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It is better
to not be on
the web than
to be on and
not know why

John Sumser

is more
it seems.
John Gall


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John Sullivan
October 15, 2002) - Once upon a time, Fast Company magazine called John Sullivan the "Michael Jordan" of Recruiting. We still don't know what that means since Dr. Sullivan is a Professor and Head of the Human Resource Program at San Francisco State University, not a recruiter. At the time, we teased that he was actually the "Michael Jackson" of recruiting. We still don't know what that means either.

We've got a distinctly anti-academic point of view preferring that our Doctors are physicians and that our visionaries are not self-proclaimed. John, whose website can be found at drjohnsullivan.com rubs us the wrong way in that regard. In spite of our minor issues with his self-promotion approach, the good doctor is doing some powerfully important work.

Visit his website and take some time to digest the powerful body of systematic work being produced at San Francisco State. Offering practical and actionable guidance, the site is a treasure trove of really useful material for large HR organizations. John, as an academic, has a profound grasp of the fact that the fundamental operating question is "How?"

Our respect for John started growing about eighteen months ago when he published a piece on The New DNA of HR. For the first several years that we were aware of his work, John seemed to be playing the 'post-chasm" translation role for the industry. (In Geoffrey Moore's landmark book, Crossing the Chasm, mainstream adopters of a new approach require that the theory used by early adopters be converted into a more quantitative approach before adoption can begin.) The New DNA article put John on a less clear footing by making institutional demands for change in HR. Being n advocate for change while maintaining professorial expertise is not a simple quest.

John's work has evolved to a fairly strategic level of thinking. These days his articles discuss practical reasons for the the failure of Workforce Planning programs, Branding and other central issues. His work is thoughtful, systematic and couched in the language preferred in the big departments. We highly recommend that you visit his website, join his mailing list and watch his evolution.

-John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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