Staffing firms are an important part of the American and international job market and there was no more important event for these businesses this year than the recently held Staffing World 2012.
At this year’s event, author and business strategist Jim Collins gave a keynote address, entitled; Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.
Great by Choice, also happens to be the title of his recently published book with co-author Marten Hansen.
I used the event’s Twitter feed to see what people were getting out of the convention and many people seemed very taken with Collins’ presentation.
Lisa Crawford from Rochester Hills, MI tweeted; “Just watched a great business speech by author Jim Collins. He is a dynamic speaker! Learned quite a bit from him!”
While Kip Wright; President of TAPFIN, a workforce fulfillment and management consultancy in Houston, TX; followed that with; “Jim Collins’ keynote was amazing. Tremendous insight.”
It’s no wonder that people were singing the praises of Collins’ business acumen. This year saw Collins, described by Forbes magazine as one of the most influential management thinkers alive, talk about building a great business in unpredictable, tumultuous and fast moving times by using the principles of fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, and productive paranoia.
Using the event’s Twitter feed, it was possible to get the gist of Collins’ presentation from following the tweets of others.
The New York Staffing Association set the stage with its tweet; “Welcome to chaos and uncertainty. This is your life. Jim Collins teaches us how to deal with the unknown.”
President of Stark Talent Dane Reese offered some insight into how Collins works by tweeting that Collins “doesn’t just look at success. He studies the contrast between success and failure.”
Darcy from Chicago shared what she learned from Collins by tweeting that to exert a sense of control in a chaotic world, you can’t let conditions alter your plans. You have to keep moving forward.
And moving forward involves having the right people in the right roles in an organization, according to workforce strategist John Thomas’ tweet about Collins’ presentation.
Wolf Metzner tweeted that Collins stated that “7 of your 10 most important decisions are people decisions.” While Reese echoed that sentiment by tweeting that the “single greatest executive skill is making the right people decisions” according to Collins. And Darcy piped in that Collins had said the power of good people decisions are gigantic.
In regards to employees, Catherine Lang-Cline tweeted that Collins said the key is not to motivate people but not to demotivate the motivated people.
And Randy Brockway from Charlotte, NC took away from Collins’ presentation that the “signature of great leadership isn’t personality, it’s humility.”
Part of that humility seems to be acknowledging that leaders alone do not make a business great, but the culture they instill in that business, no matter what the size. That is my own little slice of interpretation based on tweets like ones from fellow keynote speaker and president of the Wiseman Group Liz Wiseman; “A company is not yet great until it can survive multiple generations of leaders and be successful without you,” and “Never confuse a big company with a great company,” both of which she attributed to Collins.
People Plus Inc. tweeted that Collins’ said that greatness is choice and discipline and Lang-Cline followed that up with Collins’ nugget of wisdom that “Being truly disciplined makes you a non-conformist.”
But all companies can get lucky. What makes a great company great, though, according to Collins, is what it does with that luck and fortuitous timing, Reese tweeted Collins as saying.
Technology consulting business owner Shea Putnam tweeted that Collins said it’s possible to measure a company’s return on luck if it uses its lucky breaks to their fullest potential.
Wiseman added an additional soundbite from Collins by tweeting his statement that “the signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency” and People Plus Inc. tweeted Collins’ assertion that “the only mistakes that you learn from are the mistakes you survive. Always be ready to survive.”
Also following on the luck theme, Wiseman shared another of Collins’ statements that “you can only stumble across something if you are moving.”
On the productive paranoia front, which I take as a business watching its internal and external environments for possible trends and threats, Elwood Staffing’s Mike Stockard tweeted that Collins explained; “Productive paranoia helps prepare for every contingency that may stand in the way of our goals.”
Wiseman also tweeted about Collins’ presentation that he told the crowd; “on the big creative bets, get empirical data. Fire bullets and then cannonballs.”
And, finally, Todd Palmer with Diversified Industrial tweeted that Collins championed the value of having a great recruiter and added; “Nice to see our industry endorsed by this business legend.”
Other fascinating tidbits from Staffing World 2012 on Twitter included People Plus Inc.’s tweets that the staffing industry has filled 13 million jobs since October of 2011 and that “employment security isn’t having a job it’s having marketable skills.”
And Haley Marketing Group’s Brad Smith shared that the “most valuable content staffing firms can give is Salary data and hiring best practices.”
Staffing World 2012, presented by the American Staffing Association, was held in Las Vegas from Oct. 9 – 11 and featured keynote presentations from Collins, Wiseman, whose presentation was entitled Multipliers—How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, and Simon Mainwaring, founder of We First, who presented; Use Technology and Social Media to Build Community, Profit, and Positive Impact.
There is only so much you can get out of an event by following it on Twitter but if the outgoing tweets were any indication, it was a successful event with a lot of wisdom shared between presenters and participants.