Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Choose between money, engagement or meaning-one to a customer

I do agree that all over the world, democracy appears to be on the wane  as it were. I think that "on the wane" is a great term, although not au courant. (Bots and AI, for example are not yet "on the  wane". HR if not practised with lots of fresh salt free data, IS on the wane.) 

Democracy is the key to making some nerds happy some of the time. For example, why should clients set impossible delivery deadlines on their own? Why should Quality Control unilaterally determine the quality of the product? Why should an HR lady, as smart as she may be, balance between salary on one hand, as opposed to meaning or engagement on the other hand. By the way, I only have two hands.

In light of the above, and in line with my core value of delegating major choices, starting today, all new recruits will be able to choose between receiving a paltry salary, landing a job with a high level of engagement, or a role with depth and meaning.

The salary alternative is called The Gloria Plan. The engagement alternative is called the Machiavellian Plan. The meaning alternative is called the Happy Norwegian Plan.

The Happy Norwegian Plan used to be called the Danish Plan, but times change. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The case against offshoring to India

Crazier than a $3 bill

Last week, the Board of Directors demanded that CEO Stan  move all of our software engineering to Bangalore within a year. Very concerned about the skin on his ass, to-day Stan convened a meeting of the senior leadership team to discuss "how quickly we can fulfill the board's agile request".

Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, asked to make a few opening comments "before we move into the implementation stage". 
I sent Stan a text suggesting that he not acquiesce to the Comrade's request. Throwing me to the lions Stan said, "Gloria suggested by text that I don't allow you to speak, but I am a liberal. But make it short, Comrade Carl."

The Comrade lit a joint and said, "Look here, the board members are a bunch of greedy fools. All they care about is a dime here and a nickel there. Development in Bangalore makes no sense. The trip over  is far too long, the traffic there is horrible, and I cannot smoke a joint because I could end up in jail. If the Board wants to save a few "groschen", let's close HR here in HQ, outsource it all to a call center in Tirana Albania. The Board will have its pound of flesh. True, Gloria loses her VP title and parking spot, but the gig economy for former HR directors is very inviting. Spasiba".

Stan had not been listening to Comrade Carl's speak because his hemorrhoids have flamed up. Stan said, "Interesting point Comrade Carl. Noted. Please prepare an action plan. Now Gloria, how are you going to support moving Carl's team to Bangalore, over there in India?"

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Artificial Intelligence provides the ultimate User Experience

#AI enabled involuntarily early bird retirement

The Head of our Involuntary Early Bird Retirement Program, a certain Cynthia Axe, met with me today after I had put her off for six months. 
Ms Axe, who was chosen the most unpopular employee for 67 quarters straight, presented me with options how we could augment downsizing activities leveraging artificial  intelligence and bots, otherwise known as AI.

There is always a dilemma whenever I sent staff off for training. Ever since Ms Axe listened to the (free) webinar on Becoming a Business Partner, she has been brimming with ideas. Personally, I don't care if you brim with ideas, as long as you do what you are told.

Ms Axe told me that by providing each downsized employee with a pair of special glasses, the user experience would change for the better. "The glasses could make it appear as if they were about to receive a million dollars, instead of a kick in the ass", claimed an excited Miss Axe.

Ms Axe did not stop there. "Gloria, we can hire a few bots that can fire people in their local language. 89% of the people I fire don't understand half the time that they are losing their jobs". 
I noted that over the years, Ms Axe is becoming more compassionate.

However, when Ms Axe claimed that AI could make each downsized employee believe he (or she) is in Copenhagen where people are happy all year although they live in the dark-that's when I suggested to Ms Axe that she calms down until "you get a handle on things."

My Dad Pierre Elliot used to tell me Mom to "get a handle on things" when he noticed her raising her voice during change of life.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Triple the amount of artificial intelligence

Danes are happy board members

The wife of our CEO Stan, a lady known to my readers as Wifey, has struck once again. Wifey has been reading 16 hours a day about bots & artificial intelligence.

This reading spree of Wifey happened simultaneously with a board meeting this week during which the Chairman of the Board informed CEO Stan that "you are walking on thin ice; if you don't show profit in 2017, you are out on your fat ass. Now get the fuck out of my room and start running the company".

I have never seen Stan's bum, but the Chairman meant business, if you ask me.

On the very same day of the chairman's veiled threat, the head of our Engineering Department Comrade Carl Marks organized a demonstration (with 700 of his nerds) outside Stan's office calling for more ethnic food, less focus on UX / customer satisfaction and release from the bonds of profitability.  One demonstrator carried a placard which read "Stan, Gloria et RH au poteau". 

Wifey's reading spree, the chairman's threat and the demonstration threatening me with a guillotine-when put together, provides the context for a text message Stan sent me an hour ago.

"Gloria, we need more reliance on artificial intelligence, especially in R&D management. Treble the amount of bots which mange code development. One more demand-our board lacks in a sense of happiness. And give everyone a Danish passport to augment the amount of happiness. All this within a week, or you will get the boot. Stan. PS I don't need a Danish passport; I like warm weather and sunlight."

Under scrutiny

Thursday, 2 February 2017

On the job dying

A votre service

One of the nerds in on our big data algorithm team is a Spanish lady named Maria Paula Juanita Gomez Rodriquez Goldberg Teixeira de la Plata. 

This morning, Maria stood behind me in the line at the coffee machine. In a moment of bravery Maria asked me "Dona Gloria, ¿lo que pasa  if we die at work? Back in old Spain, the government takes care of this for the dead and his or her family. After all, we are part of Europe now". 

I have no idea what Europe has to do with this, although I do know that in parts of Europe like Denmark, the government pays for everything. 

In line with my core value of functional transparency, I explained to Maria that our HR policy stipulates that a nerd who has remained at work for 3 straight weeks and has refrained from washing as well as eating, who has no next of kin waiting to be deported from the USA, is entitled to a free cremation, along with a mainstream religious service conducted by Skype, mainstream being Catholic, Protestant or Jewish.  (We used to have a 4th  religion until the recent elections).

I forgot to tell Maria that the policy is only applicable for people who die on People Day.

Maria told me she was delighted to know and asked me if HR plans to introduce a siesta from 1300 till 1700 into the work schedule. 
Luckily, before I had time to get angry, I got a text from my dating service and Maria was spared my wrath.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

A traitor in our midst?- On Industrial Espionage

Who was Kim Philby?

Once every five years, I invite the HR staff for tea and a biscuit at Au Beau Pain, which is a restaurant with a French name. This outing increases engagement by 6%, linked to the British pound. 

As the HR team chatted at Au Beau Pain restaurant today, I was bored stiff, so I started texting my sister Claire, until I heard the voice of one of nerds, Andrei Ivanov, sitting behind me. 
I cranked my head to turn around;  lo and behold, Ivanov was sitting with one of our key customer's head of engineering. I know that their conversation was none of my business, and I remember that my dad always told me "don't eavesdrop Gloria-that's very rude",

But I could not help myself. 

As soon we got back from the restaurant, I told Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd, that Andrei Ivanov had told the client engineer "not to expect too much from the next software release. Our company is going down the tube, and my boss Comrade Carl thinks he is Russian. If you have a job opening, I'll take it, even though our ladies of HR are very pretty."

I suggested to Comrade Carl that we immediately drag Andrei Ivanov into court. But the comrade surprised me.

"Gloria, don't butt into my plans. Clearly you don't know about Kim Philby. He was a Soviet spy who also happened  to work his way up to lead the  British Intelligence anti spy network. 
Kibinimat, that was a huge achievement which I plan to emulate. I plan to plant Comrade Ivanov into the clients' team in order to improve client satisfaction and user experience. And you have a key role in the act of deception Gloria".

I asked Comrade Carl what my role was to be, in line with my core values of keeping things crystal clear so that I keep my blood pressure down.

"Fire him (Ivanov) Gloria, without a hearing, yet keep him on payroll for two years. CEO Stan need not know about this. Spasiba. When this has been done, send me a text with the message "Ja".

Spasiba in Russian means "merci". 

My Dad never told me about Philby. But he always used to say over supper, "if Tim Buck loves communism, he should move to Russia." My mom would add, "Pierre Elliot, who gives a rat's ass about Tim Buck, for heaven sake".

Improving user experience

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Fear of the gig economy

Classified job descriptions

Herr Krebbs, our German CFO, asked for permission to speak in our management meeting today. Our CEO Stan said, "Mister Herr Krebbs, don't be so formal, just speak up, for Christ sake. And speak clearly-I cannot understand your weird accent".

Herr Krebbs said that "ve don't have enough kontrol at ze product level; I haf my doubts if any of our prrrroducts make any profit. I sink we need more data at ze  indiwidual product level. Ja. I finish".

Comrade Carl our chief nerd  exploded from anger. "Kibinimat Krebbs, do I comment about your fucking team of losers from Accounts Payable in Finance? None of our vendors get paid on time. Go clean your own back yard, yob dvou mat. It's no wonder why we clobbered you at Stalingrad! "

CEO Stan turned to me and said that "the team's behaviour does not reflect our core values of brotherly love, Gloria. Why do I pay you a fat salary as HR manager? Do you want to join the gig economy?" I almost died when I heard the word "gig". I popped a Clonex.

After the meeting CEO Stan called me into his room. Sitting next to Stan at the small but elegant table in his room was Herr Krebbs, our German CFO. Herr Krebbs stood up and shook my hand, although we had seen each other innumerable times during the day. Stan, Herr Krebbs and I chatted for 90 minutes after which Stan issued the following email.

To Gloria and Mister Herr Krebbs
From CEO Stan

Herr Krebbs and Gloria will hire a finance project controller in R&D. This controller will analyse each  project to determine the profit margin.
Comrade Carl need not know about the existence of this role. The new recruit will work from home and will be payed from a slush fund, under the radar of the Ethics Committee. (Gloria, you own that.)
Gloria and her HR ladies promise that Comrade Carl and the new recruit will work in pure harmony. Herr Krebbs' skepticism is noted and dismissed.

Thank you,
CEO Stan
I almost died

Thursday, 5 January 2017

How Leading Software Development is like Leading in Iraq and Syria

Looking east for solutions

Today, in line with our core values of pumping free leadership webinars into the thick skulls of our technical leadership, a lecture was sent by Whatsapp advocating "democracy in the work place". The lecturer was a white American who had just returned from a mission to Iraq.

At lunch, as folks listened to the webinar on their mobile devices, Comrade Carl Marks (our chief nerd) stormed into my office, dragging Herr Krebs (our German CFO) with him.

The comrade, never stable to begin with, was as red as a beet. This is an expression by Dad Pierre Elliot Ramsbottom used a lot. Here is what the comrade had to say. (He spoke with a Russian accent).

"Gloria, have you ever heard of Gertrude Bell?" When I answered that I had teacher named Miss Lizzy Bell, he corrected me that this was a different Bell.

"Kibinimat Gloria, Gertrude Bell knew how to manage in a tribal environment. She even drew up a plan how to lead in Iraq and Syria. Bell  did not advocate democratic elections. She did not pedal dangerous liberal ideas! Nyet! She understood that you rule via tribal leadership or via brute force. Gloria, you may wish to notice that she was a Brit."

Comrade Carl lit a joint and continued. "Democracy is passe. Gestorban. How can you ask stupid people what needs to be done? You end up listening to the mob, for Christ's sake. Our nerds come from all over the fucking globe and very few them can even spell Democracy. And I promise you that they all want a strong leader who caresses like a Mama and screws them like a Papa".

Herr Krebs, our German CEO laughed and added, "Comrade Carl, ve dont haf zat expression in Deutch".

Comrade Carl stalked out of my room saying, "Gloria, recall that webinar, issue an apology, and grovel, or I will ensure that your useless HR department is run like a democracy, schas po ebalu poluchish, suka, blyad.

When I thought about Ms Axe and Hugh White (the straight white boy who runs Diversity) outvoting me, I got lower back pain and immediately called my chiropractor.

Lower Back Pain

Friday, 30 December 2016

My 5 2017 New Years Resolutions

1 Make HR great again.

2 Make our dithering workforce as diligent as a German and as happy as a Dane.

3 Increased use of data analytics to enhance my point of view.

4 To avoid thriving in the gig economy.

5 Lessen my agile use of sustainable slogans, yet remain relevant as HR business partner.

I am a dignified lady of my word. Check me out in a years' time. I will periodically (daily)  update on my agile progress. Happy and Sustainable New Year.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Focus talent management efforts on the client

Focus talent management on clients

Dear readers all over the world, from happy Denmark to far off and remote NZ, 
Our chief nerd Comrade Carl Marks ignored his doctors orders by taking his Cipralex and Seroquel anti depressants with brandy.
As a result of this combo, the Comrade's idea may have become more agile, but they are less sustainable.
I  received this email (below) from Comrade Carl whilst I am still on vacation up in Canada chez Mum.
Judge for yourself how drinking interacts with anti-depressants.

Dear Gloria, 
S novym godom! S novym schastyem! That means happy new years in Russian.
I hope your mother is not driving you out of your mind during vacation. I love you Gloria but you live on the brink of insanity.
If you ask me, talent management efforts invested on our nerds are a waste of  resources, kibinimat. Our nerds are fucking brilliant and our products are a pearl.
Our clients, however, lack sophistication as well as being unappreciative.  I hate our clients like most of our nerds hate HR.
I am against all HR budgets, but since you get a fat talent management budget anyway, may I suggest that this  budget be invested externally to improve our clients' savvy and love of risk taking. I know you like the savvy word because it is so French.
I have sent an email to CEO Stan telling him that you are already approved this idea. Spasiba (merci)  for your cooperation, Canadian Girl.
Love and kisses,
Comrade Carl 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Secrecy and discretion as leadership tools

Discretion is the mother of virtue

CEO Stan's wife, aka Wifey, stayed up late last night reading a cunning management article. Instead of making Stan breakfast this morning, she left him a note as she had read and reread the article until 3 am. As a result of the aforementioned note, Stan called me into his office at 9 am.

"Gloria, it is no secret that CEO's are managed by the incompetence of their followers. I am a classic example of this Greek tragedy. And I don't have one drop of Greek blood in my ancestry. Probably the most incompetent follower I have is Comrade Carl Marks, our chief nerd. Christ Gloria, he is useless as tits on a bull. Have you seen how many pills he pops? Have you any idea how dysfunctional our products are?!"

Stan continued, "I want you to hire a Chief Technology Officer, who will work in parallel and synergize with Comrade Carl. Over a period of time, I will marginalize the Comrade and the CTO will take over, seamlessly. Gloria, the entire hiring process and the eventual outcome must be kept top secret. Comrade Carl is not to know anything about this plan. Gloria, I will deport you back to Canada if this all leaks out, and you will freeze your ass off in the long cold winters up there".

(Dad told me that no one is worse at keeping secrets than the British intelligence).

Stan and I shook hands and I walked back to my room. Sitting in my chair was none other than Comrade Carl Marks. Carl was listening to Russian music and smoking a joint.

The comrade look at me with seething anger in his eyes. "Gloria, Stan just sent me a text that you are conspiring to replace me. Kibinimat, what type of suka are you?

Carl appeared disappointed