Learning About Leadership in an Unexpected Way
By: Susan Ruhl
Recently ICC had the pleasure of participating in the Ohio SHRM conference in Sandusky, Ohio. Every year that we attend this event, ICC leaves pleased with all aspects of the conference. I found myself reflecting on the fact that we typically don’t feel this way about most other conferences we attend and the question is why. Why is the OHSHRM conference such a success for attendees and resource partners alike?
After much thought, and an eye-opening conversation with the committee, I am convinced that it comes down to leadership. Leadership that understands that while the speakers and the attendees are incredibly important to the success of the conference, the experience of the resource providers is equally important. It takes all areas working together to truly have a successful event year after year.
It was in my conversations with different committee members that I understand how this concept is solidified over and over. Any new committee member goes through a grueling interview process to make it onto the committee and is required to make a twelve-year commitment. Once on the committee, the various roles and responsibilities are rotated each year giving each committee member an appreciation of the role each participant has undertaken for the year.
This cross-training and long-term commitment develops a collaborative spirit that allows for several things to happen at the conference. First, the speakers are carefully vetted to truly provide unique learning opportunities for the attendees. Secondly, the level of speakers attracts senior HR professionals to the conference. Lastly, the team makes sure that those who are known as vendors at the other conferences are called resource providers or partners. They are exceptionally good at removing the apprehension that attendees feel when entering the exhibit hall which allows for better conversation and for HR professionals to connect with the resources that will help them be more effective in their roles.
This allows attendees and partners alike to have productive conversations about challenges currently being faced in the world of talent management. For ICC, we found common threads throughout the conversations we had with visitors to our exhibit. One common issue was that of year-end layoffs and the negative impact that it has on the remaining workforce. Another common theme was the need for to assist managers who lack coaching skills. As companies address the issues preventing them from becoming the effective teams they desire, they often find that they need resources that are not within their current structure.
Are any of these themes also challenges your organization is facing?