SHRM at an Inflection Point – Day 1 at #SHRM17


I am reporting back from the opening session at #SHRM17. I was a little taken back that the opening presentation from SHRM leadership felt like ground hogs day from last yrs. opening. All the same introductions and highlights. The Foundation, HRPS, and volunteers. Lots of talk about agility and being business leaders. A few quick victories….

I would say it was a tale of two cities being played out on stage. Hank has done a very good job of quieting the critics the past few yrs. about his choice as CEO and the Direction of the organization. The organization has grown and improved their financials. The board has responded to the critics too. Betty, Brian, and now Coretha are all solid leaders for the board. Steve and David add insider street cred to the mix. For the first time I am not hearing much controversy from the peanut gallery.

But the world is changing at an ever accelerating rate and HR just does not seem to be able to keep pace. It’s the Elephant in the room and we all know it.

Kat Cole, todays featured speaker hit it out of the park, while at the same time rattling many in the audience with her brutally honest discussion of leadership in the new world of business. I am hoping the board and the executive team are taking notes. Our Society needs to be invigorated.

So what does the SHRM organization need to truly do differently to keep pace. Waiting six months for a new CEO does nothing to help the situation of playing catchup.

The new CEO has a tough agenda as Hank has set the stage for expected Success and change in the future. Can SHRM National leadership get back in touch at the local level with its constituents needs? And what about all the money spent on branding and commercials on CNN? Would we be better to have that money go directly into local grass-roots activities and programs?

I don’t pretend to have answers, but I am curious as many of you are.

2018 will be a year of challenge, transition, and high expectations for SHRM.

Hank, thank you for turning a critic into a believer. Johnny you have a big agenda and we hope you have learned from your previous tour of duty. Don’t forget the Mission to Serve us and Listen….



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