What I Did Yesterday
Yesterday was the big day. I had the pleasure of speaking to my fellow HR peeps at our monthly SHRM chapter meeting. 140 RSVPs meant we ended with somewhere between 125 – 130 attendees, so it was a superbly attended meeting. While there were a few vendors, attorneys, professors and other assorted guests sprinkled throughout the room, the vast majority were TRENCH HR pros. I like to think the topic was a draw, but I’m also realistic enough to know that some folks came primarily to receive the 1.0 hour of HRCI recertification credit we had obtained. Extra coolness was achieved by the fact that my CEO surprised me with her attendance (how awesome is THAT?) and several friends (and one of the founders) of the 200+ member Baton Rouge Social Media Association came out for support.
It’s always fascinating to observe the audience as the speaker/facilitator. Are they intrigued or are their minds wandering? Is there a vast amount of table chit-chat occurring or is their attention with you? Their inattentiveness COULD be due to the fact that you just plain suck as a speaker. It could also be due to the fact that your topic or content is boring, not of interest, or viewed as wholly irrelevant.
So how did we do yesterday? Well…I’m very pleased to report that the group was attentive, alert and at a few points, I believe I almost saw a jaw or two unhinged. I accomplished all I set out to do – provide awareness of how social media is providing us with new ways to:
- access and share information and resources
- be a savvy partner within your organization
- be a SMART and relevent HR professional
We talked about leveraging the power of people (isn’t that what HR is all about??) and using collaboration and technology to be successful in today’s economy. I posed the question “why are so many of us still operating with an HR model better suited to the industrial economy?”
We didn’t talk about policies; we didn’t look at Tweetdeck or a LinkedIn profile; we didn’t discuss “how-to.” We talked ideas and concepts and opportunities. I planted, hopefully, some seeds of curiosity. Based upon follow-up conversations, phone calls and emails from people who were there, I think that’s precisely what I did.
So what are the next steps? I’m planning to set up a lunch hour session in an available conference room so that anyone interested in a follow-up “how to get started” technical overview can come and dabble and ask questions about setting up profiles and creating a Twitter account. I’m working with the chapter to set up a chapter Blog and will work to coordinate a group of contributors who wish to post content. I intend to have a number of follow-up one-on-one conversations with my HR friends – I saw lightbulbs go off, I saw interest, and I saw realization. The journey has begun.