Illuminate with Statistics…

One of my all-time favorite quotes from Andrew Lang (1844-1912), a poet, novelist, literary critic and anthropologist:

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts…for support rather than illumination.”

I think the reason I like this quote so much (besides the wonderful visual analogy this provides) is that it reinforces what I have always believed – that any metric or measure you can come up with is simply a tool for exploration and discussion. (more…)

Connecting an (HR) Disconnect

Back in the 1980s, I thought HR was disconnected. At that time, I was starting out in compensation, writing job descriptions (yippee). This was back in the days of point-factor evaluation plans where details of what the job did, what/who it was responsible for and how it influenced in the organization determined the salary grade and pay level.  Job descriptions were pretty standard, and a quick look at shrm.org says they haven’t changed much….identification data, general purpose, duties, tasks, functions, qualifications/KSAs, special requirements, ADA information.

I didn’t quite “get” the purpose of job descriptions back then (it may have been because I really didn’t like to write them). But it seemed that they were written, graded and stuffed in a drawer never to be looked at again until someone wanted the job upgraded. (more…)