The 3/18 Carnival of HR

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we have traveled far and wide to be here today for an exclusive one-day event. So exclusive that it will never be seen again – at least not until April 1 at Fistful of Talent. Yes, folks, come on in and enjoy the Carnival of HR, full of bearded women, snake-skinned men and the occasional HR professional.

We've set up camp at the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). Out of respect for our host, this carnival rings with the theme of productivity – an increasingly important subject in these days of recession, even for nomadic carnies.

Because improved productivity leads to more money for corn dogs

Can March Madness be used to bolster morale without destroying productivity? Chris Young at Maximize Possibility gives the answer.

Nina Simosko at Nina Nets It Out talks about how to assess the needs of each situation and decide what is most important to maximize your productivity.

Frank Mulligan at Talent in China suggests that companies can and should take advantage of affordable (read: cheap) recent grads to increase engagement and create more cost-effective products.

Mark McGuinness at Lateral Action talks about his encounter with repetitive strain injury (RSI) and how that made him more productive.

Stacy Chapman at Strategic Workforce Planning asks in dramatic fashion: "Why, oh, why do most organizations do their workforce plans based on headcount calculations?"

Social media for carnival folk

Steve Boese at Steve Boese's HR Technology Blog looks at Yammer and discusses the implementation and lessons learned from the introduction of a new piece of software to improve collaboration and productivity.

Justin Field at TalentedApps looks at research from MIT that shows strong social networking can lead to improved productivity.

Gautam Ghosh at Gautam Ghosh on Human Resources explains how "HR2.0 social media can be a key tool to propagate a different mindset and culture."

Laurie Ruettimann at Punk Rock HR talks about the dangers of using social media to conduct assessments of recruitment candidates.

Lou Burrows at People Management talks about how the fear of social networking is holding HR back.

Nice carnies don't make good carnies

Because good leadership can lead to improved productivity, Sharlyn Lauby at HR Bartender serves up why being the best manager doesn't mean being the nicest manager.

Alison Green of Ask a Manager explains why overly nice can be exactly what you don't want in a manager.

The house of horrors!

Gireesh Sharma from Talent Junction presents a "Ray of Hope in Recession for Human Resources."

John Agno at Coaching Tip: The Leadership Blog looks at how companies are [unsuccessfully] implementing their talent management strategies.

Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership comments that Patrick Lencioni's piece in the Journal about the things executives do to botch layoffs is good, but only about tactics. Wally outlines five strategic errors companies make when it comes to layoffs.

Upgrade your talent, says Amit Avasthi at HR Bytes – and keep them motivated in this downturn.

What are takeovers really about? Rick at Flip Chart Fairy Tales has the answer.

Jon Ingham at Strategic HCM Blog looks at engagement and other issues in banks, specifically at RBS.

Susan Heathfield at suggests that company traditions become even more important when chaos is everywhere around employees.

Eva Rykr at iOrgPsych asks why the war for talent has been replaced by hiring freezes.

Carnival folk unite!

In her latest EFCA related posting, Jessica Lee at jessica lee writes discusses her first labor negotiation experience ... and the strange, but effective, tactics her HR leaders used to get the job done.

Mike Moore at the Pennsylvania Labor and Employment Blog focuses on the implication that the Stimulus Bill will pump massive amounts of money into public works projects, which may be performed exclusively by union laborers.

Even carnies must deal with performance management

Standardized processes give you a baseline – but you can't standardize human behavior. Deb at 8 Hours & A Lunch discusses how managers get confused by this notion.

Nick Jefferson at Nick Jefferson's Blog explores performance management in response to the UK's decision to fast track unemployed bankers and lawyers into teaching positions.

Dan McCarthy at Great Leadership swears he has a "no bull- #$%! performance review process."

Did you say inbreeding?

Ryan Johnson at WorldatWork asks: Do referral bonuses create corporate inbreeding?

The fortune teller dishes out advice

Mike Haberman at HR Observations addresses not thinking about your actions and the HR problem it may cause.

Can you remember just two words that can increase your "influence factor"? Steve Roesler focuses on the what and why at All Things Workplace.

Anna of The Engaging Brand asks: When was the last time you ___?

And last, but certainly not least...

Wayne Turmel at Management-Issues talks about how agile project management, typically associated with software development, can relate to teamwork in general.

Ann Bares at Compensation Force predicts the coming era of the CFO and addresses the battle between HR and Finance.

Also relating to CFOs, Alice Snell at Taleo Research responds to the headline: "Memo to CFOs: Don't Trust HR."

Ladies and gents, dogs and cats, reptiles and amphibians; time to tear down the tents and conclude this Carnival of HR. We hope you've had your fill of corn dogs, cotton candy and overly sweet strawberry shortcake – oh, and elephant ears –until the Carnival settles in and sets up at its next exciting stop.
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.