John Hollon

John Hollon is Vice President for Editorial of, and the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices. Contact him at, and follow him on Twitter at

Articles by John Hollon

HR News & Trends

The Zappos Experiment Eliminating Managers? They’re Having Some Issues


I’ll believe in holacracy when CEOs start giving up their titles and submit themselves to it.

Don’t know what holacracy is? says it is “a new way of running an organization that removes power from a management hierarchy and distributes it across clear roles, which can then be executed autonomously, without a micromanaging boss.”

Lord knows we can do a lot better without micromanaging bosses, and I’ve worked for a number of them, but I’m always leery of a definition like this one that seems to believe that a “micromanaging boss” is part and parcel of the management process. Read more…

TLNT Events

Get Great Speakers AND HRCI Credits at TLNT’s Workforce Summit


You’re running out of time to sign up for TLNT’s 2015 High Performance Workforce Summit being held May 6-7 in Atlanta.

Yes, it’s only three weeks away, and if you don’t join us at the Omni CNN Center Hotel next month, you’ll miss great keynote and general session speakers such as:

Jeri Buchholz, Chief Human Capital Officer at NASA; Stacey Valy Panayiotou, Vice President, Global Talent & Development, for Coca-Cola; Kevin Wilde, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness and Chief Learning Officer, at General Mills; Dr. Valeria Stokes, Chief Human Resources Officer & Chief Diversity Officer, American Bar Association; and great HR thinkers like Dave Ulrich and Dr. John Sullivan.

You’ll also miss out on something else too — HRCI recertification credits.

Read more…

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: No More Managers? It Just Won’t Work, Even at Zappos


I like Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, and there are a lot of other people who do, too.

That’s because he’s an innovative business thinker with a ton of interesting ideas, but it doesn’t mean that every idea is golden.

In fact, here’s an example of one Tony Hsieh idea that makes very little sense: holacracy. Read more…

TLNT Events

More Than Just Big Names at the High Performance Workforce Summit


I’ve been focusing a lot on the high level speakers — the people doing the keynotes and general session speakers — at TLNT’s 2015 High Performance Workforce Summit being held May 6-7 in Atlanta.

There’s a good reason for that — because they are people well worth coming to hear.

Our keynote and general session speakers are pretty incredible – Jeri Buchholz, Chief Human Capital Officer at NASA; Stacey Valy Panayiotou, Vice President, Global Talent & Development, for Coca-Cola; Kevin Wilde, Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness and Chief Learning Officer, at General Mills; Dr. Valeria Stokes, Chief Human Resources Officer & Chief Diversity Officer, American Bar Association; and great HR thinkers like Dave Ulrich and Dr. John Sullivan. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: With Employees, Does Personality Trump Skills, Competence?

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A long time ago, I worked with a company that valued managers with great personalities over just about anything else.

There was one particular guy who corporate management viewed as a superstar because he had such great “presence.” He had been lauded with all sorts of company honors, and although he certainly did make a great impression when you met him, it was hard to tell just what it was he did well.

A guy who worked closely with him (who later worked for me) started talking about this superstar manager one night over a drink. When I asked him what made ‘Tom” such a star, this guy rolled his eyes and said, “Tom can be really difficult to work for. Yeah, he has great  presence, but he also has the attention span of a gnat.” Read more…

TLNT Events

When Dave Ulrich Talks About Talent Management & HR, Everybody Listens


Shortly after launching TLNT back in the summer of 2010, I wrote something that described Dave Ulrich as “an all-around HR Guru” and that he was “one of the greatest HR thinkers of our generation.”

Well, I was probably a little too modest in my description of him.

The Harvard Business Review describes Dave as “one of the world’s leading human capital/HR experts,” and he certainly is, but he’s also a Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan and best-selling author of books such as The Why of Work: How Great Leaders Build Abundant Organizations; and, HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources.

Yes, Dave Ulrich is as close as you get to an HR legend — and he’s a big reason why you need to attend TLNT’s High Performance Workforce Summit May 6-7 in Atlanta. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: Too Many Companies Have a Talent Pipeline Problem

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There are a lot of things that drive employees crazy, but here’s a big one: When management goes outside the organization and bypasses internal candidates when there is a position to fill.

For some reason, business leadership fails to see how damaging it is to morale and company culture when everyone feels that people inside the organization are consistently passed over, for promotions or more interesting assignments, in favor of outsiders.

In other words, somebody from the outside is better than anybody on the inside. Read more…

TLNT Events

5 Reasons You Must Attend TLNT’s High Performance Workforce Summit


Yes, it’s true: Last year’s TLNT High Performance Workforce Summit had one of the highest ratings of any conference we have ever put on.

Here’s why, according to what attendees told us:

  • They loved the speaker lineup that was full of smart HR and talent management professionals;
  • They felt the presenters really spoke to them with real-world insights about managing a high performance workforce, and gave them great information that they could take home and apply to their own organizations; Read more…
HR News & Trends

Weekly Wrap: Employee Appreciation? It’s Not As Good as You Might Think

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Here’s a sobering statistic to ponder on Employee Appreciation Day: Nearly half (47 percent) of employees recently surveyed say they either don’t feel appreciated or feel only somewhat appreciated at work.

This comes from a new online survey in February by Harris Poll for The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated, a company that makes sophisticated time and attendance software. Although the findings are pretty interesting, they aren’t terribly surprising given all that we read and hear about the mindset of the workforce today. Read more…

TLNT Events

Dave Ulrich (and Others) on Keys to a High Performance Workforce


The single most powerful way for HR leaders to deliver competitive advantage to their companies is to build and maintain a High Performance Workforce.

As we look at the high performance workforce of the future (something you’ll hear a lot about at TLNT’s High Performance Workforce Summit May 6-7 in Atlanta) we’ve invited talent management leaders and HR thinkers who will be speaking at the conference to share some of their thoughts.

We found their answers to be both innovative and insightful. Read more…