Post Chronology

June 2024

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

#Consumerization, #Gamification and #Mechugasification

Mechugas -- Fun But Without Organizational Purpose

I love the fact that enterprise software is becoming more like consumer software every day — more usable, more accessible, more obvious and discoverable functionality, more mobile/social/global, and with much more of the look and feel of the consumer Web sites I’ve come to know and love.  And for all of us who love contests with prizes or just getting a visible expression of what we’ve accomplished, gamification has added important new capabilities to the quest for ever more useful and business outcomes-driving enterprise software.  So far, so good.  But of late I’ve discovered an entirely new trend in the design of enterprise software that isn’t so good.  I’ve called it mechugasification, from the Yiddish meshugas, of which there are many Anglicized spellings but which is universally understood to mean madness, insanity, or craze.

Mechugasification, like so many complex architectural concepts, is easier for most of us to understand experientially than via a learned dissertation.  Basically, you know it when you see it.  I saw some of it (no names yet) at our recently concluded #HRTechConf — and there’s a lot more waiting in the wings of the HRM enterprise software community.  An example will put you in the picture.  Video interviewing is a great idea whose time has clearly come.  Combining the consumer experience of YouTube with the features needed to insert such interviewing techniques into rigorous staffing processes (so tracking, confirmation, secured routing, etc.) makes very good sense.  Now combine this with robust employee referral processes, to include some which have been gamified to engage employees in the “hunt” for great new workers as well as teaching them about the ripple effects of a bad hire, and you’re really cooking.  But push the envelope by including tools within the video production application that allow applicants to put their best foot forward — taller, thinner, lighter, darker, clearer skin, or juicier lips — and you’ve got mechugasification.  

Would you like another example?  Consider the burst of investment in HRM analytics.  Consumerization makes even the most arcane algorithms, e.g. probability and severity of flight risk calculated on the basis of the relevant 20-30 factors, each of which requires different scales and a little linear regression in order to come up with something meaningful, and then make them accessible for “normal” people by displaying them with simplified graphics, e.g. radar diagrams which consolidate the relevant factors into 5-7 composite dimensions.  Gamification might be used to help reduce the flight risk of those in key roles — assuming we can’t just pay them enough to achieve the needed level of engagement or that their personal motivation profiles value other important aspects of their work beyond cash on the barrel head (does anyone still use that expression) — by presenting a multi-level, prowess-demonstrating and badge-receiving collaboration environment for all of the researchers of a particular type.  But to get to mechugasification, we’d need to make sure that the badges awarded via this collaboration tool were repeatedly tweeted so that the entire Twitterstream was clogged with this, thus bringing all of us the fail whale.  Get my drift?

The moral of my story is a simple one.  Just because something is possible, that doesn’t make it a good idea.  And just because our HRM enterprise software and related tools are increasingly — and usefully — being consumerized and gamified doesn’t mean that we should tolerate them being mechugasified.  Even as I’m “playing” with new learning and performance management tools, even as I’m experimenting with the latest in sourcing technology, and even while I’m finding my own footing in the “how should we spend our limited comp budget” game, my mechugas detector is on full alert.  Please don’t set it off.

6 comments to #Consumerization, #Gamification and #Mechugasification

  • […] Want more analyst opinions on Gamification in HR check out – Josh Bersin’s new report, Naomi Bloom’s post on it, and analyst firm Brandon Hall’s inclusion in their HR Tech Conference wrap […]

  • […] #Consumerization, #Gamification and #Mechugasification, InFullBloom, […]

  • […] En este sentido, Naomi Bloom también valora lo positivo y lo negativo de la “gamificación”. Aprecia el que las tendencias móviles/sociales y globales estén trayendo nuevas posibilidades, pero teme que esta “gamificación” se emplee con excesivo fervor y frivolidad, simplificando las valoraciones y ridiculizándolas, algo que ella llama “mechugasificación”. Aquí podéis consultar el artículo completo. […]

  • […] Want more analyst opinions on Gamification in HR check out – Josh Bersin’s new report, Naomi Bloom’s post on it, and analyst firm Brandon Hall’s inclusion in their HR Tech Conference wrap up, Cancel […]

  • “But to get to mechugasification, we’d need to make sure that the badges awarded via this collaboration tool were repeatedly tweeted so that the entire Twitterstream was clogged with this, thus bringing all of us the fail whale. Get my drift?”

    Naomi – You have good rep with a number of people I respect. I take the “Fail Whale” comment as not pertaining to OrcaEyes. Within the next 3-4 months we will show you the future of strategic HCM. We are doing it now in multiple beta customers. I ran software companies in Supply Chain Management and Network Management that were acquired by BMC, CA and Legent. The math you refer to above is actually 15 years old in those domains.

    I think you are way to smart for those words “Fail Whale” to refer to OrcaEyes, cause if they were, I’m afraid that person will look like a “Fading Bloom way past it’s time!”

    • Naomi Bloom

      Your firm and its products were the farthest thing from my mind when I was writing this piece. The example I was using was actually a take-off on a consumer product gamification that does in fact pump far more than is useful/acceptable into the activity stream — over and over again — for each otherwise reasonable behavior. Why you thought that I was in any way referring to you really does mystify me, but let me assure you and all my other readers that I was using the phrase “fail whale” as a familiar placeholder for overloading (not necessarily to the point of collapse but definitely to the point of human exhaustion) any HRM-related tools, and the users of such tools, with highly repetitive, no value-added items in the activity stream. But I would be interested, perhaps offline, in learning what it was about this piece that gave rise to your thinking that I was referring to your firm and its products.

Leave a Reply