Foto Friday: Downtime

My view, one year ago during a 2013 planning retreat near San Diego, California. During this time, I went internet-free for three whole days. It was refreshing.

When was the last time that you disconnected? How’d it go?

Location: North Ponto Beach

Where: Carlsbad, CA

Date: December 7, 2012

Source: Jennifer McClure on Instagram

North Ponto Beach, CA

North Ponto Beach, CA

 

 

AWESOMENESS Is Not Accidental [Slideshare] #DisruptHR

Last night, I had the honor of hosting the first Disrupt HR event in Cincinnati, Ohio along with my friends Chris Ostoich and Steve Browne.

Well actually, Chris and his fantastic team at BlackbookHR did all of the hard work, and Steve and I just sort of showed up. Which was perfect.

On the agenda for the night was some good old fashioned networking, festive beverages at the historic Rhinegeist Brewery and 13 brave presenters delivering Ignite-style talks on variety of topics including human resources, talent, diversity, culture.

Chris Ostoich – Founder & CEO, BlackbookHR

Elizabeth Borton – Owner & President, Write On Target

James Biro – Plant Director, Kellogg Company

P.G. Sittenfeld – Cincinnati City Councilman

Kristie Aiuto – HR Manager, Procter & Gamble

David Le – Managing Member, The Lang Thang Group

Steve Browne – Executive Director of Human Resources, LaRosa’s Inc.

Josh Heuser – Founder, AGAR and Partner, Mainstay Rock Bar

Pat Reiber – Relationship Manager & Executive Recruiter, Centennial Inc.

John Herman – CEO, Epipheo

Craig Bryant – Founder & Product Manager, Kin

Jennifer McClure – President, Unbridled Talent LLC

Laurie Ruettimann – Writer, Speaker & Consultant, The Cynical Girl

 This was my first Ignite-style talk (5 minutes, 20 slides automatically advancing in 15 second increments) and it was a challenge!

Thankfully, I survived and it’s sufficient to say that I have used up my quota for saying the word Awesome in 2013. Which is Awesome. 🙂

Below is the deck from my talk (email subscribers click here to view).

Special thanks to the Disrupt HR sponsors, for without them, this event wouldn’t have been possible.

BlackbookHR

Centennial, Inc.

Paycor

Plum Street Productions

Event Enterprises

Interested in hosting a Disrupt event in your town? Let me know and I can hook you up with the right folks to get you started!

The World Needs More Balcony People

A few years ago, as I was beginning to take the mental steps towards stepping out on my own and starting Unbridled Talent LLC, a mentor* encouraged me by expressing belief in my skills and talents, as well as my ability to make the right choices for my future.

He said, “Just know that whichever path you choose, I will always be your Balcony Person. I’m here for you and I want you to succeed.”

At that time, the mental image of looking up and seeing someone in the balcony cheering me on really resonated with me. And the statement and sentiment meant a lot to me then, as it still does almost four years later.

It’s a powerful thing to know that someone wants you to succeed and believes in you.

It’s even more powerful when that person cares enough to provide honest coaching and feedback, as well as support – even when you screw up. Especially when you screw up.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how I can become a Balcony Person for more people in my life. As a result, here are some action steps that I plan to take:

1. Be intentional about encouragement.

For me, if it’s going to get done, it needs to on my calendar or logged into my To Do list. I don’t want this important activity to get lost in the “nice-to-do” pile.

2. Listen more and better.

We all want to be heard. I plan to work harder at being a better listener.

 “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”  ~Ralph Nichols

3. Solve fewer problems and facilitate more victories.

As a problem-solver, my tendency is to listen to people and attempt to offer solutions to their problems. Instead, I want to listen to them and ask how I can support them in creating the best solutions.

4. Have the courage to share constructive feedback – even if it’s difficult.

I’ve found that the people who care about my success the most are the people in my life who are willing to deliver constructive criticism when I need it. They are also the people who help me the most to improve and continue to grow.

5. Recognize and thank the Balcony People in my own life.

I want to show more appreciation for those that are an encouragement to me by sending an unexpected card, email, text or gift just to say thanks. The first victim? My mom. She’s the original, all-time best example on the planet of a Balcony Person. Thanks Peggy.

If you have a Balcony Person (or People) in your own life, consider yourself blessed!

Now, I encourage you to multiply that blessing by being intentional about being one for someone else. Who will it be?

* Thank you to Mike Sipple, Sr. for being a genuine and wonderful example to me and so many others of what a Balcony Person should be.

Question: Who are the Balcony People in your life? Give them a shout out or encouragement in the comments section!

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Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of leadership development, executive communication skills and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

The Most In-Demand Skills and Competencies for the Future of HR

Recently, WANTED Analytics published the “20 Most In-Demand HR Skills” – compiled by listing the most commonly specified tools, technologies and other skills that people in the HR field are required to have based upon online job ads.

WANTED’s list included:

  1. Oracle HRIS
  2. Legal compliance
  3. Oracle PeopleSoft
  4. Applicant Tracking Software (ATS)
  5. Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

Click here to see the full list of 20 “in-demand” skills.

I must say that I was disappointed in the content of this list – but not necessarily surprised. As is often the case, it appears that when companies are searching for HR talent, their wish-list is filled with administrative and compliance focused activities.

Boo.

At the same time, the HR profession is maligned and impugned for being focused on process over innovation and administrivia over enabling success in the organization.

But I don’t blame HR. I blame the leaders of organizations who haven’t changed their perceptions, expectations or hiring requirements (see above) for the function that touches every aspect of an organization’s unique competitive advantage – their people.

Over the years, I’ve spoken with many CEO’s and business leaders who bemoan the fact that HR isn’t a strategic partner in their organization, while at the same time compensating their HR professional well below other leaders in the company and also marginalizing their ability to contribute by not including them in discussions beyond policies, payroll and benefits.

In one specific conversation with a CEO who wanted to replace his current Director of HR for not being “strategic”, I asked him how he would describe a strategic HR professional. His response? “Someone who takes care of all of that HR stuff so I don’t have to talk to them.”

Unrealistic.

To get the most out of the HR function, the mandate of every business leader should be to view the department not just as an administrative or “people” function, but as a business function critical to execution of the strategic plan of the company – and to staff this critical business function with the best and brightest talent available to ensure the organization’s success.

Why?

Because the caliber and quality of the talent in the Human Resources/Talent Acquisition functions has a direct effect on the caliber and quality of talent that an organization is able to attract, recruit and retain.

I think the list of the Most In-Demand HR Skills and Competencies for the Future of HR should look more like this:

  1. Strategic thinking
  2. Decision-making
  3. Data analysis
  4. Predictive-modeling
  5. Organizational design
  6. Coaching and influencing
  7. Recruiting/Talent acquisition
  8. Content marketing
  9. Financial acumen
  10. Technology/Information Systems

Let’s stop giving attention to what HR doesn’t do or why HR isn’t needed anymore, and instead focus on hiring and developing HR Leaders with the skills, talents and abilities necessary to have maximum impact in their organizations and within their profession in the future.

Question: What would you add to the list? Leave a comment to let me know what we should expect from HR professionals of the future.

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Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of leadership development, executive communication skills and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.