• TNSHRM and Mission Point

    Every Human Resource Conference has at least one, if not more Flagship Conference Sponsor.  They are the Company whose name is the biggest on the marquee and on all of the literature.  They are also the Company who has dedicated the most resources (dollars and people) to this event.  This year at TNSHRM13 that organization was Mission Point.

    Have you even thought about this — a company has paid a gazillion dollars to bring in an ostentatious booth to a show, have their staff all attired alike, seemingly giving away money, or a close equivalent.  Why in god’s name would they do this?  Do they have so much money they are trying to get rid of it to lower their income tax liability,  is it a cult, or are they just weird?  No;  they do it because you and me, the attendees, at these events are the people they want and need to talk to, in order to grow their business.

    And it is my opinion, that every conference you attend you should spend at least 5 to 10 minutes listening to what the flagship sponsor has to say.  After all the money they are spending on the event, just to try to get in front of you help keep your ticket price down.  This is savings for you or your employer or both.  You may think that you are not in a position to buy, use, resell whatever it is that the sponsor is selling, and maybe you aren’t – TODAY.  But, one never knows where the future will take us, and in what capacity we may be operating in at that time. It will also help you be plugged into what is going on in the industry around you.

    I once had a friend who sold the services of a freight company.  He was always infuriated by one large local shipper who would never see him.  He would always confide in me and say, “If he won’t see me at least once a year, he is not doing his job right. How does he know I might not be offering up a 90% discount?”  In other words he didn’t think this fellow had a handle on what was going on in his industry.

    So now are you feeling guilty because you did not drop by and chat with the good people at Mission Point, and perhaps you don’t know what is going on?  Well brother Dave can help you repent!  I did stop by the booth and chatted briefly with Allison Foulds – Vice President Client Services for Mission Point Health Systems.  Here is what she had to say about being at TNSHRM13.  Check it out, maybe they can help you. If not you can be thankful that they helped support a great event and a bunch of Human Resource professionals.  Thanks Mission Point!


  • MTSHRM I am Nashville Bound

    One of the things I enjoy most is anticipation, the run up to an event. Whether it is a wedding,  a family get together,  an event like a concert or a conference.  For me the anticipation just jazzes me, like a 7 year-old waiting for his birthday to come. Well one of the things I have on horizon is MTSHRM.  It is right around the corner.

    Ground transportation for this dude

    Ground transportation for this dude

    So you might wonder why is a guy from Central Illinois stoked about an HR conference in Tennessee – fair question.  Here are my reasons, in no particular order.

    I was invited to participate by two people I hold in very high regard; my friends Lyn Hoyt and Chris Fields.   These two folks have taken on the task of bringing social media to this event. They have done so with passion, drive and determination – and I am proud to do what I can to help and support them.  I have met a couple other folks involved with SHRM from Tennessee at the SHRM Leadership Conference.  Teri Levy and Dennis Stull  seem to be pretty darned friendly as well, so I figure I will know at least 4 or 5 folks when I walk in the door.

    Another reason is this… It’s MTSHRM and I GOT A TICKET !  Yeah that’s right it is SOLD OUT – you can’t get in even if you want to. You waited too long! Not me I am in!

    I have checked out the line-up card, all 21 pages, and have found a whole cavalcade of speakers that I have never seen or heard.  In the last few years, I have attended a number of HR events and MTSHRM’s line-up is all new for me.  The choices will be difficult, but I will walk away with a whole bucket full of HRCI credits.

    While at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, I will also be checking out the SHRM Bookstore and my friend Andi Cale.  She will have in stock – every book that has anything to do with HR/Comp/Benefits/Engagement/Leadership/Risk Management and Organizational Development;  just to name a few areas.  Andi also always stocks all of the cutest, latest and greatest HR stuff and SHRM wear, be sure to check this out –even if you do have to wait in line.

    Otherwise I will be hanging out in “The Pit” –The Social Media Pit that is.  This is where the social media folks will be posting up and dispensing their wisdom, to those who have questions. We will probably be tweeting out conference wisdom and posting Facebook fun as well.

    Now do bring those smart phones, tablets,and  even a PCs because my advice is this;  leave the notebooks and the legal pads at home.  I challenge you to live on the edge and do it all electronically at this conference.  Having just attended another conference I have seen how popular these things truly have become.  You are not cool anymore if you are not mobile at an HR conference.  (Just giving you all a heads up.)

    Lastly, I love networking and meeting new people.  So based on the ads, the event is sold at with 800+ attendees – and I know 4 or 5. Looks like I have some serious networking to do!

    Come by The Pit – say hi – let’s connect!

  • Gotta run to My Session

    Tuesday my third day of the conference. I have not attended a session yet, and it is ok.   One of my blogging peers, was working in The Hive. She was talking social media, and helping this person understand some of the nuances of the particular platform.  There was  a real  exchange of ideas going on.  But then … the conference attendee looked at here watch and said she had to run and did not have time to bring the conversation to a close.

    Our attendee was off to attend a session. While this is commendable, what sometimes gets lost in the conversation is that there is other learning and things of value going on, outside of the scheduled sessions.  And while SHRM does encourage networking through events, and other activities,  attendees don’t seem get or understand that is ok to hang out at the conferences, and just have conversations, exchange ideas,  learn from a peer who has a vast knowledge of a subject and is willing to share.

    I also get the concept of coming to the conference location and not setting foot in the event hall.  Remember the commercial where the guy is supposed to be at “the conference” and is badly  sunburned.  He wasn’t learning or networking, he was simply entertaining himself.  This is not what I am talking about.

    So here is the takeaway. If you are attending the convention  and you are having a really great conversation with someone, if you are learning about something by eavesdropping on a conversation, if you are talking with a presenter and you find them really engaging – don’t feel like you have to run off – just to get to the next session.  What you are doing is part of the overall conference learning experience.  It is ok.  Those of us in HR need to understand things are changing and the rules are changing.

    Learning and knowledge exchanges do take place outside of the scheduled sessions – don’t be afraid to do it.

  • It takes a Village to Man a Booth

    Yesterday the Exhibit Hall for the SHRM National Conference opened.   I don’t have an exact number but my guess is 400 – 500 exhibitors were present.   Some of the booths are ostentatious – really.  Some of the booths are fairly plain with a banner or two,  maybe a computer display or two but that is about it.

    Many of the exhibitors have a dozen or more folks on staff to help peddle their wares.  Some of the smaller booths have only 3-4 but it would appear to be adequate for what they are trying to accomplish.

    I am not sure what the vendors pay to exhibit in the hall, but I know what my employer pays to attend major national trade shows. My guess is that booths cost around $5 K and to bring the staff and materials on site is a $25K undertaking.  That should be a big deal in anyone’s realm.

    As I walked the floor I was shocked to come upon one booth.  There was no one in the booth.  It was set up, there was a display but there was no one there.  Who does that?  Someone dropped the ball.  If that were my Company – and that happened – someone would loose their job.  I was going to put a picture of this operation, but I decided better.  If you want to know who it is contact me and I will email you.

    I am headed down to the floor later today, I am going to check and see if they are still missing in action, or if  it is staffed.

  • We can make SHRM Better and Stronger

    SHRM Advice day– it sounds like a sale or something.  I would like to thank the Cynical Girl for the invite to contribute to this concept. This is a BIG topic and like so many of the other HR bloggers out there, I have an opinion about most everything.  This is what it is… an opinion no more.

    Out of the box I need to say that I am a big supporter of the Society of Human Resource Management a.k.a. SHRM.  I have been involved with a local chapter for many years. I have been involved with the Illinois State Council of SHRM, and I have attended more than my fair share of SHRM events.  I can honestly say I know SHRM.   But when asked what could they do better, I have some thoughts.

    I am not a really big picture guy,  I tend to focus on things that can be done easily and can affect change in short order. You might call it low hanging fruit, from a trench HR guy.

    Let me also say I do not claim ownership of these improvement I am listing. The concepts have been around for a long time. I subscribe to them, and think they are things that Duke Street should act on quickly.

    Share the names and contact information of at-large members with the State Councils and Local Chapters. We are all on the same team. SHRM want all organizations to  grow membership, well this would be a great group to target.  I don’t know all the behind the scenes details but I know that friction remains between the National and the state and local organizations about at-large members.

    Coordinate/Facilitate/Help State Councils share information about events,  while helping promote state conferences.  Again, we are not the competition.  State Councils are challenged to put on good conferences each year.  We could learn more from one and other. There are many of us who have fostered relationships with folks in other states and around the country.  We share information, talk about sessions, speakers, content, venues etc.   Why not help us out with this, coordinate this and exhibit some leadership.  We are on the same team.

    This is a really a subset of the second item.  Create a National Speaker Database for use by all local chapter and state councils.  This would allow  State Councils and local chapters to coordinate information and not feel like they were on their own.  This once was framed this way by Matt Stollack – create a Yelp like database for SHRM speakers at all level. That sums up this concept.

    Make free Wi-Fi available at all SHRM National events!  Nuff said!

    That’s my take on some improvements that SHRM could make that would go a long way toward improving the relationships with the organizations up and down the line.

    No argument , I am a supporter through and through, but I do believe if the mothership acted on my suggestions thing would improve at all levels.


  • The BIG SHOW in Chicago

    If you are in Human Resources this is the BIG SHOW.  Yes I am talking about the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference – this year in Chicago, IL.  Are you going?  If you are in HR this is the big kahuna – even if, gasp -god forbid you are not a SHRM member.

    Ok so that’s my opinion, GO even if your employer won’t pay for it. It will be good for you, your career, your education, your network and your self-esteem. I am not the only one who subscribes to this theory; check out this 2011 post from Charlie Judy.

    Ok so having said that, this post is the lead in to SHRM chat for April 2013,  We are going to drive the discussion toward why attend this conference, what it can do for you, your local  SHRM Chapter and/or State Council.

    Question 1

    What is the biggest take away YOU’ve  gotten from a SHRM National Conference? (and the answer can not be Strategic Credits)

    Question 2

    With so many sessions, what drives your decision to attend one session over another one?

    Question 3

    What advise would you have for someone whose employer will not pay for their attendance?

    Question 4

    What benefit can the National Conference offer for local SHRM Chapters?

    Question 5

    What is your must see/must do in the Windy City?

    Ok folks, that the set up for #SHRMChat on Twitter on Tuesday April April 9th.

    8 PM – Eastern | 7 PM Central | 6 PM Mountain | 5 PM Pacific|.   We hope to see you on the stream!



  • HR – We roll like the Alaska State Police


    I have been trying to loose some weight since the first of the year.  Doing so, for me involves a lot of time exercising.  I am not one of those folks who has been blessed with a metabolism that runs at 12,000 RPMs,  in fact mine is very slow.  Since  exercise is not something that I live to do I try to pass the time with distractions like podcasts and/or television.

    So in my marathon exercise sessions i can usually only take the news cycle about once, before I am clicking on to something more stimulating. So today I was drawn in by the National Geographic Channel’s  Alaska State Troopers.  I know it sounds kind of cheesy but I get sucked into the cop shows.  Then add in the Alaska element and it really draws me in.  Many of the troopers in Alaska fly around in single engine planes because the state is so damn big.  Understand I had not seen this show  before today. I had seen the promos, but never actually watched it.
    In the episode I watched, there were several things that just jumped out at me. This seemed to happen in many of the vignettes it seems like the ASP had to devote an inordinate amount of resources to each criminal that they are attempting to apprehend.  (They have to leave a lot of areas uncovered to do this.)
    In the next vignette the ASP was responding to a repeat offender. They ASP knew the guy they that they were going to see.  They knew him by name, they knew his bio, they knew of the perps full background.


    In yet another vignette, the ASP has to go into community where they are not welcomed by the locals. Nonetheless they have to go in and get their perp – i.e. do their job.


    So let’s review here – do you ever spend a bunch of HR resources on one lone problem employee, while neglecting the rest of the staff? How about this do you ever find that you are having repeated contact with the same employees over and over – you know the book on them right? Or have you have had to go into a division, a department, a building and clean up a staffing mess – and no one wants you there?    These are all hauntingly parallel to the scenes I watched on Alaska State Troopers.


    I have often felt like I was just a cop trying to keep peace and doing the right thing, even when no one wanted me there.  And everyone in HR knows that we, like any other entity, fall under the  90/10 rule – spending 90% of our time on 10% of our staff. So one could deduce based on the only episode I have viewed that HR ain’t all that different than being a cop – even in Alaska.


  • No Longer in Denial

    Hooray!  I am no longer in denial – as I heard it put by an HR speaker recently. She asked the group – have many of your organizations have an Affirmative Action Plan – and how many of you are still in denial?  Me and my Company are now in compliance with 41 CFR 60.  With the help of a good friend of mine, who is in the HR Consulting business and has written a number of these plans, we are now fully compliant. Yes, we do have an Affirmative Action Plan.

    AAP Image

    Knowing what I know now, I think that actually was the easy part – writing and putting the plan in place.  Now comes the really tough stuff like:

    • Actually trying to find and hire the individuals to help us meet our AAP goals
    • Getting “real” buy-in from department and hiring managers (translations not letting them think this is another BS HR program)
    • Figuring out how to get applicants to voluntarily comply with my requests to provide data
    • Planning for what year two of the plan will bring.

    While it is refreshing to know that if someone from  OFCCP drops in to see me I can proudly tell them, “Yep I have one, do you want to see it.”   Or when anyone from our sales department emails me ans sends me a document about being a Federal Contract and then asks, “What the hell is this all about?”

    I also got  a lot of help and support from my friends over at People Clues.   The system upgrades they have made have allowed me and others to collect the needed information without having to do much, other than open an Excel spreadsheet with a csv file.  This was an awesome fix to my issue.  It works so well  because we have adopted the philosophy that ALL applicants must apply on-line.  This tactic leaves no holes in our data.

    I am still new to this affirmative action stuff but me and my Company are making progress.  There is much to learn and much to accomplish. I would love to swap war stories with anyone who has gone down this path — and learned a few things along the way.



  • Tim Sackett Day


    Today is Tim Sackett day. Tim is a really charming guy with a fantastic sense of humor. If you have never met him, you should.  Go see him speak, hook up with him on twitter or linkedin – do it!

    Another great guy is today’s honoree of Tim Sackett day Paul Hebert.  Paul is one of the sharpest people on the planet when it comes to motivation, change and getting folks to do what they are not all that keen on doing.  Beneath that wry, gruff exterior is a one really great guy.

    Paul has been ill recently – but it appears that he is back on the road to health, and the whole HR cyberspace is elated.

    Tim and Paul, I am fortunate to know both of you and call you my friends. Tip of the hat!   You can find both of them at Fistful of Talent.

  • The Future of Blogging

    It is after all the first of the year and it seems that everyone is chipping in with their two cents worth on what the future holds. Sadly I don’t know what it holds- there that’s my answer.

    Now perhaps I am better equipped to see trends, than make full-bore all out predictions, but as the title would suggest, today I am discussing blogging. Last year I became a guest blogger at Sanera Camp, and going forward I have agreed to submit posts on a regular basis there with Alicia.  Then later in the year I was offered another opportunity by Chris Ponder to be a regular contributor on the Performance I Create blog site. On a personal level, these are huge and exciting opportunities for me and I feel fortunate to be afforded them.

    On a macro sense I feel I am just part of a trend that will grow  in 2013the Multi-Contributor Blog Site.  I see this being the next direction that blogging will take.  There are many reasons for this; here are a justs few

    • The collective voice is louder than the individual voice
    • The site shares in diversity of thought
    • Each blogger brings a different audience
    • Bloggers will get cross-over followers
    • Maintaining new content is much easier
    • The volume of content expnads
    • Bloggers like all other folks like being on “Teams
    • Synergy
    • New power to promote ideas or issues

    While these are not the only reasons that someone or an organization would create a multi-contributor site, they certainly are in the forefront.

    For those of us who are embarking upon a multi-contributor site journey, we have some sites that we can look to and see how they have been successful. Each of these sites has broken new ground and have put new ideas and concepts into the thought stream.

    Fistful of Talent

    Project Social

    Women of HR


    Talent Culture (aka #TChat)

    HR Examiner

    If you haven’t looked at these sites, please check them out as they all contain top notch material.

    The concept of growth of the multi-contributor site  is is not just my opinion.  On a recent Drive Thru HR broadcastWilliam Tincup mentioned this while he was discussing PeformanceICreate.com  with Chris Fields (at about 14:20 into the show). William too thinks that this is a growth area for blogging.

    As I was poking around and looking  up links for this post, I found that Chris Ponder has shut down his site, xtremehr.com to dedicate his efforts to what we like to call PICHR. Is this another trend that will take place, with authors finding enough ways to contribute through other outlets and not maintaining their own site?

    -Stay tuned-


    Photo credits to http://www.armchairbea.com


  • A Hometown HR Guy

    The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Il.

    This blog post is part of a collection created by various Human Resources professionals. This “Carnival” of HR posts centers around the theme of HR and Home. To read the rest of the collection click here. You’ll be glad you did!


    When people ask me  to describe my community, Springfield, IL, I tell them it is a really, really, really, really big, small town. While I was born in Ohio (which is why Steve Browne likes me so much), I moved to the Land of Lincoln at the ripe old age of 5, so you could call me a lifer here in what is affectionately called “Springpatch.”

    I work at a fairly high profile Company in the community. Mel-O-Cream Donuts has been a local tradition since 1932.   I was not here when the business started, although I have been with the Company since March of 1979.   I have been doing HR for a long time. I am familiar with many of my peers in HR in Central Illinois through SHRM and other local activities.

    All of this thrown together does define me, who I am, what I am all about and my business acumen. Yes I am in HR, but I know a lot about business, thanks to the great people that I have worked for, for many years. I understand things like EBITDA,  ROI, P&L. Having worked at the local public radio station, while I worked on an undergraduate degree, I find myself occasionally behind a camera or microphone, talking about our Company’s business. Fortunately to date I have not ever been “ripped” for some foolish or errant remark that I made. My guess is that while I am no great orator, I seldom put my foot in my mouth either.

    Through my SHRM associations I get the opportunity to speak to college classes periodically. I get asked back, so I must do at least ok, right?

    So this is not an essay on me, but rather how I fit into my community.  To speak to the premise  of this post  which ask the question, I do feel like I belong here in my town and I do have a positive impact on the community? The community has served me well, and I like to feel as though I have returned the favor. Knowing  what I know about myself, I don’t think I would find my work as rewarding if I lived in a major metropolitan area. While I am adept, I don’t see myself as the kind of guy that the Wall Street Journal would approach and ask for my take on matters – unlike my local newspaper (The State Journal – Register) who does seek me out occasionally.

    I like where I live. We have crappy winters (sometimes). The HR community in my town is awesome. There are many other great HR Pros in the area that rock and if you want to be plugged in around Central Illinois get in touch with me and I will make sure that happens.

    So to speak to the question of the post,  my community certainly does help define me in my role in HR, and I am proud of both!

    Thanks for the Carnival Victorio and don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts here .

  • The Perfect Christmas Card

    The Holiday Season (politically correct term for  Christmas  – from Dave the Christian) is upon us.  I think it is written in the blogger code of ethics that I must write at least one seasonal post a year. So here it is…

    We all get them every year. The Christmas card.  Now don’t mistake my sarcasm to mean that I don’t like them – because I do. I read each and every one that comes to my house, and I enjoy them.  I like the letters that some folks send, I love the pictures (where you look at them and go when did little Suzie go from being a six year old to an attractive young lady) and the cards are great too. Obviously if someone took the time to send it to me I can take the time to check it out.  But every once in while I get a belly full of how Billy made the honor roll at MIT and that Sally was made captain of the cheer leading squad, and the John just got the big promotion which allow them to buy the new house and new car, you get the drift.  Just ONCE is would be refreshing if not comical if the letter read something like this…

    Hi All –

    Well it has been a tough year at the Ryan house and quite frankly we are glad that year is coming to a close.   In case you didn’t hear the year started out with the IRS audit, and them seizing our home and all of our assets.  But with some good legal work we were able to stay in the house and keep the 15 year old truck.  They did take all of our furniture but we have picked up some nice stuff since then at various garage sales – something we enjoy doing now.

    Rover in his new look

    In March Sheila backed over Rover who was sleeping under the car. He had been ill so his time was just about up anyway. We had him stuffed and even now he still goes with us where we go.

    We attended the Company picnic in July and on the way home Dave got stopped by the Police.  He only blew a .18 so it wasn’t that bad.   And they dropped the charges on  the crack pipe they found in the ash tray.  One of the employees where Dave works had got in the truck at the picnic and smoked some crack and forgot his pipe.  We gave it back to him.

    Later in the year it seemed like things were starting to turn around after we got that nice workers comp settlement after Dave cut off one of his fingers at the factory.  But then he took the money and went to the Casino and lost it all in about 2 hours,

    We got the whole family together at Thanksgiving which was very nice.  It did get ugly though when our boys’ Danny and Kevin’s girlfriends got into a fistfight.   Thankfully Danny’s girlfriend  dropped the restraining order, so we should be able to get together with everyone again, and have a nice Christmas.

    That’s about all that’s new with us, hope you have a holiday.


    Ok, the Ryan’s have some problems but they’re working through them.  You would at least feel better about your self after reading that.

    That’s all – Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Kwanzaa or what ever you might celebrate at this time of year.


  • TChat Live from SHRM Leadership

    I guess I understand why it was that Ernest Hemingway spent so many hours at Sloppy Joe’s in Key West trying to expand his mind to tell a better story.  Not that I consider myself in the same circles with Hemingway, I have been struggling with how to write this post.  All of my ideas were EPIC, and the subject just isn’t that monumental.

    Here is the deal;  this week I am headed off to Washington DC to attend the annual SHRM Leadership Conference.  I am an active SHRM Volunteer and support most of their efforts.



    At the Conference on Wednesday evening one of my partners in crime another SHRM volunteer  Donna Roger and myself will be helping set the stage for #Tchat.  If you have not participated in #TChat,  I encourage you to do so.  It begins on twitter at 7 Eastern 6 Central 5 Mountain and 4 Pacific.

    There are many, many chats on twitter, and while I participate is some other ones on an occasional basis #TChat is the one I enjoy the most.  This week’s  content of the chat is about Public Policy is shaping and changing the workplace.

    While the #Tchat cast of characters is from all over the world, we will be connecting this chat to what is happening in our Nation’s Capitol.  Please Join us! Hope to see you on line.

  • The Unconference Lives

    This post is targeted to all of the folks in the HR Echo Chamber.  (The line is we talk to ourselves and no one else really listens).  Last week I personally had a minor epiphany. It had to do with the unconference.  While this  group of Human Resource internet aficionados, here in the chamber,  did not invent or does not own the unconference, we certainly do advocate for its use and adoption, especially guys like Bill Boorman.

    Within the span of less than a week, I ran into the unconference on two different planes.  As a registered/certified USA Hockey Referee I must annually attend a clinic (this is suppose to facilitate my competency as an official).  For as long as I can remember, how they disseminate information is in the classic lecture style – with power point.

    Opening remarks at HREvolution 2012

    This year (drum roll please) the instructor said I am going to do something different.  He said I have a list of some things I would like to discuss, but I want your involvement and input. He said, further, I would like to talk about any concerns or issues that you guys might want to bring up. Holy Cow – sounds like an unconference to me.   So that’s what we did, he was a great facilitator which lead to a lot of information being shared. Kudos to USA Hockey.

    Six days later, my son who was in Chicago attended an event at Columbia College. It was called The Creative Unconference.  At this event people just talked there were no presentation or power point. That sound like an event where you might find his dad and his HR buddies. Wow!

    So in the span of less than a week, I was touched twice by the unconfernce.  Wow maybe we are helping to move the ball forward!  Viva la HREvolution – Vival la TruConferences.

  • Leveraging Generations for Organizational Change

    Today’s Post is a guest post from Ben Eubanks. Ben is a good friend of mine. I learn a lot from Ben. He is one year older than my oldest son. Translation Ben= Young Man <-> Dave = Old Guy!

    Note from Ben: I have come to appreciate Dave as a good friend since our first meeting at HRevolution Chicago in 2010. We often kid about the mismatch in our age and experience levels, but we both share common goals and hopes for our profession that bring us both together. I wrote this with him in mind.

    Image By Morguefile

    A few years ago, I wrote a post about men in HR and the differences of being a young guy in this profession. One of my friends, a young lady, sent me a message talking about how her company used her unique skills and point of view to lead change initiatives. I thought that was a unique use of talent and wanted to explore that more fully.

    See, when we talk about leveraging generations at work, the conversation tends to drift toward using the senior workers to mentor younger ones. I get that, support it, and think it’s worth the effort.

    However, it’s not a one-way street. The younger staff have something unique to offer as well, even if it’s nothing more than unbridled passion for the work they are doing.

    This young lady’s comment opened my eyes to yet another valuable way that young professionals can be utilized in the workplace. When change is necessary, those young professionals have a few advantages.

    1. They live in a world of constant change and have since birth
    2. They have not been around the organization long enough to catch “We’ve Always Done It That Way” syndrome
    3. They are looking for opportunities to lead others, even in small ways

    Next time you’re looking at a major change initiative, scout out the young talent you might be able to utilize in the process. They will appreciate the opportunity, and it will give them a chance to take on the role of leadership in a controlled environment.


    Ben Eubanks is an HR pro, speaker, and writer. He works as a one-man HR team at Pinnacle Solutions during the day, and at night he writes at upstartHR-an HR blog with a little humor, humility, and how-to. Check it out to learn more about entry level HR jobs, talent management, and other “in the trenches” HR topics.

    Image by Morguefile
  • Headed the Midwest Emmys in Kansas City

    This weekend I am headed off to Kansas City, Mo. to attend The Mid America Emmy Awards.  This is a proud moment for me as a parent as my son Kevin, is up for an award. He was the brain trust behind a segment which aired last year on Alt News 26:46 .  This is an off-beat news magazine show that is produced and aired weekly on WSIU inCarbondale,IL. This is not the only award the program has won. In fact I think this is the fourth year running that they have been nominated for an Emmy.

    Kevin put together a segment on the ubiquitous Horseshoe Sandwich fromSpringfield,IL.  You can see the segment about 20:00 into the program.

    alt.news 26:46, Episode #13.04 from alt.news 26:46 on Vimeo.

    If Kevin and his peers win an award there will no doubt be more on this matter. Here is a little more about the event.

  • Review of Social Gravity

    Recently on a trip to Florida I was afforded the opportunity to read Social Gravity. The book is an excellent read.   For the purposes of full disclosure, I must admit that I am friends with the authors. I have come to know them through their public speaking engagements, and my involvement with some of the organization that have paid them to speak at events.

    From my experience the authors,  Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritesen did it differently than most folks out on the speaking circuit. It seems that most authors write a book and then go out on the road to promote their book.  These two guys have worked their way up from the trenches and now are addressing audience of 1000+ people.  Now they have a book under their belt. The book is very representative of the way and the type of subjects that these guys speak about.

    The book Social Gravity speaks to the intersection of networking, social media applications and a changing workplace.  Throughout the book, they ask the reader to make lists, action plans or perform evaluations by listing items. It is somewhat reminiscent of a seminar (of one).

    In the book they push the reader to identify how they network, as well as how they feel about networking in general. And so after a little bit of introspection, then Jason and Joe unabashedly tell you how it really works.  Next they throw the subject of technology on top of networking.

    With your new found knowledge the authors then push you to use you this knowledge as they fully explain what the Six Laws of Social Gravity are and how to use them to your advantage.

    I enjoyed the book. I got a lot out of it. And these guys to me,  are like an old favorite band. Whenever they put out a new recording I would purchase it – no questions asked.  Whether in person or in print Joe and Jason have a track record of putting out great material.

    I think you should buy and read this book!

  • Understanding New Car Pricing

    I had something happen to me that just got me to thinking about our auto industry, and the price of cars.  Currently, I drive a 2001 S 10 Pickup Truck.  Not a prize in anyone’s mind but it’s paid for, it runs well and it kept me mobile as my wife and I put our two sons through college.  I know I need to help the economy out and buy something new, and in fact I have been contemplating doing so, but damn they are expensive.  In the meantime I been paying a little attention to my older vehicles needs.

    I had been missing the tuning knob for the  radio, so just the stem for the knob was sticking out. That didn’t bother me too much, because the radio still had the seek up and seek down button.   My old GM Delco radio also had the  6 pre-selected channels I listen to most of the time, so missing the knob was ok.   So a couple weeks about the on/off Volume knob went missing, and now I had the two stems sticking out.  Well it was becoming a little hard to operate, and looking a little ghetto now, so I figured I should drop by the dealership (because that’s the only place you can get them) and pick-up or order the knobs.

    Well I did so only to my horror to find out the two plastic knobs cost $33.38 plus tax.  Two little knobs for just about $40.   I am not sure what that means but if I the truck is worth $5000 that means the radio knob are approximately 1% of the value of the vehicle?   I am starting to understand why new vehicles cost $40,000.

    I guess I should just go by the new vehicle and not worry about it. I wonder what replace knobs cost for a 2012 Silverado?

  • 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….