If you’ve never been, Influence HR is a one-day whirlwind of marketing insights from industry leaders for the CEOs and CMOs of customer-facing execs in the HR space. It’s intense, it’s gratifying, and I had the privilege of speaking there this year. Before I take 3 minutes of rest between Influence HR and the HR Technology Conference (back to back in Vegas), I thought I should quickly reflect on my time at Influence HR.
I’ll try to keep this as short and sweet as possible, but I have this story that I think really captures the unexpected speed bumps that so many have on a daily basis in the business world. In my constant motivation to squeeze every drop of efficiency and productivity out of my days, I get my laundry done once a week through a pick-up and delivery service. It’s simple, it saves me time and it’s just a no-brainer for my lifestyle (please remember I’m currently at back to back conferences).
A few weeks ago…
I placed my laundry on the porch for my scheduled pick-up. That evening when my laundry had not been delivered, I called the business to politely and calmly inquire about the whereabouts of seven days of laundry for a five person family — just a bit of necessity. As it turns out, that pick-up was never made because the clothes were gone when they arrived. After a full investigation (because that’s what I do), I uncovered that a charity group in the neighborhood doing donation pick-ups thought that the laundry bags on my front porch were part of a very generous donation.
Besides the many phone calls to locate and get all (well almost all) of the laundry back, the most frustrating part of this scenario is that it could have been avoided. Week after week, my laundry gets set out and comes back clean and folded a few hours later. But this particular week there were miscommunications plus an unexpected “resource” added to the equation that rerouted (literally) and broke down what is typically a very well-oiled process.
#InfluenceHRAnd while my family made due with not-so-clean clothes for a day or two, these types of unexpected process malfunctions manifest themselves in business all the time – potentially causing much greater disruption. (Finally, the relevance to Influence HR!) Regardless of how well we lead, plan and execute, there is always some intrinsic disconnect built into many of our systems, processes and communication practices, whether they be customer-facing, or internal. Influence HR is a place where business leaders can come together, candidly tell our stories, identify the flaws, share mitigation strategies, fill the gaps and make sure laundry doesn’t get lost. Well, not that specifically, but you know what I mean.
So what were a few of my takeaways from the conference…
It was especially refreshing meeting with Matt Straz CEO of Namely with whom, along with Rich Steed, I was on a panel discussing SMB clients. Matt likened our gathering to being part of a support group, which is just so spot-on. A bunch of business leaders, getting together to figure it out! It is comforting knowing that there is an entire community of leaders with the similar questions, concerns and problems looking for the solutions.
Kristin Runyan delivered some insightful best practices on agile marketing that I have already related back to my team. As soon as I get off this crazy conference train, her innovative product development and marketing strategies will be put into action. Lori Wizdo shared her definitions of buyer types that really turned a light bulb on for me and how our sales team approaches our prospective clients. Also, now that he is on the other side, Jayson Saba shared some typically untold insights about working with analysts.
Just being on the panel required me to reflect on the growth of HR Acuity and my vision for the organization. I’m leaving with a spirit of creativity and innovation that is easy to lose when you are in the business trenches day in and day out.
All around, Influence HR was a great experience, and I can’t wait to see you all again in…about five minutes at the HR Technology Conference. Cheers from HR Acuity!