Archive for June 22nd, 2014

The one thing in short supply at this conference is a men’s room. Or more accurately a men’s room that I’m allowed to use.

Leaving a big session I find the closest restroom. Arg. The men’s room signs are taped over with a women’s room sign.


I keep hiking. 100 yards later, the same result. I try another floor. Same result. I go around the corner. Finally.

I guess I should just treat this as a learning exercise, about what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land.



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CFO in the house

SHRM Prez Hank Jackson takes the stage at SHRM14 opening, reminding me that he is really smart and dedicated.

Presenters need to engage the audience. A carefully scripted presentation is just that. Hank is GREAT one on one – write some of that spontaneity into the script next year, please…

And let Ellen do the selfies from stage.


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1 Wear fashionable (not comfortable) shoes

2. Bring a 5 pound laptop

3. Forget your charger

4. Expect to see anyone you know

5. Think a tattoo is a good idea.


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Wow. A brave representative of the new Certification team is about an hour into an explanation and defense of the new certification at #SHRM14
Process. Overall theme – we had to move on, we know what we’re doing, and the new isse is comptence, not knowledge. “More situational judgement questions”

One member of the audience took the Q&A microphone and praised the effort. Several more then asked neutral procedural questions, including our own Mark Records.




Then the Blowback began. Voices charged with emotion questioned the implications of politics, of money influence, of giving partial credit for the old test if it is so wrong, and of aligning with Walmart as one of the developmental organizations in testing the new certification. 10 times the room erupted in applause of support, then calmed down.

The overall feel is one of confusion tinged with anger at a forced change

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First task – get checked in at #shrm14. The speaker instructions say “go to room 309”. I ask the guards, and they point me ahead. The last one, as i get close, looked a little puzzled but led me to the door, then blocked my entry.


It’s a Women’s bathroom.

Re-reading my instructions, i head to Room 309A. Note to self. Details appear to be important.


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Well, 2014 appears to be a different kind of animal. Over time, the SHRM annual conference has become a bit of a predictable right of passage. That ends now. With the announcement this month of the significant change in certification, everybody seems to be a little bit on edge. People want answers, and the communication so far has been a bit jumbled.

It’s Sunday morning. In a few hours, the stage opens and the play begins. At the moment, all of the actors are in the shadows waiting to step forward and explained it all to us. I can’t wait!



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