• SHRM State Council Director’s Meeting

    I have just wrapped up my meeting of the Secret Society of SHRM State Leaders (#SSOSSL).  Many of you who have been involved with SHRM at different levels are familiar with this meeting – even if you did not know the name of the group. This is the meeting where State Directors and Directors’ Elect jet off to some exotic and usually warm destination in the first quarter of the year and huddle. (FYI not really the name of the group even if you thought that.)

    Rumor was the meeting was going to cease, and then apparently there was some mass uprising (again, not really) –let’s go with concern that the meeting had significant value and that if the meeting were scuttled it could be problematic.  So apparently the powers that be at Duke Street listened and decided to continue with the meeting, which is now called a business meeting.  It is called a business meeting because there are no keynote speakers, no guest speaker sessions, just sessions on how to run our State Councils, and this year the SHRM Certification was also on the agenda (there is still more work to do here).

     


    So what is the purpose to the meeting, you might want to know – as I did?  Why spend a bunch of money flying people from all over the country to get together and talk about what they do? One could take the cynical approach and say that it is just a junket and a payback to those who volunteer at the highest level. While I think that may be a small piece of the equation, in my opinion that certainly is not the main reason.

    To the best of my recollection we had people from 48 states and Guam in attendance (all part of the 280,000 members).  In terms of priorities I am not sure which is first or last but here is a lot of what was going on in my view.

    • The Directors and the Directors’ Elect got to meet (face to face) one and other
    • Ideas/Best Practices were shared between all states
    • SHRM staff spent a great deal of time asking questions and soliciting responses TRULY wanting to hear our opinions on specific issues
    • The SHRM Mission is reaffirmed and clarified
    • The SHRM Staff gets an opportunity to meet and assess their Directors’ & DEs
    • Bonds and friendships are built through planned and spontaneous activities
    • It gets everyone excited to hold the role that they are and jazzed up for when they head home

    So as the new incoming Director I am looking at this and attempting to put the value proposition to this.  What is each of these items worth to my state council?   After considerable contemplation I am pretty much stumped, to come up with a hard dollar value.

    However, I am not naive enough to think that there is not value in this, it is just hard to measure in tangible dollars.  Had we not had this meeting what would we have lost?

    This reminds me of an HR parallel.  If your organization has a really effective safety program and you rarely if ever have accidents – how much money did you save by not having any accidents?  In this instance, how do you measure the cost of things that never happen?  It is unknown, in fact, never to be known.

    Another unknown I have always likened this to, is advertising.  I once asked a friend of mine who is in the car business why they spend so much on advertising. He said, “To help sell cars.”   Looking for a number I asked him how they measured that?  He said this, “when we spend less on advertising we sell fewer cars.”  That’s about as specific as he could get.  So to some degree it is a leap of faith.

    So to bring this back to our meeting, as the Director Elect I will be mindful of my opportunity to attend this even, and try to keep a record of the benefits of having attended this (let’s hope the list isn’t too short).  I will re-visit this issue next year at this time, as I prepare to head to Dallas for the 2016 version of the meeting.

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    Lastly this is more on a personal level, but I need to put this out there.  For anyone who has been around SHRM, you have seen Steve Browne move up and through the organization at every level. This year is Steve’s final year on the MAC.  By rule, and we know us HR peeps are all about rules, Steve will be done with that role this year.   What will happen then…(to be continued)

     
  • The SHRM Pilgrimage

    VolunteerLeaderSummitIt is the week before Thanksgiving, and to the SHRM faithful that means it is time for the annual trek to Washington DC to drink the kool-aide and get the latest news from Duke Street, as to  how our mission is being refined.  I have had the good fortune to attend this event eight out of the last ten years.  It is always lively, fun, informative and energizing. The gather typically has ranged from 750 to more than 1000 over the years.  This year’s event has nearly 800 attendees registered.

    The 2014 version of the SHRM Volunteer Leader’s Summit will have a little different flavor than those of years gone-by.  We will be at a new venue this year, and some of my long time SHRMies will be visibly missing this year (Donna Rogers, John Friend and Matt Stollak to name a few).

    One of the purposes of the event is to help support current our incoming chapter presidents. SHRM works very hard to make sure that the chapters understand they have a wealth of resources and support from SHRM National.  This shouldn’t be an epiphany, as most incoming or current chapter presidents should have a good idea of how the organization functions, as taking on the role of chapter president is not something that should be done without significant planning and forethought.

    No doubt we will be hearing more about the SHRM certifications.  We will hear how it is going to rolled out and implemented, and I would bet $100 there will be a handful of naysayers who want to continue to bash SHRM over this, but I am confident they will be a very small minority.

    One other matter that takes place during the Leadership Summit is the visit to Capitol Hill.  On Thursday morning the SHRM A Team is going to empower 408 SHRM members to go to Capitol Hill and lobby their elected officials. This is awesome, it really is. WE/YOU actually get to help shape public policy – we are not that far removed!  The SHRM Legislative Affairs folks brief us, train us and send us on our way to “The Hill”  (that just sounds cool) to carry out our mission.  Here is a post from a previous visit to Capitol Hill.

    If you would like another take on the Leadership Conference, here is a post from my son Danny who got to attend a large portion of the event in 2012 and had this take on the event.

    I look forward to seeing many of you there, if we haven’t met- let’s connect.

     

     

     
  • TChat Live from SHRM Leadership

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

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

     

     

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

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

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

     
  • Project Social – On Holiday

    Project Social isn’t taking a holiday, although maybe the people involved in it will.  While Laura and I are working on our Green HR initiative, we both had plans to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with our families and friends.  So long story short I did not get a chance to work on my PS assignment, however I did want to talk about the program itself.

    There are only a few pairs of us working on this to see how this thing was going to work. So I thought I would talk about the program as a whole.  To a degree it is 21st pen pal program.  The difference is that we are working with the social media tools of the trade.  We are skyping, blogging and tweeting. Our sphere of on-line friends is melting into one.  Many of my tweeps are following @workgal and some of her tweeps are following me back. Our on-line friends are helping us socialize.

    We chat about how we are going to use video, with vimeo and youtube, as well as using linked in.  The program is giving us a purpose, a reason to do these things.  Laura is no novice when it comes to SM, so she is challenging me and pushing me to do new and different things via SM. I think this is what Ben and Voctorio had in mind when they hatched this idea. While I have used most of these tools, I do not consider myself close to being an expert, but the more I use them the better I get.  I think the point is this, just do it, get involved, get waist deep – after all – necessity it the mother of invention.

    The program got a shot in the arm last week at the SHRM Annual Leadership Conference.  Both Ben and I were asked to participate in a panel discussion on Social Media,  SHRM Social Media director Curtis Midkiff (@shrmsomedguy) gave Ben an opportunity to talk about the program and how people might participate in it.  While the session had no more than 100 participants, interest in Project Social and social media in general seem to be high.

    So next week I will be back on track with our Green HR Project and moving Project Social forward.