Marc Effron, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Member

Marc Effron, HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board Member

Marc Effron returns this week to the HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board. Marc is the President of the Talent Strategy Group and author of One Page Talent Management. Marc’s talent management consulting provides a highly practical, broadly informed perspective to clients like American Express, Advanced Micro Devices, Fidelity Investments, and many more. He has served as VP Global Talent Management for Avon Products, started and led the Global Leadership Consulting Practice at consultancy Hewitt Associates. Marc was also Senior Vice President, Leadership Development for Bank of America. Full Bio…

Report from Occupy HR Technology Movement

by Marc Effron

REPORTER: I’m here in New York City on the front lines of the Occupy movement where angry demonstrators are protesting the power of the 1%. Here, amidst bongo drums and stress balls, the powerful are rallying against the even more powerful.

REPORTER: The demonstrators claim that the 99% of people who use HR enterprise technology are unfairly controlled by the 1% who design and sell it.  They’re demanding an immediate redistribution of power to the end user.  Excuse me, sir? Ma’am? Can you tell me why you’re here today supporting Occupy HR Technology?

BALDING, OLDER MANAGER:  I just want to do the right thing for my people — give feedback, set goals – but the 1% make that impossible.   It takes six screens to get to the place where I enter comments.  Is that the world you want to live in?  Where the 1% makes entering information impossible for the rest of us?

FEMALE EXECUTIVE WEARING “PEACE THROUGH FINANCE” T-SHIRT:  We’re not saying they’re like pure evil, man, but they’re abusing their power. I had this friend who bought one of their systems for like 7 figures. Then she only used like 10% of its features ‘cuz there was way too much stuff in it.  But get this – they kept all her money, man! They kept all of her money!  They said we don’t care how much of it you use– the price is the same! That’s just so uncool.

REPORTER: On the main stage, a middle-aged Occupy organizer is rallying the growing crowd.

OCCUPY ORGANIZER: The 1% haven’t added value to HR – they’ve simply paved the HR cow path.  They’ve taken every HR idea we ever had – good or bad – and loaded it into their technology.  There’s no original thought! There’s no point of view about how to get better results from HR processes!  They’ve done the impossible by getting managers to hate performance management even more than they did before!  Multiple screens, confusing workflows – this stops now!  What do we want?

CROWD: Simplicity!

OCCUPY ORGANIZER: When do we want it?


REPORTER: Here, at the edge of the encampment, tempers are starting to flare. A radical splinter group of managers has just set fire to several servers in an attempt to block an advancing technology sales team.  Joining me now is Suzy Q., an executive assistant who’s been at the Occupy HR Technology event since it began. Suzy, why are you here today?

SUZY: The 1% just doesn’t get it.  They say this is self-service but no executive is going to use this.  They can’t use it on an airplane. The navigation’s not intuitive.  So what happens?  I have to do it instead.  Thanks for the extra work, 1% (EXPLETIVE DELETED).  You should be chained to a desk and made to use your own systems for 24 hours.  See how you like it.

REPORTER: Responding to criticisms that Occupy HR Technology hadn’t offered any solutions of their own, an unofficial spokesperson for the movement guides me to a large tent at the demonstration’s perimeter.   Behind a wall of Five-Hour Energy Drink cases are rows of tables occupied by bespectled 14-year olds furiously typing on laptops.

OCCUPY HR TECHOLOGY UNOFFICIAL SPOKESPERSON:  You want a solution, dude? We organized a programming flash mob this morning at 9AM.  We told them to build a powerful, easy to use, cloud-based performance management, succession planning, 360 and HR analytics system.  We asked them to do it in 10 days.  They laughed and said it would be done by three o’clock, dude.  Three o’clock!

REPORTER: So you’ll be offering this new HR technology solution for free to the 99%?

OCCUPY HR TECHOLOGY UNOFFICIAL SPOKESPERSON:  Uh, yeah. Well, with ads, of course.  We’re mad, dude, not stupid.

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