13 Lessons from 13 Sessions at #SHRM14

Orange County Convention Cener

How do you break down the SHRM Annual Conference (#SHRM14) in to coherent summary? You don’t, rather you work through your notes and experiences to determine the key takeaways. Well, at least that’s the approach I’m taking here!

(Also, I’ve put all my #SHRM14 related tweets and blog posts in one spot HERE. Check it out!)

I’ve broken down each session I attended in to what I believe was the single most important lesson from each as follows:

1. Focus on the FIGHT, Not the Fright. (Robin Roberts)

Robin Roberts brought the room to its feet (and to tears) with this statement. She battled, and beat cancer TWICE. Our daily struggles are small by comparison, but even when we get stuck on what we call “the insurmountable”, we should keep dreaming big “but focus small” to fight through it.

2. Average is Officially Over (Tom Friedman)

Average is officially OVER, and that creates a huge anxiety in our labor force. No one cares anymore what you know, they care about what you DO with what you know. What got you here isn’t guaranteed to get you anywhere in the future.

3. If You’re a Boss, You’re Stuck in the 1950’s (David Novak)

If you can bring out the capabilities of your people, success will inevitably follow. When they have support from the top they are capable of great work, including solving the “most frequent” problems that organizations face.

4. Education is the Foundation of Democracy (Laura Bush)

In the United States we are the big ship – we may lean left or lean right but we stay on course. Every child must learn to read. As a profession (HR) we must work to help our returning veterans translate their skills in to work that is fulfilling.

5. Confront conformity. (LeaderHRship!!  Five Keys to Integrate HR Throughout Your Organization. Speaker: Steve Browne)

HR, almost by default promotes conformity. We need to confront that by freeing our people to do the great work they are capable of and focus less on making everyone the same through oppressive policy and procedure!

6. Innovation is evolution, and evolution requires variation.  (Building a Culture of Innovation. Speakers: Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritsen)

Most organizations are designed around driving variation OUT of the organization. As HR leaders, culture is our greatest tool for promoting variation – authenticity and ideation – in our organizations!

7. The war for talent is over, talent won and it knows it. (Work 4.0: What Will Work Look Like in 2050? Speaker: Lance Jensen Richards)

In 2050, job sharing will no longer mean two people sharing one job, but one person shared between multiple jobs! Pent up demand for free agency in our economy; only barrier to entry was healthcare. ACA will start to address that. THEN WHAT?

8. The company owns the job, but YOU own your career! (How to Master The Inner Game of Self Promotion and Internal Branding. Speaker: Sherrin Ross Ingram)

Recognition, rewards and opportunities lead to choices, and CHOICES mean FREEDOM! All of this goes to the people who are best communicating their value! Be the first name that comes to mind with your expertise or skill!

9. There is no such thing as a persuasive bore! (Effective Public Speaking Strategies. Speaker: Jody Janati)

Effective speakers balance their appeals – logical reasoning, emotional appeal and credibility (competence and character). They lay out the presentation for their audience, deliver on what they said they would, and close by summarizing it all!

10. Details are the enemy of the liar. (Detecting Lies and Deception: Practical Skills for HR Professionals. Speaker: Michael Wade Johnson)

It’s incredibly difficult for someone who is trying to deceive you to keep all the details straight. As a strategy, ask follow up questions. Ask for detail. Ask for it in reverse! A truth teller doesn’t sweat this stuff!

11. Today is day one. (Star Power: How to be Unstoppable Through the Nine Star Social Values. Speaker: Michael Ross Lipkin)

It all begins now, it all begins here. If your mission is to make our organization a great place to work, you have to ask whether or not the space around YOU is a great place to be. The challenge: How do you start fresh every day when you’re not NEW?

12. All communication is persuasive. (Top 10 Persuasive Communication Strategies: Making Your Message Heard and Unforgettable. Speaker: David Rittof)

ALL OF IT. Never communicate in a way that lies, distorts or manipulates. If you do, you lost credibility instantly. Loss of credibility makes it impossible for you to persuade anyone of anything.

13. There isn’t a Yelp or TripAdvisor for HR Technology. (What Did That HR Tech Salesperson Say? Demystifying HR Technology Selection and Implementation. Speakers: Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane)

Push your leaders to find out what they are trying to accomplish with the tech implementation so you can stand a chance when navigating in the highly complex world of HR technology vendors!



Image credit: By Visitor7 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


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