12 years

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Twelve years is a long time to do anything. For the last 12 years I’ve been fortunate to serve as a volunteer leader for the Indiana State Council of SHRM. In that time we’ve accomplished a great many things together. … Continue reading

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Yes, write now!

This is a pivotal week for us. So much to consider, to say, and to do.

I know this hard for many of you, but it’s so important so bear with me for a moment.

If everyone I know would take 10 minutes and write a letter, the difference that can be made is tremendous. There is too much going on right now in this country and in this world to sit and wait while watching it all happen.

Yes, I am referring to you. Take time, write, express your opinion to someone. Even if it doesn’t agree with mine it’s important to be heard.

So often we are afraid of expressing ourselves. Doing so shows vulnerability and that is a state that we humans don’t like. Too bad. As I have stated before, it’s important to become comfortable being uncomfortable. I am here to challenge you again!

Below is the letter I submitted Sunday afternoon to my Congressman, Fred Upton. Now, my representative and I do not agree on some things, do agree on others, and have had one very brief conversation while having lunch (on Election Day 2014) in the same restaurant here in Portage. Whether we agree or not is irrelevant. What matters is that I express my thoughts to my elected representative. There are too many important things happening to leave to chance if someone should think “I wonder what my constituents think?” So my challenge to you is to write now on a subject of importance. Be vocal, visible, and valuable.

January 15, 2017
Dear Representative Upton:
I write to you today as a constituent, an HR professional, and a very concerned citizen.
During the 1st two weeks of this new Congressional term my alarm at the future of this country has never been as strong.
1. The fact that Congressional Republicans made one of their 1st acts a proposal to end the current ethics oversight suggests that the priorities of Republicans is only to preserve themselves and not serve their country. I’m happy this proposal was withdrawn but still concerned that this was the initial thought of our Congressional representatives.
2. While the Affordable Care Act has many flaws and needs a significant overhaul, the complete repeal without having a viable replacement in place will cause incredible destruction to not only some institutions, but to so many families as they face the loss of insurance, the reinstitution of coverage caps and pre-existing condition clauses, and an acceleration of premium costs. I can tell you that premium rate increases, while still high, are going up at a lower rate than they were prior to the passage of the ACA in 2010.
3. Combining the above two items, rules passed by the House prohibiting the Congressional Budget Office from including any costs related to the repeal of the ACA are disingenuous and again appears to demonstrate that lack of ethics is rampant in the Republican caucus.
4. The needs of this country are massive and require solutions that cross party lines. I know you have worked extensively on such issues including championing the recently enacted 21st Century Cures initiative. I hope you will be a voice that seeks solutions on areas of agreement like the need for infrastructure investment, budget stabilization, and securing Social Security and Medicare for the long-term.
I am sending this letter to you directly and also posting it as my weekly blog post in a couple of days. This is no longer the time to be silent and while I consider myself a political junkie, my activism to date has been limited. I had the opportunity to visit your office in November to discuss the changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act and I have written a couple of time previously. This pivotal time is the start of not only my own business, but also an increase in my willingness to engage politically.
Bradley D. Galin, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
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Bright and Lively

Welcome to Allegro HR

Welcome to 2017!

The beginning of 2017 is a start for something new in my life. It marks the official launch of my new HR consulting firm, Allegro HR.

During the last quarter of 2016, there was work put into the planning, launch, and building of this new business and now that 2017 has arrived, the curtains are being pulled back and the official start is underway.

As anyone starting their own venture has experienced, there are so many questions that remain unanswered.  However, I move forward with confidence and an incredible network of people supporting my efforts!

Allegro is poised to focus on organizational development, executive coaching, recruitment and selection, as well as speaking and presenting. My website is active at allegrohr.com and I anticipate starting a monthly podcast within the next couple of months too!

I would like to take this moment to thank the many people who have provided guidance to me. So many of my consulting friends have willingly shared advice with me and have been so supportive as I have moved forward with this venture. Thank you all for your brilliance, your time, and the sharing of so many of your hopes and dreams.

Remember, the term allegro in music means bright and lively. It is my belief that HR can be bright and lively as well!

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Comfortable being Uncomfortable

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A theme that was highlighted during this year’s SHRM Volunteer Leader Summitwas “being comfortable being uncomfortable.” Three different speakers I heard (including two of the keynote presentations) used the phrase and emphasized the concept. It’s a phrase being used more … Continue reading

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Everyday or Extraordinary?

Is it possible that the things we experience as everyday occurrences are actually extraordinary? Summer evenings in my home had many of the same things that anyone would experience. Kids chasing fireflies, the music of ice cream trucks, and lots … Continue reading

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Over the last few weeks, I have been in several discussions about changes and the dissection of things that may or may not work. Each of these chats has included at one point or another a qualifier that we are different and that a particular change or process will not work because of this difference.

Yes, we are all “different” and that matters.

However, being different doesn’t mean being immune to change or needing to be adverse to trying things in a new or novel way. Different is not an excuse.

Be different. If something doesn’t work, try something different again!

While fighting the “different” bug, it’s often tempting to cite a best practice or exactly copy what another organization is doing.

Here’s the thing; we are different so some adaptation or change is likely to be needed to another’s best practice or procedure. It’s worth a shot and being open to different may lead to something else. That something is being better! This is always something to strive for. Better than we are now, better than others, better than yesterday.

Different is better. And better is different!

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1st days

Here in Michigan, Labor Day truly signals the end of summer as school starts on the Tuesday after for the vast majority of students in the state. It’s fun watching my children prepare for the year ahead in very different … Continue reading

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Like many of you in the United States, I attended fireworks with my family over this Fourth of July weekend. This prompted discussion among us about previous holidays and the traditions that accompany them. My wife reminisced about watching fireworks along the shores of the Wabash River in Vincennes, Indiana at the George Rogers Clark monument while I talked about the 100’s of fireworks shows I saw while working at Kings Island and the times when I had debris falling on me while trying to sweep up the trash from the masses of people who had enjoyed the rides during the day.

Like families, workplaces have traditions that people find important. Every organization I’ve been part of has had traditions that those in the organization find reassuring and contribute to the meaning they find from the work. While we often talk about engagement at work and strive to find the “secret sauce” that can increase engagement, we forget that our traditions can provide either incentives or disincentives to be engaged.

Way back in my theme park consultant days, a tradition we had on days for client visits to our office was to have our popcorn machine going so that the smell of fresh, buttery

Imagine your office filled with the smell of fresh popcorn!

popcorn would be present in the building when our client arrived. This was always followed by another tradition after the client left. That one was the making of caramel corn in the machine. Since it made a huge mess, that deliciousness was followed by yet another tradition, cleaning the popcorn machine! These traditions made for a great time (yes, even the cleaning!) since we all equally enjoyed and took responsibility for maintaining these traditions.  The cleaning, while not fun, was still an essential part of what we did to make working there full of engagement through tradition!

What traditions exist in your organization and do they work as an incentive or disincentive to accomplish what needs to be accomplished?

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Difficult to fill?

There is more talk at this year’s SHRM Annual Conference about recruiting difficulties than there has been during my previous visits to this conference.

We 1st heard about this from the perspective of Mike Rowe. He pointed out that we have 2.8 million unfilled jobs yet have record amounts of student debt piling up. Was his conclusion that we are training people for jobs that they don’t want or don’t exist anymore correct?

The Tuesday morning keynote featuring political pundits Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson touched on this as well. Both speakers talked about the rising inequality and the stagnant wages that many in our country are suffering from.  The startling statistic from that chat was that 47 percent of people who consider themselves middle class could not come up with $400 within 24 hours.

Do you want to drive a school bus?

My own organization has challenges with certain jobs. Number one on the list, school bus drivers! Even when offering sign-on bonuses, paid training to obtain the necessary CDL and certifications, and as much or as little work as one wants, these positions are incredibly hard to fill.

As our companies have gotten better at improving productivity, there has been a human capital cost to that. While we in HR talk about finding better ways to do things and doing more with less, there are jobs being left behind and these tend to be some of the ones that are hardest to fill.

So, what and where are the solutions? Is there one?  Based on the conversations taking place here in DC, no one has yet discovered one.


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What I am looking forward to at #SHRM16

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As another SHRM Annual conference looms in my immediate future, I find myself looking forward to several things during this time in Washington DC.  On the keynote side of the house, Amy Cuddy (author of Presence) is the one I … Continue reading

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