Join the Carnival !!

This is the “post before the post” for this week.  I am hosting the Carnival of HR for January this coming Wednesday 1/14/15.

For those of you who are HR bloggers, this is a request for you to help me set a new standard for this great forum !!  Shauna Griffis (@HR_Minion on Twitter) has been the faithful behind the scenes facilitator of the Carnival for years.  She asks people to host and I’m GEEKED to do it once again !!

I have a theme I’d like you to follow, and it’s this.  Write a post on “HR would be better if . . .”

To participate do the following:

  1. Write a post, or share one from your site, that fits this theme.
  2. Think of how you’d like to see HR get better !!
  3. E-mail me a link to your site at: sbrowne@larosas.com and I’ll make sure you’re included !!
  4. Use the hashtag #makeHRbetter when sharing this month’s Carnival.

Now, here’s where I want to set a new standard !!

HR BlogsI think people are great at sharing their own posts, but we don’t share the work of others as much as we could.  I am a HUGE fan of other’s HR Blogs.  My Feedly reader has 150+ blogs that I read and share regularly.

I have a wild, audacious goal of connecting every HR professional in the world, and I’m going to get there someday.  So, I’d love to feature YOU and your site to the HR community.  I’d like to have the most posts ever for this month’s carnival, and I’d like to hear from my blogging friends from around the globe !!

I’ll be watching my inbox to look for your submission !!  Join me and join this carnival.  It’s time to curate and create community and I want YOU to be included !!

The Real #FF !!

As 2014 draws to a close, we take time to reflect on what was and what will possibly be for the coming year.

For those of you who are active on Twitter, there has been a hashtag called #FF which stands for “Follow Friday.”  It’s where people recommend others that are on Twitter for you to consider following.  When Twitter was in its infancy, this was huge every Friday and you’d see tweets flying so quickly that your head would spin.  People were excited to connect and see who else was out on the social platform.

Inevitably, you’d see the same names week after week because, like any system, there is a bell curve of activity.  There are many who are very visible, active and they do a great job of posting their material and the material of others.  There are also many who “lurk” and watch what people write and post.  Nothing wrong with lurking because I’m assuming that you are trying to see what has value to you and this allows you to filter what information you like and avoid that which you don’t.

There is also a significant group of people who dabble in social media because someone encouraged them to, but they lose interest quickly. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t capture enough of their attention to merit ongoing effort.  They may show up in a #FF once in a while, but they rarely reciprocate.

Friends and FamilyThis isn’t specifically a post about Social Media though.  You see this past week during the holidays was filled with the Real FF – Friends and Family !!  People gathered from all over to make sure to see each other and catch up.  These times of seeing people in person has immeasurable value.  It’s great to hear new stories or relive old memories surrounded by warmth and laughter.

In my case, these gatherings are also generational.  There are Grandparents, Aunt, Uncles, and cousins of various ages and from various backgrounds.  They live in urban settings, rural settings and suburban settings.  It’s a broad spectrum that continues to grow as the families grow.

Getting together with people in person is energizing for me. To take the time to get to connect with friends is something I look forward to every time I get to go to an event.  I am a big proponent of the #FF movement on Twitter and try my best to keep active because I believe these electronic introductions can lead to meaningful connections and friendships.

Going into to 2015, I hope to make more of the #FF that I do socially come to life in person.  I believe that the more intentional we are in making these connections become a reality, we experience that “friends and family” high of getting to know one another.

So, be on the lookout !!  I plan to make sure to rekindle existing friendships as well as develop new ones.  I hope that you are one of those #FF folks who truly becomes a friend.  Don’t be surprised when I find you !!  It will be magnificent !!

An Oasis in the Desert !!

As I sit to type my weekly post, I am overlooking a beautiful mountain range that encircles the Las Vegas strip.  It’s my first time to visit Vegas, and I find it to be an incredibly intriguing human experiment !!  (That will be for a later post to be sure.)

One thing that strikes me though is that in the midst of a desert sits an endless series of skyscrapers, neon lights, constant movement and a throng of people taking in absolutely everything their senses can endure.  It’s like an oasis filled with people searching for something to refresh them.

After finishing the Ohio SHRM State Conference, I noted another oasis in the midst of a desert. During the hustle and bustle of the sessions, vendor hall, food, SHRM Store and entertainment, people are looking for something to refresh themselves professionally.  You see Social Media usage jump from literal non-existence to a robust life because people have to tell others what they’re experiencing.  It’s great to see people embrace social media, even if it’s for this short burst.  Ironically, there’s still a movement out there at conferences that wants to squish and limit social media.  In fact, one of my friends was attending another State Conference said that they had speakers (who weren’t on social media themselves) encouraging HR to not allow social media.  That narrow look at things kills me.

You see, I think social media is more than a platform for exposure.  Sure, that’s what many people use it for.  However, I think social media is the best method to connect, communicate and curate.  There is a hole in HR people.  They want to connect and become this amazing tribe, but they don’t know how.  It starts to bubble at HR events, but then it dissipates as soon as the event concludes and “real” work starts again.

OasisWe continue to compartmentalize social media as something that exists “out there” and is “for others.”  I’d like to see that change.  To me the first primary function of social media is to connect.  Before social media, our HR sphere was limited geographically both in how far we were willing to go and who we met at traditional gatherings.  Social media allows us to meet others who do what we do and face the same challenges and opportunities we do.  You aren’t alone !!  This is one facet of the oasis that is within your reach.

The next is communication.  Now we have the ability to reach out with the touch of an “enter” button to talk to anyone.  We have no reason to say that resources aren’t accessible.  People want to help each other, but YOU need to be the one who reaches out.  Sitting by your mobile device hoping someone will ask you for your keen and sage advice isn’t going to happen.  Reach out first.  It’s not as risky as you think.

The last piece is curation and it’s something that needs to start happening more.  This is more geared to my friends who are already well-versed and comfortable in the social media space.  People want to hear your voice and the voices of others.  I appreciate that people fill social media with content, but I see most people publish and not push.  By “push” I mean sharing the great content you see to others.  When we get caught up in analytics and how our numbers are running, I feel that we want see how our personal social media brand is doing more than making the profession stronger.

Be the oasis !!  Get information out to people and gather them together so that they are renewed and equipped to be able to do the good work of HR in their corner of the HR universe.  I want you to join me in making social media a platform that is more than just a series of announcements !!

People in HR are seeking the oasis.  Let’s start meeting there.  The desert isn’t really where need to be.  HR practitioners want to gather and come together.  Join me in making this happen !!

Be Relentless !!

This past weekend was phenomenal because I spent it with the 50 SHRM State Directors at the Regional Summit. It’s great for so many reasons such as developing leaders, sharing best practices, learning what successes others are having and the most recent news from SHRM itself.

The true highlight for everyone attending was learning from Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt as Talent Anarchy !!  They showed everyone a valuable tool with the Hack Lab.  Hacking isn’t “new” to the business world, but it is lacking in HR and in volunteer leadership roles.  The level of energy and creativity was incredible !!

They also highlighted their great work from their MUST HAVE book Social Gravity which break down the immense value of our social capital. When this session was completed, there was a sharing of take aways, and a vast majority of the group shared that they were going to work on being more connected to each other.

RelentlessIn fact, my favorite response came from the North Dakota State Director, Stephanie Winterquist, when she said she was going to BE RELENTLESS at improving her social capital !!

It made me wonder if others in HR would be relentless too?  I know that “connecting” is an overused plea in HR blogs, but it keeps coming up because people just aren’t doing it !!  As soon as the conference was over, and before I caught my flight home, I sent a Linked In invitation to intentionally connect with the folks from the SHRM Leadership Summit that I hadn’t yet.  This isn’t to gather more “friends” or “followers.”  It’s to find others who can be resources for you and for you to be a resource to others.

HR will sustain its relevance the more it’s connected !!  That is an undeniable fact.  So, you have to ask yourself – will you be relentless too?  I think it’s time for all of us !!

Some People . . .

” . . . are worth melting for.” – Olaf

My wife and I went to see Disney’s Frozen this weekend.  It is magnificent !!  If you take nothing else away from reading this post – go see this movie !! One of the best characters, and a real show stealer, is Olaf the snowman.  He is hilarious and beautifully naive and caring.

Olaf MeltingDuring a key scene, he does his best to keep Anna warm in front of a fire even though he begins to melt.  She is worried that he will be harmed when he breaks out the line that “some people are worth melting for.”  Yes, I was crying and I’m good with that !!

It made me think of those around me in my life that are in this category.  I’m very fortunate to say that there are several.  I’m very thankful that I’m surrounded with people who I value and would do almost anything for.  I hope that you have people in your life that you would “melt for” too.

In HR, I think we lose sight of this because our focus is often on those that may be challenging or frustrating.  We tend to slink back behind procedures, policies and processes because those things aren’t emotional, unpredictable and ever-changing.

If you don’t look at others as someone you would “melt for,” you may want to evaluate why you’re in HR.  That may seem harsh or extreme, but I don’t think so.  Olaf doesn’t see what he’s doing as a sacrifice, or something out of the ordinary.  In fact, it’s natural because he cares for Anna – which should be our focus on everyone we come into contact with.

This is also tough in today’s social environment because the majority of what is being written, retweeted, and shared is self-focused.  People beg and seek to see their name and their work publicized.  I struggle with this to be honest.  I love seeing the work of others !!  I learn from others and, in many cases, I’ve reached out to get to know the authors personally and not just treat them as some avatar that is unapproachable.

I’d really love to see this change on the social forums and in the workplace.  I think that if we had the approach that we would be willing to deeply connect with others, naturally, we’d find that the “community” everyone writes about would exist as a tangible, viable force.  This group would innately move companies, professions, associations and lives forward.

So, can you do this?  Will you join me?  Is this feasible, or utopian?  In the end, I choose to be like Olaf and put myself out there for others because there are some people truly worth melting for !!

Image courtesy of Walt Disney World for Grown Ups

Getting to Know You !!

This past week I was able to “return home” for Thanksgiving with my parents in the Village of Ada, Ohio !!  This booming metropolis of 5,900 people is my hometown.  I’ve been fortunate to live in many small towns throughout Ohio, but this is where I grew up.  I love coming back home because it is a mix of a small town surrounded by acres and acres of farmland.

We wanted to get out and do something instead of constantly eat, so we decided to take in a movie.  I thought we’d have to travel to Lima, Ohio (a mere 15 minutes away), but fate was smiling down on us.  The Ada Theatre in “downtown” Ada was showing Catching Fire which is what we wanted to see. I was geeked (as you could suspect) !!!

Ada TheatreI wanted my family to go experience the movie house that I grew up with.  It’s said that you can’t go back to your home, but that just isn’t true in Ada.  It’s a one-screen theater with wide rows and 300 red upholstered seats.  The admission was a staggering $4.00 per ticket !!  We decided to splurge for popcorn and a soda for another $4.25.

The whole experience was spectacular !!  The movie was great and the whole feel the entire time gave my family a small taste of the small town I was fortunate enough to call home.  People said, “Hi” even though they didn’t know you and no one was pushing or shoving in order to get their place.  Every seat was a great seat to watch the movie.

So, what does this tale from the Midwest have to do with anything ??  I think it’s very relevant to the whole social media “space.”

We spend countless hours on-line looking at posts, surfing Facebook to post all types of personal experiences, retweet items that we found interesting, etc.  But, we spend very little time getting to know the people we “follow” or “friend.”  I want to see that change.

You see, the more we get to know someone, then we can be confident in sharing their great content because we have more of a relationship with them.  I continue to see friends (real friends) who are becoming more and more sporadic on-line and I truly wonder how they’re doing.  When I get to connect with them, they’ll share how full and robust their lives are and I’m fine.  I want to get to know WHO you are and WHAT you do.

To me, the social media forums are a great way to share content and provide resources to the masses.  It’s essential that we do this intentionally and not just automatically.  Yes, it takes time to get to know folks – but what can be a better use of a person’s time than to get to know another human?

Seriously, what has more value than getting to know people better?  If you’re just about visibility and quantity, then you’re a persona and not a person.  Let’s change this.  Let’s make the forums we enjoy being on truly personal.

I think by doing this we’ll put out more thoughtful content, more insightful looks into things and be a stronger social community.  Don’t be surprised if I reach out to you to get to know you better.  I will take the time because I know it matters and makes a difference.

I hope sharing something happening in my life sets an example of how we can get to know each other better !! Now, I have to go !!  We’re heading over to Findlay, Ohio next to catch a basketball game.  I can’t wait !!

 

HR in the Five One Three !!

This blog post is part of a collection created by various Human Resources professionals that was the brainchild of Victorio Milian (@Victorio_M). This “Carnival” of HR posts centers around the theme of HR and Home. To read the rest of the collection click here. You’ll be glad you did!

I am a Cincinnatian.  It’s not where I “started,” but having been here since 1986, I can say proudly it’s my home.  Being an HR pro in a conservative city has its advantages and disadvantages.  It’s safe and stable, for the most part.  But, the struggle for innovation took some time to blossom honestly.

You see, HR has deep roots in Cincinnati !!  Back when SHRM was the American Society for Personnel Administration, two local SHRM HR chapters gathered.  The Butler/Warren County SHRM chapter, just north of Cincy, has the designation of chapter “001” and the Greater Cincinnati HR Association (GCHRA) , my home chapter, is designee “008.”  So, we were in on the ground floor once chapters started forming.

Like most areas of SHRM, the chapters kept to themselves, but then a group of HR pros began stepping forward.  When you look at the history of the Ohio State Conference and the State Council of SHRM, you’ll find many Cincinnatians who were Conference Chairs, State Directors and Regional reps for SHRM.  These great folks laid the groundwork for what’s happening now in the Queen City.

You see, we started reaching out and connecting HR pros before Social Media came along.  We didn’t know that we were going to be “ahead of the curve,” but it appears that we were.  The HR Net was started through GCHRA back in 2001 to try and get HR pros more connected.  It started as a simple e-mail listserv tied to an internet message board with 200 people.  Now, in 2012 it reaches over 6,000 HR pros worldwide and allows them to post questions and events that are HR related.  Two things that differentiate this forum from most is that it’s free (and always has been) and each week people can sing along to a song parody about HR !!

As Social Media started to be born, Cincinnatians jumped in with both feet !!  It was like people were just waiting for the mechanism to get more connected.  Some of the early adopters (who are still active and visible) include Jennifer McClure (@JenniferMcClure), Margo Rose (@HRMargo) and Benjamin McCall (@BenjaminMcCall).  One of the things that “put us on the map” was when we “won” the most active HR community as the (513), our area code, on an episode of Steve Boese’s (@steveboese) great HR Happy Hour blog radio show !!

More and more HR practitioners and consultants from Cincinnati jumped into the Social Media HR space and began phenomenal blogs and started reaching out to become part of the larger HR community.  When I was asked to finally jump into the Social Media pool, I brought the platform of reaching HR pros that we started with me and then things exploded !!

One of the genuine positive outcomes of Social Media is that it has taken communities that only existed in their hometown and started intertwining them together.  Many of the great things we had done in Cincinnati were being done in other pockets around the country.  Being in Cincy, you are in a place that exudes that hometown feel.  We are doing our best to make others from around the Social Media space and the HR profession join us and make that hometown feel permeate throughout all we do !!

So, now I’d say, looking back at things that we have been innovative and the future only looks bright !!  I hope that we are a catalyst that continues to bring HR folks together for years and years to come !!

Image Courtesy of Zazzle

Carnival of HR – What’s Good About Edition

To say I’m geeked to host this edition of the Carnival of HR would be an understatement !!  I asked great HR folks to send posts this time that were positive.  Therefore, the “What’s Good About” theme.

Too often we get caught up in what’s not working in HR.  I wanted this edition to take a break and reflect on the amazing things that happen in our field and with our people.

For those reading this . . . I’d like you to take a new approach as well !!  I look at the Carnival as a great resource connecting me with folks that can help me do HR even better in my little corner of the HR universe. I make sure to read these folks work all the time and have their subscriptions in my Google Reader.

I have some new voices that I’ve added because of hosting the Carnival.  Any time I can get more input, I’m good.  So, sit back, read the teaser below of each entry and then go out, get to read their good work and make sure to connect with the authors through Twitter, Linked In, etc. !!

There are a ton of submissions below, and I encourage you to take in each and every one because they ROCK !!

Peace to one and all – Steve (It’s ALL good !!)

Starting things off is Naomi Bloom (@InFullBloomUS) with Reflections on a Long Career – Part IV – great list of “to-do’s” to keep you viable and active !!

Ian Welsh (@ianclive) adds a strong post with Passion for Human Resources and our Voyages of Discovery! – any time someone combines “passion” with “HR” you get my attention !!

This post from Daniel Crosby (@incblot) shows you how he always makes the mix of Organizational Psych and HR so cool ! – Career and Happiness: How They Relate.

I can’t wait to meet the next contributor, Doug Shaw (@dougshaw1) in real life this Fall at Ohio SHRM !!  Until then, I can enjoy his post – Olympian – great take on teamwork !!

The rally cry from Cathy Missildine-Martin (@cathymissildine) gets you pumped up in HR Has Its Game Face On!

The folks at i4cp chime in with a solid post about Stragegy in Action. Make sure you follow this intriguing group on Twitter @i4cp.

Fellow #HR rock music freak, Paul Smith (@Pasmuz) brings our profession to life with It’s What You Know In HR.

I love the perspective from Mike Haberman (@MikeHaberman) because I am a storyteller myself !!  Check out – A revisit to Storytelling: A Key HR Competency?

A new voice to me, but one I now subscribe to is Sandrine Bardot who’s blog Compensation Insider hails from Abu Dhabi !!  How cool is that for global HR ??  Great read from her with her summary from the Middle East Human Asset Summit.

This post from Matthew Stollak (@akaBruno) brought back great memories about “Must See TV” when NBC ruled the television world – One True Passion.

Nancy Saperstone, another submission from the UK (awesome !!) – gets right to the theme with Happy in HR.

The prolific author Paul Hebert (@IncentIntel) entered a great post that was featured on another great resource – Fistful of Talent – HR Should Run Volunteer Organizations.

The driving force behind the scenes of the Carnival of HR, Shauna Moerke (@HR_Minion) takes a fresh look at What’s Good About Job Hunting.

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@blogging4jobs) did the coolest thing by submitting a person who guest posted on her site, Lisa Bonner.  Really cool perspective from her in How Do You Stay Sharp & Focused?

The title of this post, Assume the Best, is a great reflection of its author Ben Eubanks !!  Make sure you connect with him on Twitter at @beneubanks.

Another post about passion with an “ad lib” twist from Chris Ponder (@Chris Ponder) is really a cool approach. Could you do it ?? Can You Speak About Your Passion Ad Lib?

Michael Carty (@MJCarty) popped in from his holiday (vacation to us) to share his Best of the HR Blogs from May – all great reads !!

Stephanie Thomas (@proactivemployr) makes the EEOC cool and fun !!  Check out her conversation with the EEOC Commissioner !!

A true genuine heart, Brad Galin (@bradgalin), gives a great post in Good Will in Bad Times.

Always showing how leadership and HR are intertwined, Jay Kuhns (@jrkuhns) adds his submission of You Have the Power.

Mervyn Dinnen (@mervyndinnen) nails the theme with this gem – reasons to be cHeeRful – Love it !! Very creative !!

Cool archive post from Buzz Rooney (@TheBuzzonHR) that I just had to stick in – The Founding Fathers Would Have Loved HR

I love when Tim Gardner (@TimJGardner) shares about his family.  I love doing this too and it always shows me what’s good !! – Heritage

Dwane Lay (@DwaneLay) offers compelling and down-to-earth advice with this great post – What’s Good About a Bad Boss

A great post that pulls us all together from Susan Avello (@susanavello) – What’s Good About Community

Closing out this phenomenal compilation of HR voices, is Chris Fields (@new_resource) with the appropriately titled – Let me tell you what’s good about HR

ENJOY THE CARNIVAL !!!

 

 

 

Blogs, Blogs Everywhere There’s Blogs !!

The amazing Five Man Electrical Band left their indelible mark on musical history with their one-hit classic – Signs.  The lead singer is struggling with signs all around him telling him “do this, don’t do that,” and it struck a chord with me.

You could say the same today with blogging.  Everyone is encouraged to get their voice out there, and to do it through a personalized blog.  Don’t get me wrong, I love blogs and my Google Reader is packed with amazing work from people I respect both in HR and in business in general.

What has been puzzling me lately is  . . . what do YOU, the reader, want to read?

You can read one post on a site that encourages you to do things one way, and another will come out a week later completely opposite of what you just read.  How can someone cut through the “noise” of what’s being written?  Or, should you cut through it?

I’ve been guilty of tweeting and retweeting blogs as much as anyone else.  However, I don’t cast out the “Hey, read this” button until I’ve read the post myself.  I have my faves and some get my attention every time they post.  The filter I use before sharing it though is that I take in that person’s perspective and do my best to learn something from it.

So, what do you like to see?  I’m not going to embed a survey for this.  I’d like you to leave comments.  List what you like from topics, themes, etc.  You can even list your favorite blogs and bloggers.  I’m open.

As an HR pro, you should be active in learning more and taking in what’s new.  I encourage you to read several blogs from the areas that interest you.  You never want to be stale.

So, lay a comment out here on the site and let me know.  I’d like to make sure that you’re not just being “told” things from my blog.  I know my friends would like to hear what you have to say too !!

Connecting the Dots !!

Most people start the New Year with resolutions that quickly fade or fail leaving people with a feeling of sluggishness.  Sweet !!

I want to offer an alternative and that is to make 2012 intentional !!  Let’s start with a story . . .

I went to SHRM Leadership this past fall with other SHRM State and Chapter leaders and directors.  Many people spent time with folks from their own state or region because they’re familiar with each other and it is a great time to get away.  I, on the other hand, spent much of my time meeting great folks from Illinois, Florida, Alaska, Kansas, SHRM staff, etc.  I couldn’t get enough of meeting HR folks from other areas to see how we connect.  To me, this was the best way to spend time because there are so many amazing HR pros all over that do great things.  I had to see what they were doing.

So, I’d like to throw out this challenge (and opportunity) to all of you in the HR community – In 2012, start connecting the dots !!

I know that the whole “social media” thing can be overwhelming and noisy.  However, I find there are  folks developing and sharing great content that you can use in many facets of our work.  We need to stop thinking that isolation works for us as a profession and do what we can to be more connected.

Now, I’m not sure what that looks like for you, but let me list some suggestions:

  • If you’re someone who reads blogs – take a step and leave a comment.  Bloggers love to hear from folks who read their work.  If you feel compelled, then comment.
  • If you haven’t been to a local HR forum, then go to one.  Try them out and see where you can connect in person with other great HR folks !!
  • If you haven’t been to a conference or Unconference, then make plans to go to one this year.  You’ll find incredible people, just like you, connecting and learning more to advance the profession.
  • If you haven’t met folks in person, then take the steps to do that !!  One of the true highlights I had in 2011 was meeting social media HR folks in person.  It has led to incredible personal and professional relationships.
  • If you’ve just been service oriented in HR at work, change that and be intentional !!  Organizations expect HR to be dynamic, relevant and integrated.  Take the steps to make that happen !!

It’s just a start, but I hope that you take the next step to be more intentional.  I’ve already been making plans to meet more great HR folks in person and I’m using the same list for myself.  It’s time to take action !!  Will you join me ??