Monday, February 11, 2019

Systematic EVP

We've reviewed the trajectory of Workforce planning for ages: Employee Recognition gave way to Employee Engagement which is now being called Employee Experience. These phrases more-closely resemble buzz words but there is a distinction to be made in the verbiage.

Engagement references an arrangement to do something in a fixed time while Experience tilts toward observation; one interactive the other somewhat passive. These are not competing ideologies.

People still like to be rewarded. People want to learn. People want to develop. People want to be part of a culture that elevates their work beyond their personal goals. Transactions happen, systems track said activity, and it all becomes part of a greater cohesive strategy. 

Each organization's Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a six part strategy to synchronize base line objectives (work content and compensation) with the elevated goals of employee growth and development.

Wrapping the collective arms of the Human Resource function around an all-encompassing EVP is an unenviable challenge: there are years of process to streamline (or undo), legacy systems and people who seek to disrupt where others see no need to rock the proverbial boat.

Such is our conundrum.....

But we can start with a systematic approach to progress.

Scaling to Audience
System limitations almost always guarantee program failure. Users want a platform that is designed with some flavor while promoting objectives centric to their core job function. If reward options are limited, users will plateau and stop using the system. If the design looks like it was created in 1977, program interaction will wane. If initiatives are limited to a few "pat on the back" functions, excitement for appreciation will be replaced by resentment of "another leadership initiative designed without compassion for those in the trenches".

Multiple Avenues of Attraction
You can build the best system in the world but if communication, training and intrigue are not part of your program strategy; your eco-system will remain dormant.

Does your program have a title replicated in 12 other companies in your industry?
Is finding the site difficult?
Does it take 2 days and 5 approvals to recognize a colleague?

You'll need a branding strategy specific to your organizational culture, paths to intrigue that keep users coming back for more, and challenges that engage the competitive and collaborative motivational set in equal time.

Do the hard work: dig into every corner of the culture and develop a strategy that synchronizes Human Development with Organizational Purpose. 

Don't Forget to Remember,


Monday, February 4, 2019


I am always humbled by reminders that nothing in life is of insurmountable importance. It comes in song, laughter overheard and the rare occasion to drive on the open road.

We are reminded of life's simple pleasures when we hear the voice of a familiar singer. We can take comfort in a warm meal on a cold night or when the sun slivers through the clouds after hiding for a while. The grandiose responsibilities of life can crowd our minds but we have to maintain our grip on our heartstrings. It is proven time and time again that troubles we fear seldom manifest themselves. How dare we waste time in worry.

Then we head into the open road, a song comes over the radio and the sun peaks over the fields; out ahead of the pack, seeking a little bit of salvation from the worry that clouds our mind.

We cannot hide from it, so we might as well drive into it!

There is not a problem that cannot be solved and there are always new ideas to hatch.

Inspiration is the process of emerging from routine. Authenticity appears when we discover something new. In a day-and-age when everyone is an author, anyone can prove their opinion on anything and there is no governance to steer you otherwise.

Some times you have to delete your profile.... and some times you just need to take a drive.

When information overload serves only as to strangle motivation, simplicity serves as a humble reminder that we are free. The opportunity to explore the boundless landscape is ever-present.   

Dissemination as a Matter of Motivation
Quitting doesn't solve the problem, it takes opposition away from those who seek to control through forced alignment. Activism is a lonely trade because it requires unwavering commitment without immediate reward. Most of us would rather do our thing in peace rather than create chaos for the sake of helping others.

Will it take a tragedy for you to care enough to make change?

If you wish not to change the world, you can at least start with yourself.....

Any idea can be opposed as long as it is intersected by another. If you are only opposing the norm for the sake of opposition you may be too afraid to expose your lack of mastery in all things.

There are 80,000 people in the stands and 24 on the field.

The Breach

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, one more" - King Henry

Through my 20 year professional career, I've given and have received mountains of advice. Some things I thought I believed have proven false. There are words that I thought were gospel that have grown dusty on the wall. The one truth that seems never to be refuted is that hard work pays off. More than certificates, accolades or degrees; hard work is the great differentiator. There are a million decorated college grads who are unemployed.  Those who are capable of grinding every day always find a way.

People fail for one of two reasons:
1. They get over-confident
2. They are unable to get through The Dip

The optimal time to search options is when things are going well. If you wait for things to go sideways before you take action, you'll likely make decisions out of desperation only to yield misery.

Seth Godin contests that those who know when to quit better divert their time to more-productive projects. He also points out that most who try, give up after the heavy lifting is done, right before their reward is achieved.

People who cannot handle adversity cannot sustain a victorious march:
- Are you are smart but unwilling to try?
- Are you are creative but too stubborn to conform to process?

You can't be a comedian is you aren't funny.

You can't be a 3 star chef if you cannot cook.

Don't Forget to Remember,


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Waking Up in 2019

It's that time of year when New Year's Resolution, Career Goals, Plans to get Healthy and Forecasting of Big Ideas come together! We inventory the year past and read a bunch of lists. We put the past away and look forward.

Are there goals still to be conquered? Are there songs left to sing?

In times when inspiration is at a premium, how can we find a spark? Is routine the enemy? Is the fountain of invention dried out?

Acquisition of Knowledge
Over the last two years, Social Media has suffered two self-imposed setbacks:
  1. Ego-Driven Debate
  2. An Idea Cap
Both of these things share a commonality: Emotion has replaced Common Sense.

If every day you awake and grab your phone to check your social media accounts... the odds of approaching the day with a positive outlook are limited. At some point, opinion became more relevant than facts because research takes more time than the immediate call to respond will allow. "Facts" to defend any opinion are now readily accessible.

We've seen the world's most-prominent brands crash due to the fact that organizational leadership would not regulate their egos in the interest of change.

If what you read provokes your emotion to the point of publicizing outrage, you are referencing the wrong resources to guide your day.

I've been in the same industry for 12 years. As of today, there are industry blogs being published with the exact same content of those released in 2007.

Here is the formula for lack of invention in corporate blogging:
  • Reference a current event (this can be found within the first 3 posts on your Facebook page)
  • Resolve 3 lessons from the aforementioned pop culture trend
  • Provide a link to your product or service
The prerequisite to author such a piece is nothing and everyone has access to publish.

An Alternate Path
Take a walk. Leave your phone in the car. Read a book. See a movie. Call someone. Meet someone (in-person). Get a dog. Get a cat. Eat a meal without picking up your phone. Journal. Google Shakespeare. Look up some motivational quotes. Search "Inspiration" on You Tube. Delete your Facebook account. Delete your Twitter account. Ignore hatred. Ignore anger on the roadway. Stop cheering for others to lose. Own your happiness. Stop cheering for others to be unhappy. Choose success as opposed to living to avoid failure. Set goals, double them and work your ass off until you achieve them. Stop blaming others. Mind your own business. Get out of other peoples business. Reward yourself. Stop waiting for others to deem you fit to be rewarded. Let your heart, mind and spirit drive your motivation. Stop fueling your insecurities.

If you find yourself pursuing something that has already been done, change your path. You will never be genuinely fulfilled by replicating the ideas of others.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, December 21, 2018

Top 5 - 2018

What a year in music!

Sure.... confusion exists at the cross roads of popular and independent music. The music festivals we've cherished now more closely reveal the Super Bowl. Tons of Octogenarians have reunited to pay for their 5th divorce (but, who's counting).

2018 took an interesting turn: Hip Hop has given way to trap music, the singer/songwriter genre seem to have taken a year off, guitars that were being replaced by keyboards are now being replaced by guitars.

With a million different avenues to making music, the entry point is easier but enhanced exposure all the more difficult.

In 2018 Damien Jurado gave us an unforgettable love letter to the Seattle that was. Lucero returned with ghost stories from the South. Nada Surf and The Mountain Goats got well-deserved tribute albums.

Bands like Mom Jeans, Middle Kids and Nap Eyes established their place in the indie lexicon.

Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists and Superchunk proved themselves as relevant as ever.

In the most important year for the establishment of the female voice bands like Hop Along, Steady Holiday, Camp Cope and Boy Genius gave us an unapologetic explosion of the glass ceiling.

We were afforded posthumous releases from Lil Peep, The Glands and Richard Swift.

Mr Tweedy took away the fuzz and gave us a down home retrospective of his life in print and musical format.

Here are the Top 5 Albums of 2018:

5. C'est La Vie by Phosphorescent

" You've got nothing to doubt or fear... not as long as I'm standing here "

A beautiful blend of swamp escape fan boat instrumentals coupled with Matthew Houck's most accessible tunes.... at moments poppy. The birth of a child creating a new muse. This album takes the listener through every emotion. A terrifying soundtrack back drop intervened by rollicking singer/songwriter fellowships. Houck keeps an eyebrow raised while softening some of the edges that flipped his former work from the turntable.

4. Big Red Machine (self-titled)

" and you know we'll need a minute to repair so when you teach em better teach em to share "

Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National) have established themselves as Indie Rock's collaborators to introduce new talent, so it's only logical that they would combine forces. This record has the vocal layering of a Bon Iver record with the sonic complexity we've come to know as The National's repartee. Teeming with emotion, lyrical complexity and dense in it's composition; this record can be on rotation all day. Remarkable! 

3. Skylight by Pinegrove

" whoever you are.... I've been waiting for you "

2016 saw Pinegrove's meteoric rise. They were sidelined for a year in reflection of an alleged incident later revealed as a less-than-credible report of "inappropriate influence" by an unlicensed mental health resource who breached client confidentiality. On Skylight, Evan Stephens Hall respectfully extols the transition without animosity or conviction. Pinegrove emerge more thoughtful than ever. Better suited to continue the intimate, emotional wanderings that are their journey in song composition.    

2. Be More Kind by Frank Turner

" You should spend more time with the do's than with the don't's"

We need Frank Turner in 2018. His reflections on politics, diplomatic relations and the right to exercise individual influence are raw without over-calculation. Frank's outrage with the current state of world politics are coupled with an unwavering call for kindness. The punk rocker turned folk singer touches every nerve in the human psyche without apology while willing to try harder to get better.

1. Animal Companionship by Advance Base

" Gary's beautiful at night by the lights of the refinery, it's like Christmas in Nightmare City... it's absolutely shocking " 

Owen Ashworth began his career two decades ago speaking his asthmatic mono-tone over a multitude of toy Casio plug-ins. Before there were programmed samples, Owen created them live on stage through rotating devices while speaking remarkably profound stories.

Animal Companionship is Owen's crowned jewel; a journey through recovery, relocation and the humble recognition of the moments in-between. Our narrator celebrates mediocrity as a welcome means to survival... all while walking his dog.

A thousand listens reveal a thousand perspectives. Owen is among the greatest lyricist of our era.

In Humble Summation of the Year that Was:
Rock is not dead. The independent ideology has never been more prominent. There are amazing people writing amazing songs in a variety of genre across the world. If you can't find it, you're not looking hard enough.

In a hopeless world, the one thing we can rely upon is music!

"It's a town full of losers, I'm pulling out of here to win"

Thank You For Listening,


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Leveling Up

Where are we going?

What is our process for getting there?

Are technological advancements having an adverse effect on a social level?

Is accessibility to all things via the Internet putting blinders on our ability to identify the glory that exists outside of our window?

I came upon a young man today in our office building. He was noticeably flustered. He asked where a certain office was located, I informed him and he accelerated in that direction. Minutes later he returned telling me that he was in the wrong building (as if he wanted an explanation from me for his confusion). When I asked where he was going he told me he was heading to a job interview. Not sure this young man was in the best frame of mind to be sitting in an interview.... today or any other day.

What are we going to reflect upon 50 years from now?

Will every child who grew up with a phone in their hand be deemed unfit to hire due to something they posted when they were 10 years old?

Will our children chase their parents and grandparent's digital trails to find political arguments or inappropriate pictures?

Surely, we cannot remove ourselves from active participation in humanity by assuming we are receiving the appropriate level of human compassion from a machine.

Common sense would dictate that the wave of social media as we know it will crash into sand on the beach.... and we'll get back to enjoying the sunset.

Mastery vs. Interpretation 
I know so many really smart people whose intelligence is an albatross. The intellectual would argue the aforementioned statement might be an indication of the lack of intelligence in our society. However, all the knowledge in the world is a deposit without return if you cannot articulate your purpose.

Subject Matter Experts exist in a rabbit hole know as intense knowledge from a functional standpoint accompanied by the baggage of existing experiences. Said experts pull back the curtain so far that they confuse people. Expelling the technical elements of application for the sake of how a solution solves a problem is far more important.

It's called common sense.... and we lose site of it when we replace our hearts and brains with batteries.

Hugging the Good Stuff
While we prioritize our point of view in the social space with people far from us we tend to neglect the fact that none of it matters.

No child ever gave a speech to their class about the bravado-laced stupidity of their Grand Mother's social perspective. I'd like to think the digital trail we leave for generations to come will be searched, correlated and shared to showcase the brilliance of how it used to be. God knows we have an ability to dress up the past.

More important than the disagreement you had with your uncle over gun control is the hug you give him when you see his undeniably wonderful stupid face.

You'll forget the team for which you cheered, the person for whom you voted, the proposed educational path to enlightenment or the standards by which people should manage their lives.

Insults are a transactional validation of  the stubborn nature of ego protection.

Forgiveness is a transformational act of progress.

In the end, we don't remember the insults. We are not robots. There are no analytics or statistics that measure one's ability to tire of their baggage and change.

Don't Forget to Remember,


Monday, November 19, 2018

How Gamification Won

I remember hearing Rajat Paharia on a panel discussion some years ago denouncing the term Gamification. He was at the time dubbed the Father of the strategic technical discipline. Logically, the commodification of the behavioral practice wore him out. I understand the fatigue.

We've been talking about Gamification in the Human Capital Management space for 10 years, mostly in attempt to simplify the concept to form an opinion for or against it.

A decade later, Gamification is less a buzzword, but unavoidable as a business strategy.

Expelling the G Word
Take away the badges, levels and comparisons of Call of Duty to Business Process. Eliminate the G Word from the lexicon and we can better extol the virtues of Gamification.

You start with 5 intrinsic motivators:
  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose
  • Progress
  • Social
Then take a look at how said motivators birth Game Dynamics:
  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Achievement 
  • Progress
  • Exploration
And finally, create program initiatives that are measurable while scaling the aforementioned diversity of behavior models:
  • Points
  • Levels
  • Missions
  • Badges
  • Quizzes
  • Extrinsic Rewards
A little more expansive than a video game!

Without Intrigue Engagement Is Impossible

We can seek to develop our workforce in 3 ways:
1. Carrots (rewards)
2. Sticks (certification)
3. Gamification (intrigue)

You can dismiss the theory because your tech doesn't do it. You can pretend Gamification is infantile. You can bat your eye at technical developments.....

In reality, if you are unwilling to scale, you will fail!   

Anyone who has ever played a sport knows that if the coach micro-manages, the player will do just enough to stay in the game. Better to teach a player to fish than to pretend regulation drives progress. 

Participation trophies are continually frowned upon in certain cultures, but presenting an ongoing goal progression model works better than telling a person to do their job or they'll be fired. 

If your only motivation is to stay in the game.... you will never score!

Think of the worst boss, customer or relationship partner you've had in your life. My guess is that they shared a commonality:

The status they sought to establish in your life was based on Ego-Influenced Control!   

We all cherish the moment we walked away from a boss who bullied us, a life mate who sought to break our sense of self or the step father who pretended to rule with an iron fist. 

The minute you take control away from a bully, he/she curls up into the corner they attempted to put you in.

If the rule structures in our performance metrics turn from manager control to social amplification, the silos burn down. 

Leaderboards have the ability to promote introverts as a secret weapon!

Badges give employees a sense of purpose and a renewable application for long term success.

... neither are more important in application than the long term effect they have on process. 

The end never justifies the means.

Winning with your best players is a short term transaction. Developing every player is a long term strategy for sustainable success!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, November 9, 2018

A Chance At Gratitude

I woke up early in an East Coast town and (against my better judgment) checked my social media feed. I was met with positivity (?) Two positive posts in a row.... 2! With the mid-term election a day behind us, people may have exhausted their hatred for an hour or two. The trend was beautifully reassuring.

I headed into town for lunch in an empty barroom. I found the words of Anthony Bourdain & Jeff Tweedy. For a minute, time stood still and everyone was OK with one another.

It dawned on me that the frustration that bends my mind every day is self-imposed and that time spent arguing in a room with no doors only serves to divide us.

Little did he know, two seemingly insignificant moments would shape the rest of his life:

The most important moments of his life.... neglected

In the faint restaurant light, a man and his wife sat unreasonably close to my wife and I discussing the terms and conditions of their divorce. Their love had been reduced to a contract. The man spoke in personal terms at a level that everyone in a football field's distance could hear, fueled by four Manhattans and a lifetime of entitlement. He had one final chance to save his marriage and he was fucking up with galactic precision. My wife and I spoke not to one another out of embarrassment for people we did not know. He could have shown up and saved his family but he chose his ego over kindness (for the very person, of any person, that he should have appreciated most). There was no salvation in this story and I could hear his "wife" counting the seconds until she no longer had to endure this caveman's nonsense.


I will follow you into the dark

I've had the amazing privilege in life to work for people who have appreciated me. I was allowed to coach my daughter and her friends from the tender age of 2 onto their mid-elementary years. They used to really like me and now they're too-cool-for-school. But, that's OK. Our fleeting time together helped form their mentality, they will be more successful for it.

On an evening when her older brother and Mom were away, my 10 year daughter dropped her shield. No phone... no friends to stand behind... Halloween candy securely tucked away. The little butthole decided to spend a few minutes with her dad. After enjoying a few episodes of Uncle Halsted's program, we headed to bed. She waited by my side to brave the dark and for a minute she was a kid again.

What a privilege........

BIG events will come and go:

Your kids might get married or go to jail.

Your team might win a championship or win not a single game.

You might choose to be miserable in a room full of love.

You might stop trying.

Or.... Maybe..... at the moment when you are called upon to save all that is important to you.... you'll sit in the seat of the person next to you and stop embarrassing those who chose to love you.

It seemed in the course of a single day the winter had arrived in the East Coast. I jumped in a cab. I was on my way home......

Don't Forget to Remember,


Friday, November 2, 2018

Behave Yourself

It was an honor to be included in Dr. Bob Nelson's new book "1001 Ways to Engage Employees". I shared a case study with Dr Bob which showcased how we used the SCARF methodology to enhance a major technology company's performance management strategy.

Managing employee performance has moved from annual write ups to high touch, systematic career development. The example I shared with Dr Bob was effective for two reasons:
  1. The process was simple
  2. The employee was afforded a range of performance objectives to stack rank in order to help their manager better understand their motivation
 As I enter my 12th year in the Human Capital Management space I've seen big ideas come and go while some ineffective systems have remained in-place (for lack of time to overhaul them).

Failure in performance-based systems occurs when too much user input is required or when employees are forced to conform to initiatives that don't align with their personal career goals.

Behavioral Modeling starts with a menu of 5 Intrinsic Motivators:
  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose
  • Progress
  • Social

We can structure a motivation path around rewards (carrots) or certifications (sticks) but employees would rather be inspired by an element of intrigue.

Some work for money. Others enjoy the glory of winning. Allowing a choice scales to all corners of Behavioral Economics.

If your employee were to stack rank the 5 intrinsic motivators listed above would you help them exercise strengths without a demand to prioritize that which does not intrigue them?

Technology rules but accessibility can be an issue. Over-worked, communication fatigued employees are called upon to access multiple sites to understand the internal programs available to them. If it takes 30 minutes, 12 sites and an Ethernet cable to access a program portal, odds are said program will be under-adopted.

Buyers in the HCM space face a logic bending hurdle:
Sun-setting legacy technology involves 12 months, 2 FTE's and a significant loss in opportunity cost.

Therefore, vendors in the space are allowed to lack ingenuity without repercussion.

You don't have to overhaul legacy systems to enhance program access. There are elements of performance management than can be written on a napkin.

Trust and Transparency drive Employee Engagement. Giving employees choice for career path empowers them and provides a guide for development.

Revisiting the Engagement Ecosystem   
If you had to take 12 e-learning courses to be rewarded $50, would you do it?

If the knowledge afforded in the learning path is beneficial to your career development, won't the attainment of knowledge present applicable reward?

Do you need to be paid to thank your peers?

If you knew recognizing an overworked, underpaid member of your support team would put a smile of his/her face, would that not be incentive enough to encourage their effort?

If you complete a project on time and under budget would you prefer a gift card or a week off?

Happiness driven by profession is a myth. People are inspired by opportunity to advance which heightens their engagement in their work which inspires them to work harder which presents greater achievement which gives their work purpose. A rush of dopamine fills the brain on the way to the train on a Friday after a successful week. Those seeking to enhance their success carry said dopamine in their brain on a Monday morning as well.

The amount of money one makes does not drive engagement, it sets expectations.

Purpose-driven work that is consistently challenging is the only path to true success.

1. Allow employees to chose their path to success
2. Make programs easy to access and operate
3. Reward fairly
4. Create new challenges 

Don't Forget to Remember,


Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Sales people are naturally competitive, in fact, most people are competitive (whether they choose to admit it or not). Competition fails to impress because it is perceived to be rooted in jock culture. No one is impressed by chest pounding (especially in this day-and-age). We all want to prove our excellence. We all want the glory of victory. Few of us are interested in shouting our greatness from the mountain top.

I remember being in a job interview many years ago, explaining MY greatness. The interviewer stopped me to voice a request:
  • Try saying "We" instead of "I"
  • ... You know we have the ability to compete together and EVERYBODY WINS
I was startled by the idea. I was humbled that he'd allow me to retract the answers I'd filled with self-importance. WE went through the previous questions turning I into We, taking the individual from the mountain top and replacing him/her with a group of climbers.

My purview opened and I was forever changed. Half way through my career, I had new life.

It would be misleading if we were to ignore the fact that people can be annoying. It is also impossible to succeed without others. Inevitably, it is one's responsibility to find their piece of the pie and to share it with others. Every day of work is ever-complex and opinions mount. It is necessary to learn how to work with others; to be humble in victory and accountable in defeat.

Extroverts are usually assumed self-confident. I've found the most-confident people don't see a need to be verbal unless necessary. Those most-worthy of recognition are usually willing to step aside for the benefit of others.

People neglect to share for two reasons:
1. They fear their ideas will not be adopted
2. They fear the offer to go above and beyond the call of duty will only produce more work without sufficient reward

Become a Student, Then a Teacher
We tend to look to organizational hierarchy to guide us to intelligence. The higher up the chain, the smarter you must be....

This is a dangerous proposition!

The best contributors do not always make the best leaders due to the self-centered nature of their succession path.

Those who cannot do.... manage.

Tenure does not determine excellence. If we measure idea adoption and/or change management to be guided by tenured management types, we are missing the point.

The goal of collaboration should be to create a level playing field for contribution without the baggage of authority sponsorship. Everyone should use their individual strength to create a collective strategy. This capability does not exist if the strategy for development is driven by a party of one.

Hierarchy creates bureaucracy which feeds micro-management. Progress is not possible if rigidity of role structure is expected to fuel momentum.

If the aforementioned is in place there is one certain outcome:

The brilliant and motivated young minds are forced out by mediocre rule followers who seek to remain in silos.

Because Collaboration is Complex
Most people wish to do their assigned job to the best of their ability. The default strategy to success is learn the plan, follow it and seek to progress a little more each day. There is enough assigned work on our plate to fill the day, why would we ask to do more work that does not have a determined outcome?

Progress is the result of change. Change only happens when someone is bold enough to try new things. The process of trying new things often involves neglecting that which we are good at to experiment.

If we do not experiment, we will not evolve.

That which we are good at today will be our downfall tomorrow if we fail to evolve.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Our Happiness Dilemma

This month I enter my 12 year in the Human Capital Management space. Trends have come and gone but our function remains in the positive part of Human Resources. Continually, we seek to serve the function of bringing people together, our extended goal is progress through encouragement. The paths out of the forest continue to shift but we are all ultimately just trying to find a clearing the in the distance.
... a place to feel welcome
... a feeling that everything will be OK
... reassurance that the expenditure of our waking hours might make a difference in this sad and beautiful world.

The basis of Human Capital Management is:
1. Technology
2. Rewards
3. Course of Action

The technology provides the rainbow, rewards the pot of gold, and then there is a whole lotta bravado! (Bravado: good name for a recognition program).

Fulfillment houses hire motivational speakers and technology companies bring in yoga instructors...

At some point, the idea of Happiness in the workplace became the ultimate interpretation of rewarding progress.

Life is too short to hedge happiness on your professional existence and the through-line of "work" being a vanguard to "happiness" is about as reliable as the ROI of Employee Recognition.

We'd prefer not to be stressed out, we'd also like it if our boss was cool. It would be great if our work made a difference. But, as Kevin's Dad said a long time ago, "work is work".

Fortunately, I belong to a group of extraordinary individuals who actually want to discover customer problems and wrap a solution around them. This takes a consultative approach rooted in heavy research and design thinking; concepts the trunk salesmen of class rings who created recognition 1.0 couldn't begin to understand.


Achievement creates fulfillment which breeds a sense of pride; this may also be disguised as happiness.

Stress builds and then dissipates when you challenge yourself and extend beyond your perceived capabilities.

When bias is debunked change happens.

As people stop working in silos, collaboration bests competition.

If we compete with our enemies in a fair format, contempt turns into respect.

We want to challenge ourselves. We want to help ourselves remember our potential. We want to evolve by doing more than we ever thought possible.

Smiles are reassuring. Fist pumps are empowering.

Don't Forget to Remember!