A Man on a Mission

Great talent management is about more than the sum of its parts. It’s the crossroads of art and science, the marriage of theory with practice, and visionary strategy matched with effective tactics. And it’s fueled by a mission.

The loss of one of our leaders at the magazine brought that message home to me once again.

Norm Kamikow, president and editor-in-chief of MediaTec Publishing, the parent company of Talent Management, died in July after a sudden illness. He was 70.
Along with his longtime business partner John Taggart, Norm started MediaTec in 1999 with the launch of Certification Magazine, aimed at career development for IT professionals.

On a shoestring budget financed out of their own pockets, Norm and John grew MediaTec from a single magazine into Human Capital Media, one of the largest and most successful media companies in the industry, including four magazines, a series of national and regional conferences and events as well as industry research and benchmarking programs.

But what set Norm apart wasn’t his skill in business or willingness to make the tough calls. It was his vision and passion to explore the intersection of people management and media. Norm was tireless, constantly thinking, planning and pushing all of us to meet his high expectations.

My last conversation with him was about our upcoming management retreat and my ideas and goals for the coming year. As usual, Norm was fully engaged, listening, questioning and offering suggestions.

Despite being at the age when most slow down and retire to the clubhouse, Norm kept pushing forward. In 2013, the company completed its biggest acquisition to date, adding Workforce magazine, a 92-year-old HR publication, to the Human Capital Media group.

And in typical fashion, Norm headed to the golf course, too.  He wasn’t an either/or type of guy. Both/and was more his style. That growth mindset brought its challenges. But Norm was always ready to deal with the consequences. Even at the end, he was buried with his golf wedge just in case he found himself in a tight spot.

With his absence, we’re now the ones who find ourselves in a tight spot. But what Norm and John set in motion 15 years ago carries on. Great missions don’t end. They just keep moving forward.