13 Key Takeaways from 13 Sessions at #SHRM18

Here are 13 key takeaways from the 13 sessions I attended at the SHRM Annual Conference (#SHRM18) in Chicago.

These takeaways are by no means a summary of the session itself. These are singular moments in sessions jam-packed with them. They stood out, they made me think, they affirmed or challenged what I know, or they presented a theme that I think helped tie my #SHRM18 experience together.

I often joke that this conference spawns a thousand blog posts. There remains plenty to say and write about and all of that will play out here and on the SHRM Blog over time. Be sure to take it all in!

Here we go…

Jennifer McClure:

Reinventing Human Resources: A Roadmap to Meet the Challenges of the Future and Achieve Success

The biggest human capital gains come from: “Hiring and training the right managers, who care for, develop and maximize the strengths of EVERY employee”.  Looking for a place to start making change? Start with your leaders!


General Session: Jeb Bush

Sign of the times? A simple comment from Jeb Bush on the principle of civility and an abundance mindset felt downright progressive. We can do better at home, at work, and by expecting it, rather than being surprised, when we get this from our politicians.


Julie Cohen:

Coaching for Change: A Model for You and Your Talent

Let’s mix metaphors. Don’t kill the goose! We often rush to help others and neglect ourselves in the process. We produce at the expense of renewal and we pay the price personally, and our organizations suffer when we’re not at our best.


General Session: Oscar Munoz

There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to core policies and procedures. While well intended (most of the time), taken too far they can undermine the values of an organization. Sure, I agree. But it all starts at the top (see: Diary of a Bad Year for United).


Tim Sackett:

What Your CEO Wishes HR and TA Would Start Doing!

We need to get over ourselves. We need to push our people to live and work to their full potential. Doing so is not only the right thing to do, it helps our organizations in the long run!


Catherine Mattice:

Workplace Bullying IS Illegal: Bullying, Violence and Harassment (and How to Detect and Stop It)

I’ve been lucky enough to sit in on Mattice’s sessions many times, but the statistics around workplace bullying never stop shocking me. Want another one? People who are bullied at work spend 52% of their time talking about it with other employees. You need to be paying attention to this issue!


Stacey Hanke:

Influence Redefined: Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be

When people start trusting you, that’s when influence begins. To be trustworthy you must be able to connect and engage with others consistently, concisely, and in a manner that brings forth your best on a regular basis!


General Session: Adam Grant

Hiring for cultural fit eventually just means replicating the people who are already working within the organization. This stymies our ability to adapt, to change with the times, and eventually to succeed. The work of culture creation is NEVER done.


Steve Browne:

Cultures that Rock! Five Proven Ways to Develop and Sustain a Phenomenal Workplace

Steve’s sessions are always full of great takeaways. Perhaps most importantly, they are a reminder of why we do what we do. Steve is the personification of our urgent quest to get back to the good work of HR. Our organizations and our people depend on it!


Daniel Goleman:

What Makes a Leader: Emotional Intelligence and the Keys to High Performance

You don’t necessarily have to be the smartest person in the room, but you do have to be able to manage relationships. Leaders are senders of emotion. People “catch the mood” of the most powerful people in teams and organizations and it directly affects performance!


General Session: Sheryl Sandberg

There’s a HUGE difference between asking people what you can do in times of crisis, and people who just SHOW UP. “We all need to show up. Sometimes DOING SOMETHING is much better than offering to do ANYTHING”


Bob Kelleher:

A 10 Step Employee Engagement Roadmap to Building an Engaged and Productive Workforce

Employee engagement is an OUTCOME. The intersection of the employee reaching their potential and what the employee is doing to help the employer reach it’s potential.


Randy Pennington:

The Six Competencies You Need to Remain Relevant in a World of Disruption and Change

There was perhaps no better way to end the conference than with the statement above. It ties it all together. To be the best versions of ourselves we need to be courageous enough to speak; we need to be courageous enough to LISTEN. Perhaps most importantly, we need to build the kinds of organizations and cultures that encourage others to do the same.

Ready to keep learning? Be sure to follow all the speakers above! They are on social media, have consultancies, newsletters, and all kinds of channels that will keep you informed and in the know! Click on the links above for more info or view all #SHRM18 speakers here


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