• 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!


    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!







  • The Buzz Site, SHRM12 and Social Media

    A Happy conference attendee getting her book autographed by Marcus Buckingham - SHRM-2010

    If you follow much at all of what is going on in this space, you certainly know that the SHRM Annual Conference is coming up in Atlanta.  It is at the end of June, start of July – just about the same time every year.  Volumes have been written about the conference, the attendees and so on, so suffice it to say it is a big deal. If you work, live or feed off of the HR space, it is something you should attend routinely; even if you have to pay your own way.

    Again, this year I have been lucky enough to find myself in the ranks of those attending. I am attending as part of a cast of social media bloggers.   In 2010 in San Diego SHRM has an official blog squad of 5. This year it is 75.  Amazing, Simply Amazing.

    Given the count it is obvious that top power players at SHRM have dedicated a lot of resources to social media this year. However, like any other business entity, even the Not for Profits, they are looking for their return on investment.    I am not sure specifically how that will be measured.  In my opinion, while aspects of social media can be monitored and measured – I am unclear on how you accurately measure the true impact?

    I have noticed on a number of television shows now, such as Dancing with the Stars, American’s got Talent and Deadliest Catch the producers are now marrying the tweet stream with the show. I also see Delta Airlines, and their #DeltaAssist program growing. Again I am not sure how what this is generating or how it is being measured, but it is continuing to grow.

    I think this is reflective of the business intrigue surrounding Social Media.  There is so much going with SM it is mind boggling. We have new sites, new tools, court cases, new users, IPOs going on, and just when you think you have a handle on it everything changes.

    Now back to the conference, let’s discuss this year.   I think that SHRM is to be applauded for their efforts and the amount of resources they are dedicating to this year’s event.

    My worst fear is that it has become a case of go big, or go home, with the analogy being this.  If we (SHRM) don’t see some tangible results from this event we will contemplate a “push back” from social media.  I hope my fears are unfounded.  To help ally my fears I implore all of you to share in the conference via social media – even if you aren’t there. Watch the tweet stream, check out the video uploads, watch the Facebook posts, read some of the thousands of blog posts that will be coming out – and lastly share it with a friend or acquaintance who is not yet immersed in Social Media.  In order to get the needed ROI we must continue to grow the base.

    One final note, a specail and unique web site has been launched just for and about the conference. The site is called The Buzz and you can find it here.

  • The HR Official Recycled

    Earlier this week, my ProjectSocial partner, Laura Schroeder and I were talking about what we might want to post about.  After some banter back and forth, Laura and I settled on doing something almost cheesy, but it is fun and easy.  We decided to re-post  some of what we thought were some of our best post during last year.  Our other partner Lyn Hoyt was agreeable to our notion, and was going dig up her best post, which you can find on her site HR Bacon Hut.  And you  can see what Laura has recycled over at her blog Working Girl.

    After looking over my body of work for the year there were really only a few that stuck out.  If you saw these before I appreciate your loyal following.  If you missed these, here is what I think are some of my best posts for 2011.

    So that is the best from 2011 in my opinion. Thanks for stopping by.






  • #HFChat on Black Friday Hosted by Me

    Hire Friday is an event that has been around for a long time, at least in the twittersphere. If you have been out here in the HR space you would know this. The genesis of show is based in “good,” and is the brain child of HRMargo.

    I have been friends with Cyndy Trivella for quite some time. We interact on twitter frequently. Well recently, she asked me if I would Guest Host a chat session.  I was flattered, honored and flabbergasted all at the same time, but without question happily agreed to do so.

    So part of my responsibility as the host is to frame the discussion with a concept and five questions to drive the discussion.  The concept is gaining employment in a small to medium size organization, compare to large organizations.  So here are the set-ups and the questions.

    Just like gaining employment in a larger organization, finding a cultural fit with the organization is crucial.

    1.)  How do you learn about the culture of a small privately-held Company?


    Smaller organizations may be more difficult to get specific information about products or services, however if you have some mastery about the Companies offerings you will appear to have a leg up on other candidates.

    2.)  Where do you go to get good insight on a small Company’s product or service line?


    Smaller Companies often times do not have the resources (dollars) allocated for research, marketing or other project.  In an interview you might be asked to solve a $500,000 problem with a $5000 budget.  This often involves technology or equipment.

    3).Do you have a story of  cost effective problem-solving which might intrigue a small Company recruiter?


    While most of us HR veterans know that nepotism is not a good thing, you should be prepared to see it in a smaller Company.

    4.) Working in a small Company, how can you prepare yourself for dealing with management decisions involving nepotism?


    We have talked about many of the down sides of smaller employers.  There are also many opportunities that a smaller Company would afford an employee that a larger Company could offer.

    5.) What type of opportunities might you get in a smaller Company that you might not get in a Fortune 500 Company?


    Ok, so there is the discussion for Black Friday ##HFchat. I hope to see you on the tweet stream.  – Dave “theHRCzar” Ryan

  • Refs have to train, why not Managers

    Fall is upon us here in the Mid-West.  As a registered USA Hockey Official that means it is time for my re-certification.  Unbeknown to many coaches, parents and players every year I must sit though 6 hours of training, I must skate and take a test, to maintain my certification as USA Hockey Official.  I pay $80 a year for this privilege. Then I pay the state organization of MO & IL for the privilege of being able to referee their games.  So when it is all said and done I usually pay about $120 a year to be name called, jeered, belittled and second-guessed.  I am ok with that.  It is a conscious choice that I make.

    As I think about what is in front of me as an official, I can’t help but think about my other gig HR – managing people, and workplace activities.

    We bring people in, we promote them, we ask them to manage others. This is a promotion. You have done well at making widgets, so now we want you to help us manage those people who produce the widgets. And because you are a good widget maker, you will, no doubt, know how to motivate others to be good  widget makers.   As a Company, we are so sure of this, we will just leave you on your own to manage and motivate others to be as good of widget maker as you were – or not.

    When I look at the dichotomy of these two situations I am almost speechless. If I don’t participate in the USA Hockey Clinic, take the test and pay to register with the governing bodies I will not be allowed to referee.  But in the workplace there are no mandates of competency.  You do not have to train, and you do not have to test.   The government at the Federal, State and Local Level has all of these mandates on this, that and the other thing. However there are no mandates on competencies for supervisors or managers.  Did not Frederick Taylor espouse this theory about 100 years ago; that there was some science to managing people and processes?

    Bodies of government mandate training for numerous topics but not for management or supervision.  I think this should change.  Companies should be required to demonstrate that anyone who holds the title of manager or supervisor has some demonstrable core competencies in this area.  If not, anyone can have one of these jobs.  Ever had a boss that was clueless and didn’t know the first thing about managing people, or motivating folks? My guess is the answer is yes, somewhere along the line.

    If skill sets must be learned and demonstrated to referee youth hockey, doesn’t it follow that you should have minimal demonstrated and documented abilities to manage people in the workplace, if this is going to be part of your daily work? I think so.

  • Hashtag Hitchhiking – Acceptable or Not

    I have noticed something that has been going on in the twitterverse lately, and I have questions about it.  So in an effort to not be a luker – I have to just ask.

    I have been active on twitter since sometime in 2009, and I have kind of picked up most of the unwritten or unspoken decorum EXCEPT for one thing.  As most of you know who look at my comments, you have an idea of the things I tend to speak about.  And when I do speak to something I attempt to use the appropriate hashtag for the topic, event, location etc. Like another responsible, effective twitter user we share this with one and other.

    The one thing I see that I don’t understand is what I am going to call hashtag-hitchhiking. Let me further explain what I mean. For example let’s say the Consumer Electronics Show was going on inChicago.  To make another assumption let’s say that the hashtag #CES was getting a lot of follows/hits because many folks wanted to know what was going on at the show.  So people who want to know about the show follow that hashtag or perhaps even #Chicago.

    But now lets say I was going to send out a tweet about something about a new blog post on some human resources matter (#HR), but then at the end of my tweet I throw in the hashtag #CES.  It would appear that tweeters to this to gain traffic and follows.

    So my question is this. Is it ok to use non-related hashtags with tweets? – Any thoughts on hashtag-hitchhiking?

  • HR Hates Labor

    Those of us Human Resources hate labor, all the people who perform labor, the organizations that represent labor and all that both parties represent – right?  I can not speak for everyone in HR but I can speak to this myself. And the answer to the question is no; an unequivocal no.

    First let me speak to people side of labor, the people that do the work. These are the men and women who build things, who distribute things, and that process the routine information for companies. To be specific, I am talking about the electricians, the iron workers, the auto workers, and the nurses the bakers or the hotel housekeeping staffs. On a personal level I respect, admire and am thankful that we have these people doing these sometime thankless or unnoticed jobs. Today is their day – so I salute them and you should to!

    As for the labor organizations, I can not say that I hold all of them in the same esteem, which I hold for the people they represent. I have come to respect some labor organizations, which, in my opinion, get it.

    When I look at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and their training program, and the knowledge that they impart into their members, I am truly in awe. The IBEW brings value to their members, and value and quality to the contractors that they supply with electricians. As an aside if you look at their program you will see that it is a collaborative effort between IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). It seems like these two organization have figured out how to work together and provide mutual benefit to one and other. This is a shining example of success, with organized labor and management working together.

    On the other side of the ledger, part of the charge of a union is to defend its’ members – no matter what.   So, even when the employer has the employee on video tape stealing merchandise, the union must come to their defense. Those of us in HR don’t like this.  No different that a defense attorney, who is pretty sure his client is guilty, their job is to defend them as best they can.  Many in HR get jacked up about this – but it is their job.  Let them do their job, and give them some respect having done so.

    Another thing that some unions do that I find irksome is to make demands that are not based in reality. I have tried to understand or rationalize this a posturing in bargaining but often times it is just an unreasonable demand that can not and will not be met – which will ultimately become another wedge issue for management and labor. More often than not this seems to occur in public bargaining, which is ironic. For the most part public sector bargaining is unique because the funds available to management are usually public record.  So to those entities I would say, you want some more money go find it!

    Another reason for HR to want to hate labor is this – to use a sports metaphor – how the game is being called.  The current administration is trying to use the NRLB to radically change the landscape in labor management relations through administrative channels, as opposed to the legislative process that has been used heretofore. Changes like this are another way that wedges are driven between labor and management, without it being the fault of one side or the other.

    So it isn’t that those of us in HR hate labor, we often find ourselves in a situation where we can not win with labor.  We have to tow the Company line – even if we don’t always agree with it.  Just like the union that has to defend the employee who stole merchandise.

    Today is Labor Day in our country and to that end as I said earlier and it is worth repeating… Today is their day – so let’s salute them and treat them with the respect that they deserve.

  • Calling HR Puck Heads

    A  fellow I work with sent me a link to a video. I am sharing this with the twitter group #HRPuckheads.  This is a group of HR geeks who also enjoy hockey – just as I do.  The video need not introduction.  If you don’t know who Warren Zevon was Google him.



  • HR Rockstars – Really

    I was talking with my Project Social partner Laura Schroeder and the conversation continued to come back around to Rock Star Employees.  I explained to Laura that I don’t want them, I probably don’t need them, and couldn’t keep them if I landed them as employees in my mundane world. For the most part I sense that Laura shares my opinion – you can read her’s here.

    In trying to justify this position I thought long and hard about the matter.  As I did, this song came to my mind.

    Now thanks to Chad Kroeger and Nickelback, a great group in my opinion I have a pretty good idea of what a Rock Star is…

    I’m through with standing in line
    To clubs we’ll never get in
    It’s like the bottom of the ninth
    And I’m never gonna win
    This life hasn’t turned out
    Quite the way I want it to be

    (Tell me what you want)

    I want a brand new house
    On an episode of Cribs
    And a bathroom I can play baseball in
    And a king size tub big enough
    For ten plus me

    (So what you need?)

    I’ll need a credit card that’s got no limit
    And a big black jet with a bedroom in it
    Gonna join the mile high club
    At thirty-seven thousand feet

    (Been there, done that)

    I want a new tour bus full of old guitars
    My own star on Hollywood Boulevard
    Somewhere between Cher and
    James Dean is fine for me

    (So how you gonna do it?)

    I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
    I’d even cut my hair and change my name

    ‘Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars
    And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars
    The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
    We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat
    And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars
    In the VIP with the movie stars
    Every good gold digger’s
    Gonna wind up there
    Every Playboy bunny
    With her bleach blond hair

    Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
    Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

    I wanna be great like Elvis without the tassels
    Hire eight body guards that love to beat up assholes
    Sign a couple autographs
    So I can eat my meals for free
    (I’ll have the quesadilla on the house)
    I’m gonna dress my ass
    With the latest fashion
    Get a front door key to the Playboy mansion
    Gonna date a centerfold that loves to
    Blow my money for me
    (So how you gonna do it?)
    I’m gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
    I’d even cut my hair and change my name


    And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
    With the latest dictionary and today’s who’s who
    They’ll get you anything with that evil smile
    Everybody’s got a drug dealer on speed dial, well

    Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

    I’m gonna sing those songs
    That offend the censors
    Gonna pop my pills from a pez dispenser

    I’ll get washed-up singers writing all my songs
    lip sync ’em every night so I don’t get ’em wrong


    And we’ll hide out in the private rooms
    With the latest dictionary and today’s who’s who
    They’ll get you anything with that evil smile
    Everybody’s got a drug dealer on speed dial

    Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar
    Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

    So there’s your rock star. Is that what you are looking for in a top employee?  Not this HR Guy, I will be happy with the person that shows up most everyday and does a good job most everyday – and someone who doesn’t make too many waves or cause me too many headaches – I have enough already thank you very much!

    Rock stars not welcome here!

  • Boy Did this Guy Change Jobs

    I have been at home in the late afternoon the last couple of days watching TV as I exercise. I don’t really care for either activity but they go well together. The last two days I have seen this commercial while I was walking on the tread mill.

    That is Fred Thompson. You may recall him as a State Department Official, U.S. Senator from Tennessee and even an actor on Law & Order. And just in case you forgot, he was in the field of Republican candidates vying for the Presidential nomination in 2008.To be honest,  I am all for free enterprise but it just seems a tad bit sleazy to me that a guy who was a candidate for our country’s highest office is now hawking reverse mortgages on television. I guess I sound a bit like Andy Rooney… but it’s just not right!

  • HRevolution 2011 in the Books

    @Controllergirl a.k.a. Teresa Morris providing some visual HR commentary

    Well HRevolution v3.0 is over,  let the posts begin.  I spent about $800 to attend, and probably would have spent a little more had it not be for the generosity of Mr. W.  I would do it again in heartbeat because I so enjoy this group of people and their collective view on things (and having a few cocktails with them as well.)   Why did I go and why will I return to the next one, I guess is really at the core of this whole deal.

    While this was only my second version of HRevolution, I have come to know many of the participants on line and in real life. The collective attendees are simply great people, so much that they renew my faith in people.  We have men, women, pretty much all races, many religions, old, young, small, tall, big and not so big folks, but we are all one – and then we hug each other too!.  It’s kind of corny but it is also very cool.  I am kind of a portly old married guy and people still want to hug me and I want to hug them back. (Jesus we couldn’t do this at work could we?)

    Ben Eubanks ask me whether this was better than Chicago.  I told him yes, and of course he asked me why. This event was better, in my opinion because of the conference space – AND the people in it.  First I will speak to the space issue.  While I enjoyed the Catalyst Ranch and how it was going to inspire people with its open and eclectic space, but when it is all said and done, the traditional room/classroom or meeting style really works be3tter – for me.  The other thing that was better was the people and the session leaders.  The “unconference model” (if you don’t know this, you might google it) allows the attendees to actively participate.  This creates energy, vibe, buzz – call it what you will, but in the room and it is palpable.  The buzz and the interaction, this year was very good.

    I only attended about 1/3 of the sessions, although the ones I did were informative, energetic and enlightening.  For the $125 to get in the door it was money well spent. What I have found is this, I am coming to like most of my twitter friends and relish the time I get to hang out with them (in real life) and catch up with them. I must ask myself – is this a sickness or a redeeming quality?  And if I didn’t tweet you and tell you how fun it was to meet and hang with you this is my apology here.

    While at the event I met someone who told me they enjoy reading most of this (what I refer to as drivel) stuff that I crank out her and over at www.ilshrmblog.org, thanks Lyn! .  If I keep doing it long enough I may get that number to 3 or 4.  I took a more than 100 pictures at the event and they are posted on Picasa.

    There are more pictures courtesy of Monster and they are here.  I will have a couple more posts on this later this week.

  • SHRM North Central Student Conference Presentation

    On Saturday April 9th I had the pleasure of speaking to the attendees of the SHRM North Central Student games at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.  It was truly a wonderful experience, and I would suggest to anyone working in Human Resources who has the opportunity to help at a  student conference; pounce on the opportunity.  I did write a post on the Illinois State Council Blog Site if you would like to read more

    And in an effort to keep my word, I did tell the folks in attendance I would post the presentation I used, as I had put a number of links in the presentation. So here you go…

  • Why I am Attending HREvolution

    Eric Winegardner speaking at HREvolution 2010

    Bill Kutik speaking at the Catalyst Ranch – HREvolution 2010

     HREvolution is coming up next month, and I am really looking forward to attending. I am going to get to visit with some old friends, meet some folks face to face that I have met online, make some new friends, attend some mind-bending sessions which will help me grow and learn, and to get out of town and spend a weekend in Atlanta.  

    Last year leading up to HREvolution2010, I was a relative newcomer to twitter.  I was trying to figure out what all the chatter was about.  The one thing that everyone was buzzing about was this HREvolutioin conference.  I really wasn’t sure what in the heck the conference was all about and who all of these people were.  I had met a few of them and but most of them were unknown to me. The conference was in Chicago (200 miles from me) and cost $100. I figured what the heck, I should attend.  I thought even if I went and it was a bust I would only be out a few hundred bucks.  

    I made the decision to go, and then I heard from my old buddy John Jorgensen.  He assured me I would enjoy the conference and learn a lot.  This was one of the best decisions I made last year.  I did attend, met a lot of great people and had a great time.  

    Since attending the conference at the Catalyst Ranch last year, I have really dove head long into the social media scene – and am thankful that I have had the opportunity to do so.  I don’t know that all of these things happened as a direct result of attending, perhaps, but even if they were not a direct result they were a by-product of attending HREvolution.  

    Since May of 2010 these are some of the things I have been done… 

    • I was asked to become the Social Media Director for the Illinois State Council of SHRM
    • I was invited to write a guest post on Blogging for Jobs about the SHRM Blog Squad
    • Launched a blog site for the Illinois State Council of SHRM www.ilshrmblog.org
    • Attend SHRM Annual Conference in San Diego
    • Meet a number of the notable HR Bloggers in San Diego
    • Worked with IL State Council, John Jorgensen, Curtis Midkiff, Mike VanDervort and Trish McFarlane making the IL SHRM State conference a social media event
    • Started my own blog (here)
    • Was a guest on Drive Thru HR (twice)
    • Attend the SHRM Leadership Conference participating as a Social Media Panelist
    • Hung out with Ben Eubanks at that conference learning that boomers and GenY can in fact get along
    • Met the HR Florida gang at SHRM Leadership (Social media royalty)
    • Met many great HR folks on twitter and look forward to getting to know them better (Steve Browne, Kimberly Roden, Jay Kuhn…just to name a few)
    • Planning for a really exciting IL SHRM conference in 2011 which is going to be huge and I get to be a part of it
    • Planning to attend OHSHRM and WISHRM and bring back ideas for ILSHRM
    • Became a fan of HRHappyhour 

    So a big thanks to Ben, Steve, Trish and Crystal for putting together and pulling off this HREvolution thing. It has treated me well and provided me with a lot of opportunities.  I will be in attendance and happy to be there. I hope to see you there.

  • Sitting on the Fence about HREvolution?

    I enjoy traveling, going new places, or revisiting old favorite haunts.  Probably the most exciting thing to me about traveling is the anticipation.  The thoughts of what the trip will be, the memories, the new people the new experiences.  Well here in the last couple of days an upcoming trip of mine has now come up on my radar.  It is my upcoming trip to Atlanta on April 29th, when I will be traveling there to attend the HREvolution.

    Version 2.0 o f HREvolution was close to me, about 200 miles and took place in Chicago.  At that time I did not know so many of the folks who make up the HR space on twitter and in the blogosphere.  The conference fee was $100 –very affordable.  So I figured what the heck this could be exciting, fun, and informative and just a chance to meet some new people.

    At the event I met many of the celebrities (although they don’t see themselves as such) and they were all really nice, friendly and interesting folks.  I met the organizers.  The day of the conference great stuff was put forth.  Lots of food for thought, contacts and resources were presented.  It was a great experience.

    In short deciding to attend the conference was one of the best decisions I made last year.  Since that time I have met up with many of the same folks at other events.  We tweet back and forth; I read their blogs knowing who these people really are.  Just the other day, I read post from my friend Steve Browne, and in this post Steve talks about meeting all of his social media frend in real life.

    So if you are sitting on the fence and trying to decide if you should buy a ticket and attend HRevolution 2011, you should.  If you think it is up your alley, it will be.  See you there!

  • War Stories from the Ice Rink

    As the HROfficial I haven’t really brought hockey into the blog much, but I have a couple short “war stories” from the rink that have occurred recently and I felt the need to share.

     Story number one is this.  I am preparing to referee a tournament game.  For those of you who are not involved in the sport let me give a few little nuggets about the game.  Parents pay a lot of money for their kids to participate.  Parents dedicate a lot of time and travel to playing.  Coaches sometimes play favorites and your kid may benefit from this – or may get the short end of the deal.

     Ok now were at the game, as I prepare to walk on the ice, one of the coaches asks to speak to me.  He openly and honestly says to me, “Ref – were gonna get killed in this game.”   He then asked me to watch out for his player so they did not get hurt.  There are four teams in the tournament.  I am talking to the coach from team A.  He told me yesterday team C played Team DTeam D beat team C by 10 goals.   Also yesterday the coach of Team A played team C and got beat by more than 10 goals.  So given that scenario Team D is could or should beat Team A by 20+ goals; a blood bath by any definition.

     Without trying to give anyone a competitive advantage or disadvantage I explained the concerns of the Team A Coach to Team D head coach. He looked at me and smiled and nodded.  Unsure what that meant it was unclear as to how the game would play out.  Team D scored 3 goals in the first period.  They did a lot of passing and working the puck. The game ended 8-0.  Team D could have beat team A by 25 goals but the coach made sure it didn’t go down that way.   After the handshake at the end of the game I spoke to the coach of Team D and told him that was by far the greatest display of sportsmanship I had seen in the last ten years.  He smiled.  He went home, and so did I – only I went home with a renewed faith in humanity!

     The second story is much shorter.  At the start of each game, the Referees must interact with both coaches checking rosters and getting signatures.  I choose to introduce myself, shake hands with each of the coaches and then wish them “good luck”.    As I shook hands with one of the coaches he was pressing a pre-positioned object into my hand.  As I pulled away and opened my hand I found a small tootsie roll.  The coach looked at me a smiled and said”It’s to make you sweeter.”  I smiled and told him that was good.  At this point I don’t even recall if his team won or lost.  Again I went home with a renewed faith in humanity.

     It is the people like this involved in the sport that make me was to continue to referee until I have to skate with a walker.

  • “Your Time is Worth Nothing…” according to the Medical Professionals

    The anesthesiologist consulting with my wife.

    Yesterday I spent nine and one half hours at the hospital with my wife. She had a surgical procedure performed on her hip.  With my wife in surgery, the surgeon told me the process would take 45 to 60 minutes.  In reality the surgical process took just about 50 minutes, so he knew exactly what he was talking about. So my question is this why did my wife and I have to spend nine and one half hours at the hospital for her to have a 50 minute procedure performed?

     I would like to say this up front.  The surgeon did a great job, and communicated well with me and my wife.  The hospital staff was kind, caring and did the best that they could. I am not mad or upset with their delivery of services, it just seems awfully inefficient and frustrating to all parties involved.

     The story is this.  My wife was told to arrive at 6:30 a.m.  We arrived at 6:20 a.m.  We were greeted nicely and directed to surgery on the third floor.  We arrive there and my wife was assigned a room and told to put on the gown, and stretch out on the bed. As we were getting ready to leave the counter, we were told by the staff there would be a delay as the surgeon had been called over to another hospital on an emergency case. The length of the delay… unknown.  We noticed there were two other cases scheduled in front of my wife.

     Later we were told that the surgeon was “on call” and that is why he had to leave.  For the purposes of the story let’s stop here. 

     The surgeon is scheduled to do surgery at one location, while with his “on call status” he may be called away to another location, on a more pressing matter.   Ok, so in my world if something can go wrong it usually does. If I look at this objectively, I am potentially scheduling the surgeon to be in two places at one time, ergo someone or a group of people is going to be waiting.  In addition to the patients and their loved ones left waiting, there is the stress of the situation, as well as any time away from work, or fees paid to babysitters etc or any other things that must be taken care of while awaiting doctors.

     Further, if I am running surgical location #1 while the surgeon is called away to surgical location #2 – I have a staff of highly paid professionals who are at the beckon call of the surgeon, but doing nothing.  (In manufacturing we call this down time – and it is a drain to the bottom line.)

     So patients, families, employees and support staff and other all wait at location #1. I understand how certain cases take precedence sometimes, but no attempt is made to adjust, contact or communicate with the rest of the people in this equation.  It is tantamount to sitting in a physician’s waiting room for hours on end not know if or when you will see the doctor.

     With the communication technologies in place today, it would certainly seem to me that improvements could be made to this process. However, someone has to see this as a problem first. If no one will admit this is a problem, we will continue with the status quo. I have read about specific health care facilities that have decided to make customer service a priority and work hard to meet scheduling expectations.

     My time and my wife’s time have value too, however given the hubris from those in the medical services industry, medical services interests’ trumps individual concerns.  Until we start purchasing medical services like any other commodity it does not appear to me that anything will change. To do so, all it requires is for your provider to answer these questions.

     When will we do this, when will we be done and how much will it cost? 

    Would  you buy anything else without knowing this?

  • U.I.S. HRM- FA10

    Now that I have my own blog site, I can write whatever I want and not worry too much if I offend someone, or if I narrow-cast directed at an audience that is too small.

    This post goes out to these fine people…

    Laura Gasparas

    Brenda Blanchar

    Lisa Touloumis

    Tonya Laux

    Jenni Case

    Mindy Hassebrock

    Niccol Stout

    Thiyumi Abesysinghe

    Linda Bomya

    Shane Stafford

    Lindsay Birdsong

    Becky Skehan-Passie

    Aaron Banks

    Danielle Haley

    Brandie Forcum

    Michelle Theobald

    Rachel Ona

    Kristina Miller

    Kari Elliott

    Ryan McKillips  _–>>> GO BLUES!

    Kyle Nestlehut

    Kendall Burrage

    Patrick Davis

    Amy Zappo

    Alisha Kulek

    Randy Knuppel

    Chelsea Jones

    Lawrence Crowley

    Lacey Pollock

    Lesley Kaspraun

    Andrea Bennett

    Amy Hallmark

    Matthew Scrivano

    James Schacht

    Tara Sablotny

    Timothy Dillon

    Matthew Duff

    Christine Magallon (good to see you again!)

    Bailey Meek

    Steve Blythe

    Sinh Mai

    WHEW! Damn that’s a big class

    I wanted to thank all of you guys for being a great audience and for taking the time to write thank you notes (although I’ll bet that was required- right?).

    I really enjoy the opportunity to speak to students, and especially the one who are interested and enthusiastic about learning.  Keep my name and number and if our paths cross remind me that we met and how. Use this tactic to your advantage.  You should do this with all of the other HR people you meet. We are, after all people people.

    You have a great instructor, Donna Rogers, learn all you can from her and all of the other classes you take at UIS which is a fine institution.  I graduated from there and have done ok too. Thanks again – Dave!

  • Tipping – Penalty Free

    As a much young man I was a bartender.  I worked at local nightspots that tended to get very busy in the evenings.  Until that time it never even dawned on me that bartenders got tips – but they do.  Not too long after commencing my career in cocktails I learned that a good bartender (one who got drinks quickly and was generous with the spirits) earned a lot of tips.  This was extra over and above wages.  I liked this.  I remember one bar owner teaching me that TIPS was an acronym for To Insure Prompt Service.

    As I learned about working in the service industry, I then became a generous tipper, because I knew how appreciated the tips were.  To this day, I still have the utmost for respect for any of the service people who provide personal services to me; such as shuttle drivers, cabbies, bartenders, doormen and waiters especially the latter. So over the last couple of years I have started to do something that brings me a little joy, and a smile to my waiters and waitress, when I dine out.

    It is simply this,  pay your dinner bill with a credit card or debit card as most of us do – BUT TIP WITH CASH.   Not that I am advocating for not paying taxes, everyone has to do what works best for them.  This provides them options.  And typically most people would carry enough cash to leave a tip, while putting the dinner on a bank card.

    I did this the other evening and elicited a comment from my waitress.  She said she L-O-V-E-D my idea.  I asked her then how do I tell the world about it.  She said a lot of people read blogs – maybe you should write about it.

    So let’s review… restaurant bill with credit – TIP with CASH.