Wrap Up of #SHRM18



As SHRM18 wrapped up, I thought about the event by listening to music on my drive home. I heard an old song called “It’s Over” by Boz Scaggs, I thought that’s it, it’s my metaphor for an event wrap up. However, the song is really about a failed relationship so that didn’t really capture the moment. 

Then it came to me at two in the morning the night after I got home. It is an old Steely Dan song that really captured the feel of SHRM 18 for me. The song, "Change of the Guard" -- that’s it.

While it's not a lyrical masterpiece, the song still refers to change and how it affects people:

If you listen, you can hear it
It's the laughter in the street
It's the motion in the music
And the fire beneath your feet
All the signs are right this time
You don't have to try so very hard
If you live in this world
You're feelin' the change of the guard

All the cowboys and your neighbors
Can you swallow up your pride
Take your guns off if you're willin'
And you know we're on your side
If you want to get through the years
It's high time you played your card
If you live in this world
You're feelin' the change of the guard

Songwriters: Donald Jay Fagen / Walter Carl Becker

Listen on YouTube

What are these changes you speak of Dave?  Johnny C. Taylor Jr. is in as the new CEO.  He is making changes.  And while change may be uncomfortable for some, Johnny referenced having worked for a company which once thrived -- Block Buster. It is now simply a notation of another organization that could not pivot and stay with the times. He doesn’t want SHRM to be one of those organizations, so it must change.

Along with Johnny came the biggest crowd EVER to attend an annual conference. The number that was thrown down was 17,000. That was attendees, and did not include vendor staffs, presenters, support staff and others. Also noteworthy in that number is the number of folks who were international attendees. There were nearly 200 folks from Korea. I met and talked with people from England, Australia, Italy, India and Germany. Is the SHRM Annual Conference going to become a major international event?  Don’t be surprised. Change number two.

I was fortunate enough to be part of the SHRM18 Blogger team again this year. It too is changing. This year it was bigger and looked a lot, um, younger dare I say. One day, I ran into an old friend and long-time acquaintance in the bloggers lounge, Jon Ingham, and he asked me “Where are all of the old guys?” The team itself is morphing we have a few serious podcasters like Joey Price and Jon Thurmond/Wendy Dailey who are showing us how this medium is being mastered. Change number three.

What else, Twitter Chats have come of age. There was a time where this was just a community of geeks intent on playing with their toys and pretending like they were changing the world. Well they did. Twitter chats are now world-wide forums for discussion on both very narrow and very broad topics. If you do not participate in one, I suggest that you check this out. Even, if this means being a creeper, or a looker who doesn’t share or create content. There are people learning and engaging in so many ways via chats it literally boggles my mind.  Where to start, well since this is the SHRM Blog I suggest you investigate #Nextchat on Wednesdays at 3:00 P.M. Eastern.  This is produced by Mary Kaylor and hosted by SHRM's @shrmnextchat Twitter handle. There are a lot of the SHRM folks who you find on the social media team who participate in this. Not everyone does every week, but do yourself a favor and check out this chat or find one that is up your alley. Change number four.

Lastly there is that change which will take place and be very dramatic. The thing is I can’t tell you what that is, or is going to be, but know that it will be happening sooner than later. So be adaptable, embrace change, be comfortable being uncomfortable, and love the life that you live, because before you know it we will all be on to the next thing, and another changing of the guard.



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