Monday, November 23, 2015

SHRM 2015 VLS Wrap Up

The SHRM Volunteer Leaders’ Summit is wrapped up, and we are about to turn the page on another year.  This year I found a new and different SHRM.   SHRM is listening to its member and changing. SHRM members are not nearly as combative this year as they were in 2014.  So, IMO as we say on twitter, I think most of those who attended, came, participated, lobbied, listened and were energized, which I think is the purpose of the event.

SHRM CEO Hank Jackson at the VLS.
Gone were the distractions of the SHRM “Certification”.   Changes were announced to the Volunteer Leader’s Resource Center (VLRC), we saw changes in the name and the styling of the entire event now call VLS (even though the hashtag #SHRMLead) still remains, and this is strictly a personal observation of mine, but I saw a new and different CEO.  The Hank Jackson we saw in 2015 is the guy who runs SHRM.  He is totally comfortable with that, and that he has a bunch of Human Resources Pros around him at the events.  Hank laughed and joked with us and even cracked a joke or two when talking about problems.  He has assumed the role and it just feels like he has become very comfortable with his staff and his membership and his role at the top.

Steve Browne at the VLS.
We also saw at this meeting where our collective friend Steve Browne made the transition to the “other side.”  No longer is Steve a chapter or state council official, he is now on the board of directors of SHRM.  Those of us who know Steve are proud of him and look to him to share our vision of HR with the board.  I am sure he will excel in this role, and I wish him well.

For those who are new to chapters or state council operations, an appropriate amount of learning and resources was offered up. The sessions I attended were spot on and offered me a lot of ideas and ways to attack problems in my upcoming role as State Director. As best as I can tell from a show of hands, it looked like about 50% of the attendees were first time attendees.  The more veteran members could work on being a little more welcoming IMO.  And we need to get more millennials at these events!! (Repeat that last sentence!)

A concept of #HR two point oh or 2.0 was rolled out. What is it? I am not sure we know. Things are changing rapidly and I feel we are being asked, to be ready, to deal with these changes.  Tom Peters spoke of these coming days in “Thriving on Chaos” in 1987; I think we are there and HR 2.0 looks a lot like that.

For me thought the best part of this, and any other SHRM conference is seeing old friends and making new ones! That is simply grand and cannot be replaced by anything else.

ILSHRM Members in the Headshot Lounge
Like most of the other attendees, I am going to head home and pour this renewed vim and vigor into my role and do my damnedest to make #ILSHRM the best we can be. The event allowed me to spend a lot of time with my #ILSHRM people and build a stronger bond with all of our board members, which is great as I am going to need their knowledge, skills and abilities to move ILSHRM forward.

I nearly forgot to mention this, the Marriott Marquis is simply over the top - top notch facility.  It is a prIivileged to stay at properties of this caliber.

Lastly for me, this is simply fun, I enjoy the whole conference atmosphere (meetings, airport delays, drinks, sleep deprivation, smiles, knowledge, being out of town, the SHRM Store… you get the drift) and I think that is why I stay involved.  Being a SHRMie and attending these events gives me something I don’t get anywhere else – so I have to keep coming back.

This is not to be patronizing in anyway, but I also want to thank all of the SHRM staff for being so engaging and making these events the way they are. By reading this you know how I feel about SHRM Conferences, and it is all of the work that you do that creates those feelings in me – and I am sure I am not alone!

Dave Ryan ISC SHRM Director Elect