In a recent post, we listed 10 of the best people to follow on LinkedIn. Not previously mentioned, but deserving her own separate post, is Liz Ryan, the woman with the colourful pencil drawings.
Beginning her career as a professional opera singer, then working her way up the corporate ladder to become VP of HR from a Fortune 500 company, she went on to establish the coaching & consulting firm Human Workplace, where she has become a prolific producer of articles and podcasts that have been consumed by thousands. She teaches career strategy and branding at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and speaks to audiences across the U.S. and abroad about bringing a human voice to business.
If you haven't come across her work before, below is a sample of her recent podcasts and LinkedIn articles, with links back to their main websites.
Liz Ryan — A Few Favourite Terms:
"The Skills Dogma" "The world is changing really fast. It’s disorienting. Lance Armstrong is a hero! Oh wait, he’s a big liar and a bully. Wheat is good for you — we ate it every day as kids. What’s that? Gluten is bad for you? It makes people sick, and stupid? Easy come, easy go in the information-and-advice department, and it’s a good thing, because everything we've been taught about personal branding is wrong, also. The Skills dogma that most of us grew up with is complete B.S. and a total waste of time. You know what I’m talking about – the thing where you talk about your Communication Skills and your Administration Skills in your resume and your LinkedIn profile, not to mention on job interviews . . . Skills tell us nothing about what you did that mattered, when the chips were down. To say you have Skill X and Skill Y tells us exactly nothing about when, whether and how you’ve had occasion to use those Skills, and that is the Skills dogma’s biggest problem." — Liz Ryan (Skills, Shmills! Tell Me What Problem You Solve)
"Zombietastic Corporatespeak" "We don’t talk about paradigm shifts at the grocery store. When we stop at the tavern to play darts with the guys, we don’t talk about critical success factors and performance metrics. Nobody likes to talk that way, yet we find ourselves doing it against our wills. The zombie tendrils of corporatespeak spiral into our brains until every time we sit down to write a memo or email message, the dreaded jargon spills out through our fingers onto the keyboard." — Liz Ryan (Put a Human Voice in Your Resume)
"Godzilla" "There's a huge problem in the business world, though, that keeps the theatre and epic adventure out of it, to the detriment of employees, managers, customers, shareholders and all of us. That problem is, of course, the very odd and dysfunctional set of beliefs that we carry around and teach to business newbies, the structure of rules and policies and hierarchy that we at Human Workplace fondly call Godzilla. Godzilla is the edifice of fear-based management practices and picky protocols that sap the life force from working people and reduce creative and energizing work to mindless steps in a bureaucratic process." — Liz Ryan (The Three Biggest Lies Told in Business)
In an ever more complex world, we can take some advice from Liz … remove the jargon and get back to treating people as human beings. The KISS principle (Keep It Simple and Sincere) has never been as important as it is today.