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!

As we gear up for HRevolution 2015, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the session leaders. First up is Mary Faulkner, an HR leader from Denver, Colorado. I met Mary a few years ago at SHRM and since then have had the pleasure of hearing her speak, reading her work, and connecting on the various social platforms. She’s a whiz and has some excellent insights to share, so we look forward to having her join us

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

Mary: I’m a talent strategist and business leader with over 10 years experience in helping organizations achieve their goals. After working on the Operations side of start-ups and small companies, I landed in HR by way of learning and development, with extensive experience in leadership and organizational development, coaching, key talent planning, performance management, business partnering, HRIS, process and policy creation, and instructional design.

In addition, I manage a leadership development blog (www.survivingleadership.wordpress.com) to continue the dialogue around the challenges of leadership – both being a leader AND being led.

By day I am currently the head of talent acquisition and management at Denver Water, a public sector water utility in Colorado.

Ben: What will your session be about at HRevolution?

Mary: This is in its infancy, but we recently did an internal customer satisfaction survey and got some pretty harsh feedback. I was thinking about a session around that – is HR ready to hear feedback? Are you willing to act on it? How do you filter through the info to find the trends vs the people who aren’t happy? How do you manage a team who works hard but got bad marks for customer service?

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

Mary: Because we keep talking about the need for HR to adapt and improve, and yet I seldom see anything about directly asking internal customers for their feedback. Revolutionary HR is a fantastic thing… but its success is often tied to the organization in which it functions. Where I work, the business isn’t as ready for new thinking – lots of pushback. I think it’s important to balance moving forward with keeping the business with you.

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

Mary: First, it’s small. There’s a real chance to have meaningful conversations with big thinkers. Second, it’s interactive – I love the fact that the sessions are interactive and that participants aren’t afraid to challenge each other’s thinking. Third, it’s short – people can stay focused and engaged throughout. Fourth, it’s fun. COME ON!

—-

Thanks to Mary for taking the time to chat with us about her upcoming session at HRev. You can find her on LinkedIn or Twitter. We look forward to seeing you there and talking more about revolutionary HR!

HRevolution is an event that helps to drive the HR profession forward. Sometimes that’s because we cover innovative new concepts, and sometimes because we cover topics that nobody else will touch. This session looks at a leading edge concept in the HCM space…

Beyond Social: The Rise of Workforce Marketing led by Jason Seiden

On-board employees to your brand, elevate internal brand advocacy, amplify everything?

It’s being done. Let’s talk about how.

Let’s build off this statement: if social media is a conversational tool, then the key to leveraging it for your business is to engage the people inside your company (your employees) in conversation with external stakeholders (say, like, prospective employees, clients, and investors).

But how? In theory, we all know exactly what to do: give employees a reason to root for the company, provide a model of success they can follow, celebrate their wins and talk to them about mistakes in a supportive manner, and generally lead them and then get out of their way as they figure out how to follow your lead.

But… though we all know all this, we also know one more thing: our companies don’t do this—or do this poorly. We set out to do all this good stuff, and somehow land in a place where we’re handing out policies thick with “thou shalt nots,” and substituting meaningful leadership with 1-pagers stuffed with generic “Top 10 tips and tricks.”

For 4 years, Jason and his team have been undoing this disconnect. Their secret: it’s not just about what you do, it’s about how you execute it. During this session Jason will share his model, unpack his data, and open it all up to wherever our discussion leads.

Sound like something you might be interested in seeing? If so, grab one of the last tickets to HRevolution while you still can!

HRevolution is an event that helps to drive the HR profession forward. Sometimes that’s because we cover innovative new concepts, and sometimes because we cover topics that nobody else will touch. This session will target the latter…

Not every idea is a great idea. Some ideas don’t make it to market that should. And some ideas should never be talked about in public. And you, HR professional, have all those ideas running around in your mind.

Queue the hipster intro music…

Matthew Stollak and William Tincup to the rescue. During this “groundbreaking” (heh) session, they will pitch the audience 20 Half-Baked HR Ideas. The expectation is that audience members also have Half-Baked HR Ideas that they’ll be willing to share. At the end of the session, they’ll award The Almost Award to the best idea. The audience should be prepared to participate and be entertained.

And who knows? Maybe we’ll actually run across a few ideas that will work… Here are a few sample ideas from Matt and William:

  1. People pay for feedback from a job interview.
  2. Borrow from sports and have a recruitment draft.
  3. Sponsor a student through high school and retain rights to hire him/her right out of college.
  4. Create a company that just cleans microwaves and does dishes at offices.
  5. Create an arbitrator position for performance reviews to act as an independent third party to make judgment calls.

You get the idea. Silly, but oddly workable ideas. Sound like something you might be interested in seeing? If so, grab one of the last tickets to HRevolution while you still can!

Laurie Ruettimann is one of the most-recognized names in the social media/HR space. From her blogging exploits to the incorrigible attitude she wears like a badge, we’re excited to have her at HRevolution. Look for an interview with her co-facilitator, Matt Stollak, later this week.

  • Who are you?

Laurie Ruettimann, SPHR

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

I am a writer and a speaker. I talk about Human Resources, career advice, and the future of work.

  • What is your session title and topic?

Pop Culture, Politics, and HR

  • (Only for co-facilitators) Who is your co-facilitator and why/how did you choose that person?

Matt Stollak. He was assigned to me because the conference organizers don’t know what to do with us.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

I didn’t initially submit to speak at HRev. I don’t want to hog the limelight. We have many voices in our community. I want to help facilitate conversation and sometimes I do that BEST when I am quiet.

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Is this Match.com? Passionate, opinionated, affectionate, skeptical, and petite. I like long walks on the beach and strawberry daiquiris.

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

I like gardens & guns.

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

I’m passionate about relevant and evidenced-based HR. What’s more relevant than politics? What’s less evidenced-based than bad political ideas?!

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

Life isn’t worth living without art, music, and a robust discussion of politics. And politics can ruin good music, destroy good art, and wipe out a vibrant economic climate that creates jobs.

Thanks for the input, Laurie! Looking forward to seeing you next week!

Tanya is one of our speakers that I’ve never met before. Everything that I’ve seen or heard about her is positive, and after listening to her on the HRevolution HR Happy Hour episode last week, I think her session is going to be fantastic. What session, you ask? Read on…

  • Who are you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] Tanya Barham

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

It’s hard to be humble when you’re bloggin’ straight out of Portland, Oregon (that’s orygun and not or-ee-gone). I’m the founder/CEO of a company where all of our staff work like little elves at Christmastime to transform our client’s workplace into a healthy, happy, productive place akin to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. Seriously. Now we just need Santa to hold up on the cookies and milk and we can declare that wellness program a success. I occasionally guest blog for Fistful of Talent and was a regular blogger on the now deceased Benefits Buzz.

  • What is your session title and topic?

The Fun Factor: Maximize ROI by making effective, science-based programs fun.

Do topics like “Controlling Diabetes Risk” inspire you to think positively about your life and health? No? Recess’ surveys of corporate employees show they want wellness programs that are fun and easy to understand. Meanwhile, employers want to reduce costs associated with poor health. Are the two mutually exclusive? Of course not.

In order for people to adopt lifelong, healthy change they must see that change as rewarding and do-able within the practical constraints of their daily lives. In order for health promotion to see results, an organization must use evidence-based methods, performance metrics, and incentives. Come to this session to learn how to manage wellness programs that effectively create ROI using: metrics, health risk monitoring, benefits analysis, and employee surveys, but that also support organizational strategy by designing, marketing, and implementing programs that participants see as fun.

This is a truer than true interactive session. Instead of big picture theoretical blah blah blah you will get a view from the trenches. Chances are good you won’t understand any of the lessons learned until the session ends.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

Steve Boese harassed me until I said yes. 🙂

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] Energetic, Nonconformist, Laffaminute, Blustery, Smart

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

[Tanya Barham joyfully proclaims:] I once worked at a resort in Mexico where part of my job involved manning roulette tables in sequin hot pants/

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

I think there is plenty of theory about wellness out there, but very few tools to help non experts get their head in the game. 60% of employers “do” wellness but 80% of these employers see fewer than half of their employees participate. That sucks. My guess, based on actual experience, is these programs could be doing a lot better. Since there are so many wellness programs out there and they are nearly universally doing so poorly I hope that anyone who wants to fix a wellness program that sucks or start one that works will walk away with a little more perspective and intelligence around this. I am a hater when it comes to ineffectiveness and I guess my passion about this topic is driven by a feeling that we could be doing a much better job of investing in our most valuable asset – people.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

No bandwidth = no results. Wellness should not begin and end with HR.

See? I told you it sounded interesting! Thanks to Tanya for her help and follow/engage her on Twitter @wellnesssucks as we close in on the event.

Dwane Lay is one of those guys who I’ve heard a lot about but never had the chance to meet. In just a few short weeks, we’re going to remedy that. Let’s hear what he has to say.

  • Who are you?

Dwane Lay, author of LeanHRBlog.com, Lean Six Sigma practitioner in HR, and all around devil-may-care nice guy. I like to list speaker, author and evangelist on my cards, and I think they are all true to varying degrees. I’ve been working lately on helping our teams think strategically about HR, really trying to think outside in, starting with our customer’s needs.

I contend too many people in HR design systems to prove how well educated and how well read we are, rather than striving for a straight line between the need and the solution. But there are also plenty of HR people out there who have never been taught to think differently about their problems. Rather than continue to talk about how they “don’t get it,” I’m interested in sharing what I know and helping them be more effective. Those are the thoughts driving the blog right now.

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

I spend my days working in HR Operational Excellence for Ingersoll Rand, which takes me around the world and down some dark, twisting paths. But the chance to help build our practice from the inside out is a great challenge. Since I’m a recovering IT geek, I’m also deeply involved in system design and implementation for the HR technology arena, working to make us all obsolete. I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.

  • What is your session title and topic?

Connecting in a Non-creepy Way. Ever wanted to join the party, but not sure where to get a lampshade? We’ll get you fitted.

  • (Only for co-facilitators) Who is your co-facilitator and why/how did you choose that person?

I am pleased to get to present with the lovely and talented Shauna Moerke and April Dowling, two of the most connected and least creepy people I know. We met less than a year ago at the HR Technology conference in Chicago, and they have been great companions in the social media world ever since. So we have some experience in getting connected with people without creeping them out.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

I’m excited to be in attendance, but I always struggle to decide which track to attend for each session. I figured presenting during one of the tracks would make my choice a little easier. As it turns out, I was wrong. Now I have to beg the other speakers for private sessions. (I’m looking at you, Winegardner.)

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Hey look, it’s that dude. (Contractions count as one word, right?)

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

I was, for an incredibly short time, the lead singer for a heavy metal band. I made it through almost an entire rehearsal. Also, I don’t really like heavy metal.

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

Social media is great, but getting into it can be daunting. It’s tragic, because the cost of entry is virtually zero. I’m excited to help some of our peers get started so they can add their voice to the conversation. I think about the people I’ve met online, but not in “real life” yet, and how much they have added to my career and world view. There is so much out there to be gained, I’m happy to do my small part to help move that forward.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

The preliminary agenda includes giving away an Oprah sized prize package. If that somehow falls through, I hope that we will at least help build enough bridges between participants to get everyone comfortable sharing their voice with the community. I want people to spend the next year making so many new connections that next year HRevolution is twice the size, packed with people who we all know, but have never met. That’s a nice thought, don’t you think?

Loving the quirky, fun attitude that Dwane is sharing with us! Make sure you connect with him before the event on Twitter if you haven’t already. He’s a hoot and definitely will be co-leading an interesting session!

Suzanne Rumsey Six Thinking HatsSuzanne is on my list. My list of session leaders who I’m excited about seeing at HRevolution, that is. She is running a session on talent management that sounds like it’s going to be interesting and unique. Here’s what she had to say in her little interview…

  • Who are you?

Suzanne Rumsey

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

Job: Senior Consultant and Director, Consulting Services for Knowledge Infusion. I also am a regularly contributing blogger at Fistful of Talent, and occasionally on the Talent Nation blog at the Knowledge Infusion onDemand site. I also tweet (@sbrumsey) on talent management, social media, leadership, and fashions at various awards shows.

  • What is your session title and topic?

My HRevolution session is called “Six Thinking Hats”, and it will involve participants wearing different colored hats of some kind, each color representing a perspective from which to approach talent management strategy. Basically, it’s about finding different ways to approach what often is considered an HR accountability. Our business partners need HR to guide the organization on talent management, but not from the HR perspective. The trouble is, we HR peeps often get in our own way when it comes to talent management strategy, because we aren’t able to get outside our own HR heads. This session provides some handy dandy tips on how to think differently.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

Last May was my first time attending HRevolution, and I loved it! The energy was great. My favorite session was one in which participants separated into small groups and worked through scenarios that enhanced employee engagement, etc. (It was led by the Rypple guys!). I liked it very much because it got everyone thinking about a situation outside themselves, about how to make worklife better for others. I wanted to do something similar, but also add a deeper strategic element to the topic.

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Tenacious, thoughtful, strategic, analytical, funny

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

I often rant about deep stuff and, but I am also self-deprecating (while I take my work seriously, I don’t take myself too seriously. Helps to have a sense of humor about the deep stuff).

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

HR people are so much smarter, and can contribute so much more to the business than we often think we can, and more than business leaders often think we can. Sometimes we just don’t know how to articulate how and what we’re thinking. I am passionate about helping my HR colleagues shine.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

That we HR people are truly able to think in multiple ways to impact a strategic outcome.

Thanks again to Suzanne for taking the time to get back with me and I hope you’re excited about the session she’s running at HRev! Connect with her beforehand on Twitter.

Mary Ellen and Charlie are doing a special “problem solving” session in real time during HRev. If you’d like to be one of the “case studies” for the group to brainstorm solutions to your problems (anonymously or not), email Mary Ellen at meslayter@smartbrief.com with a quick description of your issue, as well as why they should pick you. You could walk away with a handful of solutions to a problem you’ve been dealing with for a while. Neat, huh?

  • Who are you?

Mary Ellen Slayter: Is this a philosophical question?

Charlie Judy: I’m with her.

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

Mary Ellen: I’m a journalist who specializes in management and leadership issues. My current role is senior business and finance editor at SmartBrief.

Charlie: I’m the global director of HR Strategy and Operations for Navigant. I help our HR practice align with our business; I help HR identify and get all over opportunities to enhance our relevance to the organization, our leaders, and our employees; and I help HR enhance the delivery and utilization of the great programs and resources we make available to our people every day. I’m also a Talent Management Blogger under the alias of HR Fishbowl where I write about simply-engineering the practice of Human Resources.

  • What is your session title and topic?

Mary Ellen:: We are hosting an “HR Slam.” It’s like those poetry slams you drank through in college — but with fewer Doc Martens. We’re asking brave conference participants to describe an actual problem their HR team is facing, which we’ll share with the group (anonymously, if you insist.) Then we’ll divide up into teams to come up with solution in one hour. Teams will present their proposed solutions, and Charlie and I will pick the best idea. SmartBrief has a prize for the winning team.

Charlie: And by “problem,” Mary means it could be something technical, environmental, internal, external…it could be programmatic, or it could be philosophical. Maybe it’s about HR, maybe it’s not. But the idea is that the problem is dynamic enough – sticky enough – that only the collective thinking of a lot of really thoughtful, experienced, and innovative HR pros could sufficiently address it. It’s a working session meant to produce tangible takeaways. And by the way, all conference participants will have the chance to submit a problem/challenge for consideration prior to the conference…even if you don’t plan on participating in the track.

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

Mary Ellen: I like to provoke people.

Charlie: I was asked by Mary Ellen to help with the session ostensibly because she thought it was important to have someone who has the HR technical background to help facilitate. I personally think she asked me because she knew my billing would have a better draw. And I don’t really want “to speak.” I want to plant a couple of seeds, stir the pot a bit, but really focus more on getting juicy input from all of the attendees. That’s what an “unconference” is all about, after all… Right?

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Mary Ellen: I tried to crowdsource this answer with my friends, but their answers mainly seemed to involve booze and fried chicken. Pass?

Charlie: You’ll love or hate me.

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

Mary Ellen:: My undergraduate degree is in agronomy.

Charlie: I have an often uncontrollable desire to go off the grid…check out…disappear. Like grow a beard, change the color of my hair, move to an obscure island in Polynesia kind of disappear.

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

Mary Ellen: The results have the power to improve someone’s business.

Charlie: We all love to “think big.” It’s fun to theorize and philosophize and strategize and dogmatize. But sometimes how we execute as HR professionals can bring just as much – if not more – value to an organization. And while not the primary driver to what we do every day, pragmatism never-the-less plays a role in how we do it. This track will provide room for both: thinking big, but then executing with consideration for the immediate practical consequences.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

Mary Ellen: HR can solve business problems.

Charlie: The hardest yet most important part of innovation and evolution is execution.

Sounds like an awesome idea to me. I’ve been pushing for a “hands-on” type session at HRev for a while, and I’m glad Mary Ellen and Charlie have stepped up to the plate on this one. They are definitely capable and would be my first pick for a hard-hitting, fast-paced session like this! Don’t forget to submit your ideas to the team (details up in the intro paragraph) to see if your questions could be answered during the HR Slam session!

I met Kevin only briefly during HRevolution 2010, but I have been following him online for quite a long time. He has some amazing ideas and is someone you should be following if you aren’t already. Let’s hear what he has to say. This is a post in the Meet the HRevolution Speakers series.

  • Who are you?

My name is Kevin W. Grossman and have over two decades years of leadership experience in various roles including marketing communications, business development, employee development, talent management and general management working in the human resources and recruiting services industries, high-tech, and higher education. Many of you know me from my years at HRmarketer.com and more recently my short stint with the leadership development firm Glowan. I’m also a proud daddy of two beautiful girls and a happy husband to one beautiful wife.

  • What do you do (day job, any blogging/social media stuff, volunteering, etc.)?

Currently I’m consulting in and around my latest endeavor Marcom HRsay, which is an “open source” HR marketplace research and strategy site for the real world and companies small, midsize and the entire enterprise, focusing on what helps the workplace thrive and businesses grow.

I also have a partnership with Meghan M. Biro and the career, workplace and innovation community — TalentCulture. In mid-November we launched #TChat, a Twitter chat every Tuesday night from 8-9 p.m. ET that intersects at Talent + Culture. We consider all the things that make a best place to work, individual career growth, and social community development — ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.

I also volunteer for domestic violence non-profits and blog regularly about fatherhood and domestic violence awareness and prevention.

And I write a lot. Period.

  • What is your session title and topic?

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: People-Building Science or Leadership Development Witchcraft?

Fact is that the science and research behind emotional intelligence has been around for over two decades and gets more reliable and valid over time. Unfortunately there’s a lot of noisy schlock out there in the greater “people/leadership development” marketplace. My intent for this session is to talk facilitate a discussion about the applicable foundational elements of emotional intelligence and impulse control and why it’s more than just “common sense.”

  • Why did you submit to speak at HRev?

Because it’s one of the most progressive and important movements in the Human Resource industry to date — keeping the humanity in business while growing it.

  • What are 5 words that describe you?

Creative, Idealist, Adaptable, Student, Leader

  • What is one fun/strange/interesting thing about you?

I have no problem wearing pink.

  • Why do you think you are so passionate about your session topic?

Because as I began to dig deeper into the over two decades of science and research behind emotional intelligence, it aligned perfectly with my mission of mindful presence and personal responsibility. Being self-aware of my emotions and those of others and being able to manage them is an integral part of binding communication and progress.

  • If people only remember one big takeaway from your session, what would it be?

That you can and should take care of your emotional business throughout your integrated work/life world; no one makes intellectual decisions in an emotional vacuum.

Thanks to Kevin for spending a few minutes with me and for giving you a preview of what to expect from him. This guy is a leader and someone we all could learn something from.