A Blogging Quandry

I have a wandering mind. At times, I’ll sit and ponder things just to work through different thoughts, ideas, or explore several angles to consider things. It’s not easy for me to hear something that is shared by someone else and instantly take it just as it was stated. It’s like looking at a painting in a museum. If you stand in front of it long enough, you’ll discover more and more that you initially didn’t even notice. If you listen to others as they pass by the same painting, you’ll hear how they take in the art and it may not include anything you witnessed or felt.

I love that about humans !! We were intentionally created differently. No one person is the same. As much as we’d like more conformity in the hope that we’d have less variety and variability, it’s folly. All of these meanderings have been creeping into my thoughts pushing me to grapple with this urge to respond.

Blogging is an outlet for me. It has been since I started writing on this site 11 years ago. What started as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law has become a blank canvas that allows me to empty my mind of the constant flow of movement and gathering of thoughts and observations. I enjoy sitting down once a week on Sunday afternoons to stare at the white screen and start typing. It refreshes and fulfills me.

You see, I was a post-early adopter of blogging. I knew of several folks I am fortunate to also call friends who had started sharing content in 2007 and 2008. I loved learning from them and allowing them to expand my horizon and viewpoints not only on HR, but on business, music, and life in general. Back then, you couldn’t keep up with the multitude of authors. It seemed like people had found a platform where they could share and reach audiences around the world. The conversations that had been taking place inside the four walls of offices now had an endless landscape that was no longer bound by geography, language or time zones.

When I joined in, it was exciting and the array of blogs grew, expanded and flourished. Unfortunately, that energy and focus has waned. I should have guessed this would be the case because every format of communication has a season. Blogs turned into podcasts, webinars and conference sessions. Some even became books trying to capture a compilation of posts like the old “greatest hits” albums you could get from your favorite musical artist.

I’m not trying to be overly sentimental or critical. As time passes, things change. I do have one concern though that I want to point out so we don’t revert to times before blogging.

Image from Editorial Cartoonists – Cox & Forkum

You see, prior to blogging and social media, the HR profession was barely connected. There were pockets of professionals that may have met in person in their city or town, but they didn’t have access to much new information. The profession was predominantly about compliance and tactics. You never heard about anyone who tried to break through and change this approach. It was like an endless cul-de-sac which looped and looped eternally waiting for the next legal update to be issued.

When blogging began, it was similar to explorers pushing past the existing boundaries and refusing to stay in the loop. I get the feeling now that a new loop is starting to form because the dawn of exploration has diminished. People are settling back into the pockets of their sphere of relationships and are starting to make smaller and smaller cohorts.

Within their group, they are still effective and engaged. What’s missing are the voices who are still curious, uncomfortable and disruptive. People willing to challenge the norm and seek new ways to evolve and create. People eager to keep the flame of exploration alive so that the “next” great horizon can be uncovered and developed.

This isn’t a call to return to the golden days of blogging. However, it is a gauntlet to throw down and not let our profession settle and step back. There is so much that is yet unknown. There is so much that is yet to exist. There is so much room to encourage, push forward and elevate humanity. We can’t fall back. We can’t dissipate. It may be daunting, tiresome and overwhelming to maintain the call to move ahead. But we must.

And, so I blog . . .

Share Stories !!

Do you remember when you when you were young and you’d have story time? I used to love it when my mom would read stories to me, and I loved doing it with my kids as well. I’m also old enough to remember the Bookmobile !! It was this giant converted RV/bus that would come to our town when I grew up in rural Ohio. The bookmobile was a mobile library where you could browse and check out books to read.

People love stories !! In fact, the history of every society throughout time survived by people verbally sharing stories until someone invented writing and paper. Even with this, people wrote stories down with the intent that they would be shared and not just written.

Ironically, it seems that now that we have technology which allows us to communicate instantly and incessantly, we’ve stopped sharing. We haven’t stopped writing or producing content in the least. The truth is that we are surrounded by countless blogs on a daily basis. However, the focus seems to be that people are just writing and posting their own content. Then it stops.

I don’t understand this, and I’ll be honest, I feel that my approach runs contrary to the norm. I think that great content (stories) needs to be shared with others. I love to see the perspectives and viewpoints of other people because I learn from them. My question is – How can others learn from this great content if you’re only willing to share only your own work?

Who’s going to curate all of these great stories and share them? The Bookmobile worked because it brought books directly to people where they lived. We have an opportunity to do the same thing by sharing blogs on social media platforms. We can bring the great stories being produced directly to people around the world with the click of a button. It’s an incredible opportunity to make sure that many people learn on an on-going basis.

Now, I’ve had this discussion with others and I get reasons from them about why they don’t share other’s work.  Some say it’s because their content helps them generate revenue or they have sponsors. I think that’s great, but there’s so much room out here for new content and ideas that you’re not impeding on others or losing sales by sharing the work of other people. You just aren’t.

I’ve also heard that sharing the blogs of other people takes too much time. That seems odd to me because it takes less than 30 seconds to share a blog and far more time to write and produce one. Trust me – if you have time to create, you have time to share.

This week I encourage you to start a new habit. When you hear or read a great story, share it. Don’t just enjoy it and let it sit. Think how much more information could be sent all over the world and get to HR practitioners and business people who could benefit from something you read.

From now on . . . share stories.

Carnival of HR: Make HR Better Edition !!

It’s time once again for the Carnival of HR !!  I asked people to submit posts and give their thoughts on “HR would be better it . . .”

I was honestly overwhelmed by the incredible response !!  This edition contains posts from some HR bloggers you see on a regular basis as well as some that are “new” voices that you need to take in. (Make sure you scroll through the whole page so you don’t miss any of them !!)

Before I list the links to these fab posts, I want to share how I’d make HR better . . .

Idea LightsIt’s simple and the Carnival is a great example.  I have this audacious goal to connect all HR people together around the world.  A great way to do this is to share other’s work on a regular basis as well as connect with the bloggers on purpose.  So, as you read the works included, follow the authors on Twitter, look for them on Linked In and connect with them going forward.  I enjoy each of the folks who submitted and hope you do as well !! Let’s see how they would make HR better !!

Gem Reucroft (@HR_Gem on Twitter) stuck straight with the theme and I dig that !! HR would be better if . . .

Doug Shaw (@dougshaw1 on Twitter) keeps things simple, yet profound with Three Little Words.

Keith Gulliver (@KeithGulliver on Twitter) follows suit with simplicity in Better If . . .

Kristina Minyard (@HRecruit on Twitter) encourages us to see if our perspective on HR is positive or negative in Pride and Perspective.

Heather Kinzie (@LeadingSolution on Twitter) jumps alongside and asks us to be committed in her How I Would Make HR Better post.

Justin Harris (@UnlikelyHRGuy on Twitter) asks folks to Recruit Different.

David Kovacovich (@DavidKovacovich on Twitter) wants us to have perspective on how policies affect HR in Is Policy the Enemy of Trust?

David D’Souza (@dds180 on Twitter) offers insight if you’re starting out your career in HR with Making HR Better (or not making it worse)

Mary Faulkner (@mfaulkner43 on Twitter) wants all of us to join in Making (HR) Leaders Better !!

John Sumser’s (@JohnSumser on Twitter) HR Examiner always has forward thinking posts like this one from Neil McCormick – My 2015 wishes for HR.

Jonathan Segal (@Jonathan_HR_Law on Twitter) shares his 8 New Year’s Resolutions for HR.

Maggie Frye (@Maggie_frye on Twitter) gave a step forward with the theme with her post HR Would Be Better If . . .

Dwane Lay (@DwaneLay on Twitter) moves us on the continuum of Resolution, Evolution, Revolution.

Nathan Hopper (@nathanhopper on Twitter) gives the theme a twist with HR – The New 4 Letter Word.

Robin Rothman (@robinlrothman on Twitter) adds great thoughts for Happy New Year 2015 and beyond for HR.

Jennifer Payne (@JennyJensHR on Twitter) is the facilitator of the fab Women of HR blog and she also has a look forward with 2015 . . .Welcome to the Future.

Julie Waddell (@jawaddell on Twitter) shares her insightful thoughts on I Would Make HR Better By . . .

Michael Carty (@MJCarty on Twitter) wants to see HR get more social on HR Directors need to up their game on data and social media

Neil Morrison (@neilmorrison on Twitter) about owning who we are in his post – It’s Not You, It’s Me

Joe Gerstandt (@joegerstandt on Twitter) asks us to be reflective on Start First With What You Believe

Heather Bussing (@heatherbussing on Twitter) shares resources and a broader perspective with 5 Books to Make HR (and Everything) Better

Sarah Williams (@TheBuzzonHR on Twitter) shares her view on How I Would Make HR Better

Ernie Tamayo (@ErnieTamayo on Twitter) breaks our filters with I’d Make HR Better . . . By Dropping the Millennial Stereotypes

Craig Farrell, a person looking to get into HR, shares HR Would Be Better If . . .

Chantal Bechervaise (@CBechervaise on Twitter) asks us to also simplify what we do with Back to Basics: Treating People As People

One of my fellow HR rockers, Peter Cook (@AcademyofRock on Twitter) puts a great musical spin on the theme with Punk Rock HR – A Manifesto for Better HR Strategy and Practice

Barb Buckner (@BarbBuckner on Twitter) shares really cool thoughts on her take on  HR Would Be Better If . . .

Liz daRosa (@lizdaRosa on Twitter) adds a positive spin on things with Let’s #MakeHRBetter

Joe Abusamra (@Joe Abusamra on Twitter) takes a talent angle with his post Stir the Talent Warehouse Pot – Nuture, Engage and Prosper

Lisa Rosendahl (@lisarosendahl on Twitter) wants us to look at things differently with Changing the HR Story

Neil Usher (@workessence on Twitter) has a manifesto that we all could follow !! – A manifesto for everyone

Elizabeth Lalli-Reese (@TXStrategicHR on Twitter) gives our theme a healthy spin with Start the New Year Right: Workplace Wellness

Mike Haberman (@MikeHabweman on Twitter) gives some succinct advice to us with Advice for HR to Live by: Just Stop It!

Ian Welsh (@ianclive on Twitter) looks at this year and ahead with How Can We Make HR Better for 2015 and Beyond?

Sabrina Baker (@SabrinaLBaker on Twitter) has an optimistic take on things with The Biggest Opportunity Facing HR in 2015

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell on Twitter) offers a great approach with Be a Lean, Mean, Creative Recruiting Machine in 2015

A fun and creative look at HR from Liz d’Aloia (@HRVirtuoso on Twitter) with Lead Like Carol Burnett

Robin Schooling (@RobinSchooling on Twitter) comes with one of our fave catch phrases with I’m from HR. And I’m Here to Help.

Broc Edwards (@brocedwards on Twitter) asks if it’s possible for Making HR Better?

Melissa Fairman (@HrRemix on Twitter) gives us The Only Quote You Need in 2015

Ben Eubanks (@beneubanks on Twitter) encourages us to Develop an HR State of the Union Address

Tanveer Naseer (@TanveerNaseer on Twitter) asks Did We Succeed in Putting Our Employees First?

Sharlyn Lauby (@hrbartender on Twitter) wants HR to Embrace Organizational Outsiders

Love Ben Martinez’s (@HRHound on Twitter) approach with 3 Words to Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions

Kyle Jones (@KyleMJ6977 on Twitter) wants us to Be Better Than Yesterday

Fun and different outlook from Peggy Hogan (@PurpleInkHR on Twitter) with HR Would Be Better If It Was Purple

Brad Galin (@bradgalin on Twitter) keeps things down to earth with Improvement begins at home!

A unique opportunity for HR from Steve Brewer from Burrt Jones & Brewer (@honestdesign on Twitter) – Why doesn’t the HR Department have more of a role in workplace design?

And to wrap this great compilation for this Carnival of HR, Carlos Escobar (@cescobar on Twitter) with an environmental twist We Need More Plants in Our Buildings

Make sure you connect with all of these great HR folks !!  I’ll be checking to see if you do because I want all of us to Make HR Better !!

 

 

 

 

Join the Carnival !!

This is the “post before the post” for this week.  I am hosting the Carnival of HR for January this coming Wednesday 1/14/15.

For those of you who are HR bloggers, this is a request for you to help me set a new standard for this great forum !!  Shauna Griffis (@HR_Minion on Twitter) has been the faithful behind the scenes facilitator of the Carnival for years.  She asks people to host and I’m GEEKED to do it once again !!

I have a theme I’d like you to follow, and it’s this.  Write a post on “HR would be better if . . .”

To participate do the following:

  1. Write a post, or share one from your site, that fits this theme.
  2. Think of how you’d like to see HR get better !!
  3. E-mail me a link to your site at: sbrowne@larosas.com and I’ll make sure you’re included !!
  4. Use the hashtag #makeHRbetter when sharing this month’s Carnival.

Now, here’s where I want to set a new standard !!

HR BlogsI think people are great at sharing their own posts, but we don’t share the work of others as much as we could.  I am a HUGE fan of other’s HR Blogs.  My Feedly reader has 150+ blogs that I read and share regularly.

I have a wild, audacious goal of connecting every HR professional in the world, and I’m going to get there someday.  So, I’d love to feature YOU and your site to the HR community.  I’d like to have the most posts ever for this month’s carnival, and I’d like to hear from my blogging friends from around the globe !!

I’ll be watching my inbox to look for your submission !!  Join me and join this carnival.  It’s time to curate and create community and I want YOU to be included !!

Is It Inside You ??

I love to write.  It’s cool to have a blog to make this happen.  But what if there’s more? Are there ideas that have been percolating and they are just aching to get out?

Have you read other’s people’s work and thought “I could do that !!”  Well, what hold’s you back?  How do you go from a wish and make it come to life?  What if you wrote an entire book ??

I have a few HR friends who have done this and put out some amazing content !!  I would recommend you picking up Dwane Lay’s Lean HR, Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt’s Social Gravity and Dr.Daniel Crosby’s You’re Not That Great.  The took the jump of making that inner voice public. All of them are great resources !!

Another great resource is the new book by Cathy Fyock and Kevin Williamson entitled On Your Mark: From First Word to First Draft in Six Weeks.  They provide the perfect starter to get your words down on pages and into a book.  You see, they wrote a book on how to write a book.  Brilliant !!

Cathy is an accomplished author, with this being her fifth book, and a fabulous HR pro.  I’ve known Cathy from my work as a fellow SHRM volunteer at the State level.  Kevin is an editor with incredible experience.  (His Style section at the end of the book is worth the book alone !!)

On Your Mark BookI loved this book because it demystifies what most would think is a daunting task.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a huge amount of work which takes intentional effort and discipline.  However, Cathy and Kevin give tangible examples and break down the process into manageable pieces.  The exercises at the end of each chapter will help you build the discipline you’ll need to create your book.

I’ve been seeing a flurry of blogs later that are saying that HR seems to be stuck in an endless loop.  The thought is that people aren’t coming up with creative ideas, but I disagree.  There is still so much to learn, share and generate.

More and more people are joining the blogosphere from HR.  It’s great to see new voices and I still make sure to read the myriad of posts which come out each day.  I think it’s better to be positive about what’s being said.  You can always learn from what others have to offer.

Make sure to get Cathy and Kevin’s book. After reading it you’ll see if you want to take that next step.  They make writing a book seem not only attainable but also inviting.  I know it peaked my interest !!  Now to get that voice out to see what hits the page !!

 

Load Your Quiver !!

Recenty a phenomenal effort to pull the HR blogging community came to a close – the HR Bloggers Network.  It was the brainchild of Laurie Reuttimann and I was fortunate to be included in this effort.

The highlight for me in this was to be attached to a group of incredible HR pros who regularly offer great content to the broader HR community.  I make sure to read each post these folks offer and utilize their wisdom, insight and advice in how I practice HR everyday !!

Too often, when people read your posts, they don’t take that next step to look at a blogroll or see what others are saying. I’m like most people and have my “faves,” but honestly, I try to take in as much information as possible because it allows me to be a better HR professional.  One can never learn enough . . . ever !!

QuiverI have an approach that I’d like to share with you.  I think HR people need to load their quiver.  This way you have the arrows needed in order to protect yourself, hunt for new opportunities and attack those things that need to be addressed.

HR Blogs are a great way to load that quiver !! So, this week I want to break out the authors who made up the HR Blogger Network and make sure you know who they are, what their blog is about and where to find it.  Please note that there are a myriad of other phenomenal HR bloggers out there, and I’m working on a way to feature them as well.

My goal is to reach the entire HR community !!  I know that’s a huge goal, but we are only better by being more connected.  Make sure to take this list of bloggers and share them with others.  Don’t just read this post and stop.  It’s time for us to arm everyone so that all our quivers are full !!

Now, the great folks (and friends) from the HR Blogger Network:

Laurie Ruettimann (@lruettimann on Twitter) – Social media pioneer who has an edgy look at our profession.  Always dig that she makes me stretch !! Her blog is The Cynical Girl.

Bonni Titgemeyer (@BonniToronto on Twitter) – Founder of the Employment Opportunities List and the TEPHR community. Great voice on getting employment right !! Find her at The EO List.

Elizabeth Lalli-Reese (@TXStrategicHR on Twitter) – Keeping HR strategic is always a good thing and Elizabeth offers a ton of insight and perspective on how to do this.  Her blog is Texas Strategic HR.

Lisa Rosendahl (@lisarosendahl on Twitter) – As an HR practitioner in the healthcare field, Lisa offers a grounded view on HR and on life !!  You can find her blog at Lisa Rosendahl.

Ben Eubanks (@beneubanks on Twitter) – Ben is the present and future of HR !! He offers incredible resources for younger people in the field.  His blog is aptly named Upstart HR.

Kimberly Patterson (@kimberly_patt on Twitter) – Kimberly truly takes a different look at HR.  She is very passionate about what we do and wants to make sure that we look at all angles of what we do.  Hence the blog title – UNconventional HR.

Joan Ginsberg (@JoanGinsberg on Twitter) – Joan is a truly genuine HR pro who always gives a genuine look at all that we do !!  That’s why it makes sense that her blog is titled Just Joan.

Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman2 on Twitter) – Bill is a futurist and the driving force behind UNconferences literally around the globe. He’s always looking for what’s next. His blog is Norton Folgate – The Recruiting Unblog.

Lars Schmidt (@ThisIsLars on Twitter) – Lars is all about recruiting, innovation and talent. He’s a compelling force on making workplaces better.  You can find him at Amplify Talent.

Melissa Fairman (@HrRemix on Twitter) – Melissa is a fellow HR practitioner who really has a solid handle on all facets of HR.  Her advice is practical and applicable in all industries. Her blog looks to mix it up at HR reMix.

Jennifer McClure (@JenniferMcClure on Twitter) – Jennifer has a great grasp on recruiting and integrating HR strategically throughout an organization.  She is contantly looking how to reach the HR community. Her blog is Unbridled Talent.

Victorio Milian (@Victorio_M on Twitter) – Victorio brings a cool vibe to all that he does.  He offers a great perspective to recruiting issues and opportunities mixed in with a great musical taste !! Find him at Creative Chaos HR.

Jennifer V. Miller (@JenniferVMiller on Twitter) – Jennifer has a focus on all aspects of Leadership, and she gets it right !!  Her insight is very applicable at all levels of an organization. Her blog answers The People-Equation.

Dan McCarthy (@greatleadership on Twitter) – Dan is another great voice in the Leadership arena.  His focus on making us GREAT is phenonmenal – and needed.  Connect with him on his blog Great Leadership.

Lance Haun (@thelance on Twitter) – Self-described “nut about Talent Management” and an avid NBA fan, Lance gives a broad perspective to all areas of talent in organizations.  His blog is Life Between the Brackets.

Matthew Stollak (@akaBruno on Twitter) – Matthew is one of the few HR voices from academia.  He is advancing the field and also training the folks of the future !! His insights can be found at True Faith HR.

Paul Hebert (@IncentIntel on Twitter) – Paul is one of the few solid, objective voices on the topic of recognition.  He doesn’t pull punches because he believes in the value of lifting others up !! You can find him at Symbolist.

Robin Schooling (@RobinSchooling on Twitter) – Robin always has a great tale of experience from her career in HR.  They are episodes that we all face at one time or another !! Learn from her at the HR Schoolhouse.

John Nykolaisyn (@CigarSPHR on Twitter) – John has a great background in both the hospitality and education arenas.  He likes to keep things fresh and turn others “on their head” in the workplace !! His blog is Fast Food HR.

Ron Thomas (@ronald_thomas on Twitter) – Ron is currently an ex-pat working in a senior HR role in Saudi Arabia.  He is a true global HR leader with an incredible look at all that HR does. You can find him at Strategy Focused HR.

Steve Boese (@SteveBoese on Twitter) – Steve is the strongest voice in HR Tech !!  In fact, he’s heading up the HR Tech Conference starting this year.  He also hosts the incredible HR Happy Hour blog radio show. Connect with him at Steve Boese’s HR Technology.

Tim Sackett (@TimSackett on Twitter) – Tim has a great viewpoint on HR in the field.  His no nonsense approach is refreshing and challenging. His blog is at The Tim Sackett Project.

Shauna Moerke (@HR_Minion on Twitter) – Shauna offers a bright, fresh look on life and HR !!  If you know her you’d see this is true from her infectious laugh to her healthy wit. Find her at HR Minion.

Tim Gardner (@TimJGardner on Twitter) – Tim brings a unique voice to the world of HR bloggers.  A self-proclaimed introvert, Tim has a thoughtful, in-depth viewpoint every time he writes. His blog is perfectly titled The HR Introvert.