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Pop Art and Flash Mobs: Lessons Learned from Staffing World 2013
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Pop Art and Flash Mobs:

Lessons Learned from Staffing World 2013

The Haley Marketing team is back from Staffing World 2013.

And our brains are bursting!

Expanding our vocabulary with new terms like "technology Darwinism," "unthinking" and "humalogy," this year's keynote speakers shared fresh trends and best practices that are shaping today's staffing industry. And today, we want to share them with you!

So if you had to miss the conference, or just missed one of the keynotes, here's a recap of what we learned in the general sessions:

The Art of Vision


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Author, artist and entrepreneur Erik Wahl used live-art creation to bring his concept of "Unthinking" - a blueprint for leveraging creativity in business - to life.

Creativity isn't something you're born with or without. It's a practice, a disciplined skill to be developed like any other. And it's critical to business success. According to Erik, creativity is one of the best tools we have to stand out from the pack, innovate and drive organizational excellence.

But the sad truth is, the older we get, the more our creativity wanes.

As preschoolers, nearly 100% of us believe that we can draw; but by adulthood, that percent plummets to almost 0. Did we really lose our artistic abilities somewhere along the way? No!

Our "creative rivers" run dry for several other reasons:

  • A lot of it has to do with our own perceptions (over the years, we've simply talked ourselves into believing we're not creative).
  • We're out of practice. As adults, most of us spend about 90% of our work time problem solving in the left brain (which is the rational side).
  • Finally, FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) holds us back. When we share new ideas, we run the risk of failing or looking like fools. FEAR paralyzes the strategic creative process, kills performance and takes away our ability to create under pressure.

How can we regain - and retain - the ability to creatively overcome staffing challenges?

We need to "Unthink" - to use our creativity to reprogram our minds and move beyond the restrictions, regulations and conventional ways of thinking about our industry. By taking off these "blinders," we can see clients and candidates as blank canvases - presenting opportunities that are limited only by our imaginations.

The Advantage


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Patrick's presentation kicked off with a staffing flash mob (worked better than coffee to get us energized for the day!).

According to Patrick Lencioni, author and President of the Table Group, there are two ways for your company to maximize success:

  1. Be Smart. Logically, you need sound business strategies, marketing, financing and technology to be competitive in the staffing industry. But technology is making it tougher than ever to protect your company's "smarts." Today, your competitors can copy your best ideas within minutes!
  2. Be Healthy. Your organization is healthy when it is whole, consistent and complete. When management, operations and culture are unified:
    • You get more done in less time.
    • You retain your best people.
    • You identify problems earlier and solve them faster.
    • You beat rivals who waste time, money and energy fighting among themselves (which ultimately drives away good employees and customers).

In a typical business, being "smart" is only half of the success equation - yet it gets 98% of the attention. Why? Creating and maintaining a healthy organization is a lot harder!

This simple truth creates a huge opportunity for your staffing firm. In the years ahead, "organizational health" will surpass all other disciplines as the greatest source of competitive advantage.

Here are Patrick's four steps to building a healthy organization:

  • Build a cohesive leadership team. One that is founded on trust, tolerates healthy conflict, holds everyone accountable and focuses on results.
  • Establish real clarity among those leaders. Key executives must be intellectually aligned about the company's direction and how you will achieve your goals.
  • Over communicate that clarity to everyone within your organization. Employees have to hear something six or seven times before they truly understand and/or believe it. As a result, great leaders must continually remind people of the things they already know.
  • Put in place just enough structure to reinforce that clarity going forward. Institutionalize organizational health by creating the right hiring, training, firing and rewarding systems to promote it.

How do you get the process started? Organizational health begins with buy-in from the top. So sit down with your firm's leaders and ask two questions: "Do we think this is worth doing? If not, what will become of our company?"

High Beam Leaders


Scott Klososky, international technology consultant, author and entrepreneur, shared his insights on how technology is changing the face of leadership.

Scott's message was simple:

Evolve or face extinction.

To survive in today's increasingly competitive business environment, your staffing firm needs "high beam leaders" - individuals who know how to leverage technology as an integral part of your intelligence process.

The presentation was very technically complex, especially for the last session, and (as you can probably tell from the image above) Scott took a very "doomsday" approach to business leadership. Still, he shared several ideas that will change the way you think about your staffing firm's future.

Here are three key takeaways:

Technology Darwinism. This happens when the pace of technology innovation is faster than the speed people will adopt new tools and methods. Think of it as business' version of survival of the fittest. If your business doesn't evolve as rapidly as the technology of our industry (including technology that clients and candidates use), it creates a significant "technology risk or gap" in areas like:

  • The relevancy and value of your services
  • Acquiring the best talent
  • Creating strong customer connections that build trust and loyalty

Technology inflection point. Our industry is rapidly approaching a critical technology tipping point. Wearable and Web 3.0 technology are already here; implantable technology (yep, we're talking chips embedded in our brains) and Web 4.0 (in which machines will intelligently communicate with one another) are under development.

Innovations like this will dramatically transform our business - changing the way we communicate, attract applicants and deliver our services.

When we reach our industry's inflection point, it'll be survival of the fittest: companies that fail to keep up will experience rapid decline because the technology gap is just too big to overcome.

Humalogy. This is the perfect blending of humanity and technology, or efficiently using machines for information processing power and the sensitive understanding of human emotions.

As a "high beam leader," you must collaborate with IT and technologists to look into the future - and find the right balance of technology and the human touch for your staffing firm.

Want more lessons from Staffing World 2013? Check out our Lunch with Haley Staffing World 2013 Recap webinar.

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