Looking For Learn In All The Wrong Places

I am not at SHRM11. And I am slightly bummed.

Surprised hearing that from me? Me too.

I am not one for mega conferences and expositions. The series of 1 hour shots of wisdom, blasts of optimism, or accounting of organizational successes leave me wanting for more. I have been a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for over 15 years and attended the 2007 SHRM conference in Vegas.

Although I found it to be valuable with a golden nugget here and a golden nugget there, for one reason or another, I have not yet made it back.

When it comes to SHRM, I've been looking for "learn" in all the wrong places.

I've been looking to the speaking podiums and, nothing against the speakers, but the whole podium thing still leaves me wanting for more. Listening to others argue or position for the latest and greatest in human resources has me squirming inside to jump up and shout, "Get a life, people."

So, why am I bummed about missing SHRM11?

It's not about podiums, it's about the people. People doing things differently than I am doing them, people doing things that I am not doing, people being people - helping, supporting and reaching out to others. People not talking about HR, but about themselves, their successes, their failures, their families and their fun. It's about discussion, rolling up the sleeves and engaging in small group, peer to peer discussions. This, by the way, is the beauty of HREvolution

What else is it about? As Jason Seiden said so well, it's about surrounding yourself with people better than yourself.

Many of the people converging on Vegas this week are better than me in many ways. So, it's not about SHRM at all. It's not even really about learning. It's about my need for connection and my commitment to be intentional in building and maintaining relationships moving forward. Truth be told, I've been rather lazy about the whole thing lately.

Now if it just so happens that in 2012 my intention to connect requires me to to relax by the pool some place warm with a bunch of smart HR Professionals, so be it, I'm there. SHRM12 or bust.

No skimping on my professional development.

#SHRM 09

Staying behind as the cool kids head to the Big Easy? Me too but never fear, we are not far from the action. You can follow conference highlights at the 2009 SHRM Annual Conference Blog.

And, taking a page from the Creative Chaos Consultant's book (read: steal shamelessly), up to the minute impressions from SHRM attendees is running below via Twitter hashtag #SHRM09 and Twubs.

That consultant has such great ideas!



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