Scouting out tech talent? Winners and losers.

Ghost booth? Where are the humans?

OpenStack Summit, Atlanta, Day 2 Yesterday, I was surprised to see that Yahoo! had a prominent booth in the OpenStack Marketplace (i.e., exhibit hall). But, no one was there. The focus of the signage, etc, was on hiring, but, the biggest sign read, “interns and new grads.” OpenStack, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is the premier conference for developers of code that runs cloud networks. It’s a conference for super geeks, not new grads. I was talking to some folks in the Cloudscaling booth (being the founder’s mom has it’s perks), when a young woman from Yahoo! stopped by to engage in a clearly technical conversation. When I spotted Yahoo! on her badge, I introduced myself and asked how their recruiting efforts were going. She said she had no idea because, as far as she knew, everyone from Yahoo! were attending educational sessions. She didn’t even know about the booth. So, I decided to go back to the booth later. It must have been an anomaly, right? Nope. The Yahoo! booth is a placeholder. It’s a ghost booth in the busy Open Stack Marketplace. So, a question for you? What is wrong with this picture? I…   Continue Reading

OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, Day 1

Cloudscaling booth

What a difference this conference is from the first cloud conference I attended in 2009 in Santa Clara, California. There are over 4400 in attendance from all over the world. Five years ago, the collective opinion was that “cloud” was not for the enterprise. It was for startups or ISPs who wanted to expand their markets. In 2010, I spoke the the CIO of a large enterprise (<16,000 enterprise) who was expanding the number of data centers. I asked him if he had considered using some type of cloud infrastructure. He was definite and certain the cloud was not in the cards. Now, many enterprise IT organizations are looking at how and when to go beyond virtualization to a real cloud. They have moved past discussing public, private, hybrid pros and cons. They are talking how, when, and, most importantly, how much. What is interesting to me is that it seems that because OpenStack is an open source model, that some IT folks think it’s like using an open source computer operating system, a la Linux, but as a prominent builder of clouds explained, it’s like working at the kernel level of an operating system. So, enterprise IT organizations need…   Continue Reading

The Agile Tortoise

Armed and dangerous!

Today I begin my 7th decade on this planet. Because of the wonders of social media, I am receiving many greetings from friends, and even, a birthday doodle! This short post is my gift to my readers, sharing what I hope is a small bit of wisdom. In my first “professional” job with Sales Consultants of Phoenix, my manager, Al Britten, made us all read Winning through Intimidation, by Robert Ringer. At the time, I was a naïve single mother who wanted to be liked. My self-image was battered by consequences of decisions I made in my personal life. But, I needed to make money. My three small children’s needs trumped my wants, so I embraced Ringer’s book and began to look at the tortoise and the hare fable with new eyes. I realized that if I slowed down a little, I could look around and see what was happening. I could be more strategic than opportunistic in my moves. For the most part, however, I was more like the hare than the tortoise. If an opportunity presented itself, I often chased after it without much thought. Those side trips bring real authority to my coaching voice. Some clients compare…   Continue Reading

Strategic HR? What is the strategic part?


William Tincup posed the following question to his network: “If finance is the strategic part of accounting. Assuming accounting is mostly tactics. What’s the strategic part of HR. Assuming HR is mostly tactics of course. Workforce planning?” The question generated lots of interest and answers and sparked my thinking. His question made it clear that he didn’t want anyone to confuse tactics with strategy. The answers offered were enthusiastic and definite, but the no clear consensus. While workforce planning would seem to be strategic, the work is very different for a manufacturer or call center than for a professional services firm. Call centers are trying to optimize workers and workloads for scheduling purposes, which seems tactical to me. Professional services firms are trying to leverage intellectual capital to capture and keep clients, which is more strategic. Furthermore,  workforce planning isn’t often found within HR departments. In my experience with several large companies,(Deloitte, Motorola, Willis) workforce planning that encompassed an organizational view was done in a cursory manner by the finance team as part of the budgeting process, which is more tactical than strategic. Compensation can be strategic. Workforce development can be strategic.  Talent acquisition (aka recruiting) can be strategic. But…   Continue Reading

Reach Out and Touch Someone!

Social media concept

What’s the single most useful tool for networking in the Connected Age? This could start a lively debate! Well, while I may lean toward LinkedIn over Pinterest, the real answer has nothing to do with social media. The most useful tool is making a personal connection, either face to face or over the phone.

Robots or Real People: Working in the Connected Age

Robot Receptionist

Did you follow Google I/O last week? I’ve been cramming my brain full of info on Google and other Cloud companies. I just finished reading The New Digital Age by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen; I’m listening to In the Plex, by Stephen Levy and was totally fascinated by Robert Scoble’s video blog about Google Glass.

Harmonic Convergence?

harmonic convergence

What should we think about when our virtual and physical worlds begin to converge? One of my Facebook friends posted a link to a short video addressing how the Internet is changing our brains. In a few minutes, it explains how we are wired for distraction. We need to think about the consequences of continual access to information. Are we are losing our abilities to  navigate, read a paper map, remember things, calculate, to concentrate and absorb information? Many would like to dial things back. Others want to step on the gas. It may seem as if we are living in The Matrix times, but, unless you want to live off the grid, grow your own food, butcher your own meat, and generate your own electricity, the genie is here, and not going back in the bottle. The cloud dynamic offers opportunities to preserve ancient wisdom and knowledge. We aren’t losing; we are gaining. My teenage son is now the family chef because of Google and YouTube videos. We can move forward with our traditions intact. We can improve our condition, but we will need to think differently. Since we don’t need to use our brains to store and recall,…   Continue Reading

Strategy and songwriting. Part 1.


A little over a decade ago, I was in San Francisco visiting my son, Randy Bias. This was before he became a cloud computing rock star. He shared a big Victorian house with a bunch of amazing, creative people in the heart of the Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco. One of his housemates was Amit Shoham, now a prominent SF DJ, artist and producer. I had recently released an album and was working hard to develop a career as a recording artist, in my spare time, which is another story. When I first called him to work out my plans, he said, “Mom, Amit’s got a studio in the basement. When you get here, we need to lay down some tracks.” “OK. What are we going to record?” “We’re going to lay down some tracks.” At that point, I began to get concerned. You see, recording is not that simple. You need a plan. I voiced these concerns and Randy told me that we would be recording “house” and it would be alright. We would go in Amit’s studio and lay down some tracks. It was all under control. He had an idea of what we were going…   Continue Reading

Recruiting Automation vs. Hiring Facilitation

As I continue to reflect on David Smooke’s question, “What can we do to connect people with opportunity?” I wonder why, in this age of light-speed communication, multitudinous weak-tied tribes, and a bandwagon of technology tools to bring it all together, we even have to ask this question. It should be easy—to find a job, to find qualified people, to make good hires. But, it is not.

Connecting People and Opportunity

David Smooke is a blogger’s best friend when they are blocked. He asked me to write about the “industry” so I asked him to define the industry for me. The title of this post is his definition. I don’t share his definition, by the way, but I do think his definition is how those of us involved in any form of recruitment, staffing, hiring, or talent acquisition, should think about what we do. There are plenty of people thinking about the opportunity side of the equation; that’s where the money is.