• Kelly Clarkson she ain’t Hall and Oates

    What do Kelly Clarkson and Stevie Wonder have in common?  They are both recording artists whose KellyClarksonConcertconcerts I have attended.   While I was never an over the top fan of either one of them I have enjoyed  many recordings each has made.

    So many years ago, I attended the Stevie concert, and last night I attended the Kelly Clarkson show.  The thing that was interesting to me comparing the two artist was this. Both have an amazing catalog of hits. Hits are those songs that you know some of the words and most of the melody.  Only recently have I taken to listening regularlly to top 40 stuff. I now have XM and I have been compelled by  my wife and my son to listen to current music.  So my knowledge of current music isn’t all that good.

    Well while I knew all of the Stevie stuff – more or less based on my age.  But I was truly amazed to see that I recognized all of the things that Kelly played. It was good stuff too!  The harmonies were very tight – spot on.  Kelly got the audience rocking, dancing and singing along.  It was a great show and let’s just say a little more current than some of the artists that have appeared at SHRM National over the last few years.

    I had the good fortune to bring my wife and my son to the event. It was a great 1:20 minute show. That rocked all of the HR Pros in the house, and all of the other people like my wife and son, and the two cute little teenage girls who were seated next to me.

     
  • 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….

     
  • SHRM 12 in the Rear View Mirror

    The Big  Show for 2012  is over. It is on from Atlanta to Chicago for 2013.  This year SHRM stepped up their social media game. With the addition of The Hive, and the return of an expanded Bloggers Lounge, all of the social media devotees felt that SHRM had moved forward on the SM front. I could not agree more.

    It is my sincere hope that these efforts will result in increased membership, a more engaged membership and a greater and more effective utilization of social mediaas a strategic business tool.  This would provide the SHRM Leadership with the tools that they need to accurately measure the return on their social media on investment. It would also let them clearly see that this is the wave of the future.

    In an effort to make a lot of noise in the HR space Curtis Midkiff assembled a team of 70+  bloggers to assist in covering the event.  I think we did a good job, but could have done a lot better.  SHRM put The Buzz Site together at the suggestion of previous year’s Blog Squads.  Curtis had asked us to please post there first, wanting to drive our collective traffic to the site. It was a good plan that should have been executed better.  The bloggers collectively did not execute this as well as we might have.

    Dice provided us (paid for) an excellent space for us.  The bloggers (myself included) did not always use the “suggested” hashtag when or as often as we should have.  We owe Dice our continuing gratitude and support for their willing support in what probably be called an experiment.  In addition to providing us space, they also had working staff in the room at all times.   Also we owe a big thanks to Sarah Warner White for all of her behind the scenes work on the bloggers lounge.

    There was another aspect of the bloggers lounge I wanted to address. The live video feeds from the floor were spectacular. It allowed folks to blog, tweet, Facebook and Google + while they were multitask or using a plugged-in full size laptop. There were many other aspects of that, that also made covering the sessions easier, but I feel like we lost the “feel” of the conference floor.  Whether it was watching people grimace when the speaker commented, or simply seeing people walking out of sessions in droves.  From the bloggers lounge, we lost that prospective and I am not sure that was a good thing.

    There was a great deal of communication between the bloggers and the vendors (wanting us to schedule time to talk with their CEOs) about their product or service .  I don’t know if I missed some emails or what, but that whole effort seem to leave all parties involved bewildered, frustrated or just plain mad. Hopefully that will go better in Chicago

    Curtis Midkiff working The Hive

    The Hive was a fantastic  effort to engage the general membership in social media by engaging members and answering questions one on one right after a session, while the fires were still burning hot.  There were also a number of group discussion that went on from time to time in The Hive. From my prospective this was hugely successful.  While I only worked 3 hours there, the interactions I had were superb.  At ILSHRM12 we hope to mimic The Hive in a scaled down or modified version. Fortunately Curtis will be there to help us.

    In terms of sessions I only actually attended five. I have stacked up enough HRCI credits to push me through 2013 so I was not really in need of them.  It made attending the conference with no agenda most enjoyable.  I was afforded the opportunity to wonder around, stop and visit or just listen in on a session.  And on a personal level I got to meet and hang with some of the best and the brightest in the space. Just being around them and watching them work, the way the interact with others was enlightening and informative.

    It will be remembered as the SHRM 12 the year the Social Media Experiment went full tilt.