sketch of IoT Internet of Things by

HR’s job is becoming the management of the data associated with people. The way we work and the things we do look differently when viewed through the lens of data and evidence. photo credit: Ann Wuyts (@vintfalken)

You’d be smart to ask, “what in the world does the Internet of Things (IoT) have to do with HR?” Even though it seems extremely abstract, the meaning of the IoT is that things will be getting smarter. Software is creeping out from computers and phones to inhabit the regular objects of everyday life: cars, appliances, clothes, houses, streets, desks, paper, electricity, packages, glasses, watches, jewelry, buildings, toys, healthcare…

If you haven’t noticed, it’s been in the process of happening for some time now.

HR’s job is becoming the management of the data associated with people. The way we work and the things we do look differently when viewed through the lens of data and evidence.

HR is going to be the tip of the spear. Since most people are not very good at self assessment, the flood of data will come with hard realizations. It will be HR who end up helping employees navigate their emerging discoveries about themselves. HR will be asked to handle the human impact of IoT.

There’s a lot to learn. Here are some disparate pieces of information that sketch out the range of the issues.

  • Why 40% of Us Think We’re in the Top 5%
    Human beings are terrible at self-appraisal. One of the most interesting possibilities from the Internet of Things (IoT) is that we’ll be able to have routine immediate access to data that help us see ourselves more clearly
  • Joi Ito: “Deploy or Die”
    I’m going to OReilly’s Solid conference in May. It’s a two day conversation about the confluence of hardware and software that becomes the ‘Internet of Things’. Joi Ito is one of the two hosts of the event. “Joi is, of course, the director of the MIT Media Lab, where the emphasis is on working across disciplines: engineers take on art and designers hit the oscilloscopes. The kind of development process standard in the new generation of hardware startups — small groups of people hacking away at electronics and software to come up with products that combine both — has been familiar at the Media Lab for decades.”
  • Hire Above Yourself
    Shawn Jenkins is the CEO of BenefitFocus. He does a pretty interesting job of publishing a blog that blends his views with an emphasis on the business. It’s a good model. This piece gets at something really hard to do: hiring people who are better than you.
  • Seattle Is Dying
    Boeing is branching out in search of cheaper and younger STEM talent (that’s the real shortage). As they migrate away from Seattle, they leave the city with a unique mix of hardware and software talent (including the miniaturization skills required for the Internet of Things). Expect to see 21st Century manufacturing blossom in Seattle as the intersection of new tech and avionics is facilitated by Boeing’s departure.
  • Why UPS Trucks Don’t Turn Left
    This is the state of work design: using data to drive counterintuitive decisions. The fastest way is not always the best way. It turns out that by eliminating (more or less) left turns, UPS was able to drive margins up and maintain service levels. This data came from ana analysis of worker behavior coupled with very smart questions.

Bonus Links

  • The Science of Presentation Impact
    As healthcare dominates more and more of the economy, it’s becoming a useful source for insight into a whole range of organizational issues. Once considered a managerial backwater (because of its archaic paper based management approaches), nationalization and the Internet of Things (medical devices are a key part of the scene) are making healthcare a different creature. Don’t be surprised if this unwieldy beast becomes vital. In this article, a research based view of presentation effectiveness is discussed.
  • Security and the Internet of Things
    Some things to think about as computing migrates into the everyday world.

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