My Post HRevolution post

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Continuing the evolution of HR

I am just getting ready to check out of The Wit hotel in downtown Chicago now that the curtain has come down on HRevolution 2010.  I am not going to rehash all the sessions.  I am not going to try and detail all the awesome conversations and personal connections I got to make or renew.  Those mostly speak for themselves.   So, what do I have to say?

The upside

There was a lot of upside to this conference.   Like what?   Well, like:

  • unparalleled opportunities to network across the HR space
  • vibrant locations, including downtown Chciago, the gorgeous meeting space at Catalyst Ranch, and the aforementioned the Wit hotel
  • a great mix of track topics and track leaders that resulted in good discussions
  • an ambitious atempt to extend the conference experience and the learning opportunities beyond the day of the conference

I am thrilled to have been part of two tracks, one on diversity with Franny Oxford and Paul Smith, and the second on blogging with Ben Eubanks.

Overall a very good event with a lot of returns for the participants.  I’ll definitely be back next year, and would love to see the show come to Florida some time soon.

The downside

I am not sure that the event lived up to advance hype or my widely hopeful expectations.   To be fair, I am not sure it could have.   In some respects, I feel this morning like Mark Stelzner said he felt last year after the first HRevolution;:

“The event was great. What happens next?”

For some reason, I am left with a sense of uncertainty, and a general lack of fulfillment, and I find this incredibly frustrating.   Part  of this comes out my complete dismay at the news of China Gorman and her resignation from SHRM.   The rest comes from a frustrated hope of seeing some concrete actions come out of this event. It could still happen, but I don’t see  where from just yet.

Laurie Ruettimann and Lance Haun did what might be called the keynote closing of the event of the event,  with a track that was called Getting out of the Echo Chamber.  This track was intended to be a call to action to the people attending the HRevolution to move what we are doing in the HR/ social media space deeper into the HR community, or outside of our little echo chamber.  You can click the link to Lanc’s blog to see a recap of what they talked about and didn’t.   The presentation was good, but I came away from it frustrated.

It wasn’t the silver bullet I hoped for, and candidly, they told us (me) to do a lot of things I am already doing.     They also left me vaguely confused when they began their call to action with a disclaimer:  “We are not in HR anymore.  We are industry pundits.”     While it is true, it caused cognitive dissonance for me.   Sort of, I am not in the game anymore, but here is how you should play the game.   Personally, I think that they are both still in the game, but it is not my place to define their world view on the topic, but it does confuse me.

What’s my beef?

I am not sure it is really a beef, but I did have few things I would like to have seen.  Not from Lance and Laurie, but from the whole event

  • More tracks led by practitioners
  • More time to small group discussions
  • Less consultants leading the discussions
  • More  involvement of the crowd in crowdsourcing/brainstorming of the “moving HR forward, where do we go next discussion”
  • More attendee involvement in selection of track topics

All in all, a great event with an ambitious agenda trying to push our field in new directions.  It wasn’t a home run, but it was a great at bat, and I can’t wait to see what happens the next time they step up to the plate.

Much thanks to Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese,  Jason Seiden, Ben Eubanks, Joan Ginsberg, Crystal Peterson, and Mark Stelzner for everything they did to make this event the success it was!  Great job!

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