Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

November 3rd, 2017 | Posted by:

Donald Rumsfeld once said:

“…there are known knowns; these are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”

While I can’t find anything else I agree with him on, this quote struck me a true.  The stuff you don’t know you don’t know is what gets you into trouble.

I hear the same thing from my clients as it relates to HR.  They don’t know what they don’t know.  And for them, what they don’t know is usually “stuff” they need to know to lead a company with employees.  Their schooling taught them how to be a good __________ (fill in your profession of choice- doctor, lawyer, dentist, engineer, lab technician, systems analyst, scientist, teacher, etc.).  However, their education didn’t teach the ins and outs of being a good leader or manager, or what to watch out for when it comes to hiring, managing and employing people in general.

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When it comes to leading and managing people and culture (aka HR), when you don’t know what to watch out for, you don’t recognize the danger till it has already bitten you in the butt.

If you aren’t clear what your obligations are as an employer and people leader, or don’t know what employees of various generations expect of you, then you are in the right place.  The kind of HR we practice educates owners and people leaders in how to manage people and culture in a way that creates environments people want to work at and enables the business to achieve its goals.

If this kind of insight interests you, come back next week when we take a look at what good HR can do for you at each stage of your business.