HR Prediction 2013: Ecosystem

I have this theory that Human Resources jargon is really just recycled finance jargon, which is actually the recycled patter from Silicon Valley and the investor community. And that nonsense? It’s repurposed garbage from Wall Street and lawyers, which originated from professors at business schools that churn out all of those obnoxious and overpriced consultants.

HR is usually the last to know the cool corporate terminology. The only people who are later to the game are politicians. Senators and congressmen are still using the word stakeholder like it’s 2005.

And there are two cycles to HR jargon, by the way. At the beginning of the year, we grab on to a word and use it to death until the SHRM conference. Then we hear a new word from exhibitors and bring it back to our offices, where we kill it in our PowerPoint presentations.

We began 2012 using the word manifesto. As we close out the year, we are overusing gamification.

(I don’t want to live in a world where open enrollment is gamified.)

My prediction for early 2013? Human Resources professionals will use the word ecosystem.

You won’t build a pool of candidates. You won’t create a Facebook careers page. You aren’t working on a new wellness program. You are developing, creating and engaging an ecosystem.

Talent communities, alumni associations and social media strategies are so 2012. You are leveraging paid, earned and owned media channels to create an ecosystem.

Hmm. I’m already over it.

Please get that word out of your system over the next few months. When I see you in Chicago at the SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition, I want to be ready for what’s next.


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