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InFullBloom Archives


Speaking Engagements

Predict and Prepare sponsored by Workday 12/16

The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #171, 2/15
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #160, 8/14
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #145, 1/14
Workday Predict and Prepare Webinar, 12/10/2013
The Bill Kutik Radio Show® #134, 8/13
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

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

After A Half Century — “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish”

[Updated 11-12-2016:

Well, so far, my pivot hasn’t worked out as planned, but then why should I be surprised?  First, I came down with the head/chest cold from hell.  With three major conferences in a row, the attendant hugging of a zillion colleagues, hours spent breathing everyone’s germs in flights, and changes in diet/time zones/etc., this was probably inevitable.  I did take every precaution, including various immune system-boosting supplements, but I still got nailed.  I even gave a milder case to Ron, which we both failed to shake in time to spend two days travel just to get to Cape Town.  We had planned to drive to Miami, fly overnight to Munich, layover there until evening, then fly overnight to Cape Town, so a schlep and a half that just wouldn’t be survivable with my head and sinuses exploding and a hacking cough.  Our doctor decided the matter when he laid the facts before me, and on Wednesday we canceled our dream trip to Africa which was supposed to have started today.  Total bummer.  And you might recall that Wednesday was also notable for America’s having elected Drumpf to be President.  We did just what you’d expect — slathered Naomi in Vicks VapoRub, had a good cry, and went back to bed in hopes we’d awake later to the news that the whole election had been a bad dream.  But more on that in another post.  I just wanted to let you know that, instead of going in search of major mammals, we’ll be….(to be continued as soon as we have a clue ]

In which she bids farewell to the HR technology industry:

Every time I’ve thought about retirement, a real and complete retirement from a half century of focus on all things related to HR technology, this song starts running around in my head.  Some days, especially in this last year, this song competes for attention with my always present tinnitus, but mostly it’s just there, calling me home.  And now it’s going to be the musical score behind a post I’ve also been writing in my head for the last year even though I didn’t know I was writing it — until now.

It’s coming up on fifty years of my trying to save HR professionals from themselves and from bad HR technology.  I’ve been doing this, with lots of frustration but also considerable joy, for the sake not only of those HR professionals but, more importantly, for all of their stakeholders, which means just about everyone who has ever worked, is working now, and or may work at some time in the future, whether for remuneration or with the selfless zeal of the volunteer, and whether as an employee, as a non-employee worker or, most recently, as a non-human worker.  So yes, nearly everyone.

Little wonder then that, after all these years of first helping and then fussing at HR leaders to lead more effectively, nudging (some night say harassing) HR tech vendors to do tech a lot better, and at every flavor of consultant/advisor/influencer/analyst and talking head to play their parts with integrity and real expertise, I’m ready for a complete change.  And just like those wonderful dolphins in the clip above, although I’ve tried my best, progress has at times been glacial.  But, like in so many other aspects of American life (I think this may be true way beyond the USA, but I don’t feel qualified to judge), the best of what’s available in both HR leaders and HR technology is really pretty great, but the rest aren’t keeping up.

My decision to retire (or let’s just call this a massive pivot!) completely from HR technology has been a difficult one because I truly love my work along with the social connections which that work has provided.  HR tech globally has been a supportive and collaborative community, a place where business relationships take root and bloom.  Some of those relationships become friendships, and I am so grateful for all the colleagues who have become friends, including some who have become my closest friends.  I’m particularly appreciative of all my much younger colleagues who have helped me as I’ve retrained and retrained and retrained myself so as to stay reasonably competent over nearly a half century — and as my mobility issues have advanced.  And I’d like to add a special shout-out to those vendors which are delivering products which embrace the object modeling and architectural preferences I’ve advocated since before many of my younger colleagues were born.

You know that I’ve been reducing my HR technology-related workload for several years now, and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to proceed in this way.  Now I’m ready to end this phase altogether.  But it’s less about going away from my HR tech career but more about pivoting toward my philanthropic, travel, boating, family/friends, theater, writing, painting, and many personal interests.  I’ve had an incredible run and am very grateful for all I’ve learned and been able to contribute along the way.  Now I’m ready to spend my time differently.  As you can imagine, I have very mixed feelings about this change, but it’s time.  So much of my social interaction has involved folks I’ve met through my HR tech career; I’ll hope that some of those relationships will survive this latest pivot (aka “retirement”).

I have always been clear that, when I was no longer willing or able to put in the time and effort needed to stay at the top of my HR tech game, to do my very best work, it would be time to stop, and that’s where I’m at.  The many hours that I have spent tracking the industry, keeping up with technology and with the vendors and products in my space, scolding the scoundrels and committing truth (at least IMO), and interacting widely across our industry so that I could have my finger on the pulse, are hours that I now want to spend visiting with and supporting family and friends, working with several regional non-profits, traveling the world (while I still can), finally having time to go boating with Ron, writing and sketching and remodeling our home and reading.  And did I mention spending much more time with Ron?

In addition to the song above, Pete Seeger recorded a song in the early 60’s (one which I sang often in my Philly folk club days) also has been running around in my head for the last many months while I’ve been coming to this decision.  It’s almost verbatim from Ecclesiastes, and some of you may remember it:

> To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
> A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
> A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
> A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
> A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
> A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
> A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
> A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
> A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

For me, it’s time to reap what has been planted, to use the money we’ve saved and put the time I’ll now free up to other purposes.  And, although I don’t like to discuss it, it just takes more time every day/week/month to keep Naomi functioning physically as the effects of aging on a flawed muscular/skeletal design have advanced.  Since I want to be as mobile and fit as possible as long as possible, I need to devote more time just to taking care of myself — and you will too as you age.

I do intend to continue writing my blog about what happens next, and I hope that some of you will want to join me as I venture into uncharted territory.  I may do some speaking about the issues women face in advancing their careers, especially women in technology, a subject that’s both important and close to my heart.  The reality is that all of you are getting older and, while I may be the first in our circle to hang up my spurs, there are many others coming up right behind me.  All by way of saying that I hope to blaze a trail on aging that others can follow while having the best possible time at every step.  Next up are 3+ weeks in Africa, our first trip there, and we’re just hoping not to be eaten.  That will give everyone, including Ron and me, time to get used to the idea of this pivot, and it will help me to draw a line under the last fifty years during which I put career, really the professional development to support my career, ahead of nearly everything else.  But I know you won’t be surprised if, from time to time, I tweet something snarky or full of praise about the people, vendors, products, etc. in our industry.  HR tech guru or whatever signing off; just plain Naomi, senior citizen, signing on.

45 comments to After A Half Century — “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish”

  • Wishing you all the best Naomi. Always a pleasure to catch up with you – you will be missed.

  • Kari THOMPSON hayes

    An inspiration to anyone aspiring to be a thought leader (and surpassing that title!). Very best wishes!

  • Betty Kagan

    Best of everything to you Naomi as you pivot. Please do share what you learn in this new journey as you have in the past. Au revoir

  • Allie Hamzik (Leonard)

    Congrats Naomi!

  • Debra Garcia

    Naomi, You are an inspirational icon! Good luck and enjoy the next season.

  • Jessica Dennis-Capiraso

    Congratulations Naomi! You are an inspiration both as a professional and a person. So glad to know you. Wishing you and Ron so much fun on your future adventures. Love hearing about them!

  • Josh Ploch

    Best of luck and congratulations on the pivot- And for a Hitchhikers Guide reference too! Thanks for all you have done.

  • Naomi – Congratulations on reaching a point where the pivot is possible. Although we only met in person once or twice, I feel as if you have been a provider of sage advice many times through your magnificent on-line presence. Thank you! Enjoy this next phase; no one I talk to has found it to be disappointing!

  • Kelly

    muito obrigada! Just to let you know that you have fans all over the world

  • Sitaram Mandalaparti


    Many thanks for sharing your wisdom for years with everyone through your blog medium. We, who are working in the HR Tech industry, cannot thank you enough for your indirect contributions to our careers. Good luck with all your future endeavors and yes! you must visit India.

    Sitaram Mandalaparti

  • Nikhil Shembekar

    Hi Naomi
    While we have never ever met, I am a follower of your ideas & thoughts in HR Technology. I have tried to apply your suggestions on good HR tech, real SaaS etc whenever I evaluate vendors as part of my job. So many thanks for that.!
    I am sure you will have a great time as you head out for your new innings..! & maybe you should try to visit India next time.

    • Naomi Bloom

      We are hoping to make our first visit to India in 2018, probably starting with the Royal Triangle, and I will be reaching out for ideas as I begin that planning.

  • Jenny Blanco

    Good luck and thanks for the great words of wisdom on the HR space! I had the pleasure of working with you while at Mellon and again at Fidelity. I will surely enjoy reading your blog! Congrats!

    • Naomi Bloom

      It truly does take a village and, in the case of the work I’ve done, it took amazing clients to advance the cause. I hope you’ll stay with me as the journey continues.

  • A Pioneer in a world that needs constant inspiration… thanks for keeping the BLOG going for us

  • Todd Raphael

    You will be missed!

  • Nancy Nelson

    Naomi, we’ve never met, but I’ve admired your leadership for a long time. Thank you for your advocacy of all the stakeholders of HR technology and for women in technology. Wishing you the best of luck with your pivot.

  • Sad to see you go as our paths have only crossed very recently. Wishing you a joyous retirement and I’m sure you will stay on the fringes! Looking forward to a continuing connection on the women in tech side of things!

    • Naomi Bloom

      I so wanted to say something earlier, but I knew I had to make sure that my contributions to HR Tech World weren’t overshadowed by my pivot plans. You and I are connected in our shared commitment to advancing gender equality, and I’m sure we’ll find opportunities to collaborate around that commitment.

  • Marc Coleman

    Naomi, thanks from “Budapest” and on behalf of all your European friends ;). You have inspired our community, the team and I so much over the last few years – delighted that our community decided to honour you with our inaugural HRN Lifetime Achievement Award last year. I think your closing session at HR Tech World in Paris on Women in Tech – together with Leighanne, Pascal and Kim will have lasting legacy and such a great note to finish on. See you in Florida! Marc.

    • Naomi Bloom

      Marc, the award meant so much to me, and I remain committed to your success and to our joint efforts to advance women in technology. We’re looking at a return to your area in 2018, so perhaps you’ll have a chance to play tour guide. As for Florida, we and our friendly neighborhood alligators await your visit.

  • Tammy Colson


    You’ve been an inspiration. I wish for you all the things you wish for yourself as you pivot into well deserved time doing the other things you love. Thank you for your leadership and guidance in HR tech and with women in the industry.

    Bon Chance.

  • Congratulations on your pivot. I’m so glad I stopped by to say a quick hi at #HRTechConf. You’ve inspired a generation of women in tech, and I’m hoping to continue in that tradition with the @womeninHRtech online community I’m working on.
    Michelle Rafter

    • Naomi Bloom

      Please keep me in the loop on your @womeninHRtech community as getting more women into the highest tech leadership roles is something on which I intend to keep working. And if I can help you with brainstorming, intros, etc., let’s plan to do a call after we return from Africa. I want to see women architects, CTOs, CIOs, master developers, etc. We can’t let those algorithms, which are going to decide our fates, be left primarily to our male colleagues.

  • Lovely note, Naomi! You are one of my inspirations to explore and embark on a career in HR Technology and it is difficult to imagine the industry without your timely and objective comments.
    Best wishes for your next phase and I am glad you have made Women in Tech a part of it!

  • Hi Naomi,

    You have influenced so many people and changed the industry for the better in your time here. I know you will be a tweet or blog away, however, I am speaking for everyone that your retirement leaves a huge hole in the industry. I have always appreciated your contribution and have enjoyed getting to know you as I’ve grown in my own career in this industry. Thank you so much for your work, contributions and support. You are important to so many in the industry including myself in ways that I can’t even begin to explain. Happy retirement and whatever is next for you.


  • Debra lilley

    Loved the conversation – we haven’t always agreed but open dialogue is so important – with the right people – enjoy the next phase

    • Naomi Bloom

      I’ll look forward to meeting you, and to getting your expert advice, when we plan our first trip to Ireland. If only our politicians could value each other’s perspectives as I’ve valued yours.

  • Thank you from “Down Under” Naomi – you’ve been an inspiration to the HRTECH industry globally, and particularly in Australia. As we wood say here ” Good on ya mate! “

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