TeamNL Olympics

It’s a Winter Olympics Carnival of HR!

The Sochi 2014 Olympics are over and it’s been an amazing run for many teams, in particular the Dutch TeamNL. Never before did one team win so many medals (24) in one event (skating). At times, we almost felt embarrassed to achieve another clean ‘orange’ sweep, but overall, we are just proud of our great athletes.

The amazing results of the Dutch team did not go unnoticed. It’s been hilarious to read global news articles explaining why the Dutch were so good. So bear with me while I dispel a few of the strangest notions out there. No, Dutch people are not born with skates on. No, lakes and canals are not frozen all winter: more often than not, we don’t get any ice. And no, we don’t skate to work or family (we use bicycles or even cars!).

The only explanation for the unparalleled success of #TeamNL is focus and hard work, fostered by a tough local competition where you have to perform exceptionally well every single race in order to win, let alone make it to the Olympics. And strong performance is a topic we in HR are familiar with. So let’s quickly move to the many submissions I received for this Carnival. It’s quite an impressive line-up and I want to thank you all for sending me these excellent posts!

Winter Olympics

A special mention for keeping with the theme goes to:

Ian Welsh (@ianclive), who kicks off this Carnival with Olympic flair on an interesting HR topic: Is Employee Time-Off More Important than Money? In other words, could it be beneficial for an employer to give employees paid time-off to watch the Olympic finals? Read to find out!

Sochi, the Media and HR! Talk about complicated relationships! Steve Browne (@sbrownehr) wonders why the press is so focused on the things that went wrong. What would happen if we used that culture in our workplace? Steve reminds us that a great athlete only focuses on what he is able to do and how cool that is! What would happen if all workplaces were like that?

Kevin Grossman (@KevinWGrossman) also got into the Olympic spirit and explains that the Olympics perfectly showcase the need for a robust succession planning strategy to address future talent gaps. His post is aptly titled Succession Planning – Going for Gold.

Did you know that women are still not allowed on the ski jump? Anne Perschel explains it all in “The Olympic Ski Jump – A Win for Professional Women”. After watching men and women perform dangerous jumps at the half pipes and snowboard tracks during the Games, that seems a bit silly, and not at all in line with the Olympic dream. Read this post to discover other areas where professional women are still not allowed to participate.

The Olympics are so inspiring, aren’t they? Troy Lutz decided to use the inspiration that is required to go through years of preparation and training, personal sacrifices and determination to come up with 8 Olympics Inspired Tips to Train and Develop Your Top Talent

Winning Against the Odds: Olympic Imperfection is the post that Karin Hurt (@letsgrowleaders) shares with us. More often than not, the odds are against us. There is always someone smarter, faster or more experienced. So the question is where your imperfection will take you?

Dwane Lay (@DwaneLay) took the theme a bit further and wrote a lovely post on what great sportsmanship means: Michael Sam – What Most People Missed. Dwane points out that trust within the team is the cornerstone of great performance. Well said!

And now that the Olympics are over, Chris Field points out that just like Olympians work towards that one moment of success, employees train for years to acquire their skills and work towards that one job interview that gives them access to their dream job – or not: “Employee Recognition: The Olympians Within Your Organization”.


Like the Olympic athletes, most of us want to perform well in our daily lives. Most of the submissions I received in the category “Anything Goes” focus on how to improve our performance – in leadership, in our careers, with training that we receive. The Carnival continues with the following posts:

I was really pleased to receive a post from first-timer Freddy Vorstenbosch who was a former colleague at NGA HR. Freddy (@vorddy) is now out on his own and his contribution is a post on Management, Leadership and Collaborative Power – Welcome Freddy!

Tom Haak (@tomwhaak) who is focused on improving the performance of the HR function, came up with 7 conditions that help to be innovative in HR and reminds us that it doesn’t hurt to experiment! From the looks of it, a robot is Tom’s best friend!

The post from my Twitter buddy Michael Carty (@mjcarty) is not Olympic but has a Russian flavor. Michael creatively combines great hiring advice with Russian culture, marketing and literature: Of great writing, giants & Russian dolls: The genius of David Ogilvy. The title was enough to make me curious!

Joe Brooks asks us: Wouldn’t it be easier for employers to focus on making their organizations the best places to be employed, through providing and clear opportunities for development and the resources to get there. Read his post on What is Career Management for some answers.

Amit Bhagria (@younghrmanager) comes to the rescue when someone else is stealing the credit for your work. I think we’ve all been there and Amit gives some great pointers on how to achieve visibility and get that recognition your deserve.

“If you truly want to take charge of your talent, then take the time to listen to what the listener has to say” – And if you are intrigued just how you do that, take a look at Don Maruska and Jay Perry’s (@TalentChampion) blog post Listen to Your Generous Listener

Julie Winkle Giulioni (@juliewg) wrote a two-part series called Coaching Made Easy. Here is her second installment which provides a link to the first, so you won’t miss a thing! Julie argues that coaching can be more effective when you combine the Wow, the Now and the How.

“We convey our beliefs about ethical responsibility through leadership development, ethics training, regular communications and daily actions.  The message we send sets the tone for the ethics of our organizations” writes Linda Fisher Thornton. She invites you to answer the following question: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

We’ve all been through training. And we all know how easy it is to continue with our old habits instead of adopting what we just learned. Dan McCarthy (@greatleadership) wants us to make the most of training with 10 Ways to Make Sure Training Sticks.

We invest a lot in employees, training being just one example. And we find it quite disconcerting when they make an exit before we’ve even had the opportunity to derive much value from their employment says Robin Schooling (@RobinSchooling). So make sure her advice in How to Lose an Employee in 3 Easy Steps is not for you!

If you are looking for inspiration on how to be successful, Susan Mazza (@SusanMazza) recommends that you Tend the Garden of Your Mind and you do so lovingly and wisely. And with the Olympics just behind us, would you not strive to be the best, most powerful version of yourself?

A quick judgement is never a good thing. And it can also become very costly, especially if you are an employer. Stuart Rudner cautions you on The high cost of rushing to judgement and reminds us that is it beneficial to take the time to objectively investigate allegations before taking action. Point taken!

And finally, John Baldino (@jbalive) want us to think about true engagement in his post Candy Everybody Wants. In his opinion, engagement stems from connectivity and relevance.

HR Technology

And last, but certainly not least, 2 submissions on HRTech:

We all know that Naomi Bloom (@infullbloomus) is a tireless defender of pure SAAS and in her new blog post she continues in style by rattling a few more cages. This time she sets the record straight on interfacing vs integration: Modest Rant — Applications Integration By Any Other Name… Is Something Else

Alex Raymond closes this Carnival with a post that is not strictly HR but more for the techies among us: What’s Hot in Agile Methodology? I’m including it in the line up because I think HR folks should have a firm grasp of the latest developments in technology in order to succeed these days.

Thank you all for participating in this Winter Olympics Carnival of HR. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to write this post!