Tuesday is always the busiest day at the Annual SHRM conference with speakers, people rushing to exhibit hall to enter all the drawings, and the entertainment at night.
Jim Collins drove to the point that businesses is about people first and strategy second and to get from good to great, they need humility, drive, and innovation. He also discuss the growth and decline of companies. His favorite company was Southwest Airlines because they were aware they’re in it for the long run. They started with 4 cities when there’s a lot of demand and when they were efficient in their process, they could expand to other cities. Collins had great ideas, but it seem his speaking style is more of a salesman and blew me off a little, but he is a smart guy and made great points that people run things, but companies need to know when to hold’em or fold’em.
Remember I said nothing will match yesterday’s concurrent sessions that I attended? I was right. In the morning, I attended a session on Navigating C-Suite: how businesses can learn from sports teams and there was only one reference on sports throughout the presentation (mention sports owners hang out with Director of Player Personnel, not CFO). Other than that, he uses politics as his examples. I search him and he was more of a political junkie than a sports fan. I really think when he applied to present, he replace “politics” to “sports” to get to speak at the conference…and it worked, but his presentation was all over the map.
The other session I attended was RecruitConsult from Jeremy Eskenazi and it was a 180 from the morning session I attended. It was more fun with music and beach balls before the session and a lot to learn that everyone in HR (and recruiting) must be consultants and experts, not yes people or customer service professionals. Easily the best session I attended that day.
In my “Exhibit Hall” challenge, I entered 600 times (give or take a two) for a tablet and some other stuff and lost all 600…as expected. On a personal note, I was walking around to one of the vendors and someone over heard me saying that I live in Fairfax and went to Fairfax High School. Sure enough, one of the partners at the booth did go to Fairfax High School (she graduated in ’02, I graduated one year before) and we had a long talk about our days in Fairfax HS and our lives now. That’s why you talk to vendors; you don’t know what to expect.
Dice Blogger Party
It was great for Dice and SHRM to hold this event just for bloggers and friends. I wasn’t part of the “blog squad” in 2009 but between those years, SHRM has been trying to understand and grow in the social scene. When Curtis Midkiff arrived in 2010, SHRM was getting into a new area for the better. Curtis made an emotional and passionate speech that there are sponsors and there are partners. Sponsors gives money and leaves; partnerships are a collaboration between two businesses. Couldn’t say it better.
SHRM didn’t have a comedian as the main entertainment in over ten years. Jerry Seinfeld had a tough task to make most of the 10,000+ HR professionals to laugh. Not only he did that, but he killed his set. From coffee and 5-Hour Energy drinks to his family life, Seinfeld had nearly everyone rolling. It seems going back to his stand-up roots and changing his tactics has helped Seinfeld a better comedian than he was before his TV show. Now, is SHRM going to try two in a row for comedians? I just hope it ain’t Frank Rich or Dane Cook.
It is the last day of the conference with Tom Brokaw closing us out, a few more sessions, and off to our boring lives.