#SHRM19 Interview with Joseph “Joe” Beachboard of Ogletree Deakins


I had the privilege of chatting with Joseph “Joe” Beachboard of Ogletree Deakins law firm (who I have known for over 15 years) about his upcoming 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition Mega session “Changing the Culture, Not Checking the Box: Management Training in Today’s Workplace” on Monday, June 24 at 4:15 p.m.

Joe is one of the most entertaining legal eagles that I know. I asked him to tell me a little about himself to introduce him to #SHRM19 attendees and the first thing that he said was that he loves to entertain his audiences. He feels that lawyer presentations can and should be enjoyable as well as educational. Having attended many of his presentations, I totally agree that he has the gift of making dry legal information a lot of fun. Joe has so much knowledge to impart to the HR world from a personal and legal perspective. I love that he is branching out from legal topics and will be discussing company culture and the need for solid management training.

Joe has been speaking at the SHRM Annual Conference for a long time and is on the preferred speakers list. He is a media darling and has been quoted in many articles and publications. He truly enjoys these speaking engagements and hanging out with the HR types. He has been practicing law for over 30 years.

You can learn more about Joe here.  

You have been a SHRM conferences speaker for many years. What made you decide to speak on company culture and management training?

I enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to speak at SHRM events. This will be my twenty-third year speaking at the SHRM Annual Conference. I have also presented at the SHRM Legislative conference for the last 15 years. I started speaking back in the early 1990s as a way to help HR practitioners understand all the changes that were occurring (including passage of the ADA and FMLA). Over the years, I have become passionate about workplace training as a way to limit legal risk and create a work environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. My goal is to help management teams understand what is legal and what is right.

Several years back, I started doing work in the entertainment industry – in fact I got my “big break” with NBC. Unfortunately, it wasn’t acting – rather, they hired me to provide training for everyone that worked on their television shows. This was long before all the attention on the entertainment industry, and it was very forward thinking of them to provide this learning opportunity. Today, most companies of any size are willing to invest in training. In fact, in my 30 plus years of working with employers, I’ve never seen such demand for workplace training. Not only does training avoid legal liability, it also creates a work environment in which everyone can be their best.  But you have to get it right.  And that’s what we will discuss during my MEGA session.

Are you excited that you will be giving this session in a Mega session to fit all your Joe Beachboard fans (I am one)?

This is my first Mega session, and that is both exciting and terrifying. This is especially true since I am speaking on something that is not a traditional legal topic. But I assure everyone that my years of experience provide me with a lot of tips (and some entertaining stories) on how to conduct good management training.

If you could give one piece of advice to HR professionals concerning management training, what would it be?

 Be engaging!!! No matter what topic you are discussing, if you can’t keep people’s attention during training you can’t teach them. There are a variety of ways to do this – not everyone feels comfortable telling entertaining war stories. We will discuss a number of engagement techniques during my session – and how you make the training real for your group.  Everyone can be more engaging, so I look forward to sharing some ideas with the group.



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