2011 Strategic Advice for SHRM: Make SHRM Matter

Voice of HR invited a number of industry contributors to take a critical look at SHRM and offer their strategic advice to SHRM leadership in a web series, 2011 Strategic Advice for SHRM

This is a republication of my response posted on Saturday on the Voice of HR blog


So much of my day, I face more competition for my attention than I have time to give. Let's talk about competition for my attention from within my chosen profession - Human Resources.

I've been a Human Resource (HR) professional for over 15 years and counting. I progressed from an HR department of one supporting 75 employees to an HR Director with a staff of 14 supporting 1500 employees. My career has spanned private, public and federal sectors and is still going strong. I am a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Human Capital Strategist (HCS), I have more degrees than any one person needs and not nearly enough time.

I read. I write. I conference. I search.

I choose. 

My HR colleagues and friends make a difference every day pushing the envelope, generating new ideas and challenging the status quo. They manage HR effectively by changing human behavior and rally fellow HR leaders to develop workforce strategies to generate talent. They deliver on the plan, they seek out the tough questions and they teach. They are in the trenches, they are at the helm and they practice what they preach.

I follow. I lead. I listen. I learn.

I am inspired.

I am a card carrying SHRM member and have been for over 15 years. SHRM, at it's core, is technical practitioner HR.  It's a necessary and solid foundation that was invaluable to me at the start of my career. As a one-person HR department, I had SHRM on speed dial and the professionals on the other end of the line were beacons in the storm and my one-stop for questions. 

Not any more. SHRM is focusing on and meeting a need - but not my need. I am looking for current, relevant, and emerging ideas.

When I have questions or need information, I am online in business magazines, leadership columns, and blogs. I am in Human Capital spaces one day and Talent Management and Succession Planning spaces on another. I live at the Office of Personnel Management and federal HR sites. I seek out conferences beyond traditional and technical HR.

HR is a dynamic profession yet when I think of SHRM, I see a solid, rigid organization. 

SHRM, create a new reality. Start conversations and let them flow. Let go of being big, of being "the one," of being in charge. Collaborate with other organizations and do what you have to do to provide resources to your members- even of they didn't originate from SHRM. Encourage new ideas, let go of "knowing" the future of HR, and be open to the unknown. Restructure to be nimble. 

SHRM, inspire me. Be the change the profession needs.

Make me choose you. 

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The series started on last Monday and runs for another few days. The guidance is respectful, thoughtful, productive, provocative and given with the best of intentions.

Give it a read - all of it - and weigh in with your comments. You have a voice.