Note: This week I am at the annual National SHRM Convention in Las Vegas, NV. And in case you’re wondering if it it’s hot in Las Vegas in July, the answer is HELL YES. The heat…my god, man, THE HEAT.
As we enter the final day of this national gathering of HR folks, the attendees will be thinking about what they really got out of this experience.
- Were the sessions worth it? Many of them were. Hopefully you chose wisely!
- Were the keynotes good? Mika Brzezinski was. Her message about knowing your value resonated. And even if you disagreed with her, she made you think about WHY you disagreed.]
- Were the boxed lunches good? No.
- Was the Expo Hall helpful? Depends on your goals. May you connect with many good vendors!
- Did you have fun at Jennifer Hudson? No one called me for bail money, so you must have balanced it right!
What strikes me about this week as I talk to fellow attendees is how much they talk about different people they’ve met. About the woman working in Iowa as an HR Department of One and how much she has in common with the man in California facing the same challenges. About the folks on the shuttle bus chatting about their day, laughing knowingly about a session as if they were old friends. About the online friends who have been connected for a couple of years who finally got a chance to meet face to face.
I attend SHRM because I want to connect with the online community who has welcomed me, supported me, mocked me (I’m looking at you, Stollack), and embraced me as one of their own. I am not here in any sort of official blogging/social media capacity and yet I’ve been able to hang with these folks, participate in fantastic conversations, and share my opinions with this fascinating, smart group of people.
Last night at dinner, Jason Lauritsen (yes, I’m name dropping) stopped for a moment and reflected on the growth of this little online family, and how SHRM has become a type of family reunion – a chance to reconnect on a human level with people who have been scattered around the nation.
Jason’s right. SHRM really is about the connections we make. But what’s more important are the connections we SUSTAIN.
My challenge to you as you go back to your homes and to your lives (or to the casinos) is to ensure you sustain the connections you make in life. Help connect people to those who can help each other. And plan ways to keep those connections fresh through face-to-face meetings.
The simple truth is that for all the process and product our companies deal with, it’s the PEOPLE that matter.
Connect. Sustain. Refresh.
It’s that simple.