southern yard art, this stuff is just laying around.)
Sometimes I say new stuff, such as how I predict that 2016 will be the year of talent swapsies and switcharoos, but other people have predicted that kind of movement in the labor market using more eloquent language.
(Not HBR, though. They can suck it.)
This is just to say that December will be a month filled with old and stale HR and recruiting advice. I’m fighting hard to make sure my friends and colleagues don’t produce and share such garbage, but I’m only one woman. And whereas sometimes we don’t recognize genius until it’s too late, sometimes we don’t realize that art is garbage until it sits with us and starts to rot. So help me out, okay?
If you smell something, say something. Reasonable advice in any industry should pass the common-sense sniff test, and your nose knows the good from the bad.