Friday, April 4, 2008

Belling the cat

There is an old story about a group of mice who were afraid of a cat. One mouse suggested that they hang a bell around the cat’s neck so they could hear it coming and hide. All the mice agreed that it was a great idea until one mouse asked “Who bells the cat”?

I was laid off in 2004 and have been working temp jobs and jobs outside of my career field because permanent work has been that hard to find. All the advice I get about finding work seems similar - great ideas but no concrete suggestions about how to get it done.

In my last post, I wrote about the CEO of AT&T’s complaint that he couldn’t find great workers. I’ve had some great comments and the suggestion that I teach HR departments how to do a better job of screening candidates. I could do that, but no one has any suggestions about how to market this as a service. The biggest stumbling block I see is the HR departments natural rejection of the idea that they need help.

As with all things in business, nothing will change until senior management recognizes the need for change and drives that change. Until someone comes up with a way for me to talk directly to Randall Stephenson (the CEO of AT&T) it’s just another great idea that can’t be implemented.

Which I guess is part of Mr. Stephenson’s problem - his whole system is designed to keep him from being bothered. Of course the people who his system sees as a “bother” are the very people that could help solve his problems.

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