Dispatches from #SHRM16 - Day One

Ahhh, Washington, D.C. The last time I spent a good amount of time in this city was about 27 years ago, so it's nice to be back in a great city attending the annual SHRM conference. The multiple landscapes have changed since I've been in D.C....geographical, political, and yes, even the world of work. The official theme of this year's SHRM conference is "Breakthrough," a sentiment that some attendees may feel is long overdue. Personally, I like the theme.  It's an easy way to remind us that we all must evolve, especially in the business of people. Alright, enough of the fluffy stuff, here are some of the interesting dispatches for Day One:

  • HR has moved from the "Seat at the Table" to the "Driver's Seat". Yes, it's a new buzzword, but at least this one is a bit more empowering.
  • HR has evolved into a true "Global Profession". I don't know how to feel about this one yet, but I'm leaning towards the positive.
  • I was impressed by Alan Mullally's story and overall delivery. I know that what he shared can seem like common sense, but let's be honest, there is a level of uncertainty with people that can't be managed along a critical path flow chart.
  • Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) shared during his opening keynote that there are over 5.8 million jobs that nobody wants. While that number is a big one, I don't know if it tells the whole story or the stories behind the number. I think as HR Pros we may have some hidden accountability issues there.
  • Mike Rowe shared some great stories with the crowd. I kept thinking it could have been a great SNL sketch: "HR's hottest speaker is going to tell us about San Francisco, his talk has everything an HR pro needs to deal with, Sewers, Popping Pipes of Poop, A puking cameraman, Rubber suits in the Tenderloin, and how to deal with those pesky vendor emails."
  • Mike has an amazing TED Talk (that's poop & roach story free), and I highly suggest you check it out to hear more about Anagnorisis & Peripeteia. Check it out here.

Based on that last point, I think it's fairly safe to say that this year's annual conference is off to a pretty interesting start. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go wash my hands with some really hot water...




For more information and to attend SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, visit www.annual.shrm.org.



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