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September 2013

Minnesota Morning… A “No Think Zone” Experiment

I have had a few moments today (kind of like a “déjà vu”) where I have stopped in my tracks (literally including while jogging today) and said to myself:

“What are you thinking”


“What were you thinking”

And I am reminded that thinking has become a problem for me. I already know this. My friends already know this. This is not news to anyone.

When it comes to friends and colleagues the past months I have found myself saying to them:

“Trust your gut”

And then I think (this time it helps), am I trusting my gut? What’s up with all the thinking, analyzing? You give great advice… you should probably take it.

For me I have always had an “inner compass”. It’s a good one that served me well but at some point a few years ago (around the time of the Great Recession) I swear my DNA changed.

It has not worked for me. Maybe not hurt but certainly not helped.

And there have been a couple of times in the past year when I went full strong on something without much thinking and was burned reverting back to thinking.

Here is some proof…

Continue reading "Minnesota Morning… A “No Think Zone” Experiment" »

Recruiting: Invest In Training With IT Staff

A common theme here on the blog and, well… everywhere else is that companies are having a hard time finding “qualified” or “skilled” IT pros.

I use “” because in part CIO’s and companies are being too picky.

Rather than do that rant again (I’ll save that for another day) let’s talk about this from the developer, DBA or Security Admin perspective.

Attend any IT user group meeting and you will likely hear someone talk about taking a class, working on a certification, attending a conference… doing something to learn new technology, get better at what they do, stay with or get ahead of the technology curve, etc.

You will also hear this question:

“How are you paying for it?”

Most often the response is:

“Out of pocket”

Fact: many (most) companies do little if anything to develop their IT staff yet they talk about the skills shortage.

Here is a simple recruiting and retaining strategy... help your IT staff stay current, relevant with their skills. Help with their career development and path.

Or not... and continue to wonder why you have a recruiting, retention and “skills gap” dilemma.

A recent Robert Half survey (Aug 2013) shows how important this is to IT folks:

IT workers were asked, "When evaluating a job opportunity, how important is the ability to gain new skills in that role?" Their responses:

    • 68% Very important
    • 30% Somewhat important
    • 2% Not important

IT workers were also asked, "How concerned are you about keeping your skills current in the next three to five years?" Their responses:

    • 64% Very concerned
    • 29% Somewhat concerned
    • 7% Not concerned

CIOs were asked, "Does your organization have a training and development program for IT professionals?" Their responses:

    • 55% Yes
    • 44% No
    • 1% Don't know

So maybe more companies are thinking about this than I think they are. Still… I suggest 44% is a really low number.


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Take This Job And Shove It… Can We Talk About Retention?

Take This Job And Shove It, Payscale Data

Earlier this week I posted and expressed some thoughts on recruiting. It caused a stir in the IT and HR world here in Minneapolis.

I had an idea for a similar post (some would call it a rant) about retention and then a survey and some commentary came out this week from Payscale. And rather than take CEO’s to task twice in a week I will let the data and video speak for itself:

Payscale has a series of posts:

I am having a Groundhog Day moment… I don’t know how many times this year I have said:

Continue reading "Take This Job And Shove It… Can We Talk About Retention?" »