I’m speaking at the Metro Milwaukee SHRM Chapter‘s Spring Conference today about “Keeping HR Relevant.” We’ll chat about the current state of HR, the emerging trends within HR, and what we, as HR practitioners should focus on to transform HR. All things we’ll be discussing since Human Resources, as we’ve known it and loved it, is going away. Yup…the way that Kay down in Personnel has worked for the last 30 years isn’t good enough today … and it surely won’t be good enough in 2020.
This issue has been on my mind all week as we just wrapped up 2 ½ days of the Louisiana SHRM State Conference. I’ve served on the conference committee for 5 years and for the last three I’ve been in charge of planning the programming, content and speaker selections. Let me tell you – I’ve approached that role with the fervor of Moses coming down from the mountain top.
I get pretty wound up about it because it’s essential for our survival as HR practitioners that we hear new things, explore challenging concepts, and engage in conversations about the world of work and HR innovations. We need to learn about marketing and finance and the internet of things. We need to delve into a bit of anthropology and psychology and geography too. We need to talk about politics, and the global economy, and what’s going on in Crimea and why in the world the state of Louisiana maintains an unconstitutional anti-sodomy law on its books. Why the price of gas is once again fluctuating. Why black nail polish is now an acceptable fashion choice and it’s OK to let employees wear it to work.
Yet, alas, many people working on HR seem to think “this has nothing to do with me or my job.” This makes me incredibly sad; EVERYTHING has an impact on what we do in HR. Hyperbole? Not much.
When keynote speaker Jay Kuhns mentioned “talent communities” on Monday I wondered, (and tweeted) if most attendees weren’t hearing that phrase for the first time. (note – you may be of the opinion that talent communities are a crock anyway, but that’s neither here nor there). Snide tweeting aside I contemplated this because of a serious malady that afflicts the average HR practitioner: Purposeful Avoidance.
- “I have neither the time nor the interest in reading blogs, whitepapers or publications.”
- “If I don’t think about it maybe it won’t come true.”
- “I’ll just lie low until all this talk about social media big data globalization dies down and goes away.”
- “I’m going to hand off responsibility for this internal social network project to IT or Marketing; I don’t understand it and don’t want to have to learn.”
C’mon…we’re better than that.
I do have hope that the future of HR can be bright; I had a number of conversations this week with new and emerging young HR professionals who, if they don’t get beat down by their dinosaur HR Director bosses (stuck in HR circa 1993) are ready to charge forward. They may lack experience and the knowledge/wisdom that comes from slogging through the trenches for a number of years but they also bring curiosity, vitality and an eagerness to develop a new and relevant model of HR.
Very little purposeful avoidance in that bunch.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” (attributed to John Quincy Adams)
image courtesy of Optimism Man