Enterprise Geeks Podcast – Finding Geeks and Keeping Them Happy

Season 2 Episode 8
In this gem of an episode, our friend and loyal eGhead Jon Reed from JonERP.com joins Ed and Thomas as they discuss the subject of finding and retaining talented geeks. If you have questions, suggestions, or topic ideas for future episodes, give us a shout here. Enjoy!

Running Time: 66 minutes

Talking Points

  • 00:15 – Random Chit Chat with Jon Reed
  • 06:32 – What Jon has been up to
  • 09:30SAP Talent: Are You Making The Most Out of Yours?
  • 10:54 – Given the current economic situation, is there a problem retaining talent?
  • 13:01Leveraging the Talent-Driven Organization (Free to download)
  • 18:30 – Observing Patterns vs. Treating Humans as a Process
  • 21:00 – Why challenge and creativity are more important factors than money
  • 31:00 – Rewarding mediocrity is not a good way to retain talent
  • 40:42 – A generation of straight-to-the-point communication
  • 44:30 – Defining the right career paths
  • 51:40 – Can SAP help their customers retain geeks?
  • 54:45 – The importance of constant learning for consultants
  • 57:00 – Identifying talent
  • 62:00 – Wrap up


4 responses to “Enterprise Geeks Podcast – Finding Geeks and Keeping Them Happy”

  1. Jon Reed says :

    Guys, it was fun to listen to this, I wasn’t sure during the taping how it would come out, but Ed has some all time rants on here that are well worth a listen…thx for having me! Ed’s mockery of certain managers as “professional email routers” was a keeper, I’m definitely to going to save that zinger, and Ed, I’ll try to remember to credit you when I use it, if I forget, send me an email and I’ll route it appropriately.

    Meantime, as I referred to in the podcast, here are the rest of the “certification five” and their Twitter IDs: Dennis Howlett (@dahowlett), Michael Koch (@pixelbase), Martin Gillet (@mgillet), and Leonardo De Araujo (@leonardo_araujo). I think I have mispronounced everyone’s name except for mine and Dennis’ in one forum or another. As I said in the podcast, our next step is to share more of our work publicly, so stay tuned…

    As for the podcast, if we return to this topic down the road, I think a good talking point would be the one towards the end of the podcast on how to properly identify SAP talent within an organization.

    The one thing I always come back to is that we don’t have to wait for organizations to see the light on these types of issues to find ways of improving our skills or circumstances. Hopefully the end result of this kind of discussion is not to lead to a state of cynical passivity about large flawed organizations, but to inspired folks to make savvy movies to expand their skills, visibility and prospects. Because let’s face it, there are far more sharp eGheads than there are great companies to work for. Rhetoric aside, more companies are focused on outsourcing/cost cutting than they are on maximizing talent. For too many, the phrase, “learning organization” is still an oxymoron.

    – Jon

  2. Dennis Howlett says :

    @jon is being too coy – we’re now thinking about a new tagline: Quality isn’t Job One, Being totally freakin’ amazing is Job One…hack from @gapingvoid… πŸ˜‰

  3. Chris Paine says :

    Great podcast,

    very interesting topics, especially the comments about “Learning Organisations”.

    I was also very interested in Jon’s comment about companies not really having taken stock about how much knowledge is walking out of the company and into the public domain.

    In my company we tried, unsuccessfully to come up with a way of sharing knowledge internally, but the general consensis amoung the geek crowd was – well the first thing we’re going to do if we’re stuck is search on SCN – not our own internal site – so why bother, just post it on SCN. So we made a decision that an external public site was going to be our forum for sharing information. It’s slowly getting there – the guys aren’t the best at knowledge sharing in the first place.

    You mentioned checking who was knowledge sharing as a way to identify talent – but perhaps that’s also something that defines talent in today’s workplace. An effective communicator and one who can share knowledge amongst the workforce has a value that is proportional to the size of the crowd they can influence, not just the skills that they as an individual have.
    An effective communicator who has a moderate level of technical skill is probably more valuable to your company than a highly skilled person who refuses to share knowledge. (Depending on of course the company’s ability to disseminate information through its networks.)

    You guys have a lot of experience in the public area of knowledge sharing – blogging, twitter etc. What do you see as effective in the internal organisation? Or is there no value – given the thought in the blog paraphrased “If I want to move company, you don’t want me here”, in keeping knowledge internal to organisations?

    Again – great stuff – keeps me smiling on the way to and from work. (we don’t just listen to EnterpriseGeeks at lunch Ed! πŸ˜‰


  4. Vijay says :

    I enjoyed it – and I swear Ed must have listened to my own rants before I became a manager πŸ™‚

    One thing where I “slightly” disagree with Jon is his comment here that “Rhetoric aside, more companies are focused on outsourcing/cost cutting than they are on maximizing talent”.
    Offshoring and talent maximization are not mutually exclusive. Offshore has as much talent as elsewhere – just because cost is less, it should not make us think that talent is sub-standard. It is a zero sum game – some one feels the pain of losing a good job, and some one else feels the pleasure of getting a great job.

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