• HR Florida The Keynotes

    It was toward the end of August and I headed down to Florida to attend HR Florida 2012.   At the time of my departure Issac was rolling around south of Florida and no one really could say for sure where it was going to go.  So after a couple conversation with Mike Vandervort I became ok with the hurricane thing and the fact that it was only a “Cat 1″ (that’s how the Floridians talk).

    Now as it was suggested to me it probably won’t hit here and it’s only small.  As best I could tell the hurricane threat only kept one person from attending.  That was Mitch Joel. He was scheduled to be the opening keynote speaker. He did not attend.  I tweeted about this, and then he responded to me on twitter.  While he wanted folks to think it was out of his control, HR Florida folks told me  that he had already been paid and chose not to attend.  My opinion is that, he exhibited exceptionally bad form by not attending – and then engaging the tweet stream, during his keynote slot.

    Nonetheless, it turned out to be just fine, in fact the opening keynote was awesome. Jim Knight who is from the Orlando area, is an aspiring young speaker. He stepped in and really did a great job. Jim had been a trainer with Hard Rock Cafe for many years. He drew on many of his experiences with HRC.  The ironic thing about this is, is this. I would bet that this presentation at HR Florida will be a great thing for Jim.  This may lead him to other SHRM engagements. I wish him well. He stepped in and stepped up.

    Regarding the breakouts, I will speak to them in another post.  I would like to move on to day2, and the second keynote.  Personally I was very much looking forward to hearing Soledad O’Brien.  Well not too long after the session

    Carol McDaniel on the big screen

    opened our emcee Carol McDaniel started likening today (Tuesday) to Monday, and then I thought oh S#!t, she ain’t coming either.  At this point I felt really bad for the HR Florida board. They,  like those of us in Illinois work hard all year to pull off  these events, and then the circumstances of the day/week tear apart your best laid plans.

    Well the HR Florida team went right to work when they got the bad news. They needed to find another speaker.  I don’t know how they did what they did, or decided how to pick the speaker that they did, but Chris Gardner stepped in for them and he too just killed it.  Chris is the person behind the book and the movie The Pursuit of Happyness. If you saw the movie or read the book, you know what a compelling story this is.  Well the guy who lived this, is even more compelling.  Chris’ presentation was phenomenal.  He was so good he didn’t even use power point and got a standing ovation.

    Now unfortunately I had to go home on the afternoon of day two and I did not get to hang around to hear the day 3 keynote John Foley. He was the only keynote orginally booked who made it to speak. If the tweet stream is any indication of how his presentation went, I would give him an “A+”.

    As I said, I had to head home on Tuesday. Funny thing so did Chris Gardner.

    The HR Czar & Chris Gardner talking social media at MCO.

    But even more curious was the fact that I saw Chris in the airport.  I wondered up to him, introduced myself and chatted with him.   I told how well his presentation was received.  I asked, “did ya see the twitter stream?”   Chris told me he wasn’t on twitter.  I sat down with him and showed him what the twitter chatter looked like during his presentation.   He remarked, “All this was going on while I was there?”

    He was please to see all of the kind remarks, and hinted that as a speaker he probably needed to delve more into Twitter and Facebook.  I agreed with him. Soon, he had to head off to his plane.  I agreed to follow up with him and see if I could engage him on twitter. I also told him I hoped to cross paths again with him.

    Now wrapping up my post on the HR Florida keynotes, I have to really give it to HR Florida (in a good way).  They got handed lemons and they made lemonade – nice recovery gang!

     

     

     
  • Living with Hurricanes

    I have come to HR Florida despite some trepidation about coming to Florida. Why?  Well in case you had not heard there has been a tropical storm Issac, bouncing around in the Caribbean and then turning into the Gulf of Mexico.  Fortunately the storm has not moved in the direction of the west coast of Florida. Before heading out I contacted some of friends here in Florida, and they were pretty much unconcerned about the hurricane.

    So here is what I have learned about living in Florida and hurricanes. I liken it to being around someone with a gun.  That is something to be concerned about.  You watch them see what signals they are sending out and so on.  Now when the armed person points the gun at you, you get distressed.  That would be the equivalent of the hurricane warning. You are paying attention and should be ready to take action.  Lastly the armed person pulls the hammer back on the pistol with it still pointed at you.  This would be the hurricane hitting land where you live – and you can still get out of the situation at this point. You should have made some plans for the event.

    Here is my point, you can’t stop your life because something bad might happen (although it probably miss you where ever you are). You can not put your life on hold because of a hurricane.

    I am glad that I decided to go ahead and come to HR Florida and didn’t wimp out based on the unlikely event that Issac was going to hit the area.  Life goes on – man up and deal with, the Floridians deal with this for about half of the year.

    More from HR Florida later….

     
  • Hacking with Talent Anarchy

    Joe giving a hacking group some input.

     

    Attending HR Florida has given me another opportunity to catch the Talent Anarchy  duo again.  For  the purposes of full disclosure I will say I like Joe and Jason, and come down squarely in their corner as a supporter.   Understand that when you read this post.

    Today I attended a three hour session on what they called Hacking. Now if you are like me you might think that the session had would be related to cracking computer security, but it was not.  Actually the session involved solving problems and breaking them down into their smallest, most understandable/manageable unit.

    After understanding the problem, then the two guided the attendees into how to create repeatable solutions.  In performing the exercise in the session, we had groups of 5-6 people that were reorganizeId three different times.  In an interesting twist, they had the group create a scenario, then we reorganized groups and then re-addressed the matter, and then repeated the re-grouping to complete the tasks.

    This was a hands-on session.  It was well orchestrated.  Joe and Jason were acting more as facilitators today rather than presenters.  They performed equally well in this role.  These guys are going to be around for a long time and have a lot to say.

    And for the record they have a new book which has been published recently.   The book is called Social Gravity, and I will be writing a review of it after wrapping up at HR Florida.  More later from HR Florida…

     
  • Off to HR Florida

    I am excited!  In the morning I leaving to attend HR Florida.  This is the annual SHRM State Conference put on by Florida SHRM. It is big deal.  I don’t know if it is the longest running SHRM State Conference, but I would bet that it is.

    The conference in past years has drawn 1500 or so attendees.  This tells me that they do a lot of things right.  Rumors in the SHRM circles are that they have this gigantic conference machine that just runs.  No one know where they hide it off season.

    HR Florida has lead the way in wrapping social media into the fabric of a SHRM State conference.  This is one of the things I want to see up close and personal so that I can try and figure out what it is that makes it work so well.  I have had a chance to talk shop with many of the folks from HR Florida. They are most willing to share, advise and help.  For that I am grateful.

    Florida was the first State Council to name a Director of Social Media. That would be Stephen Geraghty-Harrison.  Stephen has had the support of state council and the position since I first came on to the social media scene in 2009.  I am going to get to meet Steve as we say IRL, for the first time.

    Florida also has a phenomenal number of folks who are active leaders/participants in social media. Two in particular come to mind: Mike Vandervort and Sharlyn Lauby.  Somehow I sense that these two folks had a hand in making social media part of HR Florida as well.

    There are thee other ladies from HR Florida who selflessly help keep the HR Florida process moving forward.   I have had the pleasure to meet them at several different events, and I look forward to seeing them again…Heather Vogel, Joyce Chastain and Carol McDaniel (see ya all tomorrow).

    And without a doubt, there is a small army of dedicated rank and file HR Florida members who make this event come to fruition. I will get some numbers on that too.

    As I wrap up this post I looked back and thought, wow,  I really haven’t even mentioned conference content, hmm.  I suspect that it one of the things that probably makes this machine work. It will be awesome.

    So look for a few posts on how HR Florida makes this thing work,  the history of social media and SHRM state conferences, pics of me meeting up with a number of old friends and  a lot of new ones.  And don’t forget to check the #HRFL12 tweet stream – I am sure it will be smoking come Sunday.

     

     

     
  • Meet Gilmore at Friday’s in MSP

    Recently I was headed home from a trip and found myself in the Minneapolis  St. Paul airport. My wife and I had about 3 hours to kill, and we were hungry.  So we thought we would take our time and find the best restaurant in the airport. After a little work, it appeared that Friday’s would probably the best bet, since we wanted to sit down, have a drink and eat a leisurely meal.  We still had a little trepidation about our selection.

    As we got close to the front of Friday’s, there was this young man who was out front of the restaurant, nearly acting as a carnival barker (not quite that obnoxious, but he was trying to draw folks into the store).  He greeted us, welcomed us and made sure we were seated quickly and had a waitress taking care of us.  So, Gilmore (pictured here), did good by me.  We were actually seated outside the restaurant, in what would be sidewalk seating in any other venue. This afforded me the ability to people watch in the airport and to watch Gilmore do his thing.

    And actually watching him was amazing. He brought people into the store that probably were not going to come in and eat.  He greeted many airline employees, by name (so they all knew him).  Gilmore handled a few special requests.  Even those that chose not to stop got a kind word from him.  After watching this, I told my wife, I bet this guy is increasing business by 20%.  Unsure of my number I decided to find out. I summoned the manager to my table to talk about Gilmore.  Actually the truth be known, when Gilmore was on point out front of Friday’s business usually increases by 15%, and the manager told me, EVERYONE in the restaurant is more upbeat and happy.

    From an HR prospective he is a rock star. What make’s him so good?  It is not all of his employer’s doings.  There is this fire inside Gilmore and people like him, who have the need to excel, to compete, to do well and to be happy.   That fire is not necessarily transferable to other employees, but he does affect them – in  a positive way. We need more people like Gilmore Harris, in this world, and when I see them it renews my faith in people and makes me smile inside.

    So if you happen to pass through MSP check out Friday’s on the “C” concourse and see if my man Gilmore is working.  If he is you will be dining there – no doubt!

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    Update…09/16/2012 Thanks to Lori for another Picture of Gilmore.  (A guy that loves his job and is good at what he does!)

     

    Gimore… Killing it every day at MSP!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
  • August SHRMChat Talking Communication

    Joan Ginsberg has done such a fine job getting #SHRMChat up and running AND growing, that we have given her an evening off. Actually, the ironic thing is that she can not attend because she will be attending a dinner with SHRM staff. So I offered to fill in for her and keep the chat going. So here is what we are going to talk about this month…

    We don’t get paid, we don’t have any money and we have to maintain an organization. Those are two things driving you as a SHRM volunteer. While I may have overstated the case on ANY and don’t get, the bottom line is we are all operating on a shoe-string budget, accordingly we look for solutions that are free or minimally priced.

    To run a chapter or a State Council, involves a lot of communication. This includes scheduling meetings, sending notifications, sending calendar reminders, following up with surveys, monitoring feedback and chatter from you members. Fortunately, the internet helps us immensely to do this. There are many tools that are out there that are free or cost very little to use.

    So our next #SHRMchat is going to be about communicating with your membership. What tools do you use? What medium is the most effective a particular type of message or conversations? We would like to hear from each of you on some of the following subjects.

    Q1.) What tools do you use to notify and register members for meetings?

    Q2.) Do you use a method for members to have closed end chat, such as Facebook, Wiggio, Yammer?

    Q3.) Do you use video and if so, how and what for? If you do not use video what is keeping your organization from doing so?

    Q4.) Does your chapter or council use SMS (text) messaging, or surveys? If you do please share what you do, if not what is keeping your organization from using these?

    Q5.) Have you encountered a application or piece of software that you thing would help state councils or chapter easily improve their communication efforts.

    Per usual, our chat will take place at 8PM EDT, 7 PM CDT, 6 PM MDT and 5 PM PDT on the second Tuesday of the month (August 14, 2012).