The SHRM12 Blogger Challenge

(Most of you know that I will be attending the massive upcoming conference of human resources pros held by the Society for Human Resource Management – SHRM. Most of my posts for the next month will probably be about this conference. Caveat emptor. But you never know, so you may want to keeping peeking in, just in case.)

 

Jennifer McClure, a marvelous speaker and wonderful person, is presenting a Mega Session at SHRM called “From HR Leader To Business Leader” at 7:00 am on Monday, June 25th at SHRM 12. She’s a great speaker, and you won’t be disappointed if you get up and go listen.

I’m not going to be there, though.

I will be at a legal/compliance session on workplace privacy. And I’m just not awesome enough to be at two different places at the same time.

You see, I asked members of my local SHRM what they would like to learn about if they were at SHRM 12, and legal information was the majority answer. I also offered to let members of my local choose sessions to send me to and blog about, so you will even see me blog about compensation issues somewhere along the line. My agenda as an attendee and blogger is largely being dictated by others.

I think this is how it should be. Like the vast majority of the HR pros out there, I’ve never been to a SHRM national before because the time and cost involved is just too great. So being allowed to attend as a blogger is truly a gift. And what better thing to do with a gift than to pay it forward and give something back that acknowledges how fortunate you really are?

I think other bloggers believe in this as well. Charlie Judy, in a cautionary tale about over-emphasizing vendors, said, ” . . . you should be sharing some of the really juicy morsels likely to come from the sessions and their presenters  . . .” And Dave Ryan, in a post called Social Media Mission Impossible , encouraged SHRM12 bloggers to bust out of the echo chamber. Part of that echo chamber is created by HR bloggers and tweeters attending sessions of everyone else in the chamber.

So my challenge to SHRM 12 bloggers is to do some blogging about sessions or topics that might not be on your personal radar, or aren’t being presented by personal friends, or by other people in the online HR community that we all already know and love.

Think about the HR generalist at the 200 person company in your hometown, who has to deal with boring wage and hour issues whether they want to or not. Help them learn something, because they can’t afford to be in your shoes.

SHRMChat – February Recap and March Theme

Tweet Reach February

FEBRUARY RECAP

Our question for February was: “Which programs or issues do you think are important and appropriate for a future SHRMChat?” That question was posed because it seemed clear that participants in SHRMChat wanted to be able to speak about all things SHRM, not just about social media.

But as we discussed different potential topics, it became clear that our audience preferred that the topics be focused on the state/local chapters, instead of being specifically concerned  with the intersection of national and its affiliates.

It was also suggested that we establish a committee or include more than one moderator – an idea that I was already pursuing and embrace totally. Again the topic of speakers or guests was brought up and it is clear that our participants are committed enough to SHRMChat to start inviting guests.

Finally, the age old issue of breaking the bubble was discussed, thanks to China Gorman who tweeted about “seeing the same old faces”. This discussion led to the suggestion that everyone who participates in SHRMChat should try to recruit one new participant each month. It was a great suggestion and I hope everyone tries to expand the group.

MARCH CHAT

You suggested, I listened. Going forward, we now have 3 additional SHRMChat moderators: John Jorgensen, Dave Ryan, and Nicole Och. We will be working behind the scenes to create topics and obtain speakers, etc., so be sure to reach out to one of them, or me, if you want to suggest something. Also, after this month, I will be separating the recap and upcoming chats into two different posts.

For the March chat, our topic will be “the interaction of SHRM chapters with other HR or business related groups.” Social media has brought an explosion of these groups to the web,  especially groups that provide knowledge and education, like  Tlnt.com, HRevolution, and Talent Net Live. There are also more traditional alliances of SHRM chapters and other groups, such as Chambers of Commerce. Our questions are:

1. Is it in the interest of SHRM chapters to partner with or embrace other HR related groups? Why? Why not?

2. If SHRM chapters should pursue some kind of alliance, which groups would be best and why?

Join us for SHRMChat Tuesday, March 13th at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST, where our guest will be Craig Fisher of Talent Net Live and #TalentNet chat. REMEMBER TO TRY TO BRING AT LEAST ONE NEW TWEEP!

 

 

The Gift of Social Media

A day or so before I was to depart for college, I became violently ill with what I thought was gastroenteritis, (what people commonly call stomach flu). But it cleared up almost immediately after I met my roommate and settled into my dorm room.

It was really stress, you see, from a girl who had almost never been out of her white-bread, suburban Detroit, lower-middle class community. We were poor, and even restaurant dinners and family vacations were totally foreign to me. The idea of being 90 miles away from my mother and family was sufficiently stressful to induce 2 days of vomiting.

After college I returned to the same suburban community where I grew up, beginning my first career as a police officer and maintaining some old friendships and forging  new ones among co-workers and neighbors. I stayed safely snuggled in those six square miles, leaving infrequently and never going very far when I did.

Then I met and married my husband, and he yanked me out of my safety zone to live in his world. That world was only another suburb about a 1/2 hour drive away, but to me it was like moving to another planet. I didn’t know the geography and, before cell phones and computers, immediately lost touch with many people.  I didn’t get physically sick this time, but I was irritable, argumentative, or crying for at least 3 months after moving. More stress.

So I wasn’t really sure what to expect a few weeks ago when I packed up my dogs and car and  began the biggest move of my life: 1,400 miles and almost 24 hours of driving, from Novi, Michigan to Naples, Florida – from the same 30 or so square miles I had lived my entire life to, as my friend Dave Ryan said, ” just north of Cuba.”

This time, though, I didn’t get physically sick. I haven’t screamed, cried, or other wise acted out. I’ve been tired, sure, but peaceful. Calm. Happy. This time, my friends and family have been with me the entire time:

  • Driving across the Brent Spence Bridge in Cincinnati, when I thought of Eric Weingardner, Jennifer McClure, Benjamin McCall,  and several others who live there.
  • Hearing “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone on Sirius/XM Sixties radio in Kentucky, which I will forever associate with Steve Browne‘s broad smile and ready hug.
  • Driving by the I-71/Louisville exit and recapturing the HRevolution #1 post-lunch walk with Lisa Rosendahl.
  • Thinking of Mike Krupa when the rakish young man in a Mini Cooper flashed me a bright smile as he passed in northern Tennessee.
  • Watching a family walk their GSD puppy in a Georgia rest area and wondering how Deirdre Honner was.
  • Driving through Atlanta and remembering everyone from HRevolution #3, especially Neil Morrison, James Papiano, Tammy Colson, and Frank Zupan.
  • Hearing Jason Danieley sing “You Walk With Me” from The Full Monty, who is forever associated in my mind with Trish McFarlane.
  • Having several Floridian Facebook friends reassure me that I will get used to, even welcome, having geckos skitter across the kitchen floor.
All of the people I named, plus hundreds of others that space prevented me from naming, are friends with whom I first connected on social media. Others are people with whom the social connection had been lost 20 or 30 years ago but with whom I have reconnected. All of them – every Facebook friend and Twitter follower – make me feel whole. The sense of community and involvement I get from their active participation keeps me from ever feeling lost or alone.

Last week I went to my first Florida HR meeting. I was inevitably asked by a tablemate what I did for a living. I explained a little about me and my social media venture.  One of the people at the table made the standard complaint about social media and “not wanting to read about what people eat for breakfast.”

I don’t mind hearing about your breakfast; I find it endearing. I want to see pictures of your kids and grandkids, too. Tell me about your good days and your bad – I’ll try to be there for both, because the gift of fellowship I get in return is worth it.

Social media changed my life, and it is the greatest gift I have ever received. Thank you.

Have a wonderful holiday season and the best New Year ever.