• Wow you don’t know how to do that? #TNSHRM14

    10629566_687334284706714_6248169064907363735_nWe have come to the conclusion that yes there is hope for greater social media adoption in HR. From the social media lounge of the TNSHRM14 conference we have seen greater interest, better questions and increased desire to understand social media and how to use it as an HR tool. The attendees are asking more sophisticated questions demonstrating a better understanding or and willingness to explore social media for engagement.

    Last year the TNSHRM Social Media Pit crew led 2 concurrent sessions on social media and we only had 6 attendees come to the sessions; 5 in one, and 1 in the other. This year we also led 2 breakout sessions; Social Media, Why Should I Care? and Using Social Media at Work (Engagement) and we had 400% more attendance which were well attended even with increased competition and some negative comments from other sessions. We debunked many of those statements with great presentations and tactical information.

    We are proud of our attendees because they asked more questions about specific social platforms and strategies. They are past the whole “how do I tweet?” thing.  Now they want to know how do I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for engagement. They wanted to know drive the conversation to employees and perspective employees via the various social media networks. They asked questions about the demographics of each network so they can figure the best plan of action for their company.

    This is refreshing because the attendees are ready to get social. The old way of doing things is dead. Now HR is ready to become a major player in the social media game. We are finally catching up to the earlier adopters of social and it feels good.

    So the take away from this for conference planners is thus.  We must continue to include training and education on social media as part of HR conferences. While there is more interest and more activity in social media as an HR tool the training and support must continue.  There are still those out there who are fear mongering and wanting to shut down social media“ as an HR tool.  Carry on!

    Written by Chris Fields and Dave Ryan

  • A Necessary Evil – Book Review

    Book coverWhen you first open a new book, you wonder where it is going to go.  Well  “A Necessary Evil” was no different, but this work took a very different twist compared to any book I have ever read. First of all, I had met the author, Aliah Wright before I undertook to read the book.  Naturally I was excited to hear what she had to say.

    The next quirk began on page two, I actually knew a person (Janine Truitt) who is being quoted.  This trend continued throughout the book,  All of the people quote, referenced, or otherwise mentioned in the book are REAL PEOPLE, many of whom I have met, and would consider them friends.  While this may be amusing to me, I suppose that is not really enough to get anyone to buy the book.  So I need to delve into the content and the material covered in the book.
    I found the book to be an excellent introduction into social media use in the workplace.  It is directed at people who would like to, or who need to learn more about social media use in the workplace. So if you come down in the camp of shut it down, lock it down and don’t allow anyone to use Facebook or text at work, save your money and just continue with your head in the sand, we will see how that works out for you long term, ugh!
    But if you are interested in learning about how to manage your way through some of the conundrums that social media will present the book is a quick read and an excellent resource.  Ms. Wright calls on people who actually deal with these issues routinely.
    On page 99,  we hear from Paul Smith, a working HR professional. Paul talks about his views on use of social media in the workplace.  Paul deals with this  matter week in and week out.  Paul represents his organization in developing sound policies to deal with social media use at work.  His views are pragmatic and practical, and if you want to know more you could find Paul on twitter, on Facebook or on his blog and without a doubt he will speak to you.
    Throughout the book there are concrete examples of things that a manager should know about social media use.   Tweets can be programmed and sent out at later times.  If you don’t know this, Mr. Manager, you could end up with egg on your face.  I recall the first time I saw one of my schedule tweets flash before my eyes, I thought, that is weird, I just tweeted into cyberspace, but I wasn’t on my computer at the time.
    The book is well referenced and has a through index, which makes it an excellent resource.  I found it hard to put the book down.  I highly recommend it.  This should be in every HR pros library.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • BNHRC – Why I’m Attending

    While I am not a hugely prolific blogger, I do post regularly here and at the Illinois SHRM site.  I try keep my SHRM posts to business and HR related. However I do afford myself the luxury to rave out or discuss things that might not cut the HR mustard for a strictly HR related site here at the HR Official.

    Having said that today I wanted to talk about an upcoming meeting at the Bloomington Normal Human Resources Council (BNHRC) that I will be attending on Wednesday September 26.  I have written another post about this which ran recently on the ILSHRM site.  Today I wanted to talk about the how and the why of the conference (Social Media Strategies for HR).

    I believe I was invited, for a number of reasons, some of those are

      • I am good friends with one of the organizers
      • I am the Director of Social Media of the Illinois State Council of SHRM
      • I do know a few things about Social Media & HR
      • When I attend events I help promote them nicely on Twitter & Facebook
      • I have actually used Social Media in recuiting in a small 1-2 person HR Shop
      • I am a good networker and help people to connect
      • (Possible) I have a cool twitter avatar (thanks to my son)

    That the how, now for the why, why do I want to attend

    • I like to travel and it’s not too far
    • I get to hear Jennifer Mc Clure speak
    • I like to meet new people (call it networking if you like)
    • Bloomington is close enough I can recruit from the area
    • All of the people I have met from BNHRC are great
    • I want to support my friends from BNHRC
    • It is part of my gig as SM Director for ISC SHRM

    There is one last reason, why I, so much enjoy attending conferences/meetings/seminars. My reason is a stolen idea (just like we do at conferences). I once heard blogger and good friend, Mike Vandervort asked, “Why do you do all this?”  (The questioner was referring to Mike’s involvement in social media, SHRM, speaking, blogging, etc.)

    His succinct answer was this, “It keeps me learning?”

    I am trying. Are you?

  • Looking for me – Better Catch a Buzz

    I apologize, I have not posted in a while here at home.

    Why?  Largely because I am part of a team of 70+ social media enthusiasts who will be helping to cause a BUZZ at the SHRM Annual Conference in Atlanta begining June 24 and running through Wednesday June 27.

    As part of the team, I have been asked to put most of my posts up at the conference site www.buzz.annual.shrm.org.  So if you are into the HR stuff, that I mostly talk about here at the HR Official, you should probably be watching this site for the next 5 days.

    On twitter the most common hashtag for the event is going to be #SHRM12.

    There will no doubt be a ton of content on Google Plus and on Facebook.  If you would like to see my facebook stuff you can find me there at www.facebook.com/davethehrczar .  Send me a note, mention the blog and I’ll friend you.

    Thanks to all of you who look at this occasionally, I really do appreciate you giving what I have to say a look.

  • 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.

  • Meet Chester and Amanda – I Did

    Me. Chester Elton and Amanda Hogue

    While it has been in the bag for more than a week, I am still referring back to the recently completed SHRM Leadership Conference to talk about things that went on at the event.  I was particularly looking forward to the last breakout session of the day.   I was attending a session put on by Chester Elton on Team Building.  I had just met Chester at lunch and found out he was the writing partner of another author I had seen speak a couple of years earlier. Chester and his partner Adrian are the Carrot Culture – Think Orange guys.  I highly recommend their books.

    In waiting to hear Chester get underway, I sat in obscurity along the wall (close to an outlet) so I could cabbage on to some electricity for

    John Jorgensen, Amanda Hogue and Steve Browne

    my gadgets.  A  young man and young lady walked into the room  and sat down in the row in front of me.  The young lady turned around and smiled at me and said hello, then turned forward.  In about 5 seconds she turned back around and said in a confirmatory fashion – “You’re the HR Czar?”  I smiled and said “Yes.”    She told me her name was Amanda Hougue  and that she was HRAmanda on Twitter.  Bingo, the twitter handle gave her away, and then I made the connection.

    She was so cute, funny and energetic, she was genuinely excited to meet me.  So to some degree, or at least in this instance I had reached the status of micro-celebrity stardom, for a day, or an hour, or a minute perhaps.  I look3d at her profile to see that she had not been on twitter too long and so I understood the way she was feeling.    I too have met folks in real life, that I had first met on line and I was truly jazzed to do so. It’ s fun!

    Now the rest of the session was just an enjoyable.  Chester killed it talking about Teams.  After the session, people were coming in from the next room and asked what went on in here, it sounds like you guys had a blast – we did.  Amanda and I tweeted each other from row to row.  We tweeted to the conference and the world that #ChesterElton was rocking the house at #SHRMLead.  When the session wrapped up Amanda and I were lucky enough to get a picture with Chester, before he had to run off and sign books.

    I ran into Amanda later and she got to meet a couple of my buddies and now her new friends John Jorgensen and Steve Browne. Us folks in Human Resources are a pretty cool bunch – don’t ya think?

  • It’s Getting Crowded Out Here

    Last weekend I saw an interesting tweet that had to do with a podcast for the gang over at Fistful of Talent.  Of course I was drawn in and had give it a listen.   While it took me about two hours to listen to the 38 minute broadcast,  when I finally got through it I was most impressed by the efforts put forth by Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett and Dawn Hrdlica Burke.  I have met Tim and Dawn and have an idea what they are like so I have a connection with them.  I feel like I know Kris from his writing, and when he speaks he is pretty much the same guy that writes. He is witty, cynical, somewhat sarcastic and very entertaining.  Given all of the talented people they have at FOT there is not doubt that this will broadcast effort will be a sucess.

    This did get mye to thinking about what all is going on on here in the HR space of social media.  I consider myself active in social media, but not consumed.  On  a weekly basis I like to tweet daily.  I like to participate in the on-line weekly twitter chat called #TChat, which take place Wednesday at 6 pm Central.  Within the last couple of months #TChat, with the help of Focus,  has started to do a monthly live broadcast, while weaving in the so called channel of twitter into the show.  I also like to listen to Steve Boese and his weekly blog-talk radio show #HRHappyHour.  This takes place from 7 pm to 8 pm on Thursday evenings.  The show is live and consists of live callers, guest and a lively tweet stream,

    Oh and we should not forget the daily half hour blog-talk radio show of Bryan Wempen and William Tincup – Drive Thru HR. While I also enjoy listening to this, I often find myself listening to the podcast of this, as the events of the day often take presidence over the  show.

    I also enjoy reading blogs (there is a whole list of them on the right).  Some of them I check out routinely regardless of whether the posts end up in the tweet stream.  Then I am drawn into some posts by the tweet about the post.  It’s like the shiny object I can’t stop looking at.  Oh and I also try and post myself once or twice a week here and once a week over at ilshrmblog.org.

    I look at facebook about 6 to 7 times a week to see what is going on on this platform.  I get push emails and such from Linked In, and head over there when I get something, someone wants something from me, or I am trying to find someone on th LI platform.

    I don’t think my level or participation in Social Media is that different that many of the folks who are active in this realm.  But I am starting to feel it is getting crowded out here.   I think there will only be more and more things going on.  I see more on line events morphing into live evens.  A case in point is this.  Craig Fisher is taking his TNL Live network show on the road now.  He is bringing a TNL Event to the Chicago area on December 5th.   I see more of these on-line event tuning into periodic face to face events.

    This is where I meet up with my imaginary friends

    So how do we deal with all of this?  I spend a lot of time in the basement at my house.  Pictured to the left  is  my space.  My wife says I am going downstairs to spend time with my imaginary friends.  (This would be my on-line friends.)  Don’t mistake this,  my wife is very supportive and finds interesting what I do – she just likes to tease.  I don’t know where this is all going.  I do know that the space is getting crowded and more demands are going to made on a smaller and smaller amounts of free time. I guess the choices will just get harder to make.  No doubt more video will continue to creep into the social media realm.  I see more television style shows coming to us via the internet.

    I am sure there  will be new tools emerging that will help us keep up in the future.  We will need these tools because from my vantage point, the HR Social Media space is getting really crowded!

  • Blog Post Comments

    Since sometime back in 2007 I have surfing the net seeing what HR bloggers had to say about this, that and the other thing.  Some of the earlier bloggers were more like Ann Landers or Dear Abby

    Abby & Ann

    –giving out advice on how to get a job or when to file suit against your employer.  This is pretty much garden variety HR, by what we see in the blogosphere today.  This did little to make for a lot of interaction between readers and bloggers.

    As it is today, things seem to have changed.  Some bloggers are seem to delight in aggravating their readers or writing things that they know will enflame their readers.  When this happens readers are often moved to comment. I have wondered if this is their strategy to incense readers to the point that they are motivated to comment.

    Besides really jerking the readers chain what moves a reader to scroll down to the comment box and fill out the obligatory boxes and then share their take on the post. Having given the matter a great deal of consideration these are the reasons that I have identified that cause people comment.  In no particular order

    1. The post is timely and well written (kudos are in order to the blogger).
    2. The commenter is part of the bloggers circle of adoration.
    3. The commenter feels passionately about the subject.
    4. It’ s spam or the comment er is trying to sell something.
    5. You have been asked to/or feel obligated to comment on a friends post.
    6. The commenter is attempting to raise their Klout score.
    7. The comment er is not really commenting on the blog, but rather commenting on a comment.
    8. You see that a bunch of the kool kids have left their mark in the comments section, so you want to join them.
    9. The commenter is trying to drive traffic somewhere else.
    10. You spend way too much time looking at stuff like this –( But Thanks!)

    This was just an idea that I was kicking around with fellow blogger Working Girl  a.k.a. Laura Schroeder.  Laura has here take on this subject and if you go take a look  she will no doubt shed additional light on this matter.

  • My Circle of Tweeps

    I often date myself as I sit in my basement and create blog posts.  Today I am going to do it again – hopefully to make my point.

    You have probably seen a number of posts that I have written in tandem with my blogger buddy Laura Schroeder @workgal   and as of late the duo and turned into a trio.  My friend Lyn Hoyt @designtwit   has joined us when we decide to write collectively on a topic.  My meeting of Laura was rather fortuitous.  We met as a random pairing of social media enthusiasts though a program that Ben Eubanks   and Victorio Milian.  It has been nearly a year since we were first paired-up.  Lyn and I had met on line but had a chance to visit face to face this year at HREvolution. As a little group, a clique we are getting pretty tight.

    We do nice things for each other  on social media.  We re-tweet each others tweets, almost mindlessly.  We comment on each others’ posts.  We co-mingle our followers and readers with one another.  Essentially we each have some on to lean on.  This brings me to the dating myself part – please see the video.



    As a child of the ’70s I think Bill says it well, we all “Need Somebody to Lean On”.  You can ask the questions of your SM buddies, does what I wrote actually make any sense, do you think this is funny.  Blogging is someone of a solitary activity and it sure is nice to bounce things off of others.

    I have other on-line friends who are also most gracious and RT my tweets, read my posts and the like and appreciate ALL OF THEM.  But the big take-away from this has to be, as you immerse yourself in social media, find a couple on-line friends that you can count on and have those private conversations with, or bounce ideas off of them.   Writing and posting can be a lonesome activity especially at when you start.

    So build your circle of tweeps, and share things back and forth like I have with Laura and Lyn.   And yes they have both posted on this matter of on-line collaboration.  Laura’s post is a click away here – and Lyn’s is right here.  Please go over and read their posts on the matter, because what they have to say will no doubt be illuminating on the subject – and their my friends!

  • Social Media Which Medium do You Choose

    The once famous or perhaps infamous media critic Marshall McLuhan espoused many years ago “the medium is the message.” So if he was correct, which Social Media platform you choose must say a lot about someone.

    I can think of six or more platforms that I use, regularly.

    Twitter|Facebook|FourSquare|LinkedIn|Skype|YouTube|Blogging & other Blog Sites

    But I must confess, my real SM home is Twitter. I like twitter the most. I like the lively – yet concise dialogues that are had on twitter. It’s also a little geeky and dare I say I like that too.  I have met some very cool people from twitter.  And lastly I will RT my best tweet of 2010 – Ppl who tweet r fun ppl. I will leave it up to my OD friends to obsess about what twitter being my number one platform means.

    I do also spend some time on Facebook, not so much but it is a great place to connect with people.  I used to reserve FB for my “real” friends and family.  But have adopted the William Tincup philosophy, which is, I am who I am on any and all platforms.  Accordingly, I am now FB friends with many of my twitter friends and some of LinkedIn acquaintances too and anyone else most anyone else who wants to connect. My project social partner Laura Schroeder is a Facebooker dirrenet than me.  She has some other ideas on the matter in her post titled Do you Facebook.

    This now really brings us to the point where the lines have become very blurry.  I have met many folks via SM and have now become good friends as we say IRL (in real life).  I also have friends of many years who I do not connect with on SM.   I also connect with folks on LinkedIn and then that goes to Facebook and to twitter.  It is becoming a never ending web. Now that’s my web, Lyn over at The HR Bacon Hut has an even more complex web of social application – seriously!

    Having recently attended HREvolution I saw just how cool FourSquare is if you’re looking for the party.  People check in and you see where the action is, and who is there.   However the same info from Foursquare is often found bleeding over on or through twitter.

    This now brings me to my closing point, about the different platforms.  In my opinion, it is ok to connect one or two mediums occasionally to get a message out, but in general I think it is a bad idea and turns people off – especially if you have 3 or 4 platforms connected. Each of them is different and serves a different audience in a different way.  So don’t connect all of your social media outlets, because it doesn’t make sense to different groups on different platforms.   And if Marshall McLuhan was right – boy will you be sending some major mixed messages!



  • The Art of the RT

    To RT of not to RT That is the Question

    The way that most of these Project Social cross-post develop are usually just a volley of ideas. This, oddly enough is almost like an MRT (Modified Re Tweet).  Where someone says something and then someone says it again and may add to it <like this!  If at this point RT is still unclear –  I would  Google it.

    Ok so now that’s  the what; is cleared up, how about the who, and the why.   Why do I RT the things that I do.

    • · Because the tweet is an awesome 140 character bits of wisdom
    • · Because the person that said it is a sage/savvy SM person and I want to demonstrate to them I value what they have to say.
    • · The tweet is funny – odd- or otherwise intriguing
    • · I enjoy the blogger and want to help them spread their message
    • · I got a DM asking me to retweet a particular tweet
    • · I picked the wrong function on Tweet Deck and out went the RT

    Ok so in true inverted pyramid style, now that I have the who, what, why, where  it is now on to when.  RT  ASAP.  This is even more true if you ever follow any of the online chats like #TChat.  The tweets and the Re-Tweets come so fast you can’t keep up. If you have never participated one of the twitter  chats – load up the hastag #tchat in one of your search columns, and be on-line at 7 PM Central  on Tuesday for Talent Culture’s Tchat, and watch the RT’s go by.

    If you don’t think the Talent Culture #Tchat is for you  Jessica over at www.blogging4jobs.com has put together this awesome list of twitter chats. Do yourself a favor and check one out.

    Lastly how to re-tweet – most apps have a function, or you can copy and paste the tweet and put RT in front of it.

    That is the HROfficial’s take on ReTweeting.  Now there are a couple other folks I would give an RT to just because of who they are.  It is kind of an act of friendship too.  So often time if I see my friend Laura aka @workgal has posted something on her blog  Working Girl. I will give an old RT just because of that.  And since Lyn Hoyt  aka  @designtwit has decided to hook here wagon to this ProjectSocia train as well,  I will give her an RT for any of her posts over at The Bacon Hut. Both Laura and Lyn have posted on this subject or RTs so click on over and see what their take is on RTs.

  • 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.

  • Death and Social Media

    Within the last six month I have had three friends who have lost a parent. In each of these instances I have communicated with all of the electronically/via social media about their loss. While some folks might be aghast that someone would even consider “sending an email”, about a family death, I have found it to be much appreciated and genuine. Whether or not everyone wants to accept it, some of us can communicate pretty effective in this way.

     In the first instance, a friend of mine’s father past away.  The funeral home had some information about the deceased on their site.  I wanted to see this. I read the material and got a review of his life.  I had known him well and I was moved by the words and pictures.  After reading about his life, I was not sure if my schedule would allow me to attend the services.  So I took time and wrote a couple of paragraphs on the funeral home’s web site adding my thoughts about his life to some of the other comments.

     Fortunately I was able to attend the visitation.  As I went through the receiving line, I met one of the family members whom I had never met.  I introduce myself, and told her of my relationship with her father.  She smiled and looked at me and said, “That was wonderful what you wrote on the website about Dad.” 

     Ok I am not looking for a pat on the back, but when I comment on the funeral home’s site I was truly and honestly expressing my feelings, in fear of not being able to attend the funeral.  Whether or not I had met this woman, what I had to say touched her, and allowed me to share publicly how I felt about her father. Thus it was effective communication, and delivered in a respectful manner.

     Two other friends, both fellow SHRM board members, each lost a parent recently.  In both of these instances there were too many miles between us to practically allow me to attend the services.  I shared my feelings with both of them with electronic means. 

     Since that time I have had a chance to speak with both of them face to face.  Both were appreciative of the fact that I had reached out to share my feelings with them. There was no negative perception of the means in which I chose to communicate.  Given the circumstances I feel the communication I offered was more heartfelt, real and original than a card, or flowers, or anything else an “out of towner” might do to express their feelings.

     Going forward from here, I have learned that sharing your feeling with someone who has experienced the lost of a loved one is better than not sharing.  I have no qualms or reservations about sharing my feelings about the loss of a loved one, regardless of the means

  • Making Friends on Line

    Today I had a wonderful experience.  I met a family member of a fairly new friend of mine.  I met Jonas Schroeder. He didn’t have much to say to me as he was eating/drinking most of the time we were engaged.  Jonas is the son of my Project Social partner/mentee Laura Schroeder.

    Laura and I met through this on-line project put together by Ben Eubanks and Victorio Milian. We have been working together to teach one and other and to compliment each other’s social media acumen. The fact that Laura and I even met is somewhat fortuitous but it has been a wonderful thing.  We have talked and become friends via Skype, despite the 7 hour and thousands of miles between us.

    All the while we have been chatting and working on blog posts back and forth, we have come to learn more and more about each other in ten to twenty minute conversations.   While I knew Laura was pregnant, it was only about two weeks after she brought this new little guy into the world and then I see him on the camera. He is a handsome little guy.

    Laura and I are both normal people with jobs and spouses, and I think I have come to know her well enough to say happily married.   We enjoy each other company and passion because of our common interests in HR and social media.  This is now a way to meet people and make new friends.  My hope is that we will someday get the chance to meet in real life (IRL).  

    Given my level of involvement in social media I think I will continue to meet people in this fashion. While this is not the only way I meet people these days, it seems to be happening more and more frequently.

    In my last post I talked about a trip to Minnesota.  On that trip I connected with three of the people I via LinkedIn before meeting them IRL.  While this may be a scary thing to some people I feel it is just another way to meet new people and make new friends.  After all I am in Human Resources and I like people!

  • 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!

  • Takeaways from 2010 and Thoughts about 2011

    Today, New Year’s Eve day is the midway point between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2011. This is a great vantage point to look back on the year that is coming to a close and forward to the year that is in front of us.

    As I look back at the year and two things really jump out at me. First my oldest son graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineer from M.S. & T (formerly University of Missouri – Rolla).   Yes I am proud of him, but I am happier now because he is largely self sufficient.  It is my understanding that now as parent though I must pay for his cell phone forever, and car insurance until about age 30 or so.  The second thing is that I have become immersed in social media.

    From tweeting as DavetheHRCzar to Facebook to 400+ connections on Linkedin I am knee deep – and loving it.  As I speak about social media, I question why am I so interested or involved.  I now know the answer. It is this.  I have really met some great, wonderful, kind, caring, sharing, open, smart, fun people through all forms of social media.  It has been my good fortune to have an opportunity to meet many of these folks face to face throughout 2010, in attending HREvolution, the SHRM National Convention, the SHRM Leadership Conference and the Illinois SHRM State Conference.

    I can honestly says that everyone I have come to know via Social Media has been exactly who they were on-line and they all were good people.  The best tweet I put out this year was after the SHRM Leadership Conference. It was this… My biggest takeaway from #SHRMlead10 was this.  People who tweet are fun people. That’s it – and it is true.

    My involvement in social media has been my choice but I have had much encouragement and guidance from my good friend John Jorgensen, and I would be remiss to not mention him.

    Looking forward to 2011 I see new communities of Human Resources maturing. One could say that SHRM had a tough year in 2010 loosing two key leaders and being the butt end of many posts and conversations.   I don’t think this spells the end of SHRM as we know if, but I think we will see smaller, more focused groups begin to more clearly emerge. Many of the workings of these groups are already in place or are developing.. I am speaking of the unconference events, the recruiting conferences, things that all are becoming more mainstream- and less expensive than the grand-daddy SHRM National.

    A second change I see on the horizon is more of a convergence of the smart-phone –PDA and the personal computer.  The Ipad and the Kendal are at the forefront of this now, but I think by the end of 2011 there will be a major change with this and wireless technology.  I am not sure what it is going to be or what it might be, but the technology in this area seems to be advancing more rapidly each passing day.

    And lastly in closing I predict that Sarah Palin will be offered the CEO position at SHRM, but she will decline to host her own talk show  focusing on reality television personalities.