Wednesday, 11 May 2011

ConnectingHR Unconference and Me (2 of 2)

Last week I have attended ConnectingHR unconference and while my previous post tried to disclose some practical view of that event, here I am about to share few ideas which have been resonating with me and all the others ever since we came back home. See Martin Couzins list of posts dedicated to chru and read other's reflections on this day full of fun and joy. 

Best of Both #Connecting & #HR

ConnectingHR community is about both connecting and HR. Yes indeed it is a passion for HR which brought us all together at the first place, but reason for maintaining this connection is way beyond HR agenda.
I know a great place where you could feel it more than anywhere else...

“Believe it or not it’s chru.” 

Snapshot of wonderful drawings produced on the day. 

Questioning point of twitter, my friends and colleagues are asking me:
“… what is the point of talking so much non HR related staff with people you haven't even met yet?”
Well, I could say that it is part of the networking strategy where showing interest in common things such as football, cooking, movies or books, can help you to establish strong relationship with someone who could eventually become your HR buddy helping with all sorts of HR issues. I am sure I am not wrong, nevertheless this is not the primary reason why I connect with #connectingHR folks.

First of all we are not HR full-stop. We are PEOPLE who work in HR and/or love anything related to HR. We still have lives outside of work. Both our professional and private lives are complementing each other all the times.

…..leadership, mentoring, supporting, training, counselling, maintaining good relations, critical thinking and so on....., the ability to do it all can be easily spotted in tweets or blog posts where various people talk about anything they like or dislike, what makes them sad and what makes them giggle. 

Why would anyone go through the stress of not telling it how it feels, and rather choose some carefully selected words ensuring strict relevance and professional jargon?

I feel sorry for anyone who has more than one “mode” switching between office and home. I understand that the professional and home environment can be very different, but I also believe that any organisation should try and copy the family model as much as they can in order to make most of their people by providing them with environment and atmosphere similar to one where they can be themselves.

Now here I’ll need your help, as it does feel as the ability to be able to switch between two modes has loads to do with our success, or shall I call it survival? It seems that the very same reasons behind our ability to survive are the reasons which destroy our identity.

Authenticity is blessing of any professional, and if there is something connectingHR believes in than it is this. We have never enough of it. Once we start to live our lives in harmony with our profession, we are more likely to support our workforce to achieve the same across the organisation.

This brings me to the WLB case...

Work Life Balance is totally underrated and misunderstood by both employers and employees alike, all because we only see it as a set of friendly policies and flexible working practices.

“I believe in WLB as a set of mind which every worker brings to their workplace. It is about how much of themselves they have to leave at home when they go to work.”

Going back to connectingHR unconference, it is this feeling of authenticity with no organisational hierarchy and power exercising interactions and no hidden agendas and nasty politics so often present at our offices, which made my day. No fear to say how you see it, with great anticipation for others to do the same enhancing your learning experience beyond unknown.

When I am connecting it is because I am looking for people to share my feelings with.
Our role of HR is linked to our persona and it is what things we like and how we feel about our contribution to the role, not the procedures and policies what makes us PEOPLE MANAGERS. As One of my HRangels Katherine Connolly wrote in HR Giving Back series 
“Take things personally”

As we all connect talking about anything, there is an enormous sense of belonging created by our very own “who we are and what we believe in”.
The power of community has a lot to do with our deepest desire to belong to people where values, beliefs or even professional roles can be shared. It is our desire to be connected with others. We are social animals after all. What do you think?

Monday, 9 May 2011

ConnectingHR Unconference and Me (1 of 2)

After writing my reflection on CHRU, I have realised that there is more than one message within the text, hence I’ve decided to split it in half. Today I am offering you rather pragmatic post about what I consider no.1 HR event in my Diary. In my 2nd part going online day or two later, I will share some random and key thoughts inspired by connectingHR community and its mission.

What a great place with plenty of day light. 
ConnectingHR Unconference taking place in London last week was the second attempt of fast growing connectingHR community to meet, and scrap all established rules of networking while offering an amazing opportunity to learn and having loads of fun. Venue was like no other place you have ever attended for the purpose of learning and networking. Instead of neatly organised space of hotel conference centre, all happened in what appeared to be a gym where walls and roof had no other meaning than walls and roof do. The space has literally invited imagination of us all to focus on bringing little bit of ourselves in the room to feel the gaps. This natural need for making sense of the place left us to do the job and rather than being influenced by what existed already, this time we have all reached inside and using creative thinking came with some stunning ideas but mainly great atmosphere. As the day progressed, the gym got used to our mission of the day, and we all have participated in redecorating walls with our thoughts and paintings of artists who closely observed the "aura" of the room. 
As far as unconference format goes, I have attended TruLondon this year organised by Bill Borman and can honestly say that the intensity of learning and sharing has been truly revolutionised.

My reasons why you will never miss the TruLondon

Everybody who knows something about learning methods knows that bringing fun into your learning experience is great way not to only enjoying your learning time but also have profound effect on how much more you are going to remember. Rather than bringing PowerPoint slides and using endless amount of flip-chart papers, track leaders (anybody could be one) blended in with rest of the attendees playing role of a topic guard. Starting up with few facts and feelings about some current issues was good enough for everybody else to start bringing their insights on the topic. Throughout the whole event we were all connected with simple but extremely durable string of passion for HR.
Why me?
Simple version: “Because it makes sense”
Peter likes to elaborate:
"Hmm.....where to start....Naaaah only kidding. Seriously there are many reasons why I want to be part of connectingHR community, But number one must be that it keeps me busy growing as HR professional as well as a person."
ConnectingHR is not another attempt to get people networking for purpose of helping to close new deals. ConnectingHR is an idea planted by few which became a phenomenon for many. ConnectingHR puts social case in perspective with business case and it is up to all of us to make sure that it stays that way.

Why You? ...will be there next time?
1. Inspired by Karen Wise: Because you are already jealous that you’ve missed it.
2. You love connecting
3. You love HR (you can see where it is going ;-)
4. You have heard of it so often lately that you feel like you are missing new HR trend called #connectingHR (there it is....I said it again)
5. You want to meet more people who are more interested in “Who you are” rather than “What do you do”

Some of the keywords for this great day out on which I will pick up in 2nd part of my reflection: Authenticity, Organic, Breathing HR, but also Work Life Balance....

Update: Since I have wrote this post, its 2nd chapter has been published and you can read it here: ConnectingHR Unconference and Me (2 of 2)