By John Sumser
Influence is not an homogenous thing. There are levels of integrity, intensity and innovation. It can be peddled or it can be earned. There’s not a shortage of players who can increase sales traction for a product that is indistinguishable (at best) from its competitors. Every savvy tech person can point to smart products with zero market traction.
Sometimes, influence comes from negation. Clearly describing what something isn’t is often the best way to move an idea forward. The lowest form of of influence peddling involves narrowing the field and negating the competition.
At the other end of the spectrum is influence that comes from high ideals and aspirations. Improving the marketplace of ideas, particularly in HR-Recruitment, is mostly thankless work. The really great ideas are quickly misappropriated by the influence peddlers and robbed of their meaning.
This relentless process causes the HR-Recruitment Industry to use outdated models and assumptions. New ideas emerge and are quickly trivialized. It’s easier to cheapen an idea than actually do the required innovation. So, we live in a river of changing buzzwords that mean the same thing. Progress is a perpetual challenge.
prescription cialis text-decoration: none;” align=”left”>Both Marketing and academia are culpable. Surfing the new is more easily accomplished by recycling the old. While profoundly new ideas get trivialized, the same old tired ones often get a new coat of paint. This creates an interesting space for independent thinkers and analysts
prescription cialis style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Kevin Wheeler maintains his independence with a vengeance. The twinkle in his eye, playful curiosity and gentle sense of humor are a cover a truly subversive passion for the industry.
Following a long career as an HR executive (Charles Schwab, National Semiconductor), Wheeler spent time with both SRI and the Institute for the Future. He is one of the very few independent big thinkers in the HR-Recruitment industry.
You may have encountered Wheeler’s work at ERE. His weekly columns are a part of the foundation of that institution’s credibility. Like clockwork, a Kevin Wheeler article appears once a week. It’s been going on for nearly a decade.
Kevin Wheeler covers and channels the latest trends and ideas. Wheeler’s articles introduce new ideas before the industry grinding machine chews them into mush. If you want to see the field of dreams in the HR-Recruitment Industry, track Wheeler’s weekly feed.
Kevin is a disciplined thinker about the future. A conversation with him always involves pen, paper and a matrix or two. He spends his time looking at large trends and making them accessible to the real day to day leaders of our industry.
The gem in Kevin’s empire is an operation called the Future of Talent. The organization is focused on providing a vendor-free look at the strategic issues facing the HR-Recruitment Industry. Offering scenario planning, retreat-style learning environments and a constant flow of outside the box thinking, FoT is no less than an amazing strategy for outrunning the industry’s flood of nonsense.
As Kevin talks about the five year evolution of the project, it’s easy to see the enthusiasm he holds for helping our industry move towards increased levels of excellence. It is only these sorts of self-financing initiatives that offer some form of hope for the long term viability of the function.
Watching Kevin operate on a podium or in a strategy session, you get the clear understanding that he’s a really nice guy. Diplomatic and non-confrontational in the extreme, he’s the master of slipping you a mickey of an idea. He refines and shapes his thought so that it can be easily used as a tool.
Kevin Wheeler is a great example of a pure form of influence. Self-generated, self-financing autonomous institutions are an important part of the future of the business. We need more Kevin Wheelers.
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