"Edgy HR": Strategic Advice to SHRM

When I was asked “What would you do if you were running SHRM?” my immediate thought was “I would be ‘edgier’.”

SHRM, on the national level and often on the local level has a rather dry and staid reputation. It is not seen as being a “thought leader” but rather a repository of older information. In sum, it is seen the same way many HR departments are seen within their companies. And that is a problem the profession as a whole has.


So what steps would I take to change this? Here is my list:

  1. I would have a VISION, a VISIBLE VISION. Not a plan for the organization of SHRM, but a vision for the Profession of Human Resources. What do we want the profession of HR to look like in 10 years?  
  2. From that vision of the profession I would do some backcasting and determine what the organization of SHRM would need to do to get the PROFESSION to be where we want it to go. Backcasting would provide us with a road map of how we would progress. This would lead to a strategic plan for the organization.
  3. I would convene “thinking panels” of “edgy”, “snarky” thought leaders to tell me about “out there” HR.  
  4. I would hire a VP of Edgy HR to be on the Leadership Team. 
  5. I would think in terms of a model of the HR professional having broader based education and experience in operations. 
  6. I would give a serious look at Josh Letourneau’s model of social networking and having HR drive that process in organizations.  
  7. I would thoroughly understand the power of social media to disseminate information, drive thought, communicate, bolster efforts and even to ruin companies and reputations.

 Those are just a few of my ideas. Well here is one more. Find a CEO soon. One that is not boring.

This post also appeared at the Voice of HR in their series on 2011 SHRM Strategic Guidance. Check it out for more great blog posts.

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