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Speaking Engagements

UPCOMING
HR Tech, Las Vegas, 10/8-10/2014
HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/23-24/2014

PAST BUT AVAILABLE FOR REPLAY
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
CXOTalk: Naomi Bloom, Nenshad Bardoliwalla, and Michael Krigsman, 3/15/2013
Drive Thru HR, 12/17/12
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #110, 8/12
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Business Value," 5/3/12 Audio/Whitepaper
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/7/11
HR Happy Hour - Episode 118 - 'Work and the Future of Work', 9/23/11
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #87, 9/11
Keynote, Connections Ultimate Partner Forum, 3/9-12/11
"Convergence in Bloom" Webcast and accompanying white paper, sponsored by ADP, 9/21/10
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #63, 9/10
Keynote for Workforce Management's first ever virtual HR technology conference, 6/8/10
Knowledge Infusion Webinar, 6/3/10
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Predict and Prepare," 12/8/09
Webinar Sponsored by Workday: "Preparing to Lead the Recovery," 11/19/09 Audio/Powerpoint
"Enterprise unplugged: Riffing on failure and performance," a Michael Krigsman podcast 11/9/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #39, 10/09
Workday SOR Webinar, 8/25/09
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #15, 10/08

PAST BUT NO REPLAY AVAILABLE
Keynote, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, 10/25-26/12
Master Panel, HR Technology, Chicago, 10/9/012
Keynote, Workforce Magazine HR Tech Week, 6/6/12
Webcast Sponsored by Workday: "Building a Solid Business Case for HR Technology Change," 5/31/12
Keynote, Saba Global Summit, Miami, 3/19-22/12
Workday Rising, Las Vegas, 10/24-27/11
HR Technology, Las Vegas 10/3-5/11
HR Florida, Orlando 8/29-31/11
Boussias Communications HR Effectiveness Forum, Athens, Greece 6/16-17/11
HR Demo Show, Las Vegas 5/24-26/11
Workday Rising, 10/11/10
HRO Summit, 10/22/09
HR Technology, Keynote and Panel, 10/2/09

Adventures of Bloom & Wallace

a work in progress

Making My Peace With Not Knowing/Following/Connecting/Clicking Through Etc.

No Wonder We're Overwhelmed!

As a toddler, I took great pride in being able to rattle off the names of all the Kittredges (Barry, Bobby, Eddy, Georgie, Chucky, Sydney, Al, Ralph and Adele), a large family who lived across from us on Somerset Street.  Later, it was important to me to have read every Nancy Drew mystery then every Agatha Christie then all of  Ngaio Marsh (all 35+ of which I reread before making a pilgrimage to this great woman’s home in Christchurch, New Zealand (before that wonderful time capsule was damaged by the terrible earthquake).  I threw myself, in high school, into learning how to conjugate all the tenses in Latin of the verb to love — amo amās amat amā́mus amā́tis amant — and I loved being able to master whole swaths of Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars in the original Latin: “Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres.” 

Today I would have been diagnosed with something to be treated, but then I was just called smartypants by my detractors, ordinary by my overachieving classmates in the special program for kids like me, a wise ass by my parents (and usually disrespectful by my Mom, who would have preferred more party dresses and less reading after lights out), and very funny by my closest friends.  There was great comfort in knowing everything about something and in having the time to learn everything about something at a time when the rate of knowledge creation and the pace of knowledge sharing was on a human scale.

But fast forward to today, and it’s a wonder that any of us are still sane.  I can’t remember the last time that I felt on top of anything, let alone everything, and I’ve got very well-developed learning and work habits, not to mention being a speed-reader.  Once I had a manageable list of wonderful friends with whom I was in pretty frequent contact; now I’ve got a much larger list of wonderful friends with whom I struggle to stay in contact.  And that’s entirely separate from the Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, Facebook “friends,” and all manner of total strangers who (and this may be entirely in my own mind) expect some level of particpation from me on a regular basis.

I used to know the architectures, functionality, and data designs of all the significant HRM enterprise software vendors (long about 1990), not to mention everyone who was anyone in our industry.  I used to be able to take briefings once or twice a year with all of these vendors and feel pretty on top of what they were doing.  And I used to skim a dozen or so industry news sources weekly, reading carefully anything that hit a nerve, and actually stayed on top of current HRM and IT thinking.  But now there’s so much content created daily that it’s impossible to skim let alone read everything that’s relevant.  And there’s little or no soak time, those wonderful hours of contemplation when the pieces swirl around for a bit and then go together like a child’s puzzle into one of those moments of clarity about something that matters.

Now there are hundreds of HR technology products and services vendors vying for air time, face time, market and product differentiation, and their management teams deserve a fair hearing if only there were time.  There are far too many conferences, summits, online discussion forums, and every flavor of Webinar, well beyond what anyone can possible attend or participate in, and you may well miss the most important nugget by not being there.  Information has exploded, not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of the many channels through which it reaches us or we must seek it out, and we’re drowning.  All of us.

Well, I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed, tired of not knowing everything and everyone I should, tired of trying to monitor all of the relevant news sources and activity streams, TIRED!  So I’m striking a blow for freedom and cutting myself some slack.  I’m making peace with not knowing everything that I should, following everyone who’s relevant, connecting with all of you, commenting on every blog I read or in every LinkedIn group to which I below, reading all the wonderful HRM and IT posts/articles, clicking through every interesting link on Twitter, etc.  And I suggest that all of you do the same.  Then when we meet, you won’t feel bad if I don’t quite know who you are or what you do or why we need yet one more applicant tracking system.

 

7 comments to Making My Peace With Not Knowing/Following/Connecting/Clicking Through Etc.

  • Naomi, it’s refreshing to see someone so active in the online space say “enough”. It is overwhelming to try to know and remember everything about everyone. For me, the best part of the social space is that it gives me resources. So, as long as I know where to click, listen, read for the information I need at a moment’s notice, I consider that enough. Being able to filter large amounts of data into personal data streams is what I love about the tools we have now. That way, I catch up on things at my own pace and in my own time. Nice to see someone else doing the same.

    • Naomi Bloom

      I agree entirely that the new tools are powerful and personally useful. But I do find myself, at times, thinking that less is more.

  • It is amazing how much new content is being dumped into the search space on a daily basis. Industries that were once quiet online are now thriving on the web. It will be interesting to see how far the connections and content really go.

  • Michael Mullady

    I must admit I had forgotten how much I memorized and was focused when I was a student (at least pre college) but you’re very right. So many options are wonderful, but there are moments when you surrender to the fact that you can’t and don’t have to select all of them! Those tools that help consolidate and manage information are wonderful, but so is self control :-)

  • I hear ya, Naomi — I pretty much got to that point about 18 months ago. Same is true for me with respect to authoring content — with the day-to-day demands of running the business, the only time I get for that is at the expense of sleep!

  • I think the big social networks have grown as large and successful as they have for two reasons. One, how easy they make it to build networks, make connections, and stay informed and in touch with friends, family, industry colleagues, etc. And two, how it can quickly become an almost irrational and compelling pursuit once you have made all these connections to try and constantly stay on top of them all. There are definitely some solid and improving tools and services to help manage all the inbound messaging, but I do tend to agree with you Naomi that it is just about impossible (and probably unwise), to try and not miss anything.

  • Bill Kutik

    Free at last, free at last, free at last! But you’ll still stay connected with me (via phone, e-mail, DM), read my columns, comment wryly on my LinkedIn comments and discussions, listen to my Radio Shows, click through my Twitter links, RT my tweets, attend my show. Right? Huh?

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