HRevolution Impact On Those Unable to Attend

Today’s guest post is from Steve Browne – Executive Director of Human Resources at LaRosa’s, Inc. – a regional Pizzeria restaurant chain employing over 1,400 Team Members. Unable to attend the HRevolution 2010 UnConference held this past weekend in Chicago, IL due to family obligations, Steve kept up with the discussion via the #HRevolution hashtag on Twitter. His post conference thoughts as an HR practitioner and passionate member of his profession are below.


I am so geeked after following #HRevolution this week on Twitter and also reading many of the “Post Revolution” blogs. Really, that’s not just shameless flattery.

You see, I’m an HR practitioner!!

And, may I add, I am unabashedly proud and passionate about that, and Human Resources in general!!

All of the pieces I’ve read have made me even more insanely jealous that I wasn’t able to attend this wildly successful UnConference. I wanted to meet the folks I’m connected with on Twitter and be part of an HR Think Tank. It is brilliant and I hope it truly is only the start of a continued effort to gather thought leaders who are changing the face of a profession. It’s a healthy forum and I’m so encouraged that it hasn’t fallen into the traps that a traditional environment can offer.

The one thread I keep reading through the summaries is “What do we do next?” or “What do I do next?”.

That’s an obvious response to the great energy that was created and it is another encouraging sign that this isn’t going to be some short-lived fad or electronic supernova.

As someone who didn’t go, let me offer this as a possible “next step”:

We need to bridge the gap between the HR practitioner and the Social Media folks who are constantly putting out more and more phenomenal material and resources.

I can hear the “Duh!” from you as the reader already!

However, your “Duh!” isn’t being heard or read. You see, I’m one of those odd HR practitioners who is connected and loves it. The VAST majority of my peers aren’t connected, don’t “know how” to be and many are frankly (and mistakenly) afraid to be connected.

This isn’t a social media thing. It’s just exponentially more visible now how entrenched and hidden HR has become. People are more afraid of what to do to the point that they are paralyzed by this both within their organizations and in their profession.

Countless blogs, articles and sessions take HR and bemoan its shortcomings, faults and predicted demise.  Makes you want to go into the field – doesn’t it?

I think the contrary. This is the MOST exciting time to be in HR and #HRevolution proves that. The question is:

“Are the most connected HR voices going to continue to communicate with each other – or are they willing to step forward to be evangelists to the masses who aren’t connected?”

It’s so cool talking with folks around the globe through Social Media, but I’m already noticing that I’m talking to the same people (and so are you). How can we be evangelists? Is someone (or a group of people) willing to do this?

I think that it’s not only needed for HR, but for the people who are the thought leaders as well. I would love to see a list of Connectors who are HR practitioners go where the other practitioners are (chapter meetings, state conferences, SHRM National) and preach the “message” of where the future of HR is going and how to get connected. We can’t keep trying to reach them on Twitter if they don’t have an account!

#HRevolution brought together a great gathering of people who already share some forum of common space in Social Media. It’s time to build the bridge to the “New World” and show the profession the value of what’s being done. I’m excited and putting on my evangelist sandals even now . . .

What’s your next step?


Steve Browne, SPHR is an HR pro who is passionate about connecting people. He runs an internet message board – (the HR Net) – with over 5,500 global subscribers  and facilitates monthly HR Roundtable meetings in Cincinnati. Steve actively serves on the Ohio HR Conference Committee and is also a popular speaker at HR Conferences, HR Associations and business/community groups. His HR street cred includes serving as a past President of the Greater Cincinnati Human Resources Association and being named HR Professional of the Year in Greater Cincinnati.

Want to be a part of the HR Net? Let Steve know! Follow him on Twitter at @sbrownehr.

President & Chief Talent Strategist

Jennifer McClure is a Keynote Speaker, Talent Strategies Expert and Executive Coach who works with clients and companies in the areas of leadership development, communication and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and empower business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people.

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27 thoughts on “HRevolution Impact On Those Unable to Attend

  1. Steve – first, let me say on behalf of everyone (yes, I am allowed to speak for everyone), you were greatly missed at the HRevolution. You are such a great HR leader and supporter of so many of us in this community. I agree with your assessment in that we can’t expect to have an impact if we only continue to ‘talk amongst ourselves’ so to speak. The second HRevolution was about 3x larger than the first, and I do think we are starting to crack the foundations of traditional organizations and groups. Every little bit helps, and certainly there is a long way to go, but I think we are on the way.

    • Thanks for the kind words. I missed you guys too !! I was hoping to make that face-to-face connection. I guess we’ll just have to do that #513 HR Happy Hour and go from there. Very excited about what you did at #HRevolution. Thanks for being a leader as well.

  2. Great point Steve! Being on the programming committee for the GCHRA chapter, I’m going to try to reach out to some of the folks to present next year. So jazzed after being at HRevolution…want others to join in the excitement.

    • Liz – look at you !! From a new face to a Social Media presence. That is way cool !! I hope your excitement continues to grow !!

  3. Steve,

    You were absolutely missed. As an HR practitioner, you are exactly what we needed more of at HR Evolution. I look forward to getting to know you better and appreciate your perspective of HR Evolution via social media.

    I’m glad you enjoyed.



  4. Steve,

    To add even more. . . My next step is to work and develop relationships with practitioners like you who are influential in the HR world. You are the HR Executives who we need to hear more from and can help get the thought leaders in front of the right folks to make the change happen. I look forward to chatting with you more.

    I’m working on pitches for next year’s events as we speak. . .


    • Jessica – Thanks for being so intentional. I dig that !! I hope that we can connect further and get others from both “sides” to do likewise. I’m in for next year . . . hint, hint . . .

  5. Steve – I so share this viewpoint! I’m on a personal mission to bring my local and state-wide HR peers and colleagues into this community. Evangelizing – YES! But if they will just come join us – they too can leverage the connections, the content and the collaborative opportunities.

    I missed meeting you in person – but you were there in spirit and even “on the t-shirt.”


    • Robin – our paths are destined to cross. Two HR radicals have to coincide in the same space sometime. It’s physics. Thanks for the positive comment. I’m so glad you’re a practitioner too !!

  6. Steve – Preaching outside the silo, marketing to those within and outside of the 4% and inplimenting the ideas of what we have discussed is exactly what we need to do. I will do my best. I can only decide what I will do. Hopefully others will follow suit!

    • What’s up my friend ?? I heard you were the bomb at #HRevolution and I don’t doubt that one bit. You are my future Ben and HR/OD/Training are only going to benefit from what you’re bringing. Peace out – the Enigma.

  7. Steve:

    You are light years ahead on this very concept. You lead the way. You were the first HR Pro I ever heard speak about getting outside the silos, and you did so in a way that really made me think. I genuinely missed you at this conference. I hope that you will lead a track at the next.



    • Margo – Thanks for the coment. I’m glad to know that you see me outside the silo. I never want to be in one. It’s more fun looking in from the outside. As I say . . . “what box ??”

    • @ Matthew – Oops! My WordPress amateur status is revealed! The link to your post has been corrected now. Such a great post deserves a good link! 🙂

    • Matthew –

      Loved your post !! I think you’re always on the edge and I love that. Appreciate your comment even though we went a little “wonky” on you.

  8. Steve – I loved your post. I think it’s extremely valuable for someone who was not at the event to draw such insightful conclusions. This demonstrates both your understanding of the purpose and your leadership in trying to effect positive change. What struck me the most was your concept of “building a bridge to the New World”. Jennifer, thanks for having him guest post on Unbridled.

    • Mark – Glad you liked the post and that you accentuated the positive. I see that from you all the time and love that I’m connected to you and others who are trying to move HR forward !!

  9. Thanks for letting Steve play in the sandbox, Jennifer! Steve: fantastic post. I hope you keep up the pressure on people like me to do our very best to reach out and pull others into the gaping void outside the little bubble HR people seem to live in.

    If you ever want to do a little more writing, just let me know. I know a great blog where you can feel free to share your ideas… 🙂

    • Okay – now that gets me even more excited !! Ben, consider the writing started and the ideas flowing. Love to break bubbles !! Thanks for the comment.

    • Well said fellow radical practitioner !! Heard you rocked it out at #HR evolution and I’m not surprised !! Let’s keep making the rest of the HR community know that there are several practitioners who “get it.” Peace my friend.

  10. Steve,

    Great post! You’re absolutely right that there is a gap – let’s build a bridge. Bridges are beneficial for both sides (pun intended). You’re doing a great job of knocking down the barriers between HR & social media. I’m glad to be part of that process, learning from folks like you every day.

    Keep up the great work and please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything your network can help with. We’re in this together! 🙂


  11. Great post, Steve. I checked in by following the #HRevolution hashtag as well and am trying to share the love of social media inside my global org where no one is connected! I’d like to give a quick shout out to you and your Ohio SHRM Conference committee because you are already bringing the “future of HR” conversation to masses through an amazing line up of speakers for the Ohio SHRM conference in September. Even though the thought of HR peeps in bathing suits still creeps me out (the conference is at the Kalahari Water Park), you are once again leading the way!

  12. Steve,

    Excellent post and agree on pushing this outside of the confines of the current community.

    I’ve been a passionate advocate for breaking down the silos between HR, PR, Marketing, Comms, IT, Legal and so many others that need to be collaborating in an effort to advance effectively whether within one’s own company or in this case, taking the HRevolution community to the next level to gain that much more insight.

    Many are those you mention who are already in social media sharing phenomenal content, ideas and perspectives that can be put to use.

    This was a big topic of discussion on Saturday and think many walked away with the intentions to reach out and connect with professionals outside the HR space to continue learning, growing and sharing their knowledge.


  13. Steve,
    You are a passionate Social Media, Connecting, and Evangelist Prophet. Thanks for sharing that in so many ways! While HR may be a profession, I find those skills (Social Media, Connecting, and Evangelizing) are honed as a lifestyle in order to be truly successful. As a guy “outside the box” of HR, I find those skills highly rewarding personally – but have seen colleagues totally blow it for themselves and their organizations out of ignorance. As a good evangelist – we also must train up some competent disciples to teach the skills necessary. Thanks for letting me connect with you and the HR world!

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