Extroverts Guide to #SHRM15 !!

The SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition starts in one week in Las Vegas !! This venue seems to scream “extrovert” with all of it’s bright lights, shows and casinos. With over 15,000 people, expected the Conference can be overwhelming for everyone.

We don’t write about extroverts much because we assume they’re going to fill the space with their outward thoughts anyway !! I have to be honest, most of my friends are not extroverts. I assumed because they were active socially, they’d be extroverted. I am, so why wouldn’t they be? (1st fault of the extrovert . . . )

Being introverted or extroverted is neither right nor wrong. It just is who we are and how we’re wired. So, I wanted to put some hints and advice that will fill up the extrovert’s need for constant communication and interaction so that you can fully enjoy SHRM15 !!

Pick Sessions that STRETCH you !!

There are so many great sessions at this year’s Conference. Don’t fall into the trap of going to ones that reflect your day-to-day role. Stretch yourself and feed your inner desire to see what HR could look like and may look like in the future. Get on the edge of what we do and claw out of the trenches for a week. These sessions will challenge the way you think and you’ll love it.

Talking To YouMake connections that matter !!

Extroverts have to talk. They can’t help but express themselves. Use that fact to meet the folks who are at the event. We are all in HR together and instead of trying to continue to go it alone, meet the folks that are milling around you. We’ve lost sight that we’re all in the same profession. The best resource you are looking for could be right next to you. So, when you talk to strangers, because you will, connect with them so that you can be resources for each other long after the conference concludes. To put this in HR math – if you connect with 10 people and each of those folks are connected to 10 people, you have just built an incredible network !!

Tweet, SnapChat, Post, Blog, etc. !!

Face it, you’re already social. It’s part of your inherent nature. Social Media use by HR pros jumps through the roof during SHRM15 and that’s awesome. The challenge is that you carry it forward and remain social. Remember, social media is just another way to communicate and connect. Tweet during sessions using the speaker’s Twitter handle and the hashtag #SHRM15. Post to Instagram with pics from all over the SHRM Store and the Vendor Hall. Show HR people who weren’t able to attend all of the great things going on.

As an extrovert, you have a drive that needs to be constantly fed on the social side of your personality. Use the Conference to launch your social side and then keep it going strong with all of your new connections once you head back to your part of the HR universe.

Take in EVERYTHING !!

I know that the temptations of the Vegas Strip will pull on every attendee, and there will be plenty of time for that. My hope is that you take in the entire vendor hall and talk to people to see what they have to offer and not just make the dash for swag. Sit up front in the keynotes and the concurrent sessions to grow and develop.

Extroverts are great at “conferencing” which means that you are eager to see the 7:00am sessions and then you are on the go through the wee hours of the night. Don’t miss a thing. You’ll be glad you did !!

Finally, don’t just hang with your own kind. There will be people from all over the world at the Conference. Don’t just stay with those from your own state or country. Release your inner extrovert and meet folks from everywhere !!

When you meet our introvert counterparts, greet them, give them a second and then hug away !! (if they’re cool with it). Have fun !! The SHRM Annual Conference is always a great event. This is where you can flourish and be your extroverted self !!

I will make sure to find you – count on it !!

You’re Involved !!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the SHRM Regional Business Meeting with all of the State Council Directors from around the country.  It is one of my favorite events to attend in my role with the MAC.  It’s a fave because the group of volunteer leaders that attend this are “all in” !! They help provide direction for their State Councils as well as the SHRM HR Chapters throughout their State.

There’s real value when you’re around people who share the same experiences you are having.  This year the entire event had a positive vibe because people came wanting to have their voices heard, share their ideas and opinions with each other and the SHRM Staff, and see movement.  There was definite movement and I’m geeked to see the Society listen and act.

A quick side note . . .

If you aren’t a member of SHRM, or a local chapter, and you’re in HR, you should reconsider.  Getting involved yourself is how things get better.  The more you’re engaged, the more you can share your insight, advice and experiences.

We had a great example of how being involved helps you both professionally and personally.

One of the presentations was with the SHRM Public Affairs folks about Social Media. It’s funny, but as someone who’s fairly active in social media forums, you fall into the trap that others are as involved at the same level you are.  I know that isn’t the case, but you lose sight of this.

There’s been a real wall put up by those of us in HR involved in social media pointing towards those who aren’t as active.  We’ve done one of two things – we’ve either tried to engage and embrace them, or we chide them for not being as “fully” involved as we are.  Social media should NEVER be an obstacle to HR.

90-9-1 RuleAndrew Morton, who heads up the Social Media efforts at SHRM, gave the attendees a refreshing and different perspective.  He told us about the 90-9-1 rule of social interactions in communities and forums.  It states that 90% of people on Social Media observe (lurk) as their level of involvement in social media. 9% comment (edit) the posts and content they see out on these forums and 1% create content.  He used a great video (The First Follower) to make his point.

His contention, and I absolutely agree with him, is that it’s great to be in the 99% when it comes to Social Media because you are still involved !!  You don’t have to be the 1% who creates and shares content.  It’s a misconception and shouldn’t keep you from being active in the 99%.

The video talks about the Lone Nut and his First Follower.  It shows that there’s more power in stepping out and connecting where you feel comfortable. You may always stay in the 90%.  You may move to the 9%.  And, who knows, you might be one of those lone nuts who creates and shares content !!

The key is to remember is that you ARE involved already !!  So, relish that, leverage that and make social media a part of how you engage, learn and advance HR !!

 

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 !!

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

More Folks I Learn From !!

In November, I started to share some folks I learn from and wanted to continue that effort as we enter a new year.  I hope that one of the things ALL of us do as we move into 2014 is that we strive to continually learn.  We can’t afford to be stagnant in any way.  I hope that these recommendations spark an interest for you to check out someone new and see if what they say helps you think of HR in a different way.  I value what they do and who they are !!  Let’s get started . . .

John WhitakerJohn Whitaker (@HR_Hardball on Twitter) is a force !!  Being from Texas, that shouldn’t surprise anyone.  When I first talked to him he said he was giving me a nickname because he gives everyone a nickname.  In fact, he goes by “Whit” and not John himself.  Whit brings it every time he strikes a keyboard to write a post.  He is a featured contributor to Fistful of Talent (an incredible HR compilation blog of great HR voices by the way !!), and his own blog, HR Hardball, flat rocks !!  I know that John also does presentations as HR events which stretch the everyday practitioner to look at the profession from different angles.  We all need folks who can bend our brains a bit.  Whit does this effectively and is a treat to take in !!

Gemma ReucroftLet’s now go over to the UK for Gemma Reucroft (@HR_Gem on Twitter).  Gem brings a grounded sensibility to HR, but doesn’t “settle” for the norms.  In fact, she challenges norms every time she posts.  As a fellow HR practitioner, she isn’t just espousing things HR folks “ought” to do, she’s practicing what she writes about.  I love that she keeps things simple and stripped down.  It makes her work very accessible and applicable to what you do in HR.  Her blog – hrgem: Thoughts on HR, work and doing good people stuff – captures who she is and her approach to our field. I have her blog highlighted in my Feedly list and eagerly wait to see what she has to share.  Make sure you connect with her !!

Mary FaulknerBack to the states and to beautiful Colorado !!  That’s where you can find Mary Faulkner (@mfaulkner43 on Twitter).  I met Mary at the SHRM National Conference in Chicago this year, and found out what a brilliant leadership, training and OD professional she is.  I have found it hard to connect with many OD folks because for many of us, it’s wrapped up in our HR generalist roles.  Mary is solid and her blog, Surviving Leadership, is one of the most straightforward blogs around.  She is just “breaking onto the scene” in social media, but you wouldn’t know that.  Her content is fabulous and is something I take to heart when looking at the leadership and OD efforts at work.

Make sure to connect with Whit, Gemma and Mary !!  You’ll be glad you have new outlets for resources in your work.  Be on the lookout for more folks I learn from.  There are a ton and I hope that there will only be more and more throughout the year !!

 

 

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 !!

 

Load Your Quiver !!

Recenty a phenomenal effort to pull the HR blogging community came to a close – the HR Bloggers Network.  It was the brainchild of Laurie Reuttimann and I was fortunate to be included in this effort.

The highlight for me in this was to be attached to a group of incredible HR pros who regularly offer great content to the broader HR community.  I make sure to read each post these folks offer and utilize their wisdom, insight and advice in how I practice HR everyday !!

Too often, when people read your posts, they don’t take that next step to look at a blogroll or see what others are saying. I’m like most people and have my “faves,” but honestly, I try to take in as much information as possible because it allows me to be a better HR professional.  One can never learn enough . . . ever !!

QuiverI have an approach that I’d like to share with you.  I think HR people need to load their quiver.  This way you have the arrows needed in order to protect yourself, hunt for new opportunities and attack those things that need to be addressed.

HR Blogs are a great way to load that quiver !! So, this week I want to break out the authors who made up the HR Blogger Network and make sure you know who they are, what their blog is about and where to find it.  Please note that there are a myriad of other phenomenal HR bloggers out there, and I’m working on a way to feature them as well.

My goal is to reach the entire HR community !!  I know that’s a huge goal, but we are only better by being more connected.  Make sure to take this list of bloggers and share them with others.  Don’t just read this post and stop.  It’s time for us to arm everyone so that all our quivers are full !!

Now, the great folks (and friends) from the HR Blogger Network:

Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann on Twitter) – Social media pioneer who has an edgy look at our profession.  Always dig that she makes me stretch !! Her blog is The Cynical Girl.

Bonni Titgemeyer (@BonniToronto on Twitter) – Founder of the Employment Opportunities List and the TEPHR community. Great voice on getting employment right !! Find her at The EO List.

Elizabeth Lalli-Reese (@TXStrategicHR on Twitter) – Keeping HR strategic is always a good thing and Elizabeth offers a ton of insight and perspective on how to do this.  Her blog is Texas Strategic HR.

Lisa Rosendahl (@lisarosendahl on Twitter) – As an HR practitioner in the healthcare field, Lisa offers a grounded view on HR and on life !!  You can find her blog at Lisa Rosendahl.

Ben Eubanks (@beneubanks on Twitter) – Ben is the present and future of HR !! He offers incredible resources for younger people in the field.  His blog is aptly named Upstart HR.

Kimberly Patterson (@kimberly_patt on Twitter) – Kimberly truly takes a different look at HR.  She is very passionate about what we do and wants to make sure that we look at all angles of what we do.  Hence the blog title – UNconventional HR.

Joan Ginsberg (@JoanGinsberg on Twitter) – Joan is a truly genuine HR pro who always gives a genuine look at all that we do !!  That’s why it makes sense that her blog is titled Just Joan.

Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman2 on Twitter) – Bill is a futurist and the driving force behind UNconferences literally around the globe. He’s always looking for what’s next. His blog is Norton Folgate – The Recruiting Unblog.

Lars Schmidt (@ThisIsLars on Twitter) – Lars is all about recruiting, innovation and talent. He’s a compelling force on making workplaces better.  You can find him at Amplify Talent.

Melissa Fairman (@HrRemix on Twitter) – Melissa is a fellow HR practitioner who really has a solid handle on all facets of HR.  Her advice is practical and applicable in all industries. Her blog looks to mix it up at HR reMix.

Jennifer McClure (@JenniferMcClure on Twitter) – Jennifer has a great grasp on recruiting and integrating HR strategically throughout an organization.  She is contantly looking how to reach the HR community. Her blog is Unbridled Talent.

Victorio Milian (@Victorio_M on Twitter) – Victorio brings a cool vibe to all that he does.  He offers a great perspective to recruiting issues and opportunities mixed in with a great musical taste !! Find him at Creative Chaos HR.

Jennifer V. Miller (@JenniferVMiller on Twitter) – Jennifer has a focus on all aspects of Leadership, and she gets it right !!  Her insight is very applicable at all levels of an organization. Her blog answers The People-Equation.

Dan McCarthy (@greatleadership on Twitter) – Dan is another great voice in the Leadership arena.  His focus on making us GREAT is phenonmenal – and needed.  Connect with him on his blog Great Leadership.

Lance Haun (@thelance on Twitter) – Self-described “nut about Talent Management” and an avid NBA fan, Lance gives a broad perspective to all areas of talent in organizations.  His blog is Life Between the Brackets.

Matthew Stollak (@akaBruno on Twitter) – Matthew is one of the few HR voices from academia.  He is advancing the field and also training the folks of the future !! His insights can be found at True Faith HR.

Paul Hebert (@IncentIntel on Twitter) – Paul is one of the few solid, objective voices on the topic of recognition.  He doesn’t pull punches because he believes in the value of lifting others up !! You can find him at Symbolist.

Robin Schooling (@RobinSchooling on Twitter) – Robin always has a great tale of experience from her career in HR.  They are episodes that we all face at one time or another !! Learn from her at the HR Schoolhouse.

John Nykolaisyn (@CigarSPHR on Twitter) – John has a great background in both the hospitality and education arenas.  He likes to keep things fresh and turn others “on their head” in the workplace !! His blog is Fast Food HR.

Ron Thomas (@ronald_thomas on Twitter) – Ron is currently an ex-pat working in a senior HR role in Saudi Arabia.  He is a true global HR leader with an incredible look at all that HR does. You can find him at Strategy Focused HR.

Steve Boese (@SteveBoese on Twitter) – Steve is the strongest voice in HR Tech !!  In fact, he’s heading up the HR Tech Conference starting this year.  He also hosts the incredible HR Happy Hour blog radio show. Connect with him at Steve Boese’s HR Technology.

Tim Sackett (@TimSackett on Twitter) – Tim has a great viewpoint on HR in the field.  His no nonsense approach is refreshing and challenging. His blog is at The Tim Sackett Project.

Shauna Moerke (@HR_Minion on Twitter) – Shauna offers a bright, fresh look on life and HR !!  If you know her you’d see this is true from her infectious laugh to her healthy wit. Find her at HR Minion.

Tim Gardner (@TimJGardner on Twitter) – Tim brings a unique voice to the world of HR bloggers.  A self-proclaimed introvert, Tim has a thoughtful, in-depth viewpoint every time he writes. His blog is perfectly titled The HR Introvert.

 

Better as a Whole !!

It seems like I’ve been in HR since the dawn of time.  Not really, but as a point of reference – there were no HR majors in college when I went and it was called “Personnel.”

Even though it’s been a long and exciting trip, I find that I get more and more excited the longer I’m in the field.  I read a troubling post lately from an Anonymous HR pro in the UK that my good friend Michael Carty posted called “Sincerely Yours, Deeply Disengaged.”  It is an all too familiar tale of how an HR pro is discouraged in how their company looks at and devalues HR. (You really should read this post and add your comments.)

It sounds like this HR pro feels isolated and on their own which is too often the case.  I’m amazed that HR people, who are in an occupation that calls for them to be among people, tend to be the most disconnected professionals out there.  This isn’t healthy !!  It leads to the factors noted in the post above and ultimately in a person who is discouraged about Human Resources who will, in all likelihood, leave the profession.

There are healthy ways to protect yourself from disengagement and discouragement !! One key component to being healthy in HR is to surround yourself with great peers and folks you can learn from.  People often tout the notion of “continuous learning” but few take the time to do it.  I see more and more people longing for connections, but not knowing how to make that leap.

Better TogetherI’m very fortunate in many ways.  I’ve always enjoyed being connected to people.  It’s genuinely deep in my DNA.  This isn’t unique, but there is a factor that is.  Great connections are intentional.  And being intentional makes us better together as a whole.

I’ve always believed in modeling the behavior you expect in others.  So, I’m involved in a community that keeps me grounded, encouraged and also gives me the opportunity to learn.  I’m a blogger as part of the Performance I Create team.  It’s a very diverse mix of HR practitioners, and I truly dig that.  Each member offers different perspectives, views and takes based on who they are and how they practice HR in their corner of the HR universe.  I love reading their work on their individual blogs and on the PIC site.

These folks – Jay Kuhns, Chris Ponder, Melissa Fairman, Tiffany Kuehl, Chris Fields, Sarah Williams, Justin Harris and Dave Ryan – are truly my “Everyday People.”  I encourage you to connect with each of them individually and as a whole team.

This isn’t just to highlight one group of HR pros vs. another.  I want to truly see you branch out and connect across the field.  There are countless amazing HR pros who will make the time and effort to see you learn, grow and succeed !!

Remember – we’re stronger together.  Make it happen !!

Image courtesy of tfisherart.com

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 !!

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