SHRM General Session Begins

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The general session is in gear and Sue Meisinger is speaking. The board of directors are introducing themselves — they’re all nice people and very accomplished. I am impressed with Sue’s speaking skills and her gravitas.

Wait, now I’m conflicted. Sue just said, “Please stop asking for a seat at the table.”

Sage advice from Sue — but HR is the only department that asks for permission, yo. I would have said, “Do what you do as HR professionals and do it with integrity, regardless of whether or not you have a seat. Or a desk. Or a job at the end of the day.”

Maybe that’s why I’m not CEO of SHRM.

Here’s the live blogging, punk rockers:

Sue is saying that we shouldn’t apologize for being in HR. Our career has brought about a paradigm shift in the workforce. We make business safer, more productive, and more humane. Sue also thinks that HR professionals should be bold. We must operate as savvy and strategic business partners. We have to be effective change agents and thought leaders.

Sue is mentioning two controversial HR issues for SHRM: championing GLBT protections in the workforce (which SHRM supports) and SHRM’s lack of support for an expansion of ADA. Applause is mixed on both issues.

Sue quotes Teddy Roosevelt. “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” I’m thinking of Frank Roche.

Sue is daring the crowd to change the image of HR. She’s talking about standards, norms, and ethics. We need to set the bar high and be keepers of the HR flame.

Holy cow, what a speech. I’m sweating buzzwords.

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