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Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays to All!

A quick wish for those who have been following my blog since 2010 when I began writing and had no idea what I was doing as well as those who are new followers or occasional pop ins. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my home to yours and thank you for your support.

As my friend says "I love blogging because there are no right or wrong ways of doing it. I'm sure to the expert, long term bloggers there are wrong ways, but who cares. Just like its not always politically correct to say Merry Christmas in the office these days. To each his own and on this day that I do celebrate its special because its the birthday of our savior, Jesus Christ. For that and my family, I am grateful so Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Contributors to Today’s Strategic HR

Earlier this fall, I started a series on Strategic HR (aka SHRM "the topic not the organization") and while my intentions were to write more on this topic, time got away from me.  However, I did write and initial post that many found helpful which was referencing contributors to the topic of SHRM.  Today's post is a guest post by +Tina Gist who is both an HR professional and a graduate student of HR working on her masters degree and the graduate certificate in HR.  The following goes into much greater detail about several of the most interesting thought leaders in this field.  I personally had the good fortune to meet Dr. Lawler in person at both the Though Leaders Retreat this fall that I wrote about and at the Leadership Conference in DC as we were introduced to the SHRM Foundation board for which he is on.  I have also seen both Micheal Losey and Bill Conaty speak at prior SHRM events.  Enjoy the work from one very talented and knowledgeable student at UIS where Leadership is truley LIVED!

            There have been and are many major contributors to the world of human resources. It is the connection to the business and importance of the human capital that have created the new world of human resources and the strategies we use to succeed in business.  Many of these contributors have shared their insights and expertise and will continue to share through their various research and publication efforts in the future.           
            Dave Ulrich is a Professor at the University of Michigan and co-founder and partner of RBL Group, a consulting firm that assists organizational leaders.  He is an author of many books and publications related to human resources and leadership. He was ranked the #1 Management Educator and Guru by Business week and labeled by Fast Company as one of the 10 most innovative and creative leaders as well as most influential person in HR by HR Magazine for three years. (Turner, 2012) Ulrich and his colleagues: Wayne Brockbank, and Jon Younger have articulated how the modern HR organization can be organized into shared services, centers of expertise, and business partners.  (Dave Ulrich, 2012)
            Wayne Brockbank is a Clinical Professor of Business at Ross School of Business and is the Director of the Center for Strategic HR Leadership at the University of Michigan. He is also a consultant and executive educator at The RBL Group. He has published The HR Value Proposition and HR Competencies: Mastery at the Intersection of People and Business and The HR Transformation.  He has written many articles in top HR publications, one particular article included the six roles that leaders expect their HR professionals to fill; strategic positioner, credible activist, capability builder, change champion, innovator and integrator, and technology proponent. Brockbank’s research and contributions will continue to educate and further develop the world of HR. (Banning K. E., 2012)
            Norm Smallwood, co-founder of the RBL Group; he has co-authored/authored ten books and published hundreds of articles in leading journals and newspapers. His contributions are based on leadership. He has created a way to add value to business through leadership branding, capitalizing on capabilities, and his distinct ideas for talent management and reputation. (Meek, 2012) Smallwood and Ulrich have worked on the outcomes of effective leadership and investing in leadership. (Dave Ulrich, 2012)
            Edward E. Lawler III is a professor at the University of Southern California Doctorate in Psychology. Lawler’s career has focused on organizational development effectiveness, and strategic human resource management. He has written over 350 publications and 45 books in this area. In one article “What Makes HR a Strategic Partner” he notes there are three main tasks to the fundamental success of HR: to perform the administrative and clerical tasks that provide governance for all the legal and administrative compliance, perform as a business partner and as a strategic partner. He notes that the administrative and clerical tasks must be performed efficiently by reviewing process improvements and outsourcing simple tasks as needed. One cannot move to the next level of being a business partner or strategic partner without getting the basics mastered. The next step of becoming a business partner is by delivering HR practices and services that support the organizations business model and meet the demands of managers and employees followed by becoming a strategic partner. Most importantly and consistent with other contributors is to include an acute awareness of the role of human capital in the overall corporate strategy. (Oliver, 2012)
            Susan E. Jackson Ph.D. is a Distinguished Professor of Human Resources Management in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers.  She has a Doctorate in Organizational and Social Psychology. Her focus has been managing for environmental sustainability, work team diversity, and strategic human resources management systems. Jackson has published more than 150 scholarly articles as well as an author/co-author/editor of 12 books. (Profile: Susan E. Jackson, 2012) Her work helped understand what burnout is and factors to counteract it.  Jackson has done extensive research on employee burnout and recognizes the role human capital plays is important in the success of business. Her contribution to environmental sustainability has led her to found the website,, a resource for “ecofriendly” HRM Scholars, students and executives interested in workplace management practices. (Adams M. , 2012)
            Randall S. Schuler is also at Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, a Distinguished Professor of International HR Management and HR Strategy. He has authored or edited over 45 books. He is one of the most cited management scholars in the past thirty years. He will contribute to the world of HR for many years to come especially with his current project, co-editing the Global HRM series which consists of 20 books and more than 300 articles. (Johnson, 2012)
            Edgar H. Schein, a former educator at MIT Sloan School of Management  and has a PhD in Social Psychology from Harvard.  He has contributed to the world of HR through organizational development and is the inventor of the term, “corporate culture”.   While many of his articles and books are not labeled as “strategic” they are strategic in nature, as he has written on various organizational concepts, business management functions and corporate culture. (Fox, 2012)
            Jeffrey Mello, a Dean at Siena College, School of Business and Professor of Management and Business Law. He holds a Ph.D. in Law and Public Policy: Human Resources Management and Organizational Behavior.  He has many substantial contributions to the field of human resources. He has written the Strategic Human Resource Management textbook with 3 editions and many other book chapters, articles, essays, journals, and reviews relating to the field ranging from labor law, affirmative action, union labor, and social media.  Dr. Mello wasn’t able to find an appropriate textbook for his human resource class so he decided to write his own. His contribution focused on investing in people and strategic planning. (Lance, 2012)
            George F. Dreher a Professor of Business Administration at Kelley School of Business at Indiana University with a Masters degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Psychology.  He has authored the book Human Resource Strategy: A Behavioral Perspective for the General Manager as well as many other publications. His contributions, as provided by Rhonda Hernandez, focused on salary, gender, minorities, and cultural perspectives.   She discussed the gap between white-male professional and women and men of minorities. Dreher explains how white male professionals receive higher salary, promotions, and benefits that women and male minorities in the United States and recommends more research to find a resolution to these inequalities.  Dreher believes if industries used the same tools for measurement it would help to alleviate some of these limitations. (Hernandez, 2012)
            Professor Thomas W. Dougherty is known for his expertise in mentoring.  He is a Professor of Management and Chair of Business and Economics at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business.   He has also contributed through networking processes and their role in employee career success as well as career development, career burnout, managing turnover and stress. He has been published in many professional journals and his book, Human Resource Strategy: A Behavioral Perspective for the General Manager that he co authored with Dreher.  (Tracy, 2012)
            Bill Conaty, a businessman and leader that spent a 40 year career at GE, now retired and contributing as a role model through Conaty Consulting, LLC.  He has a Bachelor in Business Administration. He spent 15 years as Vice President of Human Resources at GE and was a key asset to the former CEO Jack Welch. Conaty’s career is interesting to follow where he started as a plant manager focusing on operations to human resources, his forte. He served as the Chief HR Officer and helped lead GE to become an incredibly successful business that focused on employees.  His biggest claim to fame is his book, The Talent Masters:  Why Smart Leaders Put People Before Numbers, a book he co-authored with Ram Charan.   His contribution as a strategic business partner using succession planning, workforce development, and emphasis on putting people first made him successful in business and made an impact on how people view human resources today.  (Schmidt, 2012)
            Michael R. Losey, a University of Michigan graduate with his Masters in Business Administration degree in Industrial Relations. He holds a SPHR, Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification as well as a CAE, Certified Association Executive. Losey was the past president and CEO of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and held this position for ten years. His contribution revolved around putting people first and that people are the greatest asset in the business. He was a major player in increasing knowledge and membership of the SHRM. Strategic HR Management is a recognized profession thanks to his leadership at SHRM and the growth of the organization under his leadership. (Raker, 2012)
             John Purcell, Associate fellow at the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the Warwick School of Business.  He is known as “The expert on employee relations”. and  for his work and contributions to the field of strategic human resource management. His emphasis on linking and managing people and the effectiveness of the organization as a whole is of key notability. He has authored numerous publications but most significant is the third edition of Strategy and Human Resource Management with Peter Boxall. He continues to research the link between managing employees and how effective the organization is at achieving its goals. (Lambert, 2012)
            Peter Boxall is the Associate Dean of Research at the University of Auckland Business School. He has a Ph.D. in Philosophy with emphasis in Human Resource Management. He is known for his contribution as co-editor of the book The Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management.  Forming the HRM goals to motivate employees and how these goals contribute to their business strategies are his key contribution. He suggests the answers are found in the organizational culture and business objectives. He believes setting goals are the key to success, “priority one, without an understanding of the HRM goals or how to implement them, employee performance and motivation will decline and organizational culture will become caustic.”  (Trine, 2012)
            Greg L. Stewart, Professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Iowa. He has a Ph.D. in HR Management and Organizational Behavior. Stewart has published several textbooks and numerous professional journal articles and is considered an expert in the areas of human resource management, personality and performance, the influence of candidate characteristics and self-directed teams.  (Adams, 2012)
            Kenneth Brown also a Professor at the University of Iowa. He has a Masters Ph.D. in Psychology. His expertise is e-Learning, motivation and self regulation as well as training design and evaluation. He has a Senior Professional in Human Resources Certification and has contributed to the field of HR as a professor and co-author of the text, Human Resource Management: Linking Strategy to Practice  (Banning J. , 2012)

 There are a number of contributors to the world of HR, Ralph Christensen and Jac Fitz-enz, “The father of measurement” to name just a couple more. The HR audience is growing as we join management at the table and streamline processes and functions that contribute to the bottom line. Companies that include HR and the many contributions made by the professionals of the past and future will only gain insight and success with implementation.

Adams, L. (2012). Greg l. stewart's strategic hrm contribution. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Adams, M. (2012). Contributions to strategic hrm by susan e jackson, phd. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Banning, J. (2012). Kenneth g. brown and his contributions to strategic human resource management. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Banning, K. E. (2012). Wayne brockbank: Contributions made to strategic human resource.
Fox, L. L. (2012). Edgar h. schein: Contributions to the study and practice of strategic human resource managment (shrm). University of Illinois at Springfield.
Hernandez, R. (2012). George f. dreher, phd. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Johnson, R. A. (2012). Randall s. schuller: Strategic human resource managment contributor. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Lambert, E. (2012). John purcell: The expert on employee relations. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Lance, J. (2012). Jeffry mello's contributions. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Meek, B. (2012). Norm smallwood's contributions to strategic human resource management. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Oliver, R. (2012). Shrm: Edward e. lawler iii. Unversity of Illinois at Springfield.
Profile: Susan E. Jackson. (2012). Retrieved Nov 10, 2012, from Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations:
Raker, A. (2012). Michael r. losey: Sphr, cae. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Schmidt, K. (2012). Bill conaty: Influencing the field of human resources. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Tracy, J. (2012). Thomas w. dougherty's contribution to strategic human resource managment (shrm). University of Illinois at Springfield.
Trine, A. (2012). Peter boxall: Contributions to strategic human resource managment. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Turner, D. (2012). Dave ulrich: Individual research paper. University of Illinois at Springfield.
Wilkes, M. (2012). Contributor: Ralph christensen. University of Illinois at Springfield.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Pilgrimage to #SHRMLead

While I did not see any turkey’s on this Pilgrimage it was one that I will remember for a lifetime.  If you were from any other state than Illinois at the annual SHRM Leadership Conference in National Harbor, MD last week you would have seen the sea of red shirts and thought it was a “wow-look at the masses that made the trip (Pilgrimage) from half way across the country too.  Again this year (3rd in a row) all attendees from the ILSHRM board and chapter board members were offered a red shirt to wear for two reason: 1) Take a group photo and 2) show our team/state spirit.  The latter was the more important of the two because no one felt alone.  They had others to turn to and felt included which is extremely important to me as a leader in this state.  In the “Strengths Finder” assessment one of my top five is “INCLUDER” and if this is the only legacy I leave for my time in a leadership role, I am ecstatic, because when I was a chapter leader, I had no idea what the State Council was let alone the massive amount of energy you feel at an event like #SHRMLead.

The red shirts, however, was not the thing that impressed me at all.  I was impressed by almost 40 individuals who gave up part of their week at work and with family to attend this event.  We had a little over 30 people who attended our now traditional Thursday night networking dinner.  Here we introduce ourselves because often we communicate across the state via email but never have a chance to meet people in person (F2F or IRL).  Have a to a name means all the difference and for some who commit to multi-year roles they will see each other again at this conference and hopefully the ILSHRM leadership conference in January.  Having attended this conference now for twelve years as a chapter then state council I have had the opportunity to bond and long term relationships with people all over state as well as the country and with SHRM staff.

While this pilgrimage was impressive, the most moving for me was the amount of representation Illinois had on Capitol Hill this year.  When I first started attending the SHRM A Team hill visits about five years ago, first at SHRM Leadership and at the annual SHRM Legislative Conference, we consistently had no more than a handful of visitors.  However, in the past few years the number of representatives has increased to the point that it put tears in my eyes as I looked around the room. 

This is the time for Thanksgiving and while I am definitely looking forward to passing the gavel, I cannot tell you how deeply thankful and humble I am to have had the opportunity to serve such a dedicated group of individuals who put their profession at the forefront and #HaveAVoice for all those in our state.  It has been a fantastic honor and I know the future is in good hands with Cathy Plouzek and Connie Wolgemuth at the helm. 

Happy Holidays to all and if you’re an HR pro in this great state, please join me in thanking those who attended this conference and the hill visit to make a difference for each of us on the job back home!  ILSHRM & SHRM Chapter Volunteers ROCK!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cultural Compentency Important to Strategic HRM

A Guest Post by UIS Grad Student Demario Turner

Overview of the CIC-SHRM Diversity Event-October 24, 2012
As a student enrolled in a Strategic Human Resource Management class, I was extended the opportunity to attend a Diversity seminar hosted by Central Illinois Council Society of Human Resource Management (CIC-SHRM). Reluctant to take off work and make the drive to Springfield, IL from Champaign, IL, at the conclusion of the event my feelings were different. Beyond being greeted with breakfast, I found that this learning event was, informative in substance, provided a glimpse of CIC-SHRM’s opportunities, certifications, objectives, and an opportunity to network with other HR professionals.

The seminar, “Ensuring a Culturally Competent Workforce” was presented by Lorena Johnson, Director of the CPM Program at UIS, has an extensive background in Professional Development and Diversity Education. The learning objectives where to define cultural diversity; the changing demographics in the 21st century (race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, etc.); the new economic reality (doing more with less, working in teams, Hierarchical to flat organizational structures, singular job duties to multi-duties); and creating an innovative, dynamic and productive work environment (coordination and collaboration, cross-colonization, and multiple ideas approaches). She contends that a culturally competent workforce extends not only to employees but also to organizational leaders and managers which creates “mutual competency. She defines diversity in her own words and highlights that diversity is more than just race and ethnicity but where you live and organizational culture. Building from this foundation she defines cultural competency as it relates to organizational culture and climate:

The ability to obtain cultural knowledge and skills and then apply those knowledge skills to understand communication, interacts, and works respectively with people from other cultures.

There are three principles to cultural competency including, understanding the values and beliefs of other cultures; understanding the perceptions and experiences of those outside your culture; and understanding the values and beliefs of one’s own culture. Theses competencies cultivate observations, inquiry, experience and practice, and reflection and are enhance through a continued processes of growth and development. You must be strategic, systemic (knowing your organization), must be tied to the mission values and vision of the organization, identifying and understanding what your org climate is, and include inclusion and equity.

Building upon this discussion she talked at length about the layers of organizational culture; organizational approaches to diversity (affirmative action, value, and competency); surveying the climate of organizations and how culturally competent they are using a prescribed developmental model; the strategic approach to organizational cultural competency; and cultural maintenance.

Again, I think this seminar was very informative and tied directly to the substance of the SHRM class. The literature detailed the importance of being organizationally culturally competent and how it should be a part of the strategic HR planning. It further described the importance of maintenance and continued growth and development as part of the organizational standard. I really enjoyed the CIC- SHRM presentation and look forward to other opportunities in the future.

Monday, October 29, 2012

HRs Job is Finding a Way to Say YES

Saying yes to both the employee and the employer is the role in terms of HR when it comes to workplace flexibility. Understanding that flexibility is not just good for the employee is not only HRs job but managements job as well. These are the overall messages I heard over and over again in the sessions at the SHRM #Workplace12 conference in partnership with FWI (Family Work Institute. Which by the way, FWI has been doing this research and encouraging workplace flexibility for over thirty years and is documented in the book just produced (pictured to left) called Workflex The Essential Guide to Effective and Flexible Workplaces.The book is so popular that it is already temporarily sold out.  That to me is an impressive statement since it was just released.

The point is employers don't really have a choice to ignore something that has been an issue, concern, career threat for so long. I know personally have been dealing with this issue for over 20 years not only in my own life but also in the lives of the talented employees I have seen quit the traditional workforce just to maintain balance in their life. A couple of years ago I wrote a post on the women of hr blog site about the last 10 years of my career having been "the perfect 10" because I had balance. Unfortunately, like the employees I did exit interviews for I had to start my own business to do so.

The sessions last week provided employers ideas on how to make flexibility possible in light of the tremendous constraints the antiquated employment laws put upon on us. Previously, I never would have advised an employer to try flexibility outside the office with nonexempt employees but after hearing a story at lunch about how one company ran a call center from employees homes successfully and within the constraints of the current laws, I have changed my paradigm. I also agreed previously that it would be difficult to implement flexibility on a manufacturing setting or in the medical field, but after hearing Lisa Horn moderate a panel with two Sloan Award winners, I have again changed my thinking. If you see the pattern here, it's all about awareness. Learning from others what can be done and what has not worked tends to help others think outside the box.

The books and toolkit now available which were released at this conference will help a whole new shift and interest increase awareness and make the move towards a more flexible workplace. The benefits will help increase productivity, engagement, retention in organizations because employees will be less worried about what they are not doing at home.

Management and HR now have tools available to make this happen but it really can't happen unless it become part of the culture of the organization. Workflex like diversity is not an event it is a way of life. Competence comes with education.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stop the Frickin' Bullying Already!

The highlight of my day (besides the train pick up line on my way to Chicago) was hearing the enthusiastic, the entertaining, the straightforward gay Jew (her words not mine) from Facebook talk about Diversity & Inclusion at her company.  Sarah Sperling, lead, Diversity & Inclusion programs, Facebook, San Francisco, California knocked her session out of the ballpark today at the annual Society of Human Resources Management Diversity & Inclusion Conference at the Chicago Marriott Downtown on the Miracle Mile.

The ideas were flowing and the energy in the room was outstanding primarily because of her unique and energizing style.  Her bio started with a trip down her Facebook timeline (fitting).  She then shared her experience in this role which is only a bit over a year mind you with not prior D&I experience.  The honor was in the fact that Facebook picked her!  During her inaugural year the employees started not one (which was her intent) but seven different Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).  She did say she needs her own ERG to take naps because there are so many young millennials there.  It would be the "over 40 group" of course. 

Some of us over 40 experienced our children being bullied for the first time via social media in the early days of My Space and Xanga but Facebook really does not like their platform being used for negative purposes.  Sarah said she loves to go to schools and talk to teenagers and say "Stop the Frickin' Bullying Already!" I wish she came to my daughters high school about 10 years ago.  It's good to hear that the goal of Facebook is to be for "good" so they start pages like a family safety center available for parents on the platform to help fight bullying on social networks. Another awesome site very relevant to the topic is Go LIKE this page now! The goal of the page is as follows:

At Facebook, we value diversity on an individual level and the impact that every person can have. We are dedicated to creating an environment where people can be their authentic selves and share their own diverse backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and ideas.

With the gorgeous Shirley Davis moderating this session it was widely worthwhile for anyone in this space.  I think Sarah did an excellent job of sharing how Facebook encourages their 4k employees to be their authentic self on a daily basis!