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    « HR Happy Hour - Live from Chicago | Main | New Technology for Human Resources »

    Be Curious

    On Wednesday I had the great honor to present at the WTPF of Washington, DC's annual professional development event.

    While my presentation was good (I think) I was really moved by the morning keynote speech given by Michele Toth of Northrop Grumman.

    Her topic was 'HR in Transition' and in her speech she articulated a few key principles for HR professionals to help effect the transformation from administrative and reactive to strategic and proactive.

    Be Curious - Understand what you don't know, and do your homework to educate yourself on the key issues that affect the organization.  If you are a technology company, understand how your technology actually solves customer problems.  Think like a business manager, not as an HR manager.

    Be Persistent - You know the right things to do don't you? So do them.  And if you run in to obstacles keep going. Have conviction and confidence.

    Be Tenacious - Don't wait to get invited to the key strategic planning meeting, or major executive pow-wow.  Show up and participate.  But you better be able to to bring it and that means doing your homework.

    Be Courageous - HR needs to be the moral compass of the organization, even when it is not popular, even if it means turning in the boss. Courage may also require making unpopular decisions, but HR needs to have the courage to do the right thing, always.

    It was a fantastic speech, and definitely inspirational for the attendees of the session. Check out the Twitter hashtag #WTPF to get the sense of the speech and the event overall.

    Thanks again to the folks at WTPF for inviting me to speak, I had a fantastic day.

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    Reader Comments (7)

    I love those four great "Be's" by Michele Toth. Thanks for sharing them with those of us who couldn't be there, Steve.

    October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLorne Pike

    Thanks very much for the comments Lorne, it was a really fantastic speech.

    October 2, 2009 | Registered CommenterSteve

    Great advise: Know your company’s mission (educate yourself), the professionals and rank & file you need to have, and then have the gall to do it right.

    Put this article together with the other article I read about hiring overqualified people and I think any HR professional will make their company a winner.

    October 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBernard Walko

    Thanks very much for the comments Bernard, I would love to see the article you referenced, could you post a link?

    October 3, 2009 | Registered CommenterSteve

    Great stuff last week Steve! Really opened alot of eyes there I think! Be well!

    October 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPete Radloff

    Thanks Pete! I enjoyed meeting the other 'Tweep' in the crowd that day. It was a really impressive group to say the least. Be well yourself!

    October 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterSteve

    Funny how some things never change. Back in the '80s...we attended conference after conference with the same 'HR in Transition' pep talks and advice about how to strengthen role as business partner, vs support or admin role; how to be more proactive vs reactive. How to assure HR commands more respect in the boardroom....30 years later...same problems...same "breakthrough" ideas at these conferences.

    October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

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