Monday, May 31, 2010

Hello, WCG!


Six years ago I moved to Louisville to take a job at Humana - pulling up roots and leaving my beloved Chicago behind. I was joining a company that had begun to establish itself as a leader in innovation, and was about double in revenue and size. I still remember the line that hooked me:



"Come and join the department that's transforming the company that's transforming the health insurance industry."
- Carleen Haas, VP Human Resources



It was as true - and as compelling - then as it is now. And it's a big part of the reason that I'm moving on six years later. Not because the transformation at Humana has stopped - but because there is a bigger transformation in the business world that is picking up speed and getting ready to explode.

Over the last 10 years, we've seen traditional business models change forever in publishing, music and entertainment - and they are just the harbingers of what people like Don Tapscott, Steve Rubel and Jeff Jarvis refer to as "the Collaboration Economy." I've had the good fortune to be able to explore what that means for Humana. And now I'm headed to WCG - a global communications firm - to help their clients to define its meaning for themselves.

It's hard to sum up what the last six years at Humana, and in Louisville, have meant for me and my family. I've worked with brilliant, passionate people. We've made friends for life in our neighborhood and in our church. I've also had the opportunity to work for some true visionaries - like Jack Lord and Grant Harrison - who helped give form to a few key fundamentals in my professional outlook:

Don't accept the unexceptional - It's really easy to do things the way they've always been done. It can be really efficient to follow optimized processes. And thinking inside the box is usually a way to have things "accepted" inside a corporation. A lot of the time, that's fine ... but you should never stop thinking about whether, if something was done differently, it might open up possibilities you never dreamed of. And at a minimum, it'll get you noticed and help people think differently about YOU.


If you don't like reality, change it - "Do the best you can with the resources you've got." A fine motto. But sometimes you don't know what's possible until you try. When we built TPS, it was because we didn't like any of the publically available twitter monitoring and analysis tools. And we were prepared to make the best of it, and temper our expectations about what we could achieve with the existing toolset. But when we tried to bend reality to create what we really wanted, it opened up new doors for us ... and as a side benefit, completely changed the way that we started thinking about interactive development in the innovation center.


Know when to jump the curve - This is where the wisdom to decide comes into play. Sometimes, the best move is to make incremental improvements on what already is ... sometimes, it's time to do something completely new. The knowing when comes with experience - and working with people who have done it successfully for years.

I believe that following those principles as best I could led to the opportunity before me at WCG - and I can't wait to get started. Please keep my family and I in your prayers as we go through this period of big transition - and I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to use the comments on this post, or connect with me on LinkedIn (professionally), facebook (personally) or twitter (everything!).


10 comments:

  1. Congrats, Greg. I'm sure this will be a great move for you. WCG is lucky to have someone of your caliber. And now I have another excuse to take a road trip to Austin!

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  2. Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting/working with you. As we didn't always see eye to eye, I always respected your enthusiasm, drive and forward thinking. However it wasn't until we began to dive into the Social Networking arena that I truly recognized your ability to changed people and industries creating such a positive impact on health and wellness. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Funny that I felt like I got to know you more through Social Media more than working together on a daily basis :) Pretty sure we may have been each others first friends on FB!LOL That was a while ago for sure. Well I certainly wish the best of luck to you and your family Greg. You will be missed as Humana. Safe and Happy Travels. Enjoy Austin! It's a great city! Cheers, Jac

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  3. Greg - I'm looking forward to seeing you continue to kick ass in Austin at WCG. Congrats and good luck!

    Jim | @jimstorer

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  4. Greg, you've been a real inspiration to me recently by sharing some of the work you've done with Humana. I've even jumped out of my comfort zone of HR at work and joined a hospital-wide innovation team and will also be working on an exciting culture project. I really credit you for demonstrating that a seasoned HR pro can move from a traditional role into one filled with excitement and promise. I hope to stay in touch and hear about all the exciting work you have at WCG. Blessings to you and your family during this time of transition and always. Don't hesitate to ask if there is anything I can do to be helpful as you make the switch.
    Best- Trish

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  5. Excellent post, Greg, we are excited to have you join the team.

    Paul

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  6. And it was even fun some of the time... ;) Good luck, Greg.

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  7. Greg, WCG are lucky to have you.

    regards

    G

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  8. Greg -

    Thanks for sharing the personal side of what is often seen as just another "business decision" in life. Your journey and thought process has echoed some of my own. The 3 principals you shared should be part of every young graduate's notebook and certainly hold true for life.

    Glad we met at #sxswi - thanks for your awesome encouragement on my recent move to CHItown. Hope to catch up with you in person again soon.

    All His Best,
    MB

    @iMediaMichelle

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  9. Greg,
    It was a pleasure to work with you @ Humana. I can honestly say that you and Chris opened my mind to social media in ways that I hadn't thought of before. It was easy to do because of your enthusiasm and common sense approach to the topic. I wish you success in your new job and hope you and your family have a safe and happy move.

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  10. Thank you all so much for your kind comments ... It's really gratifying to hear that kind of feedback from time to time! I promise to keep you posted on how things are going.
    By the way, week one was great! ;-)

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