Heard on the [HCM] Hill: Let's Fix Work

Heard on the [HCM] Hill: Let's Fix Work

Laurie Ruettimann, the self-described “failed HR lady”, is one of the world’s top career advisers and sought-after keynote speaker. Her new podcast titled “Let’s Fix Work” promises to help listeners sort through the maze of buzzwords, acronyms and B.S. that makes work worse, not better.

Laurie, your star already shines high in the HR community. Why did you decide to host a podcast series?

Thanks for the kind words. I love working in the HR community, but my audience is broader than HR. My readers fall into three categories: forward-thinking HR professionals who are interested in technology, talent-savvy executives who value employees, and strangers who google "I hate HR" and find my blog. It's a weird Venn diagram. At the center of why people find me? They're thinking about work. My family has encouraged me to start a podcast for years. They're sick of hearing me talk, I guess. So, I took a class to learn more about podcasting. When I decided to do it, the concept of "fixing work" seemed like a good place to start because nobody wants to hear me talk about animals.

You’re also the founder of the tech company, GlitchPath. Tell us about the intersection of GlitchPath and HR and how it might help organizations “fix work.”

I founded GlitchPath back in late 2016 because the way we work is broken. It was a collaborative web app designed to predict project failure. Here's how it works: There are eleven reasons why we fail at work, and if we keep those reasons in mind and openly talk about how to prevent failure before we start, we can improve our chance of success by over 30%. This concept is loosely called a "premortem." Have you heard of it? 

Notable engineering and pharmaceutical companies use this strategy to gain a competitive advantage and predict failure before a project starts. So, my company built a web app to help teams brainstorm ways in which they might fail, organize those "glitches" into risk categories, and create a report that predicts their project failures before they enter anything into Basecamp, Asana, Trello or Slack.

It's the nerdiest thing I've ever done with my life. I'm really proud of it. Everybody liked the idea, and people loved having conversations about potential failure when I was in the room for user testing. It was lighthearted and funny. 

But there's no market for this app. And just because you see failure doesn't mean you can beat it. When I wasn't in the room with users, teams struggled to agree on a path forward to overcome potential failure.

TL;DR I can't replace consultants, just yet, but I'm not done trying to fix work.

You’re a change agent. What’s your secret? How can others channel their internal resources to drive change? Where should change start?

The thing nobody tells you about being a change agent is that it's exhausting. I am the living embodiment of impatience, persistence, confidence, and arrogance. When I was younger, I was insufferable. So what if I was right? Nobody could stand being around me. Now that I'm a middle-aged lady, here's what I know: You can't be a change agent if you don't have friends. Work on improving your relationships. Recruit allies. Change the world as a team.

Great advice from one smart HR thought leader. Don't miss your opportunity to learn how to fix work. Listen to Laurie's podcasts here. 

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