SHRM 2011 best ever!

Ok so maybe that’s an overstatement since I have only been to 2 other SHRM conferences but between the sessions, the keynote speakers, the musical guests, and the networking events I couldn’t have asked for a better time at a conference!


As I mentioned in my Renewed Love of HR my Monday was an exciting first (long) day of sessions. Tuesday and Wednesday weren’t too much different (I just didn’t start at 7AM). Tuesday’s general session with Tony Hsieh really maybe me think about delivering happiness in all that I do! It makes me what to figure out my core purpose (don’t we all) and live the dream. I then took a detour from employee training/engagement/management and took another session  on compensation. This time it was about how to deliver the message, both to your leaders and supervisors, and to employees. I am very impressed with Stacey Carroll’s presentation skills and content. She wasn’t your average speaker that read her slides. Instead she was engaging, took questions and interacted with the audience throughout the program. I then went to a session that I thought was going to be on HR metrics but it really turned out to be so much more. Shane Yount was a dynamic speak roving the audience. He talked about how most training today doesn’t really work. And you know what he is probably right! If you training isn’t making a difference on the bottom line why are you doing it. Stop training on personality and start training on process and purpose!


Tuesday’s highlight of course (although not related to professional development) was Keith Urban! He was a huge hit with the SHRMy peeps! I was impressed with his stage presence (as usual) and the way the crowd actually connected with him. It was awesome when he brought 3 conference attendees on stage to sing with him. If that was me I might have passed out right there! I don’t think I could have handled that. He rocked for almost 2 hours (way more than the scheduled time) and it was worth every minute. My country night didn’t end there…we made a trip over to Toby Keith’s restaurant “I Love This Bar”.


Up and early on Wednesday to pack and get ready for the trip home. First stop was the convention center to see Michael J Fox talk and inspire the audience. He actually brought a tear to my eye at a few points. But his main point of the session was don’t play on the end result. He can change many things in life, but he can’t change he has Parkinsons, however he doesn’t let that define him!


I then attended 2 more sessions, both good for Wednesday sessions since so many people have left by then. I enjoyed thinking about the balance sheet and income statement in a new way. Yes I did just say I enjoyed finance! I know a lightening bolt will now strike me down.


So folks, there is  quick summary of SHRM 2011! If you were there share your thoughts, if you weren’t tell me what you would like to know and I can see if I can share it.

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renewed love of HR

Not that I actually had fallen out of love with HR, but being surround by nearly 15,000 hr professionals creates a buzz like not many things!


Perhaps lately that might not be true since I saw U2 last week and Garth Brooks on Saturday (review later), but really I am loving the energy from just 1 full day of HR sessions! I got my bum out of bed for the first 7AM session and hit the ground running. Talent Anarchy, with Joe and Jason, was a great way to start the day and I am now pondering my social capital, and realizing I need to be better at the follow up. I make pretty good first connections, but the staying in touch over time for me is just hard!


Then Arianna Huffington was was our keynote speaker for the morning session…she was AWESOME! I enjoyed her candor with the audience, and would love to create nap rooms in my organization (as well as many other great ideas). She also a new love of mine the PATCH news sites, we have a local Columbia Patch. Walking around the exhibit hall I actually made a few new connections to not just companies but people looking for the same things I am in their HR departments.


The 2PM session was a bit of a disappointment (I took a few notes on employee engagement, but didn’t really learn anything). My late 4PM session on training your front line managers on business practices was really informative and actually gives me a new way to look at some of the training I want to do with our employees. I have a great master plan for the next year for training and now I am even more excited to implement!


So yes peeps, coming to SHRM (even in Vegas) I am actually learning a few great things I and I have already started to implement, which really is all we want from a conference, things we can do NOW!


But no fun in Vegas would just be wrong, so out tonight to see Natasha Bedingfield, courtesy of Monster and Eric Winegardner.

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BGR Review

So i used my groupon today to try out the BGR restaurant in Columbia. I enjoyed the meal I like to call dunch, you know that weird time between lunch and dinner. I guess you could call it supper (isn’t that what our grandparents used to do)?


I ordered the regular burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and onions. I also figured I would try the roasted garlic fries . . . here’s what my dunch looked like:

So now I am sure you want to know what I thought. The burger was very tasty, quite juicy meat (i ordered it medium) and the vadalia onions were grilled to perfect caramelized sweetness.The fries on the other hand weren’t anything special, and for just over $3 probably not worth a repeat. The burger was yummy though so I may be back but over $7 for just a burger with no real frills or service is a bit pricey.


I did enjoy the neat soda machine, it looks very eco friendly. It’s digital and they allow you to touch the screen to choose a soda type, including light lemonade and water. You then put your cup under the dispenser and press start . . . super cool!

Be bold or fly under the radar?

So that question is so vague, but so pertinent to life sometimes . . . many of you are reading my blog and I don’t know you, so take a minute, BE BOLD and introduce yourself.

You have read about my trials, tribulations, and adventures (more to come, including a review of U2 from Wednesday night) and I would love to hear from you. How do you fly under the radar in life, professionally or personally, and how are you BOLD? Share with me!

So what’s this all about you may ask . . . well peeps, both professionally and personally I lately have made conscious decisions to choose either path. Sometimes I wish I chose the other, but I know that I can’t always be BOLD, especially if I want to keep my job (which I do) and sometimes you have to be BOLD before you get squashed like a bug.

simple thursdays

I used to be pretty good about updating on simple pleasure Thursdays, but sadly I didn’t get to it…so late is better than never right?


My simple pleasure is being single!


I know many people actually hate this, but honestly I don’t mind it most of the time. And in the next few weeks it’s going to prove very helpful. I started Wednesday with seeing U2 in Baltimore….than I have Garth Brooks and Keith Urban planned after that. So I get to enjoy the love of live music….and if I wasn’t single I know that enjoying all of these events may be much more difficult.


I am out exploring the world!


What is your simple pleasure? What are you exploring?