SHRM Leadership Conference

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. In a week I’ll be venturing to Washington, DC in order to attend the SHRM Leadership Conference. It’s geared towards SHRM Volunteer Leaders, and I definitely have an interest in becoming one. Much of what I do now isn’t exactly in the spotlight when it comes to helping SHRM leaders learn and grow. Things like the SHRM chapter leadership guide are pretty unobtrusive, but they can really help chapter leaders to think about things critically instead of running their chapter “the way it’s always been done.”

I pushed hard to attend, talking with my local chapter, reading up on the requirements, and even going so far as to pitch the idea to SHRM to help me get there (yeah, right, but I still had to try). In the end my local chapter backed me up (as they always seem to) and the big boys at SHRM didn’t (as they always seem to). I thought the pitch was a good one. I’ve included the text of it below.

I have heard so many great things about the leadership conference, but the problem is that it has all been from word of mouth. I’ve never read another blogger really dig deep into what happens there and how they benefited from attending the event. While I spend a considerable amount of time volunteering with my local chapter, my position as webmaster/social media coordinator doesn’t qualify me for a ticket to the event. Bottom line: I would love to have the opportunity to share about the event and promote it to my audience and network.

I know it is more of a niche event, but I believe it has the potential to radically change how SHRM reaches and guides its volunteer leaders. I so strongly believe in the idea of bringing volunteer leaders together that I have created a LinkedIn group to gather feedback and form some close ties to the SHRM leaders in the field.

Because I’m also involved with the HRYP committee with Chuck, I’d love to find a way to help reach the young volunteers and help bring them into the leadership conference experience. WIthout them seeing the value in attending, the event will be losing a lot of attendees in the coming years.

I’d like to write about the leadership conference from several angles:

  • First, from that of a first-time attendee. What’s it all about and is it even worth the trip?
  • Second, from the young volunteer leader’s perspective. Is this a tool that can provide me and my chapter with value?
  • Third, from my blogging persona. This event really is where a lot of connections and changes are made that other people never even have the opportunity to observe. I want to push bloggers to learn more about SHRM and share how their experiences have influenced their careers and organizations, because this is where the magic happens.

See? Not really a hard sell, but it has a lot of potential if they want to prove the value to the young HR professionals and other new and future SHRM volunteer leaders around the country (world?). Anyway, like I said, my local SHRM chapter made it happen for me, so I’ll be going and focusing on ideas to really help them in the coming year. I have a lot of ideas on my mind already, and I’ll be traveling with our president-elect, so there will be some deep discussions on chapter strategy on the trip to DC. If you’re going, shoot me an email. I’d love to meet you there!

By the way, my friend Dave Ryan did a little survey and realized that only 1.57% of the attendees for the event are active on Twitter. Not sure if that’s above or below the average, but I’m interested to see what happens when we get together.

SHRM Leaders-Be one!

leadership shrmNext week brings with it the 2010 SHRM Leadership Conference, and I am thrilled to be able to say that I am attending this event. So, what is it? Well, it’s an event geared toward the volunteer leaders that make things happen in the HR space. SHRM chapters and state councils send their leaders to the conference to learn how to manage their chapters better and provide more value for members. Why do I care to attend?

Better leaders make better organizations.

And because I believe that, I’m going to keep doing two things: encouraging our current leaders to get better/smarter/faster and pushing new people to volunteer for my local SHRM chapter. My time as a volunteer has greatly enhanced my network of local HR pros I can call on if I have questions, and it lets me keep my fingers on the pulse of what is current in the HR space.

You can do it, too!

Did you know you can be a leader, too? It’s really not as difficult to get started as you might imagine. All you have to do is complete a short form in order to volunteer with NASHRM. If you don’t like forms, shoot me an email and I can help you to find the area you’d like to help with. There are multiple areas you can help with, so there’s a good chance that something will be a good fit for you.

Step up. Be a leader. We need good ones now more than ever.

What I’m doing and not doing today

In the past few weeks I’ve written in spurts. Sometimes I’ll get a lot of posts out and sometimes it’s more of a trickle. Sometimes I get guest posts out to help other people keep up their frequency even though mine sometimes is lower than I’d like. Well, I had intended to write a post today. But then I remembered that I have something more important going on.

Next Tuesday (September 14th), I am going to be speaking at my local SHRM chapter’s luncheon. Yeah, I’m kind of surprised, too. :-)

It all started when a few of the chapter officers followed some links from the SHRM chapter blog that I write. Those links led to some different posts here, and they reached out to me to see if I would be interested in talking to the chapter.

I am so not interested in talking about me for an hour, so I’m trying to make it about the audience and how what I have learned can benefit them. So far I’ve narrowed it down to two big things: passion and professional development.

Everything I do outside of work springs from my passion for this field. And that enthusiasm has led to some amazing professional development opportunities, including attending the SHRM10 conference, cofounding HRevolution, participating in my local SHRM chapters’s mentoring group, and chairing the HRYP committee for SHRM. Just for kicks, I also want to share things I’ve screwed up on, because that’s how I (and everyone else) learns the hard lessons.

So, I’m not writing a blog post today. Not at all. I’m writing the outline for my presentation. Nothing to see here. Move along. :-)

Mentor University Update (Video)

Oops! I just realized that the video and audio tracks were separated slightly in the recording/uploading process. Now the video looks like a bad Japanese movie. If you can ignore that part, the rest of the video is worth the listen, though. :-)

(Subscribers may need to click through to see the video)

Video notes

I’m learning a lot in our local SHRM chapter mentoring program, and not to discount our speakers or leaders (both fantastic), but one of the greatest pieces for me is meeting other people with a thirst for knowledge and the willingness to reach for it. The other participants are top notch and I’m extremely blessed to be a part of the group.

What have we covered so far?

  • Developing an elevator speech to communicate your job to the CEO
  • Social Styles-how you interact and communicate with others
  • Branding
  • Controlling costs and impacting the bottom through benefit administration
  • Public sector HR-much more interesting than it sounds!

One of the most interesting ideas I’ve pulled from the experience?

There’s big power in small groups.

Quotes from other participants

For me, I\’ve enjoyed getting to talk more in depth about HR topics, challenges, etc.  I\’ve also appreciated the “safe” environment provided to ask questions. I also judge NMU has fostered lifelong professional relationships. Christine Beldner

Being in HR some how entitles you to have an interesting work life. There are some situations that arise and you seriously feel that you are the only one who has ever had to deal with some crazy situation. Being in the NMU has helped me realize I am not alone. (As cliché as it may sound.) Through our meetings I have been able to note who has dealt with similar situations and have been able to rely on more experienced peers for advice.

HR may be a career where ‘interesting\’ stories are your day-to-day life and your friends or family might not be able to relate; but your HR friends and family can relate and probably top your most ‘interesting\’ story with one of their own! Karen Still

If you’re interested in getting into the NASHRM Mentor University group next year (if you’re local!), just stay tuned for more updates as the year progresses. If you’re not local, but you’d like to start a group for your own chapter, feel free to email me and we can chat! It’s an amazing tool for a young HR professional, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

HRevolution-A Different Kind of HR Conference

HRevolutionEvery month at NASHRM Mentor University each individual gets to share something about what’s going on in their life/work. This month I proudly shared about the HRevolution event I’ll be attending later this week. Not only will I be going to Chicago for the first time, I will also have the opportunity to interact with more than a hundred other rock solid HR pros from across the globe.

So, what is it?

Here’s a blurb from the website.

HR social media thought leaders and practitioners from around the country will be converging for 24 hours+ of mind-bending, trend-setting discussions on HR, social media, communications, leadership/development in an unconference format that emphasizes interaction over passive listening.

Sounds neat, huh? When I helped to develop this event last year with my friend Trish McFarlane, we had no idea how popular it would become.

So, why do you care?

We all know that the use of social media is affecting our work. I believe it has the power to fundamentally change how many things work in our organizations. For instance, it has an effect on:

  • Employer Branding
  • Employee Communications
  • Workplace Culture
  • And more!

I helped to found this unconference in order to teach others. This weekend, that’s definitely going to happen. I’ll be speaking on blogging, and we have others who will be doing recruiting, diversity, healthcare, and other more traditional tracks.

It’s too late for me to go. What can I do?

We’re really hoping to gather as much video and audio as possible to share, because I know this stuff is too valuable to let it just disappear into the ether when the event is over. Stay tuned and I’ll do what I can to let you know what sort of great things I learn this weekend.

If you have any questions about social media use in your own organization, I’d love if it you would let me know. I bet I can help you find an answer!

30+ Ideas for SHRM Chapter Leaders

Ideas for SHRM chapter leadersThese ideas for SHRM chapter leaders are a part of the SHRM Chapter Leadership Guide.

I often hear from other HR pros who are members of a local SHRM chapter that stinks. Depending on your chapter leadership, you could be having an amazing experience or a horrible one. Whichever you may be in, it wouldn’t hurt to pass this link on to someone at your local chapter. And if you are in a leadership position, explore the list. I don’t have all the answers (admitting that up front!), but I do love coming up with ideas that could really be beneficial for the average HR professional.

Here are a few ideas to make things more interesting and engaging for your members. Continue reading