Writer’s Block. Six-Year-Olds. And Truth.

Kathy Rapp

2.1.2017

Be forewarned.  I am experiencing writer’s block.  It’s so bad, I just poured myself a glass of bubbly and then proceeded to leave it in the kitchen.

Which meant I had to get up, lost my train of thought once again, but brought back the bubbly.

Why do I have writer’s block?  I’m totally uninspired by pop culture, current music, “news” feeds, the state of our country and the pointless point-counter-point on Facebook.  I usually find at least a few nuggets to ponder in those venues, but not this week.

HOW am I going to turn ‘nothing’ into a humorous or inspiring piece about HR?!!

My daughter is six.  Kindergarten.  She says to me tonight, “Mommy, the Minions are fiction.  They don’t really exist.  But New York does.  And (pointing at the t.v. screen) New York really looks like that, doesn’t it”?

I look up to see the Statue of Liberty.

She’s not been to New York (yet).  But her grandfather grew up there and her ‘aunt’ Katy brought her a souvenir Statue of Liberty…and then proceeded to tell her it was really in New Jersey even though New York likes to claim her.  Now there’s something you guys can go argue over in your Facebook posts!

Point being – a six-year-old knows fiction from non-fiction.

I started thinking about what I know is true – and how that relates to HR of course.

  • Roger Federer and Serena Williams kick ass.  Both “old” in tennis years; both continuing to rack up the titles.  HR Translation:  Don’t equate younger with better.  Don’t assume runway or energy or creativity only exist under 35.
  • Chris Stapleton proves that songwriting, authentic vocals and humbleness can still sell music.  HR Translation:  Don’t be fooled by smoke and mirrors.  Some candidates, vendor promises, competitor’s intel and engagement scores are yes, too good to be true.  Seek authenticity.
  • Conference calls longer than an hour suck.  HR Translation:  Please.  None needed.
  • Animals lower your blood pressure and make you smile.  HR Translation:  Everyone should want to work at Petco.
  • Breaking a sweat and being mindful of how you eat will make you healthier and happier.  HR Translation:  If you want to lower your benefit costs and increase productivity, REALLY incentivize your employees to do those things.
  • If people harnessed their time and energy around epidemic stuff – like curing cancer – we’d all be a lot better off.  HR Translation:  Focus on the big rocks.

That’s it.  That’s all I’ve got this week.  Simple, yet visceral.  Succinct, but requires thought.

So please, go break a sweat, hug your pet, fund cancer research and turn up some Tennessee Whiskey.

Jun. 6

Wonder “WHOA Man” >

More than anything, I wanted a Barbie when I was little.  Santa thankfully came through the year I was 5 and I still have that very special Barbie 20 years later (ok – that was a lie, it’s more like 30). Or 40. Let’s just say it was a loooong time ago. My daughter has now inherited my Barbie collection and made an interesting observation this week. The tube-top my…

read more >

May. 2

Lunch is for Wimps, So Keep Staring at Your Phone >

Remember when owning a mobile phone was a symbol of success? You know, the Motorola monster Michael Douglas, aka Gordon Gekko, aka “Awww, lunch is for wimps“, wielded around so powerfully in 1987’s “Wall Street“?  Everyone wanted one, but only a few were privileged enough at the time to own one. Fast forward and A) recognize the speed of technological change is mind-blowing and B) do you kinda now wish…

read more >

Apr. 3

Productive People Punch List >

We all know them.  The types who can exercise 2 hours a day, get their kids to school (dressed) and to every activity on time (with snacks) as well as shine during a pitch meeting.  Plus – always look like they’ve gotten 10 hours of sleep. WTF?  Don’t you just want to punch them? Especially in the unpredictable people business, the scenario above seems unrealistic.  Just when you think you’ll…

read more >

Mar. 21

Contract Workers are NOT the Red-Headed Stepchildren of Your Company >

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article entitled "The End of Employees" which focused on the hot topic of companies shifting some of their workforce from the traditional employee model to a hybrid of employee and contract workers.  Accenture estimates that, in the US alone, almost half of the workforce will be freelancers by 2020. I have experience working in organizations where contract workers were engaged to support an…

read more >