I was lucky enough to attend HRevolution, this past weekend.
The agenda and the food were absolutely insane. I had six cupcakes in two days, and we covered
- HR Confidentiality
- Motivating Employees
- Talent Acquisition
- Balance and Meaning at/from/because of Work
- Healthcare Reform & Legislation (my favorite session)
- Social Media
- Generational Differences in the Workforce
There was so much more, too. It was a full day of HR geekiness and I can’t remember everything. At one point, I was talking about the inefficiency of traditional wellness programs while shoving bacon bourbon caramel popcorn in my mouth.
So many other great writers have written about their experiences at HRevolution, so I’ll just say one thing: HR has its hands in just about every facet of an organization. From R&D to Operations to Finance to Customer Service to Sales to Marketing, we are there as advisors and colleagues. This is good in so many ways because we are evolving and changing as a profession. It’s bad in many ways because so many of us are former secretaries, English majors, and cat lovers who are bad at math and have never assumed a formal leadership role beyond managing a small team of other HR professionals.
Yes, I’m talking about myself.
Lance and I were invited to end the day by hosting a joint session, which also served as a call to action for the HRevolution attendees. We made the case that HR professionals needs to skill up, tone down the exposure to social media and seek out traditional types of media, and learn different aspects of business by actually leaving HR and seeking rotational assignments. We also need mentors who aren’t HR professionals. People who kick ass and take names. One person whom I admire is Carol Bartz of Yahoo. She is tough, unrelenting, and very clear and concise with her language. She demands the best, she doesn’t tolerate mediocrity, but she is also known to hug her employees.
In my eyes, Carol is an example of someone who appreciates the complexities of business and tries to do the right thing. And if she orchestrates the acquisition of Foursquare, it will be something that the HR geeks and dorks of HRevolution can appreciate.
So I say this without pretense: HRevolution is the best conference I’ve attended in the past twelve months, and that’s saying something because I attend a boatload of conferences and I’m a major cynic.
Normally, I operate as a woman who wants to kill the profession of Human Resources and bury the body in a dump in New Jersey. This event made me hopeful about HR. Sorta. I’d feel better if I could get my hands on more of those cupcakes and popcorn.