This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the SHRM Leadership Conference. It is a true favorite for me because it is made up of fellow HR volunteers from all over the United States !! I also had the chance to meet some great people from SHRM India!
What continues to amaze me at these intentional gatherings is that people still tend to run in the groups of people that they know. People stick within their State more than cross boundaries to meet others even though we are all in the same profession and we also have the commonality of volunteering!!
Fortunately, I have always believed in expanding boundaries. I love connecting with new people wherever I go and SHRMLead was a great opportunity to “reach across the aisle” and make this happen.
When I did this, along with my compatriot John Friend from North Dakota, incredible things began to happen !! People began to recognize the great things that bring us together. We have a passion for HR, people and seeing the profession strengthen and grow now and into the future. We also want to see it be relevant and necessary in all businesses and industries.
However, this won’t happen unless we start to realize that we are all in this together!!
If we want HR to be better – we need to be together!!
If we want SHRM to be better – we need to be together!!
If we truly want to be global – we need to be together!!
The only thing that keeps us from doing it is that we need more folks to reach out and be willing to connect with each other. We grow stronger as a whole when we incorporate the phenomenal ideas, approaches, strengths and diversity of our geography and our opportunities we face!!
By the end of the week I had been meeting and hanging out with people from Ohio (gimme since it’s where I’m from), North Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, California, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Montana, New Jersey, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Washington, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, and India!!
These weren’t just chance meetings or passing each other in the halls. We spent time together advocating on Capitol Hill, sharing ideas in breakout sessions, sharing meals and the occasional adult beverage, and laughing about the incredible field of HR!!
I’ve written that one of my favorite groups of all time is U2 and their song “One” captures it all – “We’re one, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other – Carry each other”
This week reach out. Make that intentional connection with other HR people. Join me in starting to bring us together. It’s going to happen !! And I’d love it if you were part of us . . . together!!