Lance Haun, Top 100 Influencer

Lance Haun, Top 100 Influencer

Social Media has turned a range of things upside down. Like all publishing innovations, the baton passes first to the heaviest users. It’s only time that rearranges the players to adequately reflect real value. In the early days, like now, the opportunity for young unknown players to make their mark is significantly different than it is at other times.

Kurt Lewin, the psychologist founder of force field analysis and action research, is credited with the “Freeze-Unfreeze-Freeze” model of social transformation. In that view, the status quo is held in place by a series of counterbalancing forces. Change is only possible when there is an interruption in the force field. The window for change is short and closes as a new status quo emerges.

That’s where we are. The old order is undergoing an unplanned rapid evolution driven by the arrival of new social media tools. Yes, there’s a lot of noise. Yes, there’s a lot of well intentioned crap. But, new paths of influence are being created while we watch. Today, it is possible for a young person with limited experience to command the attention and bandwidth of an entire profession.

There are all sorts of new and interesting phenomenon. Trolls, people who look to interrupt conversation for the joy of conflict and the love of their own voice, have free reign in an environment that tries to be egalitarian. Wikipedia describes a Troll “someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” As yet, there are few governance mechanisms that allow administrators to deal with the disturbance.

One of the interesting challenges facing us all is how to tell the difference between what’s important and what’s the result of a Troll or an overenthusiastic geek with diarrhea of the mouth. There are amazing nuggets of novel insight and truth hiding in plain sight. The noise, growing more severe as blogs continue to proliferate, obscures much of what’s potent. At the same time, more and more amazing stuff is just under the radar.

I spent an hour talking with Lance Haun about how he finds new and interesting material in the deluge of information. Lance’s formula is that a piece has be about solving a unique problem by a unique person. He searches and sifts for exactly this kind of information. “The net is cluttered with repetitive topics and lists of stuff. I’m looking for something authentic that works.”

What Lance thinks matters. One of the top two or three voices in the online HR environment, Haun is nearly everywhere. He blogs, he talks, he chats, he advises. He has been able to convert a young career into a platform for developing expertise for a couple of reasons. One, he’s willing to work late into the night, well after his HR job at a startup is done. Two, he asks questions, looks for answers and celebrates the new.

As number 3 in the Top 25 Online HR Influencers, Lance was described as:

“Lance Haun is one of the industry’s most prolific bloggers. He practices what he preaches by reaching back and reevaluating what he says. One of the folks who is working in HR while writing about it, Lance predicts that 2010 will be the year of the HR Rock Star. He’s one of them. Recently, he began working for MeritBuilder as their VP of outreach. He’s in the business of “Helping companies understand and influence their culture and employee engagement through positive and portable recognition.”

In Lance’s view, it’s all the product of hard work. I asked him if he actually had a social life. He allowed that he likes to sleep late on Sundays and squeezes in a social life before he works through the night.

His current company, Merit Builder is a startup in the recognition program space. Lances is enthusiastic about the product, the project and the team. He’s enjoying a level of influence that few people his age have tasted in this profession.

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