• 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.

     
  • Come See Us in The Hive

    SmartBarSHRM13Working in The Hive has been an exhilarating experience. It has given me the opportunity to meet new people and help them work through some issues.

    Most people do not want to bare their souls and tell the world, I don’t know – I don’t understand. I don’t. It is hard to do. But sometimes, that its the only way to get to understand a matter. Many of the folks who stop by The Smart Bar are looking for answers to what they perceive as being “stupid questions.”

    Those of us who participate in social media know the dangers of calling ourselves “experts.” It is nearly impossible to be an expert in something that is continually evolving. So we are not experts. We can however, be well practiced, like a doctor practicing medicine. And we do enjoy sharing our love of communicating, sharing and networking. We are not cliquish, or condescending, we are welcoming and by and large friendly. We are active SHRM volunteers and would love to answer your questions or help you. If you have questions about technology or social media, stop by and see us and we will do our best to help you out.

    Hope to see you in The Hive.

     
  • #SHRM13 The Big Show in Chicago

    From SHRM 12 In Atlanta

    From SHRM 12 In Atlanta

    The time is at hand… The Big Show (a.k.a. The SHRM National  Annual Conference) starts this weekend in Chicago.  If you have attended one of these, you KNOW how over the top this event is. If you have NEVER ATTENDED and are not attending this year do yourself a favor and plan to attend in 2014. In my time I have been fortunate enough to attend five of them.

    One of the bits of information I have gleaned over the years is this. There are only a handful of cities that can accommodate an event of this magnitude.  Having a large enough conference hall and enough hotel rooms are the limiting factors.  In the last few years the conference has had around 15,000 attendees and probably on the order of 18,000 people on site, between the vendors, presenters and support staff.

    But why, why do HR people move via planes, trains and automobiles to congregate with one and other?  I know of several reasons.  One reason is strategic credit hours.  Typically the conference will offer up about 15 hours of the coveted strategic hours.  This will complete the requirements for those holding an SPHR certification.  A second reason is to check out the latest and greatest HR offerings (this would be the exhibition hall).    Others like Dwane Lay and Laurie Reuttimann visit the exhibition hall simply for the swag.

    The Big Show always offer MEGA Name Keynote speakers… Jack Welch, Tom Brokaw, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell – you get the drift. Rumor has it these folks command MEGA bucks for thier services too. Besides the keynote sessions there are dozens if not hundreds of break out sessions. You can attend a session on virtually any subject remotely related to the HR field.  Many of the presenters are looking to get noticed and pick up additional speaking gigs with other SHRM organizations (Local Chapters and State Councils). It is also a good place for those who book speakers to preview what they might be buying.

    There is one other main reason why people attend this event – NETWORKING.  If you want to meet people in the HR biz, it doesn’t get any better than this.  You can network your ass off!  For me, after years of networking a by-product of that activity is friendships.  So it almost goes without saying, that after years of networking in the this community the conference gives many of us an opportunity to re-connect (socialize, drink, eat and tell tall tales). Which, in-turn, makes the conference several days of severe sleep deprivation.

    Starting Saturday, I will be on site at McCormick place.  I am part of the 80 per social media team for the event.  I will be tweeting, blogging (here), and posting to Facebook and Google +.  If you can’t attend this year, follow the streams and attend the event virtually – so you can get warmed up for next year.

    Chicago bound….

     
  • 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.

     

     
  • Performance I Create #PICHR – Show Us Some Love

    Click on over and see what it's all about

    Click on over and see what it’s all about

    It is my hope that most of you who are gracious enough to drop by and read some of my thoughts occasionally, find me to be an honest up-front straight shooter.  Having said that,I will cut to the chase.  This post is nothing more than an unabashed shameless self-serving plug for the multi-contributor blog site Performance I Create.  I am plugging the site because I am one of the nine contributors.  For the most part, we each contribute one post a month. This means that we have new content about every 3 or 4 days on average.

    Personally I think this is the future of blog sites (and I said so in a January 2013 post).  Somebody must be a damn good writer and have a lot to say, if  you think your readers or going to read each and every post, if you offer up 20+ posts a month.  On our site , with the variety of people, you can see different points of view, differing prospective and see content from people working in various areas of the Human Resources craft.

    Additionally, if you do not have a blog site but would like to venture into the blogging arena, we always welcome guest posts.  So check us out, and follow our twitter hashtag of  #PICHR .  I think you will find the site and my team mates to be scintillating.

     
  • Happy Mother’s Day

    Sheila phtoshopped with me. Art work by Kevin Ryan.

    Sheila photoshopped with me.
    Art work by Kevin Ryan.

    This is a blog post  as a Mother’s Day gift for my wife. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  However unconventional this may be, I am following along the lines of a friend of mine, Steve Browne.  Steve once got a blog – for Christmas.

    I wanted to take time out of my life and tell anyone who might come across this post that my wife is the greatest person in the world.  She has been with me since I was a misguided overgrown teenager, to where I am now, the  proud father of two wonderful young men – our children.

    We are friends, business partners and our own little self contained support group.  She puts up with me doing just about what ever I want to do, as crazy as it may be.  But she balances me too. Sometimes I head down the wrong path and she is my wisdom and my guiding light.

    She has also been a wonderful mother. She has always made sure that our family, whoever that may be – at any given time is always well cared for. Her loving ways are known by all who come in contact with her.

    It was only within this year I began to understand how tolerant she is.  As my cell phone dings and chimes and buzzes and goes through all of my social media machinations, she merely rolls her eyes now and then. What a great wife!

    I could go on but the message is clear – for nearly 35 years now – Sheila (Marrin) Ryan has  been the love of my life and the best thing that ever happened to me.  Happy Mother’s Day!

     

     
  • SHRM Atlanta Takeaways

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    The exhibit hall at SHRM ATL 13

    I have been back from the SHRM Atlanta conference for a couple of days now and had a chance to gather my thoughts about the event. First and foremost I would like to thank the Board of SHRM Atlanta for putting on a superb event.  It all worked;  the hotel, the meeting rooms, the exhibit hall, lunch and the tweet-up.

    There were a number of familiar faces on-site, all smiling and enjoying themselves.  It was particularly nice to run into Joe Gerstandt and Jason Lauritsen, who apparently brought down the house with their opening keynote address.  Unfortunately, I did not arrive in time to catch them. Those of us in Illinois hold Talent Anarchy in high regard.

    One thing that did jump out to me about this conference was that there was really no regionality to the event.  Any of the Atlanta sessions would have worked just as well in Albuquerque or Anchorage.  This tells me HR shares the same issues no matter where you are in the country – and probably in North America.

    Some other things that I noticed at the event were that HR folks in Hotlanta dress nicer than those in the Mid-West. Many, if not most, of the men had on coats – yeah sport coats or suits.  The women – many dresses.  I told one of my friends Deborah Herman, I expected to hear ZZ Top bust out into Sharp Dressed Man at some point.  This actually was a nice departure from what I have become used to.

    I was somewhat surprised at the continued lack of adoption of twitter by HR Pros.  I took  a look at Tweet Reach and only found 707 tweets for the event. (Although I do not know what that time frame represents.)  There were a number of the social media luminaries there, but overall I really didn’t feel the twitter big buzz.  Nonetheless, Jim Stroud and Teela Jackson took it upon themselves to do some heavy lifting on  the twitter stream for the conference.

    Probably the most interesting thing I encountered in the exhibit hall was a booth selling Pet Insurance as an employee voluntary benefit. VPI Pet had two representatives on site and they were working the crowd very well.

    I did get to attend a few sessions (so I could grab some of those old HRCI re-cert credits).  I caught the end of Joe Gerstandt doing “No, Great Minds Do NOT think Alike.”  Joe gets an A+.  I also caught Beth Miller speaking on Multi-Generational Management.  I give her a B+.  She needed to have her twitter handle out there so folks could mention her in their tweets.  And the only other session I attended was one that Teela Jackson commanded me to attend (not really).  Jennifer Mc Clure did an encore presentation of her program “From HR Leader to Business Leader.”   Her room filled up early, and there was simply no place left for anyone to sit.  So the ever gracious Jennifer did it again. A+

    Julie and I getting ready

    Then capping off the day were the last break out sessions at 3 PM on day two of the conference.  This was my reason for being there. I, along with my co-presenter Julie Moreland Senior VP from PeopleClues presented, as advertised, a highly interactive session, on HR Thinking Creatively.  I would like to thank Julie and People Clues for giving me the opportunity to work with them.  I would really also like to thank the 30 or so people who stuck around and joined in our session. It was an excellent group – diehards; each and every one of them. I do need to call a few of the folks out by name – Deborah Herman, Chris Havrilla, Lisa Watson and especially my friend Mike Haberman.  They all stuck with us, and Mike was gracious enough to talk about our presentation in one of his blog posts on SHRM ATL.  SHRM Atlanta ’13 was great experience for me. I got to visit with and make some new friends, meet up with some old friends, and I was a presenter at an awesome conference – a pretty good way to spend a couple of days out of  the office.

     
  • SHRM Atlanta Bound

    SHRM-ATL LogoSaturday April 27th, 2013.  –  SHRM Atlanta begins on Monday morning April 29th.  I have attended and participated in my share of HR events, most of them in the Mid-West. On Monday I am off to a different region, to look at conference from a little different prospective.   I will be a Mid-Westerner in the South, and I will a speaker at one of the break out session.

    Fortunately for me, I am not flying solo, I will be presenting with the Uber-Talented  Julie Morelandfrom People Clues. Julie and I are leading an interactive session entitled HR Thinking Creatively.   This is going to be an intensely interactive session, so much, that I imagine (although I hope not) we may chase a few folks out at the opening.  The session takes place at 3 PM, and is the last of the day, as well as the last of the conference.  The challenge is on,  but I am confident we will bring home the goods!

    Past all of this, I am stoked to attend the event.  My twitter buddy Teela Jackson is one of the main conference organizers, and the President Elect of SHRM-ATL.  Teela tops the list of people I want to visit.  However, I must comment, as I reviewed the agenda I have discovered this is in-fact a varitable whose-who of peeps who will presenting at the event – below are  just the ones I know (and I am honored to be among them.)

    Jennifer Mc Clure | Matt Charney | Joe Gerstandt | Jason Lauritsen | Eric Winegardner | William Tincup | Daniel Crosby | Chris Hoyt

    I will no doubt have some tweets, some Facebook posts, and probably a blog post or two from the event.  So it’s off to Hartsfield- Jackson.

     

     

     
  • 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!

     

     

     
  • Social Media, Blogging and Me

    Why do we all do it, tweet, blog, facebook, Google  + and Linkedin

     

    I have an undergraduate degree in Communication.  Some might argue that my BA simply  exists so that institutions can crank out diplomas.  (Said another way communications ain’t rocket science.)  While this may be true, there is actually something to studying, understanding and undertaking to create effective communication.   Many of us do this in our jobs everyday, whether it is written, oral, or through pictures or video.

     

    Whether or not we realize it, communication is an intrinsic part of business.  The better that we do it, the more effective we will be at conducting business. Thus it behooves most of us to endeavor to be better communicators.

     

    One of the ways that I try, to do this, or practice at it, is through my  writing and blogging.   While my posts don’t draw the traffic that some folks do, I have had enough moments, that make me want to continue to do so.  One post I wrote about a young man who works at Fridays in the MSP airport,  was the impetus for a customer service award and recognition he received from the corporate headquarters.  I have also been invited to be a regular contributor on other sites.  This too has been rewarding.  But why, why do I do it?  I enjoy writing , I  like to get better at everything I do, and to recall a quote from one of my professors – she said, “Remember, writers write.”

     

    While I find blogging both enjoyable and rewarding it is not the only are of social media in which I participate.  I very much enjoy communicating with people on twitter.  I really don’t know what it is about the 140 character medium it is that I so enjoy, but it sure intrigues me, and keeps me coming back.  Probably most of all I enjoy tweeting from conferences and seminars.  I am not sure if it is the reporter in me or I just enjoy being a blabber mouth.  Either way DaveTheHRCzar loves being on the conference hashtag.

     

    For twitter,second to conference of are some selected twitter chats.  With my all-time long-time favorite twitter chat is the engaging and intellectually stimulating #Tchat.   The twitter portion of that chat takes place weekly for 60 minutes beginning at 6 PM Central  on Wednesdays. You can learn more about #Tchat at the Talent Culture website.

     

    In terms of other social media, there are two other platforms in which I regularly participates with those being Facebook and Google +.  Facebook is Facebook and if I connect with you on twitter or LinkedIn I will be happy to connect with you on these platforms as well.  I enjoy sharing my life, my family and my work with those who care to look or listen.  I  have adopted the philosophy that i got from William Tincup.  I am who I am and I am the same person on all of the platforms/mediums.  So if you are willing to connect with me on one platform, I am happy to connect with you on any other platform.
    Chris Fields and I at our first meet up.  Yep we had some drinks!

    Chris Fields and I at our first meet up. Yep we had some drinks, and a great time visiting!

     

    Regarding LinkedIn I have been active on it since April of 2008.  While LinkedIn is a social media I really see it as a tool.   I enjoy spending time, interacting and connecting with people on this platform as well.

     

    When it is all said and done, that is what all of this is all about -meeting people, and that is what I enjoy about social media.  I really and truly can not put into what it feels like, or how it makes me feel – but when you meet someone face to face that you have known on-line for a while – that feeling is simply awesome. That is what I enjoy most about social media.
     
  • HR – We roll like the Alaska State Police

    ASPShow

    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.

    thissongcop

    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.

     

     
  • C-13SP – HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

    To the UIS students of C-13SP – HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT – know this HR is SEXY!

    This is some of the material I will be referencing.  I thought you might enjoy what I had to say a little more if you didn’t have to go look it up on Google.

    LinkedIn  – Are you on it – you should be.

    Me     http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidryansphr
     LinkedIn Map     http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com

    Good post on begining on Linkedin

    http://www.xperthr.co.uk/blogs/employment-intelligence/2013/02/getting-started-on-linkedin-in.html

     

    Social Recruiting from John Sumser

     

     
  • 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

    FOT

    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.

     
  • Tuesday is Pray for Paul Day

    There are not a lot of people that I have met in my life that I could go back and tag the day – and say BAM June 15, 2007 is the day I met George, but with Paul Hebert, I can do that – and it is weird.  I met Paul Hebert on Friday May 7, 2010 in the lobby bar of  theWit Hotel in Chicago. I walked into the bar and from the back side I saw this fellow with a black sport coat and this thing (pictured to the left)I2ILogoon the back of it.   Unbeknownst to me at the time was this, the guy was hawking his brand. My visit to the bar was to meet some people face to face, people that I had met on twitter. This was the night before HREvolution 2010.

    I like “some” of you often find myself gravitating toward the bar at conferences and out of town events.  It’s not because of my drinking problem, the reason  I do so is because that’s where you meet all of the cool people. At the time, I was in the company of my good friend and ILSHRM cohort John Jorgensen.   In short order, John and I met Paul, along with John Nykolaiszyn, Ruth Estwick, Chris Frede and I think Steve Boese. And for some reason unknown to me there are even more details. I ordered a beer Arrogant Bastardfrom the bar’s very diverse collection. I had an Arrogant Bastard Ale. I shared this with the group – only because it was soooo nasty!  So to come full circle this was my first meeting of Paul. How many other people can you recall that vividly of when you first met them?

    Going forward, I have had the pleasure of getting to hang out with Paul and to get to know him much better at a number of different events.  I consider him to be a good friend. He is a really sharp guy. He is a great presenter as well, not to mention just an all around good guy. Paul is going through some tough times in his personal life. Paul has cancer.  Paul also has a blog about his cancer and his cancer treatment.

    In a strange but comforting way I got an email from him announcing this situation.  I have followed it very closely as I do care about him, and hope that his will kick this cancer’s ass.  In one of his recent post, when Paul announced that a date to do surgery had been moved up, he said, he was not too proud to ask for people to think of him, send positive vibes his way, or to pray for him.

    PaulHebertWell I want to echo that sentiment, to anyone who will listen.  Tomorrow (Jan 15, 2013) is Paul’s day for surgery. I am calling it Pray for Paul Tuesday. I am asking anyone who reads this to put Paul in your prayers, your thoughts, your zen message of the day – however you send out positive vibes, do it tomorrow.

    Best of luck Paul, I know you are gonna be just fine.

     

     
  • 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

    TLNT

    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.

     

     
  • My Next Stop in the Blogospher

    The thing that I like most about blogging is this. There is no wrong way to do it. That works well for me, because that means it is almost impossible to screw it up.  Really.  My path in the blogospher will soon be taking a new/addition path.  I am going to being posting on Performance I Create (#PICHR)  This is collaborative site started by Chris Ponder.  Recently I received an invite to join the team of bloggers he is assembling to create a revamped/larger multi-contributor blog site.   The Performance I Create team also includes

    Chris Fields | Jay Kuhns | Buzz Rooney | Steve Browne 

     Tiffiany Kuehl | Justin Harris  | Melissa Fairman

    Click on over and see what it’s all about

    I really do feel like I have a bond we these folks as I have been fortunate enough to meet five of the seven in person, and the other two are on my short list.

    This opportunity is really intriguing to me, how I have come to be in the company of some pretty bright and articulate folks. I will liken this association to golf. I am not a very good golfer, although I enjoy it immensely   If I break 100 on the course it is a good day.  But once last year I played with  three other guys that were really good and I shot a 91.  This speaks to the theory that if you hang around with, associate with or do things with folks that are better than you, they make you better.  I subscribe to this concept. So I can’t wait to get to work with these folks.

    But I still have other commitments out here in the space.  I have committed to posting at least once a month on the   Saner Camp Site. I was graciously invited,  by Alicia to contribute on this her site which speaks to small business and entrepreneurship. My topic that I write about there is firing people.  I guess you could call me the Donald Trump of the site,   I really do share my insights on terminating employment   Over the years I have gotten pretty good at it, so I am sharing some of the things about it that I have picked up.  Many small business people fortunately don’t have to let a lot of folks go, so they are inexpedient at this aspect of business.  You can find my posts over there once a month.

    Another thing I do, which by the way does not pay a dime, is this.  I am the Director of Social Media for the Illinois State Council of SHRM.  What does that mean? In a larger sense it give me a opportunity for me to hang around with a bunch of folks that are way smarter than I am, and allows me to learn from them.  The price I pay for this is being the chief blogger at the Council’s Blog Site.  We have nearly 200 posts on the site which I started back in July of 2010.  I perform a number of other functions for the council but as it relates to blogging, that is the thrust of my responsibility there.

    Then on to the HROfficial, (here) which is my site, where I post when I can, or where I post things that I think my be incendiary and could be inappropriate on other sites.   At one time I had a commitment here to publish weekly.  At the time I was blogging in tandem with my friend Laura Schroeder and her blog Working Girl.  As part of Project Social,  an initiative put together by Ben Eubanks and Victorio Milan. As of late Laura and I have not been blogging together, although we both say we would like to. She claims work, kids and her husband  are all getting in the way, and then she also blogs over at the Compensation Cafe.   I guess I can believe her life does get complicated.

    And as long as I put together Dave’s history of blogging I have to mention three folks who really got me going . The first is Jessica Miller-Merrell who first offered me the opportunity to guest post on her site Blogging4Job, ever heard of it?   The second person who has really shown me the ropes of blogging and is still out there doing it is Mike Vandervort.  Mike’s site is The Human Race Horses. And lastly my young friend Ben Eubanks has also been a great help to me with blogging for all of  his technical knowledge. Without Jessica, Mike and Ben’s  guidance,encouragement and wisdom I would not have an opportunity like I have today to be a new addition to the Performance I Create  stable of bloggers.

    I am excited about this. I will continue to honor all of my committments, so if the postings diminish it will most likely be here.  But, you can still find me out her blogging at several other sites.

    Thanks to all of you who do look at what I write, I appreciate that very much.

     
  • Shopping Guy Style

    I am a guy so or course by default that means I really don’t like to shop.  I do make purchases, and a lot of them. It is pretty simple and goes like this. I look until I find what need, then I make a purchase. No regrets! I might have been able to find it cheaper, or have used a coupon of some other smart move that my wife would have made but nope- I bought it. It is a done deal – over.

     

    I was on my way home from SHRM Leadership and I was shopping – on line of course for some work needs – some promo stuff.   After surfing for a while, I ended up at one on-line marketer Quality Logo Products http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com to be exact and they seemed to fit the bill.   I was looking for some ice-scrappers as a promo and they seemed to have the goods.  By the way this is a great safety promo for us Mid-Westerners, if you want to take that tip.  So I will be placing an order on Monday upon my return to the office.  I did not have to go anywhere,  except to the internet!

    So even though I am, let’s call it lazy, as I don’t want to go out into the real world and shop, I do perform my own due diligence. I looked this outfit up on-line (of-course) and found that they are legit, or have created a very elaborate scheme to prove that they are. The Company is run by two guys that have been in business for 25 years – and they are in my home state of Illinois – cool – I can now pay sales tax on my purchase.    Hopefully though I will save on shipping what I pay in sales tax since they are right down the road in Aurora.

    With the Christmas season upon us, I am reasonably sure that most of my shopping is going to be done right here at this same screen I blog at.   Happy shopping!