HR Slang: NINA (The People You Want to Minimize Time With)

HR slang time, people.  Let's give you a term you can text your fellow HR Capitalists in response to hearing that they're stuck in a timesuck they shouldn't be in.

The term/acronym?  NINA.  "No Influence, No Authority". Nina

NINA refers to people who really can't get things done in an organization and it's position/situation specific.  Consider the following:

--Authority is downward sloping. People with authority can help you get things done. It's what the org chart is there to do.  High authority, no influence people help you get things done according the org chart and should be treated as such. 

--Influence moves every direction in an organization. People with influence (power regardless of what the org chart says) can help you get things done or are good to help because they can help you in the future in variety of ways.  High Influence, Low Authority people move in ways not captured by the org chart.  They usually can influence both up and down the org chart from where they are.

The trick is to prioritize discretionary effort as an HR pro according to the tag related to NINA.  To be sure, you're always going to have transactional-type tasks that you're going to knock out for people of all classifications in the NINA chain.  But when it comes to where you spend your voluntary time - which is critcial for your career - you should probably prioritize who you hang out with and work with on discretionary projects according to the following:

1. High Influence, High Authority - spend as much of your time as you can with these folks.

2. High Influence, No Authority* - split your initial time with this group and group #3, until you find out the qualifier note in the (*) below.

3. No Influence, HIgh Authority* - split your inital time with this group and group #2, until you find out the qualifier note in the (*) below.

4. No Influence, No Authority (NINA) - serve this group, but try to minimize project time you spend here.

Note* - Spend the same amount of time with the groups identified in #2 and #3 until you see where the real power and juice is - is it in the org chart or in who the true players are regardless of what the org chart says?  If the latter, you should adjust the 50/50 accordingly.

If it sound Machiavellian, it is.  But it's essential to managing your HR career, especially in big organizations.  Text NINA to a friend as a reminder the next time their caught in a voluntary timesuck they shouldn't be in.

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