Session Preview: #HRPositive with Paul Hebert and Franny Oxford

As we gear up for HRevolution 2015, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the session leaders. Last time we talked with Mary Faulkner, an HR leader from Denver, Colorado. Today we’re going to take on the duo of Paul Hebert and Franny Oxford, a formidable (yet lovable) pair of well-known leaders in our space. Like what you see? There’s still time to join us for HRevolution 2015 in Saint Louis. 

Ben: So! Tell me a little about yourself. What do you do?

paulPaul: Consultant to HR on employee engagement, rewards, incentives and motivation. Self-proclaimed engagement “personality.” Co-founder of the #HRPositive Movement with Steve Browne. Founder of 50over50HR Awards. Semi-pro foosball player and member of Guinness world record musical chairs team (true story.) Co-author of 4 books and 2 children.

Franny: I build or align HR departments to mid-sized organization’s emerging needs or strategy. Today, that involved taking an engineer’s wife to breakfast to connect her with my US network, beta-testing a Train-the-Trainer class, meeting with a manager about upgrading her talent by letting them know how to win with her, rolling out a new hire engagement survey, interviewing recruiters, attending an HRIS demo, and writing an obituary. The usual.

Ben: What will your session be about at HRevolution?

Paul: HRPositive – how positive thinking can change the direction and opinion of HR. Why is it important and how can HR create more positive vibes around HR than the negative ones permeating the zeitgeist.

frannyFranny: HR Positive! People often confuse cynicism with intelligence, I do it too, sometimes. We think we’re in control when we try to anticipate negative outcomes. It’s lazy and keeps us stuck, but supposedly safe.The disciplines of gratitude, wonder, and humble joy are deeply powerful, and terrifying. We’re going to offer HRevolution participants the courage to lead themselves and others from that place. No guided meditations or dolphin music or other woo-woo will be involved, we promise. No one’s professionalism or dignity will be horribly mangled, unless they expressly request it.

Ben: Out of a thousand topics that we could see at an HR event, why that one?

Paul: This is the foundation for all conversations around HR. If we can’t control the mood around HR what can we control? How can we move the conversation away from reactive and playing defense to proactive and more offense.

Franny: Because HRevolution attendees can handle it. A lot of HR practitioners are not ready for this conversation. You are.

Ben: What’s one thing you would say to somebody on the fence about attending HRev?

Paul: Get off the fence. HRevolution is an event where long-term relationships are built. This is about creating networks not simply attending sessions. This is a “people” event first – content second. But both are a step above the average. The contacts you make at HRevolution will support your career for years to come. It is an investment in YOUR career as well as your ability to support your employer’s objectives.

Franny: Remember when you were excited about something? Work, your new love, a hobby, a new community of awesome, interesting people, a new church, your new phone with extra-cool features, a new social media platform, a promotion? This is all that combined. Even if you don’t feel excited today, you’ll leave WIDE AWAKE and with a new, tremendously connected, set of friends who are just as pumped as you are to Make Things Happen.


As you can see, you might also expect a bit of humor from this illustrious pair! Thanks to Paul and Franny for taking the time to chat with us about their upcoming session at HRev. Follow Paul and Franny on Twitter. We look forward to seeing you there and talking more about Positive HR!

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