Spanning Boundaries !!

This past week I went to the SHRM Leadership Conference . . . on purpose !!  I have the honor of becoming the next State HR Council Director for Ohio SHRM in January 2012.  This is the same Council that this year won a Pinnacle Award from SHRM and also donated $40,000 to the SHRM Foundation for training resources regarding bringing vets back to work. Humbled !!!

I went to the Conference to meet other volunteer leaders from around the country as well as hear about the direction and vision of SHRM.  (Let me slip my obligatory HR disclaimer here – I dig that I’m involved with SHRM !!  It rocks to be a leader in this group and I’ll explain more in a bit.)

I went early to be involved with Capitol Hill Day and to be an advocate for HR.  It was so extremely cool to have the ability to talk to Congress staff about issues that are affecting employers across the country.  There were 400+ HR folks who participated and I can’t wait to “storm” the Hill again next year.

The State Council breakout session was phenomenal as well.  To hear the great things that other states are doing in HR was encouraging to say the least.  Also, there were several social media HR friends in the same forum.  We were able to be vocal in supporting social media, share success stories about State Conferences and also learn from others.

The highlight of the Conference for me though was meeting HR pros from other states.  It was so cool to break down the boundaries that so many put up in meeting one another.  I met several social media friends in person for the first time, and it’s always cool to put avatars and faces together !!  Each one of them were such great humans and I knew they would be.

Also, hanging out with folks from Illinois, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Alaska, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Washington, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, California, New Jersey and Wisconsin on purpose just plain ROCKED !! (I tried to meet as many people as I could to really connect with them !!)

Back to my disclaimer . . .

I am geeked about where SHRM is going because of the intentional people who crossed those imaginary state boundaries to truly connect.  There are amazing HR people who really are moving the profession forward including people working within SHRM.

So, as I get to dive into this new leadership role please know this – the boundaries are down.  We’re now going to keep working to bring our profession together and move it forward intentionally.  It’s going to be something that hasn’t been seen . . . yet !!

Make sure you’re connected as well !!

Image “Human Bridge” Courtesy of Iurikothe

Gir and a Mix CD . . .

Did the title grab your attention?  Hope so because last week I had two very cool things happen !!  I received two surprises that solidified my contention that we have to quit talking about the “echo chamber” of HR folks in social media.

The first event was the arrival of Gir – the constant companion of Shauna Moerke (the HR Minion). Gir has been around many different HR Conferences and events.  When Shauna asked if anyone would like Gir visit, I couldn’t pass up the chance for him to experience LaRosa’s. We visited one of our locations to have a calzone.  I actually took Gir with two of my staff and when I said that he was joining us, they said, “Of course he is.”  I guess working with me for awhile, they have come to understand that I look at HR differently.

After a great meal, we came back to my office to find the second cool gift of the week.  I received a mix CD from David Kovacovich from Michael C. Fina.  It is an incredible mix of newer Indie music.  David told me he made it because I write a song each week that makes fun of HR on the HR Net.  I tend to parody more of the Classic Rock genre and David wanted to make sure my tastes stayed current as well.  To capture the moment, I took a picture of Gir with the mix CD (songs handwritten on the back) with some of the decorum from my office.

The reason I find these two events so cool is that we tend to think of people who are active in Social Media as HR pros as either avatars or people that exist electronically.  It is so far from the truth !!

We have to realize that first and foremost, we want to have true connections in our lives.  This isn’t a “brand” thing or a response to people who choose to have an on-line persona that doesn’t match them in real life.  Reaching out like this just shows how we still like to share things that matter with others.  It reminds us that we can always stay young at heart and do simple things that matter.

This week, I’m writing to those who are also active in the “echo chamber.”  Two things to leave you with.  (1) Reach out to others and make the connection to show others how amazing you really are !! and (2) The chamber will only expand and someday include all HR pros only if you wish to become connections and not personalities.

I’ve been fortunate to meet many of the voices who are truly moving HR forward and they rock !!  Reach out this week.  Take the action to do something cool.  It still matters.  I need to go know as Gir and I listen to Track 3 on my new CD from Noah & the Whale.

 

 

 

Anarchy + Lava Lamps = HRevolution !!

I hope you had a chance to see the post from my HRevolution partner and co-facilitator, Jason Lauritsen, on Monday.  We are conversing between blogs to share some thoughts, insights and give a bit of a hint as to what our session will bring to Atlanta.

You see, I’m relatively “new” to the whole social media platform thing.  Even though I’ve been in HR for, let’s say “many” years, I was behind the many voices who are going to be attending #HRevolution this year.  I knew many of the folks who had signed up through Twitter and/or Linked In, but I don’t know many of them personally.  In fact, I relied on Jennifer McClure – a fellow Cincinnatian – to get me more involved in the “space.”

When I got the call from Jason to get to know each other better, I was surprised a bit to have him ask me to consider present with him this year at HRev.  I’m a pretty laid back guy and love to meet strangers who dig HR.  So, let me answer his questions and pose a few of my own.

  • Why is it that you agreed to do a session at HRevolution with a guy you’ve never met?
  • I have this odd trait about me – I trust people immediately.  I don’t believe in “earning” trust – I believe in giving it first.  If you make people “earn,” you’re really just seeing if they fit your beliefs/filters/norms.  I honestly figured if you wanted to do a session with me, you had good intentions.  You also had been at HRevolution before and I liked your perspectives on your experience.

  • What are you hoping we can accomplish in our short session?
  • I hope we can accomplish three main things: (1) To have maximum interaction from the whole group to gather their thoughts and insights on our topic of how YOU can change HR, (2) to have people respond to a “call to action” and (3) laugh – a bunch !!

  • Most importantly, why do you invest so much of your time trying to impact HR pros?
  • I believe in our field.  I’ve never been a person to tear down HR.  I’ve been critical, but I think that people matter. This isn’t a cliche with me.  If people have met me, they know that I do everything passionately.  Someone has to believe in other HR pros.  I know I’ve had people who’ve been there for me, and it just seems natural to give to others. I’ve never done anything on a “small” scale.

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    Enough about me . . . Here are my questions for you . . .

    1) Being that you, and others like you, are my “future” in HR – why stick with a field that others rip apart?

    2) What attracts you to stretching the boundaries of our field?

    3) Why should people even care about this session?

    I await your response . . . .