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The Five-Minute Engagement Booster

By David Harder on the February, 6, 2018

“Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” Steven Spielberg   Take a moment to think of the people who stay organized while getting enormous quanties of work finished, and others who look busy but are not producing results. One of the significant contributors to employee disengagement is frenzy. Busy-ness does not equate […]

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Is Information Overload Making Us Nuts? It has for thousands of years.

By David Harder on the February, 2, 2018

People don’t run out of dreams – people just run out of time. Glenn Frey – The Eagles   In 1970, my hero, the brilliant futurist Alvin Toffler predicted that by the turn of the century, we would be in continual information overload. This has come to pass. Today, we consume 34 gigabytes of content or about 100,000 words of information per day. We encounter enough information to fill 174 newspapers. We tend to get overwhelmed but perhaps it is the quality of the information that is causing the stress. For example, the brain processes 400 Billion bits of information per […]

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Tired of Mediocre Outcomes? The New Standard

By David Harder on the January, 15, 2018

In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy urged Americans to think about how we measure what makes a country great in new ways. He said the Gross National Product doesn’t measure the health of our children, the beauty of our poetry, our courage, our wisdom, or our compassion. He said, “It measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”   Mr. Kennedy made these suggestions during the height of the industrial revolution. The irony is that the standards of how we judged and selected work were in direct opposition to his suggestions. We continue to be haunted by the standards […]

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The Democratic Solution to Engagement

By David Harder on the January, 9, 2018

One of the fundamental reasons so many well-intentioned employee engagement initiatives fail is rooted in how we treat the organizational elite. The majority of learning and development dollars are directed towards executive leadership and high potentials, while everyone else gets little or nothing. Rinse & Repeat. True, measurable and sustainable engagement places equal value, responsibility, and importance on everyone. When a CEO or business owner commits to a fully engaged culture, they become willing to ask everyone to deal with the very sources of the great disengagement in work today.   Inadequate Skills or an Unwillingness to Change Inadequate Skills […]

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America, Kindergarten for Apprenticeships

By David Harder on the January, 1, 2018

Time has proven that we learn nothing of value by studying dysfunction. Our most valuable lessons are earned by studying success, even if that success represents a small portion of our culture.   This past year, Donald Trump announced a $200 million dollar budget to provide funding for apprenticeships. Unfortunately, his administration is also gutting much of the Employment Department’s training and development budgets. To some ears, $200 million sounds like a great deal. But, it pales in comparison to countries where apprenticeship programs are among the biggest contributors to robust economies. For example, Germany invests well over 3.6 billion […]

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The Middle-Class is Not What We Are Losing

By David Harder on the December, 30, 2017

These days much is being made about the disappearance of our middle-class. Unfortunately, framing what is occurring as an economic issue distracts many of us from the real truth.We are not witnessing the elimination of the middle-class, we are eliminating task workers. This is a seismic shift so frightening that many of America’s underemployed workers resort to blaming others for the loss of this work. During this essential turning point in the world of work, it is time for all of us to learn how to change.   Let’s begin with the fact that advancing technology has always introduced new […]

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How Can Work Become Your Greatest Relationship?

By David Harder on the December, 26, 2017

When I launched Inspired Work in 1990, I didn’t have a particularly fulfilling relationship towards work. While I was financially successful, my work wasn’t particularly rewarding or meaningful. I believe this is the norm for many of us. In fact, many parents present a black-or-white approach to family career development by suggesting we can either make a good living and not love our work or love our work and not make a reasonable income.   Let us be clear, the remnants of the industrial revolution continue to haunt our culture. After all, it was a 300-year event that created an entire […]

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When Do Human Capital Executives Take a Fall for the CEO?

By David Harder on the December, 21, 2017

An effective partnership between a CEO and the Chief Human Resource Officer has become one of the key factors of an organization’s success. However, there is an all too common breakdown that very few business journalists discuss. When a chief human resource officer comes to me with a career opportunity. During our discussion, I invariably ask, “Is the CEO leading the culture?” If the answer is no, I suggest they keep looking. When an executive has already taken the role, I suggest she or he “keep your bags packed.” Research for my new book, The Workplace Engagement Solution only supported […]

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The Single Most Important Trait in New Hires Might Surprise You

By David Harder on the December, 17, 2017

The wise holocaust survivor and philosopher Elie Wiesel said, “When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.” The dynamic can exponentially grow in its impact on an organization. Over the years, I have often been asked to help an employer decide between two top candidates. I usually respond, “Hire the one that is most grateful.” Why? These are the individuals that are inherently skilled in connecting with others; they bring positive energy to a team, and they demonstrate predictably strong and sustained performance. […]

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Blow Up HR Again?

By David Harder on the December, 8, 2017

By and large, I read Harvard Business Review and The Atlantic to raise my IQ or, at the very least, give the appearance that I’ve done so.   Recently, HBR published, “It’s Time To Blow Up HR and build something new”.Sounds like consultant-speak to me. Much of the consulting profession puts a great deal of energy into making senior management and human resources talent feel unsure of themselves. For example, here is a quote from the article:   Recent complaints about the HR function have touched a nerve in a large; sympathetic audience, particularly in the United States. The most vocal […]