I had the opportunity to spend the end of last week in Sandusky, Ohio attending the 39th Annual Ohio SHRM conference. It was a record crowd (over 750 attendees) for the conference and the energy from moment one was phenomenal! Credit for the energy and fun goes to the theme, HR ROCKS, and its chief rocking officer, the conference chair, Steve Browne. Many of us in HR tell people that we too have fun (and don’t get believed much of the time!) and the group at the Kalahari resort certainly ensured that remained true as the theme was a focal point of the conference!
Of course, the purpose of our state conferences is to provide education so we can remain current in our field and help our organizations meet the business challenges of the day. There were several notable sessions that did just that! Mark Stelzner’s two (yes, he’s too big for just one!) sessions were both well attended and helped push HR toward being solid business partners within our organizations. His emphasis on business cases and their use was great and I loved his point that simplicity is often underrated and that one option when laying out a business scenario that should always be included is to do nothing and assign the costs of doing so to the case.
Jennifer McClure, a presenter at the HR Indiana conference just a few weeks before, also brought down the house with her presentation. One of the take home points that should be emphasized to HR pros everywhere is the importance of getting out of the office and learn the company through the work that it does. I know my time working directly with clients at my organization has allowed me insight that I would never get by staying in my office and looking at reports and the various pieces of paper that go across my desk each day. In my own simple way, her point that great places to work include trust, pride, and enjoyment of the work were good reminders that each person brings their own strengths to the job and we need to embrace it the best we can.
The final day of the conference started with an energetic Benjamin McCall talking about Leadership Development Programs. Something that resonated with me was that those in leadership or those wanting to be in leadership need to accept some responsibility for their own self-development and involvement in the efforts to grow. It certainly cannot be forced on someone. Since everyone brings their own perceptions to the term “leadership” it becomes much more difficult to define. Kudos to Ben for a great early morning presentation that was not only riveting, but full of substance as well!
With the conference being bookended by Simon T. Bailey (O’Brilliant one!) and China Gorman, attendees received good content throughout. I was pleased that so many social media “stars” were attending and sharing their knowledge as well. Congratulations to the entire Ohio State Council and the Conference Committee. It was a job well done and I would love to have you experience HR Indiana next August in Indianapolis.