#SHRM14: Moving Into The Warming Light

Failure is an enabler.

In both senses of the term, but for some, the one ultimate driver.

It’s our confidant and our kryptonite; it elevates and cripples us. Ideas fail, businesses fail, processes fail, people fail, and through it all, if we’re paying attention, learning and even a little lucky, we might just find a little light.

It’s that little light that warms us to something new, something pleasurable that we enjoy doing and providing that creates value for those around us, and ourselves, because regardless of popular belief about bloggers and social media “rock stars” not worth the words they spew out every week, some nearly ever day – they are worth it.

Okay, some more than others, but then again, I’ve been in the HR technology space for over 15 years and I’ve viewed some established industry journalists, HR and recruiting practitioners and business leaders as not worth the words they spew out nearly every day.

And that included me at times. (Heck, if you don’t already know me, I’m all about transparency and authenticity, in good times as well as bad.)

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When American journalist, columnist and author Tom Friedman spoke at the 2014 SHRM Conference this week, he said something that really stuck with me:

“No one cares what you know. They only care about what you do with what you know.”

Makes sense. We’ve seen the rock slide of skills and jobs bury themselves at the bottom of a dark canyon, never to see the light of day again. Consider that many of us “world of work” bloggers have been through many incarnations, some practitioners, some marketers, some from completely different industries, we could foresee a time that, beyond connecting professionally on LinkedIn, all that silly Tweeting and Facebooking and Instagramming and Pinteresting and blog-blog-blogging and speak-speak-speaking, all this would bring a valuable, warming light; that being hyperactively connected to one another and the world would spawn opportunity that had never existed.

“They only care about what you do with what you know.”

Because as Mr. Friedman also told us in his keynote, average is officially over. In fact, he admitted he has 70 million competitors these days, with bloggers and writers online with all the tools and reach that only old school media and journalism used to have.

No pressure, right? We have to constantly be “innovation-ready” or we’ll slide into shadow canyons.

This theme resonated throughout the SHRM conference, from keynotes to sessions to parties to the expo hall to sidebars that took place in every nook and cranny of the convention center. When I saw Margaret Morford speak, CEO for The HR Edge, Inc., she hammered home that you’ve got to differentiate while ignoring the status quo hype; that you’ve got to be brave and “outrun the pack.”

Or they’ll run over you.

Imagine that you have billions of competitors, regardless of your status or profession, because that’s where it’s headed (if not already there). If we don’t continuously relearn and reimagine while being relentless in failure enablement, we’re doomed. Simply and utterly doomed.

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That’s why four years ago Meghan M. Biro and I launched the TalentCulture #TChat Community and Shows, because the “world of work” needs constant upending and tending to, it needs to hear from all sorts of voices, from a ever-growing online community of knowledge-thirsty professionals including business leaders and innovators, human resource and recruiting executives, organizational development and learning professionals, HR technology vendors, industry consultants, job seekers and hey, even bloggers – all of whom are our daily competition and enablers.

So there you go, we’re just a couple of those bloggers, one a recruiting practitioner and one an HR tech marketer, moving into the warming light one weekly world of work topic at a time.

To all the other HR bloggers out there, whether you made it to SHRM this year or not, whether you have a current job, consultancy and/or side gig (or not), we thank you.

And a special thank you to SHRM as well!

And of course to our gracious partners and sponsors (many of which exhibited and/or sponsored this year’s SHRM Conference) – RIVS, GreatRated of Great Place to Work, TalentWise, GloboForce, SAP/SuccessFactors, Dice, Red Branch Media, HRmarketer Insight and my mothership PeopleFluent.

P.S. – And thank you Dwane Lay for organizing another fantastic fundraising event for No Kid Hungry that included a Big Lebowski bowling extravaganza! We raised over $5,000 dollars, which will help provide over 50,000 meals. Right on. And if you haven’t donated yet, you still can by clicking here.

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