Building Professional Connections: A Day in the Life Sunday

My down time (which has been in very short supply these past few months) is very important to me. I don't give it up easy.

My Sundays are very predictable - lazy mornings at home with the family - and I like it that way. Knowing that,  it may surprise you that that I am not at home with the family today. I am . . .  of all the places in the world I can be . . .  building professional connections at an HR conference in Chicago.

Actually, it's not that crazy at all. 

HRevolution is an event to allow HR professionals, recruiters, and business leaders to come together and discuss issues that affect businesses today.

I love this conference. I find so much value in taking an issue and hashing it out with a small group of people, especially when one idea leads to another and we end up somewhere unexpected. I don't always love it when someone has an idea I hadn't thought of or when their idea rocks a "truth," or something close to it, for me. But this is when I start to think - and grow.

I love the people. From this year's planning committee and participants to prior planning committee members and participants . . . we have some of the best HR professionals in the room today.

That bit I threw out to you in the beginning about "building professional connections?" Who am I trying to kid?! It's about me reconnecting with friends, colleagues and a room full of 150 forward-thinking, mess-with-the-status-quo people who just happen to work in and around the HR space.

Thanks to Trish McFarlane, Ben Eubanks, Steve Boese, and Matt Stollak for bringing it to us one more time.

Here are a few HRevolution flashbacks posts for your reading pleasure

Have a wonderful Sunday and go out and learn something today. It can be how to pick the best apple, how to use a Blackberry (@mikekrupa), how change a profession or anything at all in between - it's your choice.


Passion. Energy. Intention. HRevolution.

If you are losing faith in the overall smartness of the HR community, you need only spend 36 hours with the people I did this weekend and your faith will be restored.

I was part of HREvolution on Friday and Saturday. This was the 3rd HRevolution ever and I've attended them all. Why? There's simply not enough hugging going on in my HR world these days.

Seriously? Yes. Really. HRevolution has become the time for me to meet and reconnect with people I read, follow and think about often. Starting out with a connection as simple as a tweet, a blog comment or a Facebook like, many of my online connections have become my friends. 

HRevolution wasn't all social. There was a business side to the weekend with wonderful presenters and sessions throughout the day. I attended a few and the one I missed that I really wanted to attend was Paul Hebert's session, Designing for Influence. I was engaged at the time with the HR Slam consulting challenge with blue team cohorts in crime Bryan Wempen, Rob Lockard, Beth McDonald, Sophie Lemieux and Robin Schooling and I couldn't leave them in the lurch. Yes, there was a $50.00 Amazon gift card on the line for each of us but that didn't impact my decision to stay. No way, no how.   

As great as the presentations were, I did not look for, or find, my value there. Value for me was in all of the face-to-face, so great to meet you connections between my now traditional 1st day lunch with Joan Ginsberg we shared this time with Robin Schooling and Matt Bruno, my long awaited hug from Steve Browne and the #overlyemotional <please photoshop out my red eye> goodbyes on Saturday evening. Krista Francis recently wrote about authenticity in social media and the rubber meets the road over coffee, appetizers or a late night drink. You can run, but you can't hide at an event like HRevolution.

I left HRevolution with two thoughts. 

First, thoughts of the people I had quick few line exchanges at the coffee table, walking across a room or as a wave across the room. There were others I saw and intended to introduce myself to but didn't complete my circle back around before it was all over. Damn. Next time, more time, more intentional, more, dare I say it, circle backs and hugs. 

Second, thoughts of the energy. I have a hard time being passionate about HR and that's my own cross to bear but pick a session, any session or pick a gathering, any gathering and it's a no brainer, even for me, to be struck by the passion, energy and intention in the air. 

Passion. Energy. Intention. Now, that's the beauty of HRevolution.

Click over to HRevolution 2011 pictures by Monster to see some of the people changing the face of HR today. Hat tip, shout out and hugs to Ben Eubanks, Crystal Peterson, Trish McFarlane and Steve Boese.