Human Capital Management, Leadership, Total Rewards, Total Well-Being

11 Takeaways from the 2018 SHRM Conference

/ July 18, 2018 July 18, 2018

I recently attended the 2018 SHRM Conference & Exposition in Chicago and had the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest in the field of HR. With over 200 sessions covering all functional areas of Human Resources and keynote speeches by Adam Grant, Oscar Munoz, & Sheryl Sandberg, the amount of learning and resources shared were enough to keep anyone who attended busy for months! To sum up my experience at the conference, I’m sharing with you my top 11 favorite quotes from the sessions that I attended:

Hiring for Cultural Fit

  1. “If you want to hire original thinkers who will drive innovation, stop looking for people who will be a good ‘cultural fit’ and start seeking those who can make a cultural contribution. What’s missing from our culture and how are we going to find the people to enrich it?”—Adam Grant, NY Times Best-selling Author and Professor, The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania
  2. “It’s nice to have the right skills on the bus, but it’s critical to keep the wrong values off the bus. Values aren’t visible on a resume. They’re revealed in the choices we make: speak up or stay silent, take responsibility or make excuses, lift others up or cut them down.”—Adam Grant
  3. “When we focus solely on culture fit we neglect diversity, opposing views, innovation, all things that help organizations survive and THRIVE.”—Adam Grant

Recognizing Our Unconscious Biases

  1. “If you take two resumes and one has a woman’s name and one has a man’s name, the [latter] will get more callbacks and more interviews….and that’s why your [HR] profession is so important, because we can systematically find these biases, and systematically acknowledge them, and systemically change them.”—Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
  2. “If you tell me you are color blind, I am worried that you may repress reality and implicitly engage in implicit bias.”– Jonathan Segal, Partner, Duane Morris LLP

Curbing The Negative Atmosphere In Politics Today

  1. “It’s up to us to change the political culture that will change how the politicians interact with one another…Voters ought to penalize rather than reward vulgar or toxic acts and discourse.”—Jeb Bush, Former Florida Gov.
  2. “You can disagree with a political adversary and still be friends. You can lift yourself up without pushing others down”-Jeb Bush

Building a Culture of Engagement

  1.  “I think of our company as not only having to be profitable but, importantly, principled. How we treat one another is absolutely fundamental to how we treat our customers.” – Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines
  2. “A manager cannot know who is up and who is down without knowing their team as individuals. They must CARE for them first, then look to engagement.”–Bob Kelleher, Author of Louder Than Words
  3. “When we’re afraid to talk about major life issues with people, we’re not helping them; we’re isolating them.”—Sheryl Sandberg

The Future Of HR

  1. “Who is going to provide the skills our nation needs now and in the future?…We’re going to have to elevate this profession, innovate, achieve expectations that no one has placed on us yet. Our profession is hungry for transformational ideas and leadership and it is up to us to compose a vision of the future.”—Johnny Taylor, CEO & President, SHRM

There was arguably no better way to end the conference than with the statement above. It ties everything together. To be a successful HR professional, we need to be courageous enough to speak and to listen. Most importantly, we need to build and support the kinds of organizations and cultures that encourage others to do the same.

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