People who work in HR have a difficult time influencing the profession or its direction. It’s just not possible, most of the time, to get a clear view of the big picture from one slot in the trenches. Because of this, most of the big ideas that move through the industry come from consultants, academics, vendors and publishers.
The folks who don’t work in HR have an advantage. In order to be a successful academic, consultant, publisher or vendor, you have to devote a significant portion of your resources to marketing. Working professionals and managers rarely get to spend their time, energy and money in this way. The ‘rubber chicken circuit’ is full of the freelancing types who drive the industry’s conversation.
Social media has the enormous potential to change this. Practitioners and their leaders now have the opportunity to see an influence the larger picture. In the move to democratize influence, unconferences are turning lectures into conversations. If you wanted to change the game, now would be the time.
Marc Effron is currently VP, Talent Management Avon Products. With his own epononymous /component/option,com_jcalpro/Itemid,99999999/extmode,cal/date,2060-01-01/”>buying generic cialis website, a burgeoning talent network and a forthcoming book, he’s the model of future HR Rock stars. Effron infuses his day to day responsibilities with enthusiasm while building out the rest of his size extra large personal brand.
The Talent Management arena is exploding with new ideas, tools, software and approaches. Depending on who you ask, Talent Management is anything from a reframing of succession planning to a full reconsideration of the role of workforce planning. Effron is clever enough to understand that there is a critical intersection between the emerging theory and practitioners needs. He’s harnessed contemporary publishing ethics and tools to form a national network of Talent Management executives.
The New Talent Management Network describes itself as:
“a group of 1,600 senior talent management professionals interested in advancing this field. We share three primary goals:
- Improve talent management effectiveness by conducting original research that benefits the TM community
- Coordinate opportunities for local, free networking among TM professionals
- Increase the capabilities of TM professionals and raise the bar for this profession”
With impressive research resources, local gatherings in major cities and regular surveys, the New Talent Management Network is the sort of all-volunteer effort that creates sustained change. As social media integrates further and further into industry discourse, this sort of low-overhead, high value organization will be evermore visible. Effron’s managerial skill set is in evidence.
The new book (in stores mid-Spring, 2010) is called One Page Talent Management: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value. You can get a feel for the content by skimming through this presentation on buying generic cialis target=”_blank”>One Page Talent Management. Essentially, Effron assaults old school HR, validating the charges levied in the various forms of “Why We Hate HR” articles and studies presented in recent years. A McKinsey study says: “Executives do not see the HR function as having the influence and capabilities to shape effective talent-management strategies.” He then proposes a simple (not simplistic) approach to executing Talent Management solutions. His mantra? Avoid unnecessary complexity.
So how did a mid level HR manager at a big company make such an enormous impact?
After undergraduate school, Effron began his professional career in politics. A paid internship with a local congressman evolved quickly into a role with a company that worked to elect candidates who favored growth. After a few years, Effron began to think of his work as narrow and decided to go to Business School.
A Yale MBA led to a series of jobs in a variety of HR settings. Starting in a boutique HR Consultancy, he moved through Oxford Health Care, Bank of America, back to consulting for Hewitt, and finally to Avon where he works today. With nearly 17 years of HR experience under his belt, Effron is proof that effective careers require learning a culture, making a contribution and moving on.
It is well worth noting that his LinkedIn profile makes no mention of affiliation with a professional association other than the New Talent Management Network.
Marc Effron is a role model for a working professional who wants to wield influence in the industry. Broad career moves in a variety of setting, publications, a reputation as an engaging speaker and willingness to experiment beyond conventional thinking are the hallmarks of his approach.