Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category

Yesterday in the speaker check in room, several new speakers griped about a 7 am presentation time.

I assured them there was nothing to worry about. I was right. It’s 7:07 and the session i’m in is PACKED.

The seasion: The role of HR as a Strategic Business Partner. Some speaker from Willis. Will summarize content, if it’s good. Will leave if it isn’t.


Read Full Post »

Sometime you can tell how something is going to go by the opening scene.  The first few moments of a presentation, the handshake at the start of a sales call, the opening game of a playoff series. (gratuitous Pacers reference.  Sorry.)

Chicago is going well in the opening scene.  Hillary at the podium, great weather, traffic fine.  I was feeling fine, but was hoping for some personal contact with key people in the future of HR.  With thousands on thousands packing the exhibit hall, what are the chances of hooking up with people on my “wish list?”  Slim.

Then, in 10 lucky minutes, the stars aligned at the SHRM booth.  Honestly, I was just stopping in to get some “HR Dude” ribbons for my friends.

There was Kathy Fyock, a fellow speaker at the Indiana SHRM conference.  Check.

She was talking to Gary Kushner, benefits guru, futurist, and friend that I was hoping to chat with. Check.

Behind Gary was “gasp” THE CEO OF SHRM Henry Jackson.  He’s a quiet CPA type that I have been trying to meet for a couple of years.  He actually is a CPA, so he’s earned the CPA look and feel.  I jumped at the chance – congratulated him on his role, and planted a seed for greater cooperation between SHRM and Finance.  I will be following up – this is a “next step” we need to follow up with.

This conference rocks!  More to come…

Karl, meeting the CEO Henry Jackson.  Nice guy..

Karl, meeting the CEO Henry Jackson. Nice guy..

Read Full Post »

Every year I know that the string can’t continue.  I savor each SHRM National presentation, as I know that it will probably be my last.  Well, not this year…

Again this year, the envelope arrived and I assumed after 10 consecutive years of presentations I would be out of the lineup.  I braced myself for rejection when Barbara called and let me know the letter had arrived.  I took a deep breath as she read the opening line.  “Congratulations…”  I whooped and did a quick fist pump.

See you in Vegas, if you’re going…

To quote The King: "Viva las Vegas!"

Read Full Post »

Rancic got an early start

Keynote speaker Bill Rancic presented a set of short stories this morning, all with a common theme –

  1. Have the ability to recognize an opportunity, and the willingness to seize it.
  2. When you get a chance, make your 5 minutes count.
  3. Adapt and flex as the world changes.
  4. Go in with a good strategy.

Bill tells good short stories about business.

He talked about his marathon strategy – set little goals along the way, but have the overwhelming goal be the 26 mile race.  Set the big goal, but have the short term goals.

  1. Practical execution – get the job done.  Most people just talk.
  2. It’s about agility – change up your game plan.  You have to do it every day.  Those who can adapt to the new world can win. 
  3. Taking managed risks

The reason he was the winner in the final competition on Apprentice was that he changed his management style for the final challenge, and his competitor didn’t change to a more controlling style.  Omarossa got him.

One final point – he talked about fear.  He noted that when someone is born, they only have two innate fears – the fear of falling, and a fear of loud noises.  All other fears are learned.  He asked what have we NOT done because we have been afraid of failure.  He then challenged us to be the conductor of the orchestra that is our lives.  Very nice.  A great lesson in management. 

His book is Beyond the Lemonade Stand, his web site is www.billrancic.com

Read Full Post »

The labels are true…

At conferences, attendees often attach ribbons to the bottom of their name tag.  I have noticed two trends.  First, while everyone used to have one or two ribbons, the groups have bifurcated into two camps.  Either no ribbons, or all the ribbons they can find that express an opinion.

This guy is telling the truth

Second, I have been reading them.  They have been shifting from just being a badge of status (SPHR, Member, etc) to an indication of emotional state.  Kind of a mood ring.

Here is my proposal.  The next time we all go to a conference, leave the badge on.  For weeks. For ever.  In our fast paced world, would’t it be nice if we knew who everyone is, what they do, and what their emotional state is…

Just an idea.

Read Full Post »

Win “The Apprentice” and you become a rock star.  The business generalist is the opening speaker, and the line at his table for photos is huge…

Ohmygodit's BillRancicI'myourbiggestfan...


The first question asked him – “Is Donald Trump’s hair real?”

Read Full Post »

I’ll be your correspondent at the 2010 New York State SHRM conference next Sunday/Monday/Tuesday, so feel free to look over my shoulder as I attend and report.  Let me know if there are any special topics that I should pay attention to – just comment back to this post…

Any idea what movie this photo is from?

Read Full Post »

Talking about managing transitions, Libby Sartain popped up this photo and asked if everyone had seen “Up in the Air” .  Many hands went up.  “I have noticed that none of the Outplacement people I ever worked with looked like George Clooney.”  Clearly she never worked with Steve Grow.

Steve Grow, himself

Read Full Post »

I found my second page of notes from this morning. 

 The issue of transparency came up several times.  On the topic of social media, Libby made the point that it is difficult to control the message.  She told of setting up a corporate strategy meeting to explain coming moves to the team.  They had kept the press out, and had a press release prepared to give to the media when the meeting was over.  Halfway through the meeting the head of PR pulled Libby out of the meeting “Never a good sign…” and Libby was told that some employee in the meeting was live blogging the meeting contents to the media.  “And they did it on their company issued Blackberry…

There were several points to the story.  The major one was that young employees feel that everything should be transparent.  Everything.  Employees can feel that telling secrets from the inside can prevent dishonesty, kind of like WikiLeaks.

Paula Rabb gives Libby the coveted speaker's gift.

Also, the language is changing and we need to keep up.  Jobs are “gigs”

Other issues that were mentioned, in no particular order:

Top performing people who are used to getting straight A’s in school hit their first job, and the performance management system gives them a “C” because they meet expectations.  They quit.  Libby said they had to pull the distribution curve out of the system.

Tough to fill jobs – Sales Reps, Engineers, Production Operations, Skilled Trades.  The war that will emerge is the war for targeted talent.

So, the overall message was one of evolution in our profession to match the evolution in the workforce. 

I probed for any negative feedback, and found that some attendees felt that they were listening to a lot of advice from high technology, not advice that could be applied in their manufacturing or service businesses.  Ah.

Read Full Post »

The session on Conflict Management was well attended, a reflection of the level of stress and conflict in our world.  Connie Russell of the Kansas City office of Right Management Consultants shared a set of conflict styles, and what to do about each.  Not surprisingly, there was a decent about of interaction and “what if”  questions from the crowd.

Lots of interest in conflict.

What made the session more useful to me was looking at different conflict styles through the lens of multiple international cultures.  As a consultant myself, I am comfortable with the need to put any set of data or people into a four quadrant, two axis model.  This is no different.  The two parameters are Direct/Indirect and Restraint/Expressiveness – and the combination of the two indicators defines which “nationality” the communication patterns most closely match.  For example, Indirect and Restrained is China.  Direct and expressive is Puerto Rican.  Indirect and expressive is Middle Eastern.  Direct and restrained is Canadian.  I liked the definitions, and from there the discussion focused on how to resolve conflict that runs across these “types”.

The session reminded us to use the conflict productively, by respecting the values underlying the conflict first, then identify the other person’s conflict style and flex your style to the others’ to best resolve the conflict.

One of the examples from the crowd on conflict was handling a situation with someone who was verbally attacking.  I was a little surprised that the advice given was to mirror the attack and respond in a similar style – which can disarm the attacker, but runs the risk of escalating the situation.  Time will tell.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »