6 Tips for Attending a Conference ALONE

I just returned from a great four days at the SHRM conference, last week, where I was fortunate enough to meet several other solo conference goers. To that end, I thought I’d share some tips I’ve observed and picked up from others about attending conferences on your own.

I can totally relate to this excerpt from Peter Bregman’s article, "How to Attend a Conference as Yourself:"

“I often feel awkward when I go to a conference. Reluctant to sidle up to a stranger and introduce myself, I roam, like I did at college parties, self-conscious, seltzer water...



From Shakespeare's Hamlet 1602:

Heaven and earth,
Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him
As if increase of appetite had grown
By what it fed on, and yet, within a month—
Let me not think on't—Frailty, thy name is woman!—

Hamlet is angry at his mother for marrying shortly after his father's death.  He sees her as weak.  He generalizes the weakness he sees in his mother to women generally.

No progressive manager would say a sexist comment like that today. Actually, they might, just when they think they are...


#Nextchat Recap: Diversity & Inclusion In The 21st Century: What's Next?

On June 20 as #Nextchat invited special guest Joe Gerstandt to join us for an informative discussion on “what’s next” for Diversity and Inclusion in the 21st century.

In case you missed it, here are all the tweets from the chat:









The 'Get it Done' Strategy

I’ve read a lot of books on strategy. The best ones influenced my mode of operation as an executive of Jacobs Suchard, the maker of coffee and chocolate brands, Jacobs, Nabob, Toblerone, Suchard and Côte d'Or. I was devoted to master strategies and “big play” innovations that ideally position a company to dominate their chosen market(s) and enjoy sustainable competitive advantages. The philosophy begins with a mindset obsessed with the competition. It worked well for me in my 17 years at Jacobs Suchard, although I am the first to admit that we managed just two blockbuster strategic innovations over...


Creating a Global Learning Organization

In Peter Senge’s landmark book, The Fifth Discipline, he introduced the idea of the learning organization: “An organization where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together” (Senge, 1990 and 2006).  Senge said this was an imperative for organizations to manage the complexity of 21st century business.  He’s right.  I would add, however, that the primary reason that business today is increasingly complex is because the world is more interconnected. ...


SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition... Make The Event Count!

There is little doubt you’re already thinking about what clothes to pack for the forecasted weather in Atlanta, as you prepare to attend the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition next week.  As important as it is to know how to pack appropriately, you should also take some time to identify objectives and establish a strategy to get the most out of your time.

If you haven’t attended before, all it takes is a quick perusal of the concurrent session listing on the website to realize just how big of an event this is and how easy it is...


In the Year 2525

In 1969, Zager and Evans sang “In the Year 2525.”  If you are smiling, you too probably have looked in a mirror and asked: how did that happen? 

Did you ever wonder what the employment world will look like in 2525?  Perhaps the following:

  • The NLRB will help unions which are failing to thrive by trying to make employers post union-marketing notices to drum up business for them.
  • The DOL will create a smart phone application to help employees track their time so that they can more easily sue their employers.
  • The EEOC will
  • ...

HR Tools and Tech:

SmartRecruiters is a free recruiting software and networking platform that embodies the next generation of Internet recruiting. This free tool enables job posting and applicant processing on an integrated online platform, allowing organizations to manage the hiring process from start to finish. 

SmartRecruiters is integrated with the top free boards, social networks and commercial job boards. SmartRecruiters’ listings can be posted to niche job boards and promoted on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The platform’s recommendation engine allows users to optimize listings by providing them with reports on...


#NEXTCHAT: Diversity & Inclusion In The 21st Century: What's Next?

Diversity and Inclusion.  We’ve seen it grow and thrive in our organizations. It’s evolved from understanding and embracing differences to leveraging those differences to promote innovation.  A diverse workforce drives the success of our organizations.
But what worked 10 years ago doesn’t necessarily work today. The United States is undergoing major demographic changes, and technology and social media are making a global workplace the new reality. 
Is your organization working to ensure that its Diversity and Inclusion programs are ready for the 21st century?  Do your policies and practices promote an inclusive workforce by bringing...


The Expo Floor At SHRM12

This year marks my fifth appearance at the SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition. I am always excited to connect with great people and learn from amazing HRCI-certified speakers; however, I want to remind everyone that great networking and learning can happen on the exposition-hall floor.

When I worked as a Human Resources generalist, I was often suspicious of anyone who tried to sell me something. It didn’t matter if you had a product or service that could make my life easier — I didn’t believe you. I had this vague and naive notion that every encounter with a...